12C - The Michigan Daily - KIcKoFF 2001 - Thursday, September 6, 2001
Thursday, September 6, 2001-
EYEING THE WOLVERINES
Michigan doesn't have a Heisman-caliber wide receiver this year
but its receiving group will still be as good as any in the Big Ten --.
Ronald Bellamy #19: Bellamy might be as Ronald Bellamy's
gifted a receiver as Coach Carr has 2000 stats:
coached thus far. 12 games
WHAT TIME IS IT? GAME TIME!
Because of David Terrell and Walker, the
junior rarely got the chance to showcase
his talents, but this year as Michigan's No.
2 receiver, he should continue developing
into the superstar that he should-ultimately
27 punt returns
Michigan 31, Miami 13
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 3:30 P.m.,
Marquise Walker #4: Walker's 6-foot-3, 212 frame cre-
ates matchup problems for smaller, quicker defensive
backs, and his 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash makes
him tough for bigger backs to defend.
His size makes him a popular target for the slant
pass, when Michigan is in the red zone.
Calvin Bell #27: Bell, who was one of six
true freshmen to play last year, was primari-
ly used in four-receiver sets.
Last year he was used primarily as a third-
down receiving threat.
BJ. Askew #35: For the first time since
1990, an unproven running back will carry
the offense. That year, Jon Vaughn replaced
Tony Boles and Leroy Hoard, and ran for
489 yards in his first two games against
Notre Dame and UCLA. Lloyd Carr is
expecting similar results from B.J. Askew.
Expected to play fullback this year, a posi-
tion where he started last year and made a
name for himself catching swing passes
and screens, he was moved to tailback
because he was Michigan's most impres-
sive back in fall practices and against
Askew would rather play tailback. He start-
ed his career at that position, but was
moved to fullback last year because of
Michigan's depth at tailback and his superi-
or blocking ability.
By Jeff Philips
Daily Sports Editor
In its first game of the 2001 season,
Michigan looked sluggish and inex-
perienced - but it still got the job
done with a 31-13 win over visiting
"They made big plays when they
had to on their defense," Miami head
coach Terry Hoeppner said. "We had
a lot of opportunities and we didn't
take advantage of them, and obvious-
ly, Michigan did."
On Miami's first possession, a
heads-up interception by sophomore
linebacker Carl Diggs - playing in
the place of the injured Eric Brackins
-stopped the RedHawks before they
crossed the 50-yard line.
Senior standout linebacker Larry
Foote joined Brackins on the sideline
after an injury on Miami's first drive.
On the first play of Michigan's
ensuing possession, a 37-yard pass
from Navarre to deep threat Marquise
Walker put the ball inside the Miami
After .two unsuccessful runs by
Askew, he finally punched it in on a
controversial dive across the end line.
A 22-yard field goal by senior
Hayden Epstein made the score 10-0,
But, Miami got on the board with a
quick six-play drive that lasted less
than three minutes. Freshman quar-
terback Ben Roethlisberger connect-
ed with junior wideout Eddie Tillitz
for a 21-yard score.
The extra point was blocked by
linebacker Shantee Orr, and the score
The momentum swing was short-
lived by Miami as Roethlisberger
again caved under the pressure of the
Wolverines' pass rush and threw an
interception to junior cornerback
Michigan capitalized on the Miami
turnover with a 70-yard scoring drive
before the end of the half.
A rollout pass from Navarre to
tight end Bennie Joppru with 30 sec-
onds left in the half gave Michigan a
In the fourth quarter, Miami's final
chance to get back into the game was
foiled -by another interception, as
Jeremy LeSueur picked off
Roethlisberger's pass in the endzone.
"It was~a horrible decision on my
part," Roethlisberger said. "I thought
that I could get it to Jason and let him
jump -he's already big enough as it .
is. I just didn't have the arm strength
to get it there."
W hen Rick Neuheisel left
Colorado to take over the
V head coaching position at
Washington in 1999, he inherited a
program that had fallen from grace.
That all changed last year. Led by
quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo,
Washington stormed to an 11-1 record
and clinched a share of the Pac-10
title and its first Rose Bowl bid since
But, as Neuheisel enters his third
season in Seattle, he is faced with a
Chief among his concerns is find-
ing a replacement for Tuiasosopo.
Cody Pickett pulled away from a few
other greenhorns and, for now, is the
llinois quarterback Kurt Kittner
remembers how he spent the last
days of the year 2000. And the
memories aren't happy ones.
"I went home," he said. "It sucked. I
hate going home, especially when there
are games on TV and you're like, 'we
can play with these guys. We can beat
Kittner and the rest of the Fighting
Illini would have rather been playing in
a bowl game somewhere warm, but
instead, they were dwelling on the 61-
23 thrashing put on them by
Northwestern, a game that left Illinois'
record at5-6, one win below bowl con-
This year, Illinois' hopes rest on the
shoulders of Kittner, a Heisman Trophy
candidate who is entering his fourth
year as the starting quarterback.
Joining Kittner in the fold will be
returning tailback Rocky Harvey, wide
receiver Brandon Lloyd and highly-
He will spend a lot of time handi
off to super sophomore Rich Alex
who rushed for 738 yards and
touchdowns last year.
Washington isn't generally knom
for speedy receivers, but convert
tailback Paul Arnold could chan
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Chris Perry #23: Even as
Askew's backup, Perry
will still get about 15
carries a game.
"Chris Perry has the
opportunity to be one of
the finer backs we've
had at Michigan," Carr
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Perry was at his best
last year carrying the
ball off tackle on the
In backing up Anthony
Thomas last year, Perry
averaged 5.4 yards per
carry last season and in
his frrst game, he rushed
for 103 yards, becoming
just the second back in
school history to top
100 yards in his career
The other back to do so
was senior Walter Cross.
Walter Cross #8:Coming
out of high school, Cross
was considered one of
the best running backs
in the country. And his
104-yard career debut.
against Syracuse, which
featured an 80-yard
touchdown run, was rea-
son to believe that more
100-yard games were in
This hasn't been the
case thus far, as his one
handoff, 41-yard perfor-
mance against Wisconsin
is his second-best single-
game yard total to date..
Expect Cross to get
about five carries a
game this year.
fter losing to Marshall the past
two seasons in the MAC
Championship Game, Western
Michigan is intent on taking the title
That won't be very easy.
W e l s h
'uhe'll be with-
out his top
receivers and block-
ers from last season.
Based on the
team's first game, a
48-7 victory over
Illinois State, the
-offense looks fine.
X14;;,for 334 yards
- each to a dif-
The defense is also expected to be
solid. Last year, the unit ranked No. 2
in the MAC, and despite losing it's top
three linebackers, it should reload
"The defense executed at a high
level last year," coach Gary Darnell
said. "That is an area we are strong in
With a nonconference schedule that
includes trips to Virginia Tech and
Michigan, the Broncos will have to
keep themselves together heading into
the conference season. If they can,
they should do well.
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