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October 16, 2013 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-16

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4B -October 16, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Redemption at State College Back to basics

By JUSTIN MEYER
Daily Sports Writer
On a rainy Sunday in State
College, the No. 19 Michigan
women's soccer team erased a
heartbreaking 2012 tournament
loss, a 12-game winless streak
at Penn State and 11 years of his-
tory when '
senior for- MICHIGAN 1
ward Nkem PENN STATE 0
Ezurike
crossed the ball to senior mid-
fielder Tori McCombs.
McCombs fended off a defend-
er in front of the net to corral
the ball and sent a shot past the
keeper. The goal earned the Wol-
verines (4-1-1BigTen,10-2-1over-
all) a 1-0'win against No. 11 Penn
State and their first-ever victory
in Happy Valley.
The game also marked the
women's soccer program's first
win over Penn State (4-2-0, 10-3-
0) in 11 years, though Michigan
settled for several draws recently,
including a loss in penalties at last
year's Big Ten Tournament.
"I think we all knew we
were going to put one of them
in," McCombs said. "The way
we were beating their outside
defenders, and the way Nkem
and (freshman) Madi Lewis and
(sophomore) Corrine Harris were
going to the goal, we just knew."
Michigan coach Greg Ryan
said the way to beat Penn State
has always been to counterat-
tack because of its offensive skill
and aggressiveness. The Nit-
tany Lions have won the Big.Ten
charmpionship for 15 consecutive
years with this brand of reckless
offense, often sending eight play-
ers forward.
"Penn State was already frus-
trated with us, because last year
they tied us twice," Ryan said.
"They had made statements in
the press like, 'We need to come
out and make a statement against
Michigan.' They wanted to put
five or six goals up on us. It opens
up opportunities for you to score,
but you've got to withstand the
pressure of so many people com-

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Editor
It's pretty evident that the
Michigan football team has
relied more on the ground game
since redshirt junior quarter-
back Devin Gardner has shown
his turnover N
problem with
his arm.
So, that means it's time to give
the majority of carries to... Gard-
ner?
Against Penn State last week-
end, Gardner took on the role as
lead rusher.
Fifth-year senior running
back Fitzgerald Toussaint ran
for a measly 27 yards on 27 car-
ries, as opposed to Gardner's 121
yards.
"I don't like it, but you do what
you have to do to win the game,"
said offensive coordinator Al
Borges. "End of discussion. If
nobody's getting any yards, then
you've got a problem."
Michigan coach Brady Hoke
denied that Gardner running the
ball had anything to do with the
fear of interceptions - rather, he
wanted to force Penn State to use
up all of its timeouts.
Hoke made sure to reiterate
gthe point Gardner is not kept on
a shortleash because of his arm.
. But after Gardner had 24 car-
ries against the Nittany Lions,
there are discussions about how
realistically sustainable that is,
especially given the concerns
that running could put him in
a position where he could get
injured.
"I don't think it's wise to have
Devin take more hits," Hoke
said. "Who's going to play quar-
terback ithe takes all those hits?"
When freshman Shane Mor-
ris's name was offered as a pos-
sible replacement for Gardner
should he become injured, Hoke
immediately brushed it off and
became defensive.
"You have to be conscious
enough about the team," he said.
"And (Gardner's) had 10 starts,
right? 10 starts. He has improved

every week."
STRIBLING SPECULATIONS:
In a game like the one against
Penn State, it's easy to wonder
if the Wolverines might still be
undefeated entering the midway
point of their season had things
been done differently.
But had freshman defen-
sive back Channing Stribling
jumped about half an inch high-
er, it's extremely likely the game
wouldn't have been thrust into
four overtimes.
Stribling was a fingertip away
from breaking up a 36-yard pass
from Penn State quarterback
Christian Hackenberg to wide
receiver Allen Robinson dur-
ing the Nittany Lions' drive to
tie the game with 27 seconds
remaining.
Stribling is a name that has
repeatedly come up when dis-
cussing Michigan's secondary.
In spite of the miscue Sat-
urday, defensive coordinator
Greg Mattison said he's usually
impressed with Stribling in prac-
tice Stribling is usually the one
breaking up passes and making
big plays during practice. Hoke
agreed.
"He's come on," Hoke said. "If
there's anybody I would want
back there, I'll be real honest,
in the secondary to make the
interception, it would be Strib.
We wanted to get him in the
game because of exactly what we
asked him to do."
RYAN REPORT OVER: Satur-
day officially ended any guesses
about when redshirt junior Jake
Ryan would make his season
debut after tearing his anterior
cruciate ligament last spring. '
Ryan dressed, took to the
field and made his presence felt
almost immediately after he
stuffed a Penn State 4th-and-1
near the beginning of the first
quarter.
"I don't think there were any
ill effects," Hoke said. "I think he
ended up playing 31 or 32 plays. It
was great to have him out there.
I think he brings something to
our team."

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Senior midfielder Tori McCombs had Michitun's winning goal against Pent State, is first ever win in Happy Valley.

ing at you." were getting layups in the first
Sunday, though, Penn State's half."
offense wasn't enough as the Wol- McCombs said the goal, her
verines' back line, and freshman first of the season, was the cul-
goaltender Taylor Bucklin, held mination of the effort this Michi-
the Nittany gan team has
Lions scoreless, put in against
withstanding21 Penn State
shots and seven "It was a whole since she was
corners. a freshman.
Michigan's team effort After they
counterattack, took the lead,
on the other behind the ball." however, the
hand, began Wolverines
producing needed a her-
chances early; culean effort
the Wolverines nearly connected to keep the Nittany Lions off the
on a ball from Madisson Lewis to scoreboard.
Ezurike in the 26th minute. The "Taylor has just been so steady
game continued to open up in the and so mature for a freshman
second half, with Ezurike missing goalkeeper," Ryan said. "The
just wide from point-blank range defense played great in front of
in the 51st minute. her. They were limiting Penn
"My No. t message was hang State to shots under a lot of pres-
tight early on," Ryan said. "We sure."

Added McCombs: "I think at
one point even Nkem was play-
ing defense for us. It was a whole
team effort behind the ball."
Bucklin, who made seven saves
in Sunday's contest, now owns
five career shutouts in her first
season for Michigan and was
named Big Ten Defensive Player
of the Week and Freshman Player
of the Week after the game.
The preparation for Bucklin
starts hours before game time
when she says she visualizes her-
self making the big saves to get
herself in the right state of mind
for warm-ups. The Wolverines'
coaching staff is thrilled with the
technique because their fresh-
man goalkeeper has become one
of the best in the Big Ten with a
.53 goals- against average.
Ryan said that every game in
the Big Ten will be a challenge,
but that his team can beat anyone.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY TOP-10 POLL
Each week, Daily sports staffers fill out ballots, with first place votes receiving 10 points, second-place votes receiving nine, and so on.
1. ALABAMA (15): On 2. OREGON (2): Its 3. CLEMSON : Boyd, did 4. OHIO STATE: During 5. TEXAS A&M: Johnny
a basketball court, cheerleaders wore . Tajh have a subpar day. the bye, the Buckeyes j Manziel seemed to hurt
Kentucky might have custom contact lenses on avoided being associated A I his knee on Saturday.
actuallyhad a chance to Saturday. This is gettinga with the BigTen for a day. People talked about it.
win, bit ridiculous.
6. LOUISVILLE: STILL 7. FLORIDA STATE: The 8. LSU: Les Miles is 9. MIAMI (FL): Abooster 10. SOUTH CAROLINA:
undefeated. Still, no one Seminoles remain jealous legitimately a crazy may or may not have Clowney's return to 'D'
cares. of all the attention the J person. paid us to include the forced Arkansas to pull
Redskins continue to get. LHurricanes in this. out early in this one-sided

4'

No. 2 Oregon'(-atusWasisgton
No.i3Clemson (-24.5s. iBostontuCoge
No.5Stanford (-9)aUtah
No. 7Georgia(-8) vs. No. 25Missouri
No. 8Loisille(09) vs. Rutges
No. 9 Titus A&M (-6.5) at Mississippi
No. 10 LSU (-t) vs. No. 17 Florida
No. 11UCLA (-25) vs. Cal
No. 12 Oklhma (-4) at Texs
No.14 SouthCaooinoa (-6) at Akansas
No. 15iBaylor-0t) at Knsas tate
No.b16Washington State0) s Oregon State
No. 18 Michigan (-3) at Penn State
No.l19 Nothwestern (+10)at Wisconsin
Not. 20 Texas Tech 05) vs. Ioa Stae
No. 23Notheirn inis (-2.5) s. Akron
No. 24 VigtnitTech (-9)vs. Pitt
MihigaSitate(00) vs. Indiana
Purdue (+14) vs. Nebraska
This Week
Overal

BostonCollege
Stanford
Georgia
Louisville
Texas A&M
LSU
Cal
Oklahoma
South Carolna
Baylor
Oregon State
Michigan
Northwestern
Texas Tech
Northern Illinois
VirginiaTech
Michigan State
Nebraska
9-11
90-70

tr essee
Stinf ord
Georia
Louisville
Texas A&M
LSU
UCLA
Oklahoma
Arkansas
Baylor
Oregon State
Nsorthwestern
Texas Tech
Northern inois
Pittsburgh
Indiana
Nebraska
7-s
81-79

washington
BostontCollege
Stasfrd
Missuri
Louisville
Missisippi
LSU
UCLA
Texas
South Carolina
Baylor
Washington State
Michitan
Northwestern
Texas Tech
Northern Illinois
Pittsburgh
indiana
Nebraska
9-11
101-59

Oregon
Clemson
Stanford
Georgia
Louisville
Texas A&M
LSU
UCLA
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Baylor
Oregon State
Northwestern
TexassTech
NorthernnIllinois
Pittsburgh
Michigan State
Nebraska
-1
87-73

Misourt
Rutgers
Tixas A&M
LSU
UCLA
Oklahoma
SouthtCaroinsa
Baylor
Oregon State
Michigan
Nothwestern
Iowa State
Northern Illinois
Virginia Tech
Indiana
Nebraska
11-9

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