AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR (AP) — No. 4 Michigan is almost averaging a point per minute through two games, spreading the ball around to an array of options through the air and on the ground.
Fielding H. Yost would be proud. The former Wolverines coach had four high-powered offenses score more than 100 points in their first two games, and Michigan won 56 straight from 1901-05 with what were known as his “Point-a-Minute” teams.
Michigan (2-0) has a long way to be that dominant under second-year coach Jim Harbaugh and perhaps that’s why he pumped the brakes a bit Monday.
“So far, so good,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh, though, is clearly excited about his team’s strong start even though there are ways it can get better.
“There’s probably no better feeling than to start a week that way,” he said. “It makes me very optimistic that there are ways we can improve and things we can fix. And, I’m very confident with the players and coaches that we have that we can do that.”
The Wolverines, unlike some teams in The Associated Press college football poll, have routed teams they were expected to handle easily: They beat Central Florida 51-14 on Saturday a week after opening with a 63-3 win over Hawaii. The 114 points through the first two games are the fourth-highest total in school history and its most since 1914 under Yost.
The Wolverines have scored at least 50 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1992 when Gary Moeller’s innovative offenses helped them win 19 straight Big Ten games.
Michigan might get challenged in its third of five straight home games on Saturday when it hosts Colorado (2-0), which is coming off wins over Colorado State and Idaho State by a combined score of 100-14.
“Nothing against Hawaii or Central Florida, but we’ve got tougher tests ahead,” quarterback Wilton Speight said. “I don’t want to get that far ahead of ourselves and think it’s a video game, but we’re going to continue to work hard on our game plans and we dial up the right plays at the right time.”
Harbaugh has made all the right moves so far, including deciding to start Speight ahead of Houston transfer John O’Korn or Shane Morris, who had starting experience under former coach Brady Hoke. Speight was named the Big Ten offensive player of the week after completing 25 of 37 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns against UCF .
Since throwing an interception on his first play against Hawaii, Speight has not turned the ball over and seems to be getting more comfortable and effective with every snap. He helped Michigan score TDs on seven straight possessions against the Rainbows and score on six drives in a row against the Knights.
The Wolverines had 11 players run the ball and 10 catch at least one pass against UCF after 11 players had a rush and 11 had a reception against Hawaii.
When the Knights set up their defense to limit Michigan’s running backs, Harbaugh and his assistants found ways to move the ball on the ground with fullback Khalid Hill and receiver Eddie McDoom. After receiver Jehu Chesson was defended closer following some receptions in the first quarter, passes were thrown to Amara Darboh.
“They’re definitely not stubborn in terms of play-calling,” Speight said. “They’re obviously going to adjust. They all came from the NFL and understand what it’s like to be successful at all levels. They’re going to adjust on the fly.”
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