When the day started, and Big Ten football began its 2020 season, the assumption that Penn State would be the biggest challenge to tackle Ohio State in the East was quickly erased.

Shortly after the Nittany Lions dropped a 36-35 debacle to Indiana, No. 18 Michigan took to the field and easily handled No. 21 Minnesota with a 49-24 win at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The game didn’t open well for the Wolverines, having their opening possession end with a blocked punt that the Gophers quickly capitalized on in just two plays.

But the Michigan offense responded, with running back Zach Charbonnet quickly knotting the game with a 70-yard touchdown score, and the rout began.

Wolverine quarterback Joe Milton efficiently handled the Gopher defense with a solid 13-of-19 in passing with 160 yards and a score. There was no need for Milton to do any more, as Michigan’s running attack was dominant.

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Averaging over eight yards per carry, the Wolverines backs took advantage of a Minnesota defensive front line that was breaking in a host of new starters – four Michigan players reached the end zone on the ground.

Overlooking Michigan in the Big Ten this season is an easy move, with the team’s track record under coach Jim Harbaugh against Ohio State, along with a new QB and four new starters on the offensive line. Coupled with Penn State’s expected prowess – albeit perhaps premature – it remains to be seen if the Wolverines can keep it going and if 2020 will be different than the past few years.