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WATCH: reliving the 2022 Michigan football season

The 2022 season was an exciting time for Michigan fans. Here are all of the highs and lows from the Wolverines’ first-ever 13-win season.



Michigan kicker Jake Moody (13) celebrates with tight end Joel Honigford and other teammates after Moody kicked the winning field goal against Illinois at Michigan Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.

After Michigan finished the 2021 season as Big Ten Champions with a 12-2 record and No. 3 final ranking, most wondered if the Wolverines’ success was sustainable. In 2022, U-M proved that it was. Here’s a look at everything we saw from Michigan football during its historic 13-1 campaign in 2022.

Week 1: No. 8 Michigan vs. Colorado State

To kick off the new year, Michigan football hosted Colorado State. The CSU Rams came into the season as one of the worst teams in the country, so Michigan’s 51-7 win was unsurprising to most. The Colorado State game was Cade McNamara’s only start of the season — McNamara completed nine of his 18 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.

On the ground, U-M running back Blake Corum led the way with 76 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries. The Wolverines defense held strong throughout the game, only allowing one touchdown which came with less than 9:00 to play in the game.

FINAL: Michigan 51, Colorado State 7 (1-0)

Week 2: No. 4 Michigan vs. Hawaii

After the Wolverines’ handled Colorado State, Michigan football hosted Hawaii in the Big House. For some reason, this game was a primetime game under the lights in Ann Arbor, and more importantly, it was JJ McCarthy’s first start in the Maize and Blue. Early on, it was clear that U-M was the far better team in just about every aspect. In fairness, Hawaii got blown out at home by Vanderbilt, so no one expected anything different from Michigan football.

In his first-ever start at Michigan, JJ McCarthy completed 11 of his 12 pass attempts for 229 and three touchdowns. On top of that, McCarthy carried the ball once for a gain of 16 yards. On the ground, Blake Corum again led the way with 88 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. By halftime, Michigan football held a 42-0 lead over the Warriors, and the Wolverines didn’t stop there.

FINAL: Michigan 56, Hawaii 10 (2-0)

Week 3: No. 4 Michigan vs. UConn

Michigan football saw its third-straight blowout win of the 2022 season in Week 3 as UConn came to town. Despite being one of (if not THE) worst teams in college football in 2021, UConn actually ended up making a bowl game this past season. Of Michigan’s three regular season nonconference games, the UConn game ended up being the most lopsided.

JJ McCarthy connected on 15 of his 18 passes for 214 yards, and Blake Corum tied the Wolverines’ single-game rushing touchdown record (5) against the Huskies. By halftime, Michigan football led 38-0, and like the Hawaii game, things only got worse for UConn from there.

FINAL: Michigan 59, UConn 0 (3-0)

Week 4: No. 4 Michigan vs. Maryland

To open Big Ten conference play, the 4th-ranked Wolverines hosted the 3-0 Maryland Terrapins. Though the game was a bit ugly at times, the Wolverines still managed to start 4-0 for the fourth time in eight seasons under Jim Harbaugh. After the Wolverines’ three dominant performances against nonconference opponents, no one saw this being as close of a game as it turned out to be.

When it was all said and done, Blake Corum carried Michigan football to a 7-point win over Maryland. Corum finished the game with 243 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 30 carries.

FINAL: Michigan 34, Maryland 27 (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)

Week 5: No. 4 Michigan at Iowa

After the Wolverines narrow win over Maryland, Michigan football went on the road to face off against one of the best defenses in college football. It had been nearly two decades since the Wolverines won a game at Kinnick Stadium, yet the 2022 Michigan football team broke that trend. After struggling with Maryland, U-M needed to have a dominant showing against Iowa, and frankly, did exactly that.

Yet again, Blake Corum’s performance on the ground and the Wolverines’ stingy defense carried the Wolverines to a solid win. Iowa scored a last-minute touchdown to make the score a little closer, yet still lost by two possesions.

FINAL: Michigan 27, Iowa 14 (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten)

Week 6: No. 4 Michigan at Indiana

While Indiana may not be a powerhouse (by any means), the Hoosiers gave Michigan football a solid fight. At halftime, the 4th-ranked Michigan football team was tied with Indiana, 10-10, yet that all changed in the second half. After the Wolverines’ running backs coach, Mike Hart, went down with a medial issue during the first quarter, Michigan struggled to gain its focus.

Blake Corum broke 100 yards for the third-straight Big Ten game, yet it was JJ McCarthy that shined in this win. McCarthy threw for 304 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in Michigan’s 6th-straight win of the season.

FINAL: Michigan 31, Indiana 10 (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten)

Week 7: No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 10 Penn State

Michigan football walked through its nonconference schedule, yet since starting Big Ten play, the Wolverines appeared to be struggling. a 7-point win over Maryland, 13-point win over Iowa, and a horrid first half against Indiana was not impressive enough to keep U-M in the top-4 heading into its matchup against Penn State. The Nittany Lions started the season unranked, yet a 5-0 start with a few impressive wins got Penn State into the top-10 rather quickly.

Although Penn State will finish the season 11-2 overall and in the top-10 following its win over No. 8 Utah in the Rose Bowl, the Nittany Lions did not perform well in Ann Arbor. PSU kept it close at half — Michigan led 16-14 going into the 3rd quarter and actually trailed 17-16 for a bit in the 3rd quarter — yet the Wolverines managed to blow the game wide open in the second half.

After a hard fought three quarters, U-M put the final nails in the coffin with 10 4th quarter points en route to a 24-point win over Penn State. The Nittany Lions’ incredible rushing defense was not nearly enough to hold off Michigan’s rushing attack, and gave up over 400 yards on the ground to Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards, and the rest of the Wolveirnes’ ball-carriers.

FINAL: Michigan 41, Penn State 17 (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten)

Week 9: No. 4 Michigan vs. Michigan State

After dismembering Penn State in the Wolverines’ annual “Maize Out” game, Michigan football finally got a bye week. The weekend after — on the eve of Halloween — U-M hosted its in-state rival, the Michigan State Spartans. Although the Spartans’ season was not going as planned, MSU was still viewed as a dangerous team and needed to be taken seriously.

Michigan football dominated both sides of the ball all game long; however, the Wolverines’ red zone offense was subpar and Michigan settled for five field goals throughout the game. Still, U-M left the ‘Battle for Paul Bunyan’ with a 22-point win and improved to 8-0 on the season. It was Michigan’s first win over Mel Tucker’s Spartans ever, and the Wolverines’ first win over Michigan State since its 44-10 win in 2019.

SCORE: Michigan 29, Michigan State 7 (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten)

Week 10: No. 5 Michigan at Rutgers

To kick off the month of November, Michigan football traveled to New Jersey to face off against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Per usual, Rutgers was not very good this year, however the Knights managed to give U-M a scare. After a rocky, mistake-ridden first half of football, the Wolverines trailed Rutgers 17-14 at halftime.

Michigan football saw rocky performances from JJ McCarthy, Blake Corum, and more in the first half; however in the second half, U-M got back on track. The Wolverines forced a series of turnovers and retook the lead. Despite trailing by three at halftime, Michigan football walked away with a five touchdown win.

FINAL: Michigan 52, Rutgers 17 (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten)

Week 11: No. 3 Michigan vs. Nebraska

After dismantling Rutgers on the road, Michigan football returned to Ann Arbor to host the struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers. Despite entering the 2022 season with high hopes, Nebraska ended up firing Scott Frost after its home loss to Georgia Southern and only won three more games the rest of the way. Nebraska’s 4-8 record was indicative of the Huskers’ program over the past 10 years: hyped during the offseason yet immensely disappointing.

As most expected, this game was physical and slow. The game saw a series of violent snow showers throughout the night, and it was clear that this game was being played in Big Ten country. Still, another strong second half propelled the Wolverines to a 31-point victory.

FINAL: Michigan 34, Nebraska 3 (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten)

Week 12: No. 3 Michigan vs. Illinois

Despite starting the season with a 7-1 record and making its way to No. 16 in the CFP poll, Illinois came into Ann Arbor with a two-game losing streak. The Illini fell to 7-3 overall and were ousted from the top-25; however, the Fighting Illini still boasted a top-3 defense and a solid rushing attack. Michigan football came into this game with an extensive injury report — one that included Donovan Edwards, Mike Morris, a few offensive lineman, and more.

After totaling over 140 yards in the first half alone, Blake Corum missed the entire second half due to a knee injury suffered just before halftime. The game was ugly, and it was arguably Michigan’s worst offensive performance since the COVID-19 season two years ago. Still, U-M managed to overcome Illinois at the last second behind a Jake Moody field goal.

FINAL: Michigan 19, Illinois 17 (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten)

Week 13: No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State (The Game)

After the Wolverines’ narrow win over 7-4 Illinois, Michigan football headed into the biggest game of the year: Ohio State. Like Michigan football, the Buckeyes were also riding an 11-game win streak in 2022 and came into the matchup undefeated. Ohio State was favored by over a touchdown against U-M, and every TV analyst aside from Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson picked Ohio State to win big.

Still, despite being on the road in Columbus, Michigan football managed to keep pace with Ohio State throughout the first half. With Blake Corum still out due to injury, Michigan was forced to rely on JJ McCarthy — a sophomore quarterback — to beat Ohio State’s top-10 defense. Luckily, McCarthy pitched his best ball game, and gave U-M its best chance of victory.

After heading into halftime down 17-20, Michigan football woke up like a sleeping giant in the second half and floored the Buckeyes throughout the game’s final two quarters. Four second-half touchdowns led Michigan to a 45-point performance on offense, meanwhile, the Wolverines defense limited the Buckeyes’ offense to a single field goal in the second half.

When it was all said and done, Michigan football beat the Buckeyes by 22 points in their own stadium — it was one of the best Michigan wins in the program history and the Wolverines’ first win in COlumbus since 2000.

FINAL: Michigan 45, Ohio State 23

Week 14: No. 2 Michigan vs. Purdue (BTCCG)

After embarrassing Ohio State in Columbus in front of the largest TV audience of the season, Michigan football headed to Indianapolis to face off against Purdue for the Big Ten Championship. The Boilermakers were obviously underdogs seeing as Michigan was ranked No. 2 and boasted a 12-0 record, while Purdue remained unranked with an 8-4 record.

Purdue football kept the game close throughout the first half, yet Michigan is a second half team, and the Wolverines managed to pull away late. JJ McCarthy and Donovan Edwards led the Wolverines to a three touchdown victory in Michigan’s second-straight Big Ten Championship win. The win improved Michigan’s record to 13-0 — the first time in program history that Michigan football won more than 12 games in a single season.

On top of that, the win sent Michigan football to the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row.

FINAL: Michigan 43, Purdue 22

CFP: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU

After the Wolverines’ first-ever 13-0 start, Michigan football headed to the College Football Playoff to face off against Texas Christian in the Fiesta Bowl. U-M came into the matchup as a heavy betting favorite, yet another bowl game collapse by Jim Harbaugh ended Michigan’s incredible season a week early.T

The 12-1 Horned Frogs came into the game with loads of national disrespect seeing as they had just lost the Big 12 Championship game. On top of that, no one thought that a Big 12 team belonged in the mix with the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, and Georgia. Frankly, they were not wrong seeing as UGA beat TCU 65-7 in the title game a week after the Fiesta Bowl.

Still, many costly turnovers left the door wide open for TCU and eventually allowed the Horned Frogs to win. Was the officiating terrible? Yep, but JJ McCarthy’s two pick 6s were more to blame than anything. On top of that, Michigan fumbled on the 1-yard-line — a touchdown that would have won Michigan the game. At the end of the day, the Fiesta Bowl loss was shocking; however, it does not change the fact that the Wolverines had one hell of a season.

FINAL: TCU 51, Michigan 45


*Stats and figures: ESPN

*Video provided by WolverineDevotee

CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball. Right now, CJ is the publisher of Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. Previously, CJ has made stops with Fansided, The Michigan Daily, and more.