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September 9, 2006
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Mike Hart ran for 116 yards and matched a career high with three touchdowns, leading No. 10 Michigan to a 41-17 win over Central Michigan on Saturday.
Even though the score was lopsided, the Wolverines (2-0) did not look impressive during much of the tuneup a week before playing at No. 4 Notre Dame.
Dan LeFevour threw for 153 yards with two TDs and two turnovers for the Chippewas (0-2).
The game was delayed an hour late in the first quarter because of lightning. It was the first weather interruption at Michigan Stadium - where the Wolverines have played since 1927 - according to the school.
Michigan had a fourth down on each of its first three drives. Chad Henne converted the first with a pass to set up Hart's score on the opening drive. The Wolverines punted on their second fourth down. After the rare delay and another fourth down, Hart's 18-yard TD gave Michigan a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Wolverines led 24-10 at halftime and 41-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Central Michigan had chances to make the game tight, but made too many mistakes.
LeFevour drove the Chippewas to Michigan's 14 on their first drive, but fumbled. After stuffing Hart on the Wolverines' third fourth down, an offsides penalty gave them a first down. Running back Ontario Sneed fumbled late in the first quarter, giving Central Michigan four turnovers in three quarters - including the second half of the 31-24 loss to Boston College - after it had just 10 turnovers last year a total that tied for the fewest in Division I-A football.
Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley forced the first fumble and recovered the second.
Henne was 11-of-19 for 113 yards without a TD or a turnover. He moved into fourth place in school history, passing Jim Harbaugh, with 5,517 yards passing.
Perhaps because Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was unhappy with another lackluster passing performance, Henne was still playing in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Hart had his second straight 100-yard game on 19 carries and matched the TD total he had against Northwestern two years ago as a freshman. The Wolverines are 11-1 when Hart runs for 100 yards, with the lone setback coming last year against Minnesota.
Michigan improved to 21-0 against Mid-American Conference teams.
LeFevour completed 17-of-36 passes and after his second straight brief possession in the second half, he had a long chat with coach Brian Kelly on the sideline. The freshman quarterback made his debut last week after Brian Brunner left the game with a concussion. Central Michigan is hopeful Brunner can play next week at home against Akron.
The game drew 108,712 fans, many returning to their seats after the delay.
For more coverage of the Michigan Wolverines, check out TheWolverine.com.