But in the end, Michigan proved their worth earning a 63-13 victory over the Minutemen of UMass.
During the game, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson passed Jim Harbaugh to move into 5th place on the Michigan career passing yards list when he connected on a Drew Dileo 66-yard pass play early in the second quarter.
The Wolverines scored on the following play when senior Vincent Smith carried the ball 5 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. That score and following Brendan Gibbons extra point gave Michigan a 21-3 lead.
Unfortunately, only moments later Robinson had one of his only gaffes on the day when he under-threw his receiver and the UMass defensive back Christian Birt intercepted the pass and returned it 32 yards for the score. 21-10 was the closest the Minutemen would get the rest of the way.
After the interception, Denard quickly bounced back when he connected with Wolverine leading receiver Devin Gardner on a short crossing route pass that Gardner then took 42 yards to the end-zone for his third touchdown in as many games putting Michigan up 28-10.
On the following Wolverine possession, Denard himself finished off a five play drive with a nice weaving 36 yard touchdown run making the score 35-13.
Robinson ended his day with 10 carries for 110 yards on the ground and put up 291 yards in the air completing 16 of 24 passes with three of them going for touchdowns along with his one interception. Not bad for a kid who supposedly can’t throw the football.
From that point it was an exercise in focus for Michigan as the game was firmly in hand and UMass was unable to mount much of a threat the rest of the way.
The Michigan running game sort of got on track as the senior Fitzgerald Toussaint led the way on the ground for the running backs as he carried the ball 15 times for 85 yards and one touchdown. In total, the Wolverines ran for 294 yards as a group. Senior Vincent Smith got into the end zone twice on 3 carries for 20 yards.
The Wolverine defense limited the Minutemen to a total of 15 first downs and 259 total yards on the day. At times the group looked dominate especially late. At times, they looked like a work in progress. Overall it the defensive unit did what was expected and surrendered only 6 points on two field goals in the 2nd quarter.
In the end, Michigan did what was expected, they beat a team that was considered not an equal. The big test for Brady Hoke and his Wolverines comes now next week in South Bend, Indiana when they take on Notre Dame in prime-time under the lights.
Depending upon what happens to Notre Dame tonight against MSU, they will either be a confident or angry bunch next week when they face Michigan.
Either way, Brady Hoke’s team is 2-1-0 on the season and should be ready to go come Saturday. Whether they are really ready or not.