I The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
October 16, 2013 -- 3B
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom October 16, 2013 - 3B
Time of Possession
M I C H I G A N
C-A Yds T
From Page 1B
with the No. 19 rush defense
in the country. Good, but that
stage doesn't excuse how awful the
44/8 Wolverines' rushing attack was
89 Fifth-year senior running
90 back Fitzgerald Toussaint fin-
3/26 ished with 27 yards on 27 carries.
3-45-2 Without a 12-yard first-quarter
4/4.0 . run, Toussaint would have aver-
5-56 aged 0.6 yards per carry. Time
23:47 and again, he would receive the.
ball on first down and be swal-
lowed up immediately. Plain and
simple, it was boring, predict-
able and ineffective.
2 Hoke has said that he's cau-
2 tious to use Gardner on the
ground more, even if he's the
most- efficient runner on the
TD roster, because of a concern for
V Still, redshirt junior quarter-
0 back Devin Gardner's rushing
numbers are significantly better
TD than anyone else's. He rushed
1 for 121 yards Saturday, averaging
2 five yards per carry, and leads
0 the team in rushing yards while
o averaging more than two yards a
° carry more than Toussaint.
3 With defenses like Iowa,
Michigan State and Ohio State
Ls coming up, offensive coordina-
0 tor Al Borges needs to figure out
a better way to run the offense,
if the running game doesn't
U improve. Right now, it all goes
o through the idea of a punishing
U running game, which is a nice
concept unless you don't actually
TD have the personnel or coaching
U to properly execute a punishing
Redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner leads the nation in interceptions.
Player No. Yds
Piloe No V 245n
Plaer No Ys Ag
Norfleet 3 88 29.3
Totals 6 154 25.7
Player No. Yds Avg
Toa' 0 0 0-0
Gardner's propensity to give the
ball away, Borges stopped giving
him the opportunities to do so.
Time after time, it was Toussaint
with the ball going nowhere and
Gardner standing in the back-
field like a decoy.
The offense stopped moving,
and the game eventually went to
If Borges and Hoke.would
rather keep pushing a run game
that was clearly going nowhere
than give the ball to their best
offensive player, there's a prob-
lem there. At some point, Michi-
gan is going to have to figure out
whether Gardner is better suited
runningthe ball 20 times agame
than throwing the ball into the
hands of defenses, which he has
done more times than anyone
else in the country.
With the offensive line strug-
gling and the running game put
on hold, this is Gardner's offense
to make do with. Understand-
ably, Hoke and Borges aren't
ready for that, and it shows.
4. In Gardner's defense, who is
he throwing to?
Michigan's second-best wide
receiver is a converted tight end
that dropped two passes in the
end zone against Penn State.
The tight end, sophomore Devin
Funchess, ended up having a
productive day with four catch-
es for 112 yards and two touch-
downs, but the point stands. .
The best Wolverine wide
receiver is fifth-year senior Jer-
emy Gallon, who has 31 catches
on the year. Funchess has 19.
Their 50 combined catches is 10
more than the rest of the team
combined, which has totaled 40
Those two can't do it them-
selves, and neither can Gard-
ner. Michigan's wideouts were
thought to be a problem before
the season, but nothing this bad.
Losing redshirt freshman wide
receiver Amara Darboh before
the year was obviously a big
blow, but it's time for someone
not named Funchess or Gallon
to start making an impact.
Bold Prediction: Hoke's home
winning streak will end this sea-
In his third year as coach,
Hoke still hasn't lost a home
game in 18 tries, but that streak
is going to end soon. With the
way the offense has been play-
ing and three tough Big Ten
games on the docket (Indiana,
Nebraska and Ohio State), Hoke
won't end 2013 undefeated in
'M'passes early test
By MAX BULTMAN claimed the four fastest times in
For the Daily the 1,000-yard freestyle, as Jae-
ger crushed his own pool record
The last time the Michigan by eight seconds with a blistering
and Auburn men's swimming time of 9:02.
teams were in a pool together, Jaeger also won the 500-yard
it was March, and the Wolver- freestyle with senior teammate
ines were celebrating an NCAA Sean Ryan comingin second.
championship. This time, the "I think how close the relay
two teams faced off early in the meet was yesterday motivated
season, with back-to-back meets people to come outreally strong."
over the weekend in South Bend, said senior John Wojciechowski.
Ind., when Notre Dame played Wojciechowski was a major
host to the two national powers part of the strong showing, win-
Friday at the Dennis Stark Relays, ning both the 100-yard butter-
which also included Cleveland fly and 100-yard backstroke to
State and Valparaiso. Saturday, go along with relay wins in the
the Wolverines, Fighting Irish 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard
and Tigers all stuck around to medley relays.
compete in a highly anticipated Despite swimmingmostly but-
double-dual meet. terfly last season, Wojciechowski
"(Saturday's) meet was one of has stepped up this season to fill
those meets that everyone in the a huge team need at backstroke
country is looking at," said Mich- since Miguel Ortiz graduated.
igan coach Mike Bottom. "We needed a backstroker, at
The Wolverines squeaked the beginning of the year, and
out an 190-186 victory over Wojo said,'Hey, I can do that!' "
second-place Auburn on Friday, Bottom said.
then turned around with two The Wolverines dominated
emphatic wins the next day, beat- the 200-yard individual medley,
ing Auburn, 195-103, and Notre senior Kyle Whitaker and sopho-
Dame, 201-99. more Dylan Bosch finished first
"We reallysurprised ourselves and second, respectively, before
with how well everyone was going on to win the 400-yard
swimming," said senior Connor freestyle relay.
Jaeger. "It's jist really exciting." The relay dropped nearly two
One of the most dramatic seconds off their time from Fri-
moments came Friday, when day to Saturday, which Bottom
junior Bruno Ortiz touched out credited to his team's constant
Auburn's Alex Press by 0.06 sec- drive to improve.
onds in the 400-yard freestyle "They didn't look at it like we
relay - the race that ultimately won," Bottom said. "They looked
decided the invitational. . at it like how to get better."
The defending-champion Jaeger and the Wolverines
Wolverines actually trailed will look to continue to progress
Auburn, 100-88, at the midway on Oct. 25 when they travel to
point Friday, in part because of a Bloomington to compete against
disqualification in the 400-yard Indiana and perennial power-
individual medley relay. house Texas in another early-
There were no such mistakes season challenge.
Saturday, as the Wolverines "The whole reason you have
cruised to two big wins while fin- these kind of meets is so that our
ishing first in the first six events team gets better," Bottom said,
alongthe way. "The idea that we have someone
Michigan opened the day with like Auburn and Notre Dame to
a pool record of 1:27.85 in the race gives us a chance to be in a
200-yard medley relay and did competitive situation and make
not look back. The Wolverines changes."
3. Gardner and his turnovers
scare Hoke and Borges.
Hoke can say all he wants
about trusting Gardner, but the
reality is, Hoke can't trust him.
Not when Gardner throws the
types of interceptions he did in
the first half against Penn State,
which single-handedly kept the
Nittany Lions in the game.
Michigan could've sealed the
game in the second half with a
few sustained drives, but with
P E N N S T
Player C-A Yds
Zwinak 8 25
TEAM 2 -2
Robinson 1 -6
Hackenberg 6 -166
From Page 1B
front of the crease to drive the
puck home for an early power-
After he missed the exhibi-
tion loss to Waterloo (Ont)' and
season-opening win over Boston
College, Guptill brought a force-
ful presence around the net that
frustrated a porous RIT defense.
Guptill added another assist
nearly two minutes later when
the Tigers left another forward
alone near the crease. This time,
it was senior forward Derek
DeBlois who knocked in the one-
"I thought (Guptill) got off to
a great start," Berenson said. "He
was effective tonight, and that's
just his first game."
Junior forward Zach Hyman
fed both Di Giuseppe and sopho-
more forward Boo Nieves for the
third and fourth goals, respec-
tively, as Michigan closed the
period on top.
But RIT took advantage of
seven penalties by the Wolverines
in the second period, scoring four
goals in less than tenminutes.
An early whistle gave RIT
the chance to strike back when
forward Mike Colavecchia tore
through the defense single hand-
edly and poked the puck past
sophomore goaltender Steve
Racine. they scored four goals, he made
Racine faced an onslaught of some point-blank saves on guys
shots from the Tigers, laying out that were wide open, that should
time after time to turn the puck never have been wide open."
The defense, though, looked
disorganized in its own zone
"It' alduring the second period and in
other spurts during the game,
you're going the leaving RIT forwards with too
yOU e g~ng emuch time to set up.
other way" Tiger forward Ben Lynch
took advantage when he found
himself in the right place four
minutes later. A deflection off
the other way. Despite struggling the pads of Racine went into the
to corral the rebound at times, he slot where Lynch fired the puck
still finished with 42 saves. into the upper right corner to
"I thought (Racine) kept us in reenergize the crowd.
the game in the second period," "Obviously, you have to get
Berenson said. "Even though off your toes and start working
again," Di Giuseppe said. "I think
it just made us realize that the
game wasn't over. I thought they
did a great job of comingback, but
I thought we did abetter job mak-
ing sure we won that game."
Freshman forward Tyler
Motte scored his first goal of the
season with just under five min-
utes remaining to put the game
out of reach before sophomore
forward Andrew Copp added
another to make the margin of
victory seem much worse than it
"We maybe thought it was
going to be a little easier, but it's
never easier," Berenson said. "It's
all out, or you're going the other
From Page 'lB
turous. One quarterback sneak
PUNTING later and the score was tied,
Plaere No Yde Avon CO
nutrworth 4 113 448 66 thrusting the game into a frenzy
Totals 4 179 44.8 66 and the Michigan football team
into a four-overtime battle to
Ple r No, Yds Avg Lg claim not only the victory, but
ones 1 25 25.0 25 also some semblance of an iden-
Uo" 1 14 lAO 1 4 tity in this timid, discordant half
Totals 2 39 19.5 25 ofaseason.
After 55 minutes and 27 sec-
TACKLES onds full of failed opportunities,
PlerI Solo Annt Tot o p ru iis
Hly 4 6 10 Michigan would have four more
Carson 2 8 10 chances. Each time, Michigan's
Jes 5 4 9 decisions or execution exposed
Olenyan 4 4 0
Wrtn 1 7 n a team unsure of its personality.
Amos 5 2 7 Each time, the Wolverines failed
Willis 4 2 6 to convert
Baubitz 1 3 4 After the 43-40 loss to Penn
narnes ' 2 1 3 State on Saturday in four over-
Wlons 2 1 3 times, Michigan has reached
Oben-Agyapong 1 2 the halfway point of the regular
Posuie 1 1 2 season. Each game peels off a
eser 1 1 2 new layer from this enigmatic
Thompon 1 1 2
ohno 1 1 2 team, yet after each game, the
Smith 1 0 1 Wolverines know precious little
Chiappialle 1 0 1 more about themselves. Is Gard-
Geea V 1 1 ner more likely to throw for 300
Total 42 48 90 yards or for three turnovers?
Will the offensive line move any-
one off the ball? Can the defense
be elite? Definitive answers con-
LIKE US ON tinue to elude.
FACEBOOK Saturday, when the ball came
down into Robinson's hands with
a minute left in regulation, the
center fell apart and the game
descended into a loud madness.
Decisions presented themselves
with remarkable speed. Here,
www.facebook.com/ teams rely on their strengths.
m ich iga n d aily What would Michigan rely on?
After six games, Michigan is,
a team without an identity. The
offense isn't sure what it is. The
line was blown off the ball for
much of the game. Even with
Gardner extending drives with
the scramble, the Wolverines
still finished with 2.8 yards per
attempt on the ground against
Penn State. Fifth-year senior
running back Fitzgerald Tous-
saint finished Saturday with 27
yards on 27 attempts, the low-
est yardage for a back with that
many carries in program history,
according to Andy Reid of Rivals.
At times, the passing game has
been a force. Gardner completed
15 passes against Penn State for
240 yards and three touchdowns.
But constant turnovers make
throwing the ball a dicey propo-
sition. Gardner had three more of
With about 90 seconds
remaining, Michigan had the
ball within field-goal range on
the Penn State 27-yard line after
nine straight runs chewed tp
the clock. Score a field goal here,
or geta first down, and it would
render moot any late heroics
from Robinson or Penn State
quarterback Christian Hack-
enberg. It was third-and-9 and
Michigan faced a choice: go for
the kill with a pass, or call a'run
and risk a 44-yard field goal.
The Wolverines hesitated and
sent in the wrong play. Instead of
calling a timeout, Michigan took
a delay of game penalty. Instead
of passing, Michigan called.
another run and lost another
three yards. The 44-yard field
goal became 52. Instead of risk-
ing that, Michigan called a pooch
punt, which netted 15 yards.
The problem was, the defense,
in its own way, is still looking to
define itself. It's close, but not
yet a defensive juggernaut, like
Michigan State, because the
defense is incapable of generating
big negative plays. The defense
has bailed out the team more
than once, but it is too young to
be consistently dominant.
Penn State drove 80 yards
in 29 seconds and made it look
easy. Yet Michigan still had a
chance to win before overtime.
Gardner threw 25 yards to Gal-
lon. Though Gallon stepped out
of bounds with eight seconds left,
Gardner spiked the ball, wast-
ing a second. Gardner completed
another pass for five yards. Now
seven seconds remained.
But even the coaching staff
suffered from an identity crisis
against Penn State. Through
more than two years, Michigan
coach Brady Hoke has estab-
lished a style of aggression. If
he erred, he'd doit going for a
fourth down instead of punting,
going for the win instead of the
tie. But when Michigan had the
chance to ice the game for good,
it turned to a running game that
was doomed as soon as the play
call came in.
"We had all.kinds of oppor-
tunities at every position," Hoke
said. "As coaches we had oppor-
tunities. And we all, we're in this
together, and we all have to make
sure that we're taking advantage
and executing when those oppor-
Each time those opportunities
came, Michigan looked timid. On
a team still searching for its core
competency, apprehension ruled
as the game hung in the balance.
Against Notre Dame two years
ago, with eight seconds remain-
ing, Hoke had opted for one more
chance to win the game. He
called a long fade to the end zone.
Roy Roundtree caught the pass
with two ticks left.
Now, with seven seconds
remaining, Hoke called for a
52-yard field goal. Fifth-year
senior kicker Brendan Gibbons's
try was true, but short.
In overtime, the Wolverines
had to choose again: would they
risk the pass or play for the field
goal with the ineffective rushing
game? Offensive coordinator Al
Borges called nine runs com-
pared to five passes in the four
overtime periods. Bad luck, too,
plagued the team: Michigan had
a 40-yard field goal blocked, and
Gibbons - usually automatic -
missed a 33-yard field goal to the
Yet the Wolverines never
threatened the end zone. In the
third overtime, Frank Clark
jumped on a Penn State fumble.
Michigan just needed points, any
points, to win and stay unbeaten.
Yet on third-and- 1 before the
missed 33-yard attempt, the
offense couldn't pick upa yard
with a Toussaint rush up the
Penn State won the game with
an authoritative decision. Faced
with fourth-and-l, needing a
field goal to tie, Penn State coach
Bill O'Brien didn't waver.
"I felt like it was time for
somebody to win the game,"
O'Brien said. "We could sit here
and trade field goals all day. I
think eventually it was time for
somebody to win the game, and
I had the opportunityto do it. I
felt like it was time to go for the
The Nittany Lions converted,
and four plays later, they found
the end zone. The players
swarmed victorious running
back Bill Belton in the corner of
the field. Nearby, Gibbons walked
past the celebration alone, hel-
met in hand. He inhaled and let
out an animated breath.
For awhile, Gardner didn't
move. He looked up, hand on his
chin, no expression on his face.
"It hurts," Gardner said after
"Lose in overtime, if you let it
take a toll, it will," Hoke said.
And now Michigan stares at a
The conference is weak
enough that every team left on
the schedule is beatable, even
Ohio State. Yet there are no easy
games from here on out, begin-
ning was a pesky Indiana team
For a5-1 team, Michigan
teeters close to the edge. It had
hoped to come into this atmo-
sphere and forge an identity from
a messy but victorious string
of early games. Instead, what
emerged from the white sea of
Beaver Stadium is a team as con-
fused as ever.
-Helfand can be reached
at zhelfand@umich edu or
on Twitter @zhelfand