Michigan Football: 5 things we learned in domination of Northern Illinois

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There was no letdown for Michigan football against Northern Illinois and here are five things we learned in the Wolverines blowout win. 

It would have been understandable if Michigan football let down just a little bit against Northern Illinois.

After all, the Wolverines were fresh off a big win on national TV and were playing a team on Saturday that didn’t win a game last season.

Rocky Lombardi transferring to Northern Illinois may have helped in the motivation department, but this team doesn’t seem like it needs much to get going.

The Wolverines were focused and determined from the outset. Michigan football’s offense was flawless and didn’t punt once, only turning it over on downs twice in the fourth quarter.

Prior to that, Michigan scored nine touchdowns on nine drives. The Wolverines rushed for 373 yards and scored a whopping eight rushing touchdowns.

Defensively, U-M was dominant too. There weren’t as many negative plays, but Northern Illinois couldn’t get anything going, outside of a field goal, until garbage time. Michigan forced five three and outs and Gemon Green made a nice interception.

Lombardi was held to just 46 yards passing, while Michigan threw for 223 and racked up over 600 yards on total offense, as well as 63 points.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Michigan football look this sharp and here are five things we learned in the win over Northern Illinois.

Running back room is elite

It’s talked about frequently, the last time Michigan football had a skill position player go in the first or even second round of the NFL draft.

Devin Funchess is the last quarterback, running back or wide receiver to get selected in the first two rounds of the draft and while it’s very early in his career, Corum will break that spell.

Through three games, he’s been spectacular. His 125-yard, three-touchdown performance puts him at 407 yards to go along with eight total touchdowns, including seven on the ground.

We’ll have to see what happens in Big Ten play, but he looks like the best running back Michigan’s had since Mike Hart or Chris Perry, who was a first-round pick.

The offensive line has been incredible. Not only the way its opened holes, but the depth and the cohesion of that unit is something to behold.

The guys have been special and Corum has been too. His 51-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was a perfect example. It could have been a nice gain, instead, with some fancy footwork, he turned it into six and that’s what Michigan has been missing.

Someone who can take an ordinary play and make it extraordinary.

Corum can do that and it’s a sight for sore eyes. He’s averaging 8.7 yards per attempt and is the first back since Mike Hart, his running backs coach, to reach 100 yards in three straight games.

And when you add Hassan Haskins who’s been an absolute beast and Donovan Edwards, a five-star freshman with two touchdowns, including a 58-yarder on Saturday, the Wolverines have the deepest running back room they’ve had in a long, long time.

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