Saturday afternoon the atmosphere was electric as the Michigan Wolverines were set to take on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. The fans at the Big House were loud and enthusiastic as the Michigan defense took the field and forced Hawaii to punt on their first possession. Michigan took the field on offense the first time with Wilton Speight as their quarterback. Speight’s first play as the starter this season was intercepted by the defense. He settled down after this and showed why he is the starter completing 10 of 13 passes for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns. He ended his day with a 231.4 percent passer rating. Speight’s touchdowns were thrown to Grant Perry, Amara Darboh, and Captain Jake Butt.
Michigan proved throughout the rest of the game that an early interception was simply growing pains and went on to put up 63 points against Hawaii’s 3 points. The game showed the diamonds in the rough on the Michigan roster. Freshman running back Chris Evans showed everyone his speed and ability with 8 carries in the game. He totaled 112 yards and powered into the end zone for 2 scores. Including a 43 yard run ending in one of his touchdowns.
Freshman Wide Receiver Eddie McDoom also showed his versatility with his 2 rushes for 34 yards and 2 receptions for 15 yards. Freshman Rashan Gary entered the game to a round of applause and made his presence felt. He played most of the snaps on defense after halftime. He had 1 tackle and 2 assists. Linebacker Mike McCray had a big day with 9 tackles (3.5 for loss), 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. McCray missed all of last season with a shoulder injury but showed his value in today’s game.
Michigan’s defense showed their dominance by not giving up a first down to the Warriors until 3 minutes to halftime. Michigan’s defense looked like they would buckle before halftime with Hawaii driving towards the end zone. The final play of the half had Hawaii’s quarterback Ikaika Woolsey throwing out of bounds resulting in an intentional grounding call ending their drive and the half. In addition, defensive players Delano Hill and Channing Stribling intercepted the Warriors for two pick sixes, adding to the total defense domination of Hawaii.
Michigan showed class as the game went along with rotating in players including 17 true freshman. After halftime Coach Jim Harbaugh utilized his bench players using multiple running backs and 3 quarterbacks in this game. He used this game as a learning experience for his players and let them get the feeling of playing in one of the best stadiums in the country. It truly seemed as though everyone was given an opportunity to play in the game. It is clear Michigan Football is here to stay and will be favorites for every game they play in this season.