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November 04, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-04

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wts

8 - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Hoke not concerned with job status

FOOTBALL RECRUITING
Michigan picks up
ninth 2015 recruit

By GREG GARNO
Managing Sports Editor
Michigan coach Brady Hoke
has never worried about his job
status, even as his team sits 4-5
this season.
And even after his boss
resigned,
he's still not NOTEBOOK
backing down
from that stance.
"I've never been concerned
about a job, ever, and I never will
be," Hoke said Monday. "Because
if I get concerned about a job,
then you get distracted. ... If I
get distracted, I'm not being fair
to those kids who haven't been
distracted."
Dave Brandon, who resigned
onFridayfromhisrole asAthletic
Director, was responsible for
hiring Hoke and had publicly
supported the coach. In the
interim, University President
Mark Schlissel appointed Jim
Hackett to replace Brandon.
Hoke said he found out
about Brandon's resignation
from Brandon himself Friday
but declined to discuss what
was said.
"I have a lot of respect for
Dave," Hoke said. "From a
reaction standpoint, he did a lot
of good things for the University,
and now I'm real excited to work
with Jim."
Hoke, who said he has only
briefly spoken with Hackett
after the meeting, said he would
have a longer conversation
"sometime sooner than later"
with his new boss. The two have
met in prior meetings at multiple
events, according to Hoke, but he
wouldn't elaborate on how much
they've discussed the future.
"We've got Northwestern (to.
play)," Hoke said. "It's not fair to
anybody who is involved to say
when we did this or when we
didn't do this."
MORE REPS: Redshirt
sophomore Drake Johnson was
the first Michigan running back
to rush for more than 100 yards
in a game this season since now-

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke wouldn't say whether running back Drake Johnson will get more carries this week.

injured sophomore Derrick
Green did against Miami (Ohio)
six games ago.
But that doesn't mean he'll see
more snaps this week against
Northwestern. On Monday, Hoke
wasn't ready to say Johnson
would get more snaps, offering
little in the direction he'll go.
"They'll compete like they
always do," he said.
Johnson, a third-string back,
finished with 122 yards and
two touchdowns on 16 carries
in three quarters of action to
lead all backs in the Wolverines'
win over Indiana. Meanwhile,
Michigan's other running backs,
sophomore De'Veon Smith and
redshirt junior Justice Hayes,
combined for 42 yards Saturday
after totaling 66 yards against
Michigan State.
Without Green, who is out for
the season with a broken clavicle,
Michigan hasn't had the same
threatin the ground game.
Hoke and offensive
coordinator Doug Nussmeier
both note Johnson brings
a different running style,
describing him asa "slasher."
"He's got good speed, he's
goingto try and create holes with

his speed, and you'll see him
stick his foot in the ground and
go north and south," Nussmeier
said. "I think he's continuing
to develop his feel within our
running game, understanding
which holes to hit and when."
But Nussmeier was also quick
to cite his improved performance
from "all 11 guys," highlighting
the performance from his
offensive line. But neither the
line nor the wide receivers were
needed to open up holes or block
for extended periods of time,
as Johnson was able to burst
through.
"Drake had an awesome
game," said redshirt junior
center Jack Miller. "He made us
look better at times."
SIGNAL STEALING?:
Defensive coordinator Greg
Mattison didn't need to talk
much about his defense during
Monday's press conference.
After all, the Wolverines limited
the Hoosiers to 24 pass yards and
contained the nation's leading
rusher.
Instead, he spent time
discussing opponents stealing
signals, which he described as

being "real prevalent" in college
football.
Mattison described coaches
who wait for a play call to be
communicated to the defense
and then communicate that
signal down to the field so the
offense can catch the defense off
guard.
So to make sure no one
was able to steal his signals,
Mattison had two people hold
towels behind him. As Indiana's
effort continued, Mattison had
four people call in signals as a
distraction.
Soundridiculous?Itprobablyis.
"That's what it has become
now," Mattison said. "Bo would
die. He would not like that, I can
tell you that."
WEEKLY JABRILL
UPDATE: For the second
consecutive week, freshman
defensive back Jabrill Peppers
was excluded from the depth
chart.
Peppers, who last appeared in
Michigan'sgame against Utah on
Sept.19, hasn't been ruled out for
the season. He could be in line for
aredshirt, but Hoke isn't budging
on whether he plans to do that.

By JUSTIN STERN
Daily Sports Writer
Moments before former
Michigan Athletic Director
Dave Brandon's resignation, the
Wolverines received their third
commit to the 2016 football
recruiting class. Four-star
linebacker Dele' Harding tweeted
on Friday, "Just committed to the
University of Michigan #GoBlue."
The 6-foot-1, 232-pound junior
from Elkton, Michigan ranks No.
186 overall in the 2016 recruiting
class according to Rivals.com.
For the Wolverines, Harding's
commitment adds confidence to a
program that saw two decommits
in the month of October.
As the Feb. 4 deadline
approaches, here's a rundown of
notable performances.
Chris Clark,tightend:Avon
Old Farms (Conn.) at Phillips
Exeter Academy (Conn.);
Ranking: ESPN (111) Scout (23)
Avon Old Farms defeated
Phillips Exeter Academy, 47-20,
to improve to 5-2 on the season.
While he is still committed to
Michigan, Clark has started his
search for other options. He
will visit Southern California
on Nov. 29 and Texas on Dec. 6.
Clark was once committed to
North Carolina and now says he
is considering a potential Nov. 15
visit to Chapel Hill.
Brian Cole, athlete: Saginaw
Heritage (Mich.); Ranking:
ESPN (142) Scout (39)
Saginaw Heritage finished
its season with a 2-7 record.
While Cole remains committed
to Michigan, he made an official
visit to Wisconsin. On Oct.11 Cole
told GoBlueWolverinecom, "As
of right now, I'm still committed
to Michigan." With the insecure
job status of Michigan football
coach Brady Hoke, Cole said,

"That's kind of scary, but me and
Coach Hoke have talked a couple
of times, and he said that he
would let me know individually
(if he was going to be let go), so
I've really just not been worrying
about it."
Michael Weber,running back:
CassTech (Mich.)vs. Mott
(Mich.); Ranking: ESPN (169)
Scout (99)
Weber has been raising the
eyebrows of recruiters all over
the nation these past few weeks.
Cass Tech won its home playoff
game against Mott, 26-7, behind
Weber's 229 rushing yards and
four touchdowns. In the past
three weeks, Weber has rushed
for 624 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Technicians look to build
upon the momentum as they face
Fordson on Friday.
Alex Malzone, quarterback:
Brother Rice (Mich.)vs.
Cousino (Mich.); Ranking:
ESPN (NR) Scout (183)
On Saturday, Malzone led
Brother Rice to a playoff victory
over Cousino, 38-21. Malzone
finished 13-of-25 for 143 yards,
with three passing touchdowns,
one rushing touchdown and
no interceptions. Even with an
undefeated record, Brother Rice
dropped five spots in the state
rankings and is currently ranked
No. 8. The Warriors face Groves
on Saturday in their next home
playoff game.
Jon Runyan Jr., offensive
lineman: St. Joseph's Prep
(Pa.) at Roman Catholic (Pa.);
Ranking: (NR)
While Runyan's primary
position is offensive line, he has
also been serving as the Hawks'
kicker in recent games. The son
of former Philadelphia Eagles Pro
Bowl tackle Jon Runyan, he went
5-for-5 on extra points.

Five things we learned: Blowout losses in Houghton

Michigan falls to
2-5, off to worst
start since 1986,
By ERIN LENNON
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan hockey team
was swept this weekend at
Michigan Tech. After a strong
showing against ranked
opponents Boston University
and UMass-Lowell, the
Wolverines proved there are
holes in nearly every facet of
their game.
Here are five things we can
take away from a disappointing
weekend and start to the season
as Michigan enters a bye week.
1. The forward lines are still
very much in flux.
Prior to Friday's series
opener against Michigan Tech,
Michigan coach Red Berenson
announced 11 lineup changes
in hopes of sparking a dormant
offense.
The coach split up his first
line, separating sophomore
forward JT Compher from
junior forward Andrew Copp.
The duo, two centers by nature,
had been playing side-by-side
all season in hopes that, with
Compher at the wing, last
season's top-two scorers would
create offense for one another.
It was a move that sent
Compher back to his comfort
zone on the second line and
junior center Boo Nieves to left
wing opposite freshman Tony
Calderone. Sophomore forward
Tyler Motte jumped up to the
first line to play alongside Copp
and freshman Dexter Dancs.
In their new positions, the
Wolverines managed only one
goal against Huskies netminder
Jamie Phillips, prompting more
changes Saturday.
After bumping Michigan's
most productive line down
to third on Friday, Berenson
moved the trio of sophomore
Alex Kile, freshman Dylan
Larkin and senior Zach Hyman

means Downing will have to be
on his best behavior because
every one from here on out will
yield a one-game suspension,
per NCAA rules.

6

5. Misery loves company.
Save for No. 1 Minnesota,
which currently sits in its
rightfulspotatopthe conference
standings with a 5-1 record, the
Big Ten is up for grabs, just likea
spot in Michigan's lineup.
Last year's last-place finisher,
Penn State, currently occupies
the second position, and has
received votes in the USCHO.
com rankings thanks to a 5-1-2
non-conference record.
For its troubles, Michigan
currently sits in fifth place in
front of a struggling Wisconsin
team. The Badgers, one of the
youngest teams in the country,
are winless in four contests.
The Wolverines are leading
the league in something -
they've surrendered 27 goals,
10 more than the next-highest
total allowed in the Big Ten.
Projected to finish second in
the conference, Michigan won't
want to lead that category come
March.

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
The Michigan hockey team suffered a pair of blowout losses in Houghton, Michigan over the weekend, dropping from the USCHO polls for the first time this year.
back into the second slot while on Saturday after stopping twice this weekend. For context, in Michigan's
pushing Compher's line back to the Huskies in six man-down win over UMass-Lowell, its only
third. chances on Friday. As they 3. Faceoffs matter. A lot. dominant victory of the season,
J Sophomore forward Evan have all season, the defense the Wolverines won twice as
Allen was benched in favor of committed egregious turnovers After Saturday's loss, many faceoffs as the River
freshman Alex Talcott, and and gaffes on the blue line. Berenson was quick to Hawks.
Berenson opted for junior On Friday, the unit put up a attribute yet another stagnant More than just a pattern,
goaltender Steve Racine after minus-7 plus/minus rating in a performance to faceoffs. He has faceoffs increase puck
sophomore Zach Nagelvoort 5-2 loss, and finished at minus- said it before: if nothing else, possession. And for a team that
allowed five goals Friday. 11on the weekend. faceoff wins are an indicator of struggles to put the puck in the
Short of starting freshman Meanwhile, senior aggression. net, that matters a whole lot.

defenseman Zach Werenski as
a forward, Michigan did all it
could to end its scoring drought.
But three goals in two games
indicates the Wolverines' lineup
is still far from settled.
2. But special teams is still
the biggest question mark.
Michigan and Michigan
Tech combined for 62 penalty
minutes - longer than a
regulation hockey game. But
only one team's penalty-kill unit
was scored on - four times to be
exact.
The Wolverines allowed
four power-play goals in
seven penalty-kill situations

defenseman Brennan Serville -
who has been a healthy scratch
on more than one occasion
this season - didn't make an
appearance this. weekend. In
his place, freshman defensemen
Cutler Martin and Sam Piazza,
who played one game each,
were minus-i in their respective
appearances.
Having surrendered nine
goals this weekend, Michigan
has now allowed 27 goals in
seven contests, an average of 4.5
goals per game.
Berenson has said time and
time again that his team can't
afford to give up four goals and,
save UMass-Lowell, put out a
victory. He was proven correct

Michigan and Michigan
Tech won 31 faceoffs apiece on
Friday, but the Huskies outdrew.
the Wolverines on Saturday,
claiming 38 wins to Michigan's
25. The stat contributed to
Michigan's inability to climb
out of an early two-goal deficit
to avoid the sweep.
Copp and senior forward
Travis Lynch, some of the
Wolverines' best faceoff men
this season, lost 13 draws
each in 22 and 20 chances,
respectively. Larkin was the
only player to finish above 50
percent in faceoffs on the night.
Meanwhile, Compher finished
the weekend just 3-for-16 in the
circle.

4. No more passes for Michael
Downing.
Downing, a player who has
created a reputation for hard
hits, showed why he spent a
significant amount of time in
the box last season, earning
matching major penalties on
Friday and Saturday.
Shortly after Compher was
ejected in the third period
Saturday, the sophomore
defenseman earned his
second game misconduct of
the weekend. He too watched
Michigan's third straight loss
from the locker room.
Two game misconducts

6

3.
Number of goals scored this weekend
while getting swept.

I I

a

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