ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Braylon Edwards helped No. 17 Michigan
avoid a second straight upset.
Edwards caught eight passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns,
including the game-winner in the third quarter of the Wolverines'
24-21 victory over San Diego State on Saturday.
The Wolverines (2-1) bounced back after last week's loss at
Notre Dame, but it wasn't easy. They committed four turnovers and
the Aztecs (1-1), who entered the game three-touchdown underdogs,
missed two fourth-quarter field goals that could have tied it.
Edwards' 7-yard TD pass from freshman Chad Henne was the lone
score of the second half.
With his fourth reception of the game, Edwards passed Marquise
Walker to become Michigan's career leading receiver. He now has 181
catches for 2,562 yards and 28 touchdowns for his career.
"We've had some great receivers here, and [with] those records
you have to be durable, you have to be tough and you have to be
talented because you have to get open," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "Braylon is a guy who continues to come up with big plays.
He's dangerous because he's strong, and he plays without the
San Diego State's "Dark Side" defense, which ranked eighth
nationally a season ago, kept the Aztecs in the game, but Garrett
Palmer could not convert 46- and 49-yard field goal attempts in the
It's the second straight year the Aztecs played tough against a
Big Ten powerhouse. Last year, San Diego State lost 16-13 to
then-No. 2 Ohio State at Ohio Stadium. It was the first meeting
between Michigan and San Diego State, and the more than 109,000 in
attendance was the most ever to see the Aztecs play.
"It hurts. We didn't come here to play tough and earn
respect," San Diego State coach Tom Craft said. "I think people
know who San Diego State is right now."
Michigan again went with a running-back-by-committee approach,
with four backs getting a shot. Freshman Mike Hart came up with the
big game the Wolverines needed, running for 121 yards on 25
carries. His 11-yard run on third-and-9 with less than two minutes
to play allowed the Wolverines to run out the clock.
Running back David Underwood didn't play after a head injury he
suffered early in the Notre Dame game limited his practice this
week. Underwood was picked by Carr to start in the preseason,
replacing Heisman Trophy finalist Chris Perry.
"The first couple of games I was getting one carry and then
coming out," Hart said. "This game I was getting a couple of
carries in a row. It made me feel real comfortable."
Henne, a freshman, was picked off three times and completed 11
of 24 passes for 162 yards and the two scores to Edwards.
Michigan went ahead 17-7 with less than three minutes left in
the first quarter when Roy Manning stripped the ball from San Diego
State quarterback Matt Dlugolecki, and Lawrence Reid scooped it up
at the 5-yard line, took a couple of steps and dived into the end
San Diego State needed only three plays and 81 seconds to
answer. After a 61-yard pass play from Dlugolecki to Robert Ortiz
put the Aztecs at the Michigan 12-yard line, Michael Franklin took
a pitch, then fired a halfback pass to Jeff Webb in the corner of
the end zone to make it 17-14.
Dlugolecki threw a 14-yard TD pass to Ortiz with less than eight
minutes left in the half to put the Aztecs ahead 21-17.
Dlugolecki finished 26-of-42 for 277 yards, one TD and one
interception. Ortiz caught seven passes for 125 yards, and Webb
caught 11 passes for 107 yards.
Franklin, who ran for 39 yards on 16 carries, was filling in for
Lynell Hamilton, a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago who is still
recovering from a broken leg and ankle injury.
The Wolverines scored on their first play from scrimmage when
Henne connected with Edwards from 54 yards. Edwards caught Henne's
pass at the 15, twirled around and dragged San Diego State
cornerback Hubert Caliste into the end zone.