Michigan rallies past IndianaPublished 8:55am Monday, September 28, 2009
By DON EDEN
Dowagiac Daily News
ANN ARBOR – Unlikely unbeaten Big 10 football teams met at Michigan Stadium Saturday as both the Wolverines and Indiana Hoosiers had won their first three contests this season.
Both offenses showed prowess as 839 total yards were gained with a 26 yard pass (2:29 remaining) from freshman Tate Forcier to sophomore Martavious Odoms ended the scoring in the 36-33 shootout.
“The defensive back was playing man and the right play was called to go deep with the throw being right on the money,” remarked Odoms. “Tate (Forcier) knew all of us had his back which helped him stay focused.”
Forcier struggled physically (sore shoulder) and on the gridiron as Indiana (3-1,0-1) pressured the signal caller constantly which resulted in an interception with only five completions (11 attempts) at intermission.
“In the first half Tate’s eyes were everywhere from on the field, in the stadium, State Street and even over at Schembechler Hall as all our freshmen sometimes looked the part, but proud how everybody hung in there to get a win even though it wasn’t pretty,” noted Wolverine mentor Rich Rodriguez. “That last touchdown was called at the right time with a play we are pretty successful with since the start of camp. The defense has a lot of first year players with not much experience and only two seniors.”
Michigan (4-0,1-0) needed two of their few veterans though to seal the victory as junior Donovan Warren intercepted the first play from scrimmage by the visitors after the Odoms touchdown and then senior Brandon Minor ran for the first down to send the clock to zero.
“I read the route, eyed the quarterback and then broke on the ball to put me in good position to make a play,” explained Warren, who outfought the receiver for control of the ball. “Felt confident even with the replay it was our ball with (Mike) Barwis being the reason with all the weights and working out he has us do.
It was a good win to get us ready for Michigan State next week since they are rivals and need to get the Paul Bunyan back from those guys.”
The Spartans will be the first road game of the year for the Wolverines and would like nothing better to send them home with their first defeat after three tough losses (Central Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin) in a row coming into the contest.
“We have a huge game coming up and have a lot of things to work on,” concluded Rodriguez. “I’m always leery of rivalry games, it doesn’t matter what the records are since they are always intense.”
Enjoying the success of the Michigan football program first hand is 2008 Brandywine graduate Chris Ott, who is a member of the athletic medicine staff as a sophomore enrollee.
“I applied and was accepted into the program and a few weeks later started working with the medical staff,” said Ott. “There is so much to learn and is hard to remember everything.”
Ott went to Adrian College as a freshman wanting to play linebacker for the Division III school, but a head injury changed his mind to concentrate on education with more importance.
“Taping is very important to do right and the difference between a small college and here is amazing as each of us on the staff are assigned groups at each practice to make sure they are ready to go and hydrated properly,” stated Ott. “On game day people get on each other nerves, but I have learned a lot by staying busy with long days of classes and football.”
In conclusion, Ott indicated he would stay to get his “Michigan degree, which will be well worth it as each day seems easier from all the hard work. After graduation, I am leaning toward a career in physical therapy or possibly strength and conditioning.”