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November 21, 2014 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-21
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Fridav, November 21, 2014 // Football Saturday

For Threet, tough season not unfamiliar

Threet started for
the Wolverines
under Rich Rod
in 2008
By GREG GARNO
Managing Sports Editor
People such as Brady Hoke,
Jake Ryan and Jack Miller are all
correct: No one knows what the
Michigan football team is going
through this season.
They don't know about the
distractions off the field that
pop up like a surprise quiz. They
don't struggle with the learning
curve - which can feel more like
a mountain - that comes with a
new offense. Nor do they know
about handling thousands upon
thousands of fans who are quick
to speak out.
But if there's one person who
does know, it might be Steven
Threet. Yes, the same guy
who played one year with the
Wolverines maybe one the people
most familiar with what this
year's team has had to handle.
Because if anyone has had
to experience a team in a down
year with a new offense and the

PAULSHERMAN/Daily
The Michigan defense had its best performance of the year against Northwestern. They'll be tasked with stopping C.J. Brown and a talented recieving corps, though the Terps have a below-average rushing attack.
Beh ind nemyAlines: Terps B C.J. Brown

expectations that
one of the most
programs, it's him.
For nearly every

come with
recognizable
fan who has

By ALEXA DETTELBACH
Daily Sports Editor
This isn't the first rodeo for
Maryland sixth-year graduate
quarterback C.J. Brown, who
has struggled with injuries
throughout his tenure in College
Park. And while Brown is finally
healthy, the Terrapins' starting
quarterback is struggling -
throwing nine interceptions and
just 11 touchdowns on the season.
But through 10 games, the
Michigan native is the team's
leading rusher and has the ability
to keep defenses on their toes
with his mobility.
The Daily sat down with
Brown at Big Ten Media Day in
July to discuss his return to his
home state.
The Michigan Daily: What

are you most excited about with
Maryland joining the Big Ten?
C.J. Brown: I'm just excited
for the new opportunities that
we have, the new attention on
our institution and how we can
represent it in the big light. I
think joining the Big Ten gives us
a lot of opportunities. Obviously,
it brings us revenue, a media
rise in the market that we are in
and the ability to advertise our
athletic ability as well as our
academics.
TMD: How do you think the
Big Ten can help Maryland's
program and bring it into the
national spotlight, something it
struggled to do in the ACC?
CB: It's by ' recognition.
Everyone knows the Big Ten,
especiallyinterms offootball, and
that's huge for us. To go into Ann

Arbor, Penn State, Wisconsin,
Michigan State, just all the
different venues that they have
and become more recognizable.
I think we were recognizable in
the ACC, but now we come to the
"There was no
'go blue' in our
house. It was all
'go green.' "
Big Ten and you understand the
upper-echelon games that they
have really helps us.
TMD: You've had a history of

injuries, what's it been like getting
your body and play to where you
want it to be for the season?
CB: For this season, it hasn't
been too bad. In the past, it's been
challenging to get knocked down
and then get back up. At times,
strength, mobility, confidence, it
takes a wear and tear, but going
into my sixth year I understand
what I need to do to be successful,
to make i through the season by
taking every opportunity I can as
it comes.
TMD: You grew up in Troy,
Michigan; did you grow up a
Michigan fan?
CB: I was absolutely not a
Michigan fan. There was no "go
blue" in our house. It was all "go
green" in my house. Both my
parents are alums of (Michigan)
State, and then my sister is

studying there in the fall.
TMD: How does it feel to have
them on the schedule though?
Are you excited to play at the Big
House?
CB: Absolutely, my whole
family is very excited. That
was the first thing we looked
at when the schedule came
out. Where do we play? Where
do we get to go visit? We get
Wisconsin, the Big House and
Penn State, we get them all. So,
I'm excited for the opportunity,
and now I'm just ready for the
season to start.
TMD:Willyour parents be there?
CB: I'm pretty sure they'll
make the trip to that one.
Honestly, they'll probably be
rooting for Maryland more than
anyone else there because they
have two reasons to.

criticized the
program this
year, Ryan, a r
fifth-year senior The.
linebacker,
has been there roomi
to say, "Fans te d
don't see enus t
what we do at toge
Schembechler
Hall. They don't
know what we
do behind the
scenes."
And Threet is here to tell you
he's right.
"The locker room always
tends to come together in times
of difficulty, or any time you get
some adversity," Threet said.
"There's a lot of turmoil outside of
the football building, and in times
like that, it's good to look inward
to guys who are going through
the exact same situation and work
hard for each other."
Indeed, Threet says he did
the same thing when Michigan

finished 3-9 in 2008, his lone
year in the program. That
season, Threet listened as fans
complained about a coach, losing
to rivals and the
abysmal record.
He heard people
locker call for the other
quarterback,
always Nick Sheridan,
to take his place.
Lo come Now, many
thern" of those same
complaints have
come back, as
the Wolverines
sit 5-5 facing
the scenario where losing out
would mean missing a bowl
berth. They've lost to rivals Notre
Dame and Michigan State in
humiliating fashion, and face the
possibility of losing to Ohio State.
"These guys want to perform
at their best," Threet said. "But
there's the added motivation of
having your back against the wall
and your coach's back against the
wall that plays into it."
After . both coaches who
recruited him at Georgia Tech
took jobs elsewhere, Threet

transferred to Mi
find that the prog
through a change
he stuck with ne
Rodriguez's team
year, which he w
was like "coming,
go to be a doctor,
get rid of the medi
A pocket passer
the No. 9 recru:
Rivals.com out of,
didn't fit the
spread offense
Rodriguez
implemented.
His 6-foot-6,
lengthy frame
was perfect for
throwing long
strikes down
the field, not
running around
the line for a
first down as he
was asked to do.
Much like
year senior quar
Gardner, too, has
a new offense tha
skillset. This se
has thrown for o

chigan, only to only once and has otherwise been
ram was going contained from running out of
of its own. But the pocket to make plays.
w coach Rich It's not that the switch can't be
for another made, but it's not easy to do it so
vould later say suddenly, especially when you're
to Michigan to thrust into the role like Threet
and then they and Gardner both were.
cal school." "It's like learning a new
by experience, variation of a language," Threet
it in 2007 by said. "There's a whole learning
Adrian, Threet curve, and repetition plays a role
in that.
"It takes time
to hone that and
It's about trying get that system
to make the best d""" -
neither is
outcome the only
you can." quarterback
to make such a
radical change
in offense
sn program
history, but they have been some
Threet, fifth- of the unfortunate two who have
terback Devin made the transition first.
had to pick up Now working in consulting
t doesn't fit his in sports content development,
ason, Gardner Threet has watched as this
ver 200 yards year's group goes through its

unprecedented season. And in
a down year, Threet isn't one to
rally the troops or come aiding
in their defense. After all, he
opted to leave for his third team,
Arizona State, after his lone year
of playing in Ann Arbor.
But he speaks from.experience
when he says that handling this
season and winning isn't as easy
as it may seem.
"At this point in the season,
it's about trying to make the
best outcome you can with what
situation you're in," Threet said.
"You can't change what happened
in the first 10 games of the year,
but getting the opportunity to
accomplish some positive things
is a big motivator. You want to
leave a positive taste in your
mouth at the end of the year."
He, as much as anybody, would.
know how much of a difference
that would make.

6 1 Football Saturday, November 21, 2014

TheMichiganDaily, www.michigandaily.com17

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