Michigan Overcomes Slow Start to Down Eagles

No. 25 Michigan started slow with just a 24-17 lead at the half over visiting Eastern Michigan, but in the end it was an overwhelming Michigan run game that was the difference as Michigan improved to 3-0 with a 45-17 win over Eastern Michigan. Carlos Brown led Michigan offensively with 187 yards and two scores.

ANN ARBOR – Just one week removed from Michigan's 38-34 come-from-behind win over the then No. 18-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Michigan struggled through the first half while hosting cross-town foe Eastern Michigan Saturday afternoon.

Michigan built a slim 24-17 lead over the Eagles at the break, but a 14-0 third quarter surge, plus a goal line stand to start the fourth, gave the Rich Rodriguez's club the momentum it needed to brush aside the Eastern Michigan Eagles 45-17.

Neither side moved the ball much through the air, the two teams combining for just 174 yards and no scores through the air, and it was ultimately Michigan's ability to move the ball on the ground that put the game out of reach. Michigan out ran the Eagles 380-179 in the contest. Carlos Brown finished with 187 yards and a pair of scores, including a 90-yard score in the second quarter, to pace the Wolverines.

"It was good (the running game). We had the intention of throwing a little bit more, but why would you when you don't have to?" Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said after the game. "Obviously for us, if we can run the football, it gives our defense a little bit of a break. I thought our backs ran extremely hard, we blocked well up front, and I thought our blocking on the perimeter was very good as well."

Michigan began to distance itself with a pair of quick touchdowns towards the end of the third quarter. After the teams exchanged a pair of punts to open the half, Michigan marched 60-yards on just seven plays to go up 31-17 on a Martavious Odoms reverse from 13-yards out.

On the next possession the Wolverines forced Eastern Michigan quarterback Andy Schmitt into his lone interception of the contest. Obi Ezeh found a seem on a blitz straight up the middle, and, as Schmitt looked to find his receiver, Ezeh got a hand on the ball. Freshman Craig Roh found it amongst a swarm of offensive lineman, and pulled the ball in to give Michigan possession at the Eastern Michigan 21-yardline.

Michigan quickly moved it to the Eagles 13, and, with Tate Forcier on the sideline after a shot to the ribs, Denard Robinson found the endzone on a 13-yard draw to stretch the lead to 38-17.

Eastern Michigan drove deep into Michigan territory on the following drive, one last attempt to claw back into the game, but Schmitt's fourth and goal pass fell incomplete with just less then 10 minutes left in the contest.

Michigan added one more score late in the game, a 36-yard Denard Robinson run.

The Wolverines climbed on top of the Eagles 10-3 through the first quarter. Jason Olesvanage made good on a 37-yard field goal after a 30-yard Carlos Brown run down the right sideline put Michigan in scoring range.

EMU answered with a field goal drive of its own, but Michigan tacked on its first touchdown just before the end of the quarter, a 9-yard run up the middle by Brown.

Michigan went up a pair of scores halfway through the second quarter. After Michael Shaw found the end zone from 5-yards out, Brown scored his second touchdown of the afternoon on a 90-yard run straight up the middle. The run was the third longest in Michigan history.

EMU added one more touchdown late in the half to make it 24-17 at the break.

With the win the Wolverines improved to 3-0 on the season. Michigan opens Big 10 play with the Indiana Hoosiers next Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

Kick-off is scheduled for Noon on the ESPN Network.

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