Yesterday was a definite step in the right direction for the Michigan Wolverines to start the season, earning themselves a 52-14 win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers. It was a good all-around performance for the group, but there were a few standout performances. Let’s hand out some game balls.
Offense: Devin Funchess, Wide Receiver
Funchess was an absolute force on Saturday afternoon and looked the part of a Michigan wide receiver donning the famed No. 1 jersey. He hauled in 7 catches for 95 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The announcement that he was switching numbers surprised a lot of people prior to the game and it came with mixed reviews initially, but Funchess went out and did what a player of his skill set should do against a far inferior opponent that had no answer for him. He completely dominated out there and did everything he had to in week one to show he was deserving of the jersey number honor.
He also showcased this nasty stiff arm, which could be a lethal addition to his repertoire this year.
Defense: The Secondary
The Wolverines have employed a more press coverage oriented scheme on defense and the secondary rose to the occasion, completely shutting down Appalachian State in the passing game. The Mountaineers could only muster 127 yards through the air in this match-up.
Michigan’s defense had a great performance overall, but the defensive backs stood out the most as a group. They were far more physical and “in your face” than last season and look like a group that could carry the load on that side of the ball this season.
Special Teams: Mike McCray and Ben Gedeon
Linebackers Mike McCray and Ben Gedeon provided the biggest splash of the game on special teams in the form of a blocked punt returned for a touchdown right before halftime.
McCray blocked the kick and Gedeon took it back to the house, extending Michigan’s lead to 35-0 heading into the locker room at the half.
You can follow TBHR’s Anthony Broome on Twitter here.