Michigan Generated Momentum It Desperately Needed Last Week.

The Wolverines were successful in all phases during a 49-3 win over Western Michigan following a sputtering, seven-point loss at Notre Dame.

gettyimages 1029336476 No. 19 Michigan aims to maintain momentum with win over SMU

ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 08: Karan Higdon #22 of the Michigan Wolverines runs the ball for a first down in the first quarter against the Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

“It was a confidence-builder, a morale boost, especially for the offense,” running back Tru Wilson said. “We’ve been working since last year to get better.”

They seem set up for another confidence-boosting victory.

No. 19 Michigan (1-1) is expected to beat SMU (0-2) by more than seven touchdowns Saturday at home.

gettyimages 1029346760 No. 19 Michigan aims to maintain momentum with win over SMU

ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 08: Chase Brown #29 of the Western Michigan Broncos runs the ball and is tackled by Kyle Grady #14 and Kwity Paye #19 of the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

The Mustangs under first-year coach Sonny Dykes have been beaten by a combined score of 88-35 in their first two games against No. 16 TCU and North Texas.

If the Wolverines play as well as they did last week, they may be able to pick the final score. They insist SMU won’t be taken lightly.

“You have to take every game like it’s a rivalry or the national championship,” Wilson said. “If they catch you sleeping, nobody wants that to happen.”

Here are some other things know about the SMU-Michigan matchup:

gettyimages 1028968582 No. 19 Michigan aims to maintain momentum with win over SMU

DALLAS, TX – SEPTEMBER 07: Ben Hicks #8 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs throws the ball against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 7, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

GOING WIDE: Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson threw two of his three touchdown passes last week to a pair of wide receivers: Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones.

It was a significant improvement for a position group that accounted for just three touchdowns last season, none of which were scored after the second game of 2017.

gettyimages 1029345804 No. 19 Michigan aims to maintain momentum with win over SMU

ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 08: Shea Patterson #2 of the Michigan Wolverines looks to pass the ball in the second quarter against the Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh credits receivers coach Jim McElwain, who was Florida’s head coach a year ago, for getting the most out of the group.

“I really feel like our receivers are improving, getting to where their abilities are showing,” Harbaugh said. “He’s doing a great job coaching them. He adds so much to everything we do game-planning.”

ROUGH START: SMU hired Dykes to replace Chad Morris, who was hired by Arkansas after leading the program to a bowl for the first time since 2012. Dykes was 41-45 over seven seasons as a head coach at Cal and Louisiana Tech. He didn’t inherit a favorable schedule because the Mustangs are the only team facing two Top 20 teams out of conference in the first three weeks of the season.

gettyimages 1028969272 No. 19 Michigan aims to maintain momentum with win over SMU

at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 7, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.

“Anytime you play good people, it pays off,” Dykes said. “It can be painful at the time.”

TWO-WAY WOVERINE: Ambry Thomas plays cornerback and returns kickoffs, including one for a score against Notre Dame. He may start to play a larger role on offense. Thomas had a 5-yard reception against the Broncos and that may have been just a sample of what’s to come from perhaps the fastest player on the team.

“That’s something that’s good for us,” Harbaugh said.

BRIGHT SPOT: The Mustangs have not had much go their way this season. Running back Braeden West has provided some highlights with a 51-yard touchdown run and a 71-yard catch for a score. He has run for 104 yards and two touchdowns and has 100 yards receiving and a score on five receptions.

gettyimages 617308284 No. 19 Michigan aims to maintain momentum with win over SMU

DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 22: Braeden West #6 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs scores a touchdown against Terrell Williams #23 of the Houston Cougars in the fourth quarter at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“We haven’t had a lot of consistency so far, but Braden has been the bright spot,” Dykes said. “I expect him to have a bigger and bigger role every week.”

PATTERSON’S PASSES: On a rollout to his left facing some pressure last week, the right-handed Patterson made a pass to Oliver Martin near the sideline that Harbaugh was still talking about two days later.

“That was a high-level, unbelievable play,” Harbaugh said.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s