NCAA

Michigan once again starts year off with upset loss

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The Sports Network
8/30/2008 8:21:23 PM
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Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - For the second straight year, the Michigan Wolverines were upended at home to start the season.

Brian Johnson completed 21-of-33 passes for 305 yards, one touchdown and one interception in leading the Utah Utes to a 25-23 victory over the Wolverines.

Bradon Godfrey caught seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown for Utah (1-0), while Matt Asiata carried 13 times for 77 yards.

The Rich Rodriguez era got off on the wrong foot at Michigan (0-1). He alternated between quarterbacks Nick Sheridan (11-for-19, 98 yards, one TD, one INT) and Steven Threet (8-for-19, 69 yards, one TD), with marginal success.

Things started out well enough for the Wolverines, with scores on two of their first three possessions. Sheridan got Michigan on the scoreboard first on an eight-yard scoring strike to Michael Shaw with 11:20 remaining in the opening quarter.

But Utah responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive, punctuated by Corbin Louks' eight-yard touchdown scamper.

K.C. Lopata put Michigan back in front by booting a 50-yard field goal with 5:18 to play in the first quarter.

Utah kicker Louie Sakoda converted field goals on three consecutive possessions (28, 43, 41) in the second quarter to stake Utah a 15-10 lead with 3:15 to play in the first half.

Johnson found Godfrey for a 19-yard touchdown pass with just 13 seconds remaining before the half, as the Utes took a 22-10 lead into the locker room.

Sakoda nailed a 53-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to extend Utah's lead to 25-10.

But Michigan began to climb back in it. After a blocked punt, Threet hit Junior Hemingway on a nice fade route for a 33-yard touchdown.

The Wolverines recovered a fumble on Utah's next possession. Shortly after, Sam McGuffie punched it in for a three-yard touchdown run to narrow the gap to 25-23 with 6:26 to play. But the Wolverines weren't able to convert the two- point attempt, and they never mustered so much as a first down in their final three possessions.

The Michigan ground game accounted for just 36 yards for the game (1.4 ypc).

Utah Celebrates (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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