8 - October 30, 2012
The Michigan Daily -- michigandaily.com
Michigan aims to win out
Slue no longer Champ
controls its Adde
wn destiny in to play
... those fc
gends Division you wi
By LUKE PASCH that's a
Daily Sports Editor realize.
Senior quarterback Denard Robinson was injured in the second quarter against Nebraska in Lincoln on Saturday.
Robinson set to return
for trip toMinnesota
By BEN ESTES "I think it's a great learning
Daily Sports Editor (experience) for him."
But Bellomy, nor the other
Michigan fans can breathe a presumptive option, junior quar-
sighofrelief. terback-turned-receiver Devin
Two days after he said that Gardner, shouldn't have to worry
he thought senior quarterback aboutgoingthrough such a rough
Denard Robinson should recover game again this week given the
from his nerve injury in time for news about Robinson.
this Saturday's game at Minne- There's still some doubt as to
sota, Michigan coach Brady Hoke Robinson's status - Hoke said
reiterated that prognosis on Mon- that Robinson would only be
day, saying Robinson "should be "close" if he hadto play today. But
good to go" against the Golden healso said the senior can grip a
Gophers. ball now, which he was unable to
That one piece of news does do on Saturday. Hoke added that
much to alleviate concerns about he expects Robinson to practice
the Wolverines rebounding from this week. (Hoke's policy is play-
Saturday's 23-9 loss to Nebraska, erswon't appear in a game if they
when the offense imploded after can't practice in the days leading
Robinson injured himself. up to it.)
The nation got a look at what Still, Hoke plans to alter his
the Michigan attack minus Rob- practice schedule to allocate
inson looks like for an extended more snaps for Bellomy and
period of time, and it wasn't very Gardner. The biggest change will
pretty. come for Gardner, who has been
Backup quarterback Russell practicing almost exclusively at
Bellomy struggled in the most wide receiver since fall camp.
significant playing time of his Hoke said the two will compete
career, completing just 3-of-16 for the No. 2 spot should Rob-
passes and tallying three inter- inson be unable to play - a job
ceptions over two-plus quarters. which had previously belonged
Bellomy also faced constant pres- only to Bellomy.
sure and was sacked twice. "We will do that as a precau-
"I think number one we've got tionary thing, giving (Gardner)
to do a better job of picking up a some more snaps," Hoke said.
couple blitzes that we are able "Him and Russell both, which
to do," Hoke said. "It wasn't like means we'll add a couple more
it was a"plus-one, one more guy plays to your script that you're
coming that you couldn't block working off of for practice."
... I think the experience that Both quarterbacks have
(Bellomy) gained going into that received practice reps all season
environment is a major help to long. But based on this change
anybody. and how Bellomy looked on Sat-
urday, it perhaps hasn't been
enough to adequately prepare
them for extended game action.
While Robinson's teammates
will doubtless be happy to see
their starting quarterback return,
the typical mantra for the Wol-
verines is that any player on the
team is expected to perform if his
number is called. That naturally
leads to starters having confi-
dence in backups and supporting
them too, even though they may
not have ideal experience.
Redshirt junior offensive line-
man Taylor Lewan gave voice
to those sentiments on Monday,
responding to criticism he had
heard of Bellomy's play.
"Nothing changes at all for
me," Lewan said of the difference
in the offense when Robinson
isn't under center. "I think - I
have 100 percent faith in Russell.
I think it was a tough situation to
"Any person that thinks, 'Well,
I could've done a better job,'
no, you couldn't have. Ninety-
thousand screaming fans in red
shirts, screaming at you, you're a
redshirt freshman, that's a tough
situation for anybodyto be in."
Though most would agree that
the offense should see a boost if
Robinson is back under center,
Lewan doesn't see it that way -
he's focused simply on getting
better production, no matter
who's leadingthe attack.
"We just got to finish the game.
Got to put the ball in the end
zone, especially when we're in
the red zone," he said.
With the Michigan football
team's loss at Nebraska last Sat-
urday, the Wolverines no lon-
ger control their own destiny en
route to the Big Ten Champion-
ship in India-
(3-1 Big Ten, 5-3 overall) and
Nebraska (3-1, 6-2) are now tied
atop the Legends Division in the
conference standings, but the
Cornhuskers have the advantage
in the tiebreaker because they
won head-to-head against the
Wolverines. So, even if Michigan
wins each of its final four games
- at Minnesota, home against
Northwestern and Iowa, and at
Ohio State - Nebraska would
still go tothe championship game
if it also wins out.
"I don't think anyone in our
locker room is doubting any-
thing," said senior defensive end
Craig Roh. "All we can do right
now is win these four games, and
that's all the power we have. And
then everything else is up to a
In practice, Michigan coach
Brady Hoke has been preaching
to his team that every week is a
championship week. That is, each
matchup in conference play is
immensely important if the team
wants to. reach that champion-
ship game. Now, the situation is
more dire, and if the Wolverines
lose again, they could all but kiss
their title dreams goodbye.
At home against Minnesota
last season, Michigan trounced
thevisitors, 58-0, to keep the cov-
eted Brown Jug trophy in Ann
Arbor. The Wolverines would
like to keep the jug resting in
Schembechler Hall, but they care
more about the grander implica-
tions of the matchup.
"I'm playing to win a Big Ten
Championship," said redshirt
junior offensive tackle Taylor
Lewan. "The Brown Jug, it's a
nice trophy, I want to win the tro-
phy, want to keep it in Michigan.
But I'm focused on the Big Ten
it's a t
ionship and one week at Lewan said, "It needs to get bet-
ter. That's it."
ed Hoke: "There's four When asked about the impor-
tees left, and we've got tance of ball protection and
our best in each one of avoiding turnovers, he respond-
our. ... November is when ed, "It's very important."
n championships in this Somehow, Lewan's brevity
Our guys believe that, and illustrated his discontent better
n important thing for usto than words could.
.' RUN, GAME WOES: As poor
AN FRUSTRATED: Lewan as Bellomy's performance was
smiles when he first took on Saturday, Michigan's rushing
dium on Monday after- attack didn't help him at all.
ven joking with a reporter Redshirt junior running back
sweater looked like it was Fitzgerald Toussaint picked up a
t out of the "Bill Cosby mere 40 yards on 15 carries, and
it's tough to set up the pass with
!n he got to the micro- such futile effort on the ground.
though, his demeanor It's also difficult to score inthe
d, and he let everybody red zone with that type of pro-
ae was unhappy with how duction, as the Wolverines failed
an performed on Satur- to get into the end zone for the
second straight week and for the
was also displeased with third time this season.
of the criticism redshirt "We need to play better in
an quarterback Russell the red zone, from an offensive
y has been receiving fol- standpoint," Hoke said. "Part of
his poor performance that, and most of that, is you have
in for senior quarterback to be able to run the football in
i Robinson. the red zone. That's an important
place because in the throw game,
it shrinks down there a little bit.
... That's something that will take
(No) one in front seat and center this week as
we get ready to go to Minneapo-
locker room lis.
e rHoke said he doesn't blame the
s doubting woes of the running game entire-
n hly on Toussaint, though, and he's
nything. indicated asmuch bythe factthat
sophomore running back Thom-
as Rawls didn't geta single carry
these things being told "I don't know if you watched it
Russell, I don't appreciate enough, but Fitz ran hard," Hoke
use Russell's my quarter- said. "Fitz, he took on backers,
Lewan said. "Denard's my he took on safeties. I was happy
-back, Devin, Jack Kenne- how he played.... We didn't block,
ybody who's in that game, we didn't finish blocks the way
ough spot to be in, espe- we had the week before, and we
oing in, and I really don't didn't score touchdowns the
ate some of the things I've week before.
"We need to finish blocks.
an didn't specify who he Period."
set with, whether it was NOTES: Hoke said that sopho-
dia or fans, but he was more defensive end Frank Clark,
ag up for a quarterback who did not dress for the Nebras-
ad a very rough go on Sat- ka game, is practicing this week
In his first real test in the and should be ready to go on Sat-
ht, Bellomy finished the urday. Freshman defensive end
miserable 3-of-16 passing, Mario Ojemudia, who limped
ree interceptions. off the field after the Nebraska
r that comment, Lewan game and was spotted wearing a
ncise in his answers, clear- boot on his left foot on Monday
:rated with how the team morning, is suffering from "just,
on Saturday. you know, things," according to
arding the offensive line Hoke. But he should also be ready
g for the running game, for Minnesota, Hoke said.
MEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING
vs. Texas, Indiana
Goalies still splitting time for 'M'
By RAJAT KHARE
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's swim-
ming and diving team needed no
The Wolverines (3-0 Big Ten,
4-0 overall) entered the Lee and
Joe Jamail Swimming Center
looking for their second consecu-
tive win over No. 5 Texas and No.
8 Indiana. Just half of a point sep-
arated Michigan from the Long-
horns in a loss last year, and the
Wolverines looked to come away
with a more assertive win this
"Our guys get excited to com-
pete against the best, and Texas
is one of the best in the country
and Indiana one of the best in the
Big Ten," said Michigan assistant
head coach Josh White. "So not
much was needed to be said, they
were ready to go and compete."
After amassing 23 event wins
over the two days, a 194-106 vic-
tory over Texas and a 223-77 vic-
tory overthe Hoosiers, it would be
fair to say the mission was accom-
Michigan jumped to an early
lead with a pair of first-place fin-
ishes from junior Connor Jaeger
in the 1,000-yard freestyle and
the 200-yard individual medley
"Everything just went really
well for us," said junior John
Wojciechowski. "Everyone was
really intense, we got a good lead
and I think that was the main dif-
Wojciechowski helped the
Wolverines build on their lead
with a first-place finish in the
100-yard butterfly in 47.98 sec-
onds - -an NCAA consideration
time. Wojciechowski registered
two more first-place finishes on
Saturday, bringing his final tally
"It was really nice to win the
100 fly," Wojciechowski said. "It's
nice to be an active part of the
team again and get a win for the
Freshman Dylan Bosh also
chipped in with a win in the
200-yard breaststroke and a sec-
ond-place finish in the 100-yard
breaststroke. The two-time Big
Ten freshmen swimmer of the
week clocked in at 1:45.46 and
48.06 in the respective events -
both NCAA consideration times.
"We hoped that he would
be one of the swimmers in the
NCAAs," White said. "He's get-
ting there a little bit quicker than
we expected. He's just done a
great job of really being relaxed
and taking everything in stride."
Senior Miguel Ortiz rounded
out the headlines by tallying four
first-place finishes over the two-
day meet. On Friday, he clocked
in at 47.82 in the 100-yard back-
stroke - an NCAA consideration
time - and 20.26 in the 50-yard
freestyle. On Saturday, he repli-
cated his success in the 50-yard
But with all of their success and
dominance, the Wolverines' per-
formance wasn't flawless.
"The biggest thing right now
is people's turns and work-
ing on their finishes or starts,"
Wojciechowski said. "With all the
hard days, the hard trainig, per-
haps we haven't been ableto work
on the details. -opefully within
the next month we'll start being
more efficient and work on the
Michigan will have plenty of
time to iron out the kinks before
taking on Big Ten rival Purdue on
By MICHAEL LAURILA
Daily Sports Writer
Coming off a series split with
Miami (Ohio) last weekend, the
No. 8 Michigan hockey team still
has some uncertainties at the
But with two freshmen goal-
ies, uncertainties are expected.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
has played Steve Racine and Jared
Rutledge equally so far.
On Friday against the Red-
Hawks, Racine recorded 30 saves
and allowed two goals to earn
his third win of the season. A
day later, when the Wolverines'
third-period collapse allowed a
Miami victory, Rutledge took the
loss after allowing four goals on
"I thought (Racine) battled
hard throughout the game and
made the saves that he's capable
of making and maybe a couple
that he shouldn't have made,"
Berenson said after Friday
And he had a similar senti-
ment on Saturday in regards to
Rutledge's play, even after the
Chicago, Ill. native allowed four
goals in the loss.
"(Rutledge) gave us a chance,"
Berenson said. "I thought he
played a good game and we just
didn't give him the kind of sup-
port you need to give your goal-
During Saturday's loss, there
were some defensive lapses that
allowed Miami to have an advan-
tage deep in the zone. But a cou-
ple of the goals came off of shots
that Rutledge possibly should've
Miscues or not, both goalies'
statistics are beginning to speak
for themselves. Racine is 3-0
and has allowed 2.33 goals per
game on the year. In comparison,
Rutledge is 0-2 with 4.52 goals
allowed per game. Berenson has
Freshman goaltender Jared Rutledge, who is rotating in net, has strugged in is first few starts for Michigan this fall.
said throughout the season that
he is looking for a goalie who will
give the team the best chance,
and that is exactly what Racine
has done. Berenson wouldn't
comment specifically on wheth-
er Racine will be the starter for
both games this weekend when
Michigan travels to play North-
ern Michigan, though.
"We're looking for our goalies
to get better in all of the things
- I can give you a laundry list of
the all things the goalies have to
do to get better," he said. "(Vol-
unteer goaltending coach Josh
Blackburn) will work with them
tomorrow and maybe Wednes-
day, and then we'll make a deci-
sion of who looks most ready and
"But coming out of the first
five games, Racine definitely has
shown that he can play."
This is the first time that
Berenson has even hinted that
Racine might have an edge.
Berenson said that the goalie
dilemma isn't the main problem,
though. He is more concerned
with the entire team getting on
track than his two freshman
goalies' performance, especially
since this weekend marks the
first road series of the year for the
And what does the constant
question mark of who will start
and who will, sit do for the two
"It actually keeps us pretty
focused because any opportunity
you get you need to be at your
best," Racine said.
Berenson insists progress on
that laundry list will help deter-
mine who the starter is, but that's
not necessarily the only determi-
"I'd say that things like posi-
tioning, puck-handling, quick-
ness, being alert, being ready for
a quick shot and not being sur-
prised by shots and being aware
ofwhatthe situation is," he said.
One of those aspects which
Racine said he needed to work
on was his puck-handling. On
more than one occasion Fri-
day, he errantly passed the puck
behind the net, which resulted
in a defensive-zone turnover.
The puck went directly to an
opposing player one time, and
that turnover ultimately led to a
Despite both goalies' fresh-
man status, the 21-year-old
Racine has an age factor over
the 18-year-old Rutledge. Racine
played two years in the United
States Hockey League with
three different teams, and then
last year was the starting goalie
for Georgetown of the Ontario
Junior Hockey League. Beren-
son insists neither has the edge,
but as the season progresses, one
goalie will likely grab the start-
ing position for the long haul.
Until then, they'll likely split the
starts in goal.
"They've got a lot to work on,"
Berenson said. "But I can tell
you I like both these goalies and
there's some things that each one
of them has to clean-up."