The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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94 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY CHRIS BALAS I t was all there for Tom Brady down the stretch of Super Bowl LII. New England trailed 38-33, but Brady had found his groove, was closing in on 500 passing yards against one of the NFL's best defenses and seemed poised to lead yet another comeback for his sixth NFL championship. Another former Wolverine ended his dreams. Philadelphia defensive end Bran- don Graham got to Brady with an inside pass rush with just more than two minutes remaining, forced a fumble with a sack that led to a field goal and became one of the heroes on the biggest stage. Graham finished with two solo tackles, including the sack and forced fumble, in the win. Brady was 28-of- 48 passing for an amazing 505 yards with three touchdowns. Heading into the game, Graham told The Detroit Free Press he wasn't sure if he'd ever find the success worthy of the effort he put in. "It was something that I always believed but just didn't know," he said. "Somebody coming from De- troit and having that story. … If I can inspire somebody to keep living your dream and keep working, even though sometimes it might seem like that window of opportunity is clos- ing. Just never give up. "Everything has paid off, and we got one more thing to do and to top it off. I'm just excited, because I've been through a lot. We all worked hard. … We've all got stories and to be right here, right now. I'm just in awe, and I'm going to make sure I put my best foot forward." Brady had led three straight touch- down drives of at least 75 yards and had 2:21 remaining with the Patriots down five, and it appeared he was ready to work some more magic be- fore Graham's heroics. "'Go Blue, baby!'" Graham told Brady after the game, per Sports Il- lustrated. "That's all I've got to say, because he's the man. You can't take away what he's done. He made us work hard and made us earn that one. "That guy right there, on the last drive, people put their money on it. I'm just happy that we didn't let him [score]." Two other former Wolverines, de- fensive tackle Alan Branch and line- backer David Harris, did not see any game action for the Patriots. The NBA GLENN ROBINSON III IS READY TO RETURN FROM INJURY Former Wolverine Glenn Robin- son III has missed the entire season to date following ankle surgery, but he was slated to return after the All- Star weekend Feb. 16-18. He scored 12 points in a warm-up game with the NBA G League's Fort Wayne Mad Ants Feb. 1. "I felt great," Robinson told report- ers after the game. "I didn't have any setbacks, nothing to be concerned about. "This game speed is the closest that I've gotten to an NBA game so far. I thought that everything went great, went better than expected." Robinson won the NBA Slam Dunk contest last year and was expected to build on a season in which he aver- aged 6.1 points per game. FORMER WOLVERINES ON NBA ROSTERS Through Feb. 21 • Trey Burke (Played at U-M from 2011-13), PG, New York Knicks: Has played in 13 games for 23-36 New York … Was averaging 13.0 minutes, 7.4 points, 2.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 54.1 percent from the floor and 41.2 from three-point range. • Jamal Crawford (1999-2000), SF, Minnesota Timberwolves: Saw action in 59 of the 36-25 Timberwolves' first 61 games … Was averaging 19.0 minutes, 10.1 points, 2.3 assists and 1.1 rebounds per contest, while shooting 42.6 per- cent from the floor and 34.1 from long range. • Tim Hardaway Jr. (2010-13), SF, New York Knicks: Had been out since Dec. 3 with a stress injury in his lower left leg, but returned Jan. 12 and has played in 37 games for the 23-36 Knicks … Was averaging 32.6 minutes, 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per outing, while shooting 41.0 percent from the floor and 31.7 percent from three-point range. • Caris LeVert (2012-16), SG, Brook- lyn Nets: Missed the four games before the NBA All-Star break with a knee in- jury, but has seen action in 50 contests Graham's sack and forced fumble versus Tom Brady with just more than two minutes remain- ing in the game helped the Eagles knock off the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. PHOTO COURTESY PHILADELPHIA EAGLES   MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Brandon Graham Steals The Show In The Super Bowl

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