Michigan aims to sustain success under Harbaugh against UNLV
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan has a chance to sustain success for the first time under Jim Harbaugh.
The Wolverines (1-1) don't want to blow it.
After routing Oregon State, Michigan will host UNLV (0-2) on Saturday and doesn't plan to take the Rebels lightly even though they have lost eight straight and 12 of 13 dating to last year and are nearly five-touchdown underdogs.
''We haven't accomplished anything yet,'' defensive tackle Matt Godin said. ''We have a lot of work to do.''
Here are some things to watch when UNLV faces Michigan for the first time:
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Harbaugh has drawn a lot of attention, coming back to Michigan after playing quarterback there, and yet he has noticed and admired the climb to college coaching that UNLV's Tony Sanchez has taken. Sanchez is making the leap from coaching at high school to the highest level of college football. Last year, he was leading powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas and coaching a highly touted receiver, Cordell Broadus, whose father is rapper Snoop Dogg. ''I like that he's come from a non-traditional way of doing it,'' Harbaugh said. ''I like following him. I like watching what his career's going to be like.''
JUST FOR KICKS: The Rebels have to travel across the country for the game. They won't have to go as far as the family of Michigan punter Blake O'Neill. He is expecting his family to watch the game soon after arriving from Australia. O'Neill said his family members have been watching his games online, in the wee hours of the morning. He is looking forward to them experiencing what he did last week in his Michigan Stadium debut, saying it was ''surreal'' to be surrounded by nearly 110,000 people at a football game.
AILING QB: Sanchez said not to count out UNLV's No. 1 quarterback, Blake Decker, even though he left last week's loss against UCLA with an injury. ''He will be suited up out there,'' Sanchez said. ''Will he play or start? That's questionable right now, but he'll be available.'' The Rebels will hope Decker can play because his backup, Kurt Palandech, was 4 of 15 for 4 yards with an interception against the Bruins.
DOMINANT ON D: Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley has quickly established himself as a force, making six tackles for losses, including a sack, in two games. Harbaugh is not quick to praise individual players, but he relatively raved about the 6-foot-5, 303-pound senior. ''He's a very talented player that's improving and getting better every day,'' Harbaugh said. ''Very graphic (against Oregon State). I thought he played a tremendous game. Probably our best defensive performance.''
NO BIGGIE: Sanchez planned to take his players into the Big House on Friday, allowing them to soak up the atmosphere of a stadium with 100,000-plus seats and to take pictures before getting down to business. He also expected to stress to his team that they can measure up to a traditional power on a field that has the same dimensions as the Rebels have in Las Vegas. ''Kind of like old movie, `Hoosiers.' They measured the free throw line and the hoop. It was the same.''
AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org
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