ANN ARBOR -- In the opening game of the season, it seemed as if Michigan's quarterback and its receivers were on different wavelengths.
A pass was just out of the reach of the otherwise rangy Devin Gardner, or it was tossed too high for Jeremy Gallon, listed at a generous 5-foot-8 on Michigan's roster.
In Saturday's 31-25 win over Air Force, the proper stars aligned for Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson and his receivers.
Photo gallery: Michigan vs. Air Force
"The receivers, we always had that chemistry," said Robinson, who finished 14 of 25 passing with 208 yards and two touchdowns. "We just had to put it on the football field and put it on the game field. We just went out there and played ball today. Played pitch and catch."
One player in particular was a beneficiary of Robinson's stealth passing -- freshman Devin Funchess.
He finished with four catches for 106 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter that gave the Wolverines a 14-3 lead.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke praised the 6-4 freshman.
"He's tall guy, he's rangy, he can run," Hoke said. "And the thing I like about him? He's not afraid to block. Matchups on strong safeties, matchups on linebackers, that's kind of what you look for in a guy like that."
Funchess was one of a handful of freshman to get playing time in the win over the Falcons.
Hoke estimates he's played 12 true freshmen in the Wolverines' first two games this season, including Funchess and defensive lineman Ondre Pipkins.
"That's been by design and necessity," Hoke said. "I'm being honest."
A NEW JERSEY: Jake Ryan, a redshirt sophomore, wore the No. 47 jersey instead of his usual No. 90. The linebacker inherits the jersey as part of the university athletic department's "Michigan Football Legend" initiative, and will wear that uniform number for the remainder of his career in Ann Arbor.
Ryan finished with 11 tackles (seven solo). On 4th and 15 with less than 2 1/2 minutes left in the game, Ryan rushed up on Air Force quarterback Connor Dietz to break up a potential pass and help Michigan get the ball back on downs.
Ryan wore No. 47 -- a number not listed on the roster prior to Saturday's game -- in honor of former Michigan player and head coach Bennie Oosterbaan, who was honored Saturday as a "Michigan Football Legend."
The No. 47 jersey is part of a season-long initiative that honors former players Gerald Ford, Ron Kramer, and brothers Francis, Albert, and Alvin Wistert.
A player will be selected to wear No. 87, worn by Kramer, on Saturday against Massachusetts.
A player will be selected to wear No. 48, worn by Ford, Oct. 13 against Illinois and a player will be selected to wear No. 11, in honor of the Wisterts, Nov. 10 against Northwestern.
BIG TEN, DISH AGREE TO DEAL: The Big Ten Network announced Saturday morning that it had reached an agreement in principle with DISH Network to continue carrying the network.
DISH and the Big Ten Network reached a short-term agreement on Sept. 1, as a five-year contract between the satellite provider and the Big Ten Network was set to expire.
-- Rachel Lenzi