Toledo Ends Michigan's Dominance Over MAC

Michigan's K.C. Lopata watches as his 26-yard field goal attempt to tie the game goes wide left in Ann Arbor.
Michigan's K.C. Lopata watches as his 26-yard field goal attempt to tie the game goes wide left in Ann Arbor. (By Carlos Osorio -- Associated Press)
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By Larry Lage
Associated Press
Sunday, October 12, 2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 11 -- Michigan's K.C. Lopata missed a 26-yard field goal with four seconds left, giving Toledo a 13-10 win over the once-mighty Wolverines.

Rockets Coach Tom Amstutz, who has spent most of his life in the city just south of the Michigan border, gazed at the scoreboard displaying the stunning score as he celebrated on the Big House field.

"Yeah, I enjoyed looking at it," Amstutz said. "I wasn't in a hurry to get off the field. I lingered a little bit because it was such a great feeling."

The Rockets went ahead early in the fourth quarter when Alex Steigerwald's career-long 48-yard field goal bounced off the crossbar.

With a chance to seal the victory, Toledo came up short on a fourth down to make a comeback possible for college football's winningest team.

Michigan seemed to set up overtime by driving to the Rockets 9, but Lopata's chip shot from the right side of the field sailed to the left of the uprights.

"It never goes down on one play," Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez said. "There are a lot of plays we'd like to have back."

The Wolverines (2-4) have their worst six-game record since 1967 -- two years before Bo Schembechler started coaching them -- and their streak of playing in 33 straight bowls is in jeopardy.

"We're kind of at a crossroads," linebacker Obi Ezeh said. "We could either go downhill or we can hang tough and weather this storm."

It will be difficult for Michigan to bounce back this month with matchups at No. 6 Penn State and against No. 23 Michigan State.

"This will hurt for 24 hours -- at least," Rodriguez said. "But we can't let it hurt longer because we have a game coming up against a top-10 team."

Toledo (2-4) pulled off one of the biggest victories in school history -- rivaling wins over No. 9 Pittsburgh in 2003 and Penn State in 2000 -- and blemished Michigan's 24-0 record against the Mid-American Conference.

"This one is special," said Amstutz, who was born in Toledo, played for the Rockets and was a longtime assistant before being named head coach in 2000. "It was a great, great win."

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