First-half observations: Joe Milton stands out, Hassan Haskins sparks offense

The Detroit News
Michigan running back Zach Charbonnet, right, breaks away from Minnesota defensive back Benjamin St-Juste for a 70-yard touchdown run on Saturday in Minneapolis.

Here are four key takeaways from the first half of the Michigan-Minnesota game, which featured quick-strike scores, dominant defensive plays and the emergence of Joe Milton as the Wolverines' No. 1 quarterback in the battle for The Little Brown Jug. After scoring 21 points in the first quarter, Michigan will take a 35-17 lead into the third quarter.

Milton stands out

As expected, Joe Milton started at quarterback and was 8-for-13 for 93 yards and one touchdown in the first half. His first pass on the first series was to freshman Blake Corum for a 24-yard gain. He also hooked up with Roman Wilson, Ben Wilson, Giles Jackson, Mike Sainristil, A.J. Henning and tight end Erick All.

Milton had 41 rushing yards on six carries, including a 23-yard gain before Hassan Haskins scored on a 4-yard TD for a 28-17 lead. Haskins added his second touchdown late in the second quarter on an 8-yard run.

Michigan traveled with only two quarterbacks, Milton and backup Cade McNamara. (Tight end Nick Eubanks did not make the trip and starting linebacker Cam McGrone was wearing a cast on his hand during warm-ups.)

Slow start, fast finish

After Minnesota blocked an early punt, the Golden Gophers scored on a two-play, 17-yard drive with quarterback Tanner Morgan finding Ko Kieft for a 7-0 lead. The Wolverines bounced back by outscoring Minnesota 21-3 in the first quarter and 14-7 in the second quarter with back-to-back TDs by Haskins.

Charbonnet dashes to paydirt

Running back Zach Charbonnet scored on the first play after Minnesota took a 7-0 lead. He went 70 yards up the middle, untouched, for a Michigan touchdown. The running game was held in check with Haskins adding 8 yards on three rushes and Giles Jackson with one run for 8 yards.

Donovan Jeter touchdown

After a missed field goal, Michigan's Donovan Jeter made the defensive play of the half. From the the 20-yard line, Morgan was strip-sacked by Michael Barrett, Jeter grabbed it from midair, and scored the team's second touchdown. Mason added a touchdown on a 9-yard run to make it 20-10 in the first quarter.

Michigan defensive lineman Donovan Jeter catches the ball en route to a touchdown past running back Mohamed Ibrahim after linebacker Michael Barrett knocked it loose from Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan in the first quarter in Minneapolis.

Follow our live blog with Nolan Bianchi for second-half action at

Live updates: Minnesota cuts Michigan lead to 21-17 in 2Q