Scores

Final

W Michigan 7

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Michigan 31

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: ABC

3:30 PM ET, September 5, 2009

Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI

1 2 3 4 T
WMU 0 0 0 77
MICH 14 17 0 031

Top Performers

Passing: T. Forcier (MICH) - 179 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: D. Robinson (NOR) - 11 CAR, 74 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Nunez (WMU) - 7 REC, 151 YDS, 1 TD

Michigan uses solid offense to take down Western Michigan

Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Rich Rodriguez refused to make it about him.

Tate Forcier threw three touchdown passes and Denard Robinson ran for a score before halftime, leading the Wolverines to a 31-7 win over Western Michigan and leaving reporters trying to get Rodriguez to say what the much-needed victory meant personally.

Bracing For Impact

Both Michigan and Notre Dame looked impressive ahead of their clash in Ann Arbor next Saturday. Here's how they stacked up:

Michigan, Notre Dame
On Saturday
Michigan Notre Dame
Score 31-7 35-0
Total yards 439 510
Pass TD 3 4

"It was a nice win for Michigan," Rodriguez said with a grin. "Maybe I'll sleep two hours tonight."

The Wolverines insisted they were focused on Western Michigan -- and not distracted by a report alleging they have broken NCAA rules under Rodriguez because of the time they've spent training and practicing and stories about a real estate deal gone bad involving the coach and a booster banned from Clemson.

"I don't know if the situation galvanized them even more," Rodriguez said. "I thought they were pretty tight to begin with.

"They were going to be hungry to play based on what they've heard in the last nine months."

Rittenberg: UM Moves On

After allegations of NCAA rule violations suggested unrest lingered inside the Michigan program, the Wolverines vowed to show they were still a united force, writes Adam Rittenberg. Blog
• Big Ten blog

With Michigan coming off a school-record nine losses, Rodriguez's freshmen quarterbacks helped the Wolverines (1-0) look better on offense than they ever did last year in his debut season with college football's winningest program.

Forcier was 13-of-20 for 179 yards, and two of his three TD passes went to Junior Hemingway. Chad Henne and Rick Leach are the only freshmen QBs to start an opener for the Wolverines in three-plus decades.

"I don't get nervous," Forcier said. "Never have, and I don't think I ever will."

Robinson -- whose nickname is "Shoelace" because he doesn't tie his laces -- juked a couple defenders on a 43-yard TD run.

"Robinson's a pretty good track star," Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit said. "The other kid threw the ball well. I'm sure Rich Rodriguez is pretty pleased with both of them."

The Wolverines dropped their previous two openers, losing to Utah in Rodriguez's Michigan debut and getting stunned by Appalachian State to begin Lloyd Carr's last season on the sideline.

Michigan hosts Notre Dame next week in a game that just became more interesting because both tradition-rich programs opened with routs.

Students chanted "Beat the Irish!" to the Wolverines when they gathered in a corner of the Big House after routing Western Michigan.

The maize-and-blue clad fans also shouted encouraging words in unison for their embattled coach, and one held up an "In Rod We Trust" sign in the stands.

"I think our fans are tired of all the talk," Rodriguez said. "They want to just watch football and enjoy the experience of being in the Big House."

The storied venue was buzzing before kickoff. The Wolverines maintained the atmosphere by holding Western Michigan to a three-and-out and getting off to a strong start offensively.

On his first drive in college, Forcier moved around and up in the pocket and improvised on a 28-yard TD pass on the run to Hemingway.

Robinson replaced Forcier late in the first quarter and showed the speed that earned him playing time, zigzagging around Broncos on an electric TD run. Robinson finished with 74 yards rushing and completed 2 of 4 passes for 18 yards.

Forcier connected with Kevin Koger for a 7-yard TD early in the second quarter and lobbed a perfect pass to Hemingway, hitting him in stride on a 44-yard TD pass that put the Wolverines ahead 31-0 with 3:17 left in the first half.

Hemingway had five receptions for 103 yards and two TDs and Koger had three catches, including a one-handed snag in the fourth quarter, for 32 yards and a score.

Michigan didn't score in the second half, but didn't have to after a balanced first half -- 144 yards rushing and 145 yard passing -- that almost matched the totals the team averaged in games last season.

The Broncos (0-1) avoided a shutout on Tim Hiller's 73-yard pass to Juan Nunez early in the fourth quarter.

Hiller was 22-of-38 for 259 yards with one TD and two interceptions. Nunez caught seven passes for 151 yards and a score.

"Were we that overmatched? I don't think so," Cubit said. "We're just inexperienced."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WMU
MICH
1st Downs1524
Total Yards301439
Passing263197
Rushing38242
Penalties3-158-72
3rd Down Conversions5-146-16
4th Down Conversions0-12-3
Turnovers31
Possession25:4034:20

Passing Leaders

Western MichiganC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Hiller22/382596.812
MichiganC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Forcier13/201799.030

Rushing Leaders

Western MichiganCARYDSAVGTDLG
West13413.209
Thompson252.504
MichiganCARYDSAVGTDLG
Robinson11746.7143
Brown10545.4012

Receiving Leaders

Western MichiganRECYDSAVGTDLG
Nunez715121.6173
Arnheim7486.9011
MichiganRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hemingway510320.6244
Koger33210.7120

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWMUMICH
TD10:35Junior Hemingway 28 Yd Pass From Tate Forcier (Jason Olesnavage Kick) 07
TD03:57Denard Robinson 43 Yd Run (Jason Olesnavage Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERWMUMICH
TD12:34Kevin Koger 7 Yd Pass From Tate Forcier (Jason Olesnavage Kick) 021
FG07:34Jason Olesnavage 44 Yd 024
TD03:17Junior Hemingway 44 Yd Pass From Tate Forcier (Jason Olesnavage Kick) 031
FOURTH QUARTERWMUMICH
TD10:46Juan Nunez 73 Yd Pass From Tim Hiller (John Potter Kick) 731