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November 08, 2010 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-08

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2B - November 8, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.corr

28 - November 8, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycors

It's time to go bowling..finally

it's been1,041 days.
That's 33 Michigan football
games (just 14 wins), 957 points
scored and 2,301,961 attendees at
the Big House.
That's once in two blue moons
(trust me, I checked).
That's how
long it's been
since the Michi-
gan football
team has played
in a bowl game.
And now, starv-
ing Michigan
fans, that num-
ber finally has RYAN
an end h sight. KARTJE
I think we
can all agree
that it has been much, much too
long since the Wolverines have
experienced postseason football.
So for now, who cares that the
team's defense gave up 65 points
to a decent Big Ten offense.
Who cares that Greg Robinson
will probably get fired and Rich
Rodriguez could very well be
close behind him. Who cares that
Michigan might end up playing in
the Pizza, Pizza Bowl.
Because for one second, Michi-
gan fans, take solace in the fact that
something good happened to you.
You've gone through the worst of
times, the worst of the worst. So
you deserve this.
I've given this team a lot of
crap it this space throughout the
sxason. But Denard Robinson and
Co. have done somsethingsno team
wearing the winged helmet has
done since Chad Henne, Mike
Hart and Jake Long ruled Ann
Arbor. They've given us something
to watch over Christmas break
besides reruns of A Christnas
From Page 1B
holding on for most of the game
after senior Alicia Mayer gave
Michigan (5-1, 15-6) an early lead
when she deflected senior Zara
Saydjari's shot into the goal in the
12th minute. Buckeye senior Jena
Cacciatore later knotted the match
at 1-1 with a goal in the 25th min-

"It's been a good week," Rich
Rodriguez said, grinning, after Sat-
urday's marathon win over Illinois.
Indeed it has, Coach.
The NCAA violations fiasco,
which felt like years and years
worth of shame, has finally ended,
And on Saturday, the bowl drought
that sucked Michigan fans dry for
so long finally ended, too.
SoI think it's fair to chalk this
past week up 'as a very good one for
anyone surrounding the Michigan
football program.
And in honor of this wonderful
occasion, I challenge you totake
the week off from your RichRod,
Greg Robinson or defense bash-
ing. Take a break from the nega-
tive energy. Instead, let this feat
settle. Talk about progress. Smile,
Remember, for most of you on this
campus, this hasn't happened since
you've been here.
I remember what it felt like my
freshman year, watching Chad
Henne tear up the Florida defense
in the Capital One Bowl, a game
that should have been a blowout
going the other way.
After a loss to Appalachian State
to open the season (and myytime as
a student), I felt like I could believe
in Michigan football again after
that win.
And though this win may not
be nearly as meaningful - they
still have a long way to go - there's
something to be said for triple-
overtime thriller in a Big Ten game
toward the end of the season. Espe-
cially when Rodriguez has only
won one other game in the second
half of a season during his tenure in
Ann Arbor.
But take a few minutes, seconds
even, after you read this column to
As the final seconds expired, the
Wolverines on the bench cleared
out to embrace their teammates on
the field.
Against Penn State, the team
found itself in a familiar situa-
tion: tied 3-3 in overtime. Each of
the previous four times it had gone
into overtime, Michigan emerged
with a 4-3 victory. Mack's goal
four minutes into the extra frame

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez looks on during the Wolverines' 67-65 win over Iii-

Blue struggles in
exhibition victory
By LUKE PASCH of the fact that he's not boxing out
Daily Sports Writer a six-eight guy anymore."
The Wolverines' true freshmen
Nobody knows what to expect didn't take long to make their pres-
from the relatively inexperienced ence felt on the court, as Hardaway
Michi- Jr. and Smotrycz combined for 11
gan SVSU 59 first-half points. Hardaway's first
men's MICHIGAN 68 points in a Michigan jersey came
basket- three minutes into the game on a
ball team this season, but one thing three-point attempt from the left
is for certain: the scoring will be side of the arc. And on the next
far more spread out than lastyear's Michigan possession, Smotrycz
Manny Harris- and DeShawn drained his own three from the
Sims-led squad. same spot.
That mantra, preached by Like Novak, their produc-
Michigan coach John Beilein all tion declined in the second half,
offseason, epitomized the Wolver- as Hardaway finished the night
ines' scoring effort on Friday night just 2-for-lO shooting and 1-for-7
in a 68-59 exhibition victory over behind the arc, while Smotrycz
Saginaw Valley State, as nine of the went 2-for-8 and 1-for-6, respec-
10 players who had floor time made tively.
the score sheet. At center, Morgan made his case
Michigan's starting five, which for the starting job when the team
saw many changes through the opens up the season against South
offseason, consisted of sophomore Carolina Upstate next Saturday.
Darius Morris at the point, junior In his 22 minutes of play, Morgan
Zack Novak at shooting guard, owned the paint - he closed off
freshmen Tim Hardaway Jr. and lanes to the basket, blocked a shot
Evan Smotrycz at forward and and collected 15 boards. He also
redshirt freshman Jordan Morgan tallied nine points of his own.
at center. "I embrace my role on this
Morris was Michigan's leading team," Morgan said. "Setting good
scorer for the night, as he finished screens and getting my team-
up with 18 points, nine of which mates open and finishing the few
came on free throws. He wound up dropped balls and stuff that come
being the lone offensive bright spot my way."
on a night when the Wolverines The other players who saw time
finished 19-for-54 shooting - just at center - redshirt freshman
35 percent from the field. Blake McLimans and freshman
Novak, who many have pegged Jon Horford - were not as strong
as the preseason leader of this ros- in the key and didn't see nearly as
ter, showed early on that he's ready much time.
for the leadership role. After Sagi- McLimans, who was recruited
naw Valley State won the opening mostly for his strong shooting
tipoff, he picked up a quick defen- abilities as a big man, went just
sive rebound, pushed up the court 1-for-4 from the field and missed
and pulled up at the foul line to both of his three-point attempts.
drain the game's first basket. But the 6-foot-10 center did have
But Novak's production tailed two blocks in the paint that helped
off after the initial score, and he stifle alate-game Cardinal rally.
finished up with five points and Although Michigan pulled out
six rebounds in his first game back the win, Beilein knows his players
at guard after playing most of last will have to start shooting better
season at forward. late in games if they want to com-
"He's just a gritty guy who's pete against Big Ten competition.
doing everythinghe can and really "Make no mistake about it,"
doesn't care about his numbers Beilein said in the postgame press
except the scoreboard," Beilein conference. "We are not the Bos-
said after the game. "Hopefully ton Celtics out there. We have a lot
he'll rebound even better because of work to do."

noisy. The win wade Michigan bowl eligibl
believe in Michigan football again.
Granted, it hasn't given you much
reason to believe in it. This one
time though, even if it's the only
time this season, put down your
pitchfork and tip your hat to Rodri-
guez, Denard Robinson and anyone
else who has put the Wolverines
over this hump - one that might as
well have been Mount Everest for
the past three years.
Each Michigan football player
I talked to after Saturday's game
echoed the same sentiment: that
from here on out, a win equals
a better bowl. The weight of the
world is finally off their shoulders.
One more win should stamp
ensured that the trend continued.
"We went into the tent, it was
3-3 and it was, 'OK, it's just fate, it's
ours,"' Pankratz said. "(The team)
felt confident about it and came out
with a smile on their face."
Mack scored the first goal of the
game in addition to the final two.
Senior Vanessa Sekhon accounted
for Michigan's second goal in the
46th minute to tie the game. Mack
picked up the assist. Freshman

e for the first tine in three years.
Michigan's ticket to a bowl not
sponsored by Little Caesars.
And with all you fans have been
through, hopefully the Wolverines
won't have to play a MAC team
come late December.
But if it comes down to it, and
the Wolverines end up spending
a nice night at Ford Field against
Northern Illinois or Central Michi-
gan, look back on the past two
years, relax and enjoy the postsea-
Oh yeah, and pass the bread-
Karte can be reached
at rkartje@umich.e'du
Michelle Roberts and Laytos also
recorded assists on the day.
The Wolverines will find out
their seeding in the NCAA Tour-
nament on Tuesday during the
NCAA Selection Show at 8 p.m.
Until then, they can enjoy their
"The atmosphere right now
- everyone's just screaming and
shouting and smiling ... it feels
absolutely amazing," Mack said.

I , illy . . ..... ..
WAS AM. von, ;X.o

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