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September 24, 2010 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-24

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Blue defense
looks to bounce
back against
Bowling Green

)10-

LIVE COVERAGE
DURING THE GAME

0

0

0

FOLLOW @MICHDAILYSPORTS ON
TWITTER FOR LIVE UPDATES FROM
THE DAILY FOOTBALL BEAT

By JOE STAPLETON
Daily Sports Editor
Last weekend, the Michigan football
team experienced the best kind of wake-
up call: the kind where you don't lose.
The Wolverines
turned in a disap- Bowling Green
pointing but victo-
rious performance at MiChigan
against Massachu- Matchup: Bowl-
setts, an FCS school. ing Green 1-2;
Michigan's defense Michigan 3-0
allowed 439 yards When: Noon
and 35 points to the Saturday
Minutemen, and the Where: Michi-
offense, led by soph- gan Stadium
omore quarterback
Denard Robinson, ESPN2i
was left to bail the S
team out.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez had
hoped his team wasn't in need of an
awakening, but after the team's first two
emotionally charged victories, it seemed
almost inevitable.
"You would hope you wouldn't need
that," Rodriguez said Monday. "I think
we have a mature team from certain
standpoints, but maybe we don't to the
level that I want to ... We-cannot mess
around and expect to win games."
Some big question marks remain for
Michigan (3-0) on the defensive side of
the ball, but several players were quick
to assure Wolverine fans that they
wouldn't see the same defense against
Bowling Green that they saw against the
Minutemen.
During Monday's press confer-
ence, sophomore linebacker Craig Roh
expressed his disappointment in the
defense's play, but stressed that it's time
to move on to the next opponent.
"I was definitely frustrated," Roh said.
"I feel like this defense is going to pre-
pare even better than last week and be
more hungry this week."
Preparation will be key for the Michi-
gan's defense as it faces a Falcon team
that, despite its 1-2 record, has averaged
more than 340 yards of offense per game.
Containing that offense may have
become slightly easier when, just before
the fourth quarter last week, Bowling
Green's starting freshman quarterback

Matt Schilz was injured. Schilz will
most likely not play against the Wolver-
ines.
Sophomore Aaron Pankratz finished
the game under center for Bowling
Green last week and went 5-for-8 with a
touchdown and an interception.
Even with their starting quarterback
injured, the Falcons offense remains a
threat. Junior wide receiver Kamar Jor-
den is averaging more than 100 yards per
game this season, and senior running
back Willie Geter has averaged more
than 80 yards per game.
"(We're worried about) all their skill
guys," Rodriguez said. "Their wide
receivers and their running back, I've
been impressed with him. All their big
guys up front ... They do a lot of different
things offensively."
While the defense may have its hands
full with the Bowling Green offense,
Michigan's special teams unit is still
searching for answers.
The Wolverine field goal kickers are a
combined 1-for-5 on the season and both
redshirt freshmen Seth Broekhuizen and
Brendan Gibbons have been struggling
on kickoffs.
After last week's game, Rodriguez
sent out a message to the Michigan stu-
dent body requesting any able-bodied
kicker to come try out for the team.
So far it's been rough going.
"We had one youngster show up
the other day, but he's actually in grad
school," Rodriguez said.
"There have been quite a few who have
shown up, and it's been interesting."
However, Rodriguez reiterated that
he has no doubt Broekhuizen and Gib-
bons can get the job done.
"There's no question in my mind they
can do it," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes
it's just a matter of being able to concen-
trate and focus and I think they'll do it
in a game."
INJURY NOTES: Rodriguez said he
will be looking to get some of the other
running backs involved, including the
previously injured redshirt freshman
Fitzgerald Toussaint, who Rodriguez
said should be "ready to go." Redshirt
junior linebacker Brandon Herron and
freshman spur Carvin Johnson will not
play.

8B j FootballSaturday, September 25, 2010

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