Higdon carries the load in Michigan's comeback victory

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan running back Karan Higdon dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Evanston, Ill. — Michigan running back Karan Higdon had 46 carries through three games, having missed one because of injury. Against Northwestern on Saturday, he carried the ball 30 times.

Higdon finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns in the Wolverines’ 20-17 comeback victory at Ryan Field on Saturday. Aside from Tru Wilson’s one carry, Higdon was the only back to run the ball for Michigan, which finished with 180 yards rushing.

“Thought he had a heck of a ball game,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.

This was the most carries Higdon has had at Michigan. He had 25 for 200 yards at Indiana last season. The Wolverines played for a second straight game without tailback Chris Evans, injured late in the SMU two weeks ago.

“Our O line did a great of blocking pretty much the whole game,” said quarterback Shea Patterson, who ran the ball seven times for 31 yards. “There was times something wasn’t there and he ran his tail off. Just proud he’s in the backfield with me.”

Patterson was asked if the game plan was to give Higdon that much work.

“You made your adjustments as the game goes on,” he said. “We wanted to spread the ball and let Karan make plays, and that’s what he did. He played his ass off.

“Our plan was to go down and take what they gave us. Karan did a heck of a job making plays with his legs. Our O line did a tremendous job. I need to take them to dinner pretty soon.”

Higdon said when the team was down 17 it was important not to get frustrated.

“It’s a four-quarter game,” Higdon said. “You get frustrated and start fighting amongst each other, that’s when things only get worse. You work all summer together for a reason. We work together through camp for a reason for that relationship and that dependability so when situations like this come you know where to go.”

After the season-opening loss at Notre Dame, Higdon, a co-captain, said that game would not define the Wolverines. So what does this win mean?

“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s a Big Ten game on the road. That’s big time, winning at someone else’s house, especially within your own conference. To come in here and finish the way we did, that’s big time.”