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November 06, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-06

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8A -Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Michigan Daily.- michigandaily.cam 01

To change results,
Hoke changes little

By ZACH HELFAND
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan football team's
leadership council meets every
Sunday, but the most recent
meeting felt different, said fifth-
year senior wide receiver Jere-
my Gallon. Because it was a loss,
he explained. And they knew
"we need to up the ante."
These upperclassmen have
dealt with tough losses before,
but this most recent one, to
Michigan State on Saturday,
may have been the toughest
during Michigan coach Brady
Hoke's three seasons here. The
1 29-6 loss was the most lopsided
in that span besides the defeat
to Alabama. The Spartans didn't
just beat the Wolverines, they
beat them up.
Michigan State's defense
abused weak protection and
battered redshirt junior quar-
terback Devin Gardner for
seven sacks. Seeing his friend
hit so many times, Gallon said
on Tuesday, "it broke my little
heart."
So what has changed this
week? Not much, said-numerous
players and coaches. That's by
design, and for Hoke, it's been
successful - except for losses to
Ohio State and South Carolina
last season, Michigan has never
dropped two in a row under
Hoke. And even the consecutive
defeats last year were hardly
back to back - they were sepa-
rated by more than a month.
The secret is, there is no
secret. Hoke said he doesn't
recall what he did after losses
to prevent another from occur-
ring.
"I wish I could remember,"
Hoke said. "It's probably being
consistent in what we do."
Hoke has shown emotion
on the field but remains even-
keeled off. He has rarely, if ever,
raised his voice in a press con-
ference. After the loss Saturday,
he was in control. That, offen-
sive coordinator Al Borges said,
makes it easier for the team to
bounce back.
"The team will react a lot
the way the head coach reacts,"
Borges said. "The head coach
sets the tone. The key to not los-
ing a lot of games, in my opinion,
or not going into the tank, is not
overreacting. Reacting, don't get

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Fifth-year senior left tackle Taylor Lewan's plays on Saturday are under review by the BigTen, according to an ESPN report.
Dantonjo accepts
Lewan's apology,

ITRKA MULENGRAF/Uaily
Michigan coach Brady Hoke (left) said he tries to stay consistent, meaning he
doesn't alter his planning for the week after a loss.

me wrong, that game was not
played well and there has to be
a reaction, no ifs, ands or buts.
But not overreacting so much
that you do something that pulls
the team right in the tank.
"And he's as good as anybody
I've ever seen about making
sure mistakes are fixed but not
dwelling on it so much that the
next opponent will beat you,
too."
Still, Michigan will be tested
Saturday ' against Nebraska.
Besides South Carolina, the
Cornhuskers will be the tough-
est team it has faced following
a loss, from a list that compris-
es Purdue, Illinois, Air Force,
Purdue (again), Minnesota and
Indiana.
Borges admitted that in a lot
of ways, Saturday's game was
frustrating. The failure to pro-
tect Gardner and to establish
a run game felt maddening at
times.
"Several cuss words came out
of my mouth during that game,"
he said.
He added that he has been
on teams when the coach has
overreacted, and the team has
tanked. The key is to make the
necessary changes but let go of
the frustration.
"Do you want your leader to
freak out?" Borges said. "Do you
want George Patton to go crazy

in the middle of a battle and get
everyone killed? No. He had a
bad temper, and Brady does,
too. So do I. But if cooler heads
prevail at the end of the day -
you can have your explosions -
but at the end of the day when
everything settles, if your leader
shows a leadership composure,
then generally they'll recover."
Anyway, Borges said, he
cursed several times during the
Indiana game two weeks ago,
too. Michigan broke several
offensive records that day.
After Saturday, players said
they couldn't notice a difference
in Hoke. There was no extra
running, no added tension, no
emotion out of the ordinary.
Junior defensive ends Frank
Clark and Brennen Beyer said
they would prefer a younger
teammate have a level head than
be over-eager to avenge a loss
they can't change.
The key to that, Gallon said, is
to provide an example.
"We feed off of each other,"
Gallon said. "If I see (fifth-year
senior left tackle Taylor Lewan)
and Devin smiling and ready,
I'm ready."
And at the first practice, after
Michigan's toughest loss in
years, what did Gallon see?
"Smiles," he said. "I didn't see
nobody hanging their head feel-
ing sorry for themselves."

By MATT SLOVIN Hoke said in his Monday press
ManagingEditor conference. "Him and I have had
a discussion regarding that. It's
On the Big Ten coaches tele- not who we are."
conference Tuesday, Michigan When asked if he believes
State football coach Mark Dan- Lewan should be suspended like
tonio said he accepts Michigan Gholston was in 20t1, Dantonio
fifth-year senior offensive tackle said he'll leave that decision up
Taylor Lewan's apology forsev- to the powers that be. He added
eral on-field incidents Sunday. that he would've chosen not to
"Football is football, and it's a suspend Gholston, but the Big Ten
tough game," intervened.
Dantonio said NOTEBOOK "Some people may refute that,
on the call. "I especially ifthey wear blue," Dan-
accept people's apologies. I don't tonio said on the call. "But they
hold things against people. So see how we feel now on the other
yeah, I accept his apology, no side of the bench."
problem." According to an ESPN report
Dantonio did what Lewan Monday, the conference is review-
and Michigan coach Brady Hoke ing the Lewan incident.
wouldn't do earlier in the week - BORGES DEFENDS GAME
compare the Lewan play, a twist PLAN: Offensive coordinator Al
of the helmet of Spartan defen- Borges faced questions Tuesday
sive end Isaiah Lewis, to the play about whether, in retrospect, he
of then-Michigan State defensive would make changes to Michi-
end William Gholston in the 2011 gan's game plan for Michigan
game in East Lansing. State.
Similarly, Gholston yanked the The Borges-led offense rushed
facemask of former quarterback for negative 48 yards Saturday,
Denard Robinson. He also deliv- the worst ground performance in
ered a punch to Lewan, for which program history. Redshirt junior
Gholston was suspended one quarterback Devin Gardner was
game by the Big Ten. sacked seven times.
Hoke said Monday that, had Borges said he "won't answer"
he felt Lewan deserved to be a question about what he would
suspended for his role, he would do if given the opportunity to
have already punished him. The play the game over again, calling
co-captain has chatted with Hoke it "loaded." He did add, however,
since the game about the play. that "obviously, we thought we
"My assessment is ,that's not were doing what was best."
what we want to portray or be," Borges also said that the plan

was to throw the ball on first
down more than he had all sea-
son in order to set up the run. The
Spartan defense is one of the best
in the country at stopping the
run, and Michigan has struggled
to get its rushing game going this
season.
"Our approach was not to
throw the ball up and down the
field," Borges said. "The idea was
to pick your shots, but pick them
at times that were less predictable
passing downs."
FLASH FORWARD: Also on
Tuesday, Borges recalled a time
while in the same position at
Auburn that he started three true
freshmen on the offensive line
and earned a huge road win at
Florida.
. Four years later, the Tigers
were national champions.
Borges used this example to
show that two years could make
all of the difference for his inex-
perienced offensive line.
"You're looking at a completely
different team (after two sea-
sons)," Borges said.
Borges added that one reason
the offensive line is one of the
easier positions to develop is that
so much growth can come from
learning and chemistry there. He
expressed his dislike for having to
shuffle players in and out of the
starting lineup so often this sea-
son but said it's a necessary evil
in order to find the right group of
five.

0

0

Despite losses, Pearson
enjoys return toYost

By ALEJANDRO ZUNIGA
Daily Sports Editor
Mel Pearson's return to Ann
Arbor last weekend was no happy
homecoming.
After a 23-year stint as an assis-
tant coach of the Michigan hockey
team, Pearson accepted the head
coaching position with Michigan
Tech in 201. Last weekend, the
Wolverines welcomed the Huskies
(1-6-1) to Yost Ice Arena - the first
time in almost three decades that
the two teams met on the home ice
of either school.
Pearson's team put up quite a
fight, but both games of the two-
game series ended with close
Michigan victories. The Wolver-
ines (6-1-1) triumphed on Friday
in overtime, 3-2, and staved off a
comeback the following night to
win 2-1.
"We've had a real tough sched-
ule, and I put our team in a tough
spot," Pearson said after Satur-
day's game. "I did that for a rea-
son. We want to play good teams
in good buildings.... It can be frus-
trating."
It doesn't get much more dif-
ficult than facing No. 2 Michigan
at Yost, but the competitiveness
of both games was a testament
to how far Pearson has brought
the program in just two years.
In 2010-11, the Huskies won four
games and lost 30. But last year,
Michigan Tech beat No. 1 Min-
nesota, No. 7 St. Cloud State and
No.14 Nebraska-Omaha, marquee

wins for a program that hasn't
won a national championship
since 1975 or made a Frozen Four
since its last NCAA Tournament
appearance in 1981.
And last December, the Hus-
kies routed the Wolverines at the
Great Lakes Invitational, going on
to claim the tournament title for
the first time in 32 years. Pearson's
teams won 29 games in two years
entering this season, good for the
best two-season stretch in the last
18 years of Michigan Tech hockey.
But last weekend, the Huskies'
only victories were moral ones.
"We've taken our lumps right
now," Pearson said. "I think the
record is a little misleading. I like
the way we're playing right now."
Despite leaving Yost without a
win, Pearson said his return was
"awesome." He already helped
facilitate two more scheduled
games between the programs -
in Houghton, Mich. next year and
back in Ann Arbor for 2015-16 -
and hopes the former CCHA rivals
continue to play regularly.
"(Yost) is a place I love," Pear-
son said. "I know it's ahard place
to play and a hard place to win at,
but I think it's a great experience
for our players."
And though he and Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson insisted
the meeting between the two
longtime friends and former col-
leagues was purely business, the
two spared some time to catch up.
Pearson brought with him a pack-
age of frozen pasties - the Upper

0

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Michigan coach Red Berenson enjoyed
a pasty with Mel Pearson this weekend.
Peninsula culinary staple - as a
gift, and the two promised to stay
in tguch until they meet again.
"I love coach Berenson and
Michigan hockey," Pearson said.
"I'm glad they're doing well, and
I'm really happy for them and I
know they're going to have a great
year."
Note: Berenson confirmed that
defenseman Kevin Lohan suc-
cessfully underwent surgery on
Monday afternoon. The fresh-
man suffered a right knee injury
after sliding awkwardly into the
boards on Friday. Berenson called
the injury a "worst-case scenario"
and that the procedure involved
reconstruction. Lohan will miss at
least three months.

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