Picking Up The Pieces In Ann Arbor

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan hopes it learned a lesson about how to deal with a season-opening loss.
The Wolverines began the Rich Rodriguez era with a 25-23 setback against Utah a year after Lloyd Carr's final season began with a stunning loss to Appalachian State.
Instead of bouncing back last season in the second game, Michigan came out flat and got routed 39-7 at home against the Oregon Ducks.
"We need to move on," defensive tackle Terrance Taylor said. "We got caught up with the Appalachian State game so much that we lost to Oregon."
The Wolverines started this season unranked for the first time since 1985 and the loss to the Utes likely will keep them there even if they beat Miami of Ohio at home this weekend.
Michigan went into the opener without an announced starter at quarterback and might do it again.
"I want to watch the film before I make any evaluations and see how these guys practice this week," Rodriguez said.
Nick Sheridan was the No. 1 quarterback and played for two-plus quarters, going 11 of 19 for 98 yards with one TD before he was replaced. Fortunate breaks helped him avoid a few interceptions.
"You learn a lot from playing your first game," the former walk-on said. "I know I need to get better and I'll continue to do that. I felt pretty good out there, but there is also a lot of room for improvement.
"We're very disappointed, but we have to move on."
Georgia Tech transfer Steven Threet was 8-of-19 for 69 yards, including a perfectly thrown 33-yard touchdown pass that sparked a rally.
"He seemed pretty calm," Rodriguez said.
While much was made of Rodriguez's debut in Ann Arbor, at least one player thought the hype was overblown.
"I think too much is made of that," linebacker Obi Ezeh said. "It's just football."

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