Here’s the AP recap:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Donovan Peoples-Jones returned a punt 79 yards for a score and Quinn Nordin tied a school record with five field goals, helping No. 7 Michigan overcome its offensive struggles in a 29-13 win over Air Force on Saturday.
The Wolverines (3-0) didn’t lead by more than three points until Peoples-Jones’ touchdown early in the third quarter.
The Falcons (1-1) failed to convert a pass until Arion Worthman threw a short pass to Ronald Cleveland and the receiver turned it into a 64-yard TD with 11:54 left in the quarter that pulled the service academy within three points again.
Nordin kicked two more field goals, late in the third and early in the fourth, to share a single-game school mark with three players.
Michigan’s Wilton Speight was 14 of 23 for 169 yards, missing some targets and having some passes dropped. Ty Isaac ran for 89 yards on 16 carries for the Wolverines, who couldn’t lean on him late in the game because he was slow to get up after getting tackled and didn’t return.
Karan Higdon filled in for Isaac and sealed the victory with a 36-yard TD run with 1:02 left.
Worthman ran for 60 yards on 26 carries, directing Air Force’s triple-option offense that wasn’t very effective when the option was to throw. Worthman was 1 of 7 and his replacement, Nate Romine, threw an interception on two attempts.
Air Force had won seven straight, dating to last season, including a win over No. 20 Boise State.
AIR FORCE: The young Falcons should leave the Big House encouraged that they were competitive in a game they were expected to lose by three-plus TDs.
MICHIGAN: The Wolverines still have a lot of work to do on offense, especially in the red zone. They have had 10 drives inside opponents’ 20 and haven’t taken full advantage, scoring only one TD.
AIR FORCE: Hosts San Diego State on Saturday.
MICHIGAN: Plays at Purdue on Saturday.
Here’s what you need to know:
When: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Time: Noon Eastern
TV: Big Ten Network
Line: Michigan -24
Series record: Michigan leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Wolverines have to prove they can pass the ball because returning starter Wilton Speight simply struggled in the first two games. The Falcons may have an opportunity, potentially at least, to beat their highest-ranked opponent since beating No. 6 Stanford in 1970.
Michigan’s defense vs. Air Force’s triple-option scheme. The Wolverines have a lot of speed and talent on defense, but they don’t have much experience defending the Falcons’ unique offense.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Air Force: RB Tim McVey had 98 yards rushing and a TD, the 27th of his 28-game career, and 77 yards receiving in the opener. The Falcons need him to have similar success against the Wolverines to keep the game at least competitive.
Michigan: Speight was benched in the opener and booing fans sounded as if they wanted him to stand on the sideline in the home opener the next week. He is completing just 52 percent of his throws and has three touchdowns and two interceptions, both of which the Gators returned for scores.
FACTS & FIGURES
Michigan’s defense has scored three touchdowns, tying Texas for the most in the nation by a defense, and has given up just 17 points to opposing offenses. … Air Force has won seven straight, dating to last season, including a win over No. 20 Boise State. … The line opened at 271/2 and moved four points due to money bet on the Falcons. … Air Force has had two weeks to prepare for the game since opening with 62-0 win over VMI. … Michigan’s Ty Isaac ran for a career-high 133 yards in 36-14 win over Cincinnati after having 114 yards rushing on just 11 carries in the season-opening win over then-No. 17 Florida.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)