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Michigan pulls away in second half after sloppy start against Bowling Green

The Wolverines have had better nights.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines had problems against the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday night, but eventually pulled away in the second half for a 31-6 game.

This one had perhaps the most hype of the three non-conference games the Wolverines had this season since it was under the new light fixtures at the Big House. Michigan was favored by a staggering 40.5 points, but failed to cover the spread for a third straight game to start the season.

First Quarter

Camden Orth surprisingly started for Bowling Green in the place of an injured Indiana-transfer Connor Bazelak. The plan early was to throw the ball down the field, and on the first play of the game they converted a 30-yard reception over a still-injured Michigan secondary.

When the Michigan offense took over after a punt, Blake Corum took one 54 yards on the first play.

Corum finished off the first drive with a four-yard touchdown, and it looked like Michigan would dominate early.

Mike Sainristil earned a sack on the next drive that ended in a three-and-out for the Falcons. The Wolverines’ offense moved steadily down the field again until they got in the red zone. J.J. McCarthy threw his third attempt of the game directly into the hands of a Bowling Green defender.

Second Quarter

Orth aired out the ball again to start the ensuing drive, this time to wide receiver Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim on an acrobatic catch. It would end in points, as the Faclons put up a field goal, making the score 7-3.

Bowling Green’s special teams decided to pooch the kickoff, and it worked as tight end Max Bredeson fumbled on the return. The Falcons kicked another field goal, and Michigan had only five minutes of possession halfway through the second quarter.

It only got worse as McCarthy threw his second interception of the half on a poorly thrown deep ball attempt to Cornelius Johnson.

Before the half, Michigan got back on track as McCarthy hit Roman Wilson on a 33-yard touchdown for their sixth touchdown connection this season.

Hayden Timosciek now took over for an injured Orth, which was quietly a huge part of this game. He threw an interception to Quinten Johnson on his first possession.

The Bowling Green offense was stymied with him leading the way for most of the remainder of the game.

Michigan went into the break up 14-6.

Third Quarter

On his second possession, and the Falcons’ first of the half, Timosciek threw another interception, this time to Kris Jenkins.

On the next play, Corum scored his second touchdown of the night with a two-yard score. The Wolverines took a two-possession lead at 21-6.

Jaylen Harrell forced a fumble out of the hands of Timoschek on the next possession for Bowling Green, and Mike Barrett recovered it, giving the ball back to the Wolverines. After three failed plays, James Turner drilled a 42-yarder to expand the lead to 24-6.

Michigan found the end zone on the next possession thanks to a phenomenal play from Cornelius Johnson. It was another poor ball thrown by McCarthy and Johnson tipped it out of the hands of a defender, caught it himself and scored the touchdown.

At the end of the third quarter, McCarthy missed another deep ball, overthrowing Colston Loveland and tossing his third interception of the game. He was completely the opposite of what he was in the first two games of the season.

Fourth Quarter

Michigan’s reserves entered the game for most of the fourth quarter and Bowling Green started to move the football again, but not enough to find the end zone.

A troublesome night for the Wolverines ended with plenty of lessons learned for acting head coach Sherrone Moore and the rest of the team.

This is the kind of game you burn the film on, take the win and move on. They’ll have no time to waste as Big Ten play opens up next week with much stiffer competition.

The good news is Jim Harbaugh will be back on the sidelines against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights next Saturday. Tune in to Maize n Brew throughout the week for all the latest news and notes before Big Ten play begins.