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Michigan 34 Indiana 31 - October 30, 1999 - Bloomington, Ind.
Chris Bray's Record (2-0) - Video Highlights

Anthony Thomas


BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- No. 14 Michigan again blew a big lead, but this time was bailed out by a workhorse effort by Anthony Thomas and held off Antwaan Randle El and Indiana, 34-31, in a Big Ten Conference clash.

A 15-yard scamper by Thomas set up Hayden Epstein's 20-yard field goal with 18 seconds left that snapped a 31-31 tie. That run capped a day which saw Thomas set career highs with 42 carries and 197 yards while scoring three touchdowns.

"I have to give a lot of credit to Anthony Thomas," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "He played his heart out. It was hard out on the field with the heat."

Two TD runs by Thomas in the first half helped Michigan to a 17-0 lead, but Indiana stormed back behind the strong arm of Randle El. The sophomore quarterback threw one scoring strike in the second quarter and added two more in the opening minutes of the fourth, giving the Hoosiers a 24-17 lead.

"You have to watch out for a guy like Antwaan," Michigan quarterback Tom Brady said. "Even when he is covered, he still gets the first down."

Last week, the Wolverines (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) wasted a 20-point third-quarter lead and were stunned by Illinois, 35-29. But they apparently learned their lesson.

Brady fired a touchdown pass to tight end Bennie Joppru to tie the game with 10:45 to play. Just over four minutes later, Thomas put the Wolverines back on top when he raced around the right end, dove for the end zone and reached the ball over the plane of the goal line for a four-yard TD.

Randle El had an impressive answer, scrambling left and firing an off-balance deep throw to Jerry Dorsey for a 70-yard scoring play to again tie the game. But Thomas and Brady led the decisive drive and Randle El's "Hail Mary" pass as time expired bounced off Dorsey's chest in the end zone and fell incomplete.

Randle El completed 18-of-34 passes for 290 yards and four TDs, giving him 16 this season to break the school record of 14 set by Steve Bradley in 1983.

"We know we've got one heckuva quarterback and competitor, but we've got some pieces of the puzzle that we still have to fill in," Indiana coach Cam Cameron said.

Indiana (4-5, 3-3) has lost the last 10 series meetings and is just just 9-45 all-time against Michigan.

Brady was 17-of-29 for 226 yards as Michigan avoided its first three-game losing streak for the first time in 20 years, having dropped its final three games of the 1979 season. The Wolverines opened this season 5-0 before a 34-31 setback at Michigan State three weeks ago.

"I am very proud of our team," Carr added. "When we lost the lead, we showed what kind of job we can do to stay in it and play hard."

Thomas was running hard from the start, gaining 26 yards as he ran the first three plays of the game. He plunged into the end zone from a yard out to cap that drive.

Epstein kicked a 22-yard field goal late in the first quarter, then Michigan's special teams came through with a blocked punt midway through the second. Thomas rumbled 15 yards to the end zone on the next play to make it 17-0.

Randle El began the comeback by firing a seven-yard touchdown pass to Kris Dielman with 4:23 left in the second quarter. He fired completions of 27 and 33 yards to Dorsey in the waning moments of the first half to set up Andy Payne's 23-yard field goal as time expired.

The third quarter was scoreless but Thomas fumbled a kickoff between the fourth-quarter TD passes from Randle El to Jeremi Johnson and Dorsey.

"I can't say enough about our guys and their ability to hang in there and do everything that we asked them to do," Cameron added. "I'm awfully proud of this group of guys. The game could have gone either way."

Extended Box

NCAAF 1 2 3 4 F - - - - -- Michigan (14) 10 7 0 17 34 Indiana 0 10 0 21 31 FINAL

Michigan-A Thomas 1 run (Epstein kick) Michigan-FG Epstein 22 Michigan-A Thomas 15 run (Epstein kick) Indiana-Dielman 7 pass from A Randle El (Payne kick) Indiana-FG Payne 23 Indiana-J Johnson 1 pass from A Randle El (Payne kick) Indiana-Dorsey 4 pass from A Randle El (Payne kick) Michigan-Joppru 7 pass from T Brady (Epstein kick) Michigan-A Thomas 4 run (Epstein kick) Indiana-Dorsey 70 pass from A Randle El (Payne kick) Michigan-FG Epstein 20

Michigan Indiana First downs 25 22 Rushed-yards 46-213 40-148 Passing yards 226 290 Sacked-yards lost 0-0 2-13 Return yards 67 9 Passes 17-29-0 18-34-0 Punts 6-35.3 8-37.8 Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-1 Penalties-yards 6-50 7-63 Time of possession 28:58 31:02

Individual Statistics RUSHING: Michigan-A Thomas 42-197, Terrell 1-7, T Brady 2-5, Coleman 1-4. Indiana-Williams 12-64, A Randle El 13-31, J Johnson 11-20, Hagan 1-15, Carter 1-11, Hogan 2-7.

PASSING: Michigan-T Brady 17-29-0-226. Indiana-A Randle El 18-34-0-290.

RECEIVING: Michigan-Terrell 6-100, Knight 3-60, A Thomas 3-24, Shea 2-10, Cross 1-16, Walker 1-9, Joppru 1-7. Indiana-Dorsey 5-154, Williams 4-49, Gaddis 4-45, Dielman 2-32, Graham 1-14, J Johnson 1-1, Osika 1-minus 5.

Att: 41,516