good luck with that
Extended preview post of why Wormley and Henry are playing the positions they are, which includes the main reason. Full article can be found here.
Recently on MGoBlog, Brian wrote a piece previewing the defense as far as his expectations. In the past couple days, he's also discussed the Defensive Line and looked at the recently released Michigan depth chart. A question keeps arising, unknowingly getting answered, and then asked again. It's a common confusion, and an understandable one when looking at nomenclature of football.
In this post, I'm going to look at Michigan's DL and why Henry is playing 5-Tech (nominally, from now on called End) and Wormley is playing 3-Tech (nominally, from now on called Tackle).
What is Michigan Running?
I agree with Brian that this is a 4-3 Under. Michigan isn't going out there with a LOLB and a ROLB, and they aren't going out there and doing a lot of two gapping (though a 4-3 under will often two-gap somewhere). It's a 4-3 Under with a standup end sometimes. Furthermore, the defense will not consistently keep two guys in two-point stances and shift the DL every which way, like Wisconsin's one-gap 3-4.
This is a 4-3 Under all the way. Let's remind everyone of the gap assignments:
And let's take a look at what a nominal 4-3 Under looks like, the one most of you are familiar with from the early Mattison years.
Here, we're going to call the Weakside DE (WDE, 7-Tech) the Buck (it's Buck because "B" stands for Backer, like how MIKE is for Middle in middle LB), to keep with Durkin's terminology. He is, in fact, more DE than LB, but he will occasionally drop (see image below). The strongside DE (SDE, 5-Tech) we will simply call the End. The 3-Tech we are going to call a DT (or tackle). The 1-Tech we will call a NT (Nose).
This is close to what Michigan is running, but not quite. Actually, the image above is closer to what Michigan will now run than what Michigan nominally ran with Mattison as the DC. Notice how Beyer (the SAM LB at the top of the screen) is in a loose position. For Michigan fans, this is similar to how Greg Robinson deployed Stevie Brown in his 4-3 Under, when Stevie Brown managed to have a very good Senior year. This is what we call a "Loose" alignment, meaning he's 5-and-5 (5 yards off the LOS, 5 yards outside the offensive EMOL). Ross, the WILL in the picture above, is also playing a Loose technique (in this case, it is to allow the dropping DE to play an inside zone or spy and to allow the WILL to play the outside Flat Zone, where there is more likely to be an immediate threat in the pass game).
With Ross, an undersized SAM LB, Michigan will continue playing more of a 4-3 Under Loose.
Many 4-3 Under teams traditionally move the FS down into the box as the 8th man and rotate the SS to the center of the field. They do this because the Buck and DT generally protect the FS from having to face any wash, something the ILBs (WILL and MIKE) are more accustomed to. It'll look like this:
But Michigan won't be doing that as much this year. Instead, the SS (who always aligns to pass strength) will be the 8th man in the box. He can be inserted like this:
But more often he will align closer to this.
This essentially makes the SAM another ILB. He's protected a bit by the End, and the defense won't get out flanked because the SS holds the edge and the SAM can work over the top to provide additional support.
Wormley and Henry Primer
As a primer, Wormley is a guy that came in as a projected SDE. He was expected to be between 270 and 300 lbs. He has good straight line speed for his size and displays excellent burst when he's comfortable with what is in front of him. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately in some ways), he's also very long and tall. With hesitation sometimes coming when he has to take blocks from different angles, he often stands up. This leads to him struggling to handle doubles.
Henry on the other hand, was always a DT. He was projected as a slashing, penetrating 3-Tech that could also slide down and play the Nose if needed. He's more of a squaty player, but has the first step to beat OL to the spot he wants. This first step quickness gives him potential to be a two-gap player, and his squaty build also gives him the stout base to prevent him from getting clobbered when he's forced to choose one of two gaps. He also stands up too high at times, but has the strength to fight back against it.
Brian previewed these guys well in the DL articles linked above, and there is video there to demonstrate these traits in these players.
So Why The Position Switch
The Double Team
As I said, it's been explained, but never really answered. But the answer is quite obvious once it's pointed out. Wormley struggles more against doubles, and the 3-tech will almost never get doubled. The 5-tech will get doubled, possibly on about half the plays, especially with the way Michigan will align.
Notice the 3-tech isn't doubled on the run his direction.
This means that the 5-tech has to hold up to double teams quite often, it also means the 3-tech can simply be let loose to be a penetrating force on the interior. If you can get that out of your 3-tech, you cut off half the field and give the Buck a lot more options as a pass rusher, because he doesn't have to be as preoccupied with the rush.
Whether the SAM is in a Loose alignment or inside, initially, the 5-tech will often get doubled against zone based rushing attacks.
Here, the 3-tech is doubled, so he has to be able to handle that a bit, but the double likely doesn't last as long as the OL tries to get out to the WILL, and it is on the backside of the play.
Against man blocking schemes, he'll get doubled on essentially every strongside run (Power O and Counter F, for example)
He has to hold up at that position for the rush defense to have success. If he doesn't hold up, he gets washed into the ILB, and large creases in the defense form, particularly when the SAM is playing in a Loose alignmnet.
Again, if you want to read about the other main advantage to Henry lining up at End rather than 3-Tech, here's a link to a full post at my blog.
Well, 'twas the night before the season and all through the internet MGoBlog's numbers were about to spike. I've done this in years previous too, but here's some really helpful information to anyone who's new.
First, see that bar up top? Under where Bo is yelling at Harbaugh? Click through lots of those links. You'll learn an awful lot.
For example, Brian's FAQs: http://mgoblog.com/content/mgofaq
Also the MGoBoard FAQs: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/mgoboard-faq which includes great information such as:
What should I title my threads?
Please make your thread titles as informative as possible: "Justin Feagin" is bad. "Justin Feagin leaving the team?" is good.
Read those. It'll save everyone a headache and you some downvotes. There's a depth chart, Ann Arbor restaurant list, Mod Sticky, and lots of other useful links. Just click them. Go ahead. I'll wait...
OK, and finally, typically the impetus for this thread every year is the 30th "Where can I catch the game in ___________" thread that someone posts, where either they didn't see the first 29 or are making a joke after the horse is quite, quite dead. as such:
That's accessible up top. It's from 2009. There are 300+ replies. There is a map. In Myanmar guy's defense, the Asian area of the map doesn't have many pins.
Welcome to this corner of the internet, enjoy it.
Sincerely yours in football,
I can think of no two individuals more alike than Jim Harbaugh and Napoleon Dynamite. They do whatever they feel like they want to do (gosh!), attack life/tetherball with an Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind and express extremely strong opinions about one's choices regarding milk consumption.
"I see you're drinking 1%. Is that 'cause you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to."
"Drink as much milk as your little belly can hold...the ideal is the whole milk."
The images below are previews only. You can get the widescreen, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
Follow me on Twitter @thearttheart for updates.
Four Plays – Michigan @ Rutgers 2015
This series examines the probable individual matchups Michigan expects to face against particular opponents on one of Michigan’s key running plays and one of its key passing plays, as well as defensively against a couple of the opponent’s key plays (assuming first-sting personnel in a base defensive alignment).
I did four of these in 2013, and was planning on doing more but was too demoralized by around week seven to keep going. I only made it about half that far last season. Now we have Harbaugh though, so I’m pretty confident I can make it through the whole season.
The first game, of course, is on the road against Utah—a team that has always seemed to get the most out of its talent and has played Michigan tough over the years. Those past games were all played in the friendly confines of Michigan Stadium, but this year the Wolverines go on the road to experience Rice-Eccles Stadium and its 4.657-foot elevation. Evidently the Ute fans, butthurt over Harbaugh’s decision to swap out Alex Smith for Colin Kaepernick in 49er days, plan on welcoming the Michigan head coach with a bunch of Alex Smith heads-on-sticks. There probably aren’t many things less intimidating than Alex Smith’s head on a stick, so that’s all I’m going to say about that. Let’s look at some matchups.
When Michigan has the ball…
1. Counter F
Power O is certainly a well-known part of Jim Harbaugh’s offense, as the White Team famously made clear by coming out on the first play of the spring game and running Power O for 34 yards. Indeed, this off-season you couldn’t click on a “Harbaugh Offense” search window without somebody diagramming Power O and linking clips of old Stanford teams kicking ass with it. So, it might behoove me to choose Power O for the first play here. Yet in an effort to not be redundant, I am instead going wit Counter F, a similar play to Power O that utilizes newly-minted Michigan captain Joe Kerridge as the lead blocker in place of the usual backside guard.
Power O, in case you are new to the schematics, is a classic running play on which the playside tackle and tight end double-team the opposing defensive end, a fullback or h-back “kicks out” (drives to the outside) the “EMLOS” (End Man on Line of Scrimmage), and a pulling guard leads the running back through the “6 hole” (i.e., the gap outside the tackle).
26 Power O:
Counter F works much like Power O; the offense still gets a double-team at the point-of-attack, and the tailback’s initial counter-step hopefully gets linebackers flowing away from the playside. But now, the responsibilities of the fullback and backside guard are exchanged: the guard executes a trap block on the EMLOS, while fullback leads the ballcarrier through the six hole.
26 Counter F:
LT Mason Cole: Down block WDE Jason Fanaika
LG Ben Braden: Execute long trap block to kick-out “Stud” LB Uaea Masina
C Graham Glasgow: Down block DT Filipo Mokofisi
RG Kyle Kalis: Down block NT Lowell Lotulelei
RT Erik Magnuson: Block SDE Hunter Dimmck (away from 6-hole)
TE Jake Butt: With RT Erick Magnuson, double-team SDE Hunter Dimick; move to second level and block WLB Jared Norris
FB Joe Kerridge: Lead tailback through 6-hole, block first red jersey (presumably MLB Jason Whittingham)
RB – Deveon Smith: Take counter-step toward backside (to influence linebackers), then take handoff on playside; run through 6-hole, read and cut off of FB Joe Kerridge’s block
We’re all excited to see what Tim Drevno can do with Michigan’s offensive line. He has a lot of experienced talent to work with, and most of Michigan’s projected OL starters are upper-classmen with several years of college S&C in the books. But as promising as that looks, Michigan’s OL is still potential while Utah’s defensive line has produced. Strongside end Hunter Dimick had 10 sacks and 14.5 TFLs last season, while NT Lowell Latoulelei is an early-entry candidate for the NFL draft. Add to that Utah’s deep collection of junior and senior LBs, and M has a lot to prove here.
Another main theme of the off-season has been that big things are expected of junior tight end Jake Butt. I’m a big believer in this myself, as Butt has both proven himself a gritty, tough player in the Bo/Harbaugh tradition and demonstrated superior receiving skills from day one. One way to get Butt the ball is the Y-Cross concept, an old Lavell Edwards play that has become a staple of Air Raid and passing spread offenses.
Though there are countless variations on the Y-Cross, the main concept is to have an outside receiver occupy the cornerback deep, while the crossing tight end or slot receiver heads for the vacated space. While crossing routes are naturally good against man coverage, Y-Cross is also a good call against 3-deep zones because the crosser and the Z-receiver end up flooding the same deep third. Other variations combine Y-Cross with option routes, or with play-action fakes designed to freeze the linebackers and shake the crosser wide open.
Most versions of Y-Cross also have a third playside receiver—usually a back or TE releasing into the flat, and the quarterback reads deep-to-short (fade, to cross, to flat). But in the Michigan spring game, the White Team ran a version of Y-Cross from a 2 TE shotgun look with only two playside receivers. On that play, White kept back in for protection and got TE Chase Winovich isolated against a safety. Winovich unfortunately dropped a strike from Malzone, but the play would have gone for big yardage if caught.
XWR Amara Darboh: Run fade route vs. BCB Reggie Porter
RB Ty Isaac: Pass protection
LT Mason Cole: Pass block SDE Hunter Dimick
LG Ben Braden: Pass block DT Filipo Mokofisi
C Graham Glasgow: Pass block NT Lowell Lotolelei
RG Kyle Kalis: Pass block NT Lowell Lotolelei
RT Erik Magnuson: Pass block WDE Jason Fanaika
Slot WR Grant Perry: Run dig route vs. NCB Justin Thomas
YTE Jake Butt: Run crossing route (inside release, aim for sideline at 20 yards) vs. MLB Jason Whittingham
ZWR Jehu Chesson: Run fade route vs. FCB Dominique Hatfield
QB Jake Rudock: 5-step drop; “alert” read is Z Receiver (read during drop and throw in case of coverage bust) #1 read is Y-cross; if covered, #2 read is slot receiver on dig route.
According to the position-group previews on Utah blog Block U, it just about every player on Utah is an unstoppable ANFO-breathing football ninja, so perhaps I really should be giving the edge to the Utes here. I think M can hold its own though; not only does the Utah pass rush look significantly less scary with Nate Orchard now a Cleveland Brown, but Jake Butt is an accomplished receiving TE and this type of play appears to be in Jake Rudock’s wheelhouse.
When Utah has the ball…
1. Pistol Inside Zone
Inside Zone, as you probably know by now, is the ubiquitous downhill running play on which covered linemen block the defenders lined up across from them, uncovered linemen head to the second level, and the running back then reads the blocking and cuts north into daylight.
Last season I diagrammed Utah’s Inside Zone Read, a version of the same play but involving an option read at the mesh point. Inside Zone Read gives the offense an extra blocker by enabling the QB run threat to effectively “block” the backside defensive end. But the Utah backfield pairs 1,500-yard, bowling-ball style rusher Devantae Booker with 6’7” Travis Wilson; though Wilson himself has over 300 yards rushing in each of the past two seasons, letting him keep the ball on option reads takes the ball out of the hands of Booker—a fierce back currently projected to be taken in the second or third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. That’s probably why, as Oregon blog FishDuck noticed while previewing the Utes last season, Utah started just using an H-back to actually block the backside pursuer, rather than option him off with Wilson.
WDE Mario Ojemudia: set edge two yards deep and two yards outside, defend C-gap vs. RT Hiva Lutui, constrict B-gap
NT Ryan Glasgow: hold up to double-team vs. LG Isaac Asiata and LT JJ Dielman, defend backside A-gap
DT Willie Henry: hold up to double-team vs. C Siaosi Aiono and RG Salesi Uhatafe, defend playside B-gap
SDE Chris Wormley: Defeat block of H-Back Siale Fakailoatonga, backside pursuit
WLB Desmond Morgan: Defeat block of C Siaosi Aiono, defend playside A-gap
MLB Joe Bolden: Defeat block of LT JJ Dielman, defend backside B-gap
Booker is an outstanding running back. But their offensive line is young and does not appear to have a replacement for graduated star tackle Jeremiah Poutasi. While pass rush remains a question mark for Michigan, the Wolverines remain a stout run defense unit and that should continue in 2015.
2. All Curls
I took an educated guess last year that all-curls might be Utah’s base passing play, mainly because Utah had hired passing spread guru Dave Christiansen as their offensive coordinator and he had shown a proclivity for the play. Though I prefer to make jokes about all the things I get wrong, in this case I actually got it right; here you can see Utah run all-curls repeatedly on a game winning drive against USC.
All-curls is a particularly effective against Cover 3, which leaves only four underneath defenders to cover five possible receivers. But even against other coverages, the play is a reliable chain-mover that provides two distinct advantages as a base play. For one, all-curls gives the quarterback four slow-moving or stationary targets, each facing the QB, and spread horizontally across the field, as well as a releasing back for a safety valve option. Second, numerous other route combinations can be built off the same route stem as all-curls (e.g., slant-wheel, smash-corner, four verticals, etc.)—thus giving the offense plenty of constraint alternatives against a defense that overplays the curls.
BCB Wayne Lyons: Press coverage vs. WR Kenneth Scott
NCB Jabrill Peppers: Press coverage vs. Slot WR Delshawn McClellan
WDE Mario Ojemudia: Pass rushg vs. LT JJ Dielman
3T Willie Henry: Pass Rush vs. LG Isaac Asiata
NT Ryan Glasgow: Pass rush vs. C Siaosi Aiono, RG Salesi Uhatafe
SDE Chris Wormley: Pass rush vs. RT Hiva Lutui
WLB Joe Bolden: Man coverage vs. RB Devontae Booker
MLB Desmond Morgan: Drop into middle zone; read and follow QB’s eyes to ball
FS Jerrod Wilson: Cover deep middle
SS Delano Hill: Press coverage vs. WR Kenric Young
FCB Jourdan Lewis: Press coverage vs. WR Tim Patrick
One piece of extremely good news for Michigan is that Utah’s outstanding 2014 wide receivers, Dres Anderson and Kaelin Clay, have graduated, and there doesn’t appear to have been much behind them. Senior Kenneth Scott caught 48 balls for 506 yards and 4 TDs last season, but nobody else has much in the way of statistics—or even hype on the ridiculously effusive Block U. As for Michigan, the secondary is one of the team’s strongest units, with Jourdan Lewis arguably the team’s best returning defensive player and Jabrill Peppers looking a possible DPOY candidate in the Big Ten. M’s pass rush remains a point of concern, however, and Utah does have a mobile senior QB, so no advantage overall. Hopefully Jourdan and Jabrill prove me wrong about that a few times.
Bonus: EGD’s 2015 Michigan Preview
Almost every year since probably the late 1990s I’ve written a Michigan football preview targeted at my friends and acquaintances—most of whom aren’t exactly mgousers. I posted it here the last two or three seasons and it was reasonably well-received, but on the whole I’d say if you haven’t read HTTV yet, read that; if you haven’t read the front-page UM preview material yet, read that. If you’ve plowed through all that and still have a UM Football jones, click on the link below.
Several Michigan teams kicked off their 2015 seasons this week. But before we get to those teams, let's recap the team that kicked of the 2015-16 Michigan Athletic calendar last week-
Michigan Women's Soccer
3-1-0 Overall, 0-0-0 B1G
8/28 - Michigan 2 San Diego 1
8/30 - Michigan 3 Detroit 0
After Michigan split its first two games last weekend, beating EMU 7-1 in the opener and losing to Marquette on Sunday 2-1, the Wolverines came into this weekend's pair of games knowing they let the Marquette game get away quick and had that loss fresh in their minds.
Marquette scored 2 goals in 34 seconds after Michigan led for most of the game, to snipe the lead and the game from Michigan's grasp.
On Friday night, Michigan hosted San Diego. A team that handed the Wolverines a 3-0 defeat a year ago this weekend out in San Diego.
Touted freshman Reilly Martin got her first career start, and she made good on it by scoring her first career goal after 53 minutes of scoreless soccer to give Michigan a 1-0 lead over the Toreros.
Just 4 minutes later, Nicky Waldeck would get her first goal of the young season to give Michigan a 2-0 lead.
San Diego scored six minutes later, but Michigan's tough defense shut down USD, preserving the 2-1 win. Michigan outshot USD 25-5, including outshooting them 13-0 in the first half. The USD keeper made 7 saves and is what kept this from being a blowout victory.
In a Sunday night game, Michigan took on Detroit and didn't waste much time like they did against San Diego in terms of getting on the scoreboard.
Taylor Timko, who had a hat trick in season opener, scored her 4th goal of the season at 21:04 to give Michigan a 1-0 lead. A little over a minute later, Lulu Haidar scored her 3rd of the year on a free kick to increase the lead to 2-0.
Remember how I said Michigan has a tough defense? Yeah, they only allowed 1 shot this entire game. ONE SHOT.
Abby Kastroll scored her first career goal at 83 minutes to cap the weekend off for Michigan with a 3-0 win over Detroit.
Michigan outshot its opponents 58-6 this weekend, and has allowed only 19 shots in 4 games which averaging out to 4.75 shots per game by the opposition.
Obviously, that number will go up as the competition gets better, but this is an encouraging start to the season thus far despite the setback against Marquette.
Michigan will head out to Seattle next weekend for a pair of games. They'll take on Portland in a neutral site game on Friday at 8pm and then they'll play a road game against Washington on Sunday at 6pm.
The game against Washington will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
3-0 Overall, 0-0 B1G
8/28 - Michigan 3 George Washington 1
8/29 - Michigan 3 Oakland 0, Michigan 3 West Virginia 0
Abby Cole (#17) had 16 blocks in 3 matches this weekend
After a 2014 season that was really hurt from the start due to injuries starting to pile up before the year even began, Michigan is looking to rebound big time in 2015.
In addition to having a young team last year, it didn't help matters that they were decimated by injuries. Having that happen and having to play in the toughest conference in the nation usually will not end well.
As a result, Michigan missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. They did pull off some impressive upset wins over powerhouse Nebraska and Ohio State, which only showed what they may have been capable of all year long at full strength.
At any rate, Michigan opened their 2015 season at Cliff Keen Arena, hosting the Michigan Invitational. A four team tournament featuring West Virginia, Oakland and George Washington.
Michigan faced George Washington on Friday night for the first time in program history. Baseball legend Jim Abbott was in attendance as his daughter Maddy is a freshman setter.
6'5 Abby Cole was quite the problem for George Washington. She had 10 total blocks.
Michigan seemed to be cruising to a straight set win, taking the first two by scores of 25-17 and 25-15. However, GWU bounced back and won a competitive third set, 25-23.
The fourth set was a tight one as well, but Michigan thankfully pulled it out and avoided the pressure of a deciding fifth, winning 25-22 and taking the match 4-1.
The next day, Michigan continued its way to the Invitational title by steamrolling Oakland in straight sets, each by scores of 25-18.
Oddly enough, GWU would be the team Michigan had even a remote problem with this weekend. They faced West Virginia in the final match of the tournament and disposed of them in straight sets to the tune of 25-20, 25-23 and 25-17.
Michigan already has four players that have over 20 kills: Caroline Knopp (28), Katherine Mahlke (26), Abby Cole (22) and freshman Carly Skjodt (22). Cole had 17 total blocks this weekend.
Michigan is now 1-0 against George Washington, 13-0-1 against Oakland and 1-1 against West Virginia. Michigan now holds a 9-1 record against the Atlantic 10 Conference, a 33-2 record against the Horizon League and an 8-9 record against the Big 12 all-time.
Next up for the Wolverine spikers is the Ohio Invitational at Ohio University in Athens, OH. They'll face Xavier and LSU at 10am and 5pm on Friday, respectively. Michigan will then take on the host Ohio University on Saturday at 1pm.
Michigan Men's Soccer
0-1-0 Overall, 0-0-0 B1G
8/28 - #6 Creighton 1 Michigan 0
After a very strange year where Michigan lost to the likes of Bowling Green, Columbia, Western Michigan and FIU but beat #6 Notre Dame and #12 Michigan State, Michigan opened the 2015 season on the road in Omaha at #6 Creighton.
Just two years ago, Michigan stunned #12 Creighton at U-M Soccer Stadium, upsetting the 'Jays 1-0.
In front of an impressive crowd of over 4400, Michigan could not get any offense going whatsoever in the first half.
Watching the game on Big East Digital Network, it felt like most of the first half was played on Michigan's end of the field. Creighton outshot Michigan 10-4 and scored at 30 minutes in the first half which would be the only goal of the game.
The goal was a breakaway where the Michigan defender just didn't have enough time to close, leaving sophomore goalie Evan Louro having to fend for himself.
The second half was more of the same until Michigan peppered Creighton's Connor Sparrow with shots in the final 10 minutes, which actually did feature some good scoring chances, but they just could not get one by him. Both goalkeepers in this game played excellent, with both having 7 saves each.
Not a discouraging loss, as Michigan played decent defensively in front of a packed house on the road against a top-10 team. I'm sure most are in much better spirits after this season opening loss compared to last year's when Michigan was shut out by FIU at home.
Next up for the Wolverines will be a two game homestand in the U-M/MSU Labor Day Tournament. Michigan hosts West Virginia on Friday at 4pm in the 2015 home opener and then will play Niagara on Sunday at 4pm.
Michigan Field Hockey
0-2 Overall, 0-0 B1G
8/29 - #2 North Carolina 2 #14 Michigan 1
8/30 - #11 Wake Forest 3 #14 Michigan 0
Last season for Michigan Field Hockey was one that went from being a potential B1G Championship season to not making the NCAA Tournament.
It's not that the bottom dropped out from underneath the Wolverines in terms of their play. They beat #6 Penn State, #10 Iowa and #7 Northwestern. What kept them out was a combo of the B1G being so good and the NCAA Tournament field only being 16 teams, meaning bid stealers (like Northwestern) crippled any chances of an at-large.
For a season opener, many teams schedule a tomato can from a conference most fans have never heard of or know the members of.
That's not how Michigan does things in field hockey. Every year since 2002 save one, they have opened the season against North Carolina, one of the top programs in all of college field hockey. And even in 2013 when Michigan didn't face UNC to open the season, UNC was still on Michigan's schedule.
Ocker Field, which was renovated and transformed last year into what is most likely the top field hockey venue in the world, played host to the ACC/B1G Challenge for the first time since 2011.
It's a great measuring stick and a great early test to see where your team stands. Every year, it's the same four powerhouse programs: Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina and Wake Forest. The event rotates sites between the four participants.
The first half of this 2015 meeting between Michigan and UNC was scoreless. However, UNC outplayed Michigan in the first, outshooting them 7-3.
In the second half, North Carolina took a 2-0 lead with goals 11 minute apart, one off a corner and one goal. Four minutes after the Tar Heels' second goal, freshman Leah Cardarelli scored her first career goal to cut the deficit in half.
Michigan sophomore goalkeeper Sam Swenson kept Michigan in the game with 8 saves, but Michigan couldn't score the equalizer and North Carolina held on for a 2-1 win.
Today's game was unfortunately a much different story. Wake Forest took a 3-0 lead in the first half with two goals of the goals off of penalty corners.
Michigan dominated the shot count in the second half, 14-2 but the Wake Forest goalie Dahmen recorded all 9 of her saves in the second half to preserve a shutout win for Wake Forest.
An 0-2 start is not good, but it's not uncommon for Michigan to drop these early games in the ACC/B1G Challenge. They've lost 13 straight season openers but are 162-97 with 5 B1G Championships and a Final Four in that span.
Next up for Michigan Field Hockey is a trip out East to Providence. Michigan will play Providence on Friday at 7pm which will be televised on College Sports Live.
Michigan will then head to Connecticut to take on Fairfield at Noon on Sunday.