2011 Michigan Wolverines Football

Big Ten football fans

Michigan vs Eastern Michigan Football Recap

Michigan 31, Eastern Michigan 3



This game might have officially ended as a 28-point win, but the young men of Michigan – despite limiting an inferior foe to just three points – have a lot of work to do as the Big Ten slate approaches.

After a rough start, the Michigan Wolverines cruised by the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, in their first game since a dramatic prime-time victory over Notre Dame.

Quarterback Denard Robinson led the Wolverines' offense with 198 yards rushing.  Robinson threw for two touchdowns and ran for one.  His passing performance was unimpressive, as he completed just seven of 18 passes for 95 yards, and was intercepted once. Vincent Smith carried nine times for 118 yards to power Michigan’s offense.  Fitzgerald Toussaint added 46 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown in what was a decidedly mediocre performance.

Here’s where the 31-3 scoreline becomes particularly deceptive: The Eagles' run-heavy attack drove into Michigan territory on Eastern Michigan’s first five possessions, including a march all the way to the Michigan one-yard line. However, the Eagles – who languish near the bottom of the Mid-American Conference for a reason and have not been able to make a concerted upward movement in the sport – could only manage to score three points on those five drives. Michigan’s defensive front got pushed around by Eastern Michigan’s big uglies in the first 20 to 25 minutes of competition. If the Wolverines continue to start slowly – they fell behind Notre Dame, 24-7, after all – they’re going to get their doors blown off, even in a Big Ten Conference whose other brand-name teams ( Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa) are struggling considerably in the first few weeks of the 2011 campaign.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Eagles took a 3-0 lead early in the second on a Kody Fulkerson field goal.  The Michigan offense then awoke.  Robinson hit Kevin Koger for a nine-yard touchdown, then ran 11 yards for a score, to give the Wolverines a 14-3 lead at halftime.

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Toussaint's one-yard touchdown run gave Michigan a 21-3 lead in the third quarter.  A 19-yard pass from Robinson to Drew Dileo gave the Wolverines a 28-3 lead with 1:05 left in the third. Nevertheless, the memory of the first 20 minutes has to make UM coach Brady Hoke concerned with October not too far away. This Saturday’s game against Hoke’s former team, the San Diego State Aztecs, also looms as a particularly tough challenge.

Eastern Michigan attempted just six passes in this game, which makes the Eagles’ rushing prowess in the first quarter that much more impressive.  Their top rusher, Javonti Greene, carried 21 times for 80 yards.  Quarterback Alex Gillett carried 11 times for 61 yards.

By: Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer