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Halftime analysis: Michigan 31, W. Michigan 0

9/5/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It's only one half of play against a upper-tier MAC opponent, but Michigan looks like a totally different team from the one that went 3-9 in 2008. Here's a quick look at what transpired in the first 30 minutes at the Big House:

Turning point: Michigan freshman quarterback Tate Forcier set the tone for a dominant half on his team's first possession. After showcasing his mobility on third-and-2 to stretch for a first down, Forcier evaded the rush, bought himself some time and found wideout Junior Hemingway, who had gotten behind the defense for an easy touchdown grab.

Stat of the half: Wolverines freshmen quarterbacks Forcier and Denard Robinson are a combined 10-for-16 for 145 yards with three passing touchdowns, no interceptions and a 43-yard rushing touchdown by Robinson. Western Michigan senior quarterback Tim Hiller is 13-for-24 for 81 yards and an interception and a fumble (WMU recovered).

Best call: Rich Rodriguez's use of his two freshmen quarterbacks has been superb, but I'm going to give new Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson some love. Robinson decided to pressure Hiller on nearly every play and trust his defenders to make open-field tackles. The approach has paid off big time, as Michigan has recorded a sack and held the Broncos to 2.3 yards per play.