ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Two days after a loss that sent shock
waves through the college football world, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
knows what his team must fix: just about everything.
While much national attention is centered on what lingering
effects the Wolverines' historic 34-32 season-opening loss to
Appalachian State will have on a team that started the season
ranked fifth and as a national championship contender.
Carr said Monday that Michigan, which was penalized seven times
and committed two costly turnovers against the Mountaineers, is
starting from scratch heading into Saturday's game against Oregon.
"What we have to do in a short time here is become a more
disciplined team, a smarter team and a team that executes better,"
Appalachian State's stunner at Michigan Stadium marked the first
time a Football Championship Subdivision team -- formerly I-AA --
beat a team ranked in The Associated Press Top 25.
"There were a lot of people on the team [who] were really in a
bad mood and a lot of people who took a lot of blame on
themselves," offensive lineman Adam Kraus said. "But we had a lot
of missed opportunities in there, and it ended up really hurting
The final blown chance came with Michigan in prime position to
kick a winning field goal after Appalachian State took a two-point
lead on Julian Rauch's 24-yard field goal with 26 seconds
Michigan set up for a 37-yard field goal after Chad Henne
connected with Mario Manningham on a 46-yard pass with 6 seconds
remaining. But Jason Gingell's kick was blocked by Corey Lynch,
clinching the upset.
"With a chance to win the game, we didn't execute a fundamental
play -- a play that we have worked extremely hard at all fall,"
Gingell also had a 44-yard field goal attempt blocked with 1:47
remaining with Michigan clinging to a 32-31 lead. Carr said he
initially believed Gingell's kick was low, but after watching game
film, he blamed it on Michigan's protection team.
"You can't fault [Gingell] for those last two [blocked
kicks]," Carr said. "He made two [field goals] and for a guy that
has not been in games before, to go in there and kick two in a row
in his first start is a very positive thing for him."
Now Michigan is left to recover while preparing for an Oregon
team that will present many of the same challenges, running the
spread offense the Wolverines struggled to defend against
But as tough as Saturday's loss was, it provided Michigan's
players with an unexpected source of motivation.
"It hurts because you don't like losing," linebacker Chris
Graham said. "But how far can you hold your head down? I'm not
holding my head down at all. You've got to move on forward."
Indianapolis Colts defensive back Marlin Jackson, a former
Michigan standout, said he was embarrassed by the result.
"We lost to a I-AA program, and we were a top-five team," he
said. "To go out and be the first team in history to lose to a
I-AA team, it hurts."
Jackson said the loss has been an almost nonstop topic of
conversation for him.
"That's all I've been getting the last couple of days. Every
text message I get just says 'Appalachian State.' That's all it
says," he said.
"The Ohio State guys have been all right. It's everybody else around here. Even coach [Tony] Dungy said something to me about it."