While Michigan's offense was very efficient Saturday night, it's the Wolverine defense that will receive most of the accolades. The Wolverine defense completely shut down the Broncos in a 41-0 drubbing. After the opening kickoff, the Wolverines forced the Broncos to punt. On the ensuing drive, the Wolverines marched down the field methodically for 84 yards in 9 plays, a scoring drive that was capped by a 12 yard run by wide receiver Darryl Stonum. The Wolverines were so methodical on this drive that they used up almost the entire clock in the first quarter and the quarter ended with Michigan leading, 7-0.
The Wolverines would be more explosive in the 2nd quarter as they added another 24 points to take a 31-0 halftime lead, including 2 touchdown passes from true freshman quarterback, Tate Forcier. This 2nd quarter was also a fateful one for the Broncos. It saw them throw 2 interceptions which the Wolverines would turn into touchdown drives. The first interception was just a prelude to the fact that this was not to be the Broncos night. Hiller hit his receiver in the hands with a pass and then the receiver was drilled by MLB Obi Ezeh. This hit knocked the ball loose and it was scooped out of midair by SS Troy Woolfolk for an interception. Also, in the 2nd quarter, future NFL quarterback Tim Hiller (who, in all honesty, is the only good player on their team) was knocked out of the game with a concussion. This forced the Broncos to play sophomore wide receiver, Robert Arnheim at quarterback. Arnheim would then throw an interception on his 2nd play from scrimmage.
This game was clearly just a case of one team being bigger, stronger, and more athletic than the other. At times things would be ugly. Hiller's concussion was just the first of many injuries suffered by the Broncos. In total, there were 6 Broncos that were sidelined at some point during the game while not a single Wolverine would so much as stub a toe. This game could be summed up by saying that this was like wathcing a bunch of men playing against a bunch of boys. The Wolverines would beat up the bronco players on several occasions.
In addition to the offensive efficiency (which was led by 2 passing touchdowns by Tate Forcier and 2 rushing touchdowns by Brandon Minor) and the defensive domination in this game, Michigan's special teams also shined. All American Zoltan Mesko did everything that was asked of him out there today. He made both field goals that he attempted, including a 44 yarder. In addition to this, he was dominating on kickoffs and punting (which is something that usually gets ignored in the stat sheet). He was called on to punt on 3 occasions and pinned the Broncos inside the 20 on two of those occasions (the other one was a touchback). Mesko kicked off 8 times during the game and only once did he allow the Broncos to bring the ball out of the endzone. This played a large part in the defensive domination by the Wolverines because on the 12 Bronco drives, only once did they start outside of their own 20. Because of this, the Broncos were unable to even get close to scoring. In fact, the Broncos never even sniffed the red zone and only once did they ever cross the 50 yard line. All in all, this was a perfect start for the Wolverines. They got a chance to try out their new offensive and defensive schemes against real opponents. They got a chance to give their true freshman signal caller some experience. No one got hurt. The Wolverines will now be better prepared to face their hated Rivals Notre Dame when the Irish come to the Big House in a week.
Here are some highlights of the Wolverines' defeat of the Broncos.
|3rd down conv.||5/12(41%)||4/9(44%)|
|4th down conv||0/2 (0%)||0/0|
Western Michigan Player Statistics
Michigan Player StatisticsPassing
Players of the Game: WMU: A. Dorcely - 15 Tackles | UofM: T. Forcier - 10/16, 172 yds, 2 TD, 10car, 75yds