Michigan keeps on track toward OSU showdown

Hart's 95 yards, TD help beat Northwestern 17-3
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Mike Hart ran for 95 yards and a touchdown to help No. 2 Michigan pound out a 17-3 rain-soaked win over Northwestern Saturday.
Hart and the Wolverines' swarming defense kept Michigan on track for a potential No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup at Ohio State on Nov. 18. Next up for Michigan, Ball State next week then Indiana.
The Wolverines (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) were 30-point favorites against the Wildcats, who just a week earlier had collapsed in record-setting fashion by blowing a 35-point lead against Michigan State.
But Northwestern (2-7, 0-5) trailed only 10-3 midway through the third quarter against Michigan when the game turned on a miscue by Wildcats quarterback C.J. Bacher, who was making his second career start.
Michigan cornerback Leon Hall, who had a fumble recovery earlier in the game, intercepted Bacher, setting up the Wolverines at the Northwestern 36. Hart gained 23 yards off left tackle on fourth-and-2 and, two plays later, he ran untouched into the end zone from the 3 to make it 17-3 with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
Wisconsin 30, Illinois 24
MADISON, Wis. -- Forced to play much of the way without running back P.J. Hill, No. 17 Wisconsin rallied from a two-touchdown halftime deficit.
The Badgers (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) survived two first-half turnovers that led to Illinois touchdowns and two separate injuries to Hill to score 20 straight points against the Illini (2-7, 1-4) in the second half.
Wisconsin trailed by four points early in fourth quarter when tight end Andy Crooks fell on his fumble in the end zone for a touchdown that put the Badgers ahead 27-24 with 14:50 remaining.
Crooks originally was ruled down at the 1-yard line after a screen pass from quarterback John Stocco, but was awarded a touchdown on a replay review.
Hill limped off the field late in the first quarter and played only a few more snaps before he left the game for good after a separate injury midway through the third quarter. The redshirt freshman gained 1,199 yards on 202 carries in the Badgers' first eight games but was held to 50 yards on 12 carries Saturday.
Indiana 46, Michigan St. 21
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Kellen Lewis threw five touchdown passes, including a school-record four to James Hardy, and ran for another score in leading Indiana past Michigan State.
Michigan State (4-5, 1-4 Big Ten), a week removed from pulling off the biggest comeback in Division I-A history, grabbed the lead with a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. But Indiana (5-4, 3-2) gave up just 35 yards the rest of the first half and did not allow another first down until the fourth quarter, a span of 12 possessions by the Spartans and 46 straight points by the Hoosiers.
Iowa 24, Northern Illinois 14
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa redshirt freshman Jake Christensen threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start, and Iowa survived a fourth-quarter rally by Northern Illinois to end a two-game losing streak.
The Hawkeyes held Garrett Wolfe, the nation's leading rusher, to 66 yards on 22 carries. His sputtering Heisman campaign is most likely finished. After rushing for more than 160 yards in each of his first six games, including a 171-yard effort at No. 1 Ohio State, Wolfe has just 136 in his last three.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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