Rich Rodriguez will don the Navy Addidas shirt with a block M over the left chest and a navy block M Michigan cap, with the black Oakley shades covering his eyes. The Cool Zones are blowing. It's 85 and mostly sunny.
The Meeeechigan Marching band takes the field to a roaring chorus of the Hail to the Victors for the first time since the New Year.
The fans clamor about the o-line, the qb's, this Rodriguez guy who shows up on t.v. every day, and the fact that they walked into the stadium at 2:30, but didn't get to their seats until 3:00, and didn't even hit the bathroom or grab a dog.
Onto the field runs first Morgan Trent and Brandon Minor to leap and touch the banner. The Victors blares. Trent stops just short of the West sideline, turns, and is mobbed by a blue mass. They hop. And, hop.
Michigan wins the toss. We kick.
There's a slight breeze from the North. The kick is to the South end zone. It's high, and comes down on the 10. Utah returns the kick to the 15, cuts left, and up the sideline only to be run out of bounds on the 30.
Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet stand nearby Rich Rodriguez.
The first play from scrimmage, pitch left, fumble, Brandon Graham recovers. Michigan ball 35 yard line.
Nick Sheridan takes the field with Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor. Excitement in the stands. But the excitement is tentative. There is a remarkable quiet before the snap. Sheridan takes the snap, fakes to Minor and rolls right, fakes a pitch to Brown and turns upfield. 3 yard gain.
By the end of the first quarter: Michigan 13 and Utah 10, after recovering a pitch fumble inside Michigan territory.
Three makes his first appearance. McGuffie gets a few reverse pitch carries. Michigan hits another field goal.
At the end of two, Michigan 16, Utah 10.
Fans are nervous. They look ok. But it's closer than expected. Threet looked good, they should play him more. Why hasn't Carlos played qb yet? Morgan Trent and Donavon Warren look like All-americans.
Michigan has 150 yards rushing. 80 passing.
Utah has 75 yards rushing and 103 passing.
Shaw takes the kick return to the 35. Michigan passes the first 3 plays, and picks up a first down. Drive stalls at the 50. Space Emporer punt to the 5 yard line.
By the end of the third:
Michigan has 200 rushing yards. Minor has 100. Brown 30.
Michigan 23, Utah 10.
Donavon Warren gets drawn in on a fake run, and thrown over. Harrison blows deep coverage, and Utah scores on a 60 yard pass to make it 23-17.
Michigan mounts a drive to finish on the Utah 40. Zolt boots another deep inside territory. Utah mounts a sustained drive, capped by a 17 yard field goal with 6:0o minutes to play. The sun is heading behind the stadium. The sky is clear. Michigan 23, Utah 20.
Sheridan leads Michigan down the field after a kick return to the 30 yard line. After 3 first downs on 9 running plays, Michigan is on the Utah 20. 2:15 on the clock. After a tv timeout, Sheridan pitches to Brown, who cuts outside, and to the 7 yard line out of bounds. 2 plays later, Sheridan takes the snap from the 9 yard line, rolls left, fakes right, and pumps to the corner of the end zone to Greg Matthews. The Utah corner turns his head to look for Matthews and Sheridan takes it to the pylon, just beatine the Utah linebacker. Michigan 30, Utah 20 after the extra point.
Utah has the ball, down by 10, with 1:25 on the clock and one timeout. Brandon Graham takes out the qb on 3rd and 7 from the Utah 40. On 4th down a long pass to the West sideline fall incomplete over Warren, Harrison and the intended receiver.
Michigan 30. Utah 20.
Saturday, August 30, 2008