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HomeSportsUT
Published: Saturday, 10/11/2008

Rockets shock UM

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Rockets quarterback Aaron Opelt focuses on a receiver during third-quarter action at Michigan Saturday.
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<img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/graphics/icons/photo.gif> <font color=red><b>VIEW</font color=red></b>: <a href=" /apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=TO&Dato=20081012&Kategori=SPORTS11&Lopenr=101209998&Ref=PH" target="_blank "><b>UT's historic victory </b></a> photos Rockets quarterback Aaron Opelt focuses on a receiver during third-quarter action at Michigan Saturday. <BR> <img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/graphics/icons/photo.gif> <font color=red><b>VIEW</font color=red></b>: <a href=" /apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=TO&Dato=20081012&Kategori=SPORTS11&Lopenr=101209998&Ref=PH" target="_blank "><b>UT's historic victory </b></a> photos
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ANN ARBOR The Toledo Rockets visited the Big House for the first time in program history and quickly wore out their welcome.

Coming in as huge underdogs and in desperate need of a victory they surely were not to be denied today, the Rockets stunned the Michigan Wolverines 13-10 in front of 107,267 shocked fans at Michigan Stadium. The Rockets now own a 1-0 series advantage.

The difference proved to be UT kicker Alex Steigerwald s 48-yard field goal that hit the crossbar and bounced through the uprights with 11:46 left in the fourth quarter.

Wolverines back-up quarterback Nick Sheridan s high throw hit off a receiver and was intercepted by Mark Singer with 3:44, a play upheld by video review. UM got the ball back, but kicker K.C. Lopata s game-tying 26-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide left with four seconds to go, clinching victory for the Rockets.

Sheridan opened the second half in place of starter Steven Threet, who led UM to all 10 of its points in the first half. UM stopped the Rockets on the Wolverines 33-yard line with 1:32 left, and Sheridan directed the Wolverines into field-goal range with an impressive drive highlighted by his 29-yard pass to Sam McGuffie with 36 seconds left.

UM had the ball on UT s 9 with 18 seconds left, but was out of timeouts and called two pass plays that resulted in Sheridan throwaways.

It wasn t immediately known why Threet was benched. He threw an interception that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown by Tyrrell Herbert in the first quarter, but was 7-of-11 for 55 yards with a 27-yard scoring strike to Brandon Minor.

At the very least, it was UT s biggest win since knocking off Penn State 24-6 on Sept. 2, 2000. You can say this beating the Wolverines was likely the Rockets most stunning win to date.

The Rockets entered the game 16 -point underdogs, winless in their last three contests, and having not scored a point in their last six quarters. UM, though going through a down year of its own, was a perfect 24-0 against current Mid-American Conference schools.

UT receiver Nick Moore set a single-game UT record with 20 receptions, covering 162 yards. It was also the most catches ever for a UM opponent, and it broke the Rockets old record held by Nick s brother Lance Moore and current teammate Stephen Williams of 15 catches.

Contact Joe Vardon at:

jvardon@theblade.com

or 419-410-5055.



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