Rapid reaction: Michigan rolls to another non-conference win
Final: Michigan 28, UNLV 7
Telling stat: 143 UNLV passing yards
Michigan’s pass defense was never a question. With all the experience the Wolverines returned on defense, they were going to look good against weaker non-conference teams. Did we know they’d look this good. Channing Stribling was dynamic at corner. He and Jeremy Clark both came up with crucial interceptions on Blake Decker. He threw a garbage time touchdown to skew those numbers slightly, but let’s not get it twisted. The Wolverines are capable of teeing off against weaker pass teams, especially when they get ahead early.
Key play: Ty Isaac’s 76-yard TD run
Man, did he make that look easy. The USC transfer showed off his mix of size and speed on a simple sweep. There’s a reason that this kid was a five-star recruit out of high school. He got some nice blocking ahead of him and burned the sideline to give the Wolverines their longest run in three years. That was also the longest run by a tailback since 2009. It gave Michigan a comfortable three possession lead and allowed the Wolverines to get some reserves into the game in the second half.
-Jake Rudock ties last year’s INT total on 78th pass, last year took him 345 attempts
Michigan is a running team. That much we know. But once again, Jake Rudock threw another interception, which already matched his junior season total at Iowa. It’s a new system that is obviously taking Rudock more time to adjust to than Michigan fans would like. The good news? Rudock’s struggles aren’t preventing the Wolverines from beating up on inferior teams like Devin Gardner’s did. The Wolverines need more consistency out of their starting signal-caller in their final non-conference game next week.
-Fullback Joe Kerridge left with an ankle injury
The Wolverines lost their starting fullback for the day with an ankle injury. It didn’t hold the Wolverines from pounding the rock. On a day where Sione Houma, Jehu Chesson and Ty Isaac all had rushing scores, the Wolverines didn’t have difficulties running the ball with or without Kerridge. But with Rudock’s accuracy issues, Michigan can’t afford to have Kerridge out for any significant amount of time.
What it means: Michigan looks like a B1G team again
Before Michigan can compete with the B1G elites — who just happen to be their rivals — they needed to look like a Big Ten team against non-conference teams. When was the last time Michigan won consecutive games by at least two touchdowns? Three years, when Brady Hoke wasn’t public enemy No. 1 in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh’s is making his impact on this team, one cupcake victory at a time.