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March 19, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-19

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8A - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Gardner competes
for starting role

'M' falls short against Maryland

ByALEJANDRO ZfNIGA
Daily Sports Editor
Devin Gardner may be
competing in nearly all of the
Michigan football team's drills,
butitdoesn'tmeanhe'llbehanded
the starting job
comeAugust. NOTEBOOK
The fifth-
year senior is back on the field
after reportedly breaking his left
foot in November, and he said
Tuesday that he hasn't suffered
any setbacks in the recovery
process. He could be participating
in allof the Wolverines' drills,but
explained thathe has sat outsome
to avoid re-aggravatingthe injury.
"I feel like I'm getting better
and better each day," he said. "By
the season, I feel like I should be
I00 percent."
Sophomore Shane Morris
and freshman Wilton Speight
aren't limited in any way, though,
and they have been nipping at
Gardner's heels to bump him from
the incumbent spot. Redshirt
junior Russell Bellomy, the only
other quarterback on Michigan's
roster with meaningful playing
experience, is still in the process
of rehabbing from a torn ACL
suffered last March.
"It'sacompetitionbetweenme,
Shane and Wilton," Gardner said.
"It's going great. Everybody's
fiercely competing.
"Wilton's got game. He can
play."
Speight chose to forgo the
second semester of his senior year
in high school to enroll early in
Ann Arbor. Though the freshman
explained he struggled to adjust
to the intensity of college ball,
if Gardner is to be believed, the
transition hasn't been too difficult.
"He makes good decisions,"
Gardner said. "He's a good
quarterback. He's a definite
threat for Shane and I."
Rut evn if te c ome+itin is

expect anyone but Gardner under
center when the Wolverines open
their season against Appalachian
State on Aug. 30. Gardner said
he can pick up blitzes faster than
the two underclassmen, and his
extensive in-game experience
has helped him adjust to schemes
implemented by new offensive
coordinator DougNussmeier.
SPRING STATEMENT:
Michigan has several high-profile
recruits enrolling this summer,
but one freshman standout may
already be on campus.
Wide receiver Freddy Canteen,
a product of Eastern Christian
Academy (Md.), has impressed
his peers, including several of the
Wolverines' quarterbacks.
"(Receivers) are coming along
great and doing well," Gardner
said."Ilike Freddy Canteen.... He's
areallygood player."
Though Nussmeier plans to
implement a run-first offense,
he will still need to account for
the absence of former receiver
Jeremy Gallon, who set the
program's single-season record
for yards at his position last year
(1,373). And Canteen provides an
option to replace him.
MARCH ISFORFOOTBALL:
Michigan's recent struggles form
a stark contrast with the men's
basketball team's unprecedented
success.
The NCAA Tournament is
underway, and the Wolverines
have another good chance to
make their second straight Final
Four appearance as the No. 2
seed. Meanwhile, Gardner will
likely lead a team that limped to a
7-6 record last year.
The triumphs on the court can
help on the gridiron, as football
recruits often attend basketball
games during their on-campus
visits. In Gardner's eyes, only one
sport represents the University.
"This is a football school," he
said. "This is Michigan - you

By MITCH BECKMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Empty beer glasses, left over
from the Winter Classic on
Jan. 1, still littered the empty
seats. Large mounds of snow
still occupied the endzones of
the Big House as the Michigan
men's lacrosse team took the
field Tuesday.
Less
than ideal OHIO STATE 13
stadium MICHIGAN 5
conditions
and a less than ideal outcome
for the Wolverines.
Its first game back on the
gridiron was one of the toughest
tests the Wolverines have seen
all year, the No. 1 Maryland
Terrapins.
The home field advantage
and two goals apiece from a
pair of freshmen - attackman
Ian King and midfielder Mike
Schlosser - weren't enough for
Michigan (4-5), who fell to the
Terrapins 13-5 in the programs'
first meeting of many to come, as
Maryland joins the Big Ten next
season.
Maryland took control of
the game once and for all early
in the fourth quarter, going on
its second five-goal run of the
game, pushing the score to 13-4.
Defense dominated the first
half, as neither team could find
much space around the goal.
Senior midfielder Thomas Paras
struck first, but
the Terrapins -
(7-0) stormedi
back with a Today,
five-goal run. 1 k
King scored a lock
his first of the
day, cutting the that we
lead to three, disa
but a pivotal pp
Maryland goal _
with just three
seconds left in
the half gave it the momentum
and a four-goal lead before
halftime.
Both offenses found their
footing in the second half.

Senior midfielder Thomas Paras may have scored one goal, but his leadership on Tuesday was his biggest contribution.

Schlosser tallied two in the
third quarter, but the Terrapins
scored four of their own and
never allowed the Wolverines to
grab the momentum back.
"Individually they're very
good but their defensive
systems are good," Paras said.
"They pride
themselves
on being
that was a good
defensive
er room team and
have a great
as pretty goalkeeper.
ointed." They force
Ointd - you into
some tough
situations."
On the
defensive side of the ball,
Michigan's quick slides and
timely double teams kept
Maryland in check for a large
part of the first half, but the

Terrapins offense adapted
coming out of halftime, and was
able to find more quality looks at
the net than they had in the first
half.
"Obviously they have a very
good offense. They're the No. 1
team in the country right now
for a reason," said Michigan
coach John Paul. "We're not
very deep defensively right now,
we have some guys out and some
guys playing who haven't been
playing a lot that are making
some mistakes. It's not their
fault, they just haven't been in
this situation much."
The Wolverines will have to
get used to seeing the Terrapins
and other high-caliber teams on
a regular basis, as the Wolverines
will see Penn State, Maryland
and Johns Hopkins - all teams
currently ranked in the top 20
nationally - every season as
part of the Big Ten conference.

Paul is welcoming the
opportunity to play the nation's
top competition, and knows
playing these teams in his
program's early years is sending
it in the right direction.
"Our first two years, we'd
probably feel like 'at least we
didn't get smoked,' but today,
that was a locker room that was
pretty disappointed in the way
they played," Paul said. "That's
a good step for us. We have guys
in there who feel they match up
against teams like this, we just
have to learn how to play better
lacrosse and that's coming."
Added Paras: "We had alot of
confidence coming into today.
Years past there's been a bit of a
mystique around playing teams
like Cornell and Hopkins, but
this year we know we can hang
with them. This program's
definitely trending in the right

11

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