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October 12, 2010 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-12

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 7A

Daily Sports
Power Ranikings
} r Nick Sar 11 Dail Snorts Editor

Redshirtsophomore cornerbackJ.T. Floyd makes a tackle in the Wolverines' 34-17 loss to the Spartans on Saturday.
Rodriguez speaks on
struggling secondary

Senior setter Lexi Zimmerman holds the school record for assists in a career.

Daily Sports Editor
When senior cornerback James
Rogers left Saturday's game in
the third quar-
ter with cramps, NOTEBOOK
true freshman
cornerback Cullen Christian
replaced him and lined up across
from Spartan senior wideout Mark
Soon after Christian took the
field, Michigan State quarter-
back Kirk Cousins challenged the
freshman in a big way, as he loft-
ed a 41-yard ball to Dell, who left
Christian in his dust.
With the Wolverines' secondary
as young as it is this season, plays
like Cousins' deep-ball touchdown
to Dell have become standard
for a Michigan pass defense that
ranks 119th out of 120 teams in the
"Most coaches will tell you that
most true freshmen who play are
either so talented that you had to
get them on the field some way or
they're talented enough because
you have to play them because
your depth is what it is," Michi-
gan coach Rich Rodriguez said
at his Monday press conference.
"They're talented enough to play,
but they're playing at positions
that not many true freshmen play
to the extent that they're playing."
Along with Christian, true
freshmen Terrence Talbott and
Courtney Avery have played sig-
nificant time at corner, while lead-
ership roles have been left to senior
James Rogers - a wide receiver
convert this offseason - and red-
shirt sophomore J.T. Floyd, who
has started in just seven games in
his career.

not" att
ners, as
take on
Iowa's I
gan will
think t
pains w
true fre
level, itc
"... So
aren't g
night, v
them th
still win
silver l
with so
the field
a lot of
better p
ented a
four or
are play
in the s

iguez said he and the other Carvin Johnson, (freshman defen-
are taking a "ready-or- sive end) Jibreel Black ... if we do
itude with the young cor- our job in developing those guys,
the Wolverines prepare to boy, they're going to be really good
Big Ten quarterbacks like in the next couple years.
Ricky Stanzi, who Michi- "We really haven't had a chance
1 play next week. to develop them yet."
y've done some good Rodriguez also said he was
Rodriguez said. "And I pleased with the way this year's
hey're growing up even recruiting class has gone after the
there's some growing Wolverines' roster numbers were
ith that. To play this many "ridiculously low" in the past two
shmen on defense at this years.
doesn't happen very often. "We'll still be young," Rodri-
me of the issues we have guez said. "But at least we'll have
the bodies there."
Although the team hasn't been
low at running back, last Friday,
Some of the the Wolverines received a com-
mitment from Demetrius Hart,
sues we have the nation's No.1 all-purpose back,
who hails from Dr. Phillips High
n't going 0to get School in Florida.
Hart told the Orlando Sentinel
ed over night." that despite Michigan's depth at
the position, he feels he can still
help out.
"I'm a versatile guy, and they
;oing to get solved over- need that guy at running back who
we just have to minimize can break tackles and have speed
me best we can so we can around the edge, and I think I can
zballgames" bring that to the table," Hart said.
Rodriguez tried to find a receiver Martavious Odoms broke
ining to the Wolverines' his foot against the Spartans and
re struggles. He noted that is expected to miss "an extended
many young players seeing period of time," Rodriguez said.
, those players should have Rodriguez wasn't sure whether
time to develop hands-on the injury was season-ending ...
nce, which should lead to a Rogers, junior nose tackle Mike
roduct in the end. Martin and center David Molk
ht now,) we're not as tal- are all fine after sustaining minor
s we'd like to be or we're injuries against the Spartans ...
to be," Rodriguez said. Running back Fitz Toussaint is
you're talking about these expected to miss Saturday's game
five true freshmen that against Iowa due to issues with
ying quite a bit, the guys his injured knee. Rodriguez hopes
econdary, (freshman spur) he'll be back after the bye week.

Lexi Zimmerman, Setter (Volleyball)
U Yes, you read that correctly. After throwing three interceptions in Saturday's loss to Michigan
State, Denard Robinson is no longer No. 1. But by no means did Zimmerman earn the spot by default.
She posted her second-ever triple-double with 43 assists, 13 kills and 13 digs in a statement win over
No. 6 Illinois on Saturday. Those would be some video game-like numbers if volleyball video games
existed. The victory vaulted the 15th-ranked Wolverines into a tie for first atop the Big Ten standings.
2 Denard Robinson, Quarterback (Football)
Michigan fans could barely make it out of their own sections without hearing an inevitable
onslaught of questions. Is the Heisman hype too much for Denard? Is this what we should come
to expect against legitimate Big Ten defenses? Has he been exposed as an inadequate passer? And
should hefinally start tying his shoes? Probably not. And he's still at the forefront of the Heisman con-
versation. But clearly, all three of the Spartan picks were costly and resulted from bad decision-mak-
ing. And if the Wolverines couple the loss to Michigan State with another one to Iowa this weekend
- just as they did last season - Michigan fans will have to wonder whether they're back at square one.
Louie Caporusso, Forward (Ice Hockey)
* As Caporusso goes, so go the Wolverines. Last year, the early-season Hobey Baker contender was ice
cold to start, and Michigan had one of its worst starts ever under Red Berenson. This season, Caporusso
has two goals and four assists in the first three games and Michigan is 2-0-1. Granted, the two wins
came last weekend over Bowling Green, a team that typically finishes in the CCHA cellar. But if Capo-
russo keeps up this torrid pace, the Wolverines will find the types of results they found atthe end of last
season, when they nearly reached the Frozen Four.
4Alex Hunt, Outside Hitter (Volleyball)
For every triple-double Zimmerman puts up and every Michigan record she breaks, there is yet
another solid performance by Hunt. Last weekend was no different, as she led the Wolverines in kills
in Friday's 3-0 victory over Wisconsin and the aforementioned win over the Fighting Illini. She is now
ranked 15th in the nation in kills per set. At that rate, she may just have a Michigan record of her own
one day.
Lion Kim (Men's Golf)
* After a brief hiatus, Kim is back in the rankings at No. 5 with his fifth-place finish at the Rod Myers
Invitational on Monday. With the accolades he has compiled in the last few months, Kim almost made
the list last week without even playing a round of golf. His latest performance - fueledby a three-undet
69 in the second round - was his second top-five finish in the last three weeks. He won the Windott
Memorial Classic on Sept. 27 after nailing a 45-putt on the 18th hole. And most notably, he's earned a
spot in next April's Masters.
6Denise Muresan (Women's Tennis)
Muresan was the star of the Michigan tennis program at last week's ITA All-American Champion-
ships, reaching the semifinals before fallingto the second-ranked player in the nation. Her run included
three wins over top-25 players, taking two of the victories in straight sets. She entered the tournament
as the nation's 12th-ranked player. But after being one of the last four standing, she will be moving up at
least a couple of spots.
7 Justin Meram, Forward (Men's Soccer)
E No Saad brothers? No problem. In last Wednesday's victory over Cincinnati, Meram scored his sec-
ond game-winning goal in as many games without Hamoody or Soony on the field. Hamoody was side-
lined due to a knee injury and Soony was held out because of a red card in the previous game. Meram
then extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with a goal in Sunday's tightly contested 3-2 win
against Wisconsin.
8Rachael Mack, Forward (Field Hockey)
The field hockey team is getting contributions from all over the field. Three players have earned
spots on this list in the last three weeks. On Monday, Mack earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week
honors for the third time this season after scoringtwice and adding an assist in Friday's 4-3 overtime
win over Miami (Ohio). Her second score decided the game with just 55 seconds remaining in over-
time. Following two wins on the weekend, the team has won nine of its last 10 games.
9 Jon Merrill, Defenseman (Ice Hockey)
For the past couple of seasons, Michigan has had trouble finding goal scoring from its back line. But
through the season's first three games, the Wolverines may have found a defenseman who can find the
scoring touch. Merrill has had an impressive start to his freshman season, with a goal and an assist in
Saturday's win over Bowling Green. His four points are second on the team to Caporusso so far.
1 Jason Jung and Evan King, Doubles (Men's Tennis)
= Jung and King squeak into the rankings after performing well in the doubles portion of the
ITA All-American Championships. Their run ended in the quarterfinals of the main draw, but they did
knock off UCLA's fifth-ranked duo. Neither fared well in singles play though, as Jung lost in the first-
round of the main draw and King lost in qualifyingto the nation's third-ranked player.

Let us know who you think should be No.1

I I _______

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