ANN ARBOR – Despite the lack of competition on the other side of the ball, the Michigan Wolverines dominated all three phases to defeat the University of Connecticut Huskies 59-0 to improve to 3-0 on the season.
The victory was the largest shutout at home since 1975, when Michigan defeated Northwestern 69-0.
Everything starts up front as Michigan’s offensive line has continued to help their guys achieve records like the one running back Blake Corum tied.
Corum finished the game with 12 carries for 71 yards on 5.9 yards per carry, but he wasn’t impressed by his performance as it was just another day’s work.
“I don’t know how good we are,” said Corum. “We look good. I really don’t know how good we’re going to be. I feel it. I feel like we’re going to be great, but I can’t tell yet. I can tell yet, but I’ll tell you, by the look of things, the sky is the limit for this offense.”
The Wolverines have outscored their opponents 103-0 in the first half through three weeks, thanks partly to the newly crowned QB1 J.J. McCarthy.
McCarthy, who opens up the Wolverines’ big play ability while under center for the men in maize, finished 18 for 24 for 214 yards.
He spoke to the media about being named the full-time starter after the game. McCarthy also said how much of an honor it is to be the leader of men.
“It’s a tremendous honor by coach (Jim) Harbaugh, but I’m going to do the same thing that Cade (McNamara) would do,” said McCarthy. “I’m going to do everything I possibly can to win football games for this program, work my butt off every single day, be prepared as much as possible, and play my heart out every single week.”
McCarthy may not have tossed a touchdown this week, but he was efficient as his receiving core made plays like A.J. Henning.
Henning caught four receptions for 37 yards, but the return specialist did his damage on special teams.
Henning became the fourth player in program history to score a touchdown as a kick returner and a punt returner in his career, joining Steve Breaston, Dave Raimey, and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard.
The other special teams play to remember was the punt block by Caden Kolesar, which set up one of Corum’s five touchdowns.
Kolesar’s block was set up by another Wolverines’ dominant defensive performance, which forced many three and outs throughout the day.
The Wolverines held UConn to six yards with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter. The defense gave up only 110 yards, with 86 yards coming on the ground and 24 yards through the air.
They gave up only six first downs and zero red zone attempts, thanks in part to the 6′2 235 pound sophomore Junior Colson who accounted for five total tackles, two of which were solo and one tackle for loss in the victory.
The non-conference schedule has allowed Michigan to play quarterback shuffle to find their leading man. Still, competition is set to gear up next week as the Big Ten schedule begins for the Wolverines, who will face Maryland on Saturday at noon in their fourth straight home game.