Recap: Wolverines roll past Broncos in blowout fashion

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

After eight consecutive scoreless drives, Western Michigan found the end zone for the second time to snap Michigan's streak of 40 unanswered points and to cap the day's scoring.

Quarterback Kaleb Eleby hooked up with Corey Crooms for a 27-yard touchdown pass on a third down to make it 47-14 with 3:30 remaining.

The Broncos' drive was nearly a three-and-out, but they received a fresh set of downs when the Wolverines were flagged for running into the kicker on the punt attempt.

McCarthy's first TD pass

Michigan freshman quarterback J.J. McCarthy recorded his first career touchdown pass in impressive fashion.

McCarthy escaped a broken pocket and rolled out to extend the play before showing off his arm by finding Daylen Baldwin across the field for a 69-yard touchdown on a third-and-25.

The pass capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive and put Michigan up, 47-7, over Western Michigan with 7:57 left to play.

Corum scores again

Blake Corum's sophomore season is off to a monster start.

The Michigan running back continued his big day with a 30-yard rushing score, giving the Wolverines a 40-7 cushion over the Broncos with 12:58 left to play.

Corum is up to 200 all-purpose yards on the day, with 99 of those coming on the ground, and two touchdowns. His second score was set up by a 43-yard run by Roman Wilson.

Freshman J.J. McCarthy took over at quarterback for Michigan on the previous drive, as Cade McNamara ended his day with 136 yards and two TDs on 9-for-11 passing.

Western Michigan had a scoring opportunity denied in the third quarter when Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt.

Henning's big run

It didn't take long for the Wolverines to strike out of the break.

After Michigan's defense forced Western Michigan to punt for the fifth straight series, AJ Henning showed off his speed and scored his first career touchdown on a 74-yard run. 

The score came on Michigan's second play in the third quarter and extended the lead to 33-7 following a failed two-point conversion at the 10:01 mark.

UM up 27-7 at break

Michigan's offense settled for a field goal before the break, capping a 12-play drive with a 20-yard field goal from Jake Moody for a 27-7 lead over Western Michigan.

The Wolverines ran the ball 12 straight times and the Broncos offered little resistance until Hassan Haskins was stopped short on a third-and-1 in the red zone.

At the half, Haskins leads Michigan's rushing attack with 67 yards on 12 carries, with Blake Corum adding 66 yards on 11 carries.

Michigan's Cade McNamara is 8-for-10 passing with 130 yards and two TDs, while Western Michigan's Kaleb Eleby has completed nine of 18 passes for 89 yards.

UM scores after Bell's injury

The Wolverines are starting to pull away from Broncos, with Hassan Haskins breaking a tackle and scoring on a 22-yard run to give Michigan a 24-7 lead with 6:18 left in the second quarter.

The touchdown was set up by a 31-yard punt return by Ronnie Bell, which gave the Wolverines the ball at the Broncos' 31-yard line.

Bell, though, was injured on the return and grabbed at his right knee after being tackled. He had to be helped off the field and was unable to put any weight on his right leg. Bell eventually was carted back to the locker room for further evaluation.

Bell's bomb widens UM's lead

Michigan used the deep ball to widen the lead over Western Michigan, with Cade McNamara finding Ronnie Bell on third down for a 76-yard touchdown to make it 17-7 with 9:18 left in the second quarter.

The score came after Michigan's defense stacked up defensive stops. The Broncos' second drive sputtered at Michigan's 39-yard line and their third drive was a three-and-out.

In between those possessions, the Wolverines had a three-and-out that featured an impressive one-handed catch along the sideline by Bell, but it was wiped out by offensive pass interference.

Moody FG puts UM in front

Michigan regained the lead with a 37-yard field goal by Jake Moody for a 10-7 advantage with 4:21 left in the first quarter.

The field goal was set up by a 79-yard kickoff return by Blake Corum, setting up the Wolverines' second drive at Western Michigan's 21-yard line. Michigan, however, couldn't take full advantage of the short field, going three-and-out and settling for Moody's field goal.

WMU answers on first drive

The Broncos countered Michigan's opening drive with a 75-yard scoring drive of their own, evening the score at 7 with 5:56 left in the first quarter.

Running back La'Darius Jefferson, a transfer from Michigan State, capped the 10-play drive with a 2-yard rushing score. 

Western Michigan did much of its damage through the air, with Kaleb Eleby completing five of seven passes for 54 yards, including a 28-yard pass to Jaylen Hall on a third-and-3. The drive was also aided by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the Wolverines.

Corum's TD gives UM early lead

Michigan's offense got the 2021 season off to a good start.

The Wolverines opened the game with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Cade McNamara to Blake Corum for a 7-0 lead with 10:15 left in the first quarter.

Michigan's first possession featured eight run plays, highlighted by an 18-yard scamper by Corum and a 4-yard run by Hassan Haskins on a fourth-and-1 to extend the drive. McNamara also completed all three of his passes for 35 yards.

Pregame info

Michigan opens the season Saturday with a familiar face at quarterback, but will unwrap a new defense led by a new coordinator against Western Michigan.

The Wolverines and Broncos kick off at noon at Michigan Stadium.

Cade McNamara will pilot the Michigan offense, having played in four of the Wolverines' six games last season and never ceding the No. 1 spot he earned in the spring.

The defense, meanwhile, is under new leadership in first-year Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who has kept his scheme mostly close to the vest, though players have embraced its unpredictability

It faces a tough first test in Western Michigan quarterback Kaleb Eleby, who is back after finishing third in the nation in passer rating last season at 195.08.

Follow along here for live updates from James Hawkins. 

Western Michigan at Michigan

► Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor

► TV/radio: ESPN/WWJ 950

► Records: Western Michigan 0-0, Michigan 0-0

► Line: Wolverines by 17