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November 04, 2013 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 4, 2013 - 3B

The Michigan l3aiIy - michigandailycom Monday, November 4, 2013 - 3B

GAME
STATISTICS

For first time, seniors beat OSU

Tam tats
Fist Down
Rush/Yards
Pasg Yrds
Offnive Plays
TtlOffes
Kickretums/yds
Punt returno/yds
Com~p/Att/Is$.,
Punts/Avg
Fumbles/lost
Penatie/Yards
Tme of Pssssions

Michigan
12
29/48
216
59
168
5/117
1/5
15/30/1
8/40.9
3/0
3-39
27:39

MSU
19
39/142
252
72
394
2/58
3/21
18/33/1
5/40.8
0-0
5-25
32:21
1

PASSING
Player
Gardner
Morris
Totals
RUSHING
Player
Toussaint
Morris
Gardner
Totals
RECEIVING
Player
funchess
Gallon
Chesson
Toussaint
Totals

M I C H I G A N
C-A Yds
14-27 210
1-3 6
15-30 216

Att
8
29

Yds
20
0
-46
-48
Yds
65
67
82
2
240

Avg
2.5
0
-2.6
-1.7
Avg
10.8
13.4
27.3
2.0
16.0

TD
0
L9
9
Lg8
25
3s5
58
s2

TD
0
0
0
TD
0
0
0
0

No.
6
s5
3
1

Nebraska win
means Michigan
falls short of Big
Ten title
By JUSTIN MEYER
Daily Sports Writer
With the players' families sit-
ting in the stands after traveling
from all across North America
for senior night, no one would've
blamed the Michigan women's
soccer team for being a bit dis-
tracted.
But they weren't.
The eighth-ranked Wolver-
ines (9-1-1 Big Ten, 15-2-1 over-
all) took the field Saturday night
with a determination and drive
that has propelled them through
the regular season. At stake was
the senior class' first-ever vic-
tory against Ohio State (4-5-2,
10-6-3) and a program-record
eight-game win streak that
extended back to Sept. 29.
The unfazed Wolverines fin-
ished the game with a 2-0 win
and mounds of confidence as
they head toward the Big Ten
Tournament.
After walking onto the field
arm-in-arm with their fam-
ily members, all seven seniors
started for the Wolverines not
out of charity, but rather as a
testament to the strength and
commitment of the group.
"My whole class coming into
Michigan, we knew that it was
going to be a rebuilding year,"
said senior forward Shelby
Chambers-Garcia. "We were
our coach's first recruiting class
as a whole; (fifth-year senior
defender) Holly (Hein) was his
first recruit. We knew that we
were going to be starting some-
thing special here at Michigan.
Growing up together, training
together, building this program
together has been an amazing

a ball past the keeper for the
go-ahead goal in the second
half, her first of the season.
Senior forward Nkem Ezurike
undressed the Buckeyes'
defense before cutting back on
the goaltender and tucking the
ball inside the far post to give
the Wolverines the 2-0 advan-
tage and extend the Michigan
career goals record to 46.
Senior midfielders Tori
McCombs, Meghan Toohey
and Kayla Mannino all turned
in solid performances as well.
McCombs threatened to score
multiple times, including a
point-blank chance on a long
ball she blew past a defender to
reach.
Mannino and Toohey both
helped hold the defense togeth-
er, even as Ohio State brought
four attackers forward in the
second half. Mannino spent sig-
nificant time watching the Buck-
eyes' speedy Nichelle Prince on
the wing, and Toohey broke up
plays at midfield all game, frus-
trating Ohio State by forcing its
forwards wide and not allowing
plays to build up.
When the final whistle sound-
ed and the crowd stood cheer-
ing, the Wolverines finally let
themselves soak in the scene of
their final regular-season game.
"We're all emotional and
upset," Chambers-Garcia said,
gesturing at the stadium around
her. "I mean you look at this, and
this wasn't here when we got
recruited. We've been here since
the very beginning, and it's just
been an honor to represent the
block 'M' on this beautiful field
for this great university."
Fighting back tears, Cham-
bers-Garcia headed to the lock-
er room to celebrate the victory
with her family, but also with
her fellow seniors that have put
the Michigan women's soccer
team in the best position it has
ever been in to win a Big Ten
title.

PUNTING
Player No. Yds Asg 5,
Wire N8. 327 40.9 49
Totals 8 327 40.9 49
PlyKr No. Yds Avg Lg TD
Chesson 1 17 17.d 17 0
Norfleet 4 100 25.0 35 0
Totals 5 117 23.4 35, 0
PUNT RETURNS
Player No. Yds Avg Lg TD
Total 1 5 6.08 T
TACKLES
Taylor 6 6 12
Clark 3 6 . 9
Bolden 2 6 8
Morgan 1 7 8
Gordon. C. 1 4 s5
Wi"son 3 1 4
Countess 1 3 4
Avery 0 4 4
Ryan 2 1 3
Gallond 1 0 1
Black 0 1 1
Beyer 0 1 1
Washington 0 1 1
Wormley 0 1 1
Totals 30 s0 80

Senior defenders Shelina Zadorsky and Holly Hein helped freshman goaltender Taylor Bucklinto a shutout Saturday.

experience."
Michigan coach Greg Ryan
said he was worried about how
his team would start the game
with all of the distractions, even
going so far as to make time
for a second warm-up after the
ceremonies. When the Wolver-
ines took the field against the
opponent that eliminated them
from the 2012 Big Ten Tourna-
ment, though, they looked every
bit the postseason contender
they've proved themselves to be

this last month.
Senior defenders Shelina
Zadorsky and Hein stonewalled
the Buckeyes to help give fresh-
man goaltender Taylor Bucklin
her ninth shutout of the season.
Ryan called the pair two of the
best center backs in the Big Ten,
and the cool and collected duo
displayed that on Saturday night
to back up their coach's praise.
"I think we had a solid defen-
sive day, but I also think we had
a lot of confidence going into

this game," Zadorsky said. "We
weren't cocky by any means, but
we were confident and I think
that was a different feeling for
me. In the past, we might have
been a little hesitant to play
Ohio State, but this year I think
we prepared so well and we
were excited."
Every member of the senior
class displayed that confidence
Friday as Michigan put on a
clinic at both ends of the field.
Chambers-Garcia rocketed

Player
Cook~o
Totals
EUSHIN
Playe, A

M I C H I G A N
C-A Yds
18-33 252
18-33 252

. S TA TE

GROUNDED
From Page 1B
State dominated the line' of
scrimmage. Lewan said after
the game that the Spartans ran
similar blitzes to the ones they
ran two years ago. Michigan just

couldn't stop them.
"A lot of this game absolute-
ly falls on this offensive line,"
Lewan said. "They ran a bunch
of blitzes, a lot of the same exact
blitzes they ran in 2011, but when
it came down to it, we couldn't
pick it up. That's our job."
That might have been Lewan's

opinion, but it wasn't the opin-
ion of everyone.
"It's not just the line," said
Michigan coach Brady Hoke.
"There are backs involved, there
are routes involved, there's tim-
ing - all those issues are part of
it."
And maybe that's the biggest
issue. It would be easier to point
at one specific unit and place the
blame on them, but it's not that

easy.
Toussaint was blown up
repeatedly on blitz pickups,
which essentially erased Gard-
ner's safety net. Wide receivers
got no separation all night, while
Gardner held onto the ball for
too long and was hit on almost
every passing attempt. Part of
that is on offensive coordinator
Al Borges, but part of that is also
on Gardner.

You can blame it on the line,
or on Gardner, Toussaint, Borg-
es, Hoke - whomever. There are
many holes with many needed
solutions.
All that's important is that on
a night where Michigan could
have made a statement win, it
instead put up the worst rushing
performance in school history.
Sometimes, numbers say all that
needs to be said.

TD int
1 1

Att
26
2
2
1
3
5
39
No.
6
5
2
2
1
1
1
i8

Yds
125
38
5
2
0
4
174
Yds
75
62
62
14
18
12
9
252

Avg
2s5
2.0
3.6
Avg
12sA
180
140

L9
40
4
2
40
L9
25
49

TD 1
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
TD
i
0
0
0
0
0
0
1

- PUNTING
Payer

No. Yds Avg Lg
o 204 40.8 1
s 204 40.8 51
No. Yds Avg Lg
2 58 290 36
2 58 29.0 . 36

TACKLES
Player Solo Asst To
Allng 1 4 9
Drummond s 3 8
Calhoun 3 3 6
Davis 2 2 4
Ruch 2 2 4
Lewis 1 3 4
Jones 2 0 2
Edmondson 1 1 2
Knox 1 0 1
Scarpinato 0 1 1
Tota 31 24 5s5
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SLOVIN
From Page 1B
begin each drive at midfield.
Buteven thatmight not have
been enough against the nation's
top-ranked defense. Follow-
ing an interception by junior
defensive back Raymon Taylor,
the Wolverines set up shop at
the Michigan State 41-yard line.
Though they trailed by 10 at the
time, which in this game felt
like a three-score deficit, the
tusnover could have changed
the game completely. Best-case
scenario, it results in a touch-
down and suddenly Michigan
is right back in the game. At the
very least, it should've ended in
a field goal, cutting it to a one-
possession game.
Instead, it became the worst-
case scenario. The Wolverines'
offense had been moving back-
ward all game, which left the
team shell-shocked after moving
the ball with hardly any resis-
tance against Indiana in its last
game. And even given a rare
short field, the trend continued.
Michigan State brought the
pressure on redshirt junior
quarterback Devin Gardner,
who had no place to go on an
option call to begin the drive
and lost five yards. Two plays
later, each resulting in one of
the Spartans' seven sacks on the
afternoon, the ball had moved
from the Michigan State 41 back
to Michigan's own 38.
Forget that outlier drive -
and Michigan offensive coor-
dinator Al Borges would surely
prefer that you do anyway - and
the Wolverines' average starting
field positionbecomes their own
18-yard line.
Now let's revisit the .06 points
per drive that teams sacrifice
with every yard of starting field
position lost. The Spartans
began their drives, on average, at
their own 35-yard line. For ref-
erence, in 2011, one of the years
of the aforementioned statistical

analysis, the biggest discrep-
ancy between a team's starting
position and its opponents was
15.9 yards, showing just how
big Saturday's field position dif-
ferential was. It's no coincidence
that NCAA-leading field position
team, Boise State, went 12-1 in
2011.
Ignoring the miserable drive
that netted negative 21yards,
Michigan State had a 17-yard
edge in the field-position battle.
According to the statistical
analysis, done by a better math
student than I, that difference
equates to an advantage of about
a point per drive. Each team held
the ball 13 times in Saturday's
game, suggesting that Michigan
cost itself about two touchdowns
with its field position.
Not all of the blame for that
falls on the Wolverines. On three
occasions, Spartan punter Mike
Sadler pinned Michigan inside
of its own 10-yard line. There's
nothing the Wolverines can do
about that, except be thankful
they only have to see Sadler one
more time before he graduates.
But on the nine other drives
that began inside the Michigan
35, the Wolverines shot them-
selves in the foot. Poor starting
field position meant little oppor-
tunity to move the ball on likely
the best defense they'll face all
year. Drives were killed before
they truly began.
After the game, the Spartan
Stadium scoreboard told you
that 13 points wouldn't have
made up for what Michigan
coach Brady Hoke called alack
of execution by his team. The
Wolverines didn't lose this game
because of the field-position
battle alone.
But any time a math whiz tells
you you're spotting the other
team 13 points worth of field
position, don't feel good about
your chances.
Slovin can be reached at
mjslovin@umich.edu or on
Twitter @MattSlovin.

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