(AP) No. 17 Michigan routs C Michigan 59-9 in opener
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich.
Devin Gardner ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the first half as No. 17 Michigan went on to beat Central Michigan 59-9 in college football.
It was the highest-scoring opener for the Wolverines (1-0) since 1905, when they beat Ohio Wesleyan 65-0. They will face a tougher test against No. 14 Notre Dame next week at home in a prime-time game.
The Chippewas (0-1) fell behind 35-6 at halftime Saturday. After they gave up five straight TDs, Ron Coluzzi’s third field goal made it 56-9 with 3:12 left in the game.
Gardner was 10 of 15 for 162 yards with a 16-yard TD pass to Jeremy Gallon and two interceptions. He ran for a 22-yard score midway through the first quarter when Michigan led by just four points and had a 4-yard TD on the ground late in the first half.
The Wolverines’ scoring barrage started on the opening drive when Dymonte Thomas blocked Central Michigan’s punt and Joe Reynolds scooped up the football and returned it 30 yards for a score.
Gardner threw an interception on his second pass, and overthrew a receiver on his other interception. Other than those two snaps, Denard Robinson’s replacement was effective throwing and running the ball.
The rout allowed Michigan coach Brady Hoke to give freshman Shane Morris playing time, a potentially valuable experience in case Gardner gets injured this season. Morris was 4 of 6 for 59 yards and had an interception on pass tipped by a teammate.
Michigan’s Fitzgerald Toussaint completed a successful comeback, running for 57 yards and two TDs in his first game since breaking his left leg last November against Iowa. One of his backups, Drake Johnson, left the game after appearing to hurt his left knee in the third quarter. Freshman running back Derrick Green ran for 58 yards and a third-quarter TD.
Central Michigan quarterback Cody Kater and running back Zurlon Tipton started the game, but couldn’t finish it because of injuries.
Kater was 2 of 6 for 13 yards and Alex Niznak replaced him and was 11 of 22 for 131 yards with an interception. Tipton ran for 10 yards on four carries, getting shut down during two series after running for nearly 1,500 yards.
A couple hours before kickoff, Michigan announced that starting safety Thomas Gordon was suspended for one game for an unspecified violation of team rules.