Wolverines-RedHawks Instant Analysis

Rebounding from a rough defeat in week two, the Michigan Wolverines (1-1) worked at redeeming themselves at home against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (0-2).

First Quarter

On the first drive, Michigan picked up 38 yards on 8 plays, but couldn’t finish off the drive with a touchdown. Matt Wile knocked in a 28-yard field goal.

Michigan’s second drive was important for several reasons. First, it began deep in Miami territory thanks to a clean interception from sophomore U-M cornerback Jourdan Lewis. This interception marked the first turnover of the season for the Wolverines and first career interception for Lewis.

Subsequently, the Wolverines capitalized on their favorable starting position at the Miami 37 yard-line. A couple U-M runs set up a 17-yard touchdown on a slant from senior Devin Gardner to sophomore Amara Darboh. This score was Darboh’s first of his career. After this drive, Michigan held a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

On the first play of Miami’s second drive, Lewis came hot off the corner on a blitz, forcing the Miami quarterback to flee the pocket before throwing the ball away to the sideline, killing the down. This set the tone for a Michigan defense that looked determined to pressure the Miami offense on the drive. Just a few snaps later, senior defensive end Brennan Beyer beat his assignment and built a head of steam en route to the quarterback for a 12-yard sack.

Second Quarter

Early in the second quarter, Devin Gardner overthrew the intended slot receiver (due to the ball being tipped at the line of scrimmage) and the ball sailed to a Miami safety, resulting in an interception. Starting the drive on the Michigan 35-yard line, the RedHawks took advantage of the turnover right away. On the first play of the drive, Miami quarterback Andrew Handix completed a 20-yard pass to Dawan Scott, setting up Miami first and 10 at the Michigan 15. The RedHawks were shut out of the end zone but capped off their drive with a 26-yard field goal.

The ball continued to bounce Miami’s way, literally, as a short kickoff, which was directed at freshman Wyatt Shallman, bounced off his pads and was eventually recovered by a member of the RedHawks kickoff coverage team at the Michigan 21. Miami proceeded to move the ball well in the red zone, sprinkling in both run and pass plays before a three-yard passing touchdown to Scott tied the game at 10 with 7:24 remaining in the second quarter.

A Derrick Green 27-yard run from around midfield set up a Michigan first down at the edge of the red zone. Green continued to tote the rock with a dash of strong running ability, picking up a 10-yard run on the next play and an 8-yard run after that. Green finally sealed off the drive with a short 1-yard scamper, giving the sophomore running back 10 rushes for 71 yards and one touchdown with 4:26 remaining in the half and a seven-point lead for Michigan.

Notes: Freddy Canteen recorded his second career catch on Michigan’s last drive. Michigan possessed the ball for 4 more minutes than Miami in the first half at a 16.5-to-12.5 clip. Michigan had two penalties for 10 yards in the first half as opposed to Miami’s 5 for 30 yards. U-M committed three turnovers (all in the second quarter) and forced just one turnover in the first half.

Third quarter

Impact athlete Dennis Norfleet provided the first sign of life from the Wolverines offense in the second half. Reminiscent to the first quarter of the Notre Dame game, Norfleet received an end-around handoff and jumped up field for a 21-yard gain. Michigan couldn’t pick up another first down on the drive, resulting in a 44-yard Matt Wile punt, which went for a touchback.

At the same time, Amara Darboh was quietly amassing 88 yards and a touchdown on six catches in his first full game of regular action. In the absence of No. 1 Devin Funchess, Michigan looks like it has found a reliable replacement in Darboh.

Towards the latter half of the third quarter, Michigan traveled 63 yards on just three plays and finished up their drive with a score. Jake Butt was responsible for 51 yards on the scoring drive, hauling in a 22-yard first down reception on the very first play, and capping it off with a 29-yard catch and run touchdown.

Fourth quarter

Derrick Green accounted for all but eight yards on Michigan’s first drive of the fourth quarter, racking up 60 of the 68 yards on rushing plays and punching it in for his second touchdown of the day. This put the sophomore running back at 22 rushes for 137 yards and two touchdowns on the day. This drive also milked the clock for 9:50 for the Wolverines, leaving them with an insurmountable 21-point lead over Miami.

The Wolverines finished the scoring as the clock ran down with a 40 yard Matt Wile field goal.

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