8 - Friday, October 29, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Blue has reason to be optimistic
for key matchup in Happy Valley
Historic goal a
By MICHAEL WELCH
Daily Sports Writer
In the 14th minute of the Michigan
men's soccer tam's 5-1 victory over Bowl-
ing Green Wednesday night, freshman
forward Soony Saad scored a rare and
incredible goal, launching a ball 67 yards
from midfield into the net.
But for Saad, it was typical enough.
"People say that's my trademark, to
score it from my own half, because I did it
in high school a lot and I also did it in club
ball," Saad said.
Saad's 67-yard goal from behind mid-
field was the longest goal in Mjchigan
men's soccer (9-4-3) history.
"I always keep tabs on the goalie at the
start of the game," Saad said. "I usuallylike
to see if he's out to chip it."
For miost forwards, it's normal to
attempt to chip a goalie from outside of
the box when the goalie is creeping too far
away frtm hts goal. Saad's awareness of the
Falcon goaltender Migael Rosales's poor
positioningextended past midfield though,
as Saad got the ball around midfield on a
loose ball and quickly decided to shoot.
"It wasn't really a shot, it was more of a
long ball," Saad said. "But it is pretty diffi-
cult with the wind and especially from that
distance, whether to hit it straight or to put
curve to3 it."
After making all the necessary judg-
ments, Saad's strike was perfectly placed.
Rosales attempted to tip the ball, but
instead watched as the ball landed in the
back of his net. Burns explained that Bowl-
ing Green's mistake came in not preparing
for a player who can typically make that
long of a goal.
"It's probably more of a scouting report
rsistake than anything," Burns said. "They
should've known that when Soony gets the
ball, he might shoot from anywhere, even
in his own half."
Since Bowling Green (5-7-2) had been
attacking, the defenders were pushed up the
field atad the goalie naturally had to move
tp with them to maintain communication.
When Saad got the ball in that position, the
goalie was in no-man's land and there was
nothing he could do to stop the shot.
"Goalies tend to stay connected to their
backs," Burns explained of the goalie's
positioning. "When play's up in the 18-yard
box, your goalie is automatically going to
In the end, making a goal like that comes
down to Saad's skill and awareness and the
other team's inability to plan for that situ-
It really is a goal that nobody saw or will
By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Writer
Nobody knows exactly how Saturday's
game between Michigan and Penn State
will shake out, but Michigan coach Rich
Rodriguez thinks he knows one thing.
Ifthematchup came downto him against
coach Joe Paterno, well,
Rodriguez would have
good odds. Penn State
"Well, Joe and I Matchup:
aren't going against each Michigan 5-2;
other," Rodriguez joked Penn State 4-3
Monday. "I might be able When: Sat-
to take him if it's just me urday 8 P.M.
and him. But there's no
question - we have such Where: Stale
respect, I do, because of College, PA
what he's done for the TV/Radio:
Jokes aside, Rodriguez
spent much of this past week praising Pater-
no and his longevity. Paterno has coached
the Nittany Lions since 1966, and he holds
the PBS record for wins as a head coach.
"What he and (former Florida State
coach) Bobby Bowden have done, I don't
think that'll ever be matched," Rodriguez
said. "Not because somebody's not smart
enough or good enough to do that ... but to
do it for that long at the same school with
that much success, it's extremely rare."
But Rodriguez's respect will take a
backseat on Saturday in State College.
Rodriguez knows this matchup is critical,
particularly since Michigan (1-2 Big Ten,
5-2 overall) is coming off a bye week after
two Big Ten losses that knocked the Wol-
verines out of the Top 25.
Rodriguez said his players haven't treat-
ed Saturday's game any differently from
the first seven of the season.
"We're going to try as hard as we can
every time we play a game - every time,"
he said. "It's not like, 'OK, boy this is an
important game, you're really going to
coach harder or play harder this week.' Are
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez played as a collegiate player at West Virginia against a Jan Paterna-coached Peon Slate loam.
you kidding me? They're keeping score."
A few things will be working in Michi-
gan's favor heading into Saturday's game.
The first is Penn State's quarterback
situation. True freshman Rob Bolden, who
had started every game this season for the
Nittany Lions (1-2 Big Ten, 4-3 overall), left
last week's game with a concussion.
Paterno said he would "go with Mac" on
his radio show last night, meaning after a
week of uncertainty, he would start former
walk-on Matt McGloin on Saturday.
"I don't think they'll change much what
they do in regards to who the quarterback
is," Rodriguez said. "I think their offense
will stay pretty much the same."
Still, a new quarterback in his first career
start might be just what the Michigan
defense needs. The Wolverines rank 104th
out of 120 FBS teams in yards allowed per
game (441.0 average).
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball,
Michigan sophomore quarterback Denard
Robinson has struggled in the past two
games, battling both shoulder and knee
injuries. But two weeks off could help a
rejuvenated Robinson have a big game
against the Nittany Lions.
Penn State has had an interesting
approach to the question plaguing Michi-
gan's opponents this season - How do you
prepare for Robinson?
"They let him wear a wig with some
dreads on it," Penn State linebacker
Michael Mauti said Wednesday during the
weekly Big Ten a teleconference.
It remains to be seen whether the visual
will help the Nittany Lions against Robin-
son, who leads the nation in rushing, with
1,096 yards on the season, and is second in
total offense (345 yards) yards per game.
Along with Robinson, Michigan expects a
few other banged-up players,like center David
Molk and defensive lineman Mike Martin, to
return healthier Saturday after the bye.
There's one more waiting period left,
though. Saturday's game is an 8 p.m. kick-
off, the latest start Michigan has had all
season. Rodriguez isn't concerned since he
and his coaching staff have experience pre-
paring players for a night game.
"We'll keep 'em pretty busy," he said.
"You don't want to just lay around all day in
your room. We'll have a walk through and
usually the position coaches will take their
guys and go for a walk."
He insisted they wouldn't be going "any-
where in public."
"It's not like we're going down there and
tailgating. We're not going to do that. I've
been there before a few times. They'll tail-
gate with the best of'em."gate with the best
Breakdown: M' takes on depleted Lions
By RYAN KARTJE
Daily Sports Editor
This Halloween weekend, both Michi-
gan and Penn State may have a lot to be
scared of when they meet in Happy Val-
ley on Saturday.
After all, the Wolverines are coming
off two straight conference losses and are
going into one of the most hostile envi-
ronments in the Big Ten. Oh, and it's an
8 p.m. kickoff.
The Nittany Lions, on the other hand,
are giving backup quarterback Matt
McGloin his first start ever with usual
starter Rob Bolden dinged up. Not to
mention, their defense is one of the most
injury-depleted in the country.
So anythingcan happen on Saturday in
a game sure to have a whole lot of tricks
MICHIGAN PASS OFFENSE VS. PENN
STATE PASS DEFENSE
Sophomore quarterback Denard Rob-
inson said he's 100 percent for this week-
end's matchup, and after accounting for
more than his fair share of turnovers in
the last two games, the Wolverines are
hoping that Robinson will bounce back in
what should be his most important start to
Sophomore Tate Forcier stepped up in
Robinson's absence last week, lighting up
the Hawkeye defense for 239 yards and a
touchdown, and Robinson was doing a sat-
isfactory job before he hurt his shoulder.
The Nittany Lion front seven is hurting,
and the pass rush shouldn't be too much
for the Michigan offensive line. That
means Robinson should have plenty of
time in the pocket.
He's been pressing lately though, and
Penn State is still capable of making turn-
overs. So if he forces anything, the Wol-
verines could be looking at a few more
picks. But after the bye, Robinson should
become Robinson again, and that means
big things for Michigan's pass offense.
MICHIGAN RUSH OFFENSE VS. PENN
STATE RUSH DEFENSE
For the first time in more than a month,
the Michigan rushing attack should be
back to normal. Iowa and Michigan State
both have very capable run defenses, so
in Penn State, the Wolverines may finally
have an opponent they can run all over
again. That's mostly due to the Nittany
Lions' wealth of injuries.
Sophomore Vincent Smith started to
look pretty good last week, and junior
Mike Shaw should finally be 100 percent.
But the running back position, as a whole,
should remain a question mark as usual.
The quarterback position though,
should be as strong as ever running the
ball, as Robinson has a great chance of
running past the entire 11-man defense.
If the run game doesn't work in Happy
Valley, it may not work again this season.
PENN STATE PASS OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN PASS DEFENSE
Yikes - talk about scary. The Nittany
Lions are starting a brand-new quarter-
back ina primetime game. The Wolverines
have one of the most frighteningly anemic
pass defenses in the NCAA.
This matchup should be interesting to
say the least. McGloin is a former walk-on
who has impressed some of the Penn State
coaches, but not enoughtobeatout Bolden,
who's been moderate at best. The Michi-
gan secondary, meanwhile, hasn't shown
many signs of improvement; although, the
Wolverines should start showing some
promise soon, right?
Then again, freshman corners Cullen
Christian, Courtney Avery and Terrence
Talbott are bound to show something
soon. But with a fairly talented corps
of skill players around McGloin, today
doesn't seem like the day.
EDGE: Penn State
PENN STATE RUSH OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan's rush defense has been
mediocre all season long, and Penn State,
despite underachieving all year, has a
very talented group in the backfield. Evan
Royster and Stephfon Green make for an
incredibly dynamic 1-2 punch, one that the
Wolverines may not be able to stop.
Michigan has had all kinds of trouble
with Royster in the past. But this season,
Royster hasn't really looked like the same
running back as he had in past seasons,
the one with the coolest following in the
NCAA (The Blue Royster Cult).
The Nittany Lions also lost a running
The Daily football writersdo their
best to predict what happens Nicole
in the 2010 football season. Auerbach
Michigan (-3) at Penn State
No.1 Auburn (-7.5) at Mississippi
No. 2 Oregon (-7)at USC
No. 4 TCU (-3) at UNLV
No. 5 Michigan State (+4.5) vs. No. 18 Iowa
No. 6 Missouri (+6) at No.14Neraska Nebraska
No. 8 Utah (-5) at Air Force
No. 9 Oklahoma (-24) at Colorado
No.11 Ohio State (-26) at Minnesota
No.13 Stanford (-7) at Washington
No.15 Arizona (-8.5) at UCLA
No.16 Florida State (-4) at NC State
No. 17 Oklahoma State (-4) at Kansas State
No. 19 Arkansas (-21.5) vs. Vanderbilt
No. 20 South Carolina (-17) vs. Tennessee
No, 21 Mississippi State (-7) vs. Kentucky
No. 22 Miami (Fla.) (-14) at Virginia
No. 24 Nevada (-24) vs. Utah State
No.25 Baylor (+9)vs. Texas
Purdue (+14) at Illinois
Northwestern (-3) at Indiana
threat with Bolden out, and McGloin
isn't much on the ground. Then again, we
haven't really seen him run. So much of
this category will depend on Royster liv-
ing up to potential.
EDGE: Penn State
Again, not many more developments
on this part of the Wolverines'game. Seth
Broekhuizen showed that he's still not
very polished when it comes to kicking
field goals - getting one blocked against
This one, like it may be all season, goes
to whoever is opposite Michigan.
EDGE: Penn State
Man, this game screams intangibles.
With the late kickoff State College should
be primed and ready to show why it's one
of the hardest places to play inthe country.
Also, not to be underplayed, the Hal-
loween effect should make Happy Valley
a spectacle, with zombies filling Zombie
Nation. Who knows what will happen
with the young Wolverines with a whole
band of zombie college students scream-
ing their heads off at them.
The bye week will help, but all the
intangible factors seem to be pointing in
the direction of a frightening home crowd
on All Hallow's Eve.
EDGE: Penn State
FINAL SCORE: Michigan 35,
Penn State 27
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