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September 18, 2013 - Image 7

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7A

Courtney Avery slated
for full return- Saturday

Wolverines finish 3rd

By LIZ'VUKELICH
Daily Sports Editor
Defensive coordinator Greg
Mattison seemed fairly confi-
dent in his Tuesday assessment
that senior cornerback Courtney
Avery would be
fully available NOTEBOOK
to play against
Connecticut, three weeks after
undergoing arthoscopic knee sur-
gery.
Avery dressed against Notre
Dame but was only available in a
supporting special teams role. He
didn't play against Akron.
"Some programs might've
thrown him in a lot in these last
two weeks when they cleared
him, but we're not going to do
that," Mattisonsaid. "We'regoing
to make sure a guy is healthy, 100
percent. I know he's really anx-
ious to get going, and we're anx-
ious for him to be in there also."
But as excited as Mattison is
at the prospect of Avery's return,
one looming question remains:
where does he even fit in with the
rest of the secondary?
The problem lies within the
Wolverines who have filled in
since Avery's absence - Mat-
tison cited sophomore Jarrod
Wilson and fifth-year senior
Thomas Gordon as players who
have stepped up to the two safety
positions.One position that Avery
certainly won't play, though, is
the nickel.
"(Redshirt sophomore) Blake
(Countess) has done a real good
job for us there, so we'll keep
him there and the next corner up
would go at the corner," Mattison
said.
Countess has three intercep-
tions in two games.

INSTANT MEALS: In what way
did the Wolverines treat their
game against Akron like a micro-
wave?
According to offensive coor-
dinator Al Borges, the Wolver-
ines seemed to expect the same
instant gratification when playing
the Zips as they do when cooking
afrozen meal - thatatouchdown
or a sack would come as easily as
pushing a button.
"The big thing about a game
like that, because you're playing
a team that you're heavily favored
(against), there's a natural ten-
dency for everyone to think every
time you get the ball you should
score (and) every time they get it,
they should be stopped," Borges
said. "If that doesn't happen,
everyone starts freaking out....
These are the types of things that
are a perfect storm for the team to
upset you."
Borges didn't anticipate hav-
ing to keep on-field frenzies to
a minimum against Akron. He
also didn't expect having to do so
much coaching and re-coaching
during the game either. After
watching the Wolverines strug-
gle play after play, it was clear to
Borges his message wasn't getting
through to his offense.
"How many times am I telling
you the same thing time and time
again, and you're just not getting
it?" he asked. "It's a different deal
when you're playing on Main
Street than when you're playing
on State Street.
"A great coach demands what
he wants, he doesn't suggest it."
CABLE, ZERO, TRAIN: Michi-
gan coach Brady Hoke said he
knew what the final defensive
play call that would save the Wol-
verines from Akron was going to

By JEFF GARLAND
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's golf team
opened the season Monday with
a third-place finish in the Wol-
verine Intercollegiate at the Uni-
versity of Michigan Golf Course
behind standout Chris O'Neill.
The sophomore posted an
impressive five-under-par 66 in
his final round Tuesday, which
brought his tournament total to
seven-under par, good enough for
an individual runner-up finish.
Despite the low score, he
didn't necessarily play his best
golf Tuesday. He managed to
make putts when he needed to,
though, which was a point of
emphasis for him this offseason.
"My putting has gotten signifi-
cantly better since last season,"
O'Neill said.
After a tee shot deep into the
trees, a lateral punch-out to the
edge ofthe fairway and astraight-
forward approach onto the 15th
green, the sophomore drilled a
10-footer into the back of the cup
to save par. O'Neill pumped his
fist as the ball rolled in.
O'Neill's best shot of the day
came following a wayward tee
shot on the par-3 12th hole that
left his ball in a nasty green-side
bunker.
"There was a big slope," O'Neill
said. "I was able to land it on top
of the slope with a bunch of spin,
and it was able to check and then
release down the slope. I just got
lucky enough to have it on exactly
the right line for it to go in."
O'Neill's performance was
complemented by sophomore
lefty Brett McIntosh. He shot a
one-under 212 for the tourna-
ment - good enough for a share
of sixth place individually out of
a field of 60.
Collectively, the team finished
four over par for the two-day,
54-hole tournament, five strokes
behind the winner, Michigan
State. Lamar finished second

with a score of one-over par.
This tournament marks the
only time the team will play at its
home course all year.
The last time the Wolverines
played competitively as a team
was the 2012-13 Big Ten Champi-
onships in April, when Michigan
placed 10th out of 12.
Despite the result, expecta-
tions are high for this year's
team.
"We've got to compete at a
high level, and we've got to com-
pete to win tournaments," said
Michigan coach Chris Whitten.
"That's our expectation."
With a roster composed of
three freshmen, three sopho-
mores and one junior, this year's
group lacks the senior leadership
of last year's, but the current col-
lection of talent is very exciting
for the third-year coach.
"This group is going to be
together for a long time," Whit-
ten said. "The thing about them
that stands out is the chemistry
they have with each other, and
we'll get better because of that."
O'Neill is the team's undis-
puted leader, both on and off the
course. He is the team's return-
ing leader in scoring average,
having posted a 73.96 mark per
round last year.
"I'm only a sophomore, but I
did it last year," O'Neill said. "It's
hard, especially for the freshmen
coming in, so I'm just trying to
show these guys how it's done."
For the Wolverines, finish-
ing in the top three of any event
is always a team goal. In that
respect, this was a successful
tournament for Michigan.
"We were in it with a chance to
win with nine holes to go," Whit-
ten said.
But the Wolverines were
unable to come from behind and
win at the end. Going forward,
look for this team to play more
aggressively down the stretch to
put it in position to win tourna-
ments.

Senior defensive back Courtney Avery has played limited minutes recently.

be before Mattison even called it.
The play - "cable zero train" -
was a full-on blitz, with complete
man-to-man coverage from the
cornerbacks and no help from the
safeties.
"Everybody has a responsibil-
ity. Everybody has a gap. Every-
body has to execute that defense
perfectly, and they did," Mattison
said. "In that defense, if you take
a false step, you're a second late."
And no one executed better
than junior linebacker Brennen
Beyer, whose hit on Akron quar-

terback Kyle Pohl preserved the
Wolverines' perfect record.
And apparently, all it takes to
pull off that type of play is being a
"Michigan man," at least accord-
ing to Mattison.
"He just does what he's
coached to do every time," Mat-
tison said. "When he doesn't, he
will tell you before he doesn't.
That's what we want in a Michi-
gan defensive player, and that's
what he's responded to do week
in and week out, play in and play
out."

Michigan blanked by
Irish in road contest

TERRA MOLLENGRAFF/Daily
Junior linebacker Brennan Beyer saved the game against Akron with a hit on the quarterback at the goal line.
Pass rush a chief concern

By SHANNON LYNCH
Daily Sports Writer
It's been nearly11months since
the Michigan men's soccer team
has earned a regular-season vic-
tory on the road.
Tuesday night, the Fighting
Irish shut down the Wolverines,
3-0, in South Bend, Ind., making
that stretch _
of time a MICHIGAN 0
little longer NOTRE DAME 3
and a little
more painful for the team, its
fans and Michigan coach Chaka
Daley.
After posting a 1-5 road mark
last season, the team is hungry
for wins in enemy territory, and it
showed on the field against Notre
Dame. But so did its inability to
capitalize on offensive chances.
The Wolverines racked up 13
fouls in the first half alone, and
freshman defenseman Andre
Morris was issued a yellow card
in the 43rd minute, the first of
three cautions for the team on
the night. The Wolverines tacked
on anther 0 oulsin +he secnd

Brett Nason and senior defen-
seman Ezekiel Harris were the
Michigan players tagged with
yellow cards.
While it was the Wolverines
(1-2-2) that had the game's first
scoring chances off shots from
sophomore forward James Mur-
phy and junior midfielder Marcos
Ugarte, Notre Dame (3-0-2) was
able to capitalize early on when
senior forward Harrison Shipp
tucked the ball behind Grinwis
and into the left corner of the goal
in the third minute.
Notre Dame scored again in
the 24th minute off a header from
sophomore midfielder Evan Pan-
ken, and its final marker came in
the 81st minute off a breakaway
goal that slid in the lower-right
side of the goal.
Each team posted seven shots
in the first half, yet Michigan
couldn't put the ball past senior
goalie Patrick Wall. Murphy and
senior forward Fabio Pereira, two
of Michigan's top scorers, contin-
uously missed outside the box or
gave the ball right back to Notre
Dame.

defense after the break, unable
to move the ball up the field until
a good 20 minutes in. The Fight-
ing Irish maintained possession
for the majority of the half, not
allowing the Wolverines to even
get a second-half shot off until
the 67th minute. Michigan had
only five shots in total in the sec-
ond half to Notre Dame's 12.
While Grinwis allowed three
goals, he also came up with five
saves, tied for his season high.
Co-captain and redshirt junior
midfielder Tyler Arnone gave the
Wolverines their best chance for
a goal in the 79th minute, beating
two defenders from 19 yards out
before firing a left-footed blast
that was deflected out of bounds
by Wall for a corner kick, one of
six Michigan earned on the eve-
ning.
The loss was a tough pill to
swallow for a team that is so
badly in need of road wins, and it
served as a reminder that it will
take more than an aggressive on-
field presence to win games.
Note: Michigan coach Chaka
Daley refused to comment after the

By MATT SLOVIN
ManagingEdior
Defensive coordinator Greg
Mattison anticipated the ques-
tion almost immediately after sit-
ting down for his Tuesday press
conference.
"I might as well answer it
before you ask," Mattison said.
"What about the pass rush?"
Mattison feels that it's him,
not his defensive front, that
has the most to answer to after
another lackluster effort of pres-
suring the opposing quarterback
in Saturday's narrow win over
Akron.
He also expressed surprise
that all ofthe teams Michigan has
faced so far have opted to go into
max protection. Senior defensive
tackle Jibreel Black noted that
teams are quickly picking up on
the increased emphasis placed on
the pass rush in camp.
"We've got a lot of athletes on.
our defensive line," Black said.
"We've really got to focus, tune
in and get past that max protec-
tion."
According to Mattison, teams
are choosing to turn games
against the Wolverines into
possession battles, challenging
Michigan to either send more
men to pressure the QB or sit

back and get shredded apart. So
far the Wolverines have opted for
the latter option, getting torched
for 346 yards per game through
the air.
Still, Mattison acknowledged
that all the criticism of the defen-
sive woes shouldn't fall on the
pas rush. After all, it's only three
games into the season and some
leeway is warranted for each
defensive lineman to figure how
to fulfill his role.
The secret to an effective pass
rush is success in individual
matchups. That has eluded Mich-
igan to this point, and according
to Mattison, it will continue to
until the defensive front masters
moves it should be grasping.
The Wolverines defense was
held without a sack against the
Zips and has collected just five
sacks through three weeks.
"I don't think we're over-
whelmed," Black said. "We didn't
digest the information as well as
we could've so that's why we're
goingback to the drawingboard."
Black also said that it would
be unfair to judge the line exclu-
sively by its sack totals, though he
did say, "The numbers don't lie."
According to Black, this week in
practice has marked a return to
fundamentals for the unit.
The Wolverines will con-

tinue to rotate speedier bodies
into obvious passing situations,
because they lack the move-
ment that players like 301-pound
fifth-year senior defensive tackle
Quinton Washington and 315-
pound sophomore defensive
tackle Ondre Pipkins have from
the outside.
As the unit continues to search
for solutions going forward, Black
said he wouldn't take it personal-
ly should Mattison decide to dial
up more blitz's.
"We want to do what's best for
the team," Black said. "If it's best
for the team to blitz certain quar-
terbacks, that's what we're going
to do."
Whether sending more than
four rushers will solve Michi-
gan's pass rush problems remains
to be seen. But a change is needed
before the lack of pressure shows
up as an 'L'. After all, a goal-line
stand with an all-out blitz on the
last play of the game is all that
kept Michigan from a devastat-
ing loss to Akron.
"I told them on Sunday, it's
not acceptable how we're pass
rushing," Mattison said. "Appar-
ently, I'm not doing a good job of
teaching you, and I'm going to do
a good job teaching you because
we are going to be able to pass
rush."

Sophomore forward James Murphy led all players with four shots on goal in the loss.

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