The Wolverine

May 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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HIGH FLYING Tim Hardaway Jr. And Earn An NCAA Bid And The Wolverines Enjoy Strong Finish APRIL 2011 | $3.95 MICHIGAN'S Brady Hoke Returns To U-M To Lead The Wolverines MAN Periodicals Classification Mailed On Jan. 20. POSTMASTER: Please Deliver Immediately VISIT US ONLINE AT THEWOLVERINE.COM DEFENSE HAS ITS Safety Carvin Johnson Helps Set The Tone This Spring DAY 05> 0 VISIT US ONLINE AT THEWOLVERINE.COM 74470 12040 7 MAY 2011 | $3.95 FEBRUARY 2011 | $3.95 Follow Michigan Sports Year-Round in 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. 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 per- cent) of those saw the field against Con- necticut, 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- sively, utilizing a single backup offensive lineman — redshirt sophomore center Rocko Khoury — while junior Michael Shaw and sophomore Vincent Smith were the only two tailbacks. "I think we probably could have played more people," head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "That's one thing I wished we would have done more, looking back. I talked to the coaches about that — we need to get a couple of those guys in there for a couple snaps. "More offensive linemen, or maybe a running back or receiver or two. I wish we would have got more guys in there offensively. "Defensively, we played a lot more people [21]. "We should have gotten what we were asked to do, and it helped us get a win." Rodriguez gave his top-two backs pass- Have Appeared In Season Openers Since 2001 Freshmen To Year ........... Total 2010 .................11 2009 .................. 9 2008 .................. 6 2007 .................. 7 2006 .................. 5 2005 .................. 4 2004 .................. 5 2003 .................. 6 2002 .................. 1 2001 .................. 4 more guys in there, but they have to give us confidence as a staff that we're going to get the same kind of execu- tion to put them in there. If they prove they can do that in practice, we'll get them in there." Michigan employed at least three differ- ent backs in eight of 12 contests a year ago and features a depth chart complete with ball carriers of different varieties. U-M did not utilize redshirt sophomore Michael Cox or true freshman Stephen Hopkins; redshirt freshman Fitzgerald Toussaint missed the game with a knee injury. Smith and Shaw, who combined for 99 The writers of The Wolverine weigh in with their take on U-M football. EXTRA P INTS 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 do- it-all force he was in the season's early games. Prediction: Michigan 35, Mississippi State 31 stopped anybody on defense since the wind and slop turbo-boosted the Wol- verines' effort in West Lafayette. The good news is, nobody has put a serious knock on Denard Robinson in more • The bad news is, Michigan hasn't — John Borton • 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. Unfortu- nately, so will the Bulldogs. Prediction: Mississippi State 38, Michigan 34 — Chris Balas U-M Football Injury Report Games Player CB Troy Woolfolk S Jared Van Slyke LB Mike Jones CB J.T. Floyd TB Teric Jones S Mike Williams Injury Missed Gator Bowl? Ankle/Leg 12 Out for the year Clavicle 12 Out for the year Leg Ankle Knee Head WR Martavious Odoms Foot DT Mike Martin DE Craig Roh Ankle TB Michael Shaw Head OT Taylor Lewan TB Vincent Smith Head 10 Out for the year Four Out for the year Four Out for the year 12 Out for the year Six Possible Three Will play Head None Will play Two Will play One Will play Head None Will play WR Jeremy Gallon Arm One Will play WR Darryl Stonum Ankle None Will play WR Junior Hemingway Head One 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 com- ing 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 prob- lems 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 ing to college foot- ball editor Mike Huguenin. 100 tackles or more in the same year — Sam Sword (109), Jar- rett Irons (106) and Marcus Ray (104) in 1996 — until safety Jordan Kovacs (112) and line- backer Jonas Mouton (111) ac- complished the feat this fall. 7th 14 19-31 23 since 2003; the conference posted a losing record from 2003-08 before going 4-3 in 2009. The Big Ten's bowl record traveled to a bowl game, in- cluding eight fifth-year seniors. Current Wolverines that have previously THE WOLVERINE Safety Jordan Kovacs and line- backer Jonas Mouton both topped 100 tackles this season for the Wolverines. PHOTO BY ERIC BRONSON/ BRONSONPHOTO.COM • PAGE 13 By The Numbers Gator Bowl's rank among the best bowl matchups this season, accord- Years since multiple U-M defenders had 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. Michigan Vs. Notre Dame All-Time Head To Head In Winning Percentage 2010 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent Sept. 4 Connecticut Time/TV W, 30-10 Sept. 11 at Notre Dame W, 28-24 Sept. 18 Massachusetts W, 42-37 Sept. 25 Bowling Green W, 65-21 Oct. 2 at Indiana Oct. 9 Michigan State Oct. 16 Iowa Oct. 30 at Penn State Nov. 6 Illinois Nov. 13 at Purdue Nov. 20 Wisconsin Nov. 27 at Ohio State Jan. 1 Mississippi State 1:30 p.m. W, 42-35 L, 34-17 L, 38-28 L, 41-31 W, 67-65 W, 27-16 L, 48-28 L, 37-7 through the years. A blessed few have even walked away winners in the shadow of the Golden Dome. But none has ever shaken down the thunder on Notre Dame quite like Denard Robinson did. 28 24 The U-M sophomore put together perhaps the most incredible performance of all time 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 Wol- verines needed every yard of Robinson's 244 through the air and 258 on the ground. Without the final two — Robinson's two- The Wolverine Now, our Internet-based newsletter, is published every Sunday (game reports) and Wednesday (scouting reports) during football season on yard, go-ahead TD plunge with 27 seconds left in the game — Michigan goes away shaking its collective head over another infu- riating nugget of Irish lore. Instead, the Wol- verines 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 explo- sive player. He throws it as well. When you can run a quarterback 25 times, you've got to have toughness." D-ROBBED M BY JOHN BORTON any Michigan quarterbacks have stared down the Notre Dame mystique Denard Robinson's Incredible Afternoon Sinks The Irish, 28-24 When Michigan fell behind with 3:41 re- maining, on a 95-yard Dayne Crist-to-Kyle Rudolph bomb, plenty of Wolverines needed to summon up some toughness. That's pre- cisely 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 re- spond. 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 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 Robin- son know how he felt without a word. "He gave me a wink before the play," Rob- inson 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 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/BRONSONPHOTO.COM 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. Start- ing from his own 28, he tucked the ball away and bolted 12 yards. He then hit Darryl Sto- num for 16 more on the sideline. With the same time, the former slanting across the middle in front of a defender, and Robinson firing one on the numbers. The 15-yard con- nection put the Wolverines on the Irish door- step, 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 fraudu- lent than "Rudy." The Irish lose their starting quarterback, fall behind by two touchdowns, see him trudge back onto the field, rally furi- ously for 17 straight points and pull off a vic- tory before a raucous home crowd of 80,795. yards and two scores, won their coaches' trust throughout the preseason and were deserving of their playing time. "The biggest thing the coaches look for THEWOLVERINE.COM GAME WEEK POLL What is the best Big Ten bowl matchup? Junior Michael Shaw (above) and sophomore Vincent Smith were the only U-M tailbacks to get playing time in the win over Connecticut. PHOTO BY ERIC BRONSON/BRONSONPHOTO.COM TCU vs. Wisconsin (Rose) Arkansas vs. Ohio State (Sugar) Michigan State vs. Alabama (Capital One) Michigan vs. Mississippi State (Gator) 331 votes Top four responses shown SEPT. 12, 2010 40% 27% 13% 17% is stability and consistency, and we didn't put the ball on the ground and we always focused on our reads," Shaw said. "We are guys you can depend on. When our numbers were called in the game, we did THE WOLVERINE ing grades, but wasn't ready to champion their efforts quite yet. "I thought they ran pretty hard. They ran bet- ter than they blocked," he said. "They're both usually pretty good blockers for the most part. There were some things we'll get better at, but we ran with a passion. There were a couple of runs we'd like to have back, that we had negative-yardage plays on. "I liked their perfor- mance, but we've got to play more of the other backs. They've got to give us the confidence this week in practice that we can put them in there, and I think they will." If Hopkins sees the field this weekend, he would become the 12th rookie to do so, adding another accolade to the class of 2010's growing résumé. U-M used more Players Used Against Connecticut Special Teams 20* Category Offense Defense No. Freshmen 19 21 *Unique to special teams play. True Freshman Participants: Jeremy Jackson (WR); Devin Gardner (QB); Ji- breel Black (DE); Carvin Johnson (SPUR); Cullen Christian (CB); Terrence Talbott (CB); Drew Dileo (HO); Will Hagerup (P); Marvin Robinson (Special Teams); Courtney Avery (Special Teams); Ray Vinopal (Special Teams). 5* 2 4 • PAGE 12 true freshmen in a season opener than any other year dating back to 2001 (10 seasons). In Rodriguez's first three sea- sons (2008-10), Michigan used 26 rook- ies in opening games, or 8.7 per season. In Lloyd Carr's final seven seasons, he played an average of 4.6. Denard Robinson John McColgan Michael Shaw Darryl Stonum Roy Roundtree Kevin Koger Mark Huyge Player Steve Schilling David Molk Patrick Omameh Perry Dorrestein Ryan Van Bergen Mike Martin Greg Banks Craig Roh Obi Ezeh Cameron Gordon James Rogers Jordan Kovacs Brendan Gibbons Drew Dileo Will Hagerup Tom Pomarico Jonas Mouton Carvin Johnson J.T. Floyd DEFENSE Career Starts By U-M's Season-Opening Starters OFFENSE WR 14 WR 5 TE 12 LT 10 LG 37 C 17 RG 4 RT 13 1 6 OLB 13 MLB 32 WLB 23 Spur 1 CB 3 SS FS DE 13 NT 13 DT 1 SPECIAL TEAMS HO 1 P LS 13 1 * Started versus Wisconsin in 2009 as a wide receiver. ** Started two previous games at wide receiver. CB 3** PK 1 9 1 Pos. Starts QB 2* FB TB THE WOLVERINE! PLEASE SEND THE FOLLOWING SUBSCRIPTION: q One-year subscription for me at $49.95 q My check or money order payable to The Wolverine is enclosed. (Checks/money orders must be drawn on U.S. banks.) 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