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November 17, 2008 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-17

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The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I November 17, 2008

ST LL SLIPPING
Apathy reigns Blue reaches eight
|| in Ann Arbor losses for first time

about Michigan's abil-
ity to respond.
Throughout the
Wolverines' five-game losing
streak that
ended last
week at Min-
nesota, their
frustrated,
closed-off post-
game reactions
were inter-
changeable and
predictable. COURTNEY
They answered RATKOWIAK
questions about
motivation by
saying they
would try to win for the seniors.
But after their fourth
straight home loss Saturday,
with their biggest rivalry game
looming ahead, they were just
deflated.
The emotion wasn't the shock
of the Toledo game, when the
Wolverines were embarrassed
after losing to a Mid-American
Conference team for the first
time.
It wasn't the despair of the
Penn State game, when a half-
time lead looked so promising
before Michigan was blown out
by 29.
It wasn't the letdown of the
Purdue game, when bowl hopes
officially ended after allowing
the Boilermakers' last-minute
touchdown.

Instead, the Wolverines just
sounded tired and unmotivated
- and at this point, even a win
against Ohio State can't salvage
Michigan's season.
Yes, the Wolverines talked a
lot Saturday about looking for-
ward to the Buckeyes, includ-
ing Donovan Warren's remark
that "all the anger that's built
up this season" will be let out
in Columbus.
But after watching Satur-
day's apathetic postgame dis-
play, believing that Michigan is
truly pumped up for Ohio State
wasn't as easy as it has usually
been.
You almost had to feel sorry
for them.
The worst team in Michi-
gan history sealed that fate on
a miserable, rainy afternoon in
front of a Big House crowd that
was anything but big. Instead of
booing at halftime, like they did
when Michigan was losing 19-0
against Wisconsin, the fans just
filed out in droves. They were
freezing, wet and unwilling to
see their team lose, even though
the Wolverines were winning
14-7 at the time.
Rodriguez wasn't snide or sar-
castic in the postgame press con-
ference after Michigan's eighth
loss, like he has been for most of
the season. ie was almost mel-
low, calmly answering the tough
questions.
See RATKOWIAK, Page 4B

By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Editor
Wide receivers Darryl Stonum
and Greg Mathews were sitting on
the bench during the final minute
of Saturday's game when offen-
sive linemen David Moosman
and David Molk walked over and
urged them to get up.
Get up to watch Northwestern
take a knee and secure its 21-14
victory over the Michigan football
team.
Get up as the Wolverines were
down, losing their program-re-
cord eighth game of the season.
And most importantly, with the
loss sealed, get up for Michigan's
biggest game of the season.
For the first time since 2002,
the Wolverines will enter the sea-
son finale against Ohio State with-
out a chance to win at least a share
of the Big Ten title. But they were
eliminated from the conference
championship race weeks before
their loss to the Wildcats on acold
and wet Senior Day.
Saturday's defeat ensured
Michigan (2-5 Big Ten, 3-8 over-
all) will not win back-to-back
games in a season for the first time
since 1962. But this season has
done more than set several marks
for futility in the record books. It's
taken an emotional toll on every-
one in the program.
"That's it," senior nose tackle
Terrance Taylor said. "My last
time ever playing in this stadium.
I don't know how to explain it."

The Wolverines led 14-7 at half-
time, but Northwestern (4-3, 8-3)
held Michigan scoreless in the
second half. The Wildcats have
shut out opponents seven times in
the fourth quarter and four times
for the whole second half.
"This is the kind of game we
win," Northwestern coach Pat
Fitzgerald said.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines
have struggled to win games of
any type this year. But that gives
them one slight advantage in their
attempt to avoid a fifth straight
defeat to the Buckeyes, which
would be their longest losing
streak in the history of the rival-
ry.
"(Motivation is) goingto be easy
because I'm sure (we'll) hear all
week, our guys have no chance,"
Rodriguez said.
No. 10 Ohio State opened as
24-point favorites, and Michigan
is 0-5 in Columbus when entering
the matchup with a losing record.
Besides Rodriguez's confidence,
almost everything else is uncer-
tain for the Michigan entering
The Game after its loss to North-
western.
Who's the quarterback?
Redshirt sophomore Nick
Sheridan started against North-
western after his career game at
Minnesota the previous week. But
Threet replaced him in the sec-
ond half Saturday, when Sheridan
struggled.
Then, Threet, who missed the
See WILDCATS, Page 4B

(ABOVE) Fifth-year senior Mike Massey tries to catch a Steven Threet throw that
ended with a Northwestern interception. (BELOW) Massey reacts after quarter-
back Nick Sheridan threw the ball into coverage.

Burns will use Big Ten
loss to motivate 'M'

By CHANTEL JENNINGS
Daily Sports Writer
MADISON - When Michigan
coach Steve Burns sat his play-
ers down at halftime of their Big
Ten semifinal playoff loss to No. 18
Indiana on Friday, he asked them
three questions.
What do you want?
What does it cost?
Are you willing to pay the cost?
Despite the outcome of the game,
a1-0 upset loss, he was pleased with
their responses. Burns believes a
hard-fought loss to a great team
won't affect No. 10 Michigan that
' much because the season isn't even
close to being over.
The Wolverines (5-2-1 Big Ten,
12-5-3 overall) are now focused on
answering those three questions as
they head into the NCAA tourna-
ment.
They want to make it to the Col-
lege Cup, the tournament's final
four.
It will cost everything they
have.

And yes, they're willing to do
anythingto get there.
"If anything, this just gives us a
lot of hunger," Burns said after the
loss. "Now the boys have felt what
its like for a run to end, and so now
I think that they're going to find
everything within themselves to
keep this run going, all the way to
a final four."
The team's main goal right now
is to learn what it can from the
loss to Indiana (5-3-0, 12-5-3), but
not dwell on the defeat. The Wol-
verines are looking to the NCAA
tournament pairings and seedings,
which will be announced tonight,
with the team concentrating only
on whoever they draw for the first
round.
"What can you do about it now?"
junior forward Peri Marosevic
asked after the loss. "It is in our
past. We are going to have to take a
look at this game - the good things
and the bad things - and put them
into perspective as we head into
the NCAA Tournament."
See BIG TENS, Page 3B

Wolverines spli
By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
KALAMAZOO - The No. 8 Michigan hockey
team has perfected the recipe for a weekend split. A
disheartening loss on Friday, followed by a venge-
ful victory the next night.
And this weekend was no different.
On Friday, the Wolverines (8-4-0 overall, 5-3-
0-0 CCHA) lost a heart-
breaker 2-1 to Western W. MICHIGAN 2
Michigan (2-7-3 overall, MICHIGAN 1
1-4-3-1 CCHA), a' team
that had won just one MICHIGAN 5
previous game. Michi- W MICHIGAN 0
gan took a 1-0 lead in
the second period with
a Carl Hagelin poke-in rebound goal that slipped
between the legs of Bronco goalie Riley Gill.
But the Broncos clawed their way back in the
hostile Yost Ice Arena. Seconds after senior goal-
tender Billy Sauer made some of his best sprawl-
ing saves of the season, a slap shot by Tyler Ludwig
from the point baffled the senior top shelf to tie the
game.
Western Michigan then took an unexpected and
silencing lead off another point shot, this time from
defenseman Kevin Connauton, that, though seem-
ingly harmless, snuck past Sauer's blocker side.
As Friday's final buzzer sounded, the Broncos
hugged and jumped on top of an elated Gill, whose
33 saves sealed them the win for Western Michi-
gan. The Wolverines stood near the bench wonder-
See BRONCOS, Page 3B

it another weekend series

SAID A LSALAH/Daily
Sophomore Carl Hagelin scored Michigan's lone goal in its upset loss to Western Michigan Friday.

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