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Michigan football vs. Western Michigan

Wolverines battle Broncos

Head coach Jim Harbaugh talks to Michigan QB Shea Patterson during the Notre Dame game on Sept. 1, 2018, in South Bend. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Head coach Jim Harbaugh talks to Michigan QB Shea Patterson during the Notre Dame game on Sept. 1, 2018, in South Bend. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – No. 22 Michigan looks to bounce back from an opening week defeat when they host Western Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines fell in an early hole and never recovered in the 24-17 road loss to eighth-ranked Notre Dame, which extended their losing streak to four games dating back to last season, and they hope to turn their fortunes around by beating the Broncos for the seventh consecutive time.

TV: Noon ET, Fox Sports1. LINE: Michigan -28.5

 

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"It's not the outcome we anticipated or wanted but we just gotta dig deep," Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters. "Just need to show some good old fashioned resolve and there's more we can do as this can be a very good football team." Michigan has dropped six of its last 10 contests but are 9-2 in non-conference regular-season games under Harbaugh, and Michigan aims to extend its winning streak in home openers to 10 in a row. The Wolverines haven't faced the Broncos since a 34-10 victory in 2011 and have won the last four meetings since 2001 by an average margin of 22 points. Western Michigan suffered a 55-42 setback to Syracuse in its season opener and hopes to recover in a big way by knocking off the Wolverines for the first time in program history.

ABOUT WESTERN MICHIGAN (0-1)

Jon Wassink threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns in his first game since breaking his collarbone against Eastern Michigan on Oct. 21, 2017 while D'Wayne Eskridge was named the MAC-West Division Offensive Player of the Week after hauling in eight passes for a career-high 240 yards in the loss to Syracuse. "I have to give thanks to Jon as I couldn't have made the plays if he didn't put the ball where he did," Eskridge told reporters. "It felt great to finally show off all the work we have been doing since summer camp." Wide receiver Drake Harris, who spent four injury-plagued years at Michigan, caught one pass for 12 yards in his Western Michigan debut.

ABOUT MICHIGAN (0-1)

Shea Patterson acquitted himself well in his Wolverines debut as he completed 20-of-30 passes for 227 yards in the loss to Notre Dame despite going back to the locker room for a series to get an IV. Starting safety Josh Metellus was ejected for targeting in the first quarter against the Fighting Irish, but is eligible to return from the opening snap against Western Michigan while All-American linebacker Devin Bush registered six tackles and a sack despite battling cramps for a majority of the second half. Ambry Thomas was named the Co-Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, which was Michigan's first since 2015.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Wolverines are 32-1 against Mid-American Conference opponents. 

2. Michigan is 17-4 at home under Harbaugh.

3. Western Michigan racked up 621 yards of offense in Week 1.

PREDICTION: Michigan 37, Western Michigan 13

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