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September 16, 2013 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-16

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The Michigan student section (top) was stunned as Akron approached a near-upset. Redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner (left) committed four turnovers. Fifth-year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint found little room on the inside.

Quarterback Devin Gardner,
who had four turnovers, called it
the worst game he has played at
any level. Captain Taylor Lewan
called it an "embarrassment" to
the Michigan football program,
which "works too hard to have
games like this." Coach Brady
Hoke said it's like a college final
- how much you study, or pre-

pare, will dictate the outcome.
The Wolverines were not
prepared for Saturday's game
against Akron, and it showed.
Had it not been for a last-sec-
ond goal-line stand, Michigan's
season that started almost per-
fectly would have been spoiled
before Big Ten play even began.
Instead, the Wolverines held
on for dear life, avoiding one of
the worst losses in the history of
the Big House by beating Akron
28-24 and remaining unblem-

ished on the season.
"It was embarrassing," said
Lewan, an offensive tackle. "We
didn't prepare. This is on the
seniors and the leadership of
this team."
Junior linebacker Desmond
Morgan stuffed Zips running
back Jawon Chisholm on 3rd-
and-goal from the 1-yard line
for a loss of two. Then with the
final seconds ticking off, anoth-
er junior linebacker, Brennan
Beyer, hit Akron quarterback

Kyle Pohl, causing his pass to
fall harmlessly to the ground in
the end zone.
Hoke said he knew that
defensive coordinator Greg
Mattison's final play call would
be cable zero train, a blitz. Beyer
turned around, saw his team-
mates celebrating and knew
Michigan had survived.
To set up the improbable stop,
Zips quarterback Kyle Pohl, who
threw for 311 yards, hit receiver
L.T. Smith for 15 yards and was

ruled down just shy of the goal
Earlier in the drive, the Wol-
verines forced Akron into a 3rd-
and-S situation, butlike they did
so many times Saturday, the Zips
turned it into a conversion and
a sizeable gain. Overall, Akron
was 9-for-18 on third downs.
"The problem is not tight
enough coverage, not fitting the
run well enough and no pass
pressure," Hoke said.
Trailing 21-17, Akron sus-

tained an 11-play, 67-yard drive
that included two of those nine
third-down conversions and
ended in a one-yard touchdown
Michigan got the ball back
with about four minutes to go in
the game and needed only four
plays to cover 70 yards. Gardner
hit fifth-year senior wide receiv-
er Jeremy Gallon for a gain of 20
and the duo's longest comple-
tion of the day. Fifth-year senior
See CAUGHT, Page 3B


What was that?

Wolverines drop first
contest of the season

T aylor Lewanused the
word "embarrassing"
five times after Michi-
gan's 28-24 win over Akron on
Saturday, and that might not
have done it
was that?
What team
was that
out there? It
wasn't the
team that EVERETT
beat Notre COOK
Dame on C__K _
national tele-
vision last
week, it wasn't the team with a
potential Heisman candidate at

quarterback and it sure as hell
wasn't the team that has aspira-
tions to compete in the Big Ten
Championship game in a couple
This team was flat and boring
and unable to execute anything
on offense.
This team made the Zips
look competitive, never mind
the fact that Akron now has a
28-game losing streak on the
road, a3-34 record over the pre-
vious three years and has not
beaten an FBS opponent since
2010. This team made everyone
forget about the magic of last
week, Under the Lights II, real
Lewan, the All-American

fifth-year senior offensive
tackle, blamed iton the seniors
and the leadership of the team,
who he said were responsible
for a poor week of preparation
during practice.
He didn't blame his quar-
terback, redshirt junior Devin
Gardner, who had four turn-
overs and single-handedly let
Akron back in the game with
an awful pick-six on the second
play of the fourth quarter.
Nor did he blame the sec-
ondary, which let the Zips
throw for 311 yards, the second
straight week the defense has
allowed over 300 yards of pass-
ing offense.
See COOK, Page 3B

Invitational 2-t.
By ERIN LENNON Down by one through the first
Daily Sports Writer half of the third set, the Wolver-
ines (7-I) SIENA 0
Three sets into a match and Semi- MICHIGAN 3
against No. 16 Florida State, the noles trad-
final match of the Texas A&M ed points MICHIGAN 3
Invitational, the No. 7 Michigan before the TEXAS A&M 2
volleyball team looked poised to Florida T
fly back to Ann Arbor with a per- State sis-
fect 8-0 record intact. ter duo FLORIDA ST. 3
The Wolverines entered Sat- of Nicole MICHIGAN 2
urday's contest coming off a five- and Elise
set comeback win over Texas Walch - who each finished with
A&M and a three-set sweep of 22 kills - found a hole in Michi-
Siena. Two sets later, Michigan gan's block. The pair combined
suffered its first loss of the sea- for nine of Florida State's last 11
son, finishing the Texas A&M points, sealing the 25-17 win.

Three straight kills from
freshman middle blocker Abby
Cole kept the Wolverines with-
in one through the first half.
But two more late kills from
Cole, and one from senior co-
captain outside hitter Lexi
Erwin, kept Michigan in the
game late.
But it was not enough to top
the sisters a second time around.
Despite two key service errors
and a late Erwin attack error in
the fifth set, Michigan was able
to tie the game at 13 off a kill
from Cole. But two kills from
Florida State - the Seminoles

For many, Saturday's near-meltdown
brought back memories of the worst loss
in program history six years ago.

* After a shutout of Louisville on Satur-
day, Michigan's offense exploded for six
goals to beat UC Davis on Sunday.

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