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November 10, 2008 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-10

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I November 10, 2008

POWER

Yes, it was progress.
But will it last?

MINNEAPOLIS -
Vlash back to Saturday morning.
If someoe were'to tell you the
final score of the Michigan-Min-
nesota football game
would be 29-6, one team
wouldcgo the whole
first quarter without a
first down, the winning
quarterback wouldn't
turn the ball over and
one team would domi-
nate the game...
Who would you pre-
dict would have won ? IAN
Before Saturday, ROBINSON
this Michigan football
team showed few signs
it could put together the kind of complete
performance it did at Minnesota.
Just a week ago, the defense allowed 48
points in a game the Wolverines needed to
win to keep their 33-year bowl streak alive.
On Saturday, for the first time in
decades, Michigan had no postseason aspi-
rations to play for.
But the Wolverines also had every-
thing to play for. A bulletin board in the
hallway of Schembechler Hall last week
read, "Seize the day. Play for pride. We are
Michigan."
With its back against the wall, Michigan
couldn't respond to the adversity at Purdue.
But with that wall gone, the team played
loose, and the final score showed it.
The hard question is whether what hap-
pened Saturday was because this team had
no pressure or because the progress being
made in practice finally showed up in the
game.
And what happened at the Metrodome
Saturday afternoon can't be confined to one
interpretation.
The defense played inspired.
The unit allowed just one first down in
the first half. After weeks of being run over,

the defense stood firm and played physical.
Even for a veteran group, the confidence
from shutting down the opposition will
carry over to the final two games.
Lookingforward, will the defense stay
inspired?
Before this season, no Michigan defense
had allowed more than 40 points twice in
a season. On Saturday, the defense allowed
just a pair of field goals. Big plays have
killed the unit all season, but on Saturday,
the defense didn't allow a play of longer
than 30 yards. It made one wonder where
this type of performance was earlier in the
year and whether the Wolverines will be
able to repeat it in the season's final weeks.
The quarterbacks played inspired.
Redshirt sophomore Nick Sheridan
played within himself. He made good deci-
sions, didn't turn the ball over and main-
tained his composure when the Metrodome
crowd caused him to take two first-half
timeouts. Quarterbacks coach Rod Smith
said this was the Sheridan he saw in sum-
mer camp, the same quarterback that won
the starting spot for the season opener.
Lookingforward, will the quarterbacks
stay inspired?
If the Wolverines had that kind of
mistake-free football from the quarter-
backs earlier in the year, this team probably
wouldn't be spending the bowl season on
the couch. Sheridan looked much more
comfortable and composed running the
offense against Minnesota than he had in
See ROBINSON, Page 4B

Top RODRIOOA/O aiyottom:S AI LSAL AO/aly
(Top) Junior wide receiver Greg Mathews grabs a 28-yard catch to convert a third down in the first quarter. (Bottom) Minnesota
quarterback Adam Weber lies on the turf after being sacked by redshirt sophomore linebacker Obi Ezeh in the second quarter.
9
Strontg D' keeps Jug
InOta hme inAnAro

By NATE SANDALS
Daily Sports Editor
MINNEAPOLIS - Walking off the
field at the Metrodome, Stevie Brown
held out an old water jug to Michigan
football coach Rich Rodriguez.
"Give it to the seniors," Rodriguez
told the junior free safety and called
over senior defensive end Tim Jami-
son.
Jamison and the Wolverines' other
senior leaders on defense played a
huge role in the team's most complete
game of the season, a 29-6 victory
over Minnesota. The win ensured
the Little Brown Jug would remain
in Ann Arbor until at least 2011, when

the teams resume their series.
"We're a little late, but we came
together and we're playing well,"
fifth-year senior cornerback Morgan
Trent said.
Already eliminated from bowl
contention, the Wolverines arrived
in Minneapolis with a struggling
defense and an injured starting quar-
terback. But Michigan snapped a
five-game losing streak, avoiding the
longest in-season losing skid in pro-
gram history.
A week after giving up 48 points
and 522 yards at Purdue, the Michi-
gan defense came out in its third base
formation in as many games: a 4-2-5.
In that scheme, Michigan (2-4 Big

Ten, 3-7 overall) used just one play,
with few variations and blitzes.
"I think if we overload them with
things, maybe sometimes that slows
them down," secondary coach Tony
Gibson said. "We basically played
one call today. With one call, we got
it done."
The decision to switch up the
defense immediately paid off, as the
Golden Gophers (3-3, 7-3) moved
the chains just once in the first half.
Minnesota gained just 46 yards on 23
plays before halftime.
The 188 yards allowed in the game
were the fewest by Michigan this sea-
son.
See GOPH ERS, Page 4B

Hogan saves
Wolverines'
weekend

By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Writer
FAIRBANKS - The Michi-
gan hockey team wasn't com-
fortable with a one-goal lead
against Alaska, on Saturday
evening in the Carlson Center.
The Wolverines certainly
had reason to worry after sur-
rendering an early lead to the
Nanooks Friday night, a lapse
from which the team never
recovered.
But sophomore goaltender
Bryan Hogan didn't let that
happen again.
Hogan was solid in the net,

MICHIGAN 1
ALASKA 4I
MICHIGAN 3
ALASKA 2
including one save that ended
with the sophomore sprawled
clutching a defenseman's
stick, while his own stick lay
a few yards to the right of the
goal. His 23 saves guided No. 7
Michigan to a 3-2 victory
"I thought it was the best
game I've ever seen Hogan
play," senior forward Tra- SAID ASALAH/Daily
vis Turnbull said. "He played Sophomore Bryan Hogan makes a save against Ohio State on Nov.
See NANOOKS, Page 3B Hogan had 23to spur Michigan to a 3-2 win over Alaska.

Michigan cruises in
regular season finale
By CHANTEL JENNINGS best soccer team Michigan (4-1-1 Big Ten,
Daily Sports Writer 12-4-2 Overall) has had inits eight year his-
tory.
Junior forward Peri Marosevic's goal "Statistically, we're the best Michigan
with five seconds left against Penn State team that has played because we are the
was reflective of the season. team and it's all about the team," senior
The 12th- forward Steve Bonnell said.
ranked Wol- Coming into Saturday's game against
verines had the PENN STATE 0 Penn State (2-4-0, 5-10-3), the Wolverines'
game sealed MICHIGAN 2 goal was to finish out the regular season
when Marosevic with a win and head into the postseason
got the ball and with a surge of confidence.
could have just run out the clock. But when And with their 2-0 win over the Nittany
Marosevic finally had the ball at his feet, he Lions, Michigan did just that.
only had one thought on his mind: score. The Wolverines' first goal came 28 min-
"As a forward you always want to score," utes in, when redshirt sophomore Matt
Marosevic said. "Whether there's five sec- Schmitt launched a quick shot from the left
onds left, even a second left, you always side of the field. Penn State's goalie dove,
want to put the game away." deflecting it back into play, but Marosevic
He wasn't willing to settle for a 1-0 vic- fired the rebound into the back of the net.
tory over Penn State, especially when he The game became more aggressive on
could make it 2-0. both ends as the Nittany Lions tried to fight
The Michigan men's soccer team has their way back into the game. Less than a
had a mentality all season of never settling. minute after Marosevic's first goal, Michi-
And that mentality that has produced the See NITTANY LIONS, Page 6B

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