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September 13, 2010 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

2B - September 13, 2010

2B - Septemher 13, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Where does Denard's 502 rank?

Wolverines notch pair *
of wins on home turf

As sports fans, it's a rare
occasion to sit back and
realize we are indeed
watching history unfold before our
I've witnessed a few of these
events - I was in the stands as
Philip Brabbs kicked the game-
winning field goal against Wash-
ington in 2002 and, on the flip side,
I looked on in horror when Appala-
chian State did
the unthinkable
in 2007.
But it's even
more excep-
tional to see
an individual
so magical RYAN
that one player KARTJE
gives us tingles
the rest of the
As I stood on the sideline for
Denard Robinson's final drive
against Notre Dame, I felt a part of
one of those moments. I watched
him take off on an astonishing
87-yard run for a touchdown and
make clutch throw after clutch
But that final drive was his tour
de force, the icing on his abnor-
mally large cake. And we're only
talking about the guy's second
start ever.
It's probably (definitely?) too
soon to utter the "H" word in
regards to Robinson, despite the
fact that he leads the NCAA in
rushing yards through week two
- as a quarterback. But I started
thinking, where does this rank
as an individual performance in
Michigan football history?
Plenty of dynamic players have
come through Ann Arbor - three
Heisman winners, several who
came close. But none of them have
done what Denard did on Saturday.
And that's why he makes my top-
five list:
There are seldom opportunities
for a wide receiver to absolutely
take over a game. But against
the Spartans in 2004, Edwards
turned in arguably the single
greatest performance by a Michi-
gan wide receiver in program

With six minutes remaining and
the Wolverines down, Edwards
pulled down a Chad Henne lob for
a touchdown that made him look
like a man among boys.
Three minutes later, he did it
again, just with more authority.
And then in triple overtime,
Henne looked in Edwards' direc-
tion again.
But this time, the Spartans
almost seemed scared to cover No.
1 out of fear of humiliation. He
scored, and Michigan pulled out an
amazing victory on his shoulders.
There have been plenty of
great wideouts at Michigan, but
Edwards' performance in such
a close rivalry matchup was the
He may be No. 4 on this list, but
what makes Robinson stand out is
that he singlehandedly demolished
the Irish in just his second start.
No one on this list can claim any-
thing similar.
I'm still trying to grasp how one
human being can run and pass for
502 yards total. But that's the best
part about Denard: He'll probably
prove, at some point, that he can
do better.
The game's consequences may
not match the others on this list
when all is said and done, but the
pure shock factor from Robinson's
mass destruction of quarterback-
ing boundaries and the ultimate
enjoyability of a player unlike any
Michigan fans have ever seen
should put him on this list by
Consider my shoelaces untied.
Talk about a man amongboys.
In a make-or-break game for Ohio
State that had major Rose Bowl
implications, Biakabutuka stiff-
armed literally every member of
the Buckeye defense on at least one
occasion. With 104 yards after just
five carries, Touchdown Tim didn't
need holes, he made them.
"Just give it to Tim," the TV
analysts said on several occasions.
And they did, even though Ohio
State knew what was coming on

Charles Woodson's individual performance against Ohio State in 1997 ranks among

nearly every play. Sure sounds
familiar, doesn't it?
Biakabutuka finished the day
with 313 yards, the second most in
the history of Michigan football.
But with the entire team on his
back, Biakabutuka ruined the Buck-
eyes' postseason.
That sure counts for something.
If you're a fan of stats, Harmon's
part in Michigan's 40-point shut-
out victory should make your head
The Heisman Trophy winner
that year, Harmon put up three
touchdowns on the ground, two
through the air, intercepted three
passes, (breath), kicked four extra
points and punted three times at
a clip of 50 yards per punt - the
original one-man show.
Harmon's performance was so
special that the entirety of Ohio
State Stadium stood up and gave
him a standing ovation. That, no
matter how glossy the stats, will
never happen again.
Neither will Old 98's statline.
I know, I know, Denard did punt
against the Irish. But when Rodri-
guez puts him out at cornerback,
then we'll talk about him showing
up Harmon.

As rare as it is for an offensive
player take over a game like the
other four on this list did, it's even
more rare to see a defensive player
do the same - and do it better.
With a national title berth on the
line, Woodson made Ohio State's
lead wideout David Boston - a 6'2"
man-child - look absolutely puny.
And when the Buckeyes were driv-
ing, Woodson made an interception
in the endzone to halt the drive.
The offense had been slow
all game long, but with Wood-
son streaking across the field on
offense - with definite cred for
playing both ways - he pulled
down the game's most important
catch, a 37-yarder that set up Mich-
igan's only offensive touchdown.
And after being a moderate punt
returner all season long, Wood-
son took his most important punt
return to the house to clinch the
game for the Wolverines. His Heis-
man moment eventually led to a
national title for Michigan.
A defensive player may not win
the Heisman for a very long time
because none outside of Woodson
have deserved it. And in his Heis-
man game, Michigan fans saw a
historical performance that may
never be rivaled.

By ALEX HERMANN the whole game and it's like 'Just
Daily Sports Writer go in,' " Way said after Friday's
games. "There was nobody on
Though it was senior captain (me) so I could even have taken
Meredith Way's overtime goal it in a few more steps and had a
that ulti- point-blank shot from the mid-
mately JAMES MADISON 3 die of the circle. It just feels so
won the MICHIGAN 4 good."
game for CENTRAL MICH. o The story of persistent failure
the Wol- MICHIGAN 4 followed ultimately by triumph
verines, was one told throughout the day.
it was her teammate Bryn Bain's Michigan quickly fell behind
stick-handling abilities around 0-3 in the first half as the Dukes
the goal and in the clutch that (2-3) went a perfect 3-for-3 in
gave her the opportunity. their first-half penalty corner
With the score tied at three opportunities. In the same peri-
late in sudden-death overtime, od, the Wolverines went 0-for-4.
the junior took control of the ball "We kind of had our halftime
on the right side of the opposing talk - it was one of those half-
goal, moved into the circle, spun time talks that aren't as fun,"
left past a defender in front of the Way said. "We definitely knew
goal and drew a penalty. that we weren't playing to our
Bain's dazzling play sparked ability. ... We just needed that
a chain of events that ultimately first goal to get us going."
led to the Michigan field hockey In the second half, Michigan
team's 4-3 comeback win over rebounded, capitalizing on those
No. 14 James Madison on Friday, chances that eluded them in the
its first of the season. first - scoring all three goals
The Wolverines also added in the first 15 minutes to tie the
their second win in a 4-0 match score up before overtime.
against Central Michigan on Sunday's matchup against the
Sunday. Chippewas (1-3) saw some of the
"Bryn is really a strong player same offensive woes for the Wol-
in possession," Michigan coach verines early.
Marcia Pankratz said. "She came Michigan missed its first six
into the circle, stayed poised and penalty corners, including all five
kept possession of the ball to try in the first half. But the offense
to create and be dangerous and opened up once again after half-
she's very dangerous when she time, scoring four goals - two off
has it. It was nice to see her step of penalty corners.
up and carry the team then and "One of our goals this game
set up the corner." was to put together 70 minutes,"
The Wolverines (2-4) would Way said after Sunday's game.
eventually capitalize on the cor- "That's definitely been one of our
ner opportunity - but only after biggest problems, to put together
two misses, two more fouls and a whole game."
two more penalty corners in The defense also showed up
quick succession. big against Central Michigan, as
Freshman Rachael Mack redshirt freshman goalkeeper
- having scored her first two Haley Jones made her first career
career goals earlier in the game start, posting a shutout.
on penalty corners - called her But the Chippewa offense was
own number once again, but this far from pestering, as the Michi-
time came up short. gan defense held Central Michi-
But on the third attempt, Mack gan to just seven shots overall
passed up the shot in favor of 4nd two shots on goals for the
Way, who nailed the game win- game.
ner from the top of the circle. The Wolverines look to carry
"It's really exciting, it's my their momentum forward into
senior year home opener, we're next weekend against Albany and
all tired, it's overtime, I played Quinnipiac in Ann Arbor.


Saad brothers lead Blue in Seattle

Daily Sports Writer
Boarding the plane to travel to
the Seattle University Tourna-
ment this past weekend, the Wol-
packed MICHIGAN 2
extra MICHIGAN 2
incen- SEATTLE 2
Their first regular-season road
trip, which the Wolverines fin-
ished with a 1-0-1 record, marked
a return to the hometown of red-
shirt senior goalie - and recently
named co-captain - Chris Blais.
And according Michigan's
other team captain, senior mid-
fielder Alex Wood, the tourna-
ment was a trip "Blais has been
raving about for two years now."
"It's great to finally get to his
stomping grounds," Wood said.
"He made two very big saves for
us (on Friday) to keep us in there.
That's what we expect from him.
"We don't want to leave him out
to dry, but he can keep us in the
games. It was great to see him get

the shutout in his hometown and I
know that he was excited for anoth-
er win and a shutout."
In Friday's game, the Wolver-
ines (2-1-1) took on the University of
Illinois-Chicago - and took care of
business, winning 2-0. The Michi-
gan offense fired on all cylinders in
this match, posting 23 total shots
with 13ongoal.
Freshman forward Soony Saad
scored the first Wolverine goal in
the 69th minute and was assisted
by senior midfielder Justin Meram.
Meram took a shot that deflected
off the UIC keeper before Soony's
rebound found its way to the back
of the net.
Even after Soony's goal, Michi-
gan continued to keep the pres-
sure on the UIC defense and was
rewarded when senior captain Alex
Wood's shot from three yards found
the back of the box.
Meram earned his second assist
on the day on Wood's goal, as his
cross pass set it up.
"This game was the type of game
where early on it was a stalemate,"
Soony said. "It seemed like we were
never going to get a goal, like we

\ '0
' 5V

were knocking on the door forever.
"We just kept coming and we
caught a break where (Meram) took
a shot and I came in to the rebound
and that goal really opened up the
door for the second goal. The other
team was pressing for the equalizer
and they didn't get it."
But Sunday's game against Seat-
tle University started on a drasti-
cally different note.
Seattle had seven shots in the
first 15 minutes, compared to just
one for Michigan.
The Redhawks came into Sunday
with a 0-3-0 record, but managed to
score two goals on Michigan in the
first half.
Seattle's first goal came at 11:31
and reflected the Redhawks' early
offensive tempo. The second Seat-
tle goal came just before halftime
off a broken pass from Michigan's
"In terms of what Seattle did,
they sat in and did a good job play-
ing off the counter attack," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said, adding
that it "kind of opened the game
up because we committed a lot of
resources to go forward and hold
But the Wolverines continued
to battle, attacking the opposing
keeper with 36 shots and 11 shots
on goal in the game.
And Michigan's persistence
helped the team complete its
second-half comeback, as sopho-
more midfielder Hamoody Saad
drained a free kick for a goal at
75:18 and Soony followed with a
goal of his own with five minutes
remaining in the game.
All four of the Wolverines'
goals on the road trip came in the
second half of game action - giv-
ing the team confidence that they
can remain fresh until the game
goes final.
"Our attackers were top-notch
(Sunday)," Hamoody said. "I think
that when we go down a goal and
it goes into the last couple minutes,
the whole team is giving their full
100-percent effort. We know that
we're going to score."
Michigan comes back to Ann
Arbor to take on Oakland and
Notre Dame at home this week
before making a quick trip to
Madison to open Big Ten play
against the Badgers next Sunday.
With a win and a tie under
their belts from the weekend, the
Wolverines look ahead to playing
in a familiar setting. /

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