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September 26, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-26

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a

6A - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines return Robinson's
apology after 13-6 loss to Irish

By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Editor
On Saturday evening, minutes
after losing to Notre Dame in
what he called the worst game
of his career, Denard Robinson
wanted to apologize.
"I want to say sorry to every-
body who watches football, who
watches Michigan football and
whoever follows Michigan foot-
ball," Robinson said, surrounded
by reporters and tucked into
a tiny hallway beneath Notre
Dame Stadium. "I want to say
sorry and it won't happen no
more.
"For the 22 years I've been liv-
ing, this is the most disappointed
I've been in myself."
But answering to the sprawl-
ing Michigan fan base and the 6.4
million people who watched the
game on NBC wasn't the hard-
est part. That part happened in
the locker room, when Robinson
stood up and had to answer to
his coaches and teammates after
throwing four interceptions and
fumbling in the red zone during
the Wolverines' 13-6 loss.
He said he knew what went
wrong. He said it time and time
again that night.
"I wasn't accountable," Rob-
inson repeated.
Senior defensive tackle
Will Campbell said Robinson
addressed the team and apolo-
gized. Apology not accepted.
Michigan's 'Team 133' apolo-
gized right back.
"He's our brother - we have
to show him support," redshirt
junior running back Fitzgerald
Toussaint. "We all made mis-
takes, not just Denard, we did as
a team."
"It was the team that put us
in that position," added red-
shirt senior right guard Patrick

4

4

Senior quarterback Denard Robinson struggled this time around against Notre Dame, throwing four interceptions.

Omameh.
The defense, stout all eve-
ning, couldn't make a stop on
two crucial third downs on the
final drive, and Robinson and
the offense never got a chance
at a fourth-consecutive last-sec-
ond miracle against the Fighting
Irish.
"As a defense we all went up
to Denard and told him that it's
a team thing," Campbell said.
We kicked the ball once, that's
all we needed. As a defense, if
they didn't score we would have
won."
The three-hour bus drive
back to Ann Arbor was a som-
ber one. ("We were all pretty
downtrodden," Omameh said.)
While teammates attempted to
sleep, trying to forget the agony
of the past few hours, Campbell
was texting back and forth with
Robinson.
"He just said we all need to

step it up in practice," Campbell
said. "We told him that wasn't
all on him. This is Michigan,
we've got to stand behind each
other and protect one another."
From Michigan coach Brady
Hoke's perspective, the turn-
overs were certainly concern-
ing, but the way for Robinson to
grow from the game wasn't to
humiliate him. The coach and
quarterback had a conversa-
tion, and Hoke stressed only one
thing: "Decisions."
That's it?
"What else are you going to
say?"
So no embarrassment. No
walking through every intercep-
tion, every turnover. Isn't that
letting him off easy?
"We try not to pound any kid,
to be honest with you," Hoke
said. "Seriously, they're 18-23.
They're competing and if they
didn't practice well or they

didn't come to practice well
and they didn't have energy and
enthusiasm, I'd feel differently,
but I like the growth we're mak-
ing."
Robinson's four interceptions,
plus another thrown by senior
running back Vincent Smith,
came on consecutive drives,
consecutive pass attempts in the
first half. Hoke said he didn't
see a theme in the interceptions
and didn't see Notre Dame do
anything abnormal to disguise
its coverage schemes to confuse
Robinson.
When the buses pulled back
up to Schembechler Hall early
Sunday morning, it was a new
week. There's been no more
apologizing, and Toussaint said
Robinson has been himself.
"Denard's being Denard,"
Toussaint said. "He's got a smile
on his face and he's ready to
improve."

ADAM SCHNITZER/Daily
Junior outside hitter Molly Toon has a rich athletic lineage that includes a
father, Al Toon, and brother, Nick Toon; who have both played in the NFL
Toon makes mark
at Michigan with
family's support

4

4

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By GREG GARNO comes from her family and being
Daily Sports Writer around high-level athletes."
With her four children heavily
sior outside hitter Molly involved in athletics now, Mol-.
has an advantage over her ly's mother, Jane, has worked for
mates on the Michigan vol- several years to plan out a sched-
11 team. ule to attend as many games as
it's not her height, wing- possible. At the beginning of
vertical jump or strength. every fall season, Jane creates a
t her experience as a start- chart and color codes it to help
her postseason play, either. designate each child's events.
her family - a lineage The organization becomes so
with athletic talent that hectic she hires a planner to help
from an NFL Pro Bowl put everything together.
receiver to a high school "Fall is a crazy time for
y volleyball standout. them," Molly said of her parents.
on has already recorded "They're always running around
kills, blocks and digs than with games on their phones."
id last season, and while Though her parents make
as dedicated more time in an effort to see as many games
Height room, the Middle- as possible, attending a school
Wisc. native can use her seven hours away from home
-round to means she
ye her doesn't always
n outside " h en have the physi-
gym. I a cal presence of
ly is one second guessed her parents to
Toons support her.
children. ny choice since But technol-
rst-round ogyhasprovid-
ion by I've been here." eda solution to
ew York that.
in 1985 "It's kind of

RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

ACROSS
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pond]
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the Uni-
y of Wis-'

consin, Al was selected to the
Pro Bowl three times and was
named the AFC Player of the
Year in 1986 during his seven
year career.
Her brother, Nick, was select-
ed in the fourth round of the
2012 NFL Draft by the New
Orleans Saints after starting at
wide receiver for the Badgers in
2010 and 2011. He currently is on
the Saints injured reserve list.
"He's a really smart guy, so
any advice I need I can get from
him;" Molly said of her father.
"If I don't understand, I can
go to my brother. I have a lot of
resources and I'm lucky I have
those to utilize."
Molly's sister Kirby also
played for the Wisconsin vol-
leyball team from 2009 to 20111.
Michigan was upset by the
Badgers in both games in 2011,
though Molly ultimately record-
ed more kills.
Even her younger sister, Syd-
ney, currently a senior at Middle-
ton High School, is finishing the
line of volleyball standouts in the
family.
"I think Molly has a very
good athletic mentality," said
Michigan coach Mark Rosen.
"Her confidence isn't tied to the
last repetition or last success or
failure. She feels like she's good
on any day. I think a lot of that

funny because
they'd be
at Nick's game, and they'll be
tracking my game and Kirby's
on their phones," Molly said. "I'll
always get texts afterwards say-
ing, 'Looked like you had a great
game!' They're always connect-
ed, which is really nice."
The decision to attend Michi-
gan over Wisconsin seems pecu-
liar at first, but Molly explains
that doing the unexpected has
become expected.
"I've always been the oddball
out," Molly said. "My parents
said they always knew I was
going to be the one to leave. I
looked at Wisconsin, but I came
to Michigan and it was a per-
fect fit for me. I haven't second
guessed my choice since I've
been here."
That decision is good for
.Rosen and the Wolverines, as her
130 kills and 37 blocks are third
on the team in a lineup that has
continuously shifted.
"She understands a lot of
things on how to be mentally
steady," Rosen said. "Her confi-
dence doesn't move up and down
a lot. She's not cocky, arrogant or
over-the-top."
Molly and Michigan will trav-
el to Madison to play a match 4
against the Badgers on Oct. 7,
which is fortunate for her fam-
ily. This time they won't have to
watch their phones.

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