It certainly wasn’t a surprise to see the Michigan Wolverines roll past the Central Michigan Chippewas in Saturday’s season opener, but the way that Michigan performed raised a few eyebrows.
Junior quarterback Devin Gardner led the offense with 214 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns, and he was flanked by 5 rushing touchdowns from Michigan’s stable of running backs. Freshman stud Derrick Green led the team in rushing with 58 yards on 11 carries, but incumbent starter Fitzgerald Toussaint got the bulk of the work with 14 carries for 57 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Central Michigan never had a prayer, to be frank, as their opening possession ended with a blocked punt touchdown by Michigan, and the Wolverines were off to the races. It was 35-6 at the half, and by the end of the third quarter, the margin was a staggering 50 points.
It would be irresponsible to take too much away from this game against a clearly inferior opponent, but the Wolverines did showcase a bit of a new-look to their offense. After the Rich Rodriguez era, Brady Hoke and Al Borges left a bit of the spread offense in with Denard Robinson under center, but now that Devin Gardner has the job, Borges showed much more of a traditional offense on Saturday. Gardner wasn’t terribly sharp, as evidenced by two interceptions, but there were flashes of productivity.
Michigan is one of the scarier teams in the country if they have it going, and this was a bit of a window into the team that most consider Ohio State’s biggest challenger in the Big 10.