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Published: Thursday, 11/5/2009

The End Zone: Michigan

Michigan beat writer Ryan Autullo Michigan beat writer Ryan Autullo

No sports clich is backed my less evidence than, “It all comes down to who wants it more.” Let’s say I arrange an arm wrestling match pitting me against our mayor elect, and let’s say I spend the next month chasing protein bars with Vitaminwater. Does anyone really believe my desire to succeed would prevent Mike Bell from sending splinters through my wrist?

Talent almost always prevails, and that more than anything is why the Wolverines are 5-4. They clearly are short of enough gifted and developed players to beat the Big Ten’s elite, and yes, that probably means another loss to the Buckeyes is forthcoming.

But never will someone leave a fight against UM not bloodied and exhausted. Well, at least that was true before Saturday when players mailed it in in the second half at Illinois. It wasn’t a conscious decision, of course. There was no gathering on the sideline in which guys agreed to stop fighting because the situation was too difficult. But there’s no reason a decent team should ever get overwhelmed by a bad team. Unless, of course, that decent team is not a prideful team. UM’s newly acquired fragileness is concerning because two of its wins --- Notre Dame and Indiana --- were a result of guys persevering through disappointment.

UM’s players need a change of attitude for them to even have a chance of winning another game left on their schedule.

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