The 17th-ranked team in the country took care of business on Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines didn't yield any touchdowns to Central Michigan and went home with a 50-point victory after week one.
(17) Michigan pounds Central Michigan 59-9. Devin Gardner 10/15 161 yds 1 TD 2 INT's, 53 rushing yds 2 TD's.— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 31, 2013
Not to be and never really was. UofM 5,900 - CMU 9.— Jeff Daniels (@Jeff_Daniels) August 31, 2013
For any team, the first week of the season is about getting some reps for the first team units and hopefully getting to play some of the younger guys on the roster. Consider it a job well done by the Maize and Blue as Wolverine fans got to see a little of everything.
With GA, the student section three, two and one hour/s before kick off: pic.twitter.com/8T1Tj0LJXJ— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) August 31, 2013
QB Devin Gardner had to work through some rust early in the game and made two poor passes, en route to two interceptions. Gardner would show progress through his (almost) three quarters of play and showcase his skills with his arm, as well as his legs. Gardner would finish the day with three touchdowns and didn't look as though he even broke a sweat. For Gardner, the sky is the limit for his potential and while the interceptions are a bit of a concern, they are not indicative of what Wolverine fans should look expect throughout the season. It's important to remember that this is Gardner's first season as the starting QB from week one and his performance should only continue to impress with each passing week.
BREAKING NEWS: Devin Gardner is fast lol— spike albrecht (@SpikeAlbrecht) August 31, 2013
How does Michigan make up for Denard Robinson's 7.1 ypc rushing? With Devin Gardner's 7.4 ypc.— Heiko Yang (@Heiko25) August 31, 2013
One of the observations made by many is that Gardner appears to be more comfortable working out of the shotgun, as opposed to playing under center. It has been preached throughout the summer that Michigan would be moving back to more of a pro-style offense, but it looks like Offensive Coordinator Al Borges has some surprises still up his sleeve. If Gardner can continue to create magic at the QB position, he should become an All-Big Ten type of player, and that's just at the minimum.
Up close & personal with Devin Gardner on the Michigan sideline: pic.twitter.com/u1uoqm6USC— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) August 31, 2013
Michigan came into 2013 knowing that it had to create more turnovers on defense and special teams. Who knew that the Wolverines would make it a point to create a memorable turnover on it's first series of the season. A former walk-on recovered a blocked punt and took it to the house for a touchdown. Not the worst way to start your season, eh?
Last weekend Joe Reynolds was put on scholarship. Today, he scored #Michigan's first TD of the season. Not too shabby of a week.— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) August 31, 2013
Michigan would build up a 14-3 lead after the first quarter and be up 35-6 at the half. Before we reached the half, Hoke did something out of the ordinary that would surprise some of his critics. He actually put on a headset!
Alert -- 1:07 left in the first half and Hoke has......A HEADSET ON!— angelique (@chengelis) August 31, 2013
The second half was a glimpse into the future for Michigan. True freshman and back-up QB, Shane Morris, made his debut towards the end of the third quarter. Morris would throw an interception and suffer a sack during his time on the field, but he did display his quick release and arm strength. Morris is going to be a work in progress but the experience he will gain is immeasurable. With Gardner's ability to scramble and run outside of the pocket, it wouldn't be surprising if Morris is throw into the fire at some point during the season. Every opportunity that the Wolverines can get to build up a big enough lead, expect Morris and the younger members of the team to be on the field.
Big cheer for Shane Morris as he makes his Michigan Stadium debut.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) August 31, 2013
Shane looked sharp on his first drive! Lets go man!! #goblue— Wilton Speight (@WiltonSpeight) August 31, 2013
Morris wasn't the only hyped freshman to make it on the field. 5-star recruit, Derrick Green, came onto the field and showed that his bigger size will not prevent him from gaining big yards. Green would finish with 11 carries for 58 yards, including a 30-yard run that got the Wolverine faithful excited. Green would also score his first touchdown of what could be a heralded career. Not to be outdone, fellow freshman RB, De'Veon Smith, got into the action and it's clear that he isn't afraid to put his head down and run over someone. Smith looks like the type of running back that is more explosive than Green. Together, they could be a deadly combination of thunder and lightning for Michigan.
After three quarters, Michigan was up 56-6 and the rest was history. 59-9 was the final. A few Michigan players, particularly TE Devin Funchess, got banged up during the game and their status, amongst other things, was addressed after the game.
Funchess is standing and laughing right now with Gallon and Chesson. Whatever his injury is, it doesn't appear serious.— Zach Helfand (@zhelfand) August 31, 2013
According to the IMG Michigan Football Radio Network, Joe Reynolds and Devin Funchess are "just fine".— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) August 31, 2013
I'm all good! Just a cramp ppl— Devin Funchess (@D_FUNCH) September 1, 2013
The first game of the season was a success for the Wolverines when you look at the final score. However, Brady Hoke was quick to mention a lot of things the team needs to work on. "Tackling," was one of the first things that Hoke said the teams needs to address and tighten up. In regards to Gardner, Hoke said that he had "a good game." He mentioned it wasn't elite but it was a good game.
Hoke: On the negative side, thought we were sloppy - penalties, tackling, body language— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) August 31, 2013
Safety Thomas Gordon was suspended for the game for a violation of team rules. Hoke wouldn't address the issue in detail but did say that Gordon made a poor decision and had to pay the consequences. Hoke said that Gordon will be back on the field next week, no doubt about it.
One of the great things about being at a Michigan game is getting to see a jet pack flyover from inside Michigan Stadium. It's the kind of thing that never gets old.
You can see a detailed list of the stats in the game's box score.
Today's Attendance: 112,618— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) August 31, 2013
112,618 today at Michigan Stadium. I was at the last five-digit crowd here, back in 1975. I am old.— Dave Hogg (@Stareagle) August 31, 2013
Now its time to shift the focus to week two. Bring on Notre Dame.