ECU head coach Mike Houston says Michigan football is as advertised

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — While it may not have been quite as lopsided a blowout as one would expect from the No. 2 team in the country facing a Group of Five program, Michigan football came out and efficiently dominated East Carolina team, 30-3.

The Pirates did everything in their power to shut down the Wolverines’ run game and managed to hold Michigan to 122 yards on the ground. However, quarterback J.J. McCarthy managed 280 yards passing with three touchdowns while completing 26 of his 30 pass attempts.

After the game, ECU head coach Mike Houston said that even without Jim Harbaugh on the sideline for the maize and blue, Michigan was as expected.

“Congratulations to Michigan on a solid win today,” Houston said. “Very good football program, very good football team. Very talented, old, experienced. They look like what their preseason ranking is. I thought Jesse (Minter) did a good job in the interim today. I thought they had a really good plan defensively. Obviously, they were the better team today.”

As mentioned, McCarthy had a dominant performance, completing 87% of his passes on Saturday. While Houston was complimentary of the Michigan quarterback, he noted there were a few times he felt that his pass defense wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing.

Chalking it up to a mix of execution errors and youth, Houston says this is a learning experience for his secondary.

“I think he’s really good,” Houston said. “They have some really good receivers. We had some mistakes in secondary — had a couple of times we’d have a coverage called that should have allowed us to be a highly contested throw or possibly a turnover and we did not execute.

“So we got some things we could execute better within the secondary and I’m thinking of it’s young guys in their first college starts. So, there are gonna be some growing pains here early in the season.”

The surprise for the Wolverines was they struggled to run the ball on Saturday. Blake Corum had 73 yards rushing and a touchdown while Donovan Edwards had 37 yards. Corum, with 10 carries, managed an average of 7.1 yards per carry, but as a team, the maize and blue managed just 3.9 yards per carry — after being third in the country with 5.58 yards per attempt in 2022.

However, Houston isn’t exactly pleased with his numbers there, noting that just because ECU got one thing right, didn’t mean it got the game right.

“We got beat 30-3. I don’t know how much solace I can take, you know?”

As for Michigan, it will move on to UNLV, which it will host next Saturday at The Big House for Week 2.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire