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September 18, 1998 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-18

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 18, 1998 - 17

Even theWolverines can't ruin this blowout

MATCHUPS
Continued from Page 15
numbers if taken as separate from Batch, who is
now starting for the Detroit Lions..
M ICHIGAN RUNNING OFFENSE vS. EASTERN
RUNNING DEFENSE:
For two straight weeks, Carr has showered
excessive praise on a freshman tailback during his
weekly press conference.
. After the Notre Dame game, he suggested that
Justin Fargas was prepared to handle the ball often
because he was so fast. Against Syracuse, he car-
ried just three times and failed to perform as
expected.
After the Syracuse game, when fourth-string
tailback Walter Cross broke out for more than 100
s, Carr's praise flowed for the man of the
hour.
So now, the coach's concern rests with which
tailback is available -and then with who is going
to produce.
Clarence Williams is sidelined with a back
injury and Fargas has a bruised shoulder.
Both are questionable.
The bigger question - aside from why was
Cross on the bench when he can scamper for 66
ms on one carry - is, where was Anthony
mas?
Thomas tried time and again to 'turn the cor-
ner' and sneak around the Syracuse defense last

week, only to be stood up repeatedly. All four
backs are talented and can break off a long run at
any point in time.
The uncertainty makes preparation for Eastern
nearly impossible and with the speed and power
combination of Michigan's backs, they could run
away with the game.
EDGE: MICHIGAN
MICHIGAN RUN DEFENSE VS. EASTERN RUN
OFFENSE:
All of the Eastern tailbacks were reserves last
season, as the Eagles graduated the two runners
identified as "key losses:'
So now, without Savon Edwards and Mike
Scott - who rushed for 1,100 combined yards -
the Eagles turn their running game to Ben
Washington, who totaled seven carries last sea-
son.
Michigan, despite injuries to linebackers Eric
Rosel (out), Sam Sword (questionable) and Clint
Copenhaver (doubtful), should be able to contain
Eastern's meager running attack. Amazingly
enough, the Michigan defensive line remains gen-
erally intact.
The Eagles run three- and four-wide receiver
sets consistently, so the running game is definite-
ly a secondary priority in their scheme.
Michigan's just glad the option is not Eastern's
primary weapon.
EDGE: MICHIGAN

SPECIA. TEMs:
Michigan's reluctance to try field goals last
week the Wolverines didn t even attempt one
after four misses at Notre Dame - didn't alter the
kicking rotation.
Carr said Jay Feely would have kicked if the
situation arose.
Michigan punter Jason Vinson, on the other
hand, sure got his kicks in against Syracuse. He
bombed away repeatedly due to Michigan's inept
offense with moderate success. He had one kick
blocked, but Carr said that was due to a missed
protection assignment.
Don't be surprised to see freshman Hayden
Epstein kickoff, as Carr suggested last week, just
to shake things up.
EDGE: EASTERN MICHIGAN
OVERALL:
Michigan is hurting. Injuries fill the training
room day in and day out.
The legendary Michigan pride is bruised after
Ray's dalliance into the world of finance. Even the
M Club banner was stolen before last week's
game. But none of that matters.
The Wolverines, even though they expected to
enter the game 2-0, have been waiting for this
game - whether as a breather or a victory - for
a long time. Michigan will win in a rout - but
barely under the 35-point spread.
PREDICTION: MICHIGAN 45, EASTERN 13

THE MATCHUPS
MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS. E. MICHIGAN PASSING DEFENSE
Brady-Henson flip-flop at quarterback will survive for
another week as-Eastern's secondary remains
inexperienced.
Edge: Michigan
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS. E. MICHIGAN RUSHING DEFENSE
Four talented Michigan backs will be too much for the
Eastern defense to handle.
Edge: Michigan
E. MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN PASSING DEFENSE
Walt Church, who started two years ago, has a big
arm and the stats to prove it. Against a Ray-less
secondary, Michigan's hoping not to hear Church bells.
Edge: Eastern Michigan
.- ..---- .....---------- ..-- ...- ...---- .- ..-- -- --
E. MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN RUSHING DEFENSE
Injuries to three of Michigan's top four linebackers
would normally matter, but even hobbled, they should
dominate.
Edge: Michigan
SPECIAL TEAMS
As long as Lloyd Carr continues to avoid special
teams at all costs, Michigan maintains the edge.
Edge: Michigan
INTANGIBLES
Eastern has never scored on Michigan in their series.
How's that for an advantage?
Edge: Michigan
PREDICTiON: MICHIGAN 45, E. MICHIGAN 13
THE 'CITY' MATCHUPS
CITIZENRY
Ann Arbor has intellectuals, professors and writers.
Ypsilanti has porn.
Edge: Ypsilanti Y psi
LANDMARKS
A 2 Ann Arbor has the Lurie Bell Tower and the Arb.
Ypsilanti has some phallic water tower.
Edge: Ann Arbor

Staff
Picks
- all picks made
against the
spread.

SHARAT
RAJU

~]

MARK
SNYDER

Guest Selector
Prof. SIDNEY FINE

Game (HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
MICHIGAN (-35) vs. Eastern Michigan Eastern Michigan Eastern Michigan Eastern Michigan Michigan
Florida (-3) vs. TENNESSEE Florida Florida Florida Tennessee
WASHINGTON (-9) vs. Brigham Young Washington Washington Brigham Young Washington
OHIO STATE (-26) at Missouri Missouri Missouri Ohio State Ohio State
KENTUCKY (-21) vs. Indiana Kentucky Indiana Kentucky Kentucky
LA (-27.5) vs. HOUSTON UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA
NSAS STATE (-24 1/2) at Texas Texas Texas Kansas State Kansas State
PURDUE (-4 1/2) vs. Central Florida Central Florida Central Florida Central Florida Purdue
SYRACUSE (-43) vs. Rutgers Syracuse Rutgers Rutgers Syracuse
Penn State (-26) vs. Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Penn State Penn State Penn State
ARIZONA (11) vs. Iowa Arizona Arizona Iowa Arizona
Louisiana State (-7) vs. AUBURN Louisiana State Auburn Louisiana State Louisiana State
Best Bet Arizona Central Florida Brigham Young Michigan
Last Week 5-7 3-9 6-6 -
Overall (best bet) 5-7 (0-1) 3-9 (0-1) 6-6 (1-0)
We will have a guest selector each week for the staff picks. Most times it will be someone famous, but if you think you deserve to pick, e-mail us at
daily.footbal(,umich.edu and tell us why. Friends and family of Daily staffers are not only not excluded, but are welcome to apply. Good luck.

A2

INTANGIBLES
Ann Arbor has coffee shops, hash bash and the Naked Mile.
Ypsilanti has Ddjh Vu.
Edge: Ann Arbor (barely)

i
... { .. .a .

SNYDER
Continued from Page 15
As a defender on the field, Ray is
an All-America candidate, guiding
ltlefense from his safety position.
While strategy rarely emanates from
.he strong safety, Ray is a hero
eeause he knows what is going to
happen and then he puts a stop to it.
He makes plays. Remember two
years ago at the Horsehoe in
Columbus when Ray sealed the vic-
Wry with an interception? Or last
year when he licked 13 Fighting
Irishmen just two weeks before pick-
ing off two passes against Michigan
S ? When Michigan is down, and
n ds a spark, he steps up.
DeWayne Patmon, who missed
most of the championship season
with a broken leg, will try to step
into Ray's on-field position. There is
liitle doubt Patmon can play the posi-
ion. Michigan's secondary is one of
its strongest areas, even with its
:epleted ranks. But you don't replace
a 11-American just like that.
he grooming process Ray went
through for five years led to this
point. He slaved for four years to
have it all, to be a senior captain and
lead by example.
This wasn't supposed to happen
to him.
Ray is one of the personalities on
this team. Always quick with a joke
or a smile, he can ease tensions -
both positive or negative as the past
two months have shown - while still
t4g the company line.
But leading off the field is where
Ray's absence is deadly.
Ray carries the swagger and con-
fidence of the defense. Despite the
recent rash of injuries, he held the
patchwork defense together. And two
weeks ago, after Michigan's heart-
breaking loss to Notre Dame, he was
the first to say 'We'll be back.'
ut until this situation reaches its
A lusion, he can't do any of those
EAGLES
Continued from Page 15
play" with his improvement in prac-
tice. He also said that "if Tom iBrady
had his druthers, he'd play the entire
game. But he doesn't have his
druthers."
If Carr had his druthers, he'd
ely be commanding a 2-0 team

things. He's a spectator, just like the
rest of us, watching a Michigan team
in search of its first victory.
And that may be the biggest irony
of all.
If Michigan had won its first two
games, overwhelmed Notre Dame on
the road and Syracuse at home, and
played flawless football, it might
have all been for naught.
Right now, Ray has been declared
ineligible by Michigan, pending fur-
ther investigation. But in the NCAA's
eyes, his mere presence - should
the allegations prove true - would
force forfeits on those games any-
way.
Adding to the present scenario of
failure surrounding the program,
devastation such as this only makes
things worse.
The pressures of agents and pro-
fessional football abound - espe-
cially when your best friend (Charles
Woodson) is an all-world rookie for
the Oakland Raiders.
Distractions are inevitable.
Michigan did what it could,
preparing the players with lectures
from the FBI and NCAA about sanc-
tions and legalities, but policing
every athlete is beyond their means.
Goss said the Athletic
Department paid closer attention last
year as the spotlight on Woodson
grew, but there was only so much
they could do to combat possible
prolems.
There is no question Marcus Ray
knows about the real world. For five
years, he has sat through the lectures
on agents, drugs and gambling, soak-
ing up the warnings.
Even inside the Schembechler
Hall fortress, despite the stringent
restrictions placed on Michigan play-
ers when it comes to public com-
ments, Ray knows the rules.
But with his suspension, it may
not matter.
- Mark Snyder can be reached via
e-mail at msnyder@umich.edu.
instead of one looking for its first
victory. But he doesn't. But then
again, neither does Rasnick. He, too,
was hoping the Wolverines would be
2-0 entering tomorrow's game.
"I wish they'd won their first two
games, certainly," Rasnick said.
"But we'll deal with it. Hopefully
we can come out and give a strong
showing."

FOR THE FULL DETAILS OF
THE MICHIGAN-EASTERN
MICHIGAN GAME,
READ SPORTSMONDAY.

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