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October 22, 2008 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-22

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PAG E 6:ST' AKE DSFOR EN'S SC

The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I October 22, 2008

Sophomore Donovan Warren chases after Penn State freshman running back Stephfon Green in the final minutes of the Nittany Lions' 20-point fourth quarter.
Mistakes snowball in Going into MSU

Wolverines' blowout loss

'M' still unready
for 60 minutes

9-game-streak over Penn
State snapped, with
6-year run against MSU
on the line Saturday
By NATE SANDALS
Daily Sports Editor
STATE COLLEGE - It was late in the
first half of Michigan's game against No.
3 Penn State when redshirt junior Andre
Criswell took the field as part of the Wol-
verines' punt coverage team.
Michigan was leading 17-7 and was
about to punt after going three-and-out
for its third straight possession. Criswell
ran down the field in coverage, but after
the play he was called for a personal foul
for a late hit on senior wide receiver Der-
rick Williams, who never even had the
ball.
"I'm not really sure," Criswell said
when asked after the game if he thought
his penalty turned the tables.
The infraction seemed innocuous

enough, but it was the first costly mis-
take in a series of mishaps that eventually
led to a 46-17 loss to the Nittany Lions,
extending Michigan's. losing streak to
three games, the program's longest in-
season streak since 1979. It was also Penn
State's first win over Michigan in the last
10 meetings, a drought dating back to
1997.
Michigan didn't tackle well for most
of the afternoon and the offense lost
its rhythm early in the second quarter,
but the team's meltdown started with
Criswell's penalty.
Instead of taking over possession
with two minutes left at its own 26-yard
line, Penn State (4-0 Big Ten, 8-0 over-
all) started at its own 41. Quarterback
Daryll Clark then orchestrated Penn
State's second touchdown drive of the
game with just 23 seconds remaining in
the half.
Michigan still went into halftime with
a three-point lead, but the image of Clark
leading his blue and white armada down-
field became all too familiar as the game
wore on.
"We gave them our best shot for three
quarters," senior safety Brandon Harri-

son said. "Things just started to fall apart
in. that fourth quarter, we hung with
them. We've just got to put everything
together."
But it would be a stretch to say Michi-
gan (1-2 Big Ten, 2-5 overall) was really
in the game going into the fourth quar-
ter. Though Penn State led by just nine
points after the third, it had so completely
dominated after halftime that a Michi-
gan comeback seemed entirely out of the
question.
The Nittany Lions had eight first
downs in the third quarter to Michigan's
two. The Wolverine offense, which had
looked inept since the middle of the sec-
ond quarter, suffered another setback
when redshirt freshman quarterback Ste-
ven Threet re-aggravated an elbow injury
and had to come out of the game.
With the score tied just halfwaythrough
the third quarter, backup Nick Sheridan
came in to replace Threet. But he didn't
right the offense. Instead, things only
worsened for Michigan. Starting at his
own eight-yard line, Sheridan was sacked
twice in a row, putting the ball at the five.
On third down, he dropped back into the
See NITTANY LIONS, Page 4B

STATE COLLEGE -
fter the Wolverines scored 17
points in the first quarter Sat-
urday, it
almostlookedlike
they could pull
off the improb-
able against No. 3 ;
Penn State.
But there was
no way the upset
was going to hap-
pen. If there's C
anythingthis sea- COURTNEY
son has proved so RATKOWIAK
far, it's that Mich-
igan is incapable
of playing well for four quarters -
and after Saturday, it seems the team
will have that problem for the rest of
the year.
On Saturday, freshman Mike Mar-
tin tried to explain the collapse.
"It was a mental thing," he said.

"This whole game was mental. We
came outready and I don'tknow what
happened. I guess things slipped
maybe, you know, mentally."
But Michigan coach Rich Rodri-
guez sharply dismissed the idea of
his team's lack of mental confidence
in his postgame press conference.
"I aifi't looking for perspective in
the middle of a game," he said. "All
that mental stuff, whatever."
By downplaying it, he's likely
ignoring one of the real reasons why
the Wolverines keep choking after
one or two decent quarters - once
they make a big mistake, the team
fades fast.
The Wolverines weren't close two
weeks ago against Illinois, either. The
game had originally looked promising
when they jumped out to a surpris-
ing 14-3 lead in the first quarter, just
one week after their unprecedented
See CONFIDENCE, Page 4B

Top line salvages
split in road test

Sprinters shine
in upset of Gators

By GJON JUNCAJ
Daily Sports Writer
MARQUETTE - Moments after
Louie Caporusso's empty-netter
clinched a 5-3 Michigan victory, and
ended a furi-
ous last-min- MICHIGAN 0
ute Northern NMU 2
Michigan
comeback MICHIGAN 5
attempt Sat- NMU 3
urday, one of
the Wolverines still had his head hung
low.
Goalie Bryan Hogan looked deject-
ed after the win as-the teams lined up
for post-game handshakes, and caught
the attention of sophomores Scooter

Vaughan, Tristin Llewellyn and Aaron
Palushaj. All three took turns con-
gratulating the netminder, who made
23 saves, including on a point-blank
shot in the second period, when Hogan
spun around on his knees and used his
blocker to close off a shot that snuck
underneath him.
"Hogan played phenomenal,"
Palushaj said. "(In) the first two peri-
ods, he's the reason why we're still in
the game. I don't think I've ever seen
him play a game that well."
But while Hogan's play was key
for Michigan in avoiding a confer-
ence-opening sweep, it was Palushaj
who broke the game open. Less than
two minutes into the second frame,
See WILDCATS, Page 3B

By RYAN A. PODGES
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan's new men's
swimming and diving coach
Mike Bottom has built a repu-
tation as one of the world's
best sprinting coaches, Friday
night, his team showed why.
The Wolverines won both
the 50- and 100-yard free-
style events, something they
haven't done since last Octo-
ber against Eastern Michigan,
and swept the top three posi-
tions in both races.
The dominating sprint per-
formances propelled No. 5
Michigan} to a 182-115 victory

over No. 4 Florida in the sea- .
son opener at Canham Nata-
torium.
Over the last two decades,
Michigan has become a pow-
erhouse program for distance
swimmers. Many wondered
how the Wolverines would
perform after training with
Bottom, who became famous
for his work with sprinters,
including 10-time Olympic
medalist Gary Hall Jr.
"A lot of people didn't think
we had any sprinters at Michi-
gan," Bottom said. "I think
today, we showed them that
we do. I did not expect that,
- See SPRINTERS, Page 6B

CHRIS DZOMBAK/Daily
Sophomore Matt Rust tallied two goals and one assist in Saturday's 5-3 win.

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