Michigan’s last 5 home openers: How did the Wolverines fare?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan Stadium has provided many memorable moments, including many unforgettable season openers for the Wolverines. (And for one opponent in particular, in 2007.)

Michigan opens its 2017 home schedule at noon ET Saturday against Cincinnati. The Wolverines anticipate filling the 90-year-old stadium, which holds more than 109,000 spectators.

Michigan is 114-8-3 in home openers. Here’s a look at Michigan’s last five home openers at Michigan Stadium:

Michigan 63, Hawaii 3

Sept. 3, 2016

With Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and Charles Woodson on the sidelines at Michigan Stadium, three notable names made debuts in Michigan’s rout of Hawaii.

Freshman running back Chris Evans ran for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 carries in his debut with the Wolverines. According to Michigan records, Evans became the third true freshman running back to run for at least 100 yards in his first game, joining Chris Perry (2000) and Walter Cross (1998).

Quarterback Wilton Speight finished 10-for-13 passing for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first start at Michigan. Speight quickly rebounded after Damien Packer intercepted his pass on the Wolverines’ first offensive play.

Don Brown coached his first game as the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator; Michigan allowed Hawaii 232 yards of offense, including only 81 rushing yards.

Michigan 35, Oregon State 7

Sept. 12, 2015

Jim Harbaugh coached his first game at Michigan Stadium, and Michigan rebounded from a 24-17 loss to Utah the previous week in Salt Lake City.

The Wolverines rallied from an early 7-0 deficit against the Beavers, and limited Oregon State to 138 yards of total offense — 136 of Oregon State’s yards came in the first quarter.

Wolverines quarterback Jake Rudock finished 18-of-26 passing for 180 yards, while running back De’Veon Smith had 126 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries.

Michigan 52, Appalachian State 14

Aug. 30, 2014

Appalachian State pulled a monumental upset of the Wolverines in the 2007 season opener in Ann Arbor. Seven years later in the same spot, Michigan didn’t let the Mountaineers do it again.

Michigan built a 42-0 lead against Appalachian State and ran for 580 yards in the debut for Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (who is now Florida’s offensive coordinator).

Devin Gardner was 13-of-14 passing for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns, and running backs Smith and Derrick Green became the first Wolverines tailback tandem to rush for 100 yards or more in the same game in seven seasons. Green ran for 170 yards on 15 carries and Smith rushed for 115 yards on 8 carries.

Michigan 59, Central Michigan 9

Aug. 31, 2013

Michigan opened the season with a rout of the Chippewas, as Gardner finished with nearly half of the Wolverines’ offense.

The Wolverines outgained the Chippewas, 463-210, and Gardner had 214 total yards (162 passing, 52 rushing) and 3 touchdowns, while Fitzgerald Toussaint scored 2 touchdowns.

Michigan’s offense had possession for 68 plays and nearly 35 minutes against the Mid-American Conference program.

Michigan 31, Air Force 25

Sept. 8, 2012

A week after a 41-14 loss to Alabama in its season opener in Arlington, Texas, Michigan needed a late-game defensive stop to seal a win against Air Force.

Linebacker Jake Ryan batted down Connor Dietz’s pass on fourth-and-16 from the Air Force 36-yard line with less than 90 seconds left in regulation to end the Falcons’ upset bid.

Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson threw for 2 touchdowns and broke loose for touchdown runs of 78 and 56 yards. Robinson totaled 208 yards rushing and 218 yards passing.

The post Michigan’s last 5 home openers: How did the Wolverines fare? appeared first on Land of 10.

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