The Wolverine

February 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 36 of 160

Head coach Brady Hoke and the Wolverines had high hopes for the 2013 campaign, but the season ultimately proved to be a frustrating one, producing a 7-6 final record. photo by Lon Horwedel sive coaches preach it constantly, and the defenders pride themselves on not allowing the big play — U-M ranked first nationally a year ago in that category, surrendering only 35 plays of 20 yards or more — but those 20-plusyard gains scorched the Maize and Blue this season. In total, U-M allowed 53 such plays, ranking 42nd nationally. Their 185 plays of 10 yards or more ceded ranked the Wolverines 72nd. Michigan State, Ohio State and Kansas State all carved up the Michigan defense, and even the middling offenses of Penn State, Nebraska and Iowa found big-play success at critical moments. No Killer Instinct: Michigan led Penn State 34-24 in the fourth quarter, Nebraska 13-10 in the fourth quarter and Iowa 21-7 at the half — and even held a brief lead over Ohio State — yet the Wolverines lost all four games. With the exception of the OSU game, in which the Wolverines went for the two-point conversion to win the contest, U-M lacked a killer instinct, allowing the Nittany Lions, Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes back in games that the Maize and Blue could have and should have won.

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