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In-state Chippewas no match for Wolverines

8/30/2003

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Chris Perry helped Michigan get off to a
good start for the second straight year.

Perry ran for a career-high 232 yards and two touchdowns as the
fourth-ranked Wolverines beat Central Michigan 45-7 Saturday.

Perry broke Michigan's rushing record for a season opener, which
had been Gordon Bell's 210-yard performance against Wisconsin in
1975.

"It's nice to have, but it's not that big of a deal," said
Perry, who had 22 carries. "We have 12 more games to go, including
the bowl game. I just want to maintain my performance so we can
produce like this every week."

Perry's career-long, 63-yard run on the second play surpassed
the 57-yard run he had on the second snap last season en route to a
120-yard, three-TD game to lead Michigan over Washington.

"The offensive line did a great job of opening holes and the
receivers did a great job of blocking downfield," said Perry,
Michigan's first 200-yard rusher since Anthony Thomas in 2000. "I
had no choice but to run well.

"When I'm on the safety before I get touched, that's a pretty
good sign."

The Wolverines scored three TDs in the third quarter, and added
another on their fourth possession of the half to turn the opener
for both teams into a rout after leading 17-0 at halftime.

Michigan's John Navarre was 19-of-33 passing for 245 yards with
two TDs and an interception. He joined Rick Leach as the only
quarterbacks in school history to start four season openers.

Braylon Edwards caught five passes for 78 yards and two TDs
after being held out of the first four plays.

"Braylon Edwards and I are not on the same page," Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr said. "That's all I'm going to say."

The game marked Carr's 100th as Michigan's coach, and his first
against a former assistant: Mike DeBord.

"It wasn't any fun," Carr said. "It's a no-win situation
because Mike DeBord is a special guy in my life."

Before and after the game, DeBord declined to talk about his
memories of being a Michigan assistant for eight years before
Central Michigan hired him in 2000.

"We were here to play a football game," DeBord said.

Terrence Jackson led Central Michigan with 104 yards on 21
carries. Quarterback Jeff Perry, whose college career has been set
back by injuries, played for the first time since he was a
California high school standout in 1999. Perry was 18-of-29 for 150
yards and an interception.

Michigan is 17-0 against Mid-American Conference teams and 2-0
against Central Michigan, which last faced the Wolverines in 1931.

Central Michigan drove inside the Wolverines' 20 twice in the
first half, but turned the ball over each time.

"If we didn't turn the ball over, we're in the game a lot
longer," DeBord said.

The Chippewas opened the second half with a 92-yard drive,
capped by a 27-yard run by Kenan Lawhorne to make it 17-7.

That's when Michigan took over.

Perry ran through a huge hole, cut to the sideline and dove for
a 26-yard TD.

"That was the turning point of the game," Carr said.

On the next drive, Perry's 33-yard run set up Navarre's 48-yard
pass to Edwards. Backup running back David Underwood scored on a
fourth-and-1 run to put Michigan ahead 38-7 at the end of the third
quarter.

Matt Gutierrez, Michigan's backup quarterback, scored on a
1-yard sneak on his first college possession midway through the
fourth quarter.

As positive as the final score was for Michigan, the Wolverines
appear to have the same concern they did a year ago: kicking.

Adam Finley missed a 25-yard field goal to the right on the
first drive of the game, and was short on a 47-yard attempt at the
end of the first half. Finley and two other Michigan kickers missed
12 of 24 field goals last season.

The Wolverines were without safety Marlin Jackson, the Big Ten
preseason defensive player of the year. Jackson was suspended by
Carr for the game after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault
earlier this month in a plea agreement.