Aug. 30, 2014
Today's announced attendance of 106,811 marks the 252nd consecutive game of more than 100,000 fans at Michigan Stadium.
Michigan improved its record in season openers to an impressive 111-21-3, including a 95-15-2 mark in season openers at home. The Wolverines also improved to 112-18-2 all-time in home openers.
Michigan head coach Brady Hoke improved to 9-3 in home openers as a head coach. He has won six in a row, including all four at the helm of the Wolverines.
The Wolverines evened their series record against Appalachian State at 1-1. Eliminating the Mountaineers, only 13 schools hold an all-time series edge against Michigan.
Michigan's game captains were senior defensive end Brennen Beyer, senior defensive end Frank Clark, fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner, senior linebacker Desmond Morgan and fifth-year senior linebacker Jake Ryan.
Junior wide receiver Devin Funchess switched jersey numbers from No. 87 to No. 1 prior to the game.
Seven Michigan players earned their first collegiate start: junior/sophomore tackle Ben Braden, freshman tackle Mason Cole, junior wide receiver Dennis Norfleet, sophomore/freshman tight end Khalid Hill, junior/sophomore defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, junior/sophomore safety Jeremy Clark and freshman cornerback Jabrill Peppers.
Cole is the first true freshman in Michigan history to start a season opener on the offensive line. He is the second true freshman in program history to start a game at tackle and sixth true freshman to start a game on the offensive line, joining Bubba Paris (1978), Tom Dixon (1980), Dean Dingman (1987), Justin Boren (2006) and Kyle Bosch (2013).
Seventeen Wolverines made their collegiate debut today. In addition to Cole, Hill and Peppers, freshman wide receiver Freddy Canteen, sophomore/freshman offensive lineman David Dawson, sophomore/freshman wide receiver Ross Douglas, sophomore/freshman offensive lineman Chris Fox, sophomore/freshman defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr., sophomore/freshman offensive lineman Kevin Kugler, sophomore/freshman linebacker Mike McCray, freshman defensive tackle Bryan Mone, junior/sophomore defensive back AJ Pearson, sophomore/freshman defensive end Henry Poggi, junior defensive lineman Alex Mitropoulos-Rundus, sophomore/freshman offensive lineman Logan Tuley-Tillman, sophomore/freshman running back Wyatt Shallman, and sophomore/freshman long snapper Scott Sypniewski also saw playing time against Appalachian State.
Michigan has scored 50+ points in back-to-back season openers -- 59 vs. CMU in 2013 and 52 vs. App State in 2014.
The last time Michigan scored 35 points or more in the first half was on Aug. 31, 2013, vs. Central Michigan (35 points).
Fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner completed 13-of-14 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for nine yards on five carries. His completion percentage of 92.8 is the second best for a single game (min. 10 attempts) in program history, trailing only Tate Forcier, who posted 100 percent (12-for-12) against Bowling Green on Sept. 25, 2010.
With his three passing touchdowns, Gardner upped his career total to 37 and earned a share of the seventh spot among Michigan's all-time leaders in the category. He is tied with Todd Collins (1991-94). Gardner also moved to ninth among U-M's career leaders in total offense with 5,280 yards, passing Tom Brady (5,180, 1996-99).
Sophomore running backs Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith each recorded his first career 100-yard rushing performance. Green ran for 170 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries; his previous high was 84 yards, which he recorded last season at Northwestern. Smith posted eight carries, 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns -- the first of his career. His previous career best was 57 rushing yards, which he tallied last season against Ohio State.
It is the 38th time in program history that U-M boasted two or more 100-yard rushers in a single game and the first time since Carlos Brown (132) and Brandon Minor (157) achieved the feat against Minnesota on Oct. 27, 2007.
Both Smith and Green also posted career-long rushes in today's season opener. Smith ran for 61 yards in the second quarter; his previous best was 38, which he recorded last season vs. Ohio State. Green posted a 62-yard run in the third quarter; his previous best was 30 yards, which he registered in last year's season opener against Central Michigan.
Funchess matched a career best with seven receptions for 95 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. He has recorded at least one reception in 15 consecutive games. Funchess is the first wide receiver in Michigan program history to boast three touchdown receptions in a season opener.
Junior/sophomore wide receiver Amara Darboh, senior/junior tight end Keith Heitzman, sophomore/freshman tight end Khalid Hill and freshman wide receiver Freddie Canteen all recorded their first career receptions.
Sophomore defensive end Taco Charlton recorded his first career sack -- for an eight-yard loss -- in the second quarter.
Sophomore linebacker Ben Gedeon scored his first collegiate touchdown, returning a blocked punt for 32 yards late in the second quarter. It is Michigan's first blocked punt return for a touchdown since Joe Reynolds scored against Central Michigan in the 2013 season opener.
Michigan did not force a turnover for the first time in 15 games, dating back to its 42-17 win against Iowa on Nov. 17, 2012.
Junior linebacker James Ross III and senior linebacker Desmond Morgan led the Wolverines with six tackles apiece, while sophomore safety Dymonte Thomas, junior linebacker Joe Bolden and junior defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins posted career highs with five tackles each.
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