Final score: No. 8 Michigan 36 Cincinnati 14

Quick analysis

The final score looks a lot more lopsided that it really was. The fact is, Michigan struggled with Cincinnati for about three-and-a-half quarters before finally pulling away.

Michigan’s defense was stellar once again, as the Bearcats gained just 197 yards in the game. Cincinnati also had two turnovers and were just 6-of-19 on third down conversions. It’s a bit of a surprise that the Wolverines surrendered even 14 points in their home opener.

But the offenses woes showed again. Michigan fumbled three times in the game, losing two of those. It wasn’t the type of dominating performance we’ve come to expect from a Jim Harbaugh-coached team.

Key play: Michigan gets safety on Cincinnati punt attempt

Cincinnati’s punter wasn’t ready for the snap, so the ball flies to the end zone and results in a safety. It gave Michigan a 29-14 lead and killed any confidence the Bearcats had left.

There were a couple pick-sixes that would be good candidates as well, but Cincinnati at least had a chance until that occurred. That play really sealed the game in Ann Arbor.

Stat of the game: two interceptions returned for touchdowns

It’s not a very official statistic, but if not for those two interceptions, this would’ve been a one-possession game.

Tyree Kinnel had the first pick-six midway through the first quarter to put the Wolverines ahead 14-0. Lavert Hill put the game on ice with his interception-turned-touchdown with 4:21 remaining in the game.

Yeah, Michigan’s offense definitely owes its defense a dinner after that one.

What it means

Despite the big win over Florida in Week 1, Michigan’s performance against Cincinnati proved there’s still a lot of work to be done. Players, fans and Harbaugh would admit that.

The offense was subpar and struggled with turnovers again. Sure, the Wolverines were balanced from a numbers standpoint (221 passing, 193 rushing), but they couldn’t punch the ball across the goal line.

Fortunately, Michigan still has one more tune-up opportunity at home against Air Force next week before B1G play starts. The Wolverines defense looks like a top 10 unit, but the offense has a long way to go.