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McCarthy leads No. 2 Michigan over East Carolina without Harbaugh on the sideline

Roman Wilson Michigan Roman Wilson - The Canadian Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes to Roman Wilson, helping No. 2 Michigan rout East Carolina 30-3 on Saturday.

The Wolverines (1-0) were without coach Jim Harbaugh, who began serving a school-imposed, three-game suspension for breaking NCAA rules.

McCarthy showed up at Michigan Stadium wearing a blue shirt backward, writing “FREE” in black on white athletic tape and placing it on his chest above Harbaugh's name.

The Wolverines appeared to pay homage to Harbaugh in the first quarter with a single-file formation on offense as each player raised an arm over their head.

McCarthy probably made his coach proud, completing 26 of 30 passes for 280 yards and throwing a a touchdown pass to Wilson in each of the first three quarters.

All-America running back Blake Corum, coming off knee surgery, ran for 73 yards on 10 carries and had a 2-yard touchdown run that gave Michigan a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The Pirates (0-1) were overmatched as expected against a team with national championship aspirations that's coming off two straight Big Ten titles and trips to the College Football Playoff.

East Carolina's Mason Garcia was 11 of 18 for 80 yards and had a deflected pass picked off by Mike Sainristil. Garcia shared time with Alex Flinn, who was 6 of 11 for 52 yards.

The Pirates avoided a shutout with Andrew Conrad's 33-yard field goal as time expired.


Harbaugh’s game-day roll was filled by defensive coordinator Jesse Minter. Offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore also missed the game, suspended by the school for one game due to violating unspecified NCAA rules.


Michigan had its highest preseason ranking since it was also No. 2 in 1991, and likely will keep the spot in the AP Top 25.


ECU: The Pirates refused to say who would start at quarterback and they may not know who will take the first snap next week because both struggled.

UM: To beat top teams, the Wolverines know they have to pass more effectively than they did a year ago and they're off to a good start toward that goal.


ECU: Hosts Marshall on Saturday.

UM: Hosts UNLV on Saturday.


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