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Posted on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 11:20 a.m.

Michigan football team completes 2012 schedule by adding rematch with pesky UMass

By Kyle Meinke

Apparently, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is a fan of reliving the past.

Now, the Michigan football team will hope it doesn't repeat itself.

The University of Massachusetts, which nearly beat the Wolverines as an FCS team last season, announced Tuesday that it has scheduled a rematch against Michigan and will play at Michigan Stadium on Sept. 15, 2012.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette was the first to report the game.


Michigan's Jordan Kovacs tackles UMass tight end Emil Igwenagu last season. Michigan beat UMass, 42-37.

File photo

The move comes a month after the Wolverines added Appalachian State to their 2014 schedule. The FCS-member beat Michigan to open the 2007 season.

Michigan will get a rematch with both FCS schools, although UMass will join the FBS next season and compete in the Mid-American Conference.

"We feel this is a tremendous non-conference schedule to secure for our first season at the FBS level," said University of Massachusetts athletics director John McCutcheon said in a statement. "This will be a challenge to be sure, but we believe it sends a clear message about our commitment to building a competitive FBS football program."

The Wolverines are expected to have one of the more formidable schedules in the country next year, when they travel to Dallas to face Alabama and have road games against Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State. They also has a tricky home game against Air Force.

So, they were expected to complete their schedule by adding a lower-tier opponent. UMass is that team.

Michigan's meeting with the Minutemen last year didn't go as planned. Ranked 22nd in the nation after beating UConn and Notre Dame, the Wolverines needed five consecutive touchdown drives to hold off an upset. They eventually prevailed, 42-37.

The victory improved the Wolverines to 3-0, but foretold the defensive woes that would haunt the team in Big Ten play.

Quarterback Denard Robinson, who will be a senior next year, accounted for 345 yards of total offense against UMass. He was 10-of-14 passing for 241 yards and ran 17 times for 104 yards.

Still, the Minutemen managed to lead by 10 points late in the first half and rally from an 18-point deficit to have a chance to follow Appalachian State in shocking college football's winningest program.

They came up five points short. Now, they'll get another shot.

The game completes the Wolverines' 2012 schedule:

Sept. 1 vs. Alabama (Arlington, Texas)
Sept. 15 UMASS
Sept. 22 at Notre Dame
Oct. 6 at Purdue
Oct. 27 at Nebraska
Nov. 3 at Minnesota
Nov. 17 IOWA
Nov. 24 at Ohio State



Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

OK, so we have a real tough schedule in 2012, but what the hey adding U-Mass?? There are no MAC teams on the 2012 schedule, so why not add a team like Ball State? I know we needed a cupcake in there but I am dissappointed we are allowing a rematch with U-Mass and then there's App State in 2014 to look ahead to. Thumbs down on the U-Mass addition to the 2012 schedule. Maybe Dave Brandon should charge 2010 prices (or less) for that ticket, I will not pay $70 or more for that. Glad I don't have season tickets. I feel sorry for the big donors.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

I guess I shouldn't complain given that we are facing ND and Bama, but why does it seem like David Brandon is following the Bill Martin school of scheduling? Either Mass is FCS (which Michigan should never schedule in my opinion) or they are MAC (which Michigan has had a penchant for scheduling way too may times since 1995). I would love to schedule a top 20 team every week though I know that is completely unrealistic. But is it unrealistic to schedule major conference schools like Michigan used to do until the mid 1990s? I have said this before and it bears repeating. As money has taken over the game and its scheduling, we are losing something. I don't know if it's competition, or attitude of anyplace anywhere anytime, or how to word it, but it just does not seem right to constantly schedule these teams. At least if you schedule a MAC school, share the money with an instate school, but Mass? App State? When will it end? And I don't really care what other teams are doing--this is Michigan and we are supposed to be leaders and not followers. (Big conference schools need not even be top 20 schools but there is more to the competitive nature of the game when you play teams that if you lose to, you are not a laughingstock). What about UVA? Cal-Berkeley? Georgia Tech? Arizona? The list could go on, but we should not become Minnesota and Wisconsin with their wimpy schedules (and Minnesota continues to lose to these teams).


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Anyone that wants to compare this year's 4-0 ranked team to last year's needs to remember the UMass game in 2010. The UMass game was a sign of things to come, and a sign that the team was not improving after every game, like this year's team is (especially on defense). If there was more time left in that game, UMass, an FCS school, could have ended up beating us. There is no doubt that this year's team will continue to improve in most or all aspects of the game. We may lose some games, but they will be hard fought and close calls - not the blowouts like we had last year (52-14, 37-7,...) Go Blue !