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October 21, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-21

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2B - October 21, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

SPORTSMONDAY COLUMN
Offensive explosion doesn't clear up murky BlO

Where does this befud-
dling Michigan foot-
ballteam belong in a
befuddling Big Ten conference?
Nobody, not even Michigan
coach Brady
Hoke, has any
idea what the
identity of
this team is
nor how it is
going to play
on the road
at Michigan EVERETT
State, North-ECOOKT
western and CO
Iowa, nor at
home against
Nebraska and Ohio State.
. Saturday could have been a
defining win, or at the very least,
a win that gave us a better idea
of what this Michigan football
team is supposed to be going
into November, where arguably
the five toughest games of the
2013 season await.
Without context and within a
snapshot, the Wolverines looked
incredible on Saturday.
Fifth-year senior wide receiv-
er Jeremy Gallon set a Big Ten
record with 369 receiving yards.
Awesome.
Redshirt junior quarterback
Devin Gardner's 503 yards
through the air were a record
for a Michigan quarterback.
Impressive. Fifth-year senior
running back Fitzgerald Tous-
saint was relegated to a footnote,
and he still rushed for 151 yards
and four touchdowns, almost
doubling his season touchdown
total. Great.
But put into a larger context,
one where the defense gave up
572 yards and 47 points, Satur-
day didn't do much of anything
to clear up the continually
muddy Big Ten picture, which is
nothing more than a mediocre
cluster at this point.
In Michigan's division, the

the side."
The week before Penn State,
Michigan fit into the Big Ten
picture with a defense that
allowed just one touchdown to
Minnesota, ateam that later
beat Northwestern on the road.
That win sent Northwestern - a
team that was seen as one of the
favorites to win the Legends
Division before the year - to 0-3
in the Big Ten.
Against Indiana, the defense
was far from that. It finished
the game by doing its job -
fifth-year senior safety Thomas
Gordon's second interception of
the game sealed the win - but
almost every defensive back in
the Michigan secondary was
beaten deep. Forty-seven points,
even against a good offense, isn't
going to cut it against the meat
of Michigan's schedule over the
next five games.
If the Wolverines win out, the
division is theirs. The odds of
that, though, with a team this
inconsistent and confusing, are
slim to none.
Michigan doesn't have anoth-
er game on the schedule where
one side of the ball can dominate
and the other side can be domi-
nated and still win, no matter
how middling the Big Ten is this
year.
After the game, Hoke was
asked what the identity of his
team is. A power running team
that gained 503 yards through
the air, mostly out of a shotgun
formation? A hit-'em-in-the-
mouth defense that gave up 572
yards to Indiana?
He paused for several sec-
onds, shook his head and smiled.
"That's a great question," he
said. "So good that I don't know
if I can answer that."
-Cook can be reached at
evcook@umich.edu or on
Twitter @everettcook

E

4
6

Fifth-year senior safety Thomas Gordon was one of the few bright spots of Michigan's defense when he sealed the game with his second interception oftthe game.
only undefeated team in confer- So where does Michigan ation with a "power running against a different opponent?
ence play couldn't crack 300 fit in here? A week ago, it was game" that has never shown the "We'll see what we do in the
offensive yards against Purdue. a predictable offense getting potential for power or success. future," Lewan said. "I know
Yet, Michigan State is in the blown off the ball in a loss to Clearly, whatever Borges did on we'll still do stuff... run down-
driver's seat to win the division Penn State. Saturday was almost Saturday worked. hill stuff because that's what
if it can beat Michigan at home entirely the opposite. Even then, fifth-year senior we want to do. That's the kind
in two weeks thanks to a defense It was encouraging to see tackle Taylor Lewan said the of team we want to be, and we
that gives up almost 25 points offensive coordinator Al Borges game plan on Saturday was put have the guys up there to do it,
fewer per game than the worst try some different things out on in specifically for Indiana - it's just doing it consistently.
defensive team in the confer- offense, likea reliance on the what if Borges goes back to the But if (the spread) works, we
ence, Indiana. spread and less of an infatu- pseudo power running game aren't just going to throw it to

Dazzling goals on display

Offense delivers in OT

By MINH DOAN
For the Daily
In the second half of Sunday
afternoon's matchup between
Wisconsin (1-2 Big Ten, 9-3-1 over-
all) and the Michigan men's soc-
cer team, freshman defender Lars
Eckenrode was hustling to recov-
er from an
errant pass WISCONSIN 1
and slid to MICHIGAN 2
get the ball.
A Badgers attacker came in a sec-
ond later and cleated him in the
face.
The physical battle between
the two teams ended in a 2-1 vic-
tory for the Wolverines on a goal
by redshirt junior midfielder Tyler
Arnone with under four minutes
left in regulation. Michigan (2-2,
6-4-3) was coming off an emotion-
al win over No. 6 Creighton but
showed no signs of slowing down
against Wisconsin.
Arnone's game-winning goal
highlighted a second half of fan-
tastic goals. In the 87th minute,
after a defensive gaffe by the Bad-
gers, Arnone collected the ball
outside the 18-yard box from red-
shirt sophomore Colin McAtee
and unleashed a vicious side volley
past sprawling Wisconsin goalie
Casey Beyers into the left side of
the goal.
"I took (the ball) off my chest
and it sat nicely for me, and I just
focused on technique," Arnone
said. "I didn't try to hit the ball
with a lot of power. It was prob-
ably one of the best goals I've
scored in my life."
During the 53rd minute, a
defensive mistake by the Badgers
that led to a Wolverine goal. Soph-
omore forward James Murphy
applied pressure to Wisconsin's
back line and stole the ball from a
defender. After taking two touch-
es to goal and with Beyers racing
out to cut off the angle, Murphy
chipped the ball over Beyers into
the right side netting for a goal
- his team-leading fourth of the
year - to put Michigan on the
board first.
"I thought James Murphy
was outstanding," said Michigan
coach Chaka Daley. "He scored a
great goal."
While Michigan capitalized on
the Badgers' defensive mistakes,

a

JAMESCoLLER/Daily
Redshirt junior midfielder Tyler Arnone scored the game-winning goal on Sunday.
so did Wisconsin on its lone goal tive, and sometimes they lose their
of the game in the 64th minute. way. The most important thing is
Off a Wisconsin corner, the ball that they got back on track."
was cleared away by the Michi- In the first half, the best and
gan defense but straight to the only significant chance from both
feet of Badgers forward and lead- sides came from the Badgers when
ing scorer Nick Janus, who was forward Tomislav Zadro played
standing outside the 18-yard box. a through ball to forward Nick
Janus skillfully shot a curling ball Jones. Jones chipped it over Grin-
with the inside of his foot, placing wis's head, but it hit the post and
it into the upper corner of the goal bounced to Janus who shot the
and just out of reach of Wolverines ball into a seemingly open goal.
redshirt junior goalie Adam Grin- But Grinwis made it back to the
wis. goal in time to make an acrobatic
"It was a pretty good shot," save.
Daley said. "I can't live with a soft The game was another good
one, but that one, I can live with. indication of the high level of soc-
You can't do anything about that." cer that the Michigan team has
Before the scoring chances, the been playing of late. The victory
first stanza featured more physi- showed the poise and patience
cality and skirmishes. Wisconsin along with maturity of the team
came out with that physicality, to not be roped in by the Badgers'
and it showed in its pressure of physical style of play. This mental-
Michigan's back line. The Bad- ity should benefit the Wolverines
gers' physicality quickly turned as they head into another tough
into altercations, as senior mid- part of their schedule.
field Dylan Mencia got in the face "We'll enjoy the victory tonight
of Janus at one point and a shov- and come back down to earth
ing match followed. But the Wol- tomorrow, and hopefully we'll be
verines' leaders stepped up and ready for a Saturday challenge
reminded the team to get back to against (defending NCAA cham-
playing soccer. pion) Indiana." Daley said.
"We knew (Wisconsin) was Note: Eckenrode, Mencia and
big, we knew they were physical,". junior midfielder Marcos Ugarte
Daley said. "College athletes at the were injured in the game and did
highest level are super competi- not return.

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By GREG GARNO the extra frame, as he filled in
Daily Sports Writer behind DeBlois and a charging
JT Compher where he waited
URHAM, N.H. - With- alone near the crease. Com-
starting goaltender Steve pher, the freshman forward,
ne, the No. 5 Michigan bounced the puck along the
ey team knew it needed boards and carried it behind
swer the call for a strong the net. He then found DeBlois,
nsive performance to walk who quickly fed Motte for the
with any points against open look to keep the Wolver-
3 New Hampshire. ines (3-0-1) unbeaten.
eshman defenseman After it struggled to find
ael Downing was one of its offense a day earlier on
e to answer the call. As the the wider ice, Michigan cre-
flew WISCONSIN 1 ated more opportunities from
n MICHIGAN 1 added extra-man opportuni-
er ties. Whittemore Center Arena
in features an Olympic-size rink
first WISCONSIN 1 - 15 feet wider - that makes
d, I G shots tougher to come by. The
nn- gameplay got caught up in the
extended his body and neutral zone and took Michi-
ched his stick. The play gan out of its normal routine.
largely unnoticed, but "I thought we got a little
as enough to deflect the more comfortable with the
and neutralize the scor- puck than we were last night,
hreat. especially in the offensive
nior forward Derek DeB- zone," said Michigan coach
also answered the call, Red Beren-
e annoyed the Wildcats son. "This
nd the net in the second was anoth- "T i
rd, killingoffa penalty and er close, This
equently keeping the puck hard-fought good gu
f Michigan's zone. game."
ost importantly, freshman New for our
inder Zach Nagelvoort Hampshire
red up in replacement of jumped on
ne to answer and fill in the board
rably. Nagelvoort stopped first when a scrum near the
hots he needed to and then Michigan bench kicked the
finishing with 22 saves puck out near the blue line that
4 shots to keep his team found Wildcat forward Kevin
e game. The Wolverines Goumas. Goumas, with no
New Hampshire in front one near him, fired a slap shot
sellout crowd, 3-2, on an through traffic that was too
ime goal from freshman quick for 'the glove of Nagel-
ard Tyler Motte to leave voort.
am with two points after Nagelvoort looked more pre-
tie on Friday. pared with the extra night to
thought we kind of took it study the Wildcats. He entered
em for all three periods," Friday's game with 15 minutes
senior defenseman Mac of play in the third period due
.ett. "We definitely stayed to a lower-body injury to soph-
of our zone a lot more, omore Racine. Berenson didn't
h made it easier on every- comment on Racine, other
than to say he would be exam-
a line together for the ined this week.
time, junior forward Alex Nagelvoort was rarely called
ill scored his first goal of upon to make a crucial save,
eason and sophomore for- but he turned away a late bar-
Boo Nieves added two rage in the third period to send
ts. the game to overtime.
otte's goal came 1:37 into And the defense in front

of him also did its part as it
cleared rebound opportunities
and blocked shots.
Guptill answered back later
in the first period when he took
a feed from Nieves near the
right circle and slid through
the New Hampshire defense
before flipping the puck over
the shoulder of goaltender
Casey DeSmith.
Luke Moffatt opened the
second period scoring to
give the Wolverines a brief
lead when he threw the puck
from the right of the net that
deflected off the skate of a New
Hampshire defenseman. The
goal was Moffatt's third of the
year.
But late in the period, Gou-
mas found himself with room
again, this time when he was
behind the net. On a power
play, Goumas threw the puck
near the net. It took an awk-
ward bounce off the back of
Nagelvoort and dribbled across
the line.
Michi-
vas a gan's 30 shots
nearly dou-
it-check bled its total
from Friday
team." night, includ-
ing a late look
- - from Guptill
that officials
deemed just short of the line. It
showed a much-improved per-
formance that Berenson had
hoped for.
"This was a good gut-check
for our team," Berenson said.
"After last night's disappoint-
ment, I thought we had to
bounce back, and we did."
Saturday's win came after a
disappointing 1-1 tie on Friday
night, in which the Wolver-
ines never overcame a slew of
penalties to create any offense.
Michigan was penalized 11
times, including a late call on
DeBlois in the third period
that resulted in a penalty shot.
Freshman goaltender Zach
Nagelvoort, filling in for the
injured Racine, made a pad
save to stymie New Hamp-
shire's comeback attempt. In
all, the Wolverines were out-
shot 35-18 on Friday.

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