Wolverines defeat Western Michigan Broncos in Ann Arbor

Final score 47-14

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, center, prepares to take to the Michigan Stadium field with his team before an NCAA college football game against Western Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Ding) (Tony Ding, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Wolverine fans were rewarded with a big win Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium.

Read: Michigan football hosts Western Michigan to kick off critical chapter of Harbaugh era

Ronnie Bell had a 76-yard touchdown reception and returned a punt 31 yards before being injured in Michigan’s 47-14 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday.

The Wolverines (1-0) won the game easily, but they may have lost their best player for a while.

Bell was hurt on a punt return in the second quarter and kept weight off his right leg as he was helped off the field by a teammate and staff member. The senior receiver was later carted off the field and up the tunnel toward the team’s locker room to be further evaluated.

The Broncos (0-1) started strong — making it 7-all on La’Darius Jefferson’s 2-yard run and trailing by just three points after the first quarter — but could not sustain success on either side of the ball.

Michigan pulled away with 17 points in the second quarter, scoring on Bell’s catch, Hassan Haskins’ 22-yard run and Jake Moody’s 20-yard field goal.

Blake Corum, who had 111 yards rushing, opened the scoring with a 14-yard reception and his 30-yard touchdown run put the Wolverines ahead 40-7 early in the final quarter.

Michigan’s Cade McNamara completed 9 of 11 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Highly touted freshman J.J. McCarthy escaped a sack on a 69-yard touchdown pass to Daylen Baldwin, a graduate transfer from Jackson State, midway through the fourth.

Kaleb Eleby was 20 of 37 for 191 with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Corey Crooms with 3:30 left in the rout.

More: Wolverine football returns to Ann Arbor with precautions in place to keep fans safe

Western Michigan: The Mid-American Conference team should be able to gain some confidence from the way it started the game, but it can learn a lot from the way the Wolverines were able to pull away.

Michigan: Bell’s injury silenced a crowd of 109,295 and seemed to stunt what should have been a feel-good afternoon at the Big House.

Up Next

Western Michigan: Plays Illinois State, a program in the second tier of Division I college football known as the Championship Subdivision, on Sept. 11 at home.

Michigan: Hosts No. 20 Washington, which will likely be favored to win to give Jim Harbaugh a chance to improve on his 0-11 record as an underdog with the Wolverines on Sept. 11.

About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.