12:10 PM ET, August 30, 2003
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Chris Perry helped Michigan get off to a good start for the second straight year.
Perry ran for a career-high 232 yards and two touchdowns as the fourth-ranked Wolverines beat Central Michigan 45-7 Saturday.
Chris Perry ran for a Wolverine opening-game record 232 yards.
"It's nice to have, but it's not that big of a deal," said Perry, who had 22 carries. "We have 12 more games to go, including the bowl game. I just want to maintain my performance so we can produce like this every week."
Perry's career-long, 63-yard run on the second play surpassed the 57-yard run he had on the second snap last season en route to a 120-yard, three-TD game to lead Michigan over Washington.
"The offensive line did a great job of opening holes and the receivers did a great job of blocking downfield," said Perry, Michigan's first 200-yard rusher since Anthony Thomas in 2000. "I had no choice but to run well.
"When I'm on the safety before I get touched, that's a pretty good sign."
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 passing 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.
Braylon Edwards caught five passes for 78 yards and two TDs after being held out of the first four plays.
"Braylon Edwards and I are not on the same page," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "That's all I'm going to say."
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. "It's a no-win situation because Mike DeBord is a special guy in my life."
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.
Terrence Jackson led Central Michigan with 104 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Jeff Perry, whose college career has been set back by injuries, played for the first time since he was a California high school standout in 1999. Perry was 18-of-29 for 150 yards and an interception.
Michigan is 17-0 against Mid-American Conference teams and 2-0 against Central Michigan, which last faced the Wolverines in 1931.
Central Michigan drove inside the Wolverines' 20 twice in the first half, but turned the ball over each time.
"If we didn't turn the ball over, we're in the game a lot longer," DeBord said.
The Chippewas opened the second half with a 92-yard drive, capped by a 27-yard run by Kenan Lawhorne to make it 17-7.
That's when Michigan took over.
Perry ran through a huge hole, cut to the sideline and dove for a 26-yard TD.
"That was the turning point of the game," Carr said.
On the next drive, Perry's 33-yard run set up Navarre's 48-yard pass to Edwards. Backup running back David Underwood scored on a fourth-and-1 run to put Michigan ahead 38-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Matt Gutierrez, Michigan's backup quarterback, scored on a 1-yard sneak on his first college possession midway through the fourth quarter.
As positive as the final score was for Michigan, the Wolverines appear to have the same concern they did a year ago: kicking.
Adam 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. Finley and two other Michigan kickers missed 12 of 24 field goals last season.
The Wolverines were without safety Marlin Jackson, the Big Ten preseason defensive player of the year. Jackson was suspended by Carr for the game after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault earlier this month in a plea agreement.