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September 13, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, September 13, 2013 -- 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, September13, 2013 - 7A

What to watch for: Akron

Daily Sports Editor
While you munch on glazed
donuts at Saturday's game, or fast
for Yom Kippur while trying to
ignore those munching on glazed
donuts at Saturday's game, here's
what to focus on:
Will the pass rush finally show
The depth of this year's defen-
sive linemen has allowed defen-
sive coordinator Greg Mattison
to use an unusually large rota-
tion this season. That makes
Michigan's lack of a pass rush a
bit more unsettling.
Mattison wants his front four
to win one-on-ones, so that he
can pressure quarterbacks with-
out sending extra men. They
haven't so far.
The Wolverines have five
sacks in the first two games.
That's a perfectly respectable
number. The defensive line itself,
though, has just one sack.
Against Notre Dame, Michi-
gan only recorded one sack. Ear-
lier this week, Michigan coach
Brady Hoke explained that Notre
Dame goes to great lengths to
protect quarterback Tommy
Rees, so the Wolverines were
content to sit back in coverage.
That's a sound strategy, and it
accounts for the lack of pressure
on Rees in the game. But it also
shows thatthe defensive linewas
largely ineffective without extra
Most concerningofallisjunior
defensive end Frank Clark. Clark
has had a solid, if unremarkable,
first two games. He faced one
of the better tackles he will see
against Notre Dame. Michigan
expects more than solid out of
Clark, though.
In the spring and into the fall,
coaches and players raved about
their dynamic rush end. Clark

Junior defensive end Frank Clark set a personal goal for double-digit sacks before the season. So far, he has zero.

himself said he seta goal of dou-
ble-digit sacks for the season.
So far: zero sacks, two tackles
and two hurries. He has erred lit-
tle, but he hasn't been the spark
most expected.
If he can't beat a porous Akron
line, who can he beat?
Is the secondary for real?
It was against Notre Dame,
but the statistics were hurt by a
soft defensive scheme: the Irish
had 314 yards passing.
Still, the secondary did near-
ly everything right within the
game plan. It limited yards after
the catch. It prevented the big
play. It tackled very well - think
Raymon Taylor on a key third-
down screen.
The secondary appears to have
no holes. It's hard not to picture
how effective this group will be
with another year of experience
and an infusion of talent from
recruit Jabrill Peppers. But for
now, the unit has still been very
Akron runs an up-tem-
po spread attack. Michigan

shouldn't have to play as soft as
it did against Notre Dame. We
should get a glimpse of how good
the secondary can be.
Will the interior line show
Michigan's three interior line-
men struggled against Notre
Dame's talented front seven. Suc-
cessful runs up the middle were
rare. Fifth-year senior running
back Fitzgerald Toussaint, by
most accounts, ran well. Still, he
had just 71 yards on 22 attempts.
At times, redshirt freshman
guard Kyle Kalis looked like a
Redshirt sophomore center
Jack Miller was a bright spot,
but he acknowledged Tuesday
that the line still is searching for
Expect a steady dose of runs
for Michigan on Saturday. James
Madison - yes, FCS James
Madison - rushed for 188 yards
against Akron last week. The
Wolverines should have no trou-
ble. If they do, there is cause for

What will Gardner and Gallon
do for an encore?
It speaks volumes about red-
shirt junior Devin Gardner's per-
formance that he made one of the
worst mistakes you'll ever see on
a football field, and Sports Illus-
trated still moved him up to No.
16 on its mock NFL Draft board.
That's because Gardner had
one of the better performances
by a Michigan quarterback in
recent memory. He threw for 294
yards and four touchdowns and
rushed for another 82 yards and
a score. He looked like an NFL-
caliber quarterback.
And fifth-year senior wide
receiver Jeremy Gallon might
have had an even better night. He
had eight catches for 184 yards
and three touchdowns - one of
Michigan's best receiving per-
Gallon is nursing a hamstring
injury he sustained on Saturday.
And even healthy, it would be
difficult to surpass the night he
and Gardner had against Notre
Dame. Can they top it against the
Zips' less-than-stellar defense?

'M'looking for
rebound at home
By ZACH SHAW end will have to be short, as the
Daily Sports Writer team plays host to another top-
20 team in No. 16 Louisville (3-1)
Beginning the season with a on Saturday. After taking on the
top-10 ranking, loads of return- Cardinals, Michigan will square
ing talent and off against California-Davis (1-2)
Final Four L0iwiI1eat the next day. Despite the poor
aspirations, start, Pankratz remains confi-
the Michigan Michigan dent in her team.
field hockey Matchup: "The response by the team
team found Louisville 3-1; (to the losses) has been great,"
itself in a con- Michigan 1-3 Pankratz said. "We're all very
fusing spot When: Sat- focused on the process and try-
this week. urday 1 pm ing to clean up some of our mis-
What many takes. They worked very hard
consider to be Whereld this week and are really optimis-
the best Wol- tic about this weekend and mov-
verine team in TV/Radio: ing forward."
years has mus- mgoblue.com Losing three of four to start
tered a meager the season is never ideal, but
1-3 record, the team's worst start Pankratz believes the strength
since 2010. of schedule will have long-term
"As a team, we haven't quite benefits. With only six other Big
gotten to be all in step yet," said Ten teams to compete against,
Michigan coach Marcia Pan- the team relies heavily on non-
kratz. "We're still trying to orga- conference games in preparation
nize positions and solidify who's for November's NCAA Tourna-
playing where at this point." ment.
The season began with a "We had a tough schedule to
Labor Day weekend trip to start the season," Pankratz said.
Orono, Maine. After falling to "But that's really by design to
No. 14 Massachusetts 3-2 in the help us see where we need to be
opener, the Wolverines were able to compete later in the season
to leave with a 4-2 win over the for championships. We got to see
host school, Maine. a lot of things we need to work
Any momentum gained from on so hopefully this will help us
the win proved to be short-lived, later on in the season."
as Michigan went 0-2 in the Big Saturday, much of the student
Ten/ACC Challenge in Iowa City body will be at Michigan Sta-
the next weekend. A 7-2 loss to dium as the football team takes
top-ranked North Carolina was on Akron in a non-conference
quickly followed by a tough 2-1 game. But a quarter-mile down
defeat at the hands of No. 18 Stadium Boulevard, a different
Wake Forest, which the Wolver- set of Wolverines with equally
ines outshot 13-9. lofty expectations will look not
"They were tough games," to sharpen their skills, but to
Pankratz said. "I think we out- bounce back.
played Wake Forest and have "It's important to gain some
some work to do in finishing our confidence," Pankratz said. "It's
plays. We do a nice job of get- not easy to go 1-3 to start the
ting into position, now we have season even though we know
to execute. Despite the losses, I our focus is on bigger goals. So
think we learned a lot about our- hopefully this weekend we can
selves, and that will help us mov- get our confidence back and get
ing forward." awin or two. It always feelsgood
Meoi~eis of thoeoee- tet zaowin"

. Michigan overcomes slow start

Daily Sports Writer
Michigan started slowly again
Thursday, going into halftime
tied at zero with Detroit. But the
Wolverines keep winning, mak-
ing the fin-
ish all that DETROIT 0
matters. MICHIGAN 2
defender Shelina Zadorsky
scored her first goal of the sea-
son to lead No. 11 Michigan to a
2-0 home win.
The Wolverines are now 6-0
on the season, the best start
in program history. They also
capped a perfect season-opening
homestand heading into their
first road game Sunday at Butler.
Before Zadorsky's go-ahead
goal, Michigan struggled to
generate scoring opportuni-
ties early, as coach Greg Ryan
noted earlier this season. It took
until the 34th minute for fresh-
man forward Nicky Waldeck to
record the Wolverines' first shot
on goal.
Michigan lacked precision in
the first half but kent the game

scoreless with its defense.
"You'd see passes into (senior
forward) Nkem (Ezurike) in the
box, but they were just a foot
away from her and she couldn't
get a foot on them," Ryan said.
"Normally, we're making those
passes to her feet, and she's able
to turn and get shots off. I felt
like we were just a little bit off in
terms of our accuracy."
The Wolverines won the pos-
session battle and kept the ball in
the attacking half, but although
Michigan moved the ball up and
down the flanks, it couldn't get
opportunities in the box due to
tight defense from Detroit (2-4-
"First half, we just didn't
seem to have that determination
to really take it to the goal and
put it away," Ryan said. "We got
in the box several times, but it
just wasn't the real commitment
to put the ball in the net. Second
half, I really felt like there was
commitment throughout the
In the 56th minute, Zadorsky
moved over to the right half of
the field from left back and ham-

mered a shot inside the left post.
"It just bounced back to the
right side," Zadorsky said, "and
I took a touch inside and hit it
with my left."
Ezurike added an insurance
tally in the 89th minute by turn-
ing past a defender and hitting a
shot off the cross bar and down.
"I think Nkem was really frus-
trated - things were just a little
off," Ryan said. "Boy, did she
catch that last one. She almost
ripped the net off."
A lights-out defensive effort
limited the Titans to only two
shots - Michigan's new season
low - with none on goal and
none in the first half. Senior
Kayla Mannino started on
defense for the second straight
game, but Michigan's biggest
lineup change came at halftime,
when Ryan moved Mannino to
left midfield and put sophomore
Sydney Raguse at center back.
Mannino fired a point-blank
redirect at Detroit goalie Mar-
tha Dunbar in the 49th minute,
and the Wolverines' goal came
minutes later.
Trving to reach the right com-

bination, Ryan made seven sub-
stitutions in the first half. Still,
senior defender Holly Hein,
junior defender Chloe Sosen-
ko, senior midfielder Meghan
Toohey and Zadorsky each
played 90 minutes as Michigan
continued to move towarda per-
manent startinglineup.
The Wolverines finished with
a season-high 27 shots, only eight
of which were on goal. Ryan said
he continues to emphasize more
precise finishing.
"It's just focus," Ezurike said.
"They weren't off by much, so it's
just that little extra focus to get
it on target."
Now, Michigan travels on
the road for the first time for a
matchup with Butler (4-1-2).
After that, the Wolverines
open their much-anticipated Big
Ten schedule, when Zadorsky
said the team will have to come
out with more intensity.
"We can't afford to lose a
game like this tonight," Zador-
sky said. "We've got to focus for
those 90 minutes, that specific
game. We're really looking for-
ward to starting the Big Ten."

Senior forward Rachael Mack leads the Wolverines with four goals this season.

Tmeday, Sehw 1
University daiim ata w1a001
H itcise aIom250
wf~mtu madayflla

Senior defender Shelina Zadorsky scored the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute against Detroit. It was her first goal of the season.



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