Central Michigan vs. Michigan: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Wolverines

Jason FrayCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2013

Devin Gardner competing for the Wolverines in the opener
Devin Gardner competing for the Wolverines in the openerRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


Final: Michigan 59, Central Michigan 9

The Wolverines looked very sharp in the opener against in-state foe Central Michigan. The rushing attack proved to be the major difference in this contest. Both the offensive and defensive lines for Michigan dominated up front. 

The full box score is available at NCAA.com.

Thank you for staying with us here at Bleacher Report for live grades and instant analysis. 


Game Analysis for the Michigan Wolverines

Pass Offense

Devin Gardner looked a bit shaky at the start. His two interceptions did lead to points for Central Michigan. If there was one concern about today, it was Gardner throwing the football.

Freshman Shane Morris came played the majority of the second half and looked good throwing the football. 


Rush Offense

The ground game was the story of the game for the Wolverines. Michigan rolled up 242 yards on the ground for the day. Gardner was particularly lethal with his legs, scoring two rushing touchdowns and running for 52 yards.

Freshman Derrick Green and Fitzgerald Toussaint complemented Gardner well, gaining 58 and 57 yards on the ground, respectively. The duo combined for three touchdowns rushing. 


Pass Defense

The Chippewas didn't get much time to throw the football. As a result, both Central Michigan quarterbacks went 13-of-28 for 144 yards. The constant pressure up front from the defense line surely helped in this capacity. 

The secondary was all over Central Michigan's receivers. Save for one 43 yard reception, the Chippewas couldn't do much through the air. 


Rush Defense

The defense led by Jibreel Black and Desmond Morgan was very active and disruptive. Central Michigan was only able to muster 66 yards on the ground for a paltry 2.3 yards-per-carry average. 

Michigan's defensive line also pressured the quarterback quite well. It was a very impressive showing for the front seven. 


Special Teams

The special-teams unit was great today. Kicker Brendan Gibbons connected on his only field-goal attempt and converted on all eight extra-point attempts. Dennis Norfleet was also explosive in the return game. 

Dymonte Thomas blocked a punt, which was returned by Joe Reynolds for a touchdown. 



It was an easy game for Brady Hoke to call. With a big advantage up front with both lines, Michigan literally pounded Central Michigan into submission. The big lead also afforded Hoke the luxury of integrating multiple true freshmen into the contest. 


1st-Half Analysis for the Michigan Wolverines

Pass Offense

It's been a mixed bag of sorts for Gardner. He did make a very nice throw to Gallon for a touchdown. However, his two interceptions have led to both field goals for Central Michigan.

It's imperative that he continues to become more consistent as a passer. 


Run Offense

Michigan has done a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage. Gardner has been great at extending plays and scrambling for yardage.

His ability to elude the defense with his legs makes him extremely dangerous. Fitzgerald Toussaint also has looked good.

For the game, Michigan has 139 yards on 19 carries.


Pass Defense

Central Michigan hasn't been able to generate anything in the pass game. Michigan's secondary has held Central Michigan's quarterbacks to 6-of-18 for 71 yards. The coverage on Central Michigan's wide outs has been air tight. 

Raymon Taylor had an interception towards the end of the half.


Run Defense

Aside from a few breakdowns, the front seven has generally been stout. The Chippewas only have 68 yards on 17 carries. Up front, defensive tackle Jibreel Black has been a disruptive force. Linebacker Desmond Morgan has also been flying around the field, making plays. 


Special Teams

Michigan's first touchdown came off of a blocked punt. Kicker Brendan Gibbons has been perfect on all of his extra-point attempts. On kickoffs, there hasn't been any breakdowns. 

It was a very solid half for the unit. 



It was an efficient half for the coaching staff. With the advantage up front, offensive coordinator Al Borges put an emphasis on the run game. Don't be surprised to see freshman Derrick Green get some run in the second half.

Overall, Michigan appears to be an improved team from a season ago.