ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan has won its first two games by
an average of 22 points.
The 10th-ranked Wolverines beat Central Michigan 41-17 Saturday
after handling Vanderbilt in their opener, but still don't know if
they are merely good or potentially great.
Michigan is about to find out because its next game is at No. 4
"It's huge," said Mike Hart, who ran for 116 yards and matched
a career high with three TDs. "It's not your season per se, but it
shows you how good your team is."
Even though the score was lopsided, the Wolverines (2-0) did not
look impressive during much of the tuneup before playing the
Michigan had a fourth down on each of its first three drives and
rarely was sharp in its passing game against the Chippewas (0-2).
The Wolverines gave up some big plays on defense and a couple of
long kickoff returns. Both sides of the ball combined to commit
nine penalties for 73 yards.
"In every phase, we can certainly get better," coach Lloyd
Carr said. "But, I like where we are."
Dan LeFevour threw for 153 yards with two TDs and two turnovers
for the Chippewas.
The game was delayed an hour late in the first quarter because
of lightning. It was the first weather interruption at Michigan
Stadium -- where the Wolverines have played since 1927 -- according
to the school.
"It was like a halftime," said Michigan defensive end LaMarr
Woodley, who had two sacks, forced a fumble and recovered one. "We
made some corrections, and just sat around."
The game drew 108,712 fans and many returned to their seats
after the delay.
After the rare delay, Hart's second TD -- an 18-yard run -- gave
Michigan a 14-0 lead.
"I thought it was going to be tough, but I came out
energized," Hart said. "We were all excited to get back out there
The Wolverines led 24-10 at halftime and 41-10 early in the
Central Michigan had chances to make the game tight in the first
quarter, but made too many mistakes.
LeFevour drove the Chippewas to Michigan's 14 on their first
drive, but fumbled. After stuffing Hart on the Wolverines' third
fourth down, an offsides penalty gave them a first down.
Running back Ontario Sneed fumbled late in the first quarter,
giving Central Michigan four turnovers in three quarters --
including the second half of the 31-24 loss to Boston College --
after it had just 10 turnovers last year a total that tied for the
fewest in Division I-A football.
"If I start out with, 'We made a lot of mistakes today,' it
would not give Michigan due credit because they certainly had
something to do with it," Central Michigan coach Brian Kelly said.
Michigan improved to 21-0 against Mid-American Conference teams.
Henne was 11-of-19 for 113 yards -- the lowest total of his
career -- without a TD or a turnover. The junior moved into fourth
place in school history, passing Jim Harbaugh, with 5,517 yards
He was still throwing passes in the middle of the fourth quarter
ahead by four touchdowns, but Carr denied it was because he was
unhappy with the passing game.
"For Notre Dame, we're going to have to be a lot more
balance," Henne acknowledged. "We're going to have to throw the
ball and keep running. They're going to stop the run, so we're
going to have to pass the ball."
Hart had his second straight 100-yard game on 19 carries and
matched the TD total he had against Northwestern two years ago as a
freshman. The Wolverines are 11-1 when Hart runs for 100 yards,
with the lone setback coming last year against Minnesota.
LeFevour was 17-of-36 after the freshman quarterback made his
debut last week against Boston College when Brian Brunner left the
game with a concussion.
"Playing two great teams like these, it just shows me things
that I need to work on," LeFevour said.
Central Michigan is hopeful Brunner can play next week at home
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Kevin Grady scored on a 3-yard rushing TD to give Michigan a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Gameball goes to... Mike Hart. The Michigan RB ran for 116 yards on 19 carries and scored 3 TDs for the Wolverines.
Stat of the game... 31: Central Michigan was limited to just 31 rushing yards on 21 carries (1.5 avg.).