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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 5A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, October16, 2014 - 5A
back to rankings
Bye week comes at perfect time
By ISAIAH ZEAVIN-MOSS
Daily Sports Writer
With the unveiling of
Tuesday's Coaches' Poll, the
team returned Penn State
to the national at Michigan
the first time Matchup:
aince it was Peas State
ranked No. 7 in 11-3
How do the Tursday
Wolverines 7 P.M.
feel about their
spot in the Where:
rankings? Add Staidum
it to the list of
affairs with which the they are
"I honestly had no idea we
even got ranked," said senior
defender Jen Pace. "I haven't
been paying attention to it, just
preparing for today and this
Added Michigan coach Greg
Ryan: "I didn't know we were
ranked. I haven't had any idea
where we stand in the Big Ten all
year long. I just look at the next
game. That's been the approach
of the whole team."
The 24th-ranked Wolverines
(7-1 Big Ten, 11-3 overall) are
preparing for perhaps their
toughest game of the season
when they square off with No. 11
Penn State on Thursday night at
U-M Soccer Stadium.
Penn State (7-1, 12-2) has
allowed just three goals in
conference play this season. The
NittanyLions played inthe finals
of the 2013 NCAA Tournament,
and have consistently finished
near the top of the Big Ten
standings. They boast a roster of
experience, talent and stability.
From Page 1A
he said athletics could come up
during the public comments por-
tion of the meeting.
During public comments,
members of the public are given
the opportunity to address the
board for up to five minutes.
Regents sometimes respond
to these comments from their
table, but often do not. Public
commenters are required to sign-
up for a speaking slot the day
before the meeting.
The Athletic Department has
been under scrutiny following
Morris' injury when he was
diagnosed with a "probable, mild
concussion"suffered in the fourth
quarter, but was left in the game.
Michigan Football Coach Brady
Hoke and University Athletic
Director Dave Brandon have been
under fire since the incident, with
students organizing a petition
calling for Brandon's firing
and organizing an impromptu
"Fire Dave Brandon" rally
that eventually congregated
on University President Mark
Schlissel's front lawn.
i However, the regents can
only advise University President
Schlissel on personnel matters.
Schlissel is the only one with
But Ryan isn't waving the
"Our strategy is to have the
attitude that we're going to get
our chances and we're going to
go after you," Ryan said. "We
can't come out here and defend
for 90 minutes and win. We're
very confident in our attacking
players to break down this back
line and get some chances."
Ryan's confidence seems
justified. His Wolverines have
won four consecutive games and
nine of their last 10.
The offensive catalyst during
Michigan's recent success has
been forward Nicky Waldeck.
The sophomore has scored five
goals in her past three games,
and is tied for second place in
the Big Ten in points.
"I know they have a really
strongback line, but I think as an
attacking group we're going to
get a lot of good opportunities,"
Waldeck said. "They haven't
allowed a lot, of goals but Ani
(Sarkisian) and I are really
good at clicking on the counter
On Thursday night, the
Wolverines will have their
own Under the Lights affair
against a premier opponent.
Still, Michigan, as it has been
all season, is unfazed by the
potential for pressure. Once
the ball kicks off on Thursday
night, the Wolverines will be
at it once again, fighting for the
only result or ranking they have
cared about all season: winning
the soccer game.
"We're not reading our press
clippings," Ryan said. "All of
that is just a distraction from
the job. For a young team, we've
been amazing at focusing on
what counts. This team has been
steadily climbing, just focused
on the next game."
By ALEXA DETTELBACH
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan's bye week could
not come at a better time.
After losing three straight
games, the Wolverines grabbed
their elusive third victory, an
18-13 Under the Lightswin over
Penn State. Now, Michigan
(1-2 Big Ten, 3-4 overall) gets
its chance to breathe. It's the
latest bye week since the 2011
"It's happening at a good
time as far as we get some
rest," said Michigan coach
Brady Hoke on Saturday. "The
guys get away from us a little
bit, which is always positive,
and probably more positive for
them than me because I worry
"But Ithink it's good that we
have a change for them to get
rested up a little bit."
Despite Hoke's refusal to
talk about injuries on a weekly
basis, there are still a number
of starters battling both long-
standing and recent ones.
"It's important for guys to
heal up and get their legs back,"
said sophomore wide receiver
Amara Darboh. "I'm going to
be looking at a lot of film and
I know a lot of other guys are
too, so we're going to rest the
body, but we're going to be in
Senior linebacker Desmond
Morgan has been out since the
season opener. On Wednesday,
Hoke didn'tdenythe possibility
of Morgan applying for a
medical redshirt, nor did he
confirm anything. Sophomore
safety Delano Hill and
freshman cornerback Jabrill
Peppers have each been out
the past three weeks battling
apparent leg injuries, but
neither has redshirt eligibility
for this season.
More so, sophomore
defensive tackle Willie Henry
did not see action against
Penn State, despite dressing,
due to an apparent hand
injury sustained on a sack
against Rutgers. Sophomore
wide receiver Jehu Chesson,
who has started alongside
junior Devin Funchess, didn't
dress Saturday because of an
undisclosed injury. But Darboh
was able to start instead, and
did so with aplomb.
To add to the list, sophomore
defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow
was limited against the
Nittany Lions, but Hoke hasn't
disclosed the issue.
The list grows longer if you
include Funchess, who said
earlier this season he'd be
playing banged up the rest of
And fifth-year senior
quarterback Devin Gardner
went down with a leg injury
against Penn State, but was
able to come back two drives
"I can't wait for the
bye week," Gardner said
Saturday after the game. "For
everything. I can't wait. It's
going to be great."
On top of much-needed time
to overcome injuries, it can't be
ignored that Michigan's next
opponent is its toughest on the
schedule - No. 8 Michigan
The Wolverines will need
their defense to be at its
healthiest this season to slow
The Michiganfootball team gets a much-needed bye week - the latest scheduled
since 2011 - to heal and rest nearly a dozen players who remain injured.
Cook and the Spart
offense. But even m
is getting Gardner
percent, as he's Mic
chance to take or
the power to unilaterally fire
Brandon. As of now, if Brandon is
let go for reasons not specifically
outlined in his contract, he is
guaranteed the remainder of
his salary, as well as remaining
deferred compensation of around
Fitzgerald saidthe regentshave
broad oversight responsibilities
over the entire university, but do
not have any specific directives
related to policymaking for
University athletics. In recent
months, most of board votes
pertained to facilities. In
September, the regents approved
the construction of a $168 million
athletics performance space for
South Campus. Over the summer,
the board voted down a proposal
to launch fireworks at last
weekend's night football game
against Penn State.
Many students see the Morris
incident as the tipping point fol-
lowing a string of problems with
athletics, including the perma-
nent separation of former kicker
Brendan Gibbons and issues with
the student ticket policy.
In an interview with The Mich-
igan Daily last week, Schlissel
said a review of the University's
student-athlete safety policies are
underway and he expects a report
to be delivered to the public in the
He cited safety as his first pri-
ority and declined to discuss the
possibility of personnel changes
within the Athletic Department.
"I don't talk about personnel
matters in public or in
newspapers," Schlissel said.
"As a principle of the humane
treatment of colleagues as well
as the appropriateness of privacy
of personnel matters. They're not
public matters so I don't address
hiring or firing. It's just not the
right thing to do in public."
Schlissel reiterated that he
is ultimately responsible for
personnel decisions and said his
job is to help the institution's
executive officers ensure the
University functions in the most
effective way possible.
"One thing I like to do is be a
little more thoughtful and reflec-
tive... People get very excited and
they jump to conclusions. Some-
times the conclusions are right
and sometimes they're not and I
really feel that my job is to learn
as much as I can and about circ-
wumstances I'm responsible for...
deal with things that have imme-
diacy to them, like player safety,
but the bigger issues of how we
can make our athletics program
more connected to our under-
graduate students, to our alums,
that's a longer term problem."
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k Connor sophomore defensive back we'll pick it up and get back
tans' top-20 Dymonte Thomas. "Coach into it for State."
sore critical Hoke is doing a great job of But most of all, more than
close to 100 a little practice (and then) resting injuries and an extra
higan's best we watch film on our own. week of preparation, the
n Michigan (It's) really just focusing on Wolverines are coming off a
defense. us getting closer together as a win and get a break with a good
ball can get team without worrying about taste in their mouth at the end
ou " said football and then next week of a sour month.
ay, October 16, 2014 A
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