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October 24, 2011 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-10-24

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2B - October 24, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

v V ....1 __...

Temper first-year
expectations for Hoke

If you didn't know Keith
Nichol from the recruiting
trail, you met him Saturday
The Michigan State wide
receiver's miraculous Hail Mary
touchdown reception against No.
6 Wiscon-
sin as time
expired put
the Spar-
tans in the
driver's seat
of the Big F
Ten Legends ,.Y
times you're NESBITT
good enough
to get lucky
against a national title contender.
The biggest factor, though, is
that Michigan State coach Mark
Dantonio has his players and has
established his style of Spartan
football. And his team is light
years ahead of the 7-6 record
he set in his first season in East
No. 17 Michigan, on the other
hand, just isn't there yet. That
was clear when the Spartans beat
up on Michigan - figuratively
and literally - in a 28-14 victory
on Oct.15.
Michigan learned two things
in the battle for the Paul Bunyan
Trophy. First, on the banks of the
Red Cedar, there's a school that's
known to brawl.
Then, everyone learned that
Michigan State is a heck of a
football team, with the most tena-
cious defense in the Big Ten.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke
wasn't hesitant to admit that his
team got "out-physicaled."
The coach instilled an attitude
of toughness from the day he
took office in Fort Schembechler.
But his team left East Lansing
bruised and broken.
It was the first blemish in
Hoke's regime at Michigan. He

the coa
the Wo
base wa
ing a fo
could h
to facet
fecta -
nator -
C h
men the
heard o
the offe
Rich Ro
long en(
ting his
got boo
Hoke at
gible in
walk th

I the blame at himself and The offense is faltering in Big
ching staff for not getting Ten play. That's expected. The
lverines amply prepared. defense is nation's 28th best. Not
ty of blame from the fan- expected.
is directed at offensive Credit Mattison with bump-
ator Al Borges after blow- ingthe defense 80 spots up in the
urth-and-one call that rankings. And credit Hoke for
ave stolenthe game for Michigan's 6-1 record.
an. Hoke has instilled a confidence
Wolverine nation needs - a rather Yost-like arrogance -
the facts. Michigan's tri- within the program that can't be
the head coach, offensive ignored. It permeates the press
ator and defensive coordi- conferences and spills onto the
are coaching out of their field. If Denard Robinson can't
t zones. keep Michigan within striking
'are playing with young distance of a win, someone else
The foundation is set for a
downright dominant program
l3oke needs i
Hoke eeds in the near future. This team is
-sih h merely a glimpse at the Michi-
yers W I the gan teams Hoke wants to build.
This year is a reality check
iampionship for Hoke, too. His version of his
aptitude. Michigan team didn't have a
rotating backfield, a two-quar-
terback set. And he certainly
didn't envision feeling more
comfortable with his quarter-
ey never met - and hardly back tucking and running instead
f- until they accepted of passing.
r to coach 10 months ago. Michigan won't win the Big
an gave former coach Ten Championship in 2011. It
driguez three years, just likely won't win the division. But
ough for him to struggle that's fine.
the players leftby his pre- "The truth never hurts," Hoke
r. said after the Michigan State
iguez was finally get- game. "It's things that aren't
prototypical recruiting truthful that hurt."
into uniform when he This is the truth. The attitude
ted out of town. And now is there, and that's where it has
nd Co. is working with to start. It's a championship atti-
uez's spread-offense and tude, but Hoke needs players with
heese-defense recruits. the championship aptitude.
Michigan is 6-1. Bowl eli- It will come. Because Michi-
a heartbeat. gan isn't playingthe kind of
people aren't happy. Kirk football that Hoke wants to play,
and Michigan State can and the Wolverines are winning
e streets of this state anyway.

Senior Bryn Bain and the rest of the Wolverines couldn't slow down a faster Tar Heel team in a 4-3 loss on Sunday.
No. 2 UNC squeaks by Michigan
By RAJAT KHARE the 27th minute when Tar Heel opportunities that we didn't get to
For the Daily Katie Ardrey deflected the ball convert," Bain said.
into the goal. However, Michigan North Carolina finally broke
Possession is nine-tenths of the came back to tie the game before through in the second overtime
law - a statement that summed the half ended as senior backfield- with a goal 10 minutes in, sealing
up the Michigan field hockey er Jess Allen scored off a blocked the win.
team's weekend. shot in the 31st minute. Things were completely dif-
The Wolverines (4-1 Big Ten, Michigan relinquished the lead ferent against Michigan State on
12-4 overall) dominated posses- again soon after half time. North Friday. Michigan held the clear
sion on Carolina's Kelsey Kolojejchick advantage in the game, playing in
Friday MICHIGAN 2 scored her 18th goal of the season the Spartans' half for the major-
against MICHIGAN STATE 0 in the 39th minute. ity of the game. Michigan had 10
Michi- The Wolverines kept persist- shots on goal going into the half
gan MICHIGAN 3 ing though and were rewarded but went into halftime with noth-
State U NC 4 a goal in the 53rd minute. Bain ingto show for its dominance, due
(1-4, scored her sixth goal of the season in part to Michigan State's goal-
7-10), holding them shotless en off a penalty corner to stretch her keeper.
route to a 2-0 victory. However, point streak to eight games. , Michigan continued its persis-
roles reversed againstNo. 2 North Later in the game, Michigan tenceein the second half and finally
Carolina (17-1) on Sunday, as the took the lead for the first time in broke through in the 40th minute
Wolverines suffered a 4-3 defeat the game with an upset in sight. when freshmen backfielder Aline
in double overtime. Freshman Emy Guttman scored Fobe scored her fourth goal of the
Michigan was on its back foot her 10th goal of the season off a season off an assist for Bain. Bain
for the better part of the game, deflection from Bain's shot. was always near the center of play,
which showed in the stats - fifth However, the Tar Heels as she has been all year. This was
year senior Christi Barwick fin- responded to tie the game, 3-3, her seventh consecutive game
ished the nightwith a career-high heading into overtime. with either a goal or assist.
11 saves. Though North Carolina out- Despite the heartbreaking loss,
"UNC is a really fast, talented shot Michigan 3-1 in overtime, the Wolverines look to finish the
team," senior midfielder Bryn neither team capitalized off their season strong heading into the Big
Bain said. "They're a much differ- chances in the first overtime. The Ten Tournament with a match-up
ent team from Michigan State so Wolverines had a good scoring against rival Indiana.
I think they were just more pre- opportunity off a penalty corner "Every game prepares us for
pared to play us than (Michigan) towards the closing of the first Big Ten matches and today was a
State was this weekend." overtime, but failed to convert. really good test as to where we are
The Wolverines fell behind in "I just think there were a lot of as a team," Bain said.
ww ntriwarehouse.com


knowing they bested the Wolver-
ines four consecutive times.
So be it. But it's time to get
realistic. Don't accept defeat, but
temper your expectations.

-Nesbitt knows Nichol
crossed the goal line, but man
was that close. He can be reached
at stnesbit@umich.edu.

Save 10-50%

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke hasn't had a chance to coach with a full cast of his own characters just yet.


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