Everything was backward for Michael Cox Saturday afternoon.
He was in the wrong locker room, he was on the wrong side of the field, and he was definitely on the wrong side of the final score.
Cox and his Massachusetts teammates were routed 63-13 by his former team, No. 17 Michigan. After spending three years as a little-used running back, he got his diploma in Ann Arbor and enrolled as a grad student at UMass. On Saturday, he found himself back in the Big House, this time as a starting tailback.
''It was weird to go to the visiting locker room and to start on the visiting sidelines,'' he said. ''The whole day was a little strange, but it was great to be back and to see so many good friends.''
Cox finished with 76 yards rushing, easily leading the team, but his most important contribution might have been a pregame speech to his teammates, warning them of what was about to happen.
''I told the guys that it was impossible to prepare for playing in front of 110,000 people - I just ...