The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com April 18, 2011
Senior noseguard Mike Martin showed Michigan fans he could stand up and play linebacker Saturday at the Big House during the Spring Game.
Mattison's'D' steals the show
By TIM ROHAN Van Bergen remarked. "It's another thing offenses have He also threw an interception that
Daily Sports Editor "Yeah, I know, you're going to go to watch film on," Van Bergen said. was called back due to penalty and
to nose for a little while and Mike's "You'll see a nose guard at 300 twice had a bad exchange with cen-
Halfway through the spring, going to play linebacker," Mattison pounds, coming off the edge in a ter Rocko Khoury.
defensive mastermind Greg Matti- replied. "We'll probably stand you two-point - good luck." Mattison dialed up aggres-
son had a new trick he wanted to try up in the fall." "Man, he's a great athlete," Rob- sive blitz after aggressive blitz
out. So 15 minutes before practice During Saturday's Spring Game, inson said, his eyes widening. "So He wasn't afraid to zone-blitz
was set to start one day, he pulled the sight of Martin rushing sopho- whenever I see him, I'm like, 'Man, dropping some players back into
his best defensive player, senior more quarterback Denard Robin- I've gotta watch where he's coming coverage and bringing different
nose guard Mike Martin, aside and son off the edge was just one of the from."' combinations of other defenders.
explained the idea. many wrinkles in Mattison's new Martin and the rest of the "There's awesome athletes all
"(He) taught me this whole eight defensive scheme based on disguis- defense harassed Robinson and around you," Roh said. "And If I'm
different plays in five minutes," ing blitzes. The day was dominated held him to an unofficial stat line of not getting there, you know some-
Martin said. by defense, as the Michigan defen- 5-for-11 passing for 70 yards and 60 one else is."
Mattison walked into the defen- sive line corralled Robinson for yards rushing on five carries - most Added Martin: "We've been
sive line meeting that day and drew most of the afternoon and kept the of which came on one 55-yard run doing a really good job of disguising
the X's on the board - that's when first team offense from scoring. early on. things and communicating. That's
fifth-year senior defensive end Ryan Having never played on the out- Those aren't spectacular num- the biggest thing that we've had to
cHRISRYBA/Daily Van Bergen really knew the fun side before, Martin bugged Matti- bers considering the explosiveness work on, communicating and play-
Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has his defense play- would begin. son about giving him a shot, never Robinson displayed all of last sea- ing with energyout there."
ing with a newfound confidence this spring. "Mike's at linebacker right there," thinking it would become reality. son and in last year's Spring Game. See MATTISON, Page 3B
Cox shines as backs , Johnson, new-look secondary impress
regain center stage
By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Mike Hart stood on the sideline at
Michigan Stadiumwith his arms folded
across his chest, waiting for the Michi-
gan football team to emerge from the
More importantly, Hart was wait-
ing for the reemergence of the style of
running he thrived under as a Wolver-
ine. Hart left Michigan in 2007 as the
program's all-time leading rusher, with
5,040 yards at Michigan - no running
back has come close to that mark since.
And when Hart left Michigan, so did
the program's power running game.
Out went Lloyd Carr, in came Rich
Rodriguez and the spread offense.
At the spring game on Saturday, with
Michigan coach Brady Hoke now at the
helm, the Wolverines found that style
once again. But it's certainly not per-
Michigan running backs coach
Fred Jackson called the performance
"A lot of things they've got to get bet-
ter at - in terms of just running, lever-
age runs, things that they did in terms
of blocking, we were late on our reads,"
Jackson said. "Just inconsistent."
Jackson, who coached a big-bodied,
physical running game for 16 years
before Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez
shifted to a spread offense, saw a flash
of that old Michigan magic when red-
shirt junior running back Mike Cox
took the field.
Cox took a handoff from sophomore
quarterback Devin Gardner, found a
seam on the right side of the line and
burst through the hole, winning a
See COX, Page 3B
By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Editor
Carvin Johnson has a one-track
"I love making interceptions," he
said. "I don't like to make the big hit ... I
like us to have the ball."
When it came to the Michigan foot-
ball team's spring game Saturday, the
sophomore safety's ball-hawking men-
tality was evident. Johnson had one
"official" interception to go along with
another one - an overthrown ball that
fell into his lap - that was called off
due to a penalty.
On the one that counted, sophomore
quarterback Devin Gardner threw a
deep ball down the middle of the field,
overthrowing his receiver. Johnson
shifted over and laid out, snagging the
ball just before it hit ground.
"He's done that throughout camp,"
defensive coordinator Greg Mattison
said. "That's one thing he's showed is
he's the kind of guy who always shows
Sophomore safety Carvin Johnson had two picks (one called off due to penalty) on Saturday.
up where the ball is." of the 108th-ranked defense, in the bot-
The troubles of last year's secondary tom 10 in terms of pass defense in the
have been well documented: a big part See JOHNSON, Page 3B
Botterman caps off sensational season, wins All-Around title
By MATT SPELICH
Daily Sports Writer
At the beginning of the sea-
son, one name was associated
with Michigan women's gym-
nastics. By the end of the season,
that same name has become syn-
onymous with NCAA women's
gymnastics.That name is Kylee
Botterman, Michigan's cap-
tain and All-Around sensation,
completed her senior season
with the highest accolades that
can be awarded to an NCAA
athlete. Among her individu-
al achievements, Botterman
has been named the Big Ten
Gymnast of the Year, NCAA
All-Around Champion and the
2011 AAI Award winner for
the top gymnast in the NCAA.
She is also the front-runner for
the prestigious Honda Award,
decided on April 22nd.
With all the individual atten-
tion, Botterman attributes her
success to one thing - confi-
"I don't think I'm the most
talented gymnast in the coun-
try," Botterman said. "But I am
confident. I believe in what I'm
going to do before I get on the
apparatus, and that's something
most people struggle with. I
really value self-confidence
and the mental aspects of gym-
nastics and I think my mental
strength has led to a successful
In the moments leading up
to her final team competition,
while she was dancing through
her floor routine, Botterman
was almost moved to tears.
"In the middle of my routine
I almost started to cry," Botter-
man said. "I was like, 'This is
my last competition.' And while
all the girls were lined up along
the side I started to say, 'I love
gymnastics guys, I just love it,'
and they all just started making
fun of me. It was kind of a cheese
ball thing to do, but I'm really
goingto miss these moments."
After the Wolverines finished
last at the NCAA Super Six this
past weekend, Michigan coach
Bev Plocki could do nothing but
smile when commenting on Bot-
terman and her career in Ann
"(Botterman) has been the
heart and soul of our program,"
Plocki said. "This season was an
unbelievable season for her. She
missed one routine the entire
year, which is unheard of ... To
See BOTTERMAN. Page 3B
Senior Kylee Botterman won the AAI Award for the top gymnast in the NCAA.