Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
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Michigan

UM vs. SMU: Wolverines host winless Mustangs

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    Western Michigan quarterback Jon Wassink is sacked by Jordan Anthony, 34, during the second half of the football game at the University of Michigan's Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

    BLADE

  • TCU-SMU-Football-4

    SMU running back Braeden West carries against TCU Sept. 7 in Dallas.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • W-Michigan-Michigan-Football-12

    Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson (2) rolls out of the pocket looking to throw a pass in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Western Michigan in Ann Arbo Saturday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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After suffering a loss in its highly publicized season opener at Notre Dame, the best thing for the Michigan team was a rebound opponent in Week 2. Western Michigan served nicely as the Wolverines came away with a 49-3 win.

So if one easy win is nice, wouldn’t two be even better?

RELATED: Where to watch | The keys to the game

We’re about to find out as No. 19 UM (1-1) welcomes SMU (0-2) to Michigan Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Once upon a time, SMU was a nationally recognized team, but those days are long past and should serve nicely as the second plate in Michigan’s non-conference buffet.

Michigan's 2018 football schedule

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson

SMU running back Braeden West

WELCOME HOME, SHEA: New Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson didn’t waste his home debut in the Big House, completing 12-of-17 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns, boasting a 190.6 QB rating.

“Shea played well again,” Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game. “A couple of the plays he made out of the pocket on the dead run, getting out of trouble, were big-time plays. He was really accurate again, playing cool, and making the tight window throws.”

Patterson wasn’t bad in the loss to Notre Dame — he went 20-of-30 for 227 yards with no scores and one interception — but Saturday’s win was definitely a step in the right direction for the Wolverines and their fans.

And this week will be another great opportunity for Patterson; SMU has allowed more than 600 passing yards and a pair of scores in two games.

WE MEET AGAIN ... FINALLY: This will be the second meeting between SMU and Michigan; the only other game was a 27-16 Wolverines win in September, 1963. That season, Michigan started 1-3-1 before finishing 3-4-2, while SMU went 4-7, losing to Oregon in the Sun Bowl.

BEATING WHO YOU SHOULD: Michigan hasn’t lost at home to an unranked opponent since Utah won 26-10 in Ann Arbor in September, 2014. The last time the Wolverines lost to a team from outside a Power of 5 conference was October, 2008, when Toledo beat UM 13-10.

MORE TO COME: The Mustangs haven’t stood much of a chance in its first two games, losing to North Texas (46-23) and No. 15 Texas Christian (42-12).

Redshirt junior quarterback Ben Hicks has thrown for 363 yards this season, but he was held to 111 yards in last week’s loss to TCU. He’s completed only 48 percent of his 62 attempts. Now in his third season as the starter, Hicks has nearly 6,900 yards and 54 TDs, but he’s also been picked off 28 times.

The offensive bright spot has been senior running back Braeden West, who has 24 touches and 204 yards from scrimmage with three scores.

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