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November 20, 1998 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-20

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By Jim Rose Michigan, on the other h
Daily Sports Editor has ignited.
Early in this football season "Of course, when you s
- say, a little more than two what you can do out there,
months ago - there were signs you play well, it's a goodf
indicating that Tom Brady's ing," Brady said. "It's defin
days as Michigan's starting more fun when things are g
quarterback were numbered. well."
From the get-go, the stars The outlook wasn't alway
seemed to be aligned against rosy. Even after the initial f
Brady. Fifth-year senior Scott over the quarterback situa
Dreisbach was more experi- died down - even afte
enced, after all; incoming fresh- became apparent that Br
man Drew Henson had the fans, would be taking the majorit
the Yankees and Sports the snaps - there were s
Illustrated on his side. Heck, that all was not well with
even Lloyd Carr called Henson Michigan offense. After c
"the most talented quarterback" vincing wins over Eas
he'd ever been around. Michigan and Michigan S
So Brady - who came oh- the Wolverines went into so
so-close to winning the job thing of a funk, averagingj
from Brian Griese a year earli- 18 points per game for then
er, but as backup was relegated four games.
to the sidelines during the All four games resulte
Wolverines' 12-0 season - did- Michigan wins - but did n
n't exactly take over with his ing to silence critics of Bra
name in lights. In fact, you beleaguered offense.
might even say that he toiled in With a potentially murder
the shadow of his backup - three-game stretch looming,
Henson, the phenom everyone unthinkable occurred: play
wanted to see. and critics agreed on so
And after the Wolverines thing.
opened the season with a pair of It was no big secret - sim
losses, the cries for Henson did- put, the offense had to impr
n't get any quieter. Everybody knew it. Especi
With a repeat national title Brady.
already out of the question by "Well, we knew along tha
Sept. 12, there were more than a had an offense that could
few fans who called for the sea- points on the board," Br
son to become one big Henson said. "It was just a matter
training session. going out and getting it don
But then something hap- In the past two weeks,
pened: The Wolverines started Michigan offense has roare
winning - with Brady at the life - the 27 points in
helm. That was on Sept. 19. game are the most by
And they haven't stopped yet. Wolverines since the fou
Now, one victory from an week of the season. And h
improbable return trip to the this for a kicker: In both gar
Rose Bowl, there's no longer Brady threw for more than
any question whose team this is. yards, giving him four s
With Brady guiding the offense, games in a row and pushingf
the Wolverines have won nine past the 2,000-yard mark for
straight games - and the season. Just three of
Henson experiment is a distant Michigan quarterbacks hi
memory. What looked at the thrown for more in a singles
beginning of the season to be a son.
bona fide quarterback contro- Is it mere coincidencet
versy has fizzled in the past Michigan's offense is hitting
several weeks - while stride just as Brady seems t






ys so
r it
y of
d in
t we
r of
d to
g its
o be

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Editor
For the past three seasons, Ohio Stat
headed monster. Coach John Coo
Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine at q
The creation was ugly. With Jackson
the Buckeyes were a dynamic and u
offensive unit. They ran the option, the
in the oackfield, they ran exciting rollo
But if and when that approach d
Jackson was yanked like a rotten tooth
the unassuming Joe Germaine. With
under center, the Buckeyes took a 180-
Germaine's traditional drop-back p
was in stark contrast to Jackson's athle
for Cooper, the move worked most oft
at other times it failed miserably.
It was a classic case of beauty and th
"I'm just going to be the same pl
always been," Germaine said.
Well, the beast is gone. Ohio State
Germaine and the passing game -- ren
"He is a much-improved quarterba
and as I watch him, he has really develo
year," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
the ball well down the field and has gre
Joe does all the things that you expecta
terback to do."
Germaine looks like a quarterback.1
American, freckled look and high-scho
captain appearance, Germaine's traditic
style suits him perfectly. He looks like N
a Norman Rockwell painting, returning
'The Big Game' with his cleats over hi
The hypothetical painting wouldn't
inaccurate. Germaine has been in the
Even some of the biggest.
"Anytime you've been in as many b
Joe Germaine and had the success he ha
he'll play his best football in the latte
ME M 11 371W -71

senior year;" Carr said. "He's a guy that brought his
team back from behind to win the Rose Bowl as a
e was a two- sophomore."
per rotated The Mesa. Ariz., native drove the Buckeyes
quarterback. downfield in the late-game drive against Arizona
at the helm, State the 1997 Rose Bowl. With 1:40 left to play,
npredictable Germaine marched the Buckeyes 65 yards in 12
y serambled plays, finding David Boston in the end zone with 19
ut passes. seconds left in the game.
didn't work, It's that kind of excellence Germaine has dis-
h in favor of played this season. Without having to worry if he"'
h Germaine play the next series or not, the 6-2, 205-pou
degree turn- senior has been tearing up the airways with a 151.46
passing efficiency. He's thrown 21 touchdowns,
assing style averaging 277.8 yards per game.
eticism. And He has had four straight 300-yard passing games
the time and and six on the season.
"If you don't get pressure on Germaine, with the
he beast. receivers they have, he is going to kill you," Carr
ayer as I've said.
One of the keys to Germaine's game has been
1s beauty - consistency. Just like Brian Griese for t
mains. Wolverines last year, Germaine has managedW
ck this year keep the interceptions low, only tossing seven in 10
ped over last games.
"He throws "He's played like we've expected him to play,"
cat accuracy. Ohio State coach John Cooper said. "He's had a real
a great quar- solid year for us."
Germaine has had the benefit of throwing to
With an all- some of the best receivers in the nation - namely
ool-football- David Boston. With his 6-foot-3 inch receiver
anal playing frame, Boston is able to haul in passes over shorter
to belongs in defensive backs.
home from As last week's Big Ten offensive player of t
s shoulder. week, Boston caught five passes for 163 yart
be entirely against the Buckeyes. With 1,138 yards on the sea-
big games. son, Boston is a shoe-in for the Biletnikoff Award,
given to the nation's top receiver.
)ig games as Tight end John Lumpkin, standing at 6-8, is
as, you know another big target. Flanker Dee Miller, tailback
r part of his Michael Wiley - the list of offensive threats for
Germaine to exploit is lengthy.
"Offensively, when you score 35 points per game,
average 500 yards of total offense and pass for 300
yards a game, you are going to be successful a
will list among the national leaders, much like Ohio
State does," Carr said. "They have great talent
offensively at the specialty positions and their line is
very good."
Germaine's offense is No. I in rushing offense,
total offense and scoring offense - fourth national-
ly in scoring offense.
"The OSU offense has the ability to score from
any position of the field at any time," Carr said.
, . ~And now that Germaine knows that he's the only
one calling the plays, everything is going his wa
"We have a lot of expectations, a lot of big gait
expectations," Germaine said. "But we have to do it
on the field. We have to battle it out there."

hitting his? Probably not. But it
sure seems to be pretty good
And it's the kind of thing that
can catch the eye of an oppos-
ing coach.
"Brady does a good job,"
Ohio State coach John Cooper
said. "Like Griese last year, he
does a good job running
(Michigan's) offense.
"He's not flashy. He's not
spectacular, but he does what
the coaches ask him to do. He
stays within the game plan and
doesn't beat himself."
And so, after eight wins in a
row, Brady and his team are in
position to salvage what looked,

early on, to be a lost season. In
fact, to simply say as much
doesn't do their turnaround jus-
tice - a win tomorrow sends
the Wolverines back to
Pasadena with a second straight
Big Ten title. A loss, however,
means the Wolverines will suf-
fer through the winter knowing
they're co-champs with at least
one other team. It's not some-
thing Brady wants to see hap-
"Anytime you win a few in a
row, you start to feel good about
yourself," Brady said.
"Fortunately, we've been able to
keep winning - and now we've
got one more to go."

s ;

' " U

Return to the basics provides Williams with second chance

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Editor
Traveling up and down the field against Indiana,
Clarence Williams remained a focused man.
His eyes followed the action of Michigan's
offensive line, the defensive lines and the holes that
And in his hand was a football.
All were normal elements for any senior tail-
back at Michigan, except for the most obvious -
Williams was watching the action from the sideline.
Last season, Williams observed most of the
games with the reserves, sitting out with a pulled
groin. The injury didn't hurt as much as not being
able to play, but he'knew that the pain was too
Against the Hoosiers, however, he was watching
under coach's orders. He committed the ultimate sin
in Lloyd Carr's program - he fumbled - and the
penance was a two-game observation drill.
"There have been a lot of ups and downs;"
Williams said. "The way you measure an individual
is how they deal with adversity and how they deal
with things when they aren't going well. I think I've
handled myself very well."
That composure has been crucial to his frame of
mind. Sitting on the sidelines watching other backs
- last year Chris Howard and Anthony Thomas,
this year Thomas and Fargas - frustrated Williams,
who consistently "waited my turn."
"I kept a positive attitude, always believed in
myself and I think things have turned out well," said
Williams, who enters the Ohio State game leading
the Wolverines at 4.9 yards per carry. "I've prayed,
believed in myself and increased my work ethic. I
don't think anything is wrong with my skills. I just

needed an opportunity to go out and play."
That opportunity to play wasn't coming against
Indiana or Minnesota as Williams watched, itching
for his next chance to stabilize the ground game.
While both Carr and Williams contend that the
attachment of the ball to Williams' forearm was not
premeditated as a signal, the action was more than
just Williams hanging on for fun. He wanted to be
prepared to enter the game, he says now, and at any
moment his number (33) could have been called.
"I wanted to be ready in case I was sent in," he
said last Saturday, recalling the incident.
The other reason?
He didn't -want to forget the ball's unusual
For a veteran of football, a game he's played and
starred at throughout his life, moving back to the
basics kept him focused on hard running - a nec-
essary element for when he got his next shot.
"Sitting out was one of the hardest things I've
had to do," Williams said.
During Williams' two-game hiatus from the
playing field, all questions about the tailback's sta-
tus were brushed aside by Carr and his assistants.
When's Clarence coming back? How come he
didn't get any carries?
Each time the answers, from Carr, offensive
coordinator Mike Debord and running backs coach
Fred Jackson were consistent.
If you fumble, you don't play and against
Northwestern, as Carr said, he "put the ball on the
So when Williams started the game against the
Nittany Lions, confusion abounded among
He quickly dispelled the negative notions, giv-

ing Michigan 83 yards on the ground and a shot of
confidence in its running game.
After a minus-23 yard team running effort
against Minnesota, Carr saw the need for a change
in the backfield. Jackson said he wanted Williams
so Carr agreed.
Now, after his 121 yards led Michigan for the
second straight week, Williams is focused on his
final Big Ten game. And after four years of ups and
downs in the Michigan backfield, he's back atop the
heap heading into Columbus.
"I overcame everything" he said. "It's all behind
me now and I'm a better person because of the
adversity I faced earlier."
As a senior, Williams understands the impor-
tance of the rivalry from a technical aspect - "we
definitely have to run the football" - but also from
a teaching perspective.
The freshmen "will get an idea (of the intensity)
by the practices," he said after the Wisconsin game.
"When it's very intense they'll be like, 'Wow! This
is different than the average week."
There's no doubt Williams will agree. After
missing last season's huge Ohio State game with
the injury, he'll get his chance for carries in a big-
time atmosphere - a chance many believed may
never come.
"Clarence was disappointed in the way that he
played and I'm sure that he was not happy about
some lost playing time in there," Carr said. "I think
if you combine the fact that Clarence is a confident
and mentally strong person, he knew his opportuni-
ty would come again. He was ready."
Whether he's on the field or not, Williams
should be easy to spot.
He'll be holding the ball.

WARNhLN L ~I/Daily
Clarence William redeemed himself in the past two weeks, leading Michigan in
rushing In both games.

Carr recalls first game,
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr knows all about Michigan
versus Ohio State. Earlier this week, he recalled his
first experience with the Big Ten's most heated
rivalry. (Note the parallels to the 1998 season.)
.,.. ... .... ..... ....---a e- ---- ----- -
"We won our first game of the season, then

Cooper plagued by Blue

irk Snyder
orts Editor
ry week this season, with one exception
he had a prior commitment, John Cooper
ly addressed the media on Tuesday after-
comments on the Big Ten teleconference
began addressing the Buckeyes' previous
- usually a victory. But consistently, when
estions began, the conversation turned to his
ion with Michigan.
a 1-8-1 record against the Wolverines dur-

But the Ohio State agitation about the
Wolverines still pervades the Woody Hayes
Center, Ohio State's football building. Rumors
abound that inside the complex, a sign hangs
prominently, questioning all who pass by.
"What have you done to beat Michigan today.
This is a problem that Cooper will face until he
dominates Michigan.
"We've had a pretty good year so far and I'm
anxious to get it going this week," he said on
Lloyd Carr, himself just one national champi-


11 1! I7iMI A

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