First Impressions: Michigan 31 Minnesota 10

WTKA's Steve Clarke gives his initial thoughts from the stands in Section 7.

It was clear from the beginning that Michigan didn't want to open up the offense, but they accomplished what they wanted to by beating Minnesota and retaining the Little Brown Jug 31-10.

Coach Lloyd Carr wasn't happy with how the running game has gone over the past couple of weeks. Their game plan was to continue to run even after the game was well in hand. The Wolverines rushed for nearly 300 yards with eight players rushing for at least ten yards. Running backs Chris Perry (89 yards) and BJ Askew (77 yards) led the ground attack. Even quarterback John Navarre rushed for a first down after the "Waggle" play was covered. The question now is how long Navarre may keep his job.

Coach Carr rotated quarterbacks after the first quarter with Jermaine Gonzales. That normally wouldn't lead me to jump to conclusions, but the normally reserved coach made it known he wasn't happy on the sidelines. Navarre (12-22 148 yard, 1 int) showed he was the better of the two QB's, but Gonzales has earned his snaps.

It's worth noting that all of Michigan's touchdowns came on the run. There were two by Askew, one by Perry, and Bell ran into the endzone after another well executed reverse. Having no touchdown passes by Michigan, must have snapped a long streak of at least one passing TD in a game. The much maligned Todd Howard ran two kickoffs for 111 yards. A slippery field tackled him once, otherwise he would have been the first Wolverine to return a kickoff, since Seth Smith, I believe in 1994. Tyrece Butler blocked another punt. Minnesota's only touchdown was a result of Michigan failing to cover Detroit native Ron Johnson after the huddle.

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