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Oregon State Visits The Big House

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Oregon St. (1-0) at Michigan (0-1) / Michigan Stadium / 12 Noon EDT (9 AM PDT) / ABC / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM

Game Notes / Michigan Game Notes

Oregon State visits Michigan today, for a high noon showdown that has all the college football trappings. When the Beavers take on the Wolverines in the Big House, it will be in front of the largest crowd they have ever played in front of, with over 110,000 expected for the return home of Michigan alum and new head coach Jim Harbaugh.

It will be the 259th time in a row that Michigan Stadium has had over 100K fans in it for a football game, including Oregon State's last visit, a 31-12 loss back in 1986, which was also the Wolverines' second game of the season, but their home opener.

Harbaugh was on hand for that one too, being the quarterback for the Wolverines.

The game will be the first half of the "Oregon-Michigan" weekend, which will conclude with Oregon's visit to Michigan State 60 some miles down the road in East Lansing this evening at 8 PM EDT (5 PM PDT). The games represent the 11th and 12th longest trips FBS teams will make this season excluding trips involving Hawaii.

It's also the first time both the Beavers and the Ducks have played east of the Mississippi on the same day since in the 60's.

Oregon State won their home opener last Friday night, which was the start of a coaching era of their own, kicking off the Gary Andersen era with a 26-7 win over Weber State from the Big Sky Conference.

Michigan on the other hand, had a much tougher task, going to Utah, and it was a little too much for the Wolverines to overcome, as the now 24th ranked Utes took a 24-17 victory over the Wolverines last Thursday night to kick off both the Pac-12 and B1G Ten seasons.

Both teams come off of 5-7 seasons that led to coaching changes, and both teams are breaking in new quarterbacks.

True freshman Seth Collins, after being the co-starter for the opener, took command of the job for Oregon State with a performance that, though it only included 92 passing yards, did net both of the Beavers' touchdowns, with scoring tosses to both Victor Bolden and Jordan Villamin, and also produced a game high 152 rushing yards, and the top high hurdle run of opening weekend.

Michigan's new quarterback is no where near as new to the college game, as Jake Rudock is one of the latest graduate transfers, aka Russel Wilson and Vernon Adams, coming over from Iowa for his final season.

He threw touchdown passes to both Amara Darboh and Jake Butt in the loss in Salt Lake City, but also missed 2 should have been touchdown throws to undefended receivers, Darboh included, and also threw 3 passes the Utes picked off. Those mis-throws were more than the difference in the opener.

Oregon State is 0-4 against Michigan, including 3 losses at Michigan Stadium, in 1966 and 1959 in addition to the 1986 visit, and also the 1965 Rose Bowl, which was a 34-7 romp for the Wolverines.

But new Beaver head coach Gary Andersen has gone there and won as a part of the Utah staff, and Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake too. Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin is experienced there from his time at Michigan St. as well.

Oregon State will be looking to win their road opener for a 4th year in a row today, whereas Michigan is 112-18-3 in home openers.

Michigan opened as 2 touchdown favorite, and the line has crept up and down, and back up, only a little since then, with the emotion of the first game in front of the home crowd for Harbaugh expected to give the Wolverines an excitement boost.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com