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October 02, 2013 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-02

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6A -- Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

At Onion Creek,
a tear-worthy
performance

Junior linebacker Brennen Beyer's status at the SAM could hinge on the return of redshirt junior linebacker Jake Ryan from an ACL tear.
Beyer's surge and Ryan's return
presents w1 1 Cul decision

By ZACH HELFAND
Daily SportsEditor
Before Brennen Beyer was the
strong-side linebacker for the
Michigan football team, he was
its weak-side end. Before he was
a weak-side end, he was a wide
receiver at Plymouth (Mich.) High
School.
Before that, during his junior
year there, he played tight end. As
a sophomore, he played offensive
tackle. Through it all, on the other
side of the ball, he played defen-
sive end.
Then and now, Beyer is a Swiss
Army Knife of a player. At Michi-
gan, he played for two years at end
before redshirt junior linebacker
Jake Ryan tore his anterior cruci-
ate ligament this spring. The team
needed Beyer at linebacker, so
Beyer played linebacker. Now, the
list of position groups he hasn't
played for is shorter than the one
he has.
"I'm not unused to switching
positions," Beyer said after prac-
tice Tuesday. He added with a
laugh: "Could never throw."
But aside from that, there are
few positions left for Beyer to
try. That may be a blessing for
Michigan in the upcoming weeks,

because along with being one of
the defense's most versatile play-
ers, Beyer has also been one of its
most productive.
Playing in a front seven that
has struggled to rush the passer,
Beyer has been a constant pres-
ence in the backfield. Though he
splits time with fifth-year senior
CamGordon, Beyer leads the team
in tackles for loss with four. He is
tied (with Gordon) for the team
lead in sacks with two. He is one
off the team lead in quarterback
hurries and is one of just two play-
ers on the roster with a forced
fumble.
When Michigan needed a stop
in the final seconds to escape an
Akron upset, defensive coordina-
tor Greg Mattison called Cable
Zero Train - an all-out blitz.
Someone needed to get to the
quarterback. Beyer broke through.
The next week, Mattison said
that Beyer executed the play per-
fectly.
"He just does what he's coached
to do every time," Mattison said.
This Monday, Michigan coach
Brady Hoke said that "Brennen
Beyer probably is as important
piece to our football team as any-
body because he can do so many
Ai ----n - --crc n-- - "

Yet Beyer's emergence at the
SAM position presents the Wol-
verines with a surprisingly dif-
ficult decision. Hoke has said for
months that he expects Ryan
to return some time in October.
Ryan, Michigan's most explosive
and reliable defender last season,
will likely resume his role as the
starter.
Hoke said that he plans to get
Ryan more involved in this week
of practice. He has done individu-
al work without contact for weeks,
but "he does some team stuff more
and more every day," Hoke said.
So where does that leave Beyer?
Even after switching positions
this season, Beyer has played
on the line at times. Two weeks
ago, Mattison said he hadn't yet
thought about switching him
back to the line. (Both coordina-
tors were not available to speak to
the media this week due to ateam
meeting.)
"I don't know," Mattison said.
"We haven't even looked at that
yet. No. Brennen Beyer has done
a great job at the SAM linebacker
position; and he would always do
it, just like Jake did, put his hand
in the dirt in pass rush situations.
We'll put the best pass rushers out
--- -n-tb fiW xrb n tnt- im

comes."
Beyer, for his part, said he'd go
wherever the coaching staff asks
him to go. His experience gives
the staff plenty of options. As
does his size. At 6-foot-3 and 250
pounds, Beyer fits the size profile
of a number of positions. I
But a move back to the line
might be the most likely option.
He could back up Ryan atthe SAM
while Ryan regains his condition-
ing. But that would leave out Gor-
don, a team captain and himself
a productive defender. He could
shift within the linebacking corps,
but he'd still see little action, even
if his skills prove compatible.
The line, too, is jammed with
a deep rotation of players, but the
pass rush has disappointed this
year. Beyer, more than anyone,
has been successful getting to the
quarterback. That could be entic-
ing for Mattison.
And it could mean yet another
position change for Beyer. At this
point, though, Beyer has no issues
switching.
"Honestly, I didn't even know it
was a position change," said red-
shirt sophomore cornerback Blake
Countess. "I'm joking, but he just
seems like a natural at the posi-
Li"n

Michigan follows
second-place finish
in 2012 with ninth-
place in 2013
By MATTHEW KIPNIS
For TheDaily
The Michigan woman's golf
team was hoping it could build
on its upward trend at the Chal-'
lenge at onion Creek on Monday
and Tuesday in Austin, Texas.
The Wolverines returned to
the two-day, 54-hole invita-
tional for the first time since
2011 - when they placed sec-
ond, improving on their 15th
and seventh-place finish the
previous two years. This time,
though, they reversed course,
and they finished ninth out of
11 teams.
The tournament did not
start as planned, and midway
through the first round, Michi-
gan found itself tied for last
place with Texas-San Antonio.
The Wolverines were able to
pick up their play and to finish
the round
with - a com-
bined score "
of 307, put-
ting them in
ninth-place. ourSelV
By that big a
point, Mich- toobig
igan was 16
strokes back
from Texas

week," Dowling said. "We let
some physical errors affect us
through the 36-hole day and
dug a pretty deep hole. When
you are playing 36 holes in one
day, you are going to hit some
bad shots, everyone does. The
best teams are the ones who
aren't letting it get them down
mentally. They are not overre-
acting to bad shots. As a team,
we did a little better the second
day of the tournament, but we
did not play to the best of our
abilities."
Michigan sent five players
to Texas this week, including
seniors Yugene Lee and Alyssa
Shimel, junior Lauren Grogan,
sophomore Catherine Peteres
and freshman Grace Choi.
Senior Chelsea Pezzola partici-
pated in the tournament as an
individual.
Although Lee, Shimel and
Pezzola had played the course
before, it was Grogan who led
the way for the Wolverines. The
junior tied for 19th, finishing
the tournament plus-14. After
the first two rounds, Grogan
stood at plus-12 but managed to
score a two-over par 72 in the
third round.

{

dug
es way
hole..."

Lee, who
had played
at this event
twice - previ-
ously tying for
43rd in 2010
and 10th in
2011 - finished
in 45th at 25

Tech, the leader.
After the second round, later
that day, Michigan had gained
no ground on Texas Tech,
and in fact, fell back two more
strokes from the leader. The
Wolverines managed to main-
tain their ninth-place position,
posting a 309 in the second
round.
"We dug ourselves way too
big a hole after that first day,"
said Michigan coach Jan Dowl-
ing. "It was a pretty poor outing
and wasn't our best perfor-
mance by any means."
On the second day, Michi-
gan played its best golf of the
tournament, posting a 299 and
breaking 300 for the first time
in the tournament. But it was
not enough, as they had fallen
too far behind the rest of the
leaderboard in the first two
rounds, finishing the tourna-
ment where they had ended the
first round - ninth place.
"I was pretty disappoint-
ed in our showing this past

over par for
the tournament. Lee started the
third round poorly with three
bogeys in the first four holes but
finished the round with 11 pars
in the 14 remaining holes.
"(Lee) had a great comeback
in the third round Tuesday
morning," Dowling said. "She
showed a lot of gut and learned
a lot from her first 36 holes. She
didn't let one bad shot affect
her in the third round. Often
when you start to get over par
you try to force things, however
(Lee) did a great job staying in
the present and focusing on the
shot in front of her."
The Wolverines will have
two weeks to prepare for their
next tournament at the Diane
Thomason Invitational in Iowa
City.
"We don't have to reinvent
the wheel, but we have to get
back to work and focus on stay-
ing in the present, not allow-
ing physical errors to affect
our play as much as it did this
week," Dowling said.

I

RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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phenomenon, for understood thelSLA 58 Email button
some 5 Birth state of four 37 Kitty builder 60Storm wind
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(c)2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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