What the national media is saying about Michigan after Washington

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A week after the national media barely noticed Michigan’s 47-14 win over Western Michigan, the pundits in the college football landscape couldn’t help but pay attention to the Wolverines after a resounding run game against Washington in primetime on national TV. What’s more, the defense kept the Huskies at bay, holding UW to even less in regards to points compared to the Broncos.

Yes, the 31-10 victory left a bit to be desired in terms of passing the ball, but Michigan broke Washington’s spirit in persistent, deliberate fashion, and the national writers couldn’t look away. In a wild week of college football, once again, Michigan is a storyline garnering attention.

Here is what the media is saying about the maize and blue.

CBS Sports

The normally rigid Barrett Sallee (along with a few other contributors) couldn’t do anything but praise Michigan after its Week 2 performance, leading off the weekly CBS Sports column talking about the Wolverines pulverizing the Huskies on the ground.

The 2021 college football season started with a bang last week and Week 2 acted as a dramatic follow-up. Michigan’s 31-10 victory over Washington was an impressive endorsement of what the seventh-year Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh has built in the trenches. Michigan ran for 343 yards on 56 attempts, averaging 6.1 yards per carry against one of the Pac-12’s top defenses to improve to 2-0 and make the case for inclusion in next week’s AP Top 25. For Washington, the loss was further indication that the program lacks offensive direction. A week after losing against Montana of the FCS, the normally physical Huskies ran for just 50 yards on 32 attempts as a Michigan defensive line led by defensive end Aidan Hutchinson wreaked havoc.

ESPN

ESPN’s national column only made a passing comment about Michigan meeting Iowa in the Big Ten title game and losing 9-6, but in the worldwide leader’s power rankings after Week 2, the Wolverines checked in at No. 25.

25. Michigan Wolverines (2-0) Don’t look now, but Jim Harbaugh is having a great time with his Michigan team this season. The Wolverines got a primetime slot against Washington this week and did not disappoint the Big House faithful. The Huskies sputtered on offense throughout the game, going scoreless in the first half while Michigan built a 10-point lead. A Huskies’ field goal in the third quarter did little to deter the Wolverines, who were led by Blake Corum‘s three touchdowns. Washington scored a late touchdown, but by that point it was all Michigan. Harbaugh and company cruised to a 31-10 win.

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report, naturally, had to include Michigan as ‘winners’ in its weekly winners and losers column, going in depth about what the Wolverines did to the Huskies while adding a modicum of skepticism.

In a Week 1 win over Western Michigan, the Michigan Wolverines rushed for 335 yards. It was their first time rushing for at least 330 yards in a single game since November 2017.

But in case you thought it was just a fluke against a Group of Five opponent, Jim Harbaugh’s run game double down with 343 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-10 victory over Washington.

And that is simply not a thing that happens to Washington. Per Sports-Reference, the last opponent to even rush for 250 yards against the Huskies was Alabama in the 2016 College Football Playoff, and the last time they allowed at least 315 rushing yards in a single game was nearly a decade ago against Baylor during the 2011 bowl season.

Blake Corum led the way for Michigan with 21 carries for 171 yards and three scores. Hassan Haskins wasn’t far behind him, rushing 27 times for 155 yards and a touchdown.

Michigan won by 21 points despite passing for just 44 yards. This run game and this defense are exactly what Harbaugh has wanted Michigan football to be in recent years, and maybe the Wolverines are finally there.

Or maybe Washington is just awful. This is UW’s first 0-2 start since going 0-12 back in 2008, and let’s just say their offensive execution through these first two games is bringing back some painful memories of the Tyrone Willingham era.

Sporting News

Friend of the site Bill Bender couldn’t help but walk away from the Wolverines’ Week 2 performance and be bullish about the job the maize and blue have done on the ground.

Michigan will be ranked after beating Washington 31-10 . Of all the offseason hires Jim Harbaugh made, snagging Mike Hart from Indiana’s staff has made the most difference so far. The Wolverines have re-established a punishing rushing attack with Hart, who doubles as the school’s all-time leading rusher. Blake Corum, a sophomore with almost identical dimensions to Hart, rushed for 171 yards and three TDs against the Huskies. Hassan Haskins added 155 yards and a TD. Michigan had 11 straight running plays at one point in the third quarter. Cade McNamara threw just 15 passes with 44 yards. That passing game will need to be refined without No. 1 wide receiver Ronnie Bell, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Michigan, however, has been a pleasant early-season surprise.

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