It was as bad as the Las Vegas oddsmakers predicted it would be. Even 40 points weren’t enough as No. 7-ranked Michigan manhandled the University of Hawaii 63-3 in today’s nonconference football game played before a sellout crowd at The Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich.
It was Hawaii’s second loss of 2016 in as many attempts and Michigan’s first win in its season-opening game. The Rainbow Warriors return to Hawaii for their home opener with Tennessee-Martin next Saturday.
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Michigan looked like a national title contender with a team filled with future NFL stars. Starting Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight overcame an interception on his first play of the game to complete 10 of 13 for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Tailback Chris Evans rushed for 112 yards and two scores on eight carries as Michigan scored on seven consecutive drives and never punted the football. The Wolverines managed 512 yards of total offense while limiting Hawaii to 232.
Ikaika Woolsey played the first half at quarterback for Hawaii and sophomore Dru Brown the second, but neither was particularly effective with each throwing a pick-six. Woolsey hit seven of 13 for 88 yards. Brown countered with a 5-for-10 performance for 63 yards. He also had five carries for 49 yards.
It took awhile for Michigan to get started, but once the Wolverines got untracked, they scored early and often.
Their first scoring drive of the game was a long one against an overmatched Hawaii defense. Twice along the way the Wolverines converted critical third-down plays on the 11-play, 98-yard drive that culminated with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Speight to wideout Perry Grant. Kenny Allen added the extra point to make it 7-0 Michigan with 7:29 left in the first quarter.
After forcing Hawaii to punt for a third time, Michigan began another long drive that resulted in more points for the Wolverines offense. Speight began to find the range and the O-line began to control the line of scrimmage as the run game took over.
Twice on third down, the Wolverines converted, including a 19-yard touchdown pass from Speight to All-American tight end Jake Butt as Allen added the PAT to give Michigan a 14-0 advantage with 1:25 left in the opening period. It ended an 11-play, 68-yard drive.
It was more of the same in the second quarter as Michigan managed another touchdown on a nice mix of run and pass. The six-play, 48-yard drive ended on a 5-yard scoring pass from Speight to wideout Amara Darboh as Allen made the PAT to give the Wolverines a commanding 21-0 lead with 11:21 remaining in the second.
At that point, Speight hit eight of his first 10 passes, including seven in a row, for 116 yards and three touchdowns. Hawaii’s first four drives produced minus 16 yards against a stout Michigan defense that decided to get into the scoring mix on UH’s fifth series of the game.
It ended on a pick-six by Michigan defensive back Delano Hill. He returned Woolsey’s errant pass for 27 yards and a touchdown as Allen added the PAT to make it 28-0 with 10:36 left in the period. Woolsey was only 1-for-5 for 4 yards at this point in the game.
Hawaii fell a yard shy of picking up a first down on the ensuing series and decided to punt. It didn’t take long for the Wolverines to score again as Evans went in from 18 yards out to culminate a seven-play, 66-yard drive. Allen added the PAT to make it 35-0 Michigan with 6:07 left in the first half.
Hawaii finally got something going on a pair of nice pass plays from Woolsey to wideout Marcus Kemp. The first was a 28-yard completion on a first-and-25 play and then another 12-yard grab by Kemp to set up a first-and-10 at the Michigan 32.
Woolsey then found Dylan Collie for 18 yards, but the second 15-yard penalty of the drive against UH forced the Warriors back to the Michigan 30.
Two plays later, Hawaii had a first-and-goal at the Michigan 3, but a bad snap made it second-and-goal from the 7. A sack of Woolsey resulted in a third-down attempt from the 17 with 19 seconds left in the half.
Michigan was called for a penalty to give UH a first down at the Wolverines 8. Two plays later, Woolsey was called for intentional grounding and the half ran out denying Rigo Sanchez a 26-yard field-goal attempt.
Michigan wasted little time extending its five touchdown advantage, needing only three plays to go 68 yards for the score on the opening drive of the second half. The final play was a 43-yard scoring run by Evans, his second touchdown of the game. Ryan Tice added the PAT to make it 42-0 Michigan at the 13:44 mark of the period.
Hawaii made a quarterback change on its opening drive of the half. Brown came in for Woolsey. His first attempt was picked off, but a roughing-the-passer penalty nullified the play, giving the Warriors new life.
Three plays later, Brown threw a pick-six as defensive back Channing Stribling returned the errant throw 51 yards for the score as Allen made the PAT to give the Wolverines a 49-0 advantage with 10:51 left in the quarter.
Hawaii put together a nice drive that ended in futility at the Michigan 27. A fourth-and-1 dive play was snuffed out by the Wolverines, giving the offense another shot at it. Some 10 plays later, the Wolverines scored again, this time on a 4-yard run by Khalid Hill as Tice hit the PAT to make it 56-0 with 18 seconds left in the quarter.
Sanchez gave Hawaii its first points of the game on a career-long 55-yard field goal to cut Michigan’s margin to 56-3 with 12:30 left. Brown put together a couple of nice drives in the second half and the Warriors were finally able to convert that into some points.
Michigan rounded out its scoring on a 5-yard run by Karan Higdon as Tice added the PAT to make it 63-3 with 7:15 left in the game.