(Saturday, September 3rd)
Final Score: Michigan 34, Western Michigan 10
Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Michigan linebacker Brandon Herron returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown to break open a close game late in the second half, and Michigan never looked back in a weather-shortened 34-10 win over Western Michigan.
Lightning and heavy rains delayed the game twice in the third quarter, and officials eventually decided to call the game. There was 1:27 left in the third quarter, and the Wolverines were enjoying a 34-10 lead, thanks in large part to a thunderous performance from Herron. Just when Western Michigan was threatening deep inside Wolverine territory with over seven minutes to play in the first half, Herron's interception return broke a 7-7 tie. Then he returned a fumble 29 yards for another score early in the third quarter to spot the Wolverines a 27-10 lead, and Michigan had all the momentum despite a break in the action due to inclement weather.
Heisman hopeful quarterback Denard Robinson had a relatively quiet day throwing the ball for the Wolverines, going 9-for-13 for 98 yards, but Michigan (1-0) had a standout day from running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who finished with 80 yards on 11 carries. He added two touchdowns, including a one-yard touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter that knotted the score at seven.
Western Michigan (0-1) took the opening drive 74 yards in 15 plays, capped by a one-yard touchdown scamper by running back Antoin Scriven. The Broncos defense kept Robinson and company in check for most of the first half.
Quarterback Alex Carder looked sharp for much of the day, completing 22 passes on 31 attempts for 183 yards. But the two big plays made by Herron and Michigan's defense changed the game.
Following Herron's interception return, Western Michigan went three-and-out, and Michigan came right back with a nine-play, 74-yard drive, capped by a one- yard touchdown run by Toussaint. Western Michigan got a field goal at the end of the first half, as kicker John Potter hit a 36-yarder to make it 20-10 entering halftime.
Following a 26-minute weather delay early in the third quarter, Herron scored his second defensive touchdown of the game and Wolverine running back Michael Shaw found paydirt from 44-yards out to make it 34-10. Then the second delay ended the game for good, giving first-year Michigan head coach Brady Hoke his first career win at the school.
09/03 20:30:19 ET