The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 41   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL "People look around in the Big Ten community and look at us, and they call us arrogant. They call it arro- gance. And I say: 'You bet. You bet it's arrogance, because you know what we have is special. You might be vic- tors, but we're victors valiant.' That's the difference." Brady, meanwhile, didn't hesitate when Harbaugh asked him to serve as captain before the Sept. 17 game with Colorado. "It really came down to this. He goes, 'Whatever is good for Michi- gan,'" Harbaugh told WXYZ Chan- nel 7 in Detroit. "Tom said whatever I think is good for Michigan, then he wanted to do. "That says it all, doesn't it?" CHRIS EVANS PART OF THE FRESHMAN 100 CLUB Michigan freshman tailback Chris Evans knows how to make an en- trance. He began his career on an eight-carry, 112-yard, two-touch- down burst in the season opener against Hawai'i. That ushered him into a highly ex- clusive club. Only three Wolverines have ever rushed for 100 yards in a career debut at Michigan. Walter Cross racked up 104 yards against Syracuse in his first-ever appearance, Sept. 12, 1998, and Chris Perry went for 103 yards versus Bowling Green on Sept. 2, 2000. Narrowing it down even further, only Evans and Perry reached the 100 mark in the season opener as a true freshman. Evans came away understandably excited, referring to senior tailback De'Veon Smith and Michigan's vet- eran backs as "my big brothers" in thanking them for helping him along. Evans also has a keen sense of the opportunity for him and his fresh- man teammates. He's part of Michi- gan's first full recruiting class under Jim Harbaugh, wearing Jordan ap- parel under the new Nike contract in a program rapidly rising back to the college football elite. He's had those conversations, even when classmates advise him to calm down, sometimes abruptly. "I talked to Josh Uche about it all the time," Evans said. "One time I told him, 'Bro, when we think about this 20 years later, we're going to be Coach Harbaugh's first class, had Jordan first — we're going to turn Michigan out.' He's like, 'Shut up.' But I really think about that." Harbaugh indicated Evans will give Michigan fans something to think about in the coming days, weeks and years. "I knew Chris Evans was spe- cial," he said. "What you saw [in the opener] is what we've been seeing in practice for the last month. He's a special football player. You didn't even really get to see everything he can do." Evans also joined a larger but still elite group of freshmen who notched a 100-yard game as a Michigan rookie. He became the 18th to ever do so; the 17 previous rookies who have eclipsed the century mark com- bined to do it 29 times, led by Mike Hart's six 100-yard outings in 2004. KYLE KALIS TO FANS, CRITICS: DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY Fifth-year senior Michigan guard Kyle Kalis bears little resemblance to Bobby McFerrin, but he issued his own version of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" following Michigan's 51-14 win over the University of Central Florida. U-M followers found themselves nodding and smiling following Michigan's opener against Hawai'i, a 63-3 rampage in which the Wol- verines piled up 306 yards on the ground. When that total fell to 119 in the second contest of the season, people wondered why. Head coach Jim Harbaugh pointed out that UCF sold out to stop the run, and Michigan simply took ad- vantage. Redshirt sophomore quar- terback Wilton Speight threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns, repeat- edly torching the UCF defense. Kalis backed that stance, waving off any questions about concerns the linemen and backs might harbor re- garding the run game. "They came into the game with one mindset — stop the run," he cau- tioned. "That was fine. They were going to load the box every time, and we'll throw the ball." Fans and pundits couldn't resist picking at the rushing totals — 41 carries for the aforementioned 119 yards (2.9 per try). "They've got to relax," Kalis in- sisted. "We're fine. Most fans don't really understand the game of foot- ball to the level that the people who play it do. "When they stack the box like that and they stop the run game, you don't get mad as an O-lineman. You pass the ball. Scheme-wise, that's the only option you have, so that's what we did. "They can relax. Everything's fine." Michigan's offense, Kalis stressed, is not going to be an issue in 2016. "We have a quarterback who is do- Evans is one of three Wolverines to rush for 100 yards in their career debut; he torched Hawai'i for 112 yards and two scores to start the 2016 campaign. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Kalis is confident that the Michigan ground game is in great shape despite an under- whelming performance against a UCF squad that continually stacked the box. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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