Wide Left; Rockets Win

The Wolverines fell to 2-4 on the season with a 13-10 loss to the visiting Toledo Rockets on Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium. Sam McGuffie led Michigan with 105 yards rushing, plus 44 yards receiving. The Michigan defense yielded over 300 yards of Toledo offense, but the Rockets were held out of the end zone offensively in the 13-10 loss.

Ann Arbor -- Stopping a late Toledo Rockets fourth down attempt, Michigan took over with the ball trailing by three points with just 1:32 left on the clock. The Wolverines moved into Toledo territory at the Rockets 47-yardline six plays into the drive.

Then, after being unable to punch the ball into the end zone, the Wolverines settled for a field goal try. With just four seconds left on the clock, kicker K.C. Lopata's field goal sailed wide left.

Toledo won in the Big House.

"I'm just extremely disappointed and embarrassed," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. "The guys, everybody in that locker room is hurting. They're all disappointed. They're playing hard. They're just not playing well.

"If you're watching us on film all year we've been hurt when people have spread us out and isolated us in space. So after a few series of it, we tried to adjust to it and just didn't get quite a handle on it. So we get back to work tomorrow and try to correct our mistakes and get ready for a big one next week."

In the 13-10 loss, 10 Toledo points came directly off Michigan offensive miscues. Despite giving up 327 yards of offense to Toledo, the Michigan defense was on the field for just six points against. Toledo's first and only touchdown came on a 100-yard Tyrell Herbert interception return for a score. The touchdown gave Toledo a 7-0 lead near the middle of the first quarter.

The Wolverines answered two possessions later. A pair of runs, one apiece from Sam McGuffie and Mark Moundros, moved the ball into Toledo territory. Quarterback Steven Threet then connected with Toney Clemons for 15 yards, and Brandon Minor hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass with 23-seconds left in the opening quarter.

Michigan took a 10-7 lead, its only lead of the game, on its first possession of the second quarter. Starting on the 46-yard line, the Wolverines moved to the Toledo 9-yardline in nine plays. The drive stalled out, however, and Lopata kicked a 26-yard field goal.

Toledo scored all the second half points, a pair of field goals to sink the Wolverines. On Toledo's first possession of the half, Toledo moved the ball 69-yards on 15 plays. A 23-yard completion to Stephen Williams prevented a quick three-and-out, and Alex Steigerwald kicked a 29-yard field goal to tie it.

"They were doing some things to neutralize our pass rush, so they took the defensive line out of the game. Other than that, I thought we played solid, but it didn't roll our way. In defense you have to get off the field. They extended their drives a few times just like last week so we have to get better on third-down situations," linebacker Obi Ezeh said.

Toledo intercepted Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan on the first play of the fourth quarter to set the stage for the game-winning field goal. Sheridan looked for Clemons across the middle, and his pass came off of the wide outs hands and fell into Herbert's for his second interception of the game. The Rockets moved to the Michigan 31-yardline and then added a 48-yard field goal that bounced off the crossbar and through the uprights for the winning score.

Sheridan threw a second interception, again tipped by Clemons, midway through the final quarter. Toledo ran the clock down under two minutes before being stopped on its final fourth down conversation.

The Wolverines return to the road to take on No. 6 Penn State next weekend in State College, Penn. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. local time.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories