ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan Wolverines started their season a little sluggishly Saturday afternoon against Middle Tennessee, but went into full throttle before the end of the first half. They went on to win, 40-21.
Shea Patterson threw three touchdown passes for the 7th-ranked Wolverines, all in the first half.
But Michigan was sluggish early. Patterson was hit and fumbled after a 13-yard on the first series from scrimmage, giving the Blue Raiders good field position. They turned it into a touchdown moments later on an Asher O’Hara 18-yard touchdown scamper.
Jay Moody booted a 34-yard field goal for the Wolverines, to make it 7-3 following a 57-yard drive. Before the first quarter was over, Patterson connected with Tarik Black on a 36-yard TD toss. Quinn Nordin’s extra point gave Michigan 10-7 lead.
In the second stanza, Patterson hit Nico Collins on a 28-yard scoring strike to complete a 4-play, 67-yard drive that expanded the lead to 17-7. A nice catch with a defender draped on him. Michigan scored another touchdown with a 28-yard Sean McKeon touchdown grab with 7:08 left in the first half, making it 24-7 after the extra-point conversion.
O’hara led Middle Tennessee 33 yards down the field a couple minutes before halftime – connecting with Jarrin Pierce on a two-yard touchdown with 2:12 left in the first half. Michigan quickly drove downfield after it got the ball back and Moody’s 27-yard field goal sent the Wolverines to the locker room with a 27-14 lead.
In the third quarter, backup QB Dylan McCaffrey capped off a 44-yard drive with a six-yard run. The two-point conversion try failed. Michigan led 33-14 after that: it was the only scoring in the third quarter.
In the four quarter, Ben VanSumeren’s one-yard run gave the Wolverines a 26-point lead with 6:37 left in the game. And with 1:06 left, O’Hara connected with Jimmy Marshall on a 59-yard touchdown for the Blue Raiders.