Rapid Reaction: Michigan's offense shows explosiveness in blowout win over WMU
What a difference a week makes. What a difference the opponent makes, too.
Michigan’s offense looked like an entirely new unit against Western Michigan, racking up over 450 yards of offense — over 300 of which came on the ground — and finding the end zone seven times in a 49-3 blowout win over Western Michigan.
Oh, and that nasty, 364-day drought without a wide receiver catching a touchdown passes ended too, as Shea Patterson found Nico Collins midway through the second quarter.
This is was the kind of offense Michigan fans were hoping to see last week against Notre Dame. At least some form of it.
Karan Higdon rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown. Chris Evans added 86 yards and another two scores. Patterson threw three touchdown passes.
Yes, Michigan’s strong offensive performance came against a weakened Western Michigan defense. It’s hardly a sign that the Wolverines are in great shape offensively. But it’s a start. Remember, this is the same program that, a year ago, had trouble scoring against the likes of Cincinnati and Air Force.
The offensive line was dominant, the running game was strong and the passing attack was accurate. By the end of the first quarter, the Wolverines had put up 21 points, four more than they scored in the entire game last week against the Irish in a 24-17 loss.
Michigan isn’t going to climb much in the polls after blowing out the Broncos. As a heavy favorite entering the game, the Wolverines were expected to dismantle their in-state opponent. But the offense looked solid. It looked so much better than any product that took the field a season ago.
It’s a sign that the offense has improved in Ann Arbor, even if it didn’t show a week ago. The big test comes when Michigan will play some of the powers in the East to see it can replicate — at least to an extent — the performance it had in Week 2.
Fortunately, Michigan still has a couple of weeks to tune things up until that next test.