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September 10, 2012 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-10

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The Michigan Daily michigandaly.com September 10, 2012

Robinson hits the
ground running,
speeds past Air
Force at Big House
By ZACH HELFAND
Daily Sports Editor
For Denard Robinson, the hole
opened up like a blast of fresh air.
For Michigan fans, it must have
felt like the same.
The run was a familiar sight,
and welcomed, too - the No. 19
Michigan football team barely
escaped with a 31-25 win over Air
Force on Saturday.
It was just Michigan's second

offensive play of the game, a read
option - Robinson's bread and
butter. Robinson kept, and with
a stutter, a cut and a juke, he was
off, like a rush of wind, 79-yards
untouched to the end zone.
Robinson even blew past his
speedy teammate, redshirt junior
Jeremy Gallon, on the play. Back
on the bench, panting from the
chase, Gallon joked that Robinson
needed to slow down.
"Not to be cocky or anything,"
Robinson said, "but once I get in
front of everybody and I see the
end zone, I don't think I'm being
caught from behind."
On Michigan's first play of
the second half, Robinson did it
again, with a 58-yard scamper.
Only this time, he fittingly added

his own personal flair - 'Shoe-
lace' ran the last 40yards without
his right shoe.
This is what Michigan football
looks like, at least with Robinson,
the senior, as the quarterback.
For better or worse, the Wolver-
ines live and die by the fortunes
of a blurred No. 16 jersey darting
across the field - with his shoe-
laces untied, of course.
This time, Robinson and his
receiving corps played the hero,
rescuing a shoddy defense from a
comeback loss. Michigan led the
entire game but needed a stop on
the Falcons' final drive to put Air
Force away.
"We're probably not going to
run thatdefense again," said fifth-
See ROBINSON, Page 3B5

U .

Senior quarterback Denard Robinson became the first college QB tor

Ryan thrives vs. Air Force
in Oosterbaan legacy jersey

Freshman tight end Devin Funchess t four pa r06.yards and a touch 'n against Air Force on Saturday.
Banner day for unchess

By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Editor
Jake Ryan didn't look himself
out there.
And with good reason. His
defensive tenacity and signa-
ture locks remained intact, but
the redshirt sophomore line-
backer had a new jersey number
in Michigan's 31-25 victory over
Air Force in the home opener on
Saturday.
The redshirt sophomore
linebacker was selected by the
Michigan coaching staff to don
the No. 47 jersey in honor of
former player and coach Bennie
Oosterbaan - a newly minted
'Michigan Football Legend.' .
Ryan readily accepted the
number change, switching from
No. 90 to become the first Mich-
igan player to wear the No. 47
jersey since Oosterbaan gradu-
ated in 1928. Only one player -
Harlan Froemke (1924) - wore
the number at Michigan before
Oosterbaan, and Froemke never
joined the varsity squad.
In keeping with the tenor of
the recognition, Ryan led the
Wolverines with 11 tackles, a
tackle for loss and two pass
breakups.
Some of that success, he
admitted, could be chalked up
to the charge of representing
a Michigan great. To him, it's a
little more than just a number.

"It's been an honor," Ryan back Connor Dietz stepped back
said. "This game was awe- into the pocket on a second-and-
some for me, and just wearing long situation, Ryan read his
it is amazing. I'm going to wear eyes, lurched left and dove to
it with pride and represent bat the pass away from receiver
(Oosterbaan) as well as I ontae Strickland.
can." Two plays later, with
Ryan sat down this Air Force eyeing a fourth-
week to do research on his and-16, Ryan's bounce step
numbersake. caught the right tackle
"I just feel , off-guard and Ryan
like he was a sped around the
really ath- outside to swat the
letic, ball down just as
just it left Dietz's
Michi- hand.
gan The game
Man," was over, and
Ryan said. fittingly, the last-
Just like the second hero was
No. 47 before him, wearing No. 47.
Ryan flashed his "(Ryan) is a great ball-
play-making player," Kovacs said. "He
ability when had a pretty big game today,
he was needed so I told him I wanted to
most. For Ryan, wear that jersey next week."
that moment Kovacs, though, will stick
came with Air with his No. 32 for now, while
Force trail- Ryan will hold onto Ooster-
ing by just baan's legacy jersey for the next
six points three seasons.
and driv- Oosterbaan's family was rec-
ing down- ognized on field before the game
field with and given a framed No. 47 jersey,
90 second complete with the legacy patch
remaining on the chest with Oosterbaan's
the game. name on it.
As Oosterbaan was a nine-time
Falcons letterman at Michigan in
quarter- See RYAN, Page 3B

Fu]
firs
to e
r4

nchess becomes He had already done it on the
first drive when he made the Fal-
st freshman TE con defense look like a. peewee
football team, going untouched
'clipse 100-yard on a79-yard scamper.
This time, with the defense
eceiving mar bearing down on him, Robinson
instead looked up the field and hit
By LUKE PASCH No. 19 on the seam route up the
Daily Sports Editor middle of the field - good for 21
yards.
Michigan's second drive Who was that?
game against Air Force When the Wolverines got the'
urday, senior quarterback ball back after an Air Force punt
d Robinson moved up in in the second quarter, Robinson
cket, looking ready to take faced a third-down situation and
ust 75 yards separated him. nailed No. 19 again, this time for
he end zone. 29 yards down to the Air Force

45-yard line.
Four plays later, Robinson
dropped ,back on' a play-action
pass and found his man in one-
on-one coverage, so he threw up
the jump ball. No. 19 came down
with it. Falcon defensive back
Anthony LaCoste, measuring in
at 5-foot-10, didn't stand a chance
against 6-foot-4 tight end Devin
Funchess.
"In pradtice; I learned from the
older receivers and tight endslike
Devin (Gardner) over here, who
told me to go get it at the highest
point," Funchess said. "And that's
what I did. I just had to go get it at
See FUNCHESS, Page 3B

On
of the
on Sat
Denar
the po
off - j
from t

f

WR TRANSPLANT
Devin Gardner says he's a receiver
first. Everyone else says otherwise. What
does his future hold? Page 2B

FOUR FOR FIGHTING
Michigan trounced Northeastern, 4-1,
in a physical game in Ann Arbor on
Sunday. Page 3B

v

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