Michigan Wolverines football team downs Northern Illinois, ex-Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi with ease, 63-10

Michigan running back Tavierre Dunlap, left, is hit by Northern Illinois cornerback Javaughn Byrd in the second half in Ann Arbo on Saturday. (AP photo)


Associated Press

ANN ARBOR — A year ago, Michigan fans couldn’t be at the Big House as Rocky Lombardi led Michigan State to a 27-24 upset of the Wolverines.

There were 106,263 of them there on Saturday, and they enjoyed every minute of Lombardi’s return.

Playing for his new school, Northern Illinois, Lombardi threw for 46 yards and an interception in a 63-10 loss. He did throw for one touchdown, but that came with the Huskies down by 60 in the fourth.

“We were overmatched – that’s a very, very good defense, and a very, very good team,” said Lombardi, who threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s win. “They run a different scheme than a year ago, and they are definitely the best team we’re going to play this year.”

Lombardi’s defensive teammates weren’t having much more luck.

The Wolverines (3-0) scored touchdowns on their first nine drives, eight of them on the ground. The 10th drive also included a touchdown run, but it was called back for a holding penalty and Michigan turned the ball over on downs. The Wolverines never punted.

“We were really, really good today, but we know there’s always room to improve,” said Blake Corum, who rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns. “When we say we want to play a perfect game, that means going through today’s film and fix all of those small mistakes.”