for this game

Offensive-minded Michigan opens vs. FCS power Appalachian State

Sep 1, 2007 - 12:08 PM Appalachian St at No. 5 Michigan 12:00 pm EDT

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- After ending the 2006 season in disappointing fashion, Michigan hopes to open its new season with a bang.

The fifth-ranked Wolverines commence their new campaign Saturday when they host Appalachian State, which has won the last two Football Championship Subdivision - formerly Division I-AA - national titles.

Michigan rebounded from a five-loss 2005 campaign to win its first 11 games last year.

But the Wolverines came up short at top-ranked archrival Ohio State, 42-39, before being outclassed by Southern California in the Rose Bowl, 32-18.

Second-year Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English hopes his charges play more like they did the first 11 contests last year, but they lost four starters to the NFL.

Luckily for Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, his offense returns nearly every key starter, including quarterback Chad Henne, running back Mike Hart and left tackle Jake Long - all seniors.

The Wolverines will look to jump all over the Mountaineers, who might prove to be a tougher-than-expected opponent despite playing in a lower subdivision of Division I football.

Appalachian State went 14-1 last season - 7-0 in the Southern Conference - and ended the campaign with a 28-17 triumph over Massachusetts in the FCS title game.

Jerry Moore is entering his 18th season coaching Appalachian State, which is a near-unanimous No. 1 in the FCS preseason polls. The team is led by senior running back Kevin Richardson, who needs just 954 yards to become the program's all-time leading rusher.

The teams will be meeting for the first time.