The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Follow Michigan Sports Year-Round in THE WOLVERINE! The Wolverine covers all sports at U-M with an emphasis on football, basketball and recruiting. n You���ll receive 11 full-color information-packed issues from August to June. n In July you will receive The Wolverine Football Preview, a glossy, full-color, action-packed magazine full of great information about the upcoming season. n During football season, you will have access to 26 issues of The Wolverine Now, our online newsletter that is published Sundays and Wednesdays during the season. Flyi ng n You will also have access to digital editions of The Wolverine at including an archive of past issues. Wolverines Want to Use More players Michigan���s 2010 roster carries 123 names, and almost half (60 or 48.8 percent) of those saw the field against Connecticut, including 11 true freshmen. However, the Wolverines want to use even more players this week at Notre Dame and going forward. U-M employed just 19 players offen- Makes a terrific gift for your Michigan Fan! Only $49.95 for one year ThewritersofThe Wolverine weighin withtheirtakeonU-Mfootball. ��� The bad news is, Michigan hasn���t stopped anybody on defense since the wind and slop turbo-boosted the Wolverines��� effort in West Lafayette. The good news is, nobody has put a serious knock on Denard Robinson in more than a month. As has been the case all season, the latter represents Michigan���s best hope against the second MSU on the U-M docket. For the year to end on an upbeat note, Robinson has to be the doit-all force he was in the season���s early games. Prediction: Michigan 35, Mississippi State 31 ��� John Borton EXtRa p INts ��� Michigan has done well against non-conference opponents in the last two years under Rich Rodriguez, has seen the read option plenty in practice and will play well in its first bowl game in three years. Quarterback Denard Robinson, too, is healthy and will be able to show the same explosion he did in the early part of the year. Mississippi State did a great job slowing Auburn���s Cam Newton in a 17-14 loss, but the Wolverines are going to score points. Unfortunately, so will the Bulldogs. Prediction: Mississippi State 38, Michigan 34 ��� Chris Balas U-M Football injury Report Player CB Troy Woolfolk S Jared Van Slyke LB Mike Jones CB J.T. Floyd TB Teric Jones S Mike Williams WR Martavious Odoms DT Mike Martin DE Craig Roh TB Michael Shaw OT Taylor Lewan TB Vincent Smith WR Jeremy Gallon WR Darryl Stonum WR Junior Hemingway Games Injury Missed Ankle/Leg 12 Clavicle 12 Leg 10 Ankle Four Knee Four Head 12 Foot Six Ankle Three Head None Head Two Head One Head None Arm One Ankle None Head One Gator Bowl? Out for the year Out for the year Out for the year Out for the year Out for the year Out for the year Possible Will play Will play Will play Will play Will play Will play Will play Will play ��� I���m very interested to see how the offense stacks up against the Bulldog D, one of the best in the SEC. Against some of the best defenses they faced this year ��� Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin ��� the Wolverines struggled to move the ball early, which, combined with the defensive struggles, put them in a huge hole. Prediction: Mississippi State 35, Michigan 21 ��� Andy Reid ��� Under Rich Rodriguez, Michigan has played its best football coming out of fall camp. U-M started with four straight wins in 2009 and five straight wins in 2010. The 30-10 victory over UConn to start 2010 was arguably the Wolverines��� most complete win of the season. Like fall camp, the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl has given Michigan five weeks to prepare for one opponent, so expect a better team than the one that took the field against Wisconsin and Ohio State. However, Mississippi State plays strong defense and will bring a balanced offensive attack ��� traits that have given Michigan problems throughout the season. Michigan will not have the firepower to outlast the Bulldogs in a tight game. Prediction: Mississippi State 31, Michigan 28 ��� Josh Helmholdt 7th By the Numbers Gator Bowl���s rank among the best bowl matchups this season, according to college football editor Mike Huguenin. Years since multiple U-M defenders had 100 tackles or more in the same year ��� Sam Sword (109), Jarrett Irons (106) and Marcus Ray (104) in 1996 ��� until safety Jordan Kovacs (112) and linebacker Jonas Mouton (111) accomplished the feat this fall. The Big Ten���s bowl record since 2003; the conference posted a losing record from 2003-08 before going 4-3 in Safety Jordan Kovacs and line2009. Current Wolverines backer Jonas Mouton both that have previously topped 100 tackles this season for the Wolverines. traveled to a bowl game, inPHOTO bY ERiC bROnSOn/ bROnSOnPHOTO.COM cluding eight fifth-year seniors. 14 19-31 23 tHE WoLVERINE thEWoLVErinE.Com Junior gamE WEEk poLL Michael Shaw (above) and sophomore Vincent Smith were the only U-M tailbacks to get playing time in the win over connecticut. What is the best Big Ten bowl matchup? photo by eric bronson/ HigH iPad Rea dy! sively, utilizing a single backup offensive what we were asked to do, and it helped lineman ��� redshirt sophomore center us get a win.��� Rocko Khoury ��� while junior Michael Rodriguez gave his top-two backs passShaw and sophomore Vincent Smith were ing grades, but wasn���t ready to champion the only two tailbacks. their efforts quite yet. ���I think we probably ���I thought they ran could have played more pretty hard. They ran betFreshmen to people,��� head coach Rich ter than they blocked,��� he have appeared in said. ���They���re both usually Rodriguez said. ���That���s one thing I wished we would Season Openers pretty good blockers for the have done more, looking most part. There were some Since 2001 back. I talked to the coaches things we���ll get better at, Year ........... Total about that ��� we need to get but we ran with a passion. 2010 ................. 11 a couple of those guys in There were a couple of runs 2009 .................. 9 there for a couple snaps. we���d like to have back, that 2008 .................. 6 ���More offensive linemen, we had negative-yardage 2007 .................. 7 or maybe a running back or plays on. 2006 .................. 5 receiver or two. I wish we ���I liked their perfor2005 .................. 4 would have got more guys mance, but we���ve got to 2004 .................. 5 in there offensively. play more of the other 2003 .................. 6 ���Defensively, we played backs. They���ve got to give 2002 .................. 1 a lot more people [21]. us the confidence this week 2001 .................. 4 ���We should have gotten in practice that we can put more guys in there, but they them in there, and I think have to give us confidence as a staff that they will.��� we���re going to get the same kind of execuIf Hopkins sees the field this weekend, tion to put them in there. If they prove they he would become the 12th rookie to do can do that in practice, we���ll get them in so, adding another accolade to the class of there.��� 2010���s growing r��sum��. U-M used more Michigan employed at least three different backs in eight of 12 contests a year ago players Used against and features a depth chart complete with ball carriers of different varieties. U-M connecticut did not utilize redshirt sophomore Michael Category No. Freshmen Cox or true freshman Stephen Hopkins; Offense 19 2 redshirt freshman Fitzgerald Toussaint Defense 21 4 missed the game with a knee injury. Special Teams 20* 5* Smith and Shaw, who combined for 99 *Unique to special teams play. yards and two scores, won their coaches��� True Freshman Participants: Jeremy trust throughout the preseason and were Jackson (WR); Devin Gardner (QB); Jideserving of their playing time. breel Black (DE); Carvin Johnson (SPUR); ���The biggest thing the coaches look for Cullen Christian (CB); Terrence Talbott is stability and consistency, and we didn���t (CB); Drew Dileo (HO); Will Hagerup put the ball on the ground and we always (P); Marvin Robinson (Special Teams); focused on our reads,��� Shaw said. ���We Courtney Avery (Special Teams); Ray are guys you can depend on. When our Vinopal (Special Teams). numbers were called in the game, we did TCU vs. Wisconsin (Rose) The WOLVeRine Tim Hard And The away Jr. W Enjoy St olverines And Earn rong Finish An NCA A Bid true freshmen in a season opener than any other year dating back to 2001 (10 seasons). In Rodriguez���s first three seasons (2008-10), Michigan used 26 rookies in opening games, or 8.7 per season. In Lloyd Carr���s final seven seasons, he played an average of 4.6. career Starts By U-M���s Season-Opening Starters OFFENSE Player Pos. Denard Robinson QB John McColgan FB Michael Shaw TB Darryl Stonum WR Roy Roundtree WR Kevin Koger TE Mark Huyge LT Steve Schilling LG David Molk C Patrick Omameh RG Perry Dorrestein RT DEFENSE Ryan Van Bergen DE Mike Martin NT Greg Banks DT Craig Roh OLB Obi Ezeh MLB Jonas Mouton WLB Carvin Johnson Spur J.T. Floyd CB Jordan Kovacs SS Cameron Gordon FS James Rogers CB SPECIAL TEAMS Brendan Gibbons PK Drew Dileo HO Will Hagerup P Tom Pomarico LS Starts 2* 1 6 14 5 12 10 37 17 4 13 13 13 1 13 32 23 1 3 9 1 3** 1 1 1 13 Michig april 201 1 | $3.95 an���s Man * Started versus Wisconsin in 2009 as a wide receiver. ** Started two previous games at wide receiver. Brady Ho ke to lead Returns to u-M the Wol verines Per iodi cals Cla ssif ��� Page 12 40% Arkansas vs. Ohio State (Sugar) 27% Michigan State vs. Alabama (Capital One) 13% Michigan vs. Mississippi State (Gator) 17% POS TM 331 votes Top four responses shown aST er: icat ion Ma iled Ple ase On Jan. Del iver Imm edia 20. tely sept. 12, 2010 Michigan Vs. Notre Dame all-time head to head in Winning percentage visit us School G W L T Pct. U-M 1,227 884 307 36 .7351 ND 1,181 844 295 42 .7324 * Both Michigan and Notre Dame went 7-5 this season. D-RobbeD 2010 FootbaLL sChEDuLE Date Sept. 4 Sept. 11 Sept. 18 Sept. 25 Oct. 2 Oct. 9 Oct. 16 Oct. 30 Nov. 6 Nov. 13 Nov. 20 Nov. 27 Jan.1 Opponent Connecticut at Notre Dame Massachusetts Bowling Green at Indiana Michigan State Iowa at Penn State Illinois at Purdue Wisconsin at Ohio State MississippiState ��� pagE 13 The Wolverine Now, our Internet-based newsletter, is published every Sunday (game reports) and Wednesday (scouting reports) during football season on Denard Robinson���s Incredible Afternoon sinks the Irish, 28-24 Time/TV By John Borton W, 30-10 any Michigan quarterbacks have W, 28-24 stared down the Notre Dame mystique W, 42-37 through the years. A blessed few have even W, 65-21 walked away winners in the shadow of the W, 42-35 Golden Dome. But none has ever shaken L, 34-17 the thunder on Notre Dame quite like down L, 38-28 Denard Robinson did. L, 41-31 W, 67-65 W, 27-16 L, 48-28 L, 37-7 U-M sophomore put together perhaps The 1:30p.m.most incredible performance of all time the M 28 24 in Notre Dame Stadium, accounting for 502 of Michigan���s 532 total yards in a gut-grinder of a 28-24 victory by the visitors. The Wolverines needed every yard of Robinson���s 244 through the air and 258 on the ground. Without the final two ��� Robinson���s twoyard, go-ahead TD plunge with 27 seconds left in the game ��� Michigan goes away shaking its collective head over another infuriating nugget of Irish lore. Instead, the Wolverines wiped out a Notre Dame comeback from a 21-7 deficit, and left a second straight opposing coach shaking his head. ���He���s a tough kid,��� Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly acknowledged. ���That���s one thing that stands out. He���s obviously a very explosive player. He throws it as well. When you can run a quarterback 25 times, you���ve got to have toughness.��� When Michigan fell behind with 3:41 remaining, on a 95-yard Dayne Crist-to-Kyle Rudolph bomb, plenty of Wolverines needed to summon up some toughness. That���s precisely what they did, taking their cue from the winged-helmeted warrior who has the nation buzzing from Pasadena to New York���s Downtown Athletic Club. Facing a second-half shutout because of missed field goals and more yellow laundry than equipment manager Jon Falk handles washing U-M���s game pants, Robinson and the Wolverines desperately needed to respond. They did so with a game-winning drive to remember, covering 72 yards in 12 plays. Asked what he said prior to the fateful march, Robinson responded: ���It���s time to put it in. It���s time to put the game away. We let them stick around too long, and it was time to put the game away.��� ���It was crazy,��� acknowledged wideout Roy Roundtree, who hauled in eight Robinson throws for 82 yards and a touchdown. ���They score, and everybody is all, ���Aw, there goes Michigan down again.��� But until it���s zeroes on the clock, we���re going all out.��� Robinson has proven all in, time after time in this young season. He���d already posted most of his 28 carries for 258 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He���d put the lion���s share of his passing effort (24 of 40, 244 yards, one touchdown) in the books. But he In a performance to remember, robinson ran for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and also threw for 244 yards and another score. photo by Eric bronson/ needed to cover enough ground to win with just 3:41 remaining. What happened next probably sent Dr. Lou right to the psychiatrist���s couch. Robinson simply carved up the Irish. Starting from his own 28, he tucked the ball away and bolted 12 yards. He then hit Darryl Stonum for 16 more on the sideline. With the game on the line, he banged out a one-yard run on fourth-and-inches to the Notre Dame 34. Robinson found running back Michael Shaw for two more quick tosses, taking the Wolverines down to the 17. Then he took a peak at Roundtree, who seven days earlier was coughing up blood on the sidelines after a devastating hit against UConn. The redshirt sophomore was ready to make someone else bleed and let Robinson know how he felt without a word. ���He gave me a wink before the play,��� Robinson marveled. ���He winked at me. I knew I could go to him, and I knew I could count on him. It was time.��� ���When I winked at Denard, he just smiled,��� Roundtree recalled. ���When he threw that ball in the air, I knew I had to go get it. I know the defender was on me, but that���s what receivers do. You���ve got to go get the ball. You���ve got to attack the ball.��� Roundtree and Robinson attacked at the same time, the former slanting across the middle in front of a defender, and Robinson firing one on the numbers. The 15-yard connection put the Wolverines on the Irish doorstep, and Robinson took just one more play to put them away. ���I���ve got my shoes untied, in honor of Denard,��� U-M head coach Rich Rodriguez quipped. ���He kept his poise the whole game.��� Robinson and the rest of the Wolverines needed to do so, given a script that seemed made for a drama considerably less fraudulent than ���Rudy.��� The Irish lose their starting quarterback, fall behind by two touchdowns, see him trudge back onto the field, rally furiously for 17 straight points and pull off a victory before a raucous home crowd of 80,795. online at TheWolve DEFEN S HAS IT E S februar y 2011 | $3.95 DAY Safety Ca rv Set The in Johnson Help Tone Th is Spring s VISIT US ONLINE AT THEWOLVE RINE.COM 0 5> 0 74470 12040 MAY 201 1| 7 $3.95 send to: The Wolverine ��� circulation dept. ��� P.o. box 2331 ��� durham, nc 27702 Please send the following subscriPtion: q One-yearsubscriptionformeat$49.95 q Oneyeargiftsubscriptionfortherecipientlistedtotheright. total $_________________ q ycheckormoneyorderpayabletoThe Wolverine is M enclosed.(Checks/money orders must be drawn on U.S. banks.) 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