|Amber Ainsworth/Michigan Journal|
The return of Jim Harbaugh to the big house meant the return of old school Michigan football, as the Wolverines were able to handle business like usual in a 35-7 victory of the Oregon State Beavers.
De'Veon Smith was the spark the Wolverine offense needed after struggling to find a go-to guy in week one against Utah. Smith carried the ball 23 times for 126 yards, and added three touchdowns, becoming the first Wolverine running back to rush for three touchdowns in a single game since Fitz Toussaint did it against Indiana back in 2013.
"Great team win, very pleased," said head coach Jim Harbaugh after the game. "It was won with a great week of practice."
The Beavers got off to a hot start, Opening the game up with a quick seven play 79 yard drive that was capped off with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Seth Collins to Hunter Jarmon.
The Wolverines took possession after the Beaver touchdown, but fumbled on the fourth play. That is where the Wolverine defense took complete control of the game. Taco Charlton punched the ball loose on the third play of the drive, and Joe Bolden was able to make the recovery.
From that point on the defense held strong, only allowing the Beavers to gain 79 yards of total offense the rest of the game, and holding them to negative yards on four of the final 10 drives.
Despite the defense being strong, the big story from the game was the play of the offensive line and the run game for the Wolverines. The Wolverines stepped in and played "big boy football." They controlled the line of scrimmage, and created holes for De'Veon smith and other backs to find.
"Shoutout to my offensive line, they did a great job today," Smith said. "They made some huge holes that buses could drive through, they did a great job pushing and pass blocking."
The Wolverines were not able to get much going offensively early in the game, but as the game went on the entire offense just got stronger and stronger. The defense continued it's high level of play, and in the second quarter the Wolverines scored their first touchdown, but they did not stop at that.
"We started grounding it and pounding it, you got a big back, more than one big back they're gonna start getting tired of tackling a big guy," Smith said.
Jake Butt was not needed in the passing game like he was last week, and overall the passing game was not needed. Rudock finished the game 18 of 26 for 180 yards, and one interception. Amarah Darboh led the receivers with four catches for 50 yards.
"A lot of credit to give out to a lot of people, it was a great team win," Harbaugh said. "We are gonna move on from this one with humble hearts because there is a lot of work to do."
The Wolverines take on UNLV at home next Saturday at noon.