2021 Michigan Wolverines football
Michigan Wolverines logo.svg
Big Ten champion
Big Ten East Division co-champion
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
DivisionEast Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 3
APNo. 3
Record12–2 (8–1 Big Ten)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorJosh Gattis (3rd season)
Co-offensive coordinatorSherrone Moore (1st season)
Offensive schemePro spread
Defensive coordinatorMike Macdonald (1st season)
MVPAidan Hutchinson
Captains
Home stadiumMichigan Stadium
(capacity: 107,601)
Uniform
Modern Michigan Unis.png
Seasons
← 2020
2022 →
2021 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
East Division
No. 3 Michigan xy$^   8 1     12 2  
No. 6 Ohio State x   8 1     11 2  
No. 9 Michigan State   7 2     11 2  
Penn State   4 5     7 6  
Maryland   3 6     7 6  
Rutgers   2 7     5 8  
Indiana   0 9     2 10  
West Division
No. 23 Iowa xy   7 2     10 4  
Minnesota   6 3     9 4  
Wisconsin   6 3     9 4  
Purdue   6 3     9 4  
Illinois   4 5     5 7  
Nebraska   1 8     3 9  
Northwestern   1 8     3 9  
Championship: Michigan 42, Iowa 3
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2021 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the sport of college football, in the East Division of the Big Ten Conference during the 2021 NCAA Division I FBS football season. In their seventh year under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the team compiled a 12–2 record (8–1 against Big Ten opponents), won the Big Ten championship, outscored opponents by a total of 501 to 243, and was ranked No. 3 in the final AP and Coaches Polls. The Wolverines advanced to the College Football Playoff for the first time in program history, losing to eventual national champion Georgia in the Orange Bowl.

After starting the season unranked, Michigan won its first seven games, including victories on the road against Wisconsin and Nebraska. On October 30, Michigan (ranked No. 6) lost to Michigan State (ranked No. 8). The Wolverines rebounded with five consecutive wins, including a 42–27 victory over No. 2 Ohio State – Michigan's first victory over its rival since 2011. The Wolverines advanced to the Big Ten Football Championship Game, defeating Iowa, 42–3. It was Michigan's first conference championship since 2004 and its first outright title since 2003.

The team's statistical leaders included Cade McNamara with 2,576 passing yards, Hassan Haskins with 1,327 rushing yards, Cornelius Johnson with 627 receiving yards, Jake Moody with 125 points scored, Josh Ross with 106 total tackles, and Aidan Hutchinson with 14 quarterback sacks.

Aidan Hutchinson won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award, was a unanimous first-team All-American, and finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. Jake Moody was also a consensus first-team All-American and the recipient of the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker. Harbaugh won the Associated Press College Football Coach of the Year Award, and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. The Wolverines' offensive line won the Joe Moore Award. Six Michigan players received first-team honors on the All-Big Ten football team: Hutchinson, Moody, Hassan Haskins, David Ojabo, Daxton Hill, and Andrew Stueber.

Preseason

2020 season

The 2020 Michigan Wolverines football team compiled a 2–4 record in the COVID-19-shortened season. It was the program's worst record since 2008. The defense gave up an average of 34.5 points per game, ranking 95th among the nation's 128 major college football programs.[1]

Firing of Don Brown

On December 22, 2020, Michigan fired defensive coordinator Don Brown. Brown had taken over as defensive coordinator in 2016 and led the 2016 squad to a No. 1 national ranking.[2][3]

Harbaugh's extension

On January 8, 2021, head coach Jim Harbaugh signed a four-year contract extension with Michigan, continuing through the 2025 season. The extension reduced Harbaugh's $8-million base salary to $4 million for the 2021 season but added incentive bonuses of $500,000 for winning the Big Ten East, $1 million for winning the Big Ten championship, $500,000 for reaching the College Football Playoff semifinal, $1 million for winning the College Football Playoff, $75,000 for winning National Coach of the Year honors, and $50,000 for winning Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. The new agreement also lowered the buyout that the university would be required to pay if it fired him before the end of the contract.[4][5]

Coaching changes

Following his four-year extension, Harbaugh led a major overhaul of the Michigan coaching staff. The overhaul shifted away from older coaches (Don Brown was 65, Ed Warinner was 59) to younger with 10 assistants under age 40.[6] The moves included the following:

Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis (age 38) and defensive line coach Shaun Nua (age 40) were the only two assistants who remained in their prior positions.[23]

Recruiting

2021 recruiting class

Schedule

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendanceSource
September 412:00 p.m.Western Michigan*ESPNW 47–14109,295[24]
September 118:00 p.m.Washington*
  • Michigan Stadium
  • Ann Arbor, MI
ABCW 31–10108,345[25]
September 1812:00 p.m.Northern Illinois*No. 25
  • Michigan Stadium
  • Ann Arbor, MI
BTNW 63–10106,263[26]
September 253:30 p.m.RutgersdaggerNo. 19
  • Michigan Stadium
  • Ann Arbor, MI
ABCW 20–13106,943[27]
October 212:00 p.m.at WisconsinNo. 14FoxW 38–1774,855[28]
October 97:30 p.m.at NebraskaNo. 9ABCW 32–2987,380[29]
October 2312:00 p.m.NorthwesternNo. 6
FoxW 33–7109,449[30]
October 3012:00 p.m.at No. 8 Michigan StateNo. 6FoxL 33–3776,549[31]
November 67:30 p.m.IndianaNo. 7
  • Michigan Stadium
  • Ann Arbor, MI
FoxW 29–7109,890[32]
November 1312:00 p.m.at Penn StateNo. 6ABCW 21–17109,534[33]
November 203:30 p.m.at MarylandNo. 6BTNW 59–1836,181[34][35]
November 2712:00 p.m.No. 2 Ohio StateNo. 5
  • Michigan Stadium
  • Ann Arbor, MI (rivalry, Big Noon Kickoff, College GameDay)
FoxW 42–27111,156[36]
December 48:00 p.m.No. 13 IowaNo. 2FoxW 42–367,183[37]
December 317:30 p.m.vs. No. 3 Georgia*No. 2ESPNL 11–3466,839[38]

Rankings

Further information: 2021 NCAA Division I FBS football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
PollPre1234567891011121314Final
APRVRV2519149866998622 (9)3
CoachesRVRV25191487661087632 (5)3
CFPNot released766522Not released

Game summaries

Western Michigan

See also: 2021 Western Michigan Broncos football team

Western Michigan at Michigan
1 234Total
Broncos 7 007 14
Wolverines 10 17614 47
  • Date: September 4
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Game start: 12:02 p.m. EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:21
  • Game attendance: 109,925
  • Game weather: 70º F, sunny, S 5 MPH
  • Referee: John O'Neill
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, and Kris Budden

On September 4, Michigan opened their season with a 47–14 victory over Western Michigan. The game was played at Michigan Stadium before a crowd of 109,925.[40][41][42]

On the game's opening drive, Michigan drove 75 yards, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara to Blake Corum. Western Michigan responded with their own 75-yard drive, led by Kaleb Eleby's passing and ending with a two-yard touchdown run by La'Darius Jefferson. After the Broncos' touchdown, Blake Corum returned the kickoff 79 yards to the Western Michigan 21-yard line. The drive stalled at the 18-yard line, and Jake Moody kicked a 37-yard field goal to give Michigan a 10–7 lead at the end of the first quarter.[43]

After giving up a touchdown on the Broncos' opening drive, Michigan's defense held Western Michigan to 18 yards in the remaining four drives of the first half. Michigan's offense also gained momentum with 17 points in the second quarter. Cade McNamara connected with Ronnie Bell for a 76-yard touchdown strike. Michigan's next possession started with a 36-yard punt return by Ronnie Bell, but Bell sustained a season-ending injury on the play. Hassan Haskins ran 22 yards for his first touchdown of the season with 6:18 remaining in the second quarter. At the end of the half, Michigan drove to the Broncos' one-yard line but settled for a 20-yard field goal by Moody, which made the score 27–7 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[43]

On Michigan's first drive of the second half, A. J. Henning ran 74 yards for a touchdown, and Michigan's attempt at a two-point conversion failed. Early in the fourth quarter, Michigan sustained an 87-yard drive, culminating with a 30-yard touchdown run by Corum. True freshman quarterback J. J. McCarthy saw his first action in the fourth quarter. On third-and-25 from Michigan's 31-yard line, McCarthy scrambled and threw across the field to Daylen Baldwin for a 69-yard touchdown pass. Late in the fourth quarter, Kaleb Eleby led the Broncos on a 64-yard touchdown drive ending with a 27-yard pass to Corey Crooms.[43]

Corum rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns and became the first Michigan player to score a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game since Khalid Hill in 2016. McNamara completed nine of 11 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Aidan Hutchinson had a sack and blocked a field goal.[42] Michigan's 550 yards of total offense were their most since tallying 660 yards against Maryland in 2016.[44]

Statistics WMU UM
First downs 17 22
Plays–yards 69–317 60–551
Rushes–yards 32–126 43–335
Passing yards 191 216
Passing: comp–att–int 20–37–0 13–17–0
Time of possession 31:51 28:09
Team Category Player Statistics
W. Michigan Passing Kaleb Eleby 20/37, 191 yards, 1 TD
Rushing Sean Tyler 10 carries, 55 yards
Receiving Corey Crooms 4 receptions, 58 yards, 1 TD
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 9/11, 136 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Blake Corum 14 carries, 111 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Ronnie Bell 1 reception, 76 yards, 1 TD

Washington

See also: 2021 Washington Huskies football team

Washington at Michigan
1 234Total
Huskies 0 037 10
Wolverines 3 7714 31
  • Date: September 11
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Game start: 8:14 p.m. EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:28
  • Game attendance: 108,345
  • Game weather: 80º F, sunny, SW 10 MPH
  • Referee: Michael Cannon
  • TV announcers (ABC): Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, and Molly McGrath

On September 11, Michigan defeated Washington, 31–10, in the tenth ever night game at Michigan Stadium.[46][47][48] It was the first meeting between the teams since 2002. The teams had been scheduled to meet in 2020 in Seattle, but that game was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan's defense held Washington scoreless in the first half. Michigan began their second possession near midfield after Caden Kolesar returned a punt for 20 yards. Hassan Haskins carried twice to advance the ball to Washington's 34-yard line, and Jake Moody kicked a 52-yard field goal. With 9:47 remaining in the second quarter, Blake Corum ran 67 yards for a touchdown, which made the score 10–0 in favor of Michigan at halftime.[49]

On the opening drive of the second half, Michigan ran the ball eight times (four by Haskins, four by Corum) for 73 yards with Corum scoring on a seven-yard run. Washington responded with a ten-minute, 72-yard drive, ending with a 28-yard field goal by Peyton Henry. Michigan then responded with another long drive, taking the ball 75 yards in seven minutes, Haskins scoring on a six-yard run with 13:56 remaining. Washington responded with another long drive, marching 75 yards and ending with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Morris to Terrell Bynum. With 1:48 remaining, Michigan added a final touchdown on a four-yard run by Corum.[49]

Michigan had 343 rushing yards in the game (Corum 171 yards, three touchdowns; Haskins 155 yards, one touchdown). Cade McNamara completed seven of 15 passes for 44 yards. The defense gave up 293 passing yards by Dylan Morris but held Washington to 50 rushing yards on 32 carries. Aidan Hutchinson had 2.5 sacks, and David Ojabo had a sack and a fumble recovery.[50]

Statistics UW UM
First downs 19 20
Plays–yards 69–343 71–387
Rushes–yards 32–50 56–343
Passing yards 293 44
Passing: comp–att–int 20–37–0 7–15–0
Time of possession 25:40 34:20
Team Category Player Statistics
Washington Passing Dylan Morris 20/37, 293 yards, 1 TD
Rushing Richard Newton 12 carries, 24 yards
Receiving Terrell Bynum 5 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 7/15, 44 yards
Rushing Blake Corum 21 carries, 171 yards, 3 TD
Receiving Cornelius Johnson 1 reception, 33 yards

Northern Illinois

See also: 2021 Northern Illinois Huskies football team

Northern Illinois at No. 25 Michigan
1 234Total
Huskies 3 007 10
No. 25 Wolverines 14 21280 63
  • Date: September 18
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Game start: 12:01 p.m. EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:06
  • Game attendance: 106,263
  • Game weather: 70º F, sunny, N 5 MPH
  • Referee: Greg Sujack
  • TV announcers (BTN): Brandon Gaudin, James Laurinaitis, and Rick Pizzo

On September 18, Michigan defeated Northern Illinois (NIU), 63–10, before a crowd of 106,263 at Michigan Stadium.[52][53] The game drew attention as NIU quarterback Rocky Lombardi had played for Michigan State in 2020, leading the Spartans to a 27–24 victory over the Wolverines.[54]

On their opening possession, Michigan took over in NIU territory after A. J. Henning returned a punt 25 yards. Cade McNamara scored on a one-yard run. NIU responded with a 72-yard drive ending with a 21-yard field goal by John Richardson. The Wolverines held NIU scoreless for the rest of the first half, while the Wolverines scored four touchdowns on one-yard runs by Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins, a five-yard run by Haskins, and an 87-yard touchdown pass from McNamara to Cornelius Johnson, which made the score 35–3 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[55]

Michigan broke the game open with 28 points in the third quarter. On the opening drive of the second half, Corum ran 51 yards for a touchdown. After holding NIU to a three-and-out, A. J. Henning returned a punt 32 yards to the NIU 48-yard line. Michigan scored again on a one-yard run by Corum. On the next NIU possession, Gemon Green intercepted a Rocky Lombardi pass and returned it 27 yards to the NIU three-yard line. Donovan Edwards scored on a four-yard run. The defense forced another three-and-out, and Donovan Edwards scored on a 58-yard touchdown run. Michigan led, 63–3, with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter. Michigan emptied their bench and did not score in the fourth quarter. NIU scored the only points of the fourth quarter on a nine-yard pass from Lombardi to Cole Tucker.[55]

Michigan tallied 373 rushing yards in the game, led by Corum with 125 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries. It was Corum's third consecutive 100-yard rushing game, making him the first Michigan player to accomplish the feat since Denard Robinson in 2011. Cade McNamara completed eight of 11 passes for 191 yards. His 87-yard touchdown pass to Cornelius Johnson was the third longest in program history. The defense held NIU to 46 passing yards and 161 rushing yards. Aidan Hutchinson recorded one sack. A. J. Henning returned five punts for 70 yards.[56][57]

Statistics NIU UM
First downs 11 28
Plays–yards 53–207 65–606
Rushes–yards 36–161 48–373
Passing yards 46 233
Passing: comp–att–int 9–17–1 12–17–0
Time of possession 29:11 30:49
Team Category Player Statistics
N. Illinois Passing Rocky Lombardi 9/17, 46 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Rocky Lombardi 7 carries, 71 yards
Receiving Tristen Tewes 1 reception, 15 yards
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 8/11, 191 yards, 1 TD
Rushing Blake Corum 13 carries, 125 yards, 3 TD
Receiving Cornelius Johnson 3 receptions, 117 yards, 1 TD

Rutgers

See also: 2021 Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team

Rutgers at No. 19 Michigan
(Homecoming)
1 234Total
Scarlet Knights 3 073 13
No. 19 Wolverines 7 1300 20
  • Date: September 25
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Game start: 3:41 p.m. EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:15
  • Game attendance: 106,943
  • Game weather: 65º F, sunny, W 15 MPH
  • Referee: Ron Snodgrass
  • TV announcers (ABC): Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, and Molly McGrath

On September 25, Michigan defeated Rutgers, 20–13, before a homecoming crowd of 106,943 at Michigan Stadium. It was the seventh consecutive victory for Michigan over Rutgers.[59]

On the game's opening drive, Michigan sustained a 74-yard, seven-and-a half-minute drive, culminating with a one-yard touchdown run by Hassan Haskins. Rutgers responded with a 53-yard drive to the Michigan 22-yard line. Valentino Ambrosio kicked a 40-yard field goal. Michigan then quickly drove 72 yards on a drive that featured passes of 24 yards to Erick All and 38 yards to Roman Wilson. Haskins scored again on a three-yard run with 14:40 remaining in the second quarter. Jake Moody kicked two field goals, from 32 yards, and 20 yards, respectively, in the second quarter, which made the score 20–3 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[60]

Michigan was held scoreless and limited to 47 yards of total offense in the second half. In the third quarter, Rutgers narrowed the lead to 20–10 with a 91-yard, five-and-a-half minute touchdown drive, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Noah Vedral to Aaron Young. Late in the third quarter, Rutgers again drove deep into Michigan territory, and Ambrosio kicked a 25-yard field goal to bring Rutgers within seven points.[60] Rutgers' attempted comeback failed when Michigan forced Rutgers' first turnover of the season. With 1:37 remaining in the game, David Ojabo forced a fumble by Noah Vedral, and Junior Colson recovered the loose ball for Michigan.[61]

Michigan was limited to 275 yards of total offense in the game. Cade McNamara completed nine of 16 passes for 163 yards, and Michigan's ground game was limited to 112 yards. Blake Corum rushed for 68 yards on 21 carries, and Hassan Haskins tallied 41 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Rutgers tallied 352 yards of total offense, out-gaining the Wolverines by 77 yards. Aidan Hutchinson recorded a sack.[62]

Statistics RU UM
First downs 21 15
Plays–yards 73–352 54–275
Rushes–yards 42–196 38–112
Passing yards 156 163
Passing: comp–att–int 18–31–0 9–16–0
Time of possession 32:37 27:23
Team Category Player Statistics
Rutgers Passing Noah Vedral 18/31, 156 yards, 1 TD
Rushing Isiah Pacheco 20 carries, 107 yards
Receiving Aaron Young 3 receptions, 35 yards, 1 TD
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 9/16, 163 yards
Rushing Blake Corum 21 carries, 68 yards
Receiving Mike Sainristil 1 reception, 51 yards

at Wisconsin

See also: 2021 Wisconsin Badgers football team

No. 14 Michigan at Wisconsin
1 234Total
No. 14 Wolverines 7 6718 38
Badgers 0 1007 17
  • Date: October 2
  • Location: Camp Randall Stadium
    Madison, WI
  • Game start: 11:25 a.m. CDT
  • Elapsed time: 2:59
  • Game attendance: 74,855
  • Game weather: 70º F, sunny, S 7 MPH
  • Referee: John O'Neill
  • TV announcers (Fox): Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, and Jenny Taft

On October 2, Michigan defeated Wisconsin, 38–17, before a crowd of 74,855 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.[64][65] Michigan had lost to Wisconsin by a 49–11 score in 2020 and had not won a game in Madison since 2001.[66] It was also the first victory for Michigan as an underdog (after 12 defeats) under coach Harbaugh.[67]

In their first two possessions, Michigan turned the ball over on downs and punted. On their third possession, A. J. Henning returned a punt 19 yards to Michigan's 41-yard line. From there, the Wolverines drove 59 yards and scored on 34-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara to Cornelius Johnson. At the end of the first quarter, Hunter Wohler fumbled a Brad Robbins punt, and Michigan recovered the ball at the Wisconsin five-yard line. Despite excellent field possession, the Wolverines were unable to punch the ball into the end zone and settled for a 26-yard Jake Moody field goal. Midway through the second quarter, Wisconsin drove 78 yards to the Michigan 16-yard line but had to settle for a 34-yard field goal by Collin Larsh. In the closing minutes of the half, Michigan drove to Wisconsin's 29-yard line, and Moody kicked a 47-yard field goal with 27 seconds remaining in the half. In the final 27 seconds of the half, Wisconsin drove 63 yards as Graham Mertz passed for 38 yards to Chimere Dike and for 18 yards to Dike for a touchdown, which made the score 13–10 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[68]

On the opening drive of the second half, Michigan held Wisconsin to a three-and-out and knocked Mertz out of the game with a sack by Josh Ross and Daxton Hill. Michigan then drove 59 yards in a five-minute drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by J. J. McCarthy. At the start of the fourth quarter, David Ojabo sacked Wisconsin's backup quarterback Chase Wolf and forced a fumble that was recovered by Chris Hinton at the Badgers' 38-yard line. Moody kicked a 48-yard field goal. On the next play from scrimmage, Daxton Hill intercepted a Chase Wolf pass and Michigan took over at the Wisconsin 35-yard line. From there, Cade McNamara completed passes to Erick All for 19 yards and to Cornelius Jackson for 13 yards and a touchdown. The Wolverines added a two-point conversion on a pass from McNamara to Johnson. On Michigan's next possession, J. J. McCarthy threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Daylen Baldwin with 5:07 remaining in the game. With 1:37 remaining in the game, Michigan's third-string quarterback Alan Bowman was intercepted, and Wisconsin took over at the Wolverines' 43-yard line. Chase Wolf threw a touchdown pass to Clay Cundiff with 0:32 remaining.[68]

Michigan was limited to 112 rushing yards in the game. McNamara and McCarthy combined for 253 passing yards and three touchdowns. On defense, the Wolverines held the Badgers to 42 rushing yards and 167 passing yards. The defense also tallied a season-high six sacks, including two-and-a-half sacks for David Ojabo.[69] During Wisconsin's Jump Around between the third and fourth quarters, Michigan players flooded onto the field, dancing and waving towels.[67]

Statistics UM UW
First downs 15 12
Plays–yards 74–365 56–210
Rushes–yards 44–112 32–43
Passing yards 253 167
Passing: comp–att–int 18–30–1 11–23–1
Time of possession 34:38 25:22
Team Category Player Statistics
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 17/28, 197 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Hassan Haskins 19 carries, 47 yards
Receiving Roman Wilson 6 receptions, 81 yards
Wisconsin Passing Graham Mertz 8/15, 115 yards, 1 TD
Rushing Braelon Allen 5 carries, 19 yards
Receiving Chimere Dike 2 receptions, 54 yards, 1 TD

at Nebraska

See also: 2021 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

No. 9 Michigan at Nebraska
1 234Total
No. 9 Wolverines 0 13613 32
Cornhuskers 0 0227 29
  • Date: October 9
  • Location: Memorial Stadium
    Lincoln, NE
  • Game start: 6:44 p.m. CDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:37
  • Game attendance: 87,380
  • Game weather: 77º F, cloudy, S 6 MPH
  • Referee: Reggie Smith
  • TV announcers (ABC): Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, and Molly McGrath

On October 9, Michigan defeated Nebraska, 32–29, before a crowd of 87,380 in Lincoln, Nebraska.[71][72][73] The schools last faced each other in 2018, when Michigan won, 56–10.[74] The victory was Michigan's first in three road games against Nebraska.[75]

After holding Michigan to a three-and-out on the opening drive, Nebraska drove 78 yards to the Michigan three-yard line, but Michigan stopped Adrian Martinez for a one-yard loss on fourth-and-goal. Neither team scored in the opening quarter.[76]

In the second quarter, Michigan scored 13 points and again held Nebraska scoreless. On the opening drive of the quarter, Daxton Hill intercepted a Martinez pass at Nebraska's 35-yard line. Michigan then drove to the 17-yard line, and Jake Moody kicked a 35-yard field goal. On Michigan's next possession, the Wolverines drove 87 yards (including a 48-yard pass from Cade McNamara to Mike Sainristil) ending at the Nebraska one-yard line. Michigan then settled for another field goal. Michigan got the ball back with 1:27 remaining in the half and drove 76 yards as McNamara completed five passes and Blake Corum ran 26 yards to the Nebraska 15-yard line. A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the three-yard line, and Hassan Haskins scored on a three-yard run with nine seconds left in the half, which made the score 13–0 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[76]

Nebraska scored 22 points in the third quarter to take a 22–19 lead. On the opening drive of the second half, the Cornhuskers drove 79 yards and scored on a 46-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to Austin Allen. Later in the quarter, Michigan drove 91 yards on 10 plays, culminating in a three-yard touchdown run by Haskins. Michigan's attempt at a two-point conversion failed. Nebraska responded on their next possession with a 75-yard drive, ending with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to Rahmir Johnson. With 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Nebraska's Deontai Williams intercepted a Cade McNamara pass and returned it 20 yards to the Michigan 13-yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, Martinez threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Levi Falck. Martinez then ran for a two-point conversion.[76]

On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Michigan drove 75 yards in 10 plays, ending with a 29-yard touchdown run by Blake Corum. Nebraska then responded with a 75-yard drive ending with a five-yard touchdown run by Martinez. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Michigan drove 69 yards to the Nebraska 13-yard line, and Jake Moody kicked a 31-yard field goal to tie the game with 3:00 minutes remaining. On the following drive, Brad Hawkins forced a fumble by Martinez, with Hawkins recovering the ball and returning it 19 yards to the Nebraska 18-yard line. Moody kicked a game-winning, 39-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in the game.[76]

Michigan had 459 yards of total offense in the game. Cade McNamara completed 22 of 38 passes for 255 yards and one interception. Hassan Haskins rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Blake Corum added 89 yards and one touchdown. Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez completed 18 of 28 passes for 291 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. David Ojabo had one sack in the game.[77]

Statistics UM NU
First downs 26 19
Plays–yards 81–459 60–431
Rushes–yards 42–204 32–140
Passing yards 255 291
Passing: comp–att–int 22–39–1 18–28–1
Time of possession 34:24 25:36
Team Category Player Statistics
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 22/38, 255 yards
Rushing Hassan Haskins 21 carries, 123 yards, 2 TD
Receiving Daylen Baldwin 6 receptions, 64 yards
Nebraska Passing Adrian Martinez 18/28, 291 yards, 3 TD
Rushing Rahmir Johnson 17 carries, 67 yards
Receiving Rahmir Johnson 6 receptions, 105 yards, TD

Northwestern

See also: 2021 Northwestern Wildcats football team

Northwestern at No. 6 Michigan
(George Jewett Trophy)
1 234Total
Wildcats 0 700 7
No. 6 Wolverines 0 10176 33
  • Date: October 23
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Game start: 12:05 p.m. EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:19
  • Game attendance: 109,449
  • Game weather: 47º F, sunny, W 10 MPH
  • Referee: Jeffrey Servinski
  • TV announcers (Fox): Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, and Jenny Taft

After a bye week, Michigan defeated Northwestern, 33–7, before a crowd of 109,449 at Michigan Stadium. For the first time, the teams played for the newly-created George Jewett Trophy, honoring the first black player on both teams. Michigan and Northwestern had not played since 2018.[79][80]

The game began with five drives ending in punts and a scoreless first quarter. Late in the first and into the second quarter, Michigan drove 79 yards in 13 plays covering eight-and-a-half minutes. Blake Corum scored on a one-yard run. Michigan mounted another long drive (55 yards, eight-and-a-half minutes) ending with a 20-yard field goal by Jake Moody. Northwestern responded with a quick-strike, 75-yard touchdown run from Evan Hull. After Northwester's touchdown, Michigan drove 75 yards in the final two minutes of the half but Mike Sainristil fumbled at the two-yard line.[81]

On the opening possession of the second half, Michigan drove 74 yards. Blake Corum accounted for 45 of the yards on four carries and scored on a five-yard run. Ryan Hilinski then led Northwestern on a 59-yard drive but Charlie Kuhbander missed a 39-yard field goal attempt. With six minutes remaining in the third quarter, Cornelius Johnson blocked a Northwestern punt, and Caden Kolesaar returned the ball nine yards to the Wildcats' 24-yard line. Michigan scored on a 13-yard touchdown run by Hassan Haskins. The Wolverines added a 44-yard Jake Moody field goal at the end of the third quarter to extend Michigan's lead to 27–7.[81]

On the first play of the fourth quarter, DJ Turner intercepted a Hilinski pass, returning it 23 yards to the Northwestern 15-yard line. Haskins scored on a four-yard run, and Michigan's attempt for a two point conversion failed. Both teams traded fumbles, and Jake Moody missed a 47-yard field goal with 4:17 remaining.[81]

Michigan rushed for 294 yards in the game, including 119 by Corum and 110 by Haskins. McNamara and McCarthy combined for 163 passing yards. On defense, the Wolverines held the Wildcats to 233 yards (133 passing, 100 rushing). Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo shared a sack.[82]

Statistics NW UM
First downs 10 28
Plays–yards 55–233 86–457
Rushes–yards 23–100 54–294
Passing yards 133 163
Passing: comp–att–int 16–32–1 22–32–0
Time of possession 20:41 39:19
Team Category Player Statistics
Northwestern Passing Ryan Hilinski 14/29, 114 yards, 1 INT
Rushing Evan Hull 6 carries, 81 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Malik Washington 6 receptions, 63 yards
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 20/27, 129 yards
Rushing Blake Corum 19 carries, 119 yards, 2 TD
Receiving Erick All 5 receptions, 34 yards

at No. 8 Michigan State

See also: 2021 Michigan State Spartans football team

No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State
(Paul Bunyan Trophy)
1 234Total
No. 6 Wolverines 10 1373 33
No. 8 Spartans 0 14815 37
  • Date: October 30
  • Location: Spartan Stadium
    East Lansing, MI
  • Game start: 12:05 p.m. EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:59
  • Game attendance: 76,549
  • Game weather: 50º F, cloudy, NE 5 MPH
  • Referee: Ron Snodgrass
  • TV announcers (Fox): Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, and Jenny Taft

After hosting Northwestern, Michigan traveled to East Lansing to face their in-state rival, the Michigan State Spartans, in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Last season, Michigan was upset by Michigan State 27–24.[84]

Michigan lost to Michigan State 37–33. Michigan scored ten points in the first quarter via a 93-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara to Andrel Anthony and a 26-yard field goal by Jake Moody. Michigan State responded with 14 points in the second quarter via two touchdown runs from Kenneth Walker III from 27 yards, and eight yards, respectively. Michigan scored 13 points via a 17-yard touchdown pass from J. J. McCarthy to Andrel Anthony and two field goals by Moody from 38 yards, and 35 yards, respectively, which made the score 23–14 in favor of Michigan at half-time. The teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter, first a 19-yard touchdown pass from McNamara to Mike Sainristil for Michigan, then a one-yard touchdown run from Walker III and a two-point conversion pass from Payton Thorne to Tre Mosley for Michigan State. In the fourth quarter Michigan State scored via a 58-yard touchdown run from Walker III and a two-point conversion pass from Thorne to Jayden Reed to tie the game. Michigan responded with a 36-yard field goal by Moody to regain the lead. Michigan State responded with a 23-yard touchdown run from Walker III.[85]

Andrel Anthony scored a 93-yard touchdown reception on his first career touch, this was the longest first-career reception for any player at Michigan. This was also the second-longest passing touchdown in program history.[86]

Statistics UM MSU
First downs 26 20
Plays–yards 82–552 66–395
Rushes–yards 34–146 38–199
Passing yards 406 196
Passing: comp–att–int 31–48–1 19–30–2
Time of possession 34:50 25:10
Team Category Player Statistics
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 28/44, 383 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Hassan Haskins 14 carries, 59 yards
Receiving Andrel Anthony 6 receptions, 155 yards, 2 TD
MSU Passing Payton Thorne 19/30, 196 yards
Rushing Kenneth Walker III 23 carries, 197 yards, 5 TD
Receiving Jayden Reed 6 receptions, 80 yards

Indiana

See also: 2021 Indiana Hoosiers football team

Indiana at No. 7 Michigan
1 234Total
Hoosiers 0 700 7
No. 7 Wolverines 3 1466 29
  • Date: November 6
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Game start: 7:35 p.m. EDT
  • Elapsed time: 3:19
  • Game attendance: 109,890
  • Game weather: 45º F, sunny, SW 5 MPH
  • Referee: Jerry McGinn
  • TV announcers (Fox): Joe Davis and Brock Huard

On November 6, Michigan defeated Indiana, 29–7, before a crowd of 109,890 at Michigan Stadium. Michigan lost to Indiana, 38–21, in 2020, but Indiana had not won at Michigan Stadium since 1967.[88][89]

The first quarter was scoreless until the final play of the quarter when Jake Moody kicked a 34-yard field goal. Three plays later, David Ojabo sacked Donaven McCulley, causing McCulley to fumble. Christopher Hinton recovered the ball at the Indiana 24-yard line, and Hassan Haskins took a short pass for 20 yards to the four-yard line and, two plays later, ran two yards for a touchdown. Indiana responded with their only scoring drive of the game, as Donaven McCulley completed two passes to Peyton Hendershot and ran 24 yards to the Michigan two-yard line. Chris Childress carried it across to bring the Hoosiers within three points. On the next drive, Haskins broke away for his longest gain of the year, a 62-yard run down the left sideline to the Indiana 13-yard line. Two plays later, Cade McNamara threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Luke Schoonmaker, which made the score 17–7 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[90]

Michigan added the only points in the third quarter on two field goals by Moody, from 32 yards, and 34 yards, respectively. On Michigan's first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, McNamara passed for 50 yards to Cornelius Johnson at the Indiana 10-yard line. Two plays later, he threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Schoonmaker. McNamara was sacked on attempt at a two-point conversion. Late in the fourth quarter, J. J. McCarthy threw his first interception of the year on a pass that tipped high into the air off the hands of Cornelius Johnson.[90]

Michigan rushed for 188 yards, including 168 yards and a touchdown by Haskins. McNamara and J. J. McCarthy combined for 223 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The defense held Indiana to 195 yards of total offense (88 passing and 107 rushing). David Ojabo recorded a sack and his Big Ten-leading fourth forced fumble of the season.[91]

Statistics IU UM
First downs 11 19
Plays–yards 60–195 66–411
Rushes–yards 35–107 38–188
Passing yards 88 223
Passing: comp–att–int 10–25–0 15–28–1
Time of possession 27:24 32:36
Team Category Player Statistics
Indiana Passing Donaven McCulley 10/24, 88 yards
Rushing Donaven McCulley 14 carries, 37 yards
Receiving Peyton Hendershot 3 receptions, 34 yards
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 10/18, 168 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Hassan Haskins 27 carries, 168 yards, TD
Receiving Cornelius Johnson 5 receptions, 108 yards

at Penn State

See also: 2021 Penn State Nittany Lions football team

No. 6 Michigan at Penn State
1 234Total
No. 6 Wolverines 0 777 21
Nittany Lions 3 3011 17
  • Date: November 13
  • Location: Beaver Stadium
    State College, PA
  • Game start: 12:07 p.m. EST
  • Elapsed time: 3:27
  • Game attendance: 109,534
  • Game weather: 40º F, cloudy, W 15 MPH
  • Referee: Michael Cannon
  • TV announcers (ABC): Sean McDonough, Dan Orlovsky, and Molly McGrath

On November 13, Michigan defeated Penn State, 21–17, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.[94] On the game's opening drive, the Nittany Lions drove 51 yards in 14 plays lasting over five minutes. The drive stalled at Michigan's 15-yard line, and Jordan Stout kicked a 42-yard field goal. After holding Michigan to a three-and-out, Penn State drove to the Michigan two-yard line, but Stout fumbled, and Daxton Hill recovered the ball. In the second quarter, Michigan drove 90 yards in 15 plays and over seven minutes, culminating with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara to Roman Wilson. With 37 second remaining in the first half, David Ojabo sacked Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and forced a fumble at the Michigan 25-yard line. Clifford recovered his own fumble, and Stout kicked another 52-yard field goal, which made the score 7–6 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[95]

On the opening drive of the second half, Michigan drove 75 yards on nine plays, ending with a one-yard touchdown pass from McNamara to Wilson. In the fourth quarter, Penn State drove 53 yards in 15 plays and scored on a two-yard touchdown pass from Clifford to Tyler Warren. Clifford then threw to Jahan Dotson for a two-point conversion that tied the score at 14–14. On the ensuing possession, McNamara was sacked and fumbled, Derrick Tangelo recovering at Michigan's 16-yard line. The Michigan defense held, and Penn State was forced to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Stout, giving the Nittany Lions a three-point lead with 5:55 remaining in the game. Michigan then drove 75 yards, scoring with 3:29 remaining on a 47-yard touchdown pass from McNamara to Erick All.[95]

Michigan's defense registered 12 tackles for loss (TFL), including seven sacks (three by Aidan Hutchinson and two by David Ojabo).[96]

Statistics UM PSU
First downs 21 20
Plays–yards 70–361 86–332
Rushes–yards 41–144 42–109
Passing yards 217 233
Passing: comp–att–int 19–29–0 24–44–0
Time of possession 30:20 29:40
Team Category Player Statistics
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 19/29, 217 yards, 3 TD
Rushing Hassan Haskins 31 carries, 156 yards
Receiving Erick All 4 receptions, 64 yards, TD
Penn State Passing Sean Clifford 23/43, 205 yards, TD
Rushing Keyvone Lee 20 carries, 88 yards
Receiving Parker Washington 4 receptions, 92 yards

at Maryland

See also: 2021 Maryland Terrapins football team

No. 6 Michigan at Maryland
1 234Total
No. 6 Wolverines 14 10287 59
Terrapins 0 3150 18
  • Date: November 20
  • Location: Maryland Stadium
    College Park, MD
  • Game start: 3:38 p.m. EST
  • Elapsed time: 3:25
  • Game attendance: 36,181
  • Game weather: 47º F, cloudy, SE 5 MPH
  • Referee: Ron Snodgrass
  • TV announcers (BTN): Brandon Gaudin, James Laurinaitis, and Rick Pizzo

On November 20, Michigan defeated Maryland, 59–18, at College Park, Maryland.[98] On their first possession, Maryland drove to the Michigan 30-yard line, and Joseph Petrino missed a 48-yard field goal attempt. Michigan then drove 70 yards, scoring on a two-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara to Luke Schoonmaker. Later in the first quarter, A. J. Henning returned a punt 14 yards to the Maryland 45-yard line. Michigan drove from there and scored on a one-yard run by Hassan Haskins to take a 14–0 lead.[99]

Maryland responded with a 17-play, 68-yard drive that consumed six-and-a-half minutes. The Terrapins were stopped at the 13-yard line and settled for a 31-yard field goal by Petrino. With 4:00 remaining in the half, J. J. McCarthy led the Wolverines on a four-play 42-yard touchdown drive with a 14-yard run, a 13-yard pass to Cornelius Johnson, and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sainristil. In the final minute-and-a-half, Michigan drove 42 yards to the Maryland six-yard line, but were backed up by a personal foul penalty, and Jake Moody kicked a 39-yard field with four seconds remaining, which made the score 24–3 in favor of Michigan at half-time.[99]

The teams combined for six touchdowns (four by Michigan, two by Maryland) in the third quarter. Michigan struck first with a 56-yard drive, capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Haskins. Maryland responded with their own 74-yard drive capped by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to Carlos Carrier. A. J. Henning returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. Maryland then drove 75 yards with Tagovailoa scoring on a 17-yard run; Tagovailoa also ran for a two-point conversion. Donovan Edwards then ran 77 yards for a touchdown. With 34 seconds left in the quarter, DJ Turner intercepted a Tagovailoa pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.[99]

Michigan scored once more in the fourth quarter after stopping Maryland on a fourth-and-one pass from the Maryland 34-yard line. From there, McCarthy passed to Edwards at the five-yard line, and McCarthy scored on a five-yard run.[99]

Michigan tallied over 500 yards of total offense in the game (352 passing and 151 rushing). Haskins gained 78 yards and passed the 1,000-yard mark, the 22nd player in program history to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. With touchdowns on offense, defense and in the return game, Michigan scored in all three phases for the first time since October 10, 2015, against Northwestern. The touchdowns were Michigan's first of the season on special teams and defense.[100] The Wolverines had two sacks in the game, one by Vincent Gray and the other by TJ Guy.[101]

Statistics UM MD
First downs 24 20
Plays–yards 75–503 77–359
Rushes–yards 35–151 44–181
Passing yards 352 178
Passing: comp–att–int 29–40–0 19–33–1
Time of possession 24:53 27:56
Team Category Player Statistics
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 21/28, 259 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Hassan Haskins 20 carries, 78 yards, 2 TD
Receiving Donovan Edwards 10 receptions, 170 yards, 1 TD
Maryland Passing Taulia Tagovailoa 19/33, 178 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Tayon Fleet-Davis 11 carries, 71 yards
Receiving Carlos Carriere 4 receptions, 53 yards, 1 TD

No. 2 Ohio State

See also: 2021 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

No. 2 Ohio State at No. 5 Michigan
(The Game)
1 234Total
No. 2 Buckeyes 3 10014 27
No. 5 Wolverines 7 71414 42
  • Date: November 27
  • Location: Michigan Stadium
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Game start: 12:14 p.m. EST
  • Elapsed time: 3:21
  • Game attendance: 111,156
  • Game weather: 30º F, snow, SE 5 MPH
  • Referee: Larry Smith
  • TV announcers (Fox): Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, and Jenny Taft

On November 27, Michigan hosted their arch-rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes, in the 117th playing of "The Game". The two teams last played each other in 2019 when Michigan lost to Ohio State 56–27.[103] The two teams were scheduled to play each at the end of the 2020 season; however, the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 complications at Michigan, marking the first time that "The Game" was not played since 1917.

Michigan defeated Ohio State 42–27. Michigan opened the scoring in the first quarter via a 14-yard touchdown run from A. J. Henning. Ohio State responded with a 31-yard field goal by Noah Ruggles. In the second quarter, Ohio State took their only lead of the game via a 25-yard touchdown pass from C. J. Stroud to Garrett Wilson. Michigan responded with a one-yard touchdown run from Hassan Haskins. Ohio State scored the final points of the quarter via a 30-yard field goal by Ruggles, which made the score 14–13 in favor of Michigan at half-time. Michigan scored 14 points in the third quarter via two touchdown runs from Haskins, from 13 yards, and one yard, respectively. Ohio State scored 14 points in the fourth quarter via a one-yard touchdown run from TreVeyon Henderson and a 10-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Henderson. Michigan scored 14 points in the quarter via two touchdown runs from Haskins, from two yards, and four yards, respectively.[104]

Michigan earned their first victory over Ohio State since 2011, exactly ten years and one day since their last victory, and marked their first win over the Buckeyes in the Jim Harbaugh era. Hassan Haskins rushed for 169 yards, his sixth game of the year with over 100 yards rushing. Haskins' five rushing touchdowns against the Buckeyes was the most by any running back in the rivalry's history.[105] The performance took him to a team-leading 18 touchdowns on the season and tied him for second in program history for single-season rushing touchdowns with Anthony Thomas and Chris Perry. Haskins' five rushing touchdowns also tied the Michigan single-game record set by Ron Johnson against Wisconsin in 1968. Michigan's defense held Ohio State to just 64 yards rushing, marking Ohio State's lowest rushing total on the season and just the second time all season under 100 rushing yards. With three sacks in the game Aidan Hutchinson set the Michigan single-season record with 13.0.[106]

Statistics OSU UM
First downs 23 24
Plays–yards 79–458 61–487
Rushes–yards 30–64 41–297
Passing yards 394 190
Passing: comp–att–int 34–49–0 14–20–1
Time of possession 31:48 28:12
Team Category Player Statistics
OSU Passing C. J. Stroud 34/49, 394 yards, 2 TD
Rushing TreVeyon Henderson 17 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Jaxon Smith-Njigba 11 receptions, 127 yards
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 13/19, 159 yards, 1 INT
Rushing Hassan Haskins 28 carries, 169 yards, 5 TD
Receiving Roman Wilson 2 receptions, 55 yards

vs. No. 13 Iowa (Big Ten Championship Game)

Main article: 2021 Big Ten Football Championship Game

See also: 2021 Iowa Hawkeyes football team

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 13 Iowa
1 234Total
No. 2 Wolverines 14 0721 42
No. 13 Hawkeyes 3 000 3
  • Date: December 4
  • Location: Lucas Oil Stadium
    Indianapolis, IN
  • Game start: 8:19 p.m. EST
  • Elapsed time: 3:23
  • Game attendance: 67,183
  • Game weather: Indoors
  • Referee: Michael Cannon
  • TV announcers (Fox): Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, and Jenny Taft

With their victory over Ohio State, the Wolverines advanced to the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time in program history. They faced Iowa, each team having last won a Big Ten championship in 2004 when they shared the title.

The championship game was played on December 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Michigan, ranked No. 2, defeated No. 13 Iowa, 42–3.[108][109] On their first drive of the game, Iowa drove 59 yards on 10 plays to the Michigan 12-yard line, but Caleb Shudak missed a 33-yard field goal attempt. Blake Corum then ran 67 yards for a touchdown with 6:38 remaining in the first quarter. After holding Iowa to a three-and-out, Michigan scored again as Cade McNamara threw a backwards pass to Donovan Edwards who threw to Roman Wilson for a 75-yard touchdown strike down the right sideline. On the next possession, Iowa drove 71 yards to Michigan's seven-yard line and settled for a 22-yard field goal by Caleb Shudak. At the end of the first quarter, A. J. Henning ran 29 yards to the Iowa 46, but McNamara then threw an interception picked by Jack Campbell who returned the ball to the Iowa 33-yard line. Neither team was able to mount a scoring drive in the second quarter, and Michigan led, 14–3, at halftime.[110]

In the third quarter, Michigan drove 82 yard in 10 plays, culminating in a four-yard touchdown run by Hassan Haskins. Early in the fourth quarter, Cornelius Johnson blocked an Iowa punt, and Michigan took over at Iowa's 36-yard line. J. J. McCarthy then led a 36-yard touchdown drive culminating in a one-yard run by Haskins. On their next possession, the Wolverines drove 81 yards on eight plays capped by a five-yard touchdown pass from McNamara to Erick All with 5:24 remaining in the game. With 4:21 remaining, Caden Kolesar intercepted an Alex Padilla pass and returned it to the Iowa 36. A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the three-yard line, and Edwards scored on a one-yard run with 1:25 remaining.[110]

With the win Michigan achieved their first 12-win season since 1997, and won their first conference title since 2004. With Edwards' passing touchdown in the first quarter, he became the first player to score touchdowns rushing, receiving, and passing in a single season since Vincent Smith in 2011. With two rushing touchdowns in the game, Haskins set the modern, single-season program record with 20 rushing touchdowns, surpassing the previous record of 19 set by Ron Johnson in 1968.[111] With a sack in the game, Aidan Hutchinson increased his single-season program record with 14.0 sacks on the season, and was selected as the most valuable player of the championship game.[112]

Statistics MICH IOWA
First downs 21 15
Plays–yards 62–461 71–279
Rushes–yards 34–211 33–104
Passing yards 250 175
Passing: comp–att–int 18–28–2 19–38–1
Time of possession 28:21 31:39
Team Category Player Statistics
Michigan Passing Cade McNamara 16/24, 169 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Blake Corum 5 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Roman Wilson 2 receptions, 82 yards, 1 TD
Iowa Passing Spencer Petras 9/22, 137 yards
Rushing Gavin Williams 12 carries, 56 yards
Receiving Sam LaPorta 6 receptions, 62 yards

vs. No. 3 Georgia (Orange Bowl – CFP Semifinal)

Main article: 2021 Orange Bowl (December)

See also: 2021 Georgia Bulldogs football team

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia
1 234Total
No. 3 Bulldogs 14 1307 34
No. 2 Wolverines 0 308 11

In the final College Football Playoff rankings of the year announced on December 5, Michigan (12–1) was ranked second, earning their first playoff bid and a spot in the semifinal game to be played at the 2021 Orange Bowl against Georgia (12–1).[113]

Michigan lost to Georgia 34–11. Georgia scored 14 points in the first quarter via a nine-yard touchdown pass from Stetson Bennett to Brock Bowers and an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kenny McIntosh to Adonai Mitchell. The teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter, first a 43-yard field goal by Jack Podlesny for Georgia, then a 36-yard field goal by Jake Moody for Michigan. Georgia added 10 points via a 28-yard field goal by Podlesny and a 57-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to Jermaine Burton, which made the score 27–3 in favor of Georgia at half-time. On the opening possession of the second half, Michigan moved the ball to the Georgia 14-yard line, however, they were unable to score following an interception in the end zone. Michigan's defense pressured Georgia into its first three-and-out of the game, however, their ensuing drive ended with a fumble, their third consecutive possession with a turnover. After a scoreless third quarter, Georgia extended their lead in the fourth quarter via a 39-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to James Cook. With 4:25 remaining in the game, Michigan scored their first touchdown of the game via a 35-yard touchdown pass from J. J. McCarthy to Andrel Anthony and a two-point conversion run from A. J. Henning.[114]

Hassan Haskins became the first Wolverine to eclipse 1,300 yards rushing in a season since Denard Robinson in 2010 (1,702 yards). Aidan Hutchinson finished the season with the program's single-season sack record (14.0) and David Ojabo finished the season with the program's single-season forced-fumble record (five).[115]

Statistics UGA MICH
First downs 21 16
Plays–yards 66–521 63–328
Rushes–yards 35–190 27–91
Passing yards 331 237
Passing: comp–att–int 21–31–0 18–36–2
Time of possession 34:15 25:45
Team Category Player Statistics
Georgia Passing Stetson Bennett 20/30, 313 yards, 3 TD
Rushing Zamir White 12 carries, 54 yards
Receiving James Cook 4 receptions, 112 yards, 1 TD
Michigan Passing J. J. McCarthy 7/17, 131 yards, 1 TD
Rushing Hassan Haskins 9 carries, 39 yards
Receiving Erick All 4 receptions, 63 yards

Roster

2021 Michigan Wolverines football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
WR 1 Andrel Anthony Fr
RB 2 Blake Corum So
WR 3 A. J. Henning So
QB 4 Dan Villari
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
WR 5 Mike Sainristil Jr
WR 6 Cornelius Johnson Jr
RB 7 Donovan Edwards Fr
WR 8 Ronnie Bell (C) Sr
QB 9 J. J. McCarthy Fr
WR 10 Cristian Dixon Fr
QB 12 Cade McNamara
Redshirt.svg
 So
WR 14 Roman Wilson So
QB 15 Alan Bowman
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
QB 16 Davis Warren Fr
QB 17 Peyton Smith
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
QB 18 Jesse Madden Fr
RB 22 Tavierre Dunlap Fr
RB 24 Danny Hughes
Redshirt.svg
 So
RB 25 Hassan Haskins
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
WR 26 Jake Thaw
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
WR 27 Christian Bartholomew
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
WR 30 Will Rolapp
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
RB 31 Lucas Andrighetto
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
RB 34 Leon Franklin
Redshirt.svg
 So
TE 35 Luke Buckman
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
RB 36 Nico Tiberia
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
TE 37 Josh Beetham So
WR 38 Peyton O'Leary Fr
WR 39 Matt Torey
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
WR 40 Jake Friedman Fr
RB 41 Isaiah Gash
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
TE 45 Noah Howes Fr
OL 51 Greg Crippen Fr
OT 52 Karsen Barnhart
Redshirt.svg
 So
OT 53 Trente Jones
Redshirt.svg
 So
C 54 Kraig Correll
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
OL 55 Mica Gelb
Redshirt.svg
 So
OL 58 Giovanni El-Hadi Fr
OL 60 Luke Fisher
Redshirt.svg
 So
OL 61 Noah Stewart
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
OL 62 Raheem Anderson Fr
OL 64 Mahdi Hazime
Redshirt.svg
 So
OT 65 Zak Zinter So
G 66 Chuck Filiaga
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
C 68 Andrew Vastardis (C)
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
C 70 Nolan Rumler
Redshirt.svg
 So
OT 71 Andrew Stueber
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
OT 72 Tristan Bounds Fr
C 74 Reece Atteberry
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
OT 75 Peter Simmons Fr
OT 76 Ryan Hayes
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
OT 77 Trevor Keegan
Redshirt.svg
 So
OT 78 Griffin Korican
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
OT 79 Jeffrey Persi
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
TE 80 Hunter Neff
Redshirt.svg
 So
TE 81 Louis Hansen Fr
TE 82 Max Bredeson Fr
TE 83 Erick All Jr
TE 84 Joel Honigford
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
WR 84 Sam Staruch
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
WR 85 Daylen Baldwin
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
TE 86 Luke Schoonmaker
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
WR 88 Matthew Harrison
Redshirt.svg
 So
TE 88 Matthew Hibner
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
TE 89 Carter Selzer
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
CB 1 Ja'Den McBurrows Fr
S 2 Brad Hawkins
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
CB 4 Vincent Gray
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
CB 5 D. J. Turner
Redshirt.svg
 So
S 6 R. J. Moten
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
S 7 Makari Paige So
LB 10 Anthony Solomon Jr
LB 12 Josh Ross (C)
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
CB 13 Eamonn Dennis
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
S 14 Quinten Johnson
Redshirt.svg
 So
DT 15 Christopher Hinton Jr
CB 16 Jalen Perry
Redshirt.svg
 So
DE 17 Braiden McGregor
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
CB 18 Keshaun Harris
Redshirt.svg
 So
S 19 Rod Moore Fr
LB 20 Kalel Mullings So
CB 22 Gemon Green
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
LB 23 Michael Barrett
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
CB 24 George Johnson
Redshirt.svg
 So
LB 25 Junior Colson Fr
DT 26 Rayshaun Benny Fr
LB 27 Tyler McLaurin Fr
CB 28 Darion Green-Warren
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
LB 29 Joey Velazquez
Redshirt.svg
 So
S 30 Daxton Hill Jr
S 31 Jordan Morant
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
DE 32 Jaylen Harrell
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
LB 32 Nolan Knight
Redshirt.svg
 So
S 33 German Green
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
LB 34 Jaydon Hood Fr
S 35 Caden Kolesar
Redshirt.svg
 So
CB 36 Andre Seldon So
CB 38 Joe Taylor Fr
CB 40 Christian Boivin Fr
LB 41 Nikhai Hill-Green
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
CB 42 Trevor Andrews Fr
DE 42 T. J. Guy Fr
CB 43 Andrew Russell Sr
CB 44 Joshua Luther
Redshirt.svg
 So
LB 46 Alexander Lidback Fr
LB 50 Jerome Nichols
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
DE 52 Kechaun Bennett Fr
DT 54 George Rooks Fr
DE 55 David Ojabo
Redshirt.svg
 So
DT 56 Dominick Giudice Fr
DL 57 Joey George
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
DT 58 Mazi Smith
Redshirt.svg
 So
DT 67 Jess Speight
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DT 70 Jack Stewart
Redshirt.svg
 So
DT 72 Elijah Pierre
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DE 90 Mike Morris
Redshirt.svg
 So
DE 91 Taylor Upshaw
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
DT 92 Ike Iwunnah Fr
DT 93 Jordan Whittley
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DE 94 Kris Jenkins
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
DT 95 Donovan Jeter
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DT 96 Julius Welschof
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
DE 97 Aidan Hutchinson (C) Sr
DE 99 Gabe Newburg
Redshirt.svg
 So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 13 Jake Moody Sr
P 19 Tommy Doman Fr
K 29 Rhett Andersen
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
LS 45 Greg Tarr
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
LS 49 William Wagner
Redshirt.svg
 So
P 91 Brad Robbins
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
K 93 Cole Hussung
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
    Injured
  • Redshirt
    Redshirt

Roster
Last update: August 6, 2021

Awards and honors

All-American
Player AP AFCA FWAA TSN WCFF ESPN CBS Athletic USAT Designation
Aidan Hutchinson 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Unanimous
Jake Moody 1 1 2 1 1 2 Consensus
David Ojabo 2 2
Hassan Haskins 3 2
Andrew Stueber 2
The NCAA recognizes a selection to all five of the AP, AFCA, FWAA, TSN and WCFF first teams for unanimous selections and three of five for consensus selections.

Statistics

Offensive statistics

Rushing
Player GP Att Net Yards Yds/Att TD Long
Hassan Haskins 14 270 1,327 4.9 20 62
Blake Corum 12 143 952 6.7 11 67
Donovan Edwards 12 35 174 5.0 3 58
A. J. Henning 14 9 162 18.0 2 74
J. J. McCarthy 11 26 117 4.5 2 23
Passing
Player GP Att Comp Comp % Yds TD Int Long
Cade McNamara 14 327 210 64.2% 2,576 15 6 93
J. J. McCarthy 11 59 34 57.6% 516 5 2 69
Donovan Edwards 12 1 1 100.0% 75 1 0 75
Dan Villari 4 3 1 33.3% 26 0 0 26
Alan Bowman 3 4 2 50.0% 9 0 1 6
Receiving
Player GP Recp Yds Yds/Recp Yds/GP TD Long
Cornelius Johnson 14 38 613 16.1 43.8 3 87
Erick All 13 38 437 11.5 33.6 2 47
Roman Wilson 13 25 420 16.8 32.3 3 75
Mike Sainristil 14 22 312 14.2 22.3 2 51
Donovan Edwards 12 20 265 13.3 22.1 1 77
Daylen Baldwin 14 17 256 15.1 18.3 2 69
Andrel Anthony 12 12 248 20.7 20.7 3 93
Luke Schoonmaker 14 17 165 9.7 11.8 3 27
Blake Corum 12 24 141 5.9 11.8 1 14
Hassan Haskins 14 18 131 7.3 9.4 0 20
A. J. Henning 14 10 79 7.9 5.6 0 24
Ronnie Bell 1 1 76 76.0 76.0 1 76

Defensive statistics

Player GP Solo Asst Tot TFL Sack Int PBU QBH
Josh Ross 14 54 53 107.0 9.0 0.5 0 2 8
Daxton Hill 14 42 28 70.0 4.5 0.5 2 9 4
Aidan Hutchinson 14 36 26 62.0 16.5 14.0 0 3 12
Junior Colson 14 28 33 61.0 0.5 0.5 0 2 3
Brad Hawkins 14 41 19 60.0 3.0 0 0 4 1
Nikhai Hill-Green 14 35 15 50.0 2.0 0 0 1 0
Vincent Gray 14 33 12 45.0 2.5 1.0 0 8 1
Mazi Smith 14 15 22 37.0 2.5 0 0 4 4
David Ojabo 14 24 11 35.0 12.0 11.0 0 3 8
R. J. Moten 14 27 7 34.0 0 0 1 3 1
DJ Turner 14 26 7 33.0 1.0 0 2 7 0
Christopher Hinton 14 18 15 33.0 1.5 1.0 0 2 1
Rod Moore 11 21 11 32.0 0 0 0 1 0
Gemon Green 12 14 10 24.0 0.5 0 1 1 0
Donovan Jeter 14 12 12 24.0 2.0 0 0 2 0

Special teams statistics

Kickoff returns
Player Returns Yds Yds/Rtrn TD Long
Blake Corum 12 304 25.3 0 79
A. J. Henning 7 177 25.3 1 79
Punt returns
Player Returns Yds Yds/Rtrn TD Long
A. J. Henning 29 274 9.4 0 32
Caden Kolesar 3 33 11.0 0 20
Ronnie Bell 1 31 31.0 0 31
D. J. Turner 1 25 25.0 0 25
Punts
Player Punts Yds Yds/Punt Long 50+ Inside 20 T'back
Brad Robbins 45 2085 46.3 65 12 17 3
Field goals
Player FGs Att Long Blocked
Jake Moody 23 25 52 0

2022 NFL Draft

Main article: 2022 NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position NFL Team
1 2 Aidan Hutchinson DE Detroit Lions
1 31 Daxton Hill S Cincinnati Bengals
2 45 David Ojabo DE Baltimore Ravens
4 131 Hassan Haskins RB Tennessee Titans
7 245 Andrew Stueber G New England Patriots

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