Wolverines overcome first half turnovers to win opener
Written by Matt Pargoff   

 

While far from a perfect showing from Michigan in its opening game against Middle Tennessee State, the Wolverines overcame a pair of first half turnovers to cruise to a solid 40-21 victory on Saturday evening.

With fans excited to get their first look at a new offensive system under the direction of Josh Gattis, it took only a single play for things to get off on the wrong foot. Quarterback Shea Patterson scrambled for a 15-yard gain, but fumbled the ball away, putting the defense in a bad spot. It took only four plays for the underdog visitors to capitalize, taking an early lead.

Despite the early miscue, the Wolverines responded with scores on four of their next six possessions, including three touchdowns. With things starting to roll for the home team though, another mistake gave Middle Tennessee State life, with a Lavert Hill muffed punt leading to a 33-yard touchdown drive.

Michigan slowly pulled away in the second half, using good starting field position to add two more touchdowns.

Patterson completed 17 of 29 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns in the game, adding 28 yards on the ground. His top targets were Tarik Black, who pulled in four receptions for 80 yards and Nico Collins, who grabbed three balls out of the air for 49 yards.

With the Wolverines looking for new contributors in the rushing attack, they found help from true freshman Zach Charbonnet, who had 90 yards on eight carries, and sophomore Christian Turner, 11 times for 49 yards.

Michigan will get just one more warmup game before entering Big Ten play, playing host next week to Army at noon, with television coverage provided by Fox.


 
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