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Turning Point of the Game: UConn

Michigan shutout the Huskies 59-0 to end its non-conference schedule. What moment sealed UConn’s fate?

Connecticut v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The No. 4 Michigan Wolverines rounded out their non-conference schedule with a 59-0 shutout victory over the UConn Huskies. Michigan improves to 3-0 and for the first time in program history, it scored more than 50 points in the first three games.

The highlights continue as running back Blake Corum tied a program record of five rushing touchdowns in one game. He joins Hassan Haskins and Ron Johnson as the other backs in U-M history to do so.

Perhaps most deserving of recognition this week is Michigan’s special teams. One could make a case for A.J. Henning’s 61-yard punt return that led to Michigan piling it on UConn’s no good, very bad day for a turning point contender. However, I think the moment that sealed the Huskies fate came early in the second quarter.

The Wolverines were already leading and honestly, any moment prior could have been an indicator Michigan was going to win this game handedly. However, it was the opening of the second quarter when UConn went three and out. The Huskies went to punt the ball but had it blocked by senior Caden Kolesar. The ball was scooped up by Kalel Mullings and returned 22 yards to put Michigan in the red zone at UConn’s 18.

In three plays, the Wolverines scored their third touchdown of the game from Corum’s third rushing score. For that reason, the blocked punt is my turning point for this week. The Wolverines had recovered a fumble off UConn’s previous possession, but that only resulted in a field goal. More points weren’t left off the board this time around, as another mistake from the Huskies was capitalized on by the Wolverines.

Perhaps what felt so resounding about this play was that every aspect of Michigan’s game felt dominant. While the Wolverines had more than 500 yards offensively last week, they still outgained UConn 465-110. Michigan has also had more complete performances defensively this year, as they had no sacks in this game, but UConn still couldn’t manage to score any points through four quarters.

Maybe that’s why there was a heavier spark from the special teams. Each aspect of play got a shining moment through the first three games of the season. With an undefeated conference opponent in Maryland up next, the Wolverines need to continue excelling in each aspect of play, if they are to continue the course they are on.

While the blowouts might be behind us for now, it’s nice to look back and watch the highlights the Wolverines have produced with minimal stake games. It will be nice to see what this team is made of when they are truly put to the test, but this non-conference season has shown the tenacity this Wolverine squad has. Let’s see it continue, shall we?