Michigan's blowout doesn't hide flaws

Updated: August 31, 2003, 5:29 PM ET

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Larry Stevens didn't look like he was on the winning end of a rout.

The senior defensive end walked away from Michigan Stadium without a smile despite his fourth-ranked Wolverines beating Central Michigan 45-7 on Saturday.

"I'm mad," Stevens said. "We gave up 218 yards rushing. That's ridiculous. We have a lot of work to do."

Before the season, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was worried about his team's ability to tackle and kick field goals.

Those concerns were validated against the Chippewas.

Central Michigan's Terrence Jackson ran over and through the Wolverines for 104 yards on 21 carries. Third-string running back Jerry Seymour gained 69 yards, including a 26-yard run. Kenan Lawhorne ran for 42 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown that could've been stopped by at least five defenders.

Carr said he wanted to withhold comment about tackling until he watched the game tape. But he was ready to talk about his disappointment with kicker Adam Finley.

Finley missed a 25-yard field goal to the right on the first drive of the game, and was short on a 47-yard attempt at the end of the first half.

"Those are two field goals I would expect Adam to make," Carr said.

Finley and two other Michigan kickers missed 12 of 24 field goals and two extra points last season.

Carr thought the new artificial turf, which replaced a torn-up natural surface, would help his team kick field goals.

"Surprise, surprise," Carr said. "I was wrong."

Carr had Garrett Rivas kick four extra points in the second half and will consider using the freshman as his kicker for extra points and field goals Saturday at home against Houston.

"Concerned? No," Carr said. "I think we'll be good."

Carr hopes he is right about another issue: catching the ball.

In the first half, Jason Avant dropped a pass in the end zone and Braylon Edwards dropped another pass that could've led to a touchdown.

Carr said stiff competition at receiver, where he has seven talented athletes, will force those players to concentrate on catching the ball.

Michigan's mistakes did not totally overshadow Chris Perry's performance, however.

Perry ran for a career-high 232 yards and two TDs. He broke Michigan's rushing record for a season opener, which had been Gordon Bell's 210-yard performance against Wisconsin in 1975.

He said his linemen and receivers made his job easy.

"When I'm on the safety before I get touched, that's a pretty good sign," said Perry, who had 22 carries.

The Wolverines scored three TDs in the third quarter, and added another on their fourth possession of the half to turn the opener for both teams into a rout after leading 17-0 at halftime.

Michigan's John Navarre was 19-of-33 for 245 yards with two TDs and an interception. He joined Rick Leach as the only quarterbacks in school history to start four season openers.

The game marked Carr's 100th as Michigan's coach, and his first against a former assistant: Mike DeBord.

"It wasn't any fun," Carr said.

Before and after the game, DeBord declined to talk about his memories of being a Michigan assistant for eight years before Central Michigan hired him in 2000.

"We were here to play a football game," DeBord said.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index