The Wolverine

January 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  michigan football All-Americans To Face Off In Outback Bowl The Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, Michigan redshirt junior left tackle Taylor Lewan has been named a Walter Camp, and Associated Press first-team All-American, becoming the first U-M lineman since Jake Long in 2006-07 to garner such distinction. On Jan. 1, when he steps on the field in Tampa, Fla., Lewan will square off with an All-American defensive end, in the form of South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney. The 6-6, 256-pound sophomore racked up 13 sacks among 21.5 tackles for loss and 51 total stops this season. He had 4.5 quarterback takedowns in a 27-17 win over Clemson in the Gamecocks' final regular-season contest. "He is a phenomenal player," Lewan said. "I know he has done a great job, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to play against him. "He plays with a motor. He plays very fast, strong. He can shift. He likes to use a swim move a lot, get your hands off him. He's fast, too. He brings a lot of things to the table, in both the run and pass game." Lewan allowed only one sack this fall, in the season finale against Ohio State, and is a projected first-round pick this April according to numer- Redshirt junior All-American left tackle Taylor Lewan will likely go head to head with Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina's sophomore All-American defensive end, when the Wolverines face the Gamecocks. photo by lon horwedel ous NFL websites, and he expects to continue to showcase what he does well when the two All-Americans match up. "I don't want to change the way I play the game to go against someone," Lewan said. "I have to do what my coaches tell me to do and work on my technique and fundamentals and play as hard as I can in between the whistles. Hopefully, I'll be successful doing that. "At the end of the day, it's not an individual matchup. Obviously, he and I will have our battles here and there, but there are times when I have the three-technique going up to linebackers. We have screen plays. There are a lot of different things. It's not like it's going to be one-on-one all the time. It's about the University of Michigan and South Carolina. It's not about Taylor Lewan and J.D. Clowney." Rushing Options More Limited For Outback Brady Hoke doesn't just hope to build a strong rushing attack in the future. He fully intends to do so, and his pursuit of premier offensive linemen and running backs speaks to his seriousness in that area. The Michigan head coach certainly had nothing to complain about in his first year at the helm of the Wolverines. U-M featured a pair of 1,000yard rushers, in Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint. Hoke and Michigan fans probably expected — or at least hoped for — a repeat performance in 2012, despite the fact that the Wolverines lost a Rimington Award winner at center, in addition to a starting tackle. It just didn't turn out that way. Toussaint's fourth year in a Michigan uniform took a nosedive. The redshirt junior began the season suspended after an offseason incident involving drinking and driving. He then experienced a slow start when he did come back, not approaching his 2011 level of performance. His season ended in horrific fashion during the Iowa game, when he football Notebook Heisman Candidate • Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner has been mentioned among 20 hopefuls for the 2013 Heisman Trophy according to The 20 were not listed in order, and included some fellow Big Ten competitors: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez. Coaching Carousel • Since the regular season came to its conclusion, there have been 24 coaching changes in college football, including two that directly affect Michigan: Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has left UW for Arkansas, while Purdue's Danny Hope was fired and replaced by Kent State's Darrell Hazell. Bielema went 68-24 in seven seasons with the Badgers, leading them to Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl berths in 2010, 2011 and again this year. He bolted for the riches of the SEC, leaving behind a void in Madison, Wis., that temporarily will be filled by Bielema's predecessor and current UW athletics director, Barry Alvarez. He will oversee the Badgers' preparation for the Rose Bowl while searching for a permanent head coach. Hope was let go after four seasons in West Lafayette, Ind., in which he posted a 22-27 record. The Boilermakers started 3-1 this season and were expected to contend for the Leaders Division title, but lost 44-13 to Michigan and 38-14 to Wisconsin in backto-back weeks to start conference play, and lost five straight before rallying with three wins to close out the year and earn a bowl berth. Hazell steps in after leading Kent State to an 11-2 mark and a spot in the Mid-American Conference championship game. The Golden Flashes fell to Northern Illinois in overtime or they might be headed to the Orange Bowl, as the Huskies are. Honors • Linebacker Joe Bolden was named to ESPN's Big Ten All-Freshman Team. The 6-2, 223-pounder played in every game this season, amassing 28 tackles, three stops for loss and a sack. He posted a season-high 10 stops in a win over Air Force and added six tackles in a victory over Iowa. January 2013    the wolverine  27

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