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September 30, 2010 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-30

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8A - Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com'

Michigan wideouts fill in
gaps on explosive offense

Stonum, Roundtree,
Odoms and the
others are finding
their niche
Daily Sports Editor
Every dog has his day. And for
the wide receivers on the Michi-
gan football team, the saying has
been all too real this season.
Against Massachusetts, it was
junior Darryl Stonum leading the
waywith 121 yards and two touch-
downs. Redshirt sophomore Roy
Roundtree had 118 yards of his
own last week against Bowling
And junior wideout Martavious
Odoms led the team with 91 yards
in the Wolverines' close win over
Notre Dame.
Additionally, redshirt junior
Junior Hemingway is back from
an injury and caught three passes
against the Falcons. And don't for-
get about the slot receivers, Ter-
rence Robinson, Kelvin Grady and
Jeremy Gallon, who are also in the
With the spotlight squarely on
sophomore quarterback Denard
Robinson, Michigan's deepest
group has been trying to take the
pressure off of its quarterback.
"You never know when the ball
is going to come at you, at any
time," Stonum said on Monday.
"You never know who's going to
be the one having a big game. It's
fun, because everyone runs their
routes as hard as possible and on
any route, anyone can get the ball."
With the offensive reads up to
Robinson, he can choose to hand
the ball off, keep it himself or
throw to a wide receiver. He can
take what the defense gives him -
and Robinson has made it look like
child's play.
Bowling Green coach Dave
Clawson said that his scheme
was "trying to dare (Michigan) to
throw the ball."
In an attempt to stop the
dynamic Robinson on the ground,
the Falcons tried to get eight or
even nine defenders in the box
and have two people account for
Robinson - which left favorable
matchups for those Wolverine
wide receivers.
Robinson completed 4-of-4
passes for 60 yards including a
36-yarder to Roundtree on a seam
route toward the left sideline
before Robinson left the game
with a minor injury.
But it's the growth and devel-
opment of this group of receivers
- together with Robinson - that
has the offense running on all cyl-
Stonum said that over the sum-
mer the receivers and quarter-
backs worked on getting their
timing and route running down.
The goal was "that (the quarter-
backs) could do it with their eyes
closed," and that the receiver
would be in the correct spot.
There were a few times the quar-
terbacks did actually close their

Senior first baseman Dorian Shaw led the Wolverines in home runs last season
Wolverine s to face
MSU inC exrhibition,

b 3

Redshirt sophomore Roy Roundtree has been one of a trio of experienced wide receivers for the Wolverines who have made
huge splashes this season. Roundtree accounted for 118 yards in Michigan's 65-21 win over Bowling Green last weekend.

eyes - and still completed the guez's spread option offense. The
pass. Wolverines find themselves at
The receivers also got better the point where experience and
acquainted with Robinson, who potential and talent meet - a
didn't start a single game in 2009. group that now' is coming into
"Denard has always been - its own and will probably return
since day one since he's been here everyone in 2011.
- out there on the field trying to "If you have an inexperienced
get timing down, offensive line, or
trying to work," inexperienced
Grady said. "And quarterbacks or
it just comes that "You never knoWv receivers and you
time when his try and make an
opportunity came who's going to be adjustment dur-
and it was right ing a game, boy
on target because the one having a sometimes there's
he had already panic that sets
been working. He big game." in," Rodriguez
had already been said. "Now, some-
fixing his eyes times not only can
on that prize and we make adjust-
that was one day being the start- ments, but sometimes they'll
ing quarterback, one day being out come over and say, 'Coach, maybe
there getting the reps with a lot of we can do this.' Or they'll remem-
these guys, Darryl Stonum, Roy her plays we ran in practice or
Roundtree. something may work. It is night
"He's been working with us and day between the way it was
all summer and he's been work- two years (ago) as far as their
ing with us since he's been here. input and their ability to handle
It was key. He's always wanted to game adjustments."
strive to be the best." Rodriguez didn't have that lux-
Most of the wide receivers ury on offense during his first two
have now had two full seasons to years in Ann Arbor.
learn Michigan coach Rich Rodri- He said it was that type of expe-

rience and playmaking ability that
allowed his offense to be so suc-
cessful at West Virginia. In 2007,
Pat White and Steve Slaton's last
year together as Mountaineers,
the offense threw for more than
2,000 yards and ran for more than
3,800 yards. Michigan is on pace
to surpass both of those marks.
And yes, extrapolating stats is
dangerous, especially since the
Wolverines haven't reached con-
ference play yet, but Robinson did
miss more than three quarters
against Bowling Green and the
offense is still on track to arguably
be one of Rodriguez's best.
It's an offense predicated on
playmakers making plays. Michi-
gan now has the playmakers to
surround Robinson and its up to
him to distribute. He certainly has
a lot of choices.
"Everyone's comfortable just
for the fact that everybody out
there wants to learn," Grady said.
"Everybody out there wants to
get better. Everybody out there
is waiting for their opportunity,
their 'Denard Robinson moment'
when they can be out there and
prove themselves right - that
they're able to come out and play,
that they're learning."

By LUKE PASCH man Amanda Chidester.
Daily Sports Writer Chidester is still around, and it's
-------- time for her to grow up fast.
This Friday, the Wolverines will After earning second-team All-
return to Alumni Field for an exhi- American honors in her freshman
bition against Michigan State with season, Chidester was streaky at
bitter memories on their minds. the plate in 2010. One week, she
The Michigan softball team would smash a screaming liner to
looked destined the wall anytime a pitcher dared
for the Women's toss one over the plate, but the fol-
College World MSU t lowing week, she would struggle
Series last spring Michigan mightily to find her swing.
- they had fin- When: Conveniently, when Chidester
ished fifth in the Tomorrow, was slumping there was typically a
World Series in 6 p.m. veteran in the lineup picking up the
2009, took home slack. But this season, the Wolver-
the Big Ten tro- Where: ines can't afford Chidester's cold
phy for the third Complex streaks, as five everyday seniors
straight year and graduated last spring.
Michigan coach "One thing I've learned over
Carol Hutchins was leading argu- the years is if you try too.hard and
ably her most talented group in her stress over it, you're notgoingto get
26 years at the helm. the outcomes you want," Chidester
But a youthful Tennessee squad said on Wednesday. "I need to go
came into Ann Arbor for the Super out there, have fun, play my game
Regional matchup in late May and and just enjoy every day."
swept Michigan in two games, end- Pitching will also take on a new
ing the dream of lifting a champi- look for the Wolverines this season.
onship trophy for five Wolverine The All-American duo of lefthand-
seniors. er Nikki Nemitz and righthander
"This is the best softball team Jordan Taylor that's feasted on Big
that I've ever been a part of," then- Ten competition for the past three
junior first baseman Dorian Shaw years is finally broken up.
said in an emotional press confer- With Nemitz graduating and
ence following the 4-3 loss. "For joining the ranks of USA Softball,
us to not achieve what our goal has Taylor is left to carrythe load in her
been since we stepped on campus senior season.
in September is heartbreaking. ... On her side will be sophomore
It hasn't set in that I won't be pack- righthander Stephanie "Spidey"
ing my bag for Oklahoma City this Speierman, who saw minimal
week." action last season, and juniortrans-
And as proud as Shaw was when fer lefthander Hilary Payne.
she held up the 2010 Big Ten trophy Payne posted just a 6-10 record
in front of 110,000 people at the Big with Loyola Chicago last season,
House last Saturday, it was hard for but her complete-game four-hit-
her to forget falling short of expec- ter against No. 24 Notre Dame in
tations. March turned some heads in Mich-
Now a senior and the eminent igan's front office.
offensive leader of the 2011 softball "Well, she's going to help us
team, Shaw will have her work cut win games, I hope," Hutchins said.
out for her this season as the only "That's what we play in the fallfor -
position-playing senior onthe roster to see what the new people are capa-
with consistent starting experience. ble of. And so far, I like what I see."
After matching Michigan's This weekend, Hutchins will
single-season home run record do some experimenting with a
(21) last season, she may have a roster that features seven fresh-
tough time repeating those efforts men. Which of them will be start-
without the lineup protection she ing alongside veterans like Shaw,
enjoyed in the five-hole. Shaw's bat Chidester and Taylor, if any, is yet
was especially productive when to be established, but the matchup
she was sandwiched in the order by against Michigan State will be a
then-senior catcher Roya St. Clair chance for some new faces to prove
and then-sophomore second base- themselves.


Time's running out on
our mass meetings.

AT 7 P.M.


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