Michigan Runs over EMU 31 to 3

Denard Robinson ran for 198 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, leading Michigan to a 31-3 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.<

Updated Sep 17, 2011 5:10 PM ET



Eastern Michigan had chances to take a big lead at Michigan.

The Eagles whiffed on their opportunities.

Denard Robinson ran for 198 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, leading the Wolverines to a 31-3 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

''We did some good things, but we also did some things that displeased me especially as the game went on,'' Eagles coach Ron English said. ''Our defense seemed to do a better job of executing early in the game, but they didn't do as well down the stretch. We were playing a physical game, but you have to execute.

''This was the first time we faced adversity, and my gut says we didn't do well with it.''

The Eagles (2-1) drove into Michigan territory on their first five possessions, but came away with just a field goal. They fumbled, got stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 1, threw an interception and punted in a half filled with missed chances.

English didn't regret going for it with Javonti Greene on the plunge near the goal line that was stopped by safety Jordan Kovacs.

''I think you have to score from the 1, so I'm always going to go for it in that situation,'' English said. ''If you can't make that, you are going to have trouble winning a game.''

Michigan insisted it would be fired up to play Eastern Michigan after facing the Fighting Irish, but the differences between the games were night and day.

The Wolverines looked lackluster for the noon start with some less-than-full sections at the Big House following their first prime-time game at home in front of an NCAA record crowd that ended with a dramatic victory in the final seconds against Notre Dame.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke, though, insisted he didn't think his team came out flat.

''They're good coaches, too,'' Hoke said. ''They had a good plan.''

Greene, who ran for 22 yards on his first three carries, fumbled at the Michigan 35 on the opening possession.

Darius Scott intercepted one of Robinson's many errant passes on the Wolverines' first drive and the Eagles held them to a three-and-out possession the next time they had the ball.

Eastern Michigan took a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter, quieting the crowd of 110,343, and then limited Michigan to 9 yards on its next drive.

English, a former Michigan assistant, went for some razzle-dazzle on the next snap and a double pass to backup quarterback Tyler Benz turned into an interception.

''I wish our player had run the ball as he was instructed to do instead of throwing into double coverage,'' English said. ''That's something that we have to do a better job of coaching.''

The Eagles never recovered.

Robinson threw a 9-yard pass to Kevin Koger with 9:28 left in the first half to give the Wolverines their first lead. He connected with Drew Dileo on a 19-yard pass in which he faked a draw, making it 28-3 late in the third quarter.

The Wolverines attempted and made their first field goal with 4:32 left - a drive Robinson led - from 21 yards by Brendan Gibbons.

Hoke improved his career record to 50-50, entering next week's game at home against his former employer, San Diego State.

Robinson was 7 of 18 for 95 yards, two TDs and an interception in another lackluster passing performance. He ran 26 times for 198 yards and a score. Vincent Smith had 118 yards rushing on nine attempts.

Alex Gillett was 3 of 5 for 29 yards and ran 11 times for 61 yards. Greene ran for 80 yards on 21 carries.

''I think our backs need to play better,'' English said. ''There was too many times where they were dancing around and trying to hit a home run, and that's not how you do it. You hit the hole, and you get a big play by breaking something to the next level. You don't get anywhere by bouncing side to side, unless you are Denard, and our backs aren't.''

The Michigan Insider Top Stories