Brown's career day fuels No. 25 Michigan
Michigan got a very freshman-like performance from quarterback Tate Forcier.
The 25th-ranked Wolverines' running game more than made up for a bad day passing by Forcier and fellow freshman Denard Robinson.
Carlos Brown ran for a career-high 187 yards and two scores, including a 90-yarder, and Michigan ran for 380 yards in a 45-17 win Saturday over Eastern Michigan.
"We weren't particularly sharp throwing the ball, so it was a good thing we could run," coach Rich Rodriguez said.
The Wolverines had their highest rushing total since getting 392 against Houston in 2003.
"I'm giving all the credit to the offensive line," Brown said.
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Forcier had a lackluster day after two spectacular games for Michigan (3-0), which matched its win total from last season, a dismal 3-9 slog in Rodriguez's first season as coach.
The true freshman was 7 of 13 for 68 yards, had 5 yards rushing and left the game briefly in the second half with bruised ribs. Robinson scored on a pair of TD runs, but also threw two interceptions on just four attempts - the only passes he had caught all day.
"We had the intention of throwing a little bit more," Rodriguez said. "But why would you when you don't have to?"
Michigan won, but may have lost a starting offensive lineman for the second straight week and a key running back.
Center David Molk injured a foot seriously enough for Rodriguez to be concerned and Brandon Minor aggravated an ankle injury. Right guard David Moosman didn't face Eastern Michigan because of a dislocated shoulder.
"I wish we were healthier," Rodriguez said. "But we couldn't be any better than 3-0. That's a good thing for some confidence, but we have to play better."
Michigan hosts Indiana next before going on the road for the first time at Michigan State and at Iowa.
Eastern Michigan (0-3) lost to Northwestern last week on a late field goal after giving up more than 300 yards rushing to Army in its opener.
"I do think we're improving, but in sports, nobody remembers that," said first-year coach Ron English, who was Lloyd Carr's defensive coordinator two years ago at Michigan.
Senior quarterback Andy Schmitt hurt his right knee in the fourth quarter after he was 13 of 22 for 97 yards and scored on a run.
"I'm getting an MRI on Sunday," Schmitt said, leaning on crutches with a brace covering his right leg. "I don't think it's terrible, but I've never had a knee injury. We have a bye next week, so hopefully that helps."
The Wolverines were ranked this week for the first time under Rodriguez after a win over then-No. 18 Notre Dame and Western Michigan.
They didn't look fired up to face the Eagles - whose campus is just several miles from Michigan - after being motivated to start the season strong and to beat the rival Fighting Irish.
"We definitely started off slow, but we made the adjustments we needed at halftime," said linebacker Kevin Leach after starting for Jonas Mouton, who was suspended for punching a Notre Dame player. "We'd like to have that half back, but we took care of business in the second half, so that was better."
The Eagles tied it twice in the first half, including at 10 early in the second quarter, before Michigan outscored them 35-7.
Michigan took control midway through the second quarter on Michael Shaw's 5-yard run and Brown's run that was the third-longest in school history. Butch Woolfolk, whose son, Troy, is a starting safety, set the record with a 92-yard run in 1979 and Tony Boles had a 91-yarder.
Eastern scored for the last time late in the first half on Dwayne Priest's 5-yard run to get within a TD. The Eagles had the ball more than twice as long as Michigan did before halftime and ran for 128 yards.
"Everyone was mad at halftime," Woolfolk said.
The Wolverines put the game away by holding Eastern Michigan to 51 yards rushing and on Martavious Odoms' reverse for a score and Robinson's TD runs.