Utah
5Michigan
25 - 23 Final
  for this game

Utah holds on for upset of Michigan in Rodriguez's debut

Aug 31, 2008 - 1:28 AM ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- This was not the first impression that Rich Rodriguez had hoped to make.

Brian Johnson passed for 305 yards and Louie Sakoda kicked four field goals Saturday, pacing Utah to a 25-23 upset of 24th-ranked Michigan in Rodriguez's highly-anticipated debut as the Wolverines' head coach.

"Since I've been here, this has been one of the biggest (wins) for sure," Utah fourth-year head coach Kyle Whittingham said. "It was a great way to start the season."

"We put our names on the map," Johnson added.

Following an outstanding career at West Virginia in which he coached the Mountaineers to 60 victories and six straight bowl appearances, Rodriguez left his alma mater in controversial fashion last December to succeed Lloyd Carr at Michigan.

Rodriguez evidently will be hard-pressed to duplicate that success at Michigan (0-1), which returns just 10 starters from last year's team and looked overwhelmed at times against the Utes (1-0).

"We knew there were going to be some nerves," Rodriguez said. "Our freshmen, at times, showed those nerves. Unfortunately, we're going to have some growing pains. I was hoping we wouldn't have too many, but this was the first game for them and I think they'll get better each game."

Carr, who announced his resignation after the 2007 regular-season finale against Ohio State, found himself on the proverbial hot seat following Michigan's stunning 34-32 loss to Appalachian State in last year's opener here.

Rodriguez did little to endear himself to the capacity crowd at the Big House, as the Wolverines have lost back-to-back home openers for the first time since a three-year stretch from 1987-1989, when they dropped three straight openers at Michigan Stadium.

"We have some of the greatest fans in the country, and they were in full force today," Rodriguez said. "I really appreciate them coming out, and I'll assure them we'll keep getting better."

Facing a 10-6 deficit after one quarter, the Utes had a chance to blow it open in the second courtesy of three straight drives that advanced inside the Michigan 30-yard line. Utah failed to capitalize on its opportunities, however, as all three possessions ended with field goals from Sakoda.

"We did a good job moving the ball," Johnson said. "We've got to score more touchdowns. We love Louie to death, but we've got to find a way to get into the end zone."

The Utes again found themselves with excellent starting field position when defensive back Sean Smith intercepted Nick Sheridan and returned it 20 yards to the Michigan 36 with one minute remaining in the half.

Utah cashed in this time, as Johnson capped his outstanding first half with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bradon Godfrey that gave the Utes a 22-10 lead at halftime.

Sakoda's 53-yard field goal midway through the third quarter gave Utah its largest cushion of the game at 25-10.

"Louie Sakoda really came up big again," Whittingham said. "I was very proud of our guys and the way they hung in there."

Michigan made a spirited comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, blocking a punt and recovering a fumble on consecutive possessions to set up a pair of touchdown drives.

After recovering a fumble at the Utah 16, Michigan drew within 25-23 on freshman Sam McGuffie's 3-yard TD run with 6:26 remaining. But the Wolverines missed a chance to tie the game on a two-point conversion when Steven Threet, who replaced Sheridan, lofted a pass over Toney Clemons' head.

"We just didn't execute," Rodriguez said. "We have to get more first downs and do a better job of taking care of the ball in key situations. I'm very disappointed, but our kids didn't quit and we have a lot to get better."

Sheridan finished 11-of-19 for 98 yards and a TD. Threet was just 8-of-19 for 69 yards, but he provided a visible spark for the Wolverines, who managed just 36 yards on the ground.

Rodriguez admitted that he needs to determine his starting quarterback for next week's game against Miami, Ohio.

"I want to watch the film before I make any evaluations and see how these guys practice this week," he said.

Johnson's favorite target was Godfrey, who hauled in seven catches for 84 yards.

Utah's Freddie Brown finished with 59 yards on five catches while Jereme Brooks set up the Utes' first score, an 8-yard TD run from Corbin Louks, with a 55-yard reception in the first quarter.

"It was the biggest stage in the world for us," Brooks said. "It was great to get a victory. It was a tough one, but it was a good one."






  • 150
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    pdxguy96 Added 5 roots

    Utah 25, Michigan 23  FinalAug 30 9:10 PM


  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    UTAH 6 16 3 0 25
    MICHIGAN 10 0 0 13 23 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MICHIGAN - TD, MICHAEL SHAW 8 YD PASS FROM
    NICK SHERIDAN (K.C. LOPATA
    KICK), 3:40. MICHIGAN 7-0
    UTAH - TD, CORBIN LOUKS 8 YD RUN (PAT
    FAILED), 7:22. MICHIGAN 7-6
    MICHIGAN - FG, 50 YD, 9:42. MICHIGAN 10

    Aug 30 7:11 PM
  • 145
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Utah 25, Michigan 23  4th - 2:44Aug 30 7:10 PM
  • 140
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 50 roots (Close Finish)

    Utah 25, Michigan 23  4th - 2:44Aug 30 6:58 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD MICHIGAN
    SAM MCGUFFIE 3 YD RUN
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    UTAH 25
    MICHIGAN 23 6:26 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Utah 25, Michigan 23  4th - 6:26Aug 30 6:47 PM
  • 90
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 33 roots (Close Finish)

    Utah 25, Michigan 23  4th - 6:26Aug 30 6:47 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD MICHIGAN
    JUNIOR HEMINGWAY 33 YD PASS FROM STEVEN THREET
    (K.C. LOPATA KICK)
    UTAH 25
    MICHIGAN 17 8:42 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Utah 25, Michigan 17  4th - 8:42Aug 30 6:37 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    UTAH 6 16 3 25
    MICHIGAN 10 0 0 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MICHIGAN - TD, MICHAEL SHAW 8 YD PASS FROM
    NICK SHERIDAN (K.C. LOPATA
    KICK), 3:40. MICHIGAN 7-0
    UTAH - TD, CORBIN LOUKS 8 YD RUN (PAT
    FAILED), 7:22. MICHIGAN 7-6
    MICHIGAN - FG, 50 YD, 9

    Aug 30 6:22 PM
  • teotauy Hi. This is the Michigan Athletic Director's phone. He can't talk right now. Not because he doesn't have AT&T, but because he's fielding calls from every realtor in Ann Arbor.

    Utah 25, Michigan 10  3rd - 2:52Aug 30 6:09 PM
  • 57
    roots
    teotauy Added 5 roots

    Utah 25, Michigan 10  3rd - 2:52Aug 30 6:08 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 53 YD
    UTAH 25
    MICHIGAN 10 7:37 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Utah 25, Michigan 10  3rd - 7:37Aug 30 6:02 PM
  • 52
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Utah 22, Michigan 10  3rd - 12:14Aug 30 5:48 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    UTAH 6 16 22
    MICHIGAN 10 0 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MICHIGAN - TD, MICHAEL SHAW 8 YD PASS FROM
    NICK SHERIDAN (K.C. LOPATA
    KICK), 3:40. MICHIGAN 7-0
    UTAH - TD, CORBIN LOUKS 8 YD RUN (PAT
    FAILED), 7:22. MICHIGAN 7-6
    MICHIGAN - FG, 50 YD, 9:42. MIC

    Aug 30 5:14 PM
  • 47
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots

    Utah 22, Michigan 10  HalfAug 30 5:14 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD UTAH
    BEN HENDY 19 YD PASS FROM BRIAN JOHNSON
    (LOUIE SAKODA KICK)
    UTAH 22
    MICHIGAN 10 0:13 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Utah 22, Michigan 10  2nd - 0:13Aug 30 5:11 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 41 YD
    UTAH 15
    MICHIGAN 10 3:15 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Utah 15, Michigan 10  2nd - 3:15Aug 30 4:54 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 43 YD
    UTAH 12
    MICHIGAN 10 9:48 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Utah 12, Michigan 10  2nd - 9:48Aug 30 4:39 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG UTAH
    LOUIE SAKODA 28 YD
    UTAH 9
    MICHIGAN 10 14:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Utah 9, Michigan 10  2nd - 14:04Aug 30 4:24 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    UTAH 6 6
    MICHIGAN 10 10 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: MICHIGAN - TD, MICHAEL SHAW 8 YD PASS FROM
    NICK SHERIDAN (K.C. LOPATA
    KICK), 3:40. MICHIGAN 7-0
    UTAH - TD, CORBIN LOUKS 8 YD RUN (PAT
    FAILED), 7:22. MICHIGAN 7-6
    MICHIGAN - FG, 50 YD, 9

    Aug 30 4:20 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Utah 6, Michigan 10  1st - 5:18Aug 30 4:11 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG MICHIGAN
    50 YD
    UTAH 6
    MICHIGAN 10 5:18 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Utah 6, Michigan 10  1st - 5:18Aug 30 4:08 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD UTAH
    CORBIN LOUKS 8 YD RUN
    (PAT FAILED)
    UTAH 6
    MICHIGAN 7 7:38 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Utah 6, Michigan 7  1st - 7:38Aug 30 4:00 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD MICHIGAN
    MICHAEL SHAW 8 YD PASS FROM NICK SHERIDAN
    (K.C. LOPATA KICK)
    UTAH 0
    MICHIGAN 7 11:20 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Utah 0, Michigan 7  1st - 11:20Aug 30 3:59 PM
  • 5
    roots
    DJRob Added 5 roots

    Utah vs. MichiganAug 27 8:11 AM