Recap: Michigan vs. Appalachian St
Ann Arbor, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Devin Gardner completed all but one of his 14 pass attempts, leading to three touchdowns, as the Michigan Wolverines demolished Appalachian State, 52-14, in non-conference play at Michigan Stadium.
Gardner finished with 173 yards through the air for the Wolverines (1-0), with all three of his scoring strikes going to Devin Funchess who had seven catches for 95 yards.
The struggling Mountaineers (0-1) were led by Kameron Bryant who completed 8- of-19 passing for 58 yards and a score in the losing cause. Terrence Upshaw produced a team-high 109 yards rushing on 18 attempts.
Funchess and Gardner combined on a pair of aerial scores in the opening quarter, the first coming on a nine-yard effort and the second a 34-yard pass play, giving the Wolverines a 14-0 advantage after 15 minutes of action.
Funchess scored this third TD of the afternoon with just under four minutes remaining in the half when he elevated over a pair of defenders and reeled in an eight-yard toss from Gardner.
Barely two minutes later the Wolverines were back knocking on the door, thanks in large part to a 61-yard run down to the 12-yard line by De'Veon Smith. On the very next play Smith fought his way up the middle and into the end zone to give the hosts a 28-0 advantage.
Michigan continued to pile on as Bentlee Critchers blocked a punt deep in ASU's end of the field, the ball then recovered by Ben Gedeon and returned 32 yards for the score with 48 seconds left in the half.
The Wolverines wasted little time in putting even more points on the board in the second half as they took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards, aided by a 62-yard rumble by Derrick Green down to the four-yard line. Green did the honors three plays later as he burst over the goal line from one yard out.
Appalachian State showed some signs of life on their next possession as they drove 75 yards on 11 plays, culminating with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Bryant to Simms McElfresh in the back of the end zone.
The Mountaineers then attempted an onside kick, but that merely gave the hosts a short field to work with, resulting in a 13-yard TD run by Smith to make the score 49-7 with 4:27 to play in the third.
With Michigan poised to go in for yet another score late in the third, backup quarterback Shane Morris was intercepted by Dante Blackmon at the four-yard line and from there the visitors mounted a lengthy 96-yard drive that ended with a one-yard score by Marcus Cox.
Not to be outdone, the Wolverines also put together a lengthy 63-yard drive, but they were stopped at the one-yard line. Kicker Matt Wile managed to hook an 18-yard field goal through the uprights for the final points of the day.
Michigan, which tied for 102nd in the country last season with a mere 125.7 ypg on the ground, rolled up 350 rushing yards on the afternoon and had 560 yards of total offense, compared to just 280 yards for ASU.
The Mountaineers won the first meeting between these programs back in 2007, a 34-32 triumph, marking the first time an FCS squad defeated a ranked team from the FBS.Game Notes