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Saturday, September 3, 2011
It's game day at Michigan Stadium

By Adam Rittenberg

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Greetings from the Big House, where the Brady Hoke era begins today as Michigan takes on Western Michigan in the opener.

It's extremely hot out there, and since I'm wearing a tie, I limited my time outside the press box. From what I saw, there's a good atmosphere around the stadium today, complete with "Jim Tressel Tattoo & Pawn Shop" T-shirts on sale right on Main Street.

We could get some thunderstorms a little later, but it will be important for players on both squads to stay hydrated and avoid cramping.

The massive scoreboards on either end of the stadium definitely enhance the experience. Can't wait to see what this place looks like next week under the lights.

This is the second time in three years Michigan has opened against Western Michigan. As was the case in 2009, the Broncos have a talented quarterback -- Tim Hiller then, Alex Carder now -- who could test Michigan's secondary. Michigan made Hiller look bad that day, but Carder has the potential to do some damage today.

I'm particularly interested to see how Fitzgerald Toussaint performs in his first career start at running back for the Wolverines. There was a lot of talk about Toussaint when he arrived as a recruit, and he finally gets his chance. Michigan wants to ease the rushing burden on Denard Robinson, and coordinator Al Borges would like a true lead back to emerge.

I'll obviously be watching the Wolverines' new schemes on both sides, particularly the offense as they move away from the spread.

That's all for now, but keep it here for coverage of Michigan-Western Michigan throughout the afternoon.