Peoples-Jones, Nordin kick-drive Michigan special teams
Ann Arbor —Two of Michigan’s first-year players combined for 23 special-teams points to lead the Wolverines in their third victory of the season.
Redshirt freshman kicker Quinn Nordin tied a program record with five field goals in a game and added two extra points, while freshman receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones scored on a 79-yard punt return in the third quarter of Michigan’s 29-13 victory over Air Force on Saturday.
“No question we won on special teams today,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.
Nordin made kicks from 26, 29, 35, 36 and 49 yards against the Falcons. He also had an extra point after Karan Higdon's 36-yard touchdown run with 1:02 left in the game.
“It’s great to see him kicking confidently and knocking them through with room to spare no matter what distance you put him in,” Harbaugh said.
He is 11-of-13 on field-goal attempts this season and now shares the game record with three other Michigan kickers — Mike Gillette (against Minnesota, Nov. 5 1988), J.D. Carlson (against Illinois Nov. 10, 1990) and most recently, K.C. Lopata (against Minnesota, Nov. 8, 2008). Remy Hamilton holds Michigan’s record for most field goals in a season with 25 in 1994.
Nordin has made seven straight field goals since missing two from 52 and 32 in the season opener against Florida. But in that game, he made four field goals, including two from 50 and 55 yards to become the first Michigan player to make two kicks from 50 yards or more in a game.
Meanwhile, Peoples-Jones gave Michigan a boost with his punt return for a touchdown, the first for the Wolverines since Jabrill Peppers’ 54-yard return a year ago on Sept. 17, 2016.
Peoples-Jones returned two punts for 104 yards against Air Force. Harbaugh did not rule out possibly using Peoples-Jones on kickoff returns.
“We’re giving a lot of thought to using Donovan in a lot of ways,” Harbaugh said, reminding this was Peoples-Jones’ third college game. “Feel like great things will happen for Donovan Peoples-Jones.”