ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As expected in Jim Harbaugh's second season on the job, No. 7 Michigan dominated Hawaii, 63-3, today in front of a sold-out Michigan Stadium crowd. And, well, there were a few impressions along the way.
Chris Evans starts career with a bang
We heard all camp that Evans was special, and would bring something different to U-M's run game with his speed and elusiveness. Well, they weren’t kidding. Evans scored on touchdowns of 16 and 43 yards respectively, gaining 112 yards needing only eight carries. Yes, eight – that wasn’t a misprint. More than his stats, Evans simply was like a video game character on the field. He would juke, he jived, you thought he was tackled and then boom he would turn a loss into a gain. He has the makings of something special that U-M hasn’t had in its backfield in a longtime – but hey, it’s only one game. He is only the third U-M freshman to amass over 100 total yards in first collegiate game, and first since Chris Perry.
Don’t panic on Speight
Yes, Wilton Speight threw an interception on his first pass as Michigan’s starting quarterback. Yes, everyone seemed to panic. Well, except Speight that is, who rebounded better than expected, he would finish the first half 9-of-12 for 123 yards and three touchdowns. He made some nice crisp throws. He showed a feel for the pocket and took leadership of the offense, as U-M’s offense scored on its next five scoring drives. So keep calm.
Mike McCrary is finally healthy
Michigan’s defense was swarming in the first half, and McCray led the charge. He would finish with a team-high seven tackles and two sacks in the first half alone, as U-M led 35-0 at the half, and would lead U-M with a game-high nine tackles. You have to feel good for McCray’s play today, considering he’s battled injuries throughout his career at U-M. Defensive coordinator Don Brown said was going to be a big piece of his linebacker corps, and today was evident Brown was right – McCray looks the part, and most importantly – he’s healthy. Good for him.
Michigan’s defense as advertised
With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, Hawaii finally got a first down and only totaled 72 yards at the half. That doesn’t say it all, but yeah, U-M’s defense was dominant. Other than a 55-yard field goal, Hawaii couldn’t get anything going offensively. In fact, U-M’s defense would outscore the Warriors 12-0, with interception returns by Channing Stribling and Delano Hill. Oh yeah, that guy Jabrill Peppers would finish with eight tackles, make a few electrifying moves on returns and looks the part, shocker, right? Michigan would yield only 81 yards on the ground, give up 232 total yards as Don Brown’s defense looked aggressive, fast and just flat out good.
Freshman will play and continue to play
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Along with Evans, multiple freshmen made their first appearance in a Michigan uniform today. Highly touted freshman Rashan Gary finished with XX tackles. Eddie McDoom finished with 49 total yards of offense.. Plus, freshman Ben Bredeson, Michael Onwenu, Michael Dwumfour, Devin Asiasi, Devin Bush Jr., Kekoa Crawford, Sean McKeon and David Long Jr., among others made the field. Needless to say, U-M doesn’t look like they plant to redshirt anyone anytime soon.