Michigan Football Beats Up UConn To Open 2010 Season

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Posted on 5th September 2010 by Ben Krasner in Sports Commentary | University of Michigan Sports

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Brock Mealer led Michigan into the stadium and Denard Robinson led Michigan up and down the field, Saturday, as The University of Michigan rededicated the bigger and better Big House in style, beating up on a UConn team some thought might be able to go into Michigan Stadium and pull out a win, in a 30-10 victory to kick off the 2010 football season in Ann Arbor.  An NCAA attendance record 113,090 fans watched Robinson run for 197 yards (a new Michigan record for rushing yards by a quarterback) and throw for another 186 while frustrating UConn defenders and coaches throughout.  Michigan’s embattled coach, Rich Rodriguez, must have wanted to privately exhale profoundly afterwords.

With so much emotion pent up throughout Wolverine Nation, who better to lead the team out onto the playing field than Brock Mealer.  Told he would never walk again, the young man who grew up an Ohio State fan and who obtained his undergraduate degree from Ohio State led Michigan out of the tunnel and out on the playing field steadying himself with two canes and with his brothers Eliott and Blake on each side – the poster moment following a long and arduous rehabilitation process that took place in the strength and conditioning facilities at the University of Michigan and Schembechler Hall.  I’m not sure how many dry eyes were present in Michigan Stadium during that walk, but I know mine were blurry from the tears.  From there the wound up crowd would be treated to plenty of highlights.

Michigan started the game on defense and promptly shut down Big East Conference favorite UConn for a 3-and-out on their opening series.  With little certainty on defense and lots of young players being used in a system some questioned leading up to the game, Michigan showed they might have come a long way from the horrid defense they fielded in 2009.  They pressured UConn quarterback Zach Frazier early and his feet never seemed to get under him after that.  They forced a timely turnover (for a change), held UConn to 4 of 15 on 3rd down conversions and even blocked a kick on special teams.  Holding an experienced team to only 10 points was something of its own to behold.

While Denard stole the spotlight on offense, it wasn’t without other performers chipping in as well.  Vincent Smith scored one touchdown on the ground and one through the air in his first action since having off-season knee surgery following an injury during last year’s Ohio State game.  Daryl Stonum had 5 catches and converted on 3rd down, and the rapidly improving offensive showed why it indeed may be the second biggest key to a successful season outside of healthy and competent quarterback play; plowing open holes and running lanes and keeping Michigan out of tough second- and third-and-long situations.

The win sets up a big early season show down and road test for Michigan at South Bend, IN, where they will take on rival Notre Dame.  The Wolverines desperately want to show the world that they are an improved ball club and winning on the road is a key objective in that effort.  They have only won a single road affair under Rodriguez’s leadership (a 2008 road win at Minnesota) and likely need early season success to build confidence in young players and systems that could finally be finding their stride.

Michigan Stadium Once Again The Biggest House

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Posted on 14th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in University of Michigan Sports

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The University of Michigan announced, today, the new capacity of newly renovated Michigan Stadium – 109,901.  Once again, Michigan Stadium will be the biggest football stadium in the United States when play kicks off this fall, beginning on September 4th against UConn. I do know that work will continue in the bowl of the stadium as seats and aisles are widened and handrails and other structural improvements are added.  This will take place over the next two seasons, at least, and when these changes occur some additional seating will be lost in the stadium.  So this 109,901 is a temporary number and it is not clear what the final number will in fact be.

I can’t wait to get up there for games this season.  The work on the stadium has looked great throughout and it will be great to finally get to use what we’ve all been waiting for.  We are taking part in the new construction – our new club seats are in section 302 and did not come cheaply.  We’ll be taking 8 people to each home game with 4 new club seats plus our existing 4 seats in the southwest corner of the stadium in section 18.  This will be a tailgate season to remember for sure and, hopefully, the product on the field is memorable (not forgettable) as well.

Let’s Go Blue!

Big Chill Tickets Arrive!

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Posted on 24th June 2010 by Ben Krasner in Day to Day Goodies | University of Michigan Sports

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Our tickets came in the mail, today, for The Big Chill – a CCHA hockey game between the hockey teams of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University being held outdoors, in Michigan Stadium, in December of this year. 103,000 tickets have been sold for this game, so far, easily setting it up to be the biggest hockey game crowd in history.

Our seats are the same new club seats that we will be using for the football season and are located in section 302, on the south/southeast side of the stadium. Interestingly, we received these before we received our football tickets, even though the hockey game isn’t until weeks after the last home football game. Now, I can’t wait for the game to get here. It’s going to be quite the event.

Go Blue!