No. 9 Michigan tops Indiana 29-7, bounces back from 1st loss

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Hassan Haskins had to carry a heavier burden in the backfield because Blake Corum was injured. He delivered.

Haskins ran for a career-high 168 yards and a touchdown, helping No. 9 Michigan bounce back from its first defeat with a 29-7 win over Indiana on Saturday night.

“It was a different feeling, but I had to get the job done,” Haskins said.

The Wolverines (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) were coming off a deflating defeat, blowing a 16-point, third-quarter lead in a 37-33 loss to rival Michigan State last week.

“That’s out of our control, but going forward, we said, somebody has to pay and it just happened to be Indiana,” Michigan defensive end David Ojabo said.

The fifth-ranked Spartans lost for the first time this season earlier in the day, 40-29 to Purdue, and fell into a second-place tie with Michigan behind No. 6 Ohio State in the Big Ten East Division.

The Hoosiers (2-7, 0-6) have lost five straight games, collapsing in a season that started with them hoping to contend for at least a division title.

“Our expectations were high in the beginning, and this isn’t what we expected,” linebacker Micah McFadden said. “So, it hurts.”

Haskins had 27 carries, matching a career high, without Corum on the field for much of the game. Corum, who has been among the nation’s leading rushers all season, ran once for 4 yards and dropped a perfect pass in the flat for the second straight week before leaving the game.

“I don’t think it’s serious,” coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I don’t know if it’s mild. Somewhere less than serious.”

Haskins’ 2-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter gave Michigan a 10-f0 lead. Chris Childers 1-yard touchdown run pulled the Hoosiers within three, but they couldn’t get closer.

Cade McNamara was 10 of 18 for 168 yards with two touchdown passes to Luke Schoonmaker that helped the Wolverines pull away. The tight end took advantage of opportunities with Erick All out of the lineup with an injury. Michigan’s Cornelius Johnson had five receptions for 108 yards.

Indiana’s latest loss makes them ineligible for a bowl, ending its chances of playing in three straight postseasons for the first time since the late 1980s.

“There’s a lot of tears in there,” coach Tom Allen said. “But there’s also a whole lot of resolve in there, guys who gave a whole lot to this program and have a lot of character themselves.”

Donoven McCulley was 10 of 24 for 88 yards and ran 14 times for 37 yards for the Hoosiers.

“There were times where he looked like a true freshman, but there were also times he’s playing well in a tough situation,” Allen said. “So there’s no question, he wasn’t expecting to be our starting quarterback this week, but that’s a tough environment.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Indiana: Losing quarterbacks Michael Penix Jr., who threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s 17-point win over Michigan, and Jack Tuttle to injuries has been too tough to overcome for Allen’s team.

“I just have to learn from the process and keep getting better,” McCulley said.

Michigan: Corum’s injury is a potential problem. He and Haskins have allowed Harbaugh to stick with a run-heavy offense. If Corum is out, Haskins will take many more hits and there isn’t a lot of experience behind him on the depth chart. Backup running back Donovan Edwards was out with an injury.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Wolverines may not move up because the only team ranked higher, Michigan State, beat them last week.

ONE-SIDED SERIES

Michigan has won 40 of 42 games against Indiana, who ended a 24-game losing streak with a 38-21 win over the Wolverines during the pandemic-shortened season.

RISING STAR

Ojabo forced a fumble on a sack, giving him eight sacks and four forced fumbles to rank among FBS leaders in both categories.

“He has a knack for it,” Harbaugh said. “It’s something you really have to account for, his ability to rush the passer. That’s an issue. We see it in practice with Aidan (Hutchinson) on one side and David Ojabo on the other.”

TAKE A SEAT

Indiana freshman running back Trent Howland, who had five carries for 17 yards in one game this season, sat out the first of two games after being suspended for violating team rules.

UP NEXT

Indiana: Hosts Rutgers on Saturday.

Michigan: At No. 22 Penn St on Saturday.

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program.

The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused of being sex offenders. The players, who were identified in the lawsuit as John Does, sought unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination.

A woman alleged up to a dozen football players raped her or watched and cheered at an off-campus party in 2016. None of the players were ever charged.

The university found that 10 football players committed sexual misconduct. Five of them were expelled or suspended for violating student conduct codes, and the others were cleared on appeal.

In their lawsuit, the players alleged that the woman initiated the sexual encounters with players and an underage recruit.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying the former players did not prove any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure from Athletic Director Mark Coyle and former President Eric Kaler, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

David Madgett, an attorney for the players, said Tuesday that they are considering an appeal but have to determine if it makes sense financially and in terms of letting the former players get on with their lives. He said it was disappointing that the outcome was determined by the judge’s version of events and not decided by a jury.

“It’s disappointing to see disputes decided in this way,” Madgett said. “That’s the way things are decided more and more these days. … It’s disappointing you don’t get your day in court.”

When the allegations became public in 2016, players threatened to boycott the team’s trip to the Holiday Bowl. But after a graphic report of the investigation was released, the players agreed to play in the game.

University of Minnesota spokesman Jake Ricker said the school appreciated the judge’s decision affirming the actions taken in the case. He said the university would continue its work focusing on sexual misconduct awareness, prevention and response.

Frank dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, but an appeals court reinstated part of it in 2021 and returned it to Frank.

The players, all of whom are Black, also initially claimed racial discrimination, but that claim was previously dismissed.

The only remaining claim alleged Title IX gender discrimination. The former players noted that they never faced criminal charges, but Frank’s ruling said that “is certainly not evidence of a judicial adjudication or that plaintiffs ‘were proven innocent.'”

The men also claimed that an investigator for the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action used “manipulative tactics” with them in interviews and that their accuser helped draft the report. The players also alleged that “prior failed investigations motivated” the the school to punish them.

Frank said all the claims were unsupported by the evidence and “no reasonable jury could find that the University disciplined plaintiffs on the basis of sex.”

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

Crump was the only Spartan facing a felony, but that charge was dismissed in an agreement to plead guilty to misdemeanors. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

“Unfortunately, an exchange of words (took place), I felt attacked and unfortunately I did what I did,” Crump said of the tunnel altercation involving Michigan’s Gemon Green. “I’m not proud of that. I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Crump was suspended by coach Mel Tucker. In addition, the Big Ten has suspended him for eight games in 2023.

“I had difficulties trying to stomach my actions … on that fateful day, but it happened. I can’t take it back,” Crump told MLive.com after the court hearing. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue in the future — on the football field, of course.”

At least four other players charged with misdemeanors Will Likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions. The cases against two others are pending.