Making his coaching debut in Ann Arbor, Jim Harbaugh saw his Michigan (1-1) squad power its way past Oregon State (1-1) to the tune of a 35-7 blowout. Michigan running back De’Veon Smith led the offense with 126 yards and three touchdowns while the Michigan defense clamped down after Oregon State’s game-opening touchdown drive.
Oregon State marched 79 yards on the first seven plays of the game, with Seth Collins completing a touchdown pass to Hunter Jarmon for a 21-yard score just two minutes into the game. It was all Michigan from there. The Wolverines scored 35 unanswered points, including a late first-half touchdown following up on a major special teams mistake by the Beavers and a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.
Two games into the season and we are already seeing some good signs of improvement from Michigan under Harbaugh. Quarterback Jake Rudock completed 18 of 26 pass attempts for 180 yards and was picked off once, but he appears to be a decent fit in this offense since moving over from Iowa. There is still room for improvement, which you expect to see early on. Fortunately, Michigan looks to be comfortable handing the ball off to Smith and that should be the case all season long. Ten different players got a rushing attempt in this game as the offense looks to spread the ball around and benefitted from getting a chance to play some more players later in the game.
Michigan did lose a turnover battle though, with a pair of turnovers to just one for Oregon State. But Michigan’s defense held Oregon State to just 138 yards of offense while the offense rolled up 405. Michigan also held the football for 38 minutes and one second. Michigan had 21 first downs, to Oregon State’s 12.
Next up for Michigan will be a home games against UNLV next week. BYU should bring a physical challenge to the Wolverines the following week on September 26, if the Cougars can stay healthy between now and then that is. Oregon State will return home next weekend to host San Jose State.