ANN ARBOR, Mich.
-- The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan football team improved to 2-0 with a 35-12 victory over Western Michigan today (Saturday, Sept. 7). Michigan accumulated 446 yards of total offense, and junior quarterback John Navarre (Cudahy, Wis./Cudahy HS)
threw a school record-tying four touchdown passes.
The Maize and Blue gained an advantage with an effective running game early in the contest. Running back Chris Perry (Advance, N.C./Fork Union Military, Va.)
led all rushers with 118 yards on 17 carries, while David Underwood (Madisonville, Texas/Madisonville HS)
scored the Wolverines' only rushing touchdown late in the first quarter. Navarre threw for 174 yards, completing 14-of-23 passes. Wideout Braylon Edwards (Detroit, Mich./Bishop Gallagher HS)
led Michigan receivers with four catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Following a missed Western Michigan field goal on the Broncos' opening drive, Michigan responded with two consecutive touchdown drives. Perry ran his first handoff of the day 34 yards down the left sideline, ushering U-M into the Bronco half of the field. Navarre ate up another large chunk of field with a 20-yard pass completion to Tyrece Butler (Indianapolis, Ind./Decatur Central HS), before capping off the nine-play, 80-yard opening drive with an eight-yard pass through the middle to tight end Bennie Joppru (Wayzata, Minn./Minnetonka HS) with 7:08 left in the first quarter.
A 23-yard reception by Edwards highlighted Michigan's second scoring drive. The four-yard touchdown rush from Underwood put the Wolverines ahead 14-0 with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter.
After being forced to punt for the first time, Michigan responded with a quick six-play, 57-yard drive that put the Wolverines up 21-0 with 7:37 remaining in the half. The series was highlighted by a 25-yard pass from Navarre to Edwards for the touchdown.
With 26 seconds left in the half, quarterback Chad Munson got the Broncos on the board with a six-yard completion to receiver Jermaine Lewis in the corner of the end zone. A fumbled snap cost Western the point-after and kept the score 21-6 heading into halftime.
On Michigan's fourth scoring drive, Jeremy LeSueur's (Holly Springs, Miss./Holly Springs HS) 47-yard kickoff return to open the second half moved the Maize and Blue quickly into Bronco territory. Perry kept the chains moving, eclipsing the 100-yard mark with five carries in the drive, and fullback B.J. Askew (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain HS) dove into the end zone from four yards out after a reception for the 28-6 lead just three minutes removed from the start of the half.
The Wolverines increased their lead to 29 points with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter on Navarre's fourth passing touchdown of the game, a 39-yard bomb to Edwards along the left sideline. The touchdown tied Navarre with nine other Michigan quarterbacks for most touchdown passes in a game.
WMU responded with a focused drive downfield. With four plays of more than 15 yards, Western moved the ball 73 yards. Lewis' second touchdown of the day, and WMU's second failed extra-point attempt, made the score 35-12 entering the final quarter.
Michigan's defense came up with a total of seven sacks against WMU and made big plays when the Broncos drove. In the second quarter, the Michigan defense thwarted a WMU possession when Brandon Williams (Omaha, Neb./Central HS) tipped the ball into the arms of Victor Hobson (Mt. Laurel, N.J./St. Joseph's Prep). The interception was the first of Hobson's career.
Then with the Broncos driving halfway through the fourth quarter, Michigan forced another crucial turnover, reversing the ball 23 yards on Dan Rumishek's (Addison, Ill./Addison Trail HS) interception. Munson's pass was tipped at the line by Shantee Orr (Detroit, Mich./Denby HS).
The Wolverines travel to South Bend, Ind., next Saturday (Sept. 14) for a game against Notre Dame. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EST/CDT, and the contest will be televised on NBC.
Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423