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7A - Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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7A - Wednesday, January 9, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Final drive dooms
'M' in Outback Bowl

Daily Sports Writer
TAMPA, Fla. - In Tuesday's
Outback Bowl, the Gamecocks
sprung up early and finished on
top to spoil the Wolverines' New
Year's Day.
Down 27-28, No.11 South Caro-
lina started its last drive of the
game with three and a half min-
utes left on the clock. The quarter-
back combo of Connor Shaw and
Dylan Thompson led a meticulous
drive down A
to the Mich- S. CAROLINA 33
igan 32-yard
line, putting
the Gamecocks in field goal range.
But instead of settling for three,
Thompson caught the Wolverine
secondary napping and hit Bruce
Ellington in front of the goal
line. The receiver sidestepped a
defender and crossed the plane
with 11 ticks left.
After the kickoff, Michigan
quarterback Devin Gardner's hail
mary attempt as the clock expired
was tipped on the release, and that
was the ball game - South Caro-
lina trumped Michigan on New
Year's Day, 33-28.
"Very proud of our seniors and
very proud of our kids that par-
ticipated and came down here
and how the guys have worked all
year," said Michigan coach Brady'
Hoke. "We've got a long way to
go as a football program and as a
football team, but our seniors con-
tinued to lay some groundwork
and a foundation."
Though the Michigan defense
came into the Outback Bowl
ranked second in the country in
pass defense, it had trouble stop-
ping South Carolina's big passing
plays all game long.
On the third play from scrim-'
mage, Shaw, who is known more
for his legs than his arm, aired
one out 56 yards down the middle
of the field to Damiere Byrd, who
beat out cornerback Raymon Tay-

Senior quarterback Denard Robinson walks off the field after losing the Outback Bowl, his last game as a Wolverine.
Dear Defnard

Michigan coach Brady Hoke is now 1-1 in bowl games at Michigan.

But after that, special teams
came up big for the Wolverines.
In the fourth quarter, redshirt
junior defensive tackle Quinton
Washington jumped up at the line
and blocked a 43-yard field goal
attempt, temporarily preserving a
22-21 lead.
Hoke also faked a field goal
and a punt, and he was success-
ful on both. On the fake field goal,
junior wide receiver and holder
Drew Dileo surveyed the field for

lor. a pass butthen tucked the ball and
In the second quarter, Thomp- rushed for the first down, which
son hit Nick Jones in stride on a eventually set up a Brendan Gib-
seam route that went for 70 yards bons field goal.
up the middle of the field. That The fake punt was snapped
play set up a four-yard touchdown directly to senior safety Floyd
pass to Ace Sanders, who finished Simmons, who rushed forward for
the day with a football hat trick. the first down.
South Carolina coach Steve "We had worked on that fake
Spurrier said Monday that he punt for nine weeks," Hoke said.
deploys a run-first defense, but it "The last game, you'd better run
was immediately clear on Tuesday it, so we had to run it. The ban-
that he wasn't afraid to have his quet's over with, so we can't save it
quarterbacks take shots over the for the banquet. It was something
top. that we had seen and liked against
"There were too many big multiple teams."
plays," Kovacs said. "We knew But the conversion on the sec-
coming in that if we kept the ball and fake didn't yield points, as
inside and in front as a defense senior running back Vincent
that we'd be alright. But we gave Smith fumbled the ball away on
up too many big plays,. and that the very next play upon taking a
caught up with us at the end. It vicious hit from star defensive end
was just a lack of execution." Jadeveon Clowney, who came into
Michigan's special teams play the backfield completely unhin-
was another major factor in the dered.
loss. The coverage unit did a Smith's helmet came flying off,
poor job containing Sanders, who much to the delight of the South
returned a punt 63 yards for a Carolina fans in attendance.
touchdown, untouched - it was For the most part though, the
the third punt return for touch- Wolverine defensive line con-
down in his career. tained Clowney as well as any

team has this season. Michigan
redshirt junior left tackle Tay-
lor Lewan was matched up with
Clowney for most of the game, and
he limited the All-American to
just four tackles.
"Everyone told me he's
unblockable one-on-one ... but
today I did my job, did my job for
Michigan," Lewan said. "I went
up to him after the game, I said,
'You're one of the best defensive
ends I've ever played against.' And
he looked right back at my eyes
and said, 'You're the best tackle
I've ever played against. That's a
great compliment to have."
Tuesday also marked the last
time fans will get to see their
already legendary quarterback,
Denard Robinson, don the maize
and blue. Throughout the game, he
was used much in the same way as
he was toward the end of the sea-
son, lining up mostly at tailback
or quarterback, and occasionally
in the slot. He attempted his first
pass since playing at Nebraska on
Oct. 27 in the third quarter, but
it was incomplete, intended for
Dileo in the flat. That was his only
pass attempt of the game.
Robinson completed the final
performance of his Michigan
career with 100 rushing yards,
and he surpassed Pat White as the
all-time NCAA leading rusher for
a quarterback, with 4,495 yards.
"I know I'm going to remem-
ber the downs and ups," Robinson
said. "It's always goingto be a bit-
tersweet feeling because I'm leav-
ing. (Michigan) was my home for
four years."

TAMPA, Fla. -
ven after it was over,
Denard, you made three
strangers smile.
After the miracle attempt
failed and the clock ran out
Tuesday, after South Carolina
pulled out a 33-28 victory in the
final seconds, you walked to the
middle of the field and shook
For once,
you didn't
A group
of three sta-
dium staffers
you with ZACH
a camera HELFAND
phone. It was
4:44 p.m.,
two minutes
after your career ended. The
pain was still fresh - you hadn't
even made it off the field. Yet,
at your lowest point, you posed
with them for a photo.
One last memory.
Thirty-seven minutes later,
at your press conference, you
talked about memories, sit-
ting on a black plastic chair in
a dim concrete alcove beneath
Raymond James Stadium. On
the cinderblock wall above your
head, on laminated paper, some-
one had scrawled "16 Robinson"
in red dry-erase marker, as if a
reminder were necessary. Here,
still no smile, just downcast looks
and shiny glass eyes.
"I want (the fans) to remember
whatever they want to remem-
ber," you said. "The ups and
They already do. They remem-
ber the little things.
A teacher from western New
York took his friends to their
first Michigan game. It was your
first too. You fumbled a ball and
picked itup and ran for a touch-
down. They've been fans ever
A law student watched your
freshman year, and at first, he
thought you were just a speedy
athlete. Then he saw the look
onyour face after you threw a

game-ending interception at
Iowa. He saw how devastated
you were; he saw how much you
cared. From that moment on, he
cared too.
Ups and downs.
A sophomore watched your
improbable win over the Irish
two years later. After your game-
winning pass to Roy Roundtree,
he felt like he was swept up in
awave, like the student sec-
tion had swollen and burst. He
hugged weepingstrangers.
Everyone has his oxyn photo-
graph of your career.
The reporters asked questions
about your legacy. You said you
don't know what it should be.
These four years were long
and messy. How do you condense
four years into a neat picture?
How do you define a legacy?
Sometimes your crazy scram-
bles worked. Sometimes they
didn't. But like the law student,
we cared because you cared.
Because you danced with us at
basketball games. Because you
were oneeofv.
We cared because when there
wasn't much to be excited about,
you supplied the excitement. As
Desmond Howard said of you
Tuesday, "The whole nation,
when they watched him play, just
kind of held their breath."
It was messy, but that's okay.
We don't need to define you. We
have our memories.
As you talked, nearby, your
teammate, Quinton Washington,
described what he'd remember
about your career. It's not just the
plays on the field. It's the effect
you had on people off it.
Just this year, a junior saw you
walking into Angell Hall. You
smiled at everyone as you held
the door for your classmates. You
told her to have a good day, and
she did.
Last year, a senior sat next
to you at the library. Surely you
don't remember him. But he'll
remember forever. You offered
him a piece of your Kit Kat.
Chin up, Denard, we need
your smile.
But we didn't get the goodbye

right, did we? After four years,
10,776 yards and a lot of magic,
your end came on a sideline in
Florida with your helmet in your
hand - watching an offense that
used to be yours - and a photo
with three strangers. A frown
instead of a smile.
In your first game, you did
no wrong. You had the fumble
touchdown on your first carry.
Your last rush, after you set the
NCAA record for rushing yards
by a quarterback, was a three-
yard loss. Your last pass was a
Your team didn't need you
The big plays happened
elsewhere, and often you just
watched, like everyone else: a
Gardner sneak orscramble; a
Jeremy Gallon catch; a Drew
Dileo fake punt.
After the photo, you jogged
toward thetunnel, stopping to
walk off the field with your fel-
low captain and friend, Jordan
Kovacs. You rubbed your hand
overyour.face, adjusting youtr
skull cap, and the Michigan fans,
though still dejected, stood up
and applauded. And then you ran
by thatconcrete slab of an alcove
toward the locker room.
Forty-four minutes later, at
5:28, you got up fromyour plastic
chair after your press confer-
ence and walked up to another
camera. For two minutes, you
answered more questions, and
then you were done.
You walked down the tun-
nel back to the locker room. As
you did, a man holdinga towel
climbed the plastic chair and
wiped off "16 Robinson," until all
that was left of you was a faded
Soon, the darkness of the
tunnel swallowed you. One day,
maybe, you'll come out clean
on the other side, to the NFL
and beyond. Until then, we'll
wait, watch, hope. And, always,
Denard, we'll remember and
together we'll smile.
- Helfand can be reached
at zhelfand@umich.edu.

Barnes Arico, Michigan off to best start in program history

By DANIEL FELDMAN issues recently on who the MVP of
Daily Sports Writer its recent victories has been.
"We give out a game ball after
With its 68-64 victory over every game, and the last few
Iowa on Sunday, the Michigan games have been incredibly diffi-
women's basketball team (2-0 Big cult to choose who gets the game
Ten, 13-2 overall) achieved a new ball," Barnes Arico said. "That
record, and is off to its best start really says something about our
in program history. And with the team."
victory, the Wolverines have won It also says something about
eight straight games - something Barnes Arico, who became the
they have not first-ever Michigan women's bas-
done since the NOTEBOOK ketball coach to win her first two
2001-02 season. Big Ten games.
"I didn't know that," said Mich- But for the first-year coach, this
igan head coach Kim Barnes Arico accolade is not important - what's.
regarding the team's program important is her five-member
record. "That's pretty exciting. senior class, led by captain Jenny
I think this group of players we Ryan, setting a lasting legacy for
have in the program are really future teams to replicate.
special." "There's a group of five seniors
The Wolverines were able to that have been together for four
garner 25 votes in the latest Asso- years and want to go out doing
ciated Press poll, putting them at something that's never been done
28th overall and on the cusp of at Michigan before," Barnes Arico
entering the Top 25 for the first said.
time since Dec. 23, 2002, when THREE-POINT HAVEN: A key.
they were ranked No. 25. statistic that has helped the Wol-
While it's easy to point at one verines win their last game and
player or another for Michigan's aided in their success so far this
success, Barnes Arico has had season has been their accuracy

from the 3-point stripe.
One player in particular that
has been deadly from beyond the
arc is senior Kate Thompson, who
is second in the nation in 3-point-
ers per game, averaging 3.93.
Thompson's prowess from
deep carried Michigan in the first
half against Iowa as she scored 17
points, including five 3-pointers.
Thompson has already made 59
3-pointers this season, putting her
at fourth best in Michigan wom-
en's basketball history for 3's in a
season. Thompson is on pace for
114 for the regular season, which
would shatter the record held by
Carmen Reynolds, who made 85
duringthe 2009-10 season.
While the bulk of the Wolver-
ines' 3-pointers have come from
Thompson, her teammates have
not been too shabby either. Michi-
gan is currently ranked fourth in
the country in 3-point percentage
at 41.4 percent, and have hit 108
out of 261 attempts.
"When you have a shooter like
Kate on your team, it really allows
you to slip and get open on a lot of
plays because on a lot of plays so

many players go out to Kate," said
senior forward Rachel Sheffer.
WE ARE FAMILY: Though it's
not hard to argue that Michigan's
win over Iowa was due to the play
of Sheffer and Thompson, it's also
not hard to argue it wasn't because
of Barnes Arico's son, Trevor.
Trevor, the oldest of the chil-
dren, startedschool again on Mon-
day, but that didn't keep his mother
from letting him travel with the
team to Iowa City on Sunday.
"I knew he's going back to
school," Barnes Arico said. "I
figured this might (be) one of
the only (road trips) that he gets
to take for a little bit of time so I,
brought him with me. He is one of
our biggest fans."
The good vibrations started
before Sunday as Trevor helped
out at the team's practice, collect-
ing rebounds. Trevor was even
more of a factor during the pre-
game and postgame on Sunday.
"He went into the locker room
and he was so proud of the team
and said 'I knew I was coming
here for a win.' " Barnes Arico.
said. "He got them all fired up."

Senior forward Kate Thompson is averaging close to four 3-pointers a game


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