Eastern Michigan overpowered by Michigan ground game

EMU’s Stephen Johnson (55) blocks against Brandon Graham (55) of Michigan while Dwayne Priest (22) carries the ball during the second quarter Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

ANN ARBOR – Eastern Michigan University was within a touchdown at halftime, but No. 25 Michigan scored 21 unanswered in the second half to cruise to a 45-17 victory Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

Michigan (3-0) rushed for 380 yards, and tailback Carlos Brown led the team with 13 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He had four rushes for 14 or more yards and a 90-yard scoring run that was the third-longest touchdown in school history.

“We’ve got to tackle better, and we didn’t tackle well at all today,” said EMU coach Ron English, who used to be U-M’s defensive coordinator. “They’ve got guys that can make you miss. We need to tackle better.”

Michigan’s Denard Robinson had two rushing scores. Michael Shaw and Martavious Odoms each had one.

“It was good,” U-M coach Rich Rodriguez said at a postgame news conference about his team’s running game. “We had the intention of throwing a little bit more, but why would you when you don’t have to? Obviously, for us, if we can run the football it gives our defense a little bit of a break.

“I thought our backs ran extremely hard, we blocked well up front, and I thought our blocking on the perimeter was very good as well. I thought we really, really struggled defensively.”

MAC West Scores

Ball St. 17, Army 24
Northern Illinois 28, Purdue 21
(11) Ohio St. 38, Toledo 0
Central Michigan 48, Alcorn St. (Miss.) 0
Miami (Ohio) 26, Western Michigan 48

Dwayne Priest had 27 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown for EMU (0-3), and he credited most of his success to the offensive line.

Quarterback Andy Schmitt, who left in the fourth quarter and didn’t return after an apparent leg injury, was 13-of-22 passing for 97 yards and a rushing touchdown. English wouldn’t speculate on Schmitt’s injury following the game.

U-M quarterback Tate Forcier was also rattled in the second half when he was hit after an incomplete pass but eventually returned.

EMU trailed 24-17 at halftime. Odom’s 13-yard run, on a reverse, grew Michigan’s lead to 31-17. Schmitt was intercepted on the following possession.

The turnover set up Robinson’s first scoring run (13 yards) and made it 38-17. He scored another rushing touchdown (36) with 7:14 remaining.

Eastern’s Joe Carithers made a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter that made it 3-3.

The attendance was 107, 903.

Michigan moved to No. 23 in this week’s Associated Press poll.

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