December 16, 2013

Jake Ryan ramps up the urgency

Jake Ryan enjoyed listening to former Wolverine Brian Griese emcee Michigan's football bust this year. Certain words from the last quarterback to take the Wolverines to a national championship rang true.

Not that Ryan wasn't thinking along the lines of all-out performance anyway.

"The guy is a class act," Ryan said. "He knows what he's talking about. Play every single play like it's your last. Go out there and compete every single play. I took a lot from that speech. It was awesome seeing him there and listening to him."

Ryan knows what it's like to picture a play as his last. The torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in the spring kept him out until the middle of October this year, and even then he wasn't certain he felt 100 percent.

"It was tough getting back," he admitted. "The knee still felt kind of iffy. I was cleared, I passed all the tests, I did everything I needed to do. So I trusted the doctors. I just went out there and played my game."

That game got better as he knocked the rust off. He says he's more comfortable now, and quickly brushes aside any talk of 2014 to emphasize how strongly he wants to finish this season in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

He doesn't expect any fisticuffs, like in the Ohio State game, but a win would prove the Wolverines still have plenty of fight in them. As for the battle against the Buckeyes, he shrugs off the tempers that boiled over.

"It's a rivalry game," he said. "We like getting in each other's faces. There were punches thrown. That's going to happen. We don't like them, and they don't like us. Those things are going to happen.

"We fought. That's what we're going to do. That's what we're going to do every single game."

As if it's their last, Ryan reminded.

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