The Michigan Daily - rmichigandailyTcom
Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 5A
Mathews on the mend,
ready for Big Ten opener
healthier as Big Ten
By DAN FELDMAN
The Michigan football team's
practice Wednesday was brighter
than in recent
weeks. Under the NOTEBOOK
ber sun, the Wolverines had more
players in white jerseys, which
denote full health for offensive
players, than at any point this sea- "
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez
said redshirt junior left tackle
Mark Ortmann will play. Redshirt
sophomore left tackle Perry Dor-
restein didn't practice Monday,
and Rodriguez will monitor his
health during the week. Redshirt
freshman guard Mark Huyge is
closer to playing but Rodriguez is
unsure if he will be ready for this
Freshman slotreceiver Terrence
Robinson and junior defensive end
Adam Patterson also wore green
jerseys, which indicate minor inju-
GETTING YOUR KICKS: Rodri-
back Morgan Trent, senior strong
safety Brandon Harrison, fresh-
man running back Michael Shaw,
freshman cornerback Boubacar
Cissoko, sophomore wide receiver
James Rogers and redshirt fresh-
man running back Avery Horn as
possible kick returners during his
Monday press conference.
Trent and Harrison took the
first reps at returns during yester-
POOR PLAY: Three posters
usually appear in the hallway at
Schembechler Hall to denote the
Wolverines' players of the previ-
ous game. Redshirt junior Zol-
tan Mesko was the special teams
player of the game after Michi-
gan's 35-17 loss at Notre Dame.
But two pictures of the Michigan
Stadium crowd covered by a block
'M' appeared in place of the usual
posters denoting the offensive and
defensive players of the game.
Junior Greg Mathews, seen here against Wisconsin last November, shouldbe nearly back to normal this weekend after suffering an ankle injury against Utah.
nearing end of gritty
By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Editor
Three weeks ago, Greg Mathews
was at his low point.
He injured his ankle in the Mich-
igan football team's opener against
Utah and was considered "day-
to-day" for that Saturday's game
against Miami (Ohio). Instead of
being able to practice normally, he
was limited to ab workouts and rid-
ing the exercise bike. Between that
and the start of classes, the junior
wide receiver was stressed and
But after practice, Michigan
coach Rich Rodriguez came up
to Mathews holding a plate full
of brownies - the same kind that
Rodriguez's 10-year-old son Rhett
had made for a team dinner over
"Greg had mentioned he liked
them, so Rhett said, 'Can I make
Greg some brownies?' "Rodriguez
said. "And I said, 'He probably
could use a little lift right now.'
Greg could be faking him out, but
he seemed like he liked it."
After being limited by injury for
the season's first three games, the
junior originally expected to be
the team's top wide receiver may
finally get.a lift Saturday against
Coming into the season, Mathews
knew his role. The early departures
of Mario Manningham and Adrian
Arrington meant Mathews would
be one of the veterans on an offense
run by an inexperienced quarter-
back. He found his ideal leadership
style - by quietly settinga positive
example but still being able to "joke
around and keep everyone loose"
- and came into the season as the
number one wideout.
Mathews started quietly against
Utah on Aug. 30 with three pass
receptions for 54 yards. But in the
third quarter, with the Utes lead-
ing 25-10, he hurt his ankle while
trying to catch a pass from quarter-
back Steven Threet and had to be
helped off the field.
He watched from the sidelines
as the Wolverines earned their first
win of the season against the Red-
Hawks the next week. After the
game, Mathews said he would "def-
initely" be back for Notre Dame.
And he was. The next week,
with Michigan down 21-0 in the
first quarter, Mathews grabbed
a 16-yard reception on a critical
third-and-10 to set up a first down
and Michigan's first touchdown.
He finished with four recep-
tions for 46 yards. But after the
game, Mathews again limped off
the field. In the postgame press.
conference, all Rodriguez said
was that Mathews was "cramping
"Greg got through the game,
and probably more plays than we
should have played him," Rodri-
guez said two days after the Notre
Dame game. "Probably hurt him
there in the end."
Mathews said the importance
of playing in a rivalry game was a
major reason why he pushed him-
self to come back a little too early.
But according to redshirt
junior running back Kevin Grady,
Mathews' competitive streak
means he probably would have
pushed himself to come back and
play in any game.
"You can't even speak in words
about Greg," Grady said. "His atti-
tude, the way he practices, the way
he goes out and competes' every
day is, bar none, one of the best."
Last week's bye gave Mathews
time to get treatment on the joints
in his ankle and reduce the risk
of aggravating the injury. Both
Mathews and Rodriguez were
certain the junior would be ready
to play in the Wolverines' Big Ten
"I think he's getting a little bet-
ter every day," Rodriguez said.
"He was still a little hobbled in the
last game, but he fought through
it, which was neat to see. I think
he's even healthier now. He's a big
play guy for us. We need him to be
Senior Beth Karpiak (right) led the Wolverines' offense against Ohio State, notch-
ing a team-best 12 kills.
Blue wins again for
olverines sweep sophomore setter Lexi Zimmer-
man said. "This was the first
uckeyes in first time we saw that all year, so once
I think we adjust to it, we'll be
Big Ten match fine."
Midway through the first set,
By MARK BURNS the Wolverines were down, 19-16.
Daily Sports Writer The team then rattled off nine
out of the next 12 points to win
For now, the Wolverines are still
Last night, the No. 21 Michigan
women's volleyball team rolled
into Columbus and left with its
first Big Ten win of the year.
The team went into St. John
for the third consecutive season.
"We try to approach every game
the same way," Michigan coach
Mark Rosen said. "We want to just
put ourselves in the same frame of
mind that will set us up to win."
But the Buckeyes weren't about
to roll over.
The Wolverines came out of the
gates a bit sluggish in the first set,
falling behind 5-1.
"We were just flat throughout
the entire night," Rosen said. "I
definitely think the whole envi-
ronment had a little impact."
Many Buckeye students were
spray painted with scarlet and
gray and waved white towels. The
big crowd may have been because
the match was televised on the
Big Ten Network.
But it wasn't so much the size of
the crowd as it was the size of the
Buckeyes that slowed down the
Wolverines early on. Ohio State
was bigger and played stronger
defense than most teams Michi-
gan has played so far.
The Wolverines' outside hitters
were shut down by Ohio State's
starting line, which compiled 12
blocks on the night.
"I think the blocking we saw
tonight is typical of the Big Ten,"
the opening set, 25-22.
"I think the players know that
we have to win those critical
points at the end of a set," Rosen
said. "I think we did a great job of
See VOLLEYBALL, Page 9A
Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm Fri-Sat (OPEN LATE) 11am-12am Sun 12pm-9pm
1301 South University at South Forest. Photography. Film. Video. A temporary gallery space open during the
expansion and restoration of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. www.umma.umich.edu. 734.763.uMMA
This exhibition is made possible in partby Ernestine and Herbert Ruben and the University of Michigan Credit Union.
Brett Weston, Landscape, Germany, from the portfolio Brett Weston Europe, ro6a, gelatin silver print, Museum Purchase, 1978/2.34.