The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 43   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL "I was proud of Mike McCray," redshirt junior fullback Khalid Hill noted. "He was down for a minute, and his first chance, he comes out and produces big." INJURY BUG HITS THE DEFENSE Michigan senior All-American cornerback Jourdan Lewis worked extremely hard in the offseason, ac- cording to cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich, and it might have cost him the first three games of the year. Lewis has struggled with various in- juries in the first several weeks of the season and had yet to see the field as of Sept. 17. Lewis was frustrated but doing ev- erything he could to return, Zordich said. "He worked his tail off all sum- mer," Zordich said. "He probably worked a little too hard. That might have been a little too much torque on his body." One issue led to another, he con- tinued, after head coach Jim Har- baugh chose to keep Lewis out of the opener. "Some of the issues he has had the last couple of weeks may have been from [trying to compensate]," Zordich said. "He had a helluva camp, and then all of a sudden, his back started to tighten up, and it af- fected his hamstring and it affected his quad. "He's just fighting through these things right now. He's working hard to get back out there. But I've got to give credit to the other guys — Strib [senior Channing Stribling], Jeremy [Clark, a fifth-year senior] and [red- shirt sophomore] Brandon Watson — who have done a great job. "It's great to get some of these guys experience, but at the same time, you do miss a Jourdan Lewis." Lewis remained involved in ev- erything but the physical aspects, Zordich said. "He's in the meetings, he was great on the sidelines the last two games, helping out — he was just another pair of eyes," Zordich said, following the Central Florida win. "He's been a big help." Harbaugh wasn't pleased when ABC analyst Ed Cunningham specu- lated Lewis might have been held out for disciplinary reasons. "He was getting close enough to be healthy to play in the game," Harbaugh said. "He was working through something that had nothing to do with any off-field suspension … Ed Cunningham got way out over his skis speculating that it was some kind of suspension." Cunningham later apologized, and Harbaugh accepted. On the defensive line, senior end Taco Charlton went down with an apparent ankle injury and sopho- more nose tackle Bryan Mone hurt his knee in the Hawai'i game. Charl- ton was expected to return in either week four (vs. Penn State) or week five (vs. Wisconsin), while Mone wasn't expected back until at least the Wisconsin game. "I knew it wasn't too serious at all because he threw his knee brace on and got back out there," fifth-year se- nior nose tackle Ryan Glasgow said. "The season-ender wasn't running through my mind at all. You don't want them to miss any time. He worked so hard to play this year and play in front of all these great fans. "He was in for a series and decided it wasn't smart to finish the game. … I thought that was smart. If it hurts, no need to bust your knee up when we're up 40 points." Charlton, meanwhile, was walking without a boot the week after the Hawai'i game but missed the wins over Central Florida and Colo- rado. CHASE WINOVICH FILLS IN ADMIRABLY FOR INJURED TACO CHARLTON Michigan redshirt sopho- more defensive end Chase Winovich has finally found a position. After starting out at linebacker and moving to tight end in his first two years, Winovich is now set- tled on the defensive line and improving. If he was looking for even more motivation, he got it while watching a replay of the network feed following his first start, a 51-14 blow- out of Central Florida in which he replaced injured senior Taco Charlton. "One of the announcers in the game talked about, 'Winovich doesn't look like he belongs in this defense,'" the 245-pounder said. "I just have to get out there. At the end of the day … it's up to [offensive] tackles to tell me or show me I don't belong there. If I don't go out there and show it, it doesn't mean anything. "Hearing that comment … I laughed. I can't win. You make a big play, a sack, and the comment was I don't look like I belong. I get it … he's speaking during a live broadcast and it's tough, rolling with whatever he is saying, but it's motivation. Turn it into a positive." Winovich said he'd been prepar- ing since Christmas for his moment to start and didn't overthink it. He graded out "okay," he said — not as well as fifth-year stalwarts Ryan Glasgow and Chris Wormley, but he was solid in his first start. "There's some stuff I need to im- prove, like one time I was rounding the corner and needed to work on bringing the arm through," he said. "I didn't have as many blunders as I did in the spring. It's little stuff but it matters. The little stuff will hurt you on defense, so you need to get it fixed." ❏ After three games, Winovich has notched 15 tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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