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Final Look: Appalachian State

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014


D Green run vs App State(MGoBlue.com)

While Michigan evened the all-time series with Appalachian State on Saturday, it doesn’t take away the sting of the first meeting that Michigan fans will forever be reminded of. But on Saturday, the current team did what it was supposed to do and looked impressive in doing so. Before we get into previews of Notre Dame, let’s take one last look back at the big plays, numbers, stats, and observations from Michigan’s 52-14 win.

Three big moments

1. Devin to Devin times three

Devin Funchess became the first WR in Michigan history to catch three touchdown passes in the season opener (MGoBlue.com)

Devin Funchess became the first WR in Michigan history to catch three touchdown passes in the season opener (MGoBlue.com)

Michigan wasted no time getting the ball into the hands of its top receiver. On the first play of the game, Devin Gardner quick-pitched it out to Devin Funchess for an 11-yard gain. The drive ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Funchess on 3rd-and-7 when Funchess ran a beautiful route, splitting the linebacker and safety in the middle of the end zone. On the second possession, Gardner hit Funchess for 18 yards to start the drive and then the pair hooked up for a 34-yard touchdown pass. On the score, Funchess caught the ball at the 10-yard line, stiff-armed an App State defender at the five, and waltzed into the end zone. Midway through the second quarter, Gardner tossed up a jump ball in the back of the end zone and Funchess went up and got it over two App State defenders for his third touchdown.

2. Special teams touchdown

Heading into the game, if someone had told you Michigan would score a touchdown on special teams, probably 95 percent of Michigan fans would have guessed it would be either Jabrill Peppers or Dennis Norfleet. Linebacker Ben Gedeon might have been the 75th guess, but indeed he was the man of the moment.

It appeared that Michigan was going to take a 28-0 lead into the half as the defense forced Appalachian State to punt from its own 29-yard line with about a minute remaining. But linebacker Mike McCray got a hand on the punt and Gedeon picked it up and raced 32 yards for a touchdown. His dive toward the goal line was reviewed and upheld, giving Michigan a blocked punt touchdown for the second season-opener in a row.

3. Big plays on the ground

Last season, Michigan’s running game was anemic, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and 125.7 yards per game. Not only did it have trouble simply gaining positive yards — the Wolverines led the nation in tackles-for-loss surrendered — but big plays were solely up to the passing game. In fact, the longest rush of the season was by backup quarterback Shane Morris, who rumbled 40 yards on a  play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

That was not the case on Saturday as Michigan rushed for 350 yards and three touchdowns on just 36 carries. Both Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith topped 100 yards, and perhaps most importantly, Gardner rushed only five times for nine yards. The running game has relied on quarterbacks too much in the past few years.

On Saturday, after struggling initially, the running game looked very good. Green had runs of 59 and 62 yards and Smith had a 61-yard run, giving the duo three rushes going for more yards than last season’s high.

The numbers game

9.7: Michigan’s average yards per carry in Week 1, which leads the nation through the first full week of the season

252: The number of consecutive games in Michigan Stadium with more than 100,000 fans

111-21-3: Michigan’s all-time record in season openers

13: The number of schools that have an all-time winning record against Michigan after the Wolverines evened the series with Appalachian State

1: Devin Funchess’ new jersey number after switching from 87. He is the first Michigan receiver to wear the coveted number since Braylon Edwards in 2004

6: Mason Cole became the sixth true freshman to ever start a game on offensive line. He was the second to start at tackle and the first to start a season opener

37: Devin Gardner’s career touchdown passes, passing Tom Brady and moving into a tie for seventh all-time with Todd Collins

5,280: Gardner’s career passing yards, passing Tom Brady and moving into ninth place all-time

Oct. 27, 2007: The last time Michigan had two 100-yard rushers in the same game. Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith became the 38th duo in Michigan history to accomplish the feat.

3: Devin Funchess became the first Michigan player to catch three touchdown passes in a season opener

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics

Vote for the performance of the game

 
Lists on Ranker

Not this time: Michigan 52 – Appalachian State 14

Sunday, August 31st, 2014


Funchess TD vs App State(MGoBlue.com)

Seven years ago one of the best collections of senior talent in recent Michigan history suffered the most embarrassing loss in program history. This time around, a Michigan squad entering the season with plenty of questions made sure it didn’t suffer the same fate. Football was back in the Big House and Michigan left no doubt, sending Appalachian State back to Boone, N.C. in a much different fashion than it did in 2007 with a 52-14 loss.

After forcing a three-and-out on App State’s first possession, Michigan didn’t take long to find the end zone. Devin Gardner pitched the ball out to Devin Funchess for 11 yards on the first play, and nine plays later, found Funchess in the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown. On the opening drive, Dennis Norfleet caught a 10-yard pass and Jehu Chesson caught a 19-yard pass.

Michigan’s defense forced another App State punt and the second drive began and ended just like the first. Gardner connected with Funchess for 18 yards, and after four De’Veon Smith runs, Gardner hit Funchess for a 34-yard catch and run touchdown to put Michigan ahead 14-0.

Michigan’s offense stalled a bit at the beginning of the second quarter. The Wolverines forced another punt, but couldn’t do much on their third possession of the game. Derrick Green busted a 19-yard run on the possession’s second play, but Gardner was sacked two plays later and Michigan punted. After another App State punt, Gardner hooked up with Amara Darboh for 26 yards to the App State 30. The drive stalled and Matt Wile missed a 48-yard field goal.

UM-AppSt-small-final-final
Final Stats
Michigan App State
Score 52 14
Record 1-0 0-1
Total Yards 560 280
Net Rushing Yards 350 153
Net Passing Yards 210 127
First Downs 24 17
Turnovers 1 0
Penalties-Yards 4-44 8-69
Punts-Yards 1-46 8-287
Time of Possession 30:08 29:52
Third Down Conversions 5-of-8 5-of-17
Fourth Down Conversions 0-of-0 2-of-3
Sacks By-Yards 2-9 1-8
Field Goals 1-for-2 0-for-0
PATs 7-for-7 2-for-2
Red Zone Scores-Chances 6-of-6 2-of-2
Full Box Score

App State still couldn’t muster any offense, punting it right back to Michigan and the Wolverines’ offense finally clicked once again. Green ripped off a 59-yard run on the first play and Gardner found Funchess for nine yards on the second. A facemask penalty moved the ball to the ASU 8-yard line and Gardner lobbed up a jump ball for Funchess in the back of the end zone on the next play. Funchess leaped over two defenders, caught the ball, and got a foot down to give Michigan a 21-0 lead.

Michigan’s next possession was all on the ground as Smith rambled for 61 yards on the first play and a 12-yard touchdown on the next and it appeared that Michigan would take a 28-0 lead into the half. But the special teams had different plans. After forcing App State to punt once again, Mike McCray blocked the punt and Ben Gedeon picked it up and raced 32 yards for the score. Through one half of play, Michigan had out gained Appalachian State 334-74.

In the second half, Michigan picked up right where it left off, this time letting Green do the work. Green carried the ball on all six plays, yet again breaking a big one, this time for 62 yards, and finishing it off with a one-yard touchdown run.

Appalachian State finally got in on the action, putting together its first extended drive of the day. The Mountaineers went 75 yards in 11 plays, capped off by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Kameron Bryant to Simms McElfresh. The scoring drive was aided by a 34-yard pass from Bryant to Jaylan Barbour.

App State fooled Michigan with an onside kick recovery, but the kicker inadvertently touched the ball before it went 10 yards and Michigan took over at the ASU 44-yard line. Gardner led off the drive with a 17-yard pass to Norfleet, then rushed twice for three and eight yards. After a three-yard pass to Chesson, Smith punctuated the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run to put Michigan ahead 49-7.

Michigan forced another App State punt and Shane Morris came in to relieve Gardner. On the drive’s third play, Morris connected with Keith Heitzman for 26 yards, but on the following play, Morris was intercepted at the App State 4-yard line.

The Mountaineers took advantage, marching 96 yards in 19 plays. Marcus Cox carried it in from a yard out for App State’s second touchdown of the game. Matt Wile kicked an 18-yard field goal on Michigan’s next possession and the Wolverines won 52-14.

Gardner passed Tom Brady for seventh on Michigan’s career touchdown list, going 13-of-14 for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Funchess caught seven passes for 95 yards and three scores, becoming the first player in Michigan history to score three touchdowns in the season opener. Green led Michigan with with 170 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries (11.3 yards per carry), while Smith rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries (14.4 yards per carry).

As a team, Michigan amassed 560 total yards and averaged 10.2 yards per play, while holding Appalachian State to just 280 total yards — mostly with the second-team defense in. Michigan converted 5-of-8 third downs and held App State to just 5-of-17. Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley each recorded a sack, while Desmond Morgan and James Ross led the team with six tackles apiece.

Michigan travels to South Bend next Saturday for the final meeting with Notre Dame. The Irish beat Rice 48-17 in Week 1.

Notes: 

Devin Funchess switched from No. 87 to No. 1 prior to the game, marking the first time the number has been worn since Braylon Edwards in 2004.

 The Michigan Stadium attendance of 106,811 was the 252nd consecutive game with more than 100,000 fans.

 Michigan is now 111-21-3 all-time in season openers and Brady Hoke is now 9-3 (4-0 at Michigan).

 The game captains for Michigan were Brennen Beyer, Frank Clark, Devin Gardner, Desmond Morgan, and Jake Ryan.

 Jabrill Peppers was injured in the first quarter, but played the rest of the half. He did not play the second half. Hoke said afterward that he could have gone if needed, but they wanted to keep him healthy for next week.

 Gardner’s 92.8 completion percentage was second in program history with a minimum of 10 completions, behind only Tate Forcier’s 100 percent (12-of-12) versus Bowling Green on Sept. 25, 2010.

• Gardner also passed Tom Brady for ninth in career passing yards (5,280).

 Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith both eclipsed 100 yards, the 38th time two backs have done so in the same game in program history. It was the first time since Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor did so against Minnesota on Oct. 27, 2007.

 Michigan’s streak of 15 consecutive games with a forced turnover ended.

Nebraska ends Michigan’s season

Saturday, May 24th, 2014


UM baseball vs Nebraska(MGoBlue.com)

Facing elimination from the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, the Michigan baseball team needed to win two straight against Nebraska, which was playing in front of its home crowd. Instead, the second-seeded Cornhuskers took care of business, sending Michigan home with a 6-1 loss.

Freshman pitcher Keith Lehmann held Nebraska in check through the first three innings, but the ‘Huskers got on the board in the fourth when Tanner Lubach singled up the middle to score Pat Kelly, who had walked. In the bottom of the sixth, Nebraska blew the game open with five more runs.

Michigan scored its only run of the day in the top of the ninth when junior Jackson Glines knocked in Travis Maezes with a sacrifice fly. Maezes got hit by a pitch to open the inning, then moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a fly out by Jacob Cronenworth.

Michigan managed just three hits for the game, two by Cronenworth and the other by Maezes. Lehmann went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out two.

The Wolverines’ season ends with a 30-29-1 record. Head coach Erik Bakich will lose five seniors to graduation, but has the core of his team, which finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten regular season, returning next season.

Baseball stays alive, softball sent home

Saturday, May 24th, 2014


Evan Hill vs Iowa(MGoBlue.com)

In a reverse of Thursday’s action, the Michigan baseball team won to stay alive in the Big Ten Tournament for another day, while the Michigan softball team dropped two straight to Florida State to see its season come to an end.

Facing elimination following Thursday’s 5-0 loss to Indiana, the baseball team put together a great game against eighth-seed Iowa on Friday evening, beating the Hawkeyes 7-1. Neither team scored through three innings, but Iowa got the first run of the game in the top of the fourth when Jake Yacinich stole home and avoided the tag from catcher Cole Martin.

But Michigan wasted no time getting the run back, and more. The Wolverines scored three in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Carmen Benedetti and Kevin White got back-to-back singles. After a Dominic Jamett strike out, Eric Jacobson singled up the middle to knock in Benedetti, then Wednesday’s hero, Travis Maezes, tripled to score White and Jacobson.

In the next inning, Benedetti hit a two-run home run to put Michigan ahead 5-1, and in the sixth, Michigan scored two more. Maezes hit his second triple of the day and was knocked in by a Jacob Cronenworth double, who was then knocked in by Jackson Glines to reach the final score of 7-1.

Sophomore pitcher Evan Hill pitched brilliantly, striking out eight and allowing juts five hits and one run in 7.2 innings before Jackson Lamb closed the game. Maezes paced the offense with a 3-for-5 performance and two runs batted in. Cronenworth, Benedetti, and White had two hits apiece for a Michigan offense that out-hit Iowa 13-5.

Michigan's season ends just short of the World Series with a 47-15 record (MGoBlue.com)

Michigan’s season ends just short of the World Series with a 47-15 record (MGoBlue.com)

Michigan faces second-seed Nebraska (39-18) on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. EST. The Wolverines have to beat the Cornhuskers twice in order to advance to the championship game. Michigan lost two of three to Nebraska during the regular season. A loss would end Michigan’s season, but Friday night’s win assured the Wolverines of a second straight winning season.

The Michigan softball team, meanwhile, needed only to win one of two against host Florida State on Friday evening, but dropped both to fall just short of the Women’s College World Series.

In the opener, Florida State’s offense exploded with six runs on four home runs in the fifth and sixth innings after being held scoreless through four. Michigan was unable to get any offense going against FSU pitcher Lacey Waldrop. Lindsay Doyle went 2-for-3 in the game and Michigan managed five hits, but left six runners on base and fell 6-0.

Game two was a much closer contest. Florida State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Lindsay Montemarano tied it up with a homer in the top of the second. Michigan then took the lead on a bases loaded fielder’s choice by Taylor Hasselbach, but that was the only run the Wolverines could score in the inning.

The theme of the day was missed opportunities. In the fifth, pinch runner Brandi Virgil was thrown out at home after a Hasselbach single to center. In the sixth, Michigan put runners on second and third, but Nicole Sappingfield lined out to third to end the inning. In the top of the seventh, Michigan loaded the bases with no outs, but Hasselbach struck out, Sweet hit into a fielder’s choice, which got Sierra Romero out at home, and pinch hitter Kelly Christner grounded out to end the inning, stranding three.

Florida State tied the game in the fifth, and the score remained tied heading into the bottom of the seventh. The first batter grounded out and the second walked. The third hit a grounder to Romero, who got the runner out at second to pull Michigan within an out of the World Series. But FSU centerfielder Courtney Senas had other plans, blasting a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence to end the game in walk-off fashion. It sent Florida State to the World Series for the first time in 10 years and sent Michigan home. The Wolverines finished the season 47-15.

Softball dominates Seminoles, baseball shut out by Hoosiers

Friday, May 23rd, 2014


UM softball vs FSU 1(MGoBlue.com)

Both the Michigan softball and baseball teams were in action on Thursday evening, but only one came away victorious. Michigan softball dominated third-ranked Florida State, 17-3, while Michigan baseball fell to top-seeded Indiana, 5-0.

The softball team took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out single by Sierra Lawrence, but the home-team Seminoles responded with a run in the bottom of the first and two more in the second to grab a 3-1 lead. Then the Michigan bats caught fire.

The Wolverines batted through the order, knocking in seven runs in the top of the third, to jump out to a 8-3 lead. Lawrence, Lauren Sweet, Kelly Christner, and Sierra Romero each knocked in runs.

Michigan got another run in the fifth on a Nicole Sappingfield RBI double, and exploded once more in the top of the sixth. Lawrence got it started with a bunt single and advanced to second on a single by Taylor Hasselbach. Sweet loaded the bases with a single. After a pop-out by Lindsay Montemarano, Abby Ramirez was hit by a pitch, sending in a run. The FSU pitcher was then called for an illegal pitch, advancing all runners for another run. Lindsay Doyle singled, knocking in a third run. Sappingfield grounded out, but FSU was called for another illegal pitch, resulting in another run. Romero was walked and then stole second before Caitlin Blanchard singled, knocking her and Doyle in. Lawrence was hit by a pitch and Hasselbach singled. A Sweet double knocked them both in before the inning came to a close.

Freshman Brett Adcock allowed no hits through five and one through six, but the wheels fell off in the seventh (MGoBlue.com)

Freshman Brett Adcock allowed no hits through five and one through six, but the wheels fell off in the seventh (MGoBlue.com)

Suddenly, Michigan led 17-3. Pitcher Megan Betsa, who came in for starting pitcher Haylie Wagner in the second, held the Seminoles in the bottom of the sixth and Michigan got the run-rule win. Betsa pitched brilliantly, giving up just three hits and no runs, while striking out seven in 4.1 innings.

The lopsided win was the worst margin of defeat and the most runs allowed in Florida State history, as well as the most runs Michigan has scored in NCAA Tournament history.

The two teams square off in the second game of the best-of-three series this afternoon at 4 p.m. EST. It will be televised on ESPNU. If Michigan wins, it will advance to the Women’s College World Series. If Florida State wins, game three will begin at approximately 7 p.m.

Michigan baseball hung with Indiana through five innings in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament, but after getting out of a jam in the top of the sixth, let things get away in the seventh.

Both teams had no-hitters going through five innings before the Hoosiers got the first hit of the game in the sixth. With runners on first and second and no outs, freshman pitcher Brett Adcock got a fly out and two strike outs to end the inning. But in the seventh, Hoosier Dustin DeMuth got a lead-off double and took third on a fly out. A single off of Adcock’s leg knocked in the first run, and after another infield single, Casey Rodrigue cleared the bases with a triple. Kyle Schwarber bashed a home run to put Indiana ahead, 5-0.

Michigan managed just one hit in the game and couldn’t get anything going against All-Big Ten first-team pitcher Christian Morris. For his part, Adcock went 6.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits and recording seven strike outs.

Michigan falls into the loser’s bracket where it will face eighth-seed Iowa (30-22, 10-14) tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST. The Hawkeyes eliminated Minnesota with a 2-1 win on Thursday afternoon. Michigan took two of three from Iowa during the regular season, dropping the first, 3-2, and winning the next two, 4-2 and 6-5. The winner of this evening’s matchup will face second-seed Nebraska on Saturday night and will need to beat the Cornhuskers twice in-a-row to advance to the championship game.

Wolverines beat Minnesota, top-seed Indiana awaits

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014


Michigan baseball vs MIN(MGoBlue.com)

Unable to muster any offense through six innings, Michigan got the hit it needed when sophomore shortstop Travis Maezes blasted a three-run home run into the right field seats to give Michigan a 3-2 lead over Minnesota. The Wolverines hung on to win by the same score, sending the Gophers into the loser’s bracket and advancing to a meeting with top-seed Indiana on Thursday evening.

Maezes jumped on a 3-2 pitch following singles by Jackson Lamb and Eric Jacobson to give Michigan its first lead of the game. Minnesota scored a run each in the fourth and fifth inning, both coming with two outs, and both off of starting pitcher Trent Szkutnik.

Szkutnik went 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out three. Junior reliever James Bourque came in in relief and pitched three strong innings, giving up two hits and striking out three to earn the win.

Maezes went 2-for-4 with the home run, a walk, and three runs batted in. Lamb and Jacobson also went 2-for-4, while Jackson Glines went 2-for-3. Michigan out-hit Minnesota 11 to six and the Michigan pitching staff combined to strike out seven Gophers.

The Wolverines face top-seed Indiana (39-13, 21-3) on Thursday at 10 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on Big Ten Network.

Indiana took two of three from Michigan in Bloomington two months ago, but the one that Michigan stole was one of just three losses for the Hoosiers in conference play this season. Indiana beat eight-seed Iowa 5-2 on Wednesday to advance.

Michigan softball advances to Super Regionals

Monday, May 19th, 2014


Doyle home run rob(MGoBlue.com)

For the ninth time in 10 years, the Michigan softball team is heading to the Super Regionals, this time thanks to a two-game sweep of host Arizona State on Sunday afternoon.

Michigan began the double elimination regional with a 9-8 win over San Diego State, but dropped its second game, 4-1, to ninth-seeded Arizona State. Facing elimination, Michigan dropped San Diego State 9-1 to advance to Sunday’s title game against the Sun Devils, who hadn’t yet lost.

In the first game, Michigan fell behind early on a two-run home run by ASU’s Cheyenne Coyle, but sophomore Sierra Romero answered with a two-run bomb of her own in the bottom half of the inning. Michigan took the lead in the third inning on a two-run home run by senior Caitlin Blanchard and the Wolverines hung on for a 4-3 win. Junior Haylie Wagner pitched 6.2 innings, allowing just four hits and one run after relieving starter Megan Betsa. The win set up a winner-take-all second game.

This time it was Michigan that jumped out to the 2-0 lead, getting two bases loaded walks in the top of the first. Arizona State scored a run in the bottom of the first to pull within one and then hit a pair of home runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 lead. Michigan sophomore Sierra Lawrence hit a solo shot in the top of the fifth to cut the ASU lead to 4-3.

In the top of the seventh, three outs away from elimination, it was Lawrence again who got things going, blasting her second home run of the game to tie it at four. The very next batter, senior Taylor Hasselbach, who was just 1-for-10 before that, hit the next pitch over the wall to put Michigan ahead, 5-4.

In the bottom half of the inning, Arizona State got the tying run on base, and with two outs, Amber Freeman blasted the ball towards the center field fence. Michigan’s senior center fielder, Lindsay Doyle, jumped up and snagged the ball before it could go over the wall, ending the game and No. 4 ASU’s season. Doyle’s catch made SportsCenter’s top play.

Michigan advances to the Super Regional where it will face eighth-seeded Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. on Thursday evening. The winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the eight-teem Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Final round 77 ends O’Neill’s season

Saturday, May 17th, 2014


O'Neill round 3(Scott Walstrom, NIU Media)

Michigan men’s golfer Chris O’Neill shot a 77 in the final round of the NCAA Regional on Saturday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. The five-over round ended his season as Kent State’s Taylor Pendrith captured the low individual spot from non-advancing teams in next weekend’s NCAA Final.

O’Neill began the day tied with Pendrith at four-over through two rounds, but recorded back-to-back double-bogeys on holes 13 and 14 and a bogey on 18 to shoot a first nine 41. He strung together nine straight pars on his second nine. Pendrith, meanwhile, shot a two-under, 70 to advance. O’Neill finished tied for 20th overall and seventh among individuals not on the low five teams.

Illinois won the team competition by two strokes over Alabama-Birmingham, while Purdue, Southern California, and California advanced as well. Illinois’ Brian Campbell took home medalist honors with a three-round score of five-under, beating USC’s Anthony Paolucci by four strokes.

O’Neill finishes his sophomore campaign with a scoring average of 73.02, which ranks among the top 10 in program history.

Chris O’Neill’s Round 3 Scorecard
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 4 5 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 36 4 5 4 3 4 4 3 5 4 36 72
Score 4 5 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 36 4 5 4 5 6 4 3 5 5 41 77

O’Neill fires 71 in second round of NCAA Regional

Friday, May 16th, 2014


O'Neill round 2(Scott Walstrom, NIU Media)

After opening with a 77 on Thursday, Michigan men’s golfer Chris O’Neill bounced back with a 71 in Friday’s second round of the NCAA Regional men’s golf tournament at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

The one-under round vaulted O’Neill from 28th place overall to 14th and widened his lead among individuals.

Individual Standings
Place Player Team Round 1 Round 2 Total
1 Chris O’Neill Michigan 77 71 148
2 Danny Pizetoski Richmond 78 77 155
3 Niall Platt Notre Dame 80 77 157
4 Rob van de Vin IUPUI 83 75 158
5 Juan Veloza Towson 81 86 167

Starting on the back nine, O’Neill birdied two of his first three holes and didn’t record a bogey until after the turn. He bogeyed his 10th hole of the day, but responded with a birdie on the next hole. He then strung together six straight pars before closing his round with a bogey on the ninth.

He was one of just eight competitors to break par in Friday’s cold and wet conditions. Brian Campbell of Illinois is the only one in the field under par through two rounds after following up a 69 on Thursday with a 70 on Friday. The team competition appears to be a two-team race between Alabama-Birmingham and Illinois, with UAB holding a one stroke lead. Michigan doesn’t have a team competing.

The regional continues with the final round on Saturday. O’Neill tees off at 10:04 a.m. from the 10th tee. If he finishes as the low individual not on one of the low five teams, O’Neill will advance to next weekend’s NCAA Finals at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.

O’Neill entered the Sugar Grove Regional ranked as the No. 2 individual not on a team behind Notre Dame’s Niall Platt, who currently trails O’Neill by nine strokes.

Stay tuned to Maize and Go Blue for continued updates on O’Neill’s march towards the NCAA Final.

Chris O’Neill’s Round 2 Scorecard
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 4 5 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 36 4 5 4 3 4 4 3 5 4 36 72
Score 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 5 37 4 4 3 3 4 4 3 5 4 34 71

O’Neill opens NCAA Regional with 77

Friday, May 16th, 2014


Chris O'Neill round 1(Scott Walstrom, NIU Media)

Michigan men’s golfer Chris O’Neill shot a 77 in the opening round of the NCAA Regional men’s golf tournament on Thursday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

The sophomore from Glen Allen, Va. currently sits in a tie for 28th among all competitors in the regional, but leads the five individuals. The regional is made up of 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The top five teams and the top individual after 54 holes will advance to the finals at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas next weekend.

Individual Standings
Place Player Team Round 1
1 Chris O’Neill Michigan 77
2 Danny Pizetoski Richmond 78
3 Niall Platt Notre Dame 80
4 Juan Veloza Towson 81
5 Rob van de Vin IUPUI 83

In his opening round, O’Neill birdied his second hole before recording three straight bogeys, but rebounded with another birdie on six. He closed the first nine with three pars to go out in 37. On the second nine, he again bogeyed three straight, this time on 11, 12, and 13, and added another on 18 to come in with a 40.

Only three participants broke par on Thursday, led by Brian Campbell of Illinois, who shot a three-under 69. Taylor Pendrith of Kent State and Pablo Torres of Jacksonville State each shot 70.

The regional will continue today with the second of three rounds, though the starting times have been delayed two-and-a-half hours due to inclement weather. O’Neill was scheduled to tee off at 10:34 a.m., but will now go off at 1:04 p.m. from the 10th tee.

O’Neill was a three-time Big Ten Golfer of the Week this season, leading the Wolverines in seven of 11 events. He finished in the top five three times and in the top 20 four times, winning the Windon Memorial in September. He tied for 24th at the Big Ten Championships and finished the regular season with a scoring average of 72.84 per 18 holes and 217.11 per 54-hole tournament.

Stay tuned to Maize and Go Blue for continued updates on O’Neill’s march towards the NCAA championships.

Chris O’Neill’s Round 1 Scorecard
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 4 5 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 36 4 5 4 3 4 4 3 5 4 36 72
Score 4 4 4 5 4 3 5 4 4 37 4 6 5 4 4 4 3 5 5 40 77