12:00 PM ET, October 11, 2008
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Struggling Michigan takes first loss to MAC team, off to worst start in 41 years
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Holy Toledo.
Michigan's K.C. Lopata missed a 26-yard field goal with 4 seconds left, giving the Rockets a 13-10 win over the once-mighty Wolverines.
Big House Of Horrors
Michigan now has as many losses at home over the last two seasons as the team had in the previous eight seasons combined.
|• Blog: UM seeks answers|
Toledo coach Tom Amstutz, who has spent most of his life in the city just south of the Michigan border, gazed at the scoreboard displaying the stunning score as he celebrated on the Big House field.
"Yeah, I enjoyed looking at it," Amstutz said. "I wasn't in a hurry to get off the field. I lingered a little bit because it was such a great feeling."
The Rockets went ahead early in the fourth quarter when Alex Steigerwald's career-long 48-yard field goal bounced off the crossbar.
With a chance to seal the victory, Toledo came up short on a fourth down to make a comeback possible for college football's winningest team.
Michigan seemed to set up overtime by driving to the Rockets 9, but Lopata's chip shot from the right side of the field sailed to the left of the uprights.
"It never goes down on one play," Rodriguez said. "There are a lot of plays we'd like to have back."
The Wolverines (2-4) have their worst six-game record since 1967 -- two years before Bo Schembechler started coaching them -- and their streak of playing in 33 straight bowls is in jeopardy.
"We're kind of at a crossroads," linebacker Obi Ezeh said. "We could either go downhill or we can hang tough and weather this storm."
It will be difficult for Michigan to bounce back this month with matchups at No. 6 Penn State and against No. 23 Michigan State.
"This will hurt for 24 hours -- at least," Rodriguez said. "But we can't let it hurt longer because we have a game coming up against a top-10 team."
Everyone knew Rodriguez's first season would be a rebuilding one as he installed new schemes with inexperienced players, but this isn't what anybody had in mind.
• Michigan, off to its worst start since 1967, lost to a MAC team for the first time ever (now 24-1).
• Toledo WR Nick Moore had 167 yards on 20 catches, tied for the fifth-most in FBS history. His QB Aaron Opelt was 33-for-50 for 257 yards in the first-ever meeting between these two schools, separated by just 45 miles.
• The Michigan QBs threw three picks, including one that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown.
• The last non-BCS conference team (excluding Notre Dame) with a losing record to defeat Michigan was Army in 1954. Army was 0-1 entering its game with Michigan, but finished with a 7-2 record.
-- ESPN research
Toledo (2-4) pulled off one of the biggest victories in school history -- rivaling wins over No. 9 Pittsburgh in 2003 and Penn State in 2000 -- and blemished Michigan's 24-0 record against the first Mid-American Conference.
"This one is special," said Amstutz, who was born in Toledo, played for the Rockets and was a longtime assistant before being named head coach in 2000. "It was a great, great win."
Nick Moore caught 20 passes -- a record against Michigan -- for 162 yards.
"I never thought I would have that many catches ever -- not even in little league," Moore said.
Toledo's Tyrrell Herbert returned one of his two interceptions 100 yards for the first score of the game.
Aaron Opelt was 33-of-50 for 257 yards and didn't throw an interception.
Michigan's Steven Threet was replaced in the second half because of a bruised elbow after completing 7 of 11 passes for 55 yards with a TD and an interception, a light toss that Herbert stepped in front of in the end zone.
Nick Sheridan wasn't much better and that was a problem for the Wolverines.
Sheridan was 8-of-16 for 65 yards and threw two interceptions, both of which went off receiver Toney Clemons' hands in the fourth quarter.
"I've got to be more accurate," Sheridan said after playing for the first time in three weeks.
Michigan's Sam McGuffie ran for 105 yards.
He also had a 29-yard reception that left him shaken up, but put his team in position to extend the game -- at least -- after getting the ball at its 33 with 1:32 left.
The Wolverines foreshadowed what the afternoon was going to be like by losing 2 yards on their opening drive and throwing an interception on the second drive that was returned the length of the field.
"We came in confident and we knew we had a chance to win," Herbert said. "To get a play like that, it just fueled the fire. We knew we could win in this stadium and we could beat these guys."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-18||3-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||2-2|
|TD||06:05||Tyrrell Herbert 100 Yd Interception Return (Alex Steigerwald Kick)||7||0|
|TD||00:23||Brandon Minor 27 Yd Pass From Steven Threet (K.C. Lopata Kick)||7||7|
|FG||10:22||K.C. Lopata 26 Yd||7||10|
|FG||08:57||Alex Steigerwald 29 Yd||10||10|
|FG||11:46||Alex Steigerwald 48 Yd||13||10|