8 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
season on top at
I4 EMU Fall Classic
Fifth-year senior center Elliott Mealer and the Wolverines are taking every Big Ten game as if it were a championship game.
Mich igan prepares for Huskers
wlt 'Championship' mindset
)espite missing Wolverines had two other top-
10 finishers in redshirt junior
aut on Big Tens, Meg Bellino (18:17.5) and red-
shirt freshman Devon Hoppe '
(18:22.1). They crossed the line
dines in Dexter in sixth and eighth place, respec-
Closing out the race for the
By JOHN LYNCH Wolverines, redshirt junior
For the Daily Chloe Prince (19:00.2) beatteam-
mate and redshirt sophomore
na Pasternak went in o Nicola Hallenborg (19:00.4) in
MU Fall Classic on Friday the kick, and the two finished
ing that it would be the last No. 19 and No. 20 overall.
f her season. Both the resting cross country
the 10th runner on the No. runners and the Michigan wom-
higan women's cross coun- en's track and field team were in
=am, Pasernak just missed atcendance and cheering on the
line-person varsicy lineup parcicipacing Wolverines.
xt week's Big Ten Champi- "The atmosphere of this meet
p. Instead, she represented . was great," Pasternak said. "This
Wolver- was a smaller
EtFriday's meec compared
;coring co most of che
in Dex- "He told m e to other ones,
4ich. and and it was nice
rth a Big treat this race to run against
worthy local schools
rmance. like my Big Ten and people that
ichigan myI've ran against
Mike Championship." before in high
tire) told school."
to treat McGuire
By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Every time the No. 20 Michi-
gan football team walks into the
meeting room in Schembechler
Hall, it sees the samething.
An image of the Stagg Champi-
of the Big Ten, has been plastered
on the screen before every team
meetingsince the start of confer-
ence play in early October. ,
The trophy isn't easily earned,
and Michigan coach Brady Hoke
has emphasizes its importance
every chance he gets: in team
meetings, in the locker room, on
the practice field.
There isn't a single game on
the Big Ten schedule that you
can overlook, Hoke has preached.
Every week is a "championship
Somehow, the mantra hasn't
felt redundant for the Wolver-
"We want to hear about the
Big Ten trophy and Indianapolis
and all those things, because we
know that last year we didn't get
that accomplished," said fifth-
year senior center Elliott Mealer
"You need a reminder, need a
reminder every week whatyou're
playing for. We accept it and it's
not redundant. We need to hear
Mealer doesn't remember the
constant "championship week"
reminders happening lastseason,
a year in which the Wolverines
slipped up against underdog Iowa
and lost to Michigan State.
Those two losses effectively
put Michigan out of contention
for the program's 43rd Big Ten
title, something Hoke has des-
ignated as the team's ultimate
goal each season since the day he
stepped on campus as head coach.
Despite a 10-2 regular-season
record and a Sugar Bowl victory
over Virginia Tech in 2011-12,
Hoke and the players still deem
the season a "failure" because
they failed to win the conference
So, to ensure that the Wolver-
ines (3-0 Big Ten, 5-2 overall)
don't overlook any Big Ten oppo-
nent, Hoke has emphasized each
week as pivotal on the road to
Indianapolis. During Monday's
press conference, Hoke and the
three players who spoke must
have combined to say "champion-
ship week" a few dozen times.
And the players aren't just
repeating coachspeak - they
really believe it.
"I think we picked up (the
phrase) the first week Coach
Hoke said it," said senior defen-
sive lineman Will Campbell.
"Because every week is a champi-
onship week and we have to win
Each victory is another step
forward. A month into the con-
ference slate, Michigan is 3-0.
Nebraska, its next opponent on
the chopping block, is 3-1 and is
the Wolverines' top competition
for the Big Ten Legends division
As far as regular-season games
go, this onewill have achampion-
ship feel to it.
"It's a'Who's next' mentality,"
Hoke added. "Who are you play-
ing next? As you know, Novem-
ber and October is when you win
"We'll have to play our best
football that we've played this
Though Michigan has roses
painted throughout Schem-
bechler Hall and Michigan Stadi-
um, the team hasn't made the trip
to Pasedena, Calif. for the Rose
Bowl since 2007 - the program
hasn't endured a longer Rose
Bowl droughtsince 1957-64.
A win against Nebraska (2-1,
5-2) would vault the Wolverines
into a two-game lead over the
Cornhuskers with four games
Barring an unforeseen col-
lapse, a date with Iowa (2-1, 4-3)
on Nov. 17 would likely be Michi-
gan's final challenge before the
Big Ten title game.
But that might be diving into
the future a little bit too quickly.
The Wolverines have a primetime
matchup with Nebraska in Lin-
coln on Saturday, and that's the
only thing on their minds.
"It's a championship game for
us," Mealer said. "Last week was
a championship game and the
week before that was.
"We're playing for the trophy,
and we control our own destiny."
this race like
my Big Ten Championship," Pas-
With its top nine runners
resting for next week, the Wol-
verines fielded their 'B' team to
compete at the EMU Fall Clas-
sic, and Pasternak won her first
collegiate event, finishing first
in the 5,000-meter race with a
personal-best time of 17:49.3.
"(McGuire) didn't want me
leading the race at the start, so
I just stayed with the front run-
ners in the beginning," Paster-
nak said. "Then at the mile, the
front pack split up and it was
just me and my teammate and a
few runners leading, and then at
about the halfway point I broke
away from them."
Redshirt junior Kaitlyn Pat-
terson finished second overall
with a time of 18:04.2, and the
said he was
encouraged by Pasternak's per-
formance, and attributed her
successful season finale to the
fact that she became physically
stronger as the season went on.
He noted that Pasternak was a
key member of the core group of
top Wolverines this season and
that her absence on the Big Ten
Championship lineup is strictly
due to the fact that he can only
bring nine runners to the event.
"With the Big Ten meet on
Sunday, we are obviously focus-
ing our energy on performing
well as a whole team," McGuire
"We'll probably have a tough
practice sometime this week,
but mostly we'll be mentally pre-
paring and staying healthy and
focused so we can capture this
Sea of Red looms in Lincoln
for another primetime game
Copp, Selman see early.
ice time for Wolverines
By BEN ESTES goingto be real hostile."
Daily Sports Editor Gordon's excitement should
be tempered, perhaps, by the
The Michigan football team fact that Michigan has come
has been no stranger to big-time up empty in the two road night
games in big-time venues this games it has already played this
The year kicked off with a pri- The safety said that those two
metime affair in Cowboys Sta- games will help the'Wolverines
dium against Alabama, and the deal with the difficulties they'll
Wolverines played.at night three surely face this Saturday, and
weeks later at hallowed Notre Hoke agreed - he didn't sound
Dame Stadium. This week, they too worried in saying that his
find themselves in yet another team is "used to" such experi-
hyped matchup with their trip ences and environments by now.
to play a nightgame at Nebraska. But that certainly doesn't
But the matchup against the mean it'll be easy for Michigan to
Cornhuskers promises to be a play with poise come Saturday.
different animal for Michigan. "Whether we're home or
Cowboys Stadium was raucous, away, we try not to let the crowd-
but the crowd was split pretty affect us too much, I think," said
evenly between fans of the two fifth-year senior center Elliott
teams. Notre Dame Stadium was Mealer. "It's going to be fun to
packed, but plenty of Wolverine experience, but at the same time,
fans made the trip, and support- we're going to have to go there
ers of the Fighting Irish aren't and play Michigan football."
exactly a rowdy bunch. END OF GAME ISSUES: After
You can expect that Nebraska redshirt junior kicker Bren-
fans will make this game more of dan Gibbons kicked the game-
a headache for Michigan coach winning field goal on Saturday
Brady Hoke's team. They're against Michigan State, the Wol-
responsible for making Memo- verines were understandably
rial Stadium one of the loudest in excited.
college football, and also one of But they were a bit too excit-
the most difficult places to play. ed. The ensuing jubilation saw a
The mass of Cornhusker par- large group of players come part-
tisans at Nebraska home games way onto the field to celebrate,
is referred to as the Sea of Red, even though there were still five
and the Wolverines are aware seconds remaining in the game.
of what they're in for - even That drew a 15-yard unsports-
though the team hasn't played in manlike conduct penalty, forc-
Lincoln since 1911, which was 12 ing Michigan to kick off from its
years before Memorial Stadium own 20-yard line.
was built. It didn't end up affecting the
"I really can't wait, and as a outcome, thanks to an excellent
teamwecan'twait,"saidredshirt squib kick by sophomore Matt
junior safety Thomas Gordon. Wile, but things could have gone
"I've never been to Nebraska horribly wrong.
before. You hear a lot of stories Hoke, the second-year head
about the Sea of Red at Nebraska coach in Ann Arbor, said that
and things like that and you just the penalty was the first thing he
got to look forward to going into addressed when the team met on
environments like that when it's Sunday.
"You love the enthusiasm for
the game of football, and they've
worked hard since last January,
and that all goes through it, but
that could have been very cost-
ly," Hoke said. "Could have been
one of those dumb penalties."
The fact that the Wolverines
did still win obscured another
mini-controversy from their
After senior quarterback
Denard Robinson ran for two
yards and a first down with 42
seconds remaining in the game,
the officials decided to review
the spot. But 10 seconds ran off
before they stopped play to do
the review, which ended in con-
firmation of the spot.
As it was, Michigan was
essentially punished for the offi-
cials' lack of haste in deciding to
make a review. Hoke said he's
waiting to hear back from Big
Ten Director of Officiating Bill
Carollo about whether the clock
should have been reset to 42 sec-
NOTES: Sophomore corner-
back Raymon Taylor left Satur-
day's game in the fourth quarter
after injuring what appeared to
be his arm, but Hoke reiterated
on Monday that he thinks Tay-
lor will play, against Nebraska.
If Taylor can't go, one player of
the little-used pair of sophomore
Delonte Hollowell and fresh-
man Terry Richardson would
be forced into action with junior
Courtney Avery's likely ascen-
dance to the starting lineup.
Robinson made a surprise
appearance on Michigan's kick
return team for the opening
kickoff of the second half on Sat-
urday. Hoke refused to offer any
details about the move, other
than to say that Robinson was
there to "maybe return a kick-
off" and that "it's just a good
By MATT SLOVIN
Daily Sports Editor
Freshman forward Andrew
Copp is on pace to score a goal in
every game he plays for the Mich-
igan hockey team.
That's a loaded statistic that
has Copp feeling confident, even
if he's played in just one game
for the sixth-ranked Wolverines.
His second-period marker during
Michigan's 6-3 win over Bentley
at Yost Ice Arena on Friday night
came after he was scratched from
the first two games of the season.
"It was an unbelievable expe-
rience," said Copp, who had his
family in attendance forthe mile-
stone. "The atmosphere at Yost is
nothing like in junior hockey."
The Ann Arbor native read-
ily admits that there's a "learning
curve" involved in transitioning
from the United States National
Team Development Program's
under-18 team to college hockey.
He's already noticed how much
stronger the skaters are, for one.
And that learning curve is steep-
ened because Copp missed half of
last season in the United States
Hockey League with a broken
collarbone, suffered while play-
ing quarterback for Skyline High
But, as Friday's goal showed,
the adjustment is coming, thanks
in part to two players not far
removed from their freshmen
campaigns. Both Copp and fresh-
man linemate Justin Selman
acknowledged what a good role
model sophomore forward Zach
Hyman has been. Copp noted
that Hyman took his scratch
in the finale against Rochester
Institute of Technology in stride
and didn't let it change his work,
The line of Hyman, Copp and
Selman has "really given our
team a life," according to Michi-
Freshman forward Justin Selman has impressed early on this season.
gan coach Red Berenson.
"He told us what we needed to
do to have a good week in prac-
tice," Selman said. "He was mak-
ing sure every day we were going
as hard as we could. We kind of
worked off what he was doing
and followed in his footsteps.
Copp also pointed out that
junior defenseman Jon Merrill
has gone out of his way to make
the freshmen feel welcome,
despite cracking a vertebrae dur-
ing an exhibition game.
Selman and Copp didn't
always mesh together as well as
they have the past two weeks,
when they've each set the other
up for a goal. In fact, in the past,
neither enjoyed playing against
the other while they were both in
"Growing up, I hated playing
against (Selman)," Copp said.
"We had a little bitof a rivalry but
now we play together real well."
Added Selman: "We comple-
ment each other really well. We
have a similar game. We work
hard in both ends. It's real fun
playing with Copper."
Last season, then-freshmen
forwards Alex Guptill and Phil Di
Giuseppe stepped into the stop-
light, with the former earning
CCHA Rookie of the Year honors
and the latter scoring in bunches
"Especially in a program like
this, guys can have an opportu-
nity right away if you take what
they give you and make the most
of it," Selman said.
It's difficult to count on consis-
tent scoring from freshmen, but
the opportunity is there for Copp
and Selman to produce this sea-
son. Berenson likes them skating
together onthe youthful line.
"I like the way they're play-
ing," Berenson said of the two
freshmen. "I like their enthusi-
asm. They got their chance, and I
think they played well."
I 11 4