The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com
November 14,2011 -3B
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom November14, 2011 - 38
Boylan leads 'M' over Gators
By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
Kick returns/ Yds
Punt returns/ Yds
Time of Poss
M I C H I G A N
Player C-A Yds
Robinson, D. 6-10 92
Garder, D. 25 4
layer Att Yds Avg
Tousain 2 492 21
Robinson 12 30 2.5
Gardner 2 9 4.5
Shagw 4 1374,
Pmith N1 0 0.0
Totals 48 223 4.6
PCllN No. Yds Avg
Hemingway 3 43 14.3
Odoms 2 46 23.0
PS 2 2 20
Totals 8 139 174
Payep No. Yds
Totas 4 137
KICKOFF RETURNSo ds Ag
Totals 0 0.0
Player No. Yds Avg
Galon 4 62 155
Totals 4 62 15.5
'. Player Solo Asst
Martin 3 6
*oga 4 4
Van Bergen 4 3
Kovacs 3 2
Woolfolk 2 1
Gordon 2 0
Huyge 1 0
Black 1 0
Clark 0 1
Roh 0 1
Totals 31 28
Courtney Boylan had the
game of her career on Friday.
The senior guard scored a
career-high 21 points and posted
high seven MICHIGAN 69
rebounds FLORIDA 66
en route to
a 69-66 season-opening win for
the Michigan women's basket-
ball team over Florida.
With 27 seconds left, Boylan
hit a layup and was fouled to put
the Wolverines up by four. She
sunk the free throw and iced the
game for Michigan.
Even though Boylan had
almost a third of the Wolver-
ines' points, the rest of the team
had key roles in the win. Senior
forward Carmen Reynolds and
junior forward Rachel Sheffer
both scored in double figures,
posting 15 and 13 points, respec-
tively. Junior guard Jenny Ryan
and freshman guard Nicole
Elmblad both came up big on
the boards, combining for 13
rebounds and helping the Wol-
verines outrebound the Gators
"That was a big surprise,"
Reynolds said. "Coach told us
to outrebound them because
we know they're the leading
rebounding team in the South-
eastern Conference, and we did
Though the Wolverines
looked better on the stat sheet,
the game was close the entire
way. Michigan's largest lead
was six points, and there were
29 lead changes. Michigan (1-0
overall) shot 49 percent from the
field and hit a couple of key shots
Senior guard Courtney Boylan scored 21 points in Michigan's season-opening victory over Florida in Gainesville.
near the end of the game to pull
out a victory on the road.
"We knew at the beginning of
the game it would be possession-
by-possession," said Michigan
coach Kevin Borseth. "I think
these guys did a great job of
being strong whenthey had to."
The Wolverines' biggest
strength was their presence in
the paint, led by Sheffer, Reyn-
olds and Elmblad. Michigan
racked up an impressive 32
points down low, compared to
Reynolds said the team's pen-
etration in the lane, in addition
to its post game, was what con-
tributed to the huge numbers
in the paint. Boylan agreed and
said she believes that the pres-
ence in the paint will really help
them during the Big Ten season.
"(Getting the ball in the paint)
was a huge focus of the game,"
Reynolds said. "Get it into Shef-
fer, get it into whatever player
is crashing into the. paint, and
being able to do that was key.
"As coach always says, 'when-
ever you get into the paint, big
things happen.' So that was huge
for today's game.".
With Florida forced to stop
Michigan's post game, the Wol-
verines were able to shoot from
outside, hitting 47 percent of
their 3-pointers. Junior forward
Kate Thompson and Reynolds
hit key 3-pointers down the
stretch to give the lead back to
the Wolverines before Boylan
converted the three-point play
to seal the game.
Though the Wolverines
played an all-around solid game,
they weren't without faults.
Michigan committed 18 turn-
overs, which led to 15 Florida
points. Boylan said taking care
of the ball is something the team
needs to continue to work on.
Boylan also believes the Wol-
verine defense could've been
better throughout the game,
but she's confident that it's
something the team will keep
"It is a big win for us," Boylan
said. "It's really important to
remember that we're obviously
taking it one game at a time, but
it's always nice to be 1-0 and get
that first win.
"It's a great confidence boost-
er knowing we can go on the
road, play an SEC team, and
have the game be close and come
out with a win."
From Page lB
Last week against Iowa, Gard-
ner struggled filling in for injured
junior quarterback Denard Rob-
inson. He hesitated to throw, then
hesitated to run. When he did take
off, he ran into defenders. Gardner
threw a first down pass too high
and chucked an underhanded ball
to the sideline as he was getting
sacked, which led to an intentional
Robinson eventually came back
into the game to lead a last-minute
Saturday, Gardner didn't see
the field early. The "Deuce" for-
mation, which was featured sev-
eral times since the game against
the Golden Gophers, had Gard-
ner at quarterback and Robinson
as a back or split out wide. With
both playing at the same time and
Gardner taking the snap,it created
a sense of Robinson as quarter-
back IA and Gardner as 1B. Borges
didn'tcall the formation the entire
game against the Fighting Illini.
But when Robinson bruised his
wrist and left the game, Gardner
didn't disappoint in backup duty
Coming in with about 10 min-
utes left in the third quarter, he
instantly led a drive that resulted
in a field goal. The highlight came
when Gardner rolled out to his
right and hitfifth-year senior wide
receiver Junior Hemingway inthe
hands coming across the field.
"My coaches always say if one
person goes down, you got to step
up and do the same as he was
doing," said senior wide receiver
Martavious Odoms. "That's what
The numbers weren't impres-
sive: 2-for-5 passing for 47 yards
and a touchdown, two rushes for
nine yards. But it only took one
play for Gardner to show everyone
Michigan coach Brady Hoke
said after the game that Robinson
could have returned late. But in a
10-point game early in the fourth
quarter, Hoke sent Gardner trot-
ting back onto the field. On 3rd-
and-15, Gardner dropped back,
feelingpressure fromthe edge. He
stepped up in the pocket.
- "We forced the quarterback to
step up, just like it was designed,"
said Illinois defensive coordinator
Vic Koenning. "Our fourth rusher
should have been right there."
Instead the rusher was playing
off the line of scrimmage. As he
challenged Gardner, the quarter-
back didn't hesitate this time. He
stepped to throw and hit Odoms,
who had come open between the
safeties, in the chest. Odoms trot-
ted into the end zone untouched.
"That's a great play," Hoke said.
"I think he played as well as I've
seen him play."
Robinson will be the starting
quarterback next week. There is
no guarantee that the "Deuce"
formation will reappear. But on
Saturday, Gardner proved to be a
weapon, making believers out of
the Fighting Illini.
"He's a stronger guy, not quite
as elusive but he did get away
from us, unbelievably so," Koen-
ning said. "It just looked like he
ran right through arm tackles."
I L L INNO0 1S5
0 Player C-A
Playe, AttI Y
Play,, No. 14, Avg Lg
Duivrmos 9 74 41. 6
Totas 9 374 41.6 61
KICKOFF RETURNS No Yd Av g
Playe, No 114s Gvg Lg
Osei 1 14 1420 14
Totals 1 14 14.0 14
lae Solo Asst Tot
Bon, 2 7 ,9
Thomas 1 8 9
Hull 2 5 7
Green 1 3 4
0Sanni 2 1 3
M i chduly ball3
Henry 1 1 2
Hawthorne 1 1 2
Foster m 2 2
Scheelhaase 1 0 1
Kynard 0 1
Prosch 0 1 1
Bates 0 1 1
Totals 23 60 83
FOL LOW US ON
TWIT TE R
From Page 1B
After the Wolverines'
defense forced the Fighting
Illini's third-straight punt,
redshirt sophomore receiver
Jeremy Gallon gave the Wol-
verines great field position
after he took freshman Justin
DuVernois's punt 32 yards to
the Illinois 41-yard line.
Michigan stuck with the
ground game on the ensuing
possession, going 41 yards on
seven running plays - finished
by a two-yard rush by Robin-
son to make it 14-0 Michigan
early in the second quarter.
Toussaint continued to
excel, gaining 22 more yards on
the scoring drive and finishing
the first half with 144 yards on
Meanwhile, the Michigan
defense continued to stunt the
Illinois offense, giving up just
one first down in the first half,
allowing the offense to have
plenty of time to further its
Dominance in the ground
game, that is, until the Fight-
ing Illini seemed to figure out
From Page 1B
get back to playing "Michigan
They knew what that meant.
In the first three days of fall
camp, Mattison put on a clin-
ic about what it meant to play
Michigan defense. He installed
just two defenses in three days,
making sure he had time to set
"All we talked about was
defensive philosophy - 'This is
what we do. This is who we are,"'
Van Bergen said. "'We haven't
been that, we will be that.' So far,
it's held true. We've been as dom-
inant as he's said we could be."
The defense has improved in
every way possible this season,
and the road win in Champaign
served as the crowning achieve-
ment in Mattison's turnaround
effort. The numbers say they
allow 20 fewer points per game
(15.5) and 132 fewer yards (317)
than last season.
And as the offense sputtered
and turned the ball over three
times againstIllinois,the defense
was dominant. The goals they
set for themselves during camp
became more than just expecta-
tions. They became reality.
"We wanted to hold our offen-
sive opponent to 33 percent or
what they needed to do to stop
Toussaint and the onslaught of
"The blitz was hurting us
in that it seemed like we were
getting up field, and we didn't
make the tackle," said Illi-
nois defensive coordinator Vic
Koenning. "So once you create
a vertical seam, you don't make
the tackle, we were running
right by them.
"We weren't making plays,
and we went back to just kind
of trying to stay in our gaps and
playing base and that seemed
to help us, but we got our butt
The change in strategy
After Michigan took over at
the Illinois 43-yard line with
three minutes to go in the half,
Toussaint gained just three
yards on three rushes during a
seven-play, 22-yard drive.
The Wolverines were forced
to attempt a 38-yard field goal,
but redshirt sophomore kicker
Brendan Gibbons missed it
After a sizzling start offen-
sively, Michigan went into the
half with a 14-0 lead after gain-
ing just one net rushing yard in
the second quarter.
less on third downs, which we've
done a pretty good job of that,"
Van Bergen said.
Michigan stopped the Fight-
ing Illini on their first eight third
down attempts, and Illinois fin-
ished 5-of-17 - or 29 percent.
"Short yardage situations, we
wanted to win all those - we do
that," Van Bergen continued.
Illinois was 1-for-5 on short
yardage situations on third or
fourth down. And the Wolver-
ines forced seven three-and-
outs, including three straight to
start the game.
"Red-zone defense has to be
great," Van Bergen said. "We've
been good at that. Turnovers
Illinois converted both of its
red-zone trips into touchdowns,
but that was after the game was
well in hand. And the defense
picked off Illinois quarterback
Nathan Scheelhaase to ice the
game and forced running back
Jason Ford to fumble, only one
play after Michigan's offense
failed to score in the red zone
"Pretty much, the defense
bailed me out," said Hoke, who
had called for his offense to go
for it on 4th-and-1. But failed.
Those five words - "the
defense bailed me out" - were
laughable a year ago when Michi-
gan played Illinois in a 67-65 tri-
the first couple series too much for Illinois.
we were not tackling After the Fighting Illini
e were over-running the tightened the score to 24-14
said Illinois coach Ron with just over three minutes
"Then (the defense) set- to play, Toussaint came up big
wn and started playing again, scoring on a 27-yard
ay they had been play- run. The run gave Michigan a
17-point lead and put the game
Fighting Illini's defense out of reach for the'Fighting
ued to improve follow- Illini.
e break - after racking "I think I feed off of others,"
5 yards on the ground Toussaint said. "If my offen-
first quarter, Michigan sive line has juice, then I have
just 22 additional yards juice."
Ad just a 17-7 advantage . In a game where Robinson
g into the final 15 min- and sophomore Devin Gard-
the game. ner, who took over for the
injured Robinson in the third
quarter, finished a combined
8-for-15 in the air for just 139
my offensive yards, Toussaint proved to be
the game-changer in a crucial
le has juice, road win for the Wolverines.
"I know as a team we
hen I have haven't felt real good about
ourselves because of how we
juice." played in East Lansing and
Iowa City," Hoke said. "We
played about 30 minutes of
Michigan football in Iowa
in the final quarter, the City. We talked about that a lot
an running game, com- - playing 60 minutes of Michi-
with a stout defensive gan football.
mance. aided by a key "It was great to win a foot-
ption by junior corner- ball game, great to win on the
.T. Floyd, proved to be road."
ple-overtime shootout win. Van
Bergen remembered it hurt most
that the defense wasn't consid-
ered "reliable." The offense had
to bail the defense out.
On Saturday, Michigan's
defense proved it could play well
on the road. It proved it could
win a game its offense couldn't
put away. It proved that it could
prevent a team from crossing
midfield for an entire half.
"You should think we're a
dominant defense that can be
relied on," Van Bergen said after
the game. "You should think that
the defense is a staple of Michi-
gan right now and that's what's
going to continue at Michigan.
Michigan will always be able to
rely on its defense. It always has
been and it always will be that
And the defensive line will
always lead the defense, Hoke
has decreed. Van Bergen had 2.5
sacks. His friend, senior defen-
sive tackle Mike Martin, had a
half sack and nine tackles, dis-
rupting any and all of Illinois's
intentions of running the football
Illinois averages nearly 200
yards rushing per game. It fin-
ished with 37.
It may be come as no surprise
about 80 percent of Michigan's
practice time is focused on stop-
ping the run. That's another
Senior Mike Martin set the tone, chasing down Illinois runners all game.
staple of the "Michigan defense."
It's hard to argue with results as
the buzzwords that Mattison and
Hoke preached have become the
"I think when you stop the
run, it starts there," Hoke said.
"I think when you play with a
physicalness. I think when you
see those maize helmets hitting
the ball carrier multiple times. I
think that's Michigan defense."
It sounds like the stuff of fairy
tales, but the sight of it nearly
reduced a grown man, Mattison,
"For a lot of years, Michi-
gan was known for Michigan's
defense," Hoke said. "They really
want to represent that."