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#2 Michigan 30 - East Carolina 3

After a slow start, Michigan was able to put up 30 points in a row on the way to a 30-to-3-win vs. East Carolina. The Pirates kicked a field goal on the final play of the game with five seconds left to avoid being shut out.

Game Notes:

JJ McCarthy looked good in the opening game, showing better pocket presence and improvements in his decision-making and throws downfield from a year ago. McCarthy finished the day going 26 of 30 for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The run game didn’t look as explosive as they did a year ago, but on the other hand, the offense looked much more balanced. After putting up 23 points in the first half, they continued with their hot streak to start the third quarter. JJ found wide receiver Roman Wilson from 15 yards out in the corner of the end zone for a TD. This was the third TD of the day that the two combined for, putting the game away for Michigan. In the fourth quarter, East Carolina finally put points on the board with a field goal to end the game, taking the shutout away from the Michigan D.

If there was one worry for Michigan, it would be their kicking game. James Turner, a transfer kicker from Louisville, who was brought in to replace third-round NFL draft pick Jake Moody, missed an extra point and a 52-yard field goal. Michigan fans will need to keep their eye on this moving forward.


Turning Point/Play of the Game:

As East Carolina looked to be gaining momentum, Michigan DB Mike Sainristil came up with an interception taking away any momentum that East Carolina was building. Michigan would later score a TD on the same possession in the first quarter, and the Wolverines never looked back taking it to Pirates. Michigan showed they were the more talented team, never letting East Carolina get into the game after the interception.


Michigan MVP:

Michigan QB/WR duo JJ McCarthy and Roman Wilson both get to share MVP honors for game one. Right off the start, their connection looks to be in midseason form. Putting up 3 TD’s together en route to the Michigan win. Michigan fans should be excited and expect big things from this combination moving forward.


East Carolina MVP:

East Carolina's rush defense was good today. Besides a 37-yard run by Corum, they were able to hold the Wolverines' ground attack in check. The Wolverines totaled 132 yards on the ground, as opposed to last year when Michigan averaged 238.9 yards per game.


What does this mean going forward?

For the Wolverines, they came into the game with a 36-point favorite but were unable to cover the spread. While they still took care of business, at no point did it look like an upset might be coming. However, even after game 1, Michigan fans really don’t know if the hype entering the season is real and deserving, and we probably won’t know until they play on the road in East Lansing on Saturday, October 21. But until then, Michigan just needs to take care of their business game by game.

Michigan's next game: Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 3:30 pm from the Big House on CBS

East Carolina's next game: Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 4:00 pm from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium


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