Sluggish No. 7 Michigan beats Middle Tennessee

NCAA Football
Michigan tight end Sean McKeon (84) runs with a 28-yard touchdown reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. Middle Tennessee's DQ Thomas is at right. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Michigan tight end Sean McKeon (84) runs with a 28-yard touchdown reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. Middle Tennessee’s DQ Thomas is at right. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Shea Patterson threw three touchdown passes in the first half and No. 7 Michigan went on to beat Middle Tennessee 40-21 Saturday night.

The Wolverines unveiled their new-look offense and showed they have a lot of work to do with the ball. Patterson lost a fumble on the first play of the game and the senior quarterback had one of the team’s two fumbles in the second half.

Asher O’Hara ran for an 18-yard TD after Patterson’s early fumble to give the Blue Raiders a 7-0 lead. O’Hara threw a 2-yard pass for a score to Jarrin Pierce after Lavert Hill fumbled on a punt return to pull them within 10 points late in the first half.

Michigan made it 40-14 with Dylan McCaffrey’s 6-yard run late in the third quarter and Ben Van Sumeren’s 1-yard run with 6:37 left.

Patterson was 17 of 29 for 203 yards with TD passes to Tarik Black, Nico Collins and Sean McKeon. McCaffrey completed both of his passes for 17 yards and ran for 42 yards along with a score. Standout receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones was not in uniform for the Wolverines, sitting out with an apparent injury.

Michigan’s Zach Charbonnet ran for 90 yards on eight carries in his college debut.

O’Hara was 22 of 32 for 217 yards with two TDs, an interception and a score on the ground.

THE TAKEAWAY

Middle Tennessee: The Blue Raiders should feel good about being competitive in a game they were expected to lose by about five touchdowns.

Michigan: New offensive coordinator Josh Gattis won’t have a hard time finding teaching points after his debut.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Michigan may not move much, up or down, after winning a game by a lopsided margin against an overmatched opponent.

UP NEXT

Middle Tennessee: Hosts Tennessee State.

Michigan: Plays Army on Saturday at home.

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