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Notebook: McCaffrey connects for first career TD in relief appearance

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Michigan redshirt freshman quarterback Dylan McCaffrey looked smooth again when he got a chance to play in the fourth quarter after Shea Patterson sat for the rest of the game.

Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey runs the ball in the fourth quarter.

McCaffrey, who replaced Patterson in the Notre Dame game when he had to leave because of leg cramping, was 1-of-1 for an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jacob McCurry with 8:51 left. It was his first career touchdown pass and the last score of the game for the Wolverines.

“Dylan, he’s got a real coolness about him when he’s out there playing,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “See it on the sideline when I’m calling plays and then watching him execute, it’s good. Nice to see a lot of firsts. Dylan’s first touchdown pass, Donovan (Peoples-Jones’) first touchdown reception, Nico (Collins’) first touchdown reception. McCurry getting a touchdown reception.”

Brandon Peters, who started late last season, came in for the final series.

Praising Tracy

Brenda Tracy, a gang rape survivor who spoke to the Michigan team on the eve of preseason camp, was honorary captain for the home opener along with retired Michigan football player Grant Newsome.

“That’s a tough woman,” defensive end Rashan Gary said. “She came and shared her story and it’s just unbelievable how she had that situation and changed it into what it is now. Having her as an honorary captain hit right here (patting his heart).”

Injury update

Defensive linemen Aubrey Solomon and Lawrence Marshall did not play against WMU.

“They’re both out working through something this week,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see when they’ll be back. We should get them back sooner than later.”

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Familiar foe

Western Michigan receiver Drake Harris, a graduate transfer from Michigan, had three catches for 16 yards. It was different for the Wolverines to see him on the opposing side.

“It was funny,” running back Chris Evans said. “He was out there competing and the corners were working their tails off because they knew they were going to have a matchup and they knew all his weaknesses because he’s been here so long. It was fun to watch.”

Gary said it was a little strange seeing Harris.

“I was talking my trash to him, but he knows all love,” Gary said.

Spreading it around

Harbaugh was pleased with how many players played and how they played.

“I think 74 players played in the game,” he said. “And they did things, too, while they were out there.  A lot to build on there.’