The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
October 12, 2009 - 3B
Minor carves through Hawkeye ID'
Kick returs/ Yds
M I C H I G A N
C-A Yds -
No. Yds Avg Lg
5 269 53.8 61
1 26 26.0 26
6 295 49.2 61
No. Yds Avg
5 91 18.2
No. Yds Avg
3 20 6.7
3 a w a
Yds TD int
284 2 1
284 2 1
By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Editor
IOWA CITY - Iowa's defensive
rushing statistics were impressive
enough to scare some teams away.
Quarters without allowing a
rushingtouchdown: 33. That's 337
days, eight games and a lot of frus-
The 30-28 outcome wasn't in
the Wolverines' favor, but they
quickly managed to render the
Hawkeyes' defensive streak irrel-
Michigan found an answer to
rushing defense NOTEBOOK
in senior tail-
Minor. With two rushing touch-
downs, Minor kept the Wolver-
ines in the game when its passing
attack couldn't get off the ground.
"I told him he's on national TV,
and you've got to go out there and
show them what you're all about,"
Michigan running backs coach
Fred Jackson said. "You've got to
prove to the people throughout
this country that you're one of
the top backs in this country, and
that's what he was trying to do."
Minor's numbers don't indicate
that he's one of the best backs in
the country (4.8 yards per carry,
good for No. 428 in the nation).
But in his limited opportunities
this season, he's proven himself as
one of the country's most physical
Minor has been limited this
season with a nagging ankle inju-
ry and he has recorded more than
10 carries in just two other games.
But Saturday, Minor's ankle
looked like it hadn't been an issue.
The Wolverines managed to
score 28 points against a team
that has allowed just 13.6 points
per game entering Saturday, and
Minor was a huge contributor.
He finished with 95 yards on 22
carries and sacrificed his body
on nearly every play. The Iowa
defense allowed a third rush-
ing touchdown late in the fourth
quarter, when freshman quarter-
back Denard Robinson scored on
the Wolverines' second-to-last
On Robinson's score, Minor
used his physicality to provide a
huge block near the goal line. It's
that physicality that has earned
him rave reviews, even when
he's been injured. On his second
touchdown drive, Minor carried
stop them," Woolfolk said of thet
third-down problems. "It's just
Michigan beating Michigan.r
Once we (fix) that, we'll be able s
to play any team."h
Many of the third-downa
troubles can be attributed to
breakdowns in the secondary, a
position group that has been in
flux all season. And that trend
definitely continued Saturday.
Saturday marked the fourth
time in six games that the Wol-
verines boasted a new-look line-
up in the secondary. Against the
Hawkeyes, Woolfolk switched a
from strong safety to cornerback
across from Warren, while Mike
'Williams and Jordan Kovacs h
But it was more about who
wasn't in Iowa City than who was.s
What started with an oddg
Twitter message from the p
Associated Press's Larry Lageg
became one of the biggest sto- f
ries of the night -cornerback a
Boubacar Cissoko, who started -s
the first four games, did not
travel with the team. i
According to Lage, he ran intoc
Cissoko at an Ann Arbor fastg
food restaurant, and the corner- s
back said that he didn't travelN
Senior Brandon Minor had 95 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns against the vaunted Lowa defense.
six times for 34 yards and som- third straight start at center, David overshadowed Graham's efforts.
ersaulted forward for his first Moosman anchored an offensive "The frustrating part defen-
downs. line that contained the Hawkeyes' sively is that we seemed like we'd
"When Brandon Minor is highly touted defensive line and get two, three good plays in a row
healthy, I think we're a different allowed Michigan to establish its and then we'd give up a big one,"
offensive team," Michigan coach run game. Rodriguez said.
Rich Rodriguez said. GRAHAM CRACKERS: Senior With two sacks Saturday,
Part of the reason Minor could defensive end Brandon Graham, Graham is now fourth in career
break through was the improved who finished seventh in the nation sacks at Michigan with 22. He
play of the offensive line. Last last season with 10 sacks, had not needs four more this - season
week against Michigan State, leveled any quarterbacks behind to eclipse former Wolverine
Minor and fellow senior tailback the line of scrimmage in Michi- James Hall (1996-99) and move
Carlos Brown combined for just gan's first four wins of the season. into second place. Mark Mess-
17 yards on 10 carries. Left tackle Two losses later, Graham has ner (1985-88) holds the career
Mark Ortmann said last Monday three, including two in Iowa City. record with 36.
that he rewatched the game three Graham's defensive play has CAMPBELL CALLING: Michi-
times trying to find a solution to picked up when the Wolverines gan wide receiver Greg Mathews
Michigan's nonexistent running have needed it most. He contribut- is one of just a few Wolverines
game. ed 3.5 tackles for loss Saturday, for who played under former wide
Even with center David Molk a total of 18 yards. But the Michi- receivers coach Erik Campbell.
still sidelined, the offensive line gan defense's woeful third-down On Saturday, Mathews finished
found its groove Saturday. In his play (8-of-18 against Iowa) has the game with a huge fumble on
a punt return. Campbell, now
Iowa's wide receivers coach, was
given the Hawkeyes' game ball.
"He's our rookie coach right
now on the staff, only been here
two years, but I'll tell you what -
we don't have anybodythat's more
of a Hawkeye than him," Iowa
coach Kirk Ferentz said,
Campbell was deserving of
the recognition as the Hawkeye
receivers finished with 284 yards
on 20 catches, highlighted by two
touchdown receptions from tight
end Tony Moeaki.
During his time at Michigan,
Campbell coached some of great-
est receivers in Michigan history
and some of the NFL's top play-
ers, including Charles Woodson,
Jason Avant, Braylon Edwards,
Steve Breaston and Mario Man-
"'m thankful to Lloyd (Carr)
that he retired - otherwise we
wouldn't have Eric here right
now," Ferentz said.
PUNTING FAR AHEAD:
Fifth-year senior punter Zoltan
Mesko's 53.8 average yards per
punt Saturday earned him Big
Ten special teams Player of the
Mesko became Michigan's
all-time leader in total punt-
ing yards after Western Michi-
gan. After Saturday's game, he's
just 240 yards short of reaching
10,000 yards. Mesko is currently
the NCAA active leader in career
Mesko's 61-yard punt was a
relief for Michigan after the Wol-
verines went three-and-out from
their own one-yard line early in
the fourth quarter. But Mesko's
bomb easily beat Michigan's cov-
erage, and Iowa's Colin Sandeman
returned the ball 20 yards to the
Michigan 42-yard line.
The Hawkeyes took all the
momentum after the return,
when Iowa quarterback Ricky
Stanzi connected with Moeaki on
a 42-yard touchdown pass to give
the Hawkeyes a 30-21 lead.
"Zoltan kicked the heck dut of
the ball - I thought it was justtre-
mendous," Rodriguez said. "But
he kicked it so well, I think some
of the things in our coverages
weren't as good as I'd like because
they returned some of those.
"We spend a lot of time on it,
but I've really got to see what
we're doing and making sure
we're doing a better job of special
had a shot at beating Iowa."
But that shot at a win was jeop-
ardized by excessive turnovers.
Though fumbles and interceptions
were two of last year's fatal flaws,
they hadn't been a major issue this
season - until Saturday. Exclud-
ing Robinson's game-sealing inter-
ception with 46 seconds left in the
game, the other four turnovers
accounted for six of the Hawkeyes'
But the damage could have poten-
tially been worse. Three of the Wol-
verines' turnovers gave Iowa (2-0
Big Ten, 6-0 overall) the bal in
Michigan territory, but Iowa kicker
Daniel Murray missed a field goal
on one possession and the Hawkeyes
couldn't convert on a fourth-and-
goal from the Michigan 1-yard line
Those missed opportunities
helped keep Michigan (1-2, 4-2) in
the game. But in the end, the extra
chances only fueled the Wolverines'
second straight heartbreak.
"I would like to say many of our
games won't go down to the wire,
but I have a feeling a whole bunch
of them will," Rodriguez said after
Michigan's 36-33 comeback win
against Indiana. "At least I hope they
Even after losing two last-minute
road games by a combined eight
points, it's clear Rodriguez has got-
ten what he hoped for.
N6 238 39.7 49
6 238 39.7 49
No.' Yds Avg Lg TD
1 4 2. 4 0
3 81 26.3 34 0
No. Yds Avg Lg TD
1 9 .0 9 0
s so 91 20 0
because he was "banged up." But
after the game, Michigan coach
Rich Rodriguez said the Detroit
native was suspended for a viola-
tion of team rules.
"When he comes back, it's
eally up to him," Rodriguez
aid. "He's got certain things
se's got to do, on and off the field,
academically and all that, and if
he's got to do, on
and off the field."
he does that, he'll be back sooner
rather than later."
Cissoko hasn't seen the field
since the early goings of Michi-
gan's win over Indiana. He was
pulled in the first quarter after he
gave up a 57-yard bomb. Redshirt
freshman J.T. Floyd subbed in
and then recorded his first career
start against Michigan State.
"He's been solid in camp and
n practice, and we've been kind
of waiting for him to produce in a
game, and he's made some great
strides," defensive tackle Ryan
Van Bergen said of Floyd after
the Indiana game. "And it's great
to have a third corner going ...
through the Big Ten schedule."
Floyd played well enough
against the Spartans, but he was
clearly the least aggressive of the
three corners, giving a ten-yard
cushion in some instances and
not charging receivers on passes
to the flats.
But Woolfolk's switch to
corner, his position before this
season, put Floyd back on the
bench and raises more questions
about the most maligned unit on
the team. The Wolverines are
dead last in the Big Ten in pass
defense, giving up almost 250
yards a game through the air,
and the constant lineup shifts
are proof that the coaching staff
is still searching for an answer.
After all was said and done,
the secondary gave up 284 yards
Saturday, 50 more than the
Hawkeyes' season average.
Going forward, Michigan
seems to be taking the secondary
Woolfolk said he had no idea
whether he'll play corner next
week against Delaware State.
"I just play whatever they
want me to play," he said. "I have
a good aspect to bring to the
team because Ican (be) versatile,.
so I'll go to corner, safety, even
quarterback if you need me to.,"
From page 1B
was the last player to leave the Kinn-
ick Stadiumvisitors' locker room, his
head down, averting eyes and obey-
ing orders from his coach not to talk
to the media.
The coach himself was short and
sarcastic during his postgame press
conference when asked about the
quarterback situation, and therest of
his players either pleaded ignorance
or didn't want to talk about it.
"I've got two outstanding quar-
terbacks, three quarterbacks, and
we did it," Rodriguez said. "That's
not the story of the game. All right,
Quarterback questions aside, even
with the cadence of the first 58 min-
utes similar to that against Michi-
gan State, Saturday's two-point loss
to Iowa was more poignant. Led by
senior Brandon Minor and a running
game that returned to form Satur-
day (195 yards, 10 first downs and 3
touchdowns) after hibernating in
East Lansing (28 yards, 4 first downs
and 0 touchdowns), the Wolverines
seemed to be in control against Iowa
more often than they were against
"We didn't deserve to beat Michi-
gan State," senior offensive lineman
David Moosman said. "I think we
Michigan served bitter defeat in Hoosier state
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Last-ditch shot falls
short in Wolverines'
shutout loss to
By JAKE FELDMAN
As Saturday's Michigan men's
soccer game wound down, the
Wolverines trailed Indiana 1-0.
With three seconds remaining,
freshman forward Alex Marti-
nez slipped through traffic in the
ing box MICHIGAN 0
and sent INDIANA 1
toward the net. Indiana goal-
keeper Luis Soffner extended his
long arms and deflected the ball
away, thwarting Michigan's final
The fans at the U-M Soccer
Complex fell silent as they real-
ized the disheartening outcome.
And as the final whistle sound-
ed, several Wolverines crumbled
to the ground in agony.
"There's two different types of
pain that players feel after losses
- the pain of discipline and the
pain of regret," Michigan coach
Steve Burns said. "The pain of
regret is when you cut corners
and you take chances and it
doesn't pay off for you. The pain
of discipline is playing with a lot
of effort, playing hard, and unfor-
tunately not getting the result.
And I thought it was really the
pain of discipline."
The loss was deflating for a
Michigan team that dominated
the possession battle and out-
played the 14th-ranked Hoo-
siers. Indiana owns a 13-1-1
record against the Wolverines
and knocked Michigan out of the
NCAA Tournament last year.
In past seasons, the Hoosiers
(2-0 Big Ten, 6-4-1 overall) have
fielded more talented squads than
their counterparts in Ann Arbor.
On Saturday, the Wolverines (1-2,
8-3-1) allowed that history to dic-
tate the outcome of the game.
"For the first half, we were
clearly the dominant team,"
Burns said. "But it took us the
entire half to come to grips with
that. Had we been playing an
opponent that didn't have seven
stars on their jersey, I think that
we would have absolutely won
the game in the first half."
Despite numerous Michigan
scoring opportunities, the game
remained scoreless until the 54th
minute. Indiana forward Andy
Adlard intercepted a Michigan
pass in the middle of the field and
sent the ball into the top right cor-
ner, netting the game's lone goal.
The Hoosiers didn't threaten to
score again and relied on stellar
play from Soffner to preserve the
Senior forward Mauro Fuzetti
was. a nonfactor, facing double
teams for much of the game.
The Wolverines are 1-3-1 when
Fuzetti doesn't score, as the star
forward's goals often provide his
teammates with the momentum
and confidence to score.
The loss all but removes the
Wolverines from contention
for the Big Ten Championship,
since they now trail four teams
in the conference standings.
Nevertheless, players remain
confident that they will thrive
in the postseason and vindicate
Saturday's defeat - if given the
"We would love to play Indiana
again," senior captain Julian Rob-
les said. "They pretty much stole
one away from us. If we played
them again, our intensity would
be even higher than it was. I think
everyone on our team would just
love that opportunity"
Big Ten Results
Iowa 30, Michigan 28
Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 13
Virginia 47, Indiana 7
Minnesota 35, Purdue 20
Michigan State 24, Illinois 14
0 Penn State 52, Eastern Illinois 3
Northwestern 16, Miami (OH) 6
Freshman Alex Martinez missed a potential game-tying shot in Michigan's loss.