Michigan football team to practice at Ford Field on Wednesday as preparation for 'JerryWorld'
AnnArbor.com file photo
But it doesn't have "JerryWorld."
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said the Wolverines will practice at Detroit's Ford Field on Wednesday night, a move he hopes will help prepare the team for its upcoming game against Alabama at the massive indoor Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"We're going to go down there and change the environment up a little bit," Hoke said. "I think it's good for us, and (we'll) have some distractions that are built in when (we) do that."
The 70,000-seat indoor venue at Ford Field doesn't quite have all the bells and whistles the 80,000-seat Cowboys Stadium has, but should provide Michigan with a similar atmosphere -- even if no one is in the stands.
Also, in an effort to help get the team ready for the excessive noise it will likely have to battle in Texas, Hoke says he's been piping in music and artificial crowd sounds during recent practices.
"I think AC/DC was on (Tuesday)," he said.
Hoke doesn't anticipate Michigan to go through a full scrimmage at Ford Field, but said he would run the team through various situational drills -- such as two-minute offense -- in an effort to "see if they can stay focused."
The Wolverines shouldn't need too much of a reminder about what it's like to play inside a dome, though, as Michigan closed the 2011 campaign at the Superdome in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
"I think (Ford Field) is going to help us a tremendous amount," Michigan cornerback Blake Countess said. "(Last year), we got to go to the Superdome, I think, a day or two early so we didn't actually get to have a full practice in.
"Just being in that atmosphere (like Ford Field), being in an indoor facility, it should help us."
It won't be deafening, national television cameras will be absent and the defending national champion won't be there.
But Michigan believes a workout at Ford Field could serve as an extra edge for Alabama.
And when you play the Crimson Tide, you take any edge you can get.
"It's a business trip," Michigan safety Thomas Gordon said. "Being from Detroit, that's a fun venue to be in.
"But it's all business. We've still got to practice and get ready for Alabama."