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October 02, 2001 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-02

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i

SPRTS

michigandaily.com/sports

TUESDAY
OCTOBER 2, 2001 8 .

Defense now
proud of its
aggressive play
By Aun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
A huge factor in Michigan's 45-20 win over Illinois
was the play of the Wolverines' defense.
After, having success moving the ball in the first
quarter and the first few minutes of the second quarter,
the Fighting Illini were almost totally stymied for the
rest of the game. Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner was
virtually helpless in the face of a wicked Michigan
pass rush and had little or no time to look downfield
for his main deep threats, Brandon Lloyd and Walter
Young.
For their part, the Wolverines' defenders can sense a
marked improvement in their play. Coming off of a
nightmarish 2000 season in which Michigan's defense
was repeatedly torched, the performance thus far this
season is uplifting for the Wolverines, to say the least.
"This year, I think our defensive mentality is more
aggressive," junior strong safety Julius Curry said.
"We're-attacking teams more, and our defensive line is
so good this year as far as giving the quarterback pres-
sure. That's where it starts."
MICHIGAN'S NOT-So-SECRET WEAPON: Walter Cross has
seen spot duty at tailback in his four years at Michigan.
But, on Saturday, Cross found a new niche - quarter-
back.
Cross' 22-yard halfback option pass to Marquise
Walker gave the Wolverines their first points of the
game. At the time, Michigan was struggling mightily
on offense, but after Cross and Walker surprised the
Fighting Illini, Michigan rolled to victory.
Not surprisingly, Cross was only too happy to talk

: : ::ax.. . .,. _.. .....

JON
SCHWARTZ

111 years later, Daily
Sports is still rolling

14

BRANUUN.ZLOFF/ uDaily
This season, Roy Manning (left) and Michigan have been shutting down opposing offenses with a more aggres-
sive style of play. On Saturday, the Wolverines held Greg Lewis (middle) and Illinois to 300 yards of offense.

about his touchdown toss, which nearly fell incomplete
when Walker momentarily bobbled the ball in the end-
zone.
"I was kind of upset," Cross said with a smile. "He
was open, and then he bobbled it, and I thought he had
dropped it. But then he caught it."
When asked what he would have done if Walker
had dropped the pass, Cross replied,,"I don't know if I
would've talked to 'Quise the rest of the game."
Two plays before Cross heaved his scoring pass,
Walker threw a pass of his own. After taking a lateral
from Jermaine Gonzales - who had entered the game
at quarterback - Walker threw back to Gonzales, who
raced 51 yards down the right sideline to the Illinois
21-yard line.
After the game, Walker went so far as to claim that
he had a better arm than Cross. Cross' reply to that

assertion?
"Of course he's going to say that," Cross said,
laughing.
BULLETIN-BOARD MATERIAL?: If anyone thought
Michigan might be looking past Penn State, think
again.
The Nittany Lions are currently 0-3, and both Penn
State's offense and defense have been horrible this
year - in their first two games alone, the Nittany
Lions gave up over 1,000 yards of total offense while
scoring a total of just 13 points themselves.
In addition, Michigan has beaten Penn State four
consecutive years, including a 33-11 pasting last year.
So, what do the Wolverines think of Penn State?
"I know that they have a lot of talent on that team,"
junior linebacker Victor Hobson said. "They're a dan-
gerous team."

Lowe s injury serves as deja vu for Boilermakers

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
Just when Purdue coach Gene Keady
thought the injury bug had left his Boil-
ermakers for good, it nipped his team
once again - and this time, it didn't
give Purdue a head start.
Junior guard Kenneth Lowe will be
out of action until at least January - if
not the entire year - after having
surgery over the summer to repair a
shoulder injury
"Kenny's pretty much the life of the
team," senior John Allison said. "He still
always has a smile on his face and even
though he knows he'll be out for a while,

BIG TEN PREVIEWS
As the college basketball season approaches,
the Daily basketball writers will give you thee
inside scoop on every Big Ten team as they nl
count down the days until they release their spe- CONFERENCE
cial section "Tipoff" in November.

he's telling us not to worry about it.
"But he brings a lot to the team on
offense and defense and the fact that
he's out is a huge blow."
Lowe averaged 12 points per game
last season for a Purdue team that began
with promise, but was later plagued by
injury.
After starting the season 17-6 - high-

lighted by an upset over then-No. 1 Ari-
zona - the Boilermakers' momentum
came to a screeching halt when leading
scorer Rodney Smith and leading shot-
blocker Allison , each broke
a bone in their right foot. Purdue went
1-7 in their absence, finishing 17-15
while making it to the NIT quarterfinals.
"Last year was definitely a roller-

Northern Trust

coaster," said Allison, who said that his
injured foot s'till plays mental games
with him. "For me, it was incredibly
painful and frustrating in knowing that
we could be playing."
While the season may have been
respectable for some, it was Keady's
second-worst record in his 21 years at
Purdue.
Smith and Allison "were our two best
players, but if they can stay healthy we'll
be in pretty good shape," Keady said.
While Lowe's injury is a big blow,
Keady has reason to be optimistic as
eight of his top players are returning.
A veteran team may be just what the
doctor ordered to end Purdue's five-year
Big Ten title drought. Keady's previous
six Purdue teams that had at least four
seniors combined for an 85-23 Big Ten
record and four conference titles.
The Boilermakers will have their two
biggest guns back in Smith and Allison,
and with Keady's best recruiting class
since 1994 added tothe mix, this may be
Purdue's best chance in years to contend
with the conference's elite.
Keady said that the Boilermakers will
likely utilize their team speed in becom-
ing a run-and-gun team. Allison's return
should aid one of the Big Ten's worst
rebounding teams from a year ago, while
his shot-blocking skills will allow his
teammates to be more aggressive.
"It's paramount to our success this
year to be more successful rebounding
the ball," Allison said.
Lowe's injury, combined with the
graduation of point guard and important
team leader Carson Cunningham, leaves
a huge hole in the Purdue backcourt.
"The guard position is a question
mark for us right now," Allison said.
If no one steps up to run the show or
can prove to be a stopper on defense in a
conference filled with talented guards,
Keady's goal of a Big Ten crown will be
an uphill climb.
Inside the paint
PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
2000 RECORD:
6-10 BIG TEN, 17-15 OVERALL
RETURNING STARTERS:
Pos. NAME 2000 STAT
G Rodney Smith 14.0 ppg
C John Allison 5.0 rpg
G Maynard Lewis 10.0 ppg
KEY ADDITIONS:
POS. NAME
G Andrew Ford
F Matt Carroll
G Darmetreis Kilgore
KEY LOSSES:
Carson Cunningham - graduation
Kenneth Lowe - shoulder injury
Food for Thought
Lessons from
Terrorist Acts

This past Saturday, The Michigan
Daily celebrated its I1lth birth-
day. It was an inauspicious cele-
bration - did anyone on campus
actually notice yesterday morning that it
is now celebrating "One hundred eleven
years of editorial freedom?"
Probably not.
It's not that I expected birthday cards
and cakes waiting when I got into the
building on Sunday morning. Nothing of
the sort. The anonymity with which the
Daily aged a year is one of the things
that I like most about working here -
reliability.
The DAily is as reliable as Ann Arbor's
sudden weather changes. And from day
one, Daily Sports has been there.
In that first paper, the front page
showed a story about Michigan's rugby
club - a pretty different look than it has
now. But then again, what did you look
like when you were one day old?
Today, Daily Sports is doing the same
thing that it was doing I1I years ago. It
is printing everything that happens in the
world of Michigan sports. But it's doing
it from a different perspective than that
of any other paper - a student's per-
spective.
That altered vision is what makes the
Daily so special. It's Rich Eisen, current-
ly an anchor for ESPN SportsCenter,
deciding that he had to forgo the mass
hysteria that had taken over Ann Arbor's
streets on April 3, 1989. Sure, Eisen
wanted to celebrate Michigan's first ever
national championship in basketball, but
he had a job to do. So he ran across cam-
pus right after Rumeal Robinson hit the
fateful free throws and got to work on
the next day's Daily.
It's about football writers that couldn't
wait to leave the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1,
1998, because they couldn't handle the
fact that decorum forbid them from
exploding when the Wolverines won the
title.
When you tead up on a game in Daily
Sports, you're getting predominantly the
same information that you would from
most professional papers. What's differ-
ent, though, is that you're getting it from
people represented by those who wear
the winged helmets on the Michigan
Stadium turf. You're getting the news
from people who have a real stake in the
outcome.
What's special is that you're hearing
from people who often feel a need to tap
"The Victors" quietly in the Yost Arena
pressbox after a Michigan goal, but who
are more than ready to criticize the team
that, deep down, they love.
Just a week after the first Daily was
printed, the sports staff made it very
clear that it would not print blind support
for any team. As it said, I11 years ago

this coming Saturday, "We believe that a
spirit of mild criticism will do more to
help our athletics than promiscuous adu-
lation."
Dan Perrin, a Daily sportswriter in the
late 1970s, was not too intimated' by Bo
Schembechler to ask a question critical
of Michigan's kicking game, which in
the 1979 season started off 1-10 on field
goal attempts. Perrin also wasn't about
to back down after Schembechler
grabbed him by the throat.
As was reported in the Daily 22 years
ago today," I was confused,' he said. 'At
first, I didn't understand why he lost his
temper. In retrospect, I think Bo was just 4
frustrated with his kicking game, not nec-
essarily angry with me as an individual."'
Daily Sports is about a lot more than
the free trip to the events that you cover.
It's about more than a chance to see your
name in print. It's about seeing - in
depth - all the good and all the bad that
Michigan sports has to offer.
It's about breaking the story that for-
mer Michigan quarterback Brian Griese 4
was arrested-in 1996 at Scorekeepers, a
local sports bar, for throwing a brick
through a window. The Daily knew not
because it was in a police report, but
because staff members happened to be at
the bar at the time.
"When Griese got arrested, we broke
that story because we knew more people
at Scorekeepers than anyone else," said
former Daily Editor in Chief Michael
Rosenberg, who currently covers Michi-
gan sports for the Detroit Free Press.
"The joke at the time was that he could-
n't have been aiming for the window.
That was before he made $80 million."
It's about Bob Wojnowski, who cur-
rently writes for The Detroit News, get-
ting arrested in Columbus in 1982.
Wojnowski and a Daily photographer, in
town for the football game the next day,
were taken into custody after pho-
tographing a police officer arresting
another man. The way I have heard the
story told is that Wojnowski and the
photographer spent four hours in jail
simply because the officer was an Ohio
State fan, and they were Michigan boys.
Personally, I'll always remember
being called a sonofabitch by Jake
Crouthamel, Syracuse's athletic director,
for catching him in a lie during, a phone
interview. A freshman at the time, it was
at that moment, as I listened to the phone
on the other end click silent, that I real-
ized that the Daily was the place for me.
"It's the best thing I ever did," Eisen
said of devoting his college life to the
Daily. The same goes for me.
Happy birthday, Daily. To 111 more.

Jon Schwartz can be reached at
jlsz@umich.edu

On a tear, Wolverines
prepare for Oakland

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By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer
Last Friday's 2-1 victory over defend-
ing Atlantic-10 champion Dayton
marked an important step in Michigan's
(1-I Big Ten, 7-1 overall) progression as
a team.
In their important game against the
Flyers at Ann Arbor Pioneer High
School's Hollway Field, the Wolverines
dominated with superior athleticism,
competitiveness and intensity.
Michigan showed that its speed can
force other teams out of their strengths.
Dayton liked to play an aggressive game
with its outside defenders joining the
midfield attack. Speedy Michigan for-
wards like Jody'Keeling and Robert
Turpin flew past the Flyers' defenders to
create scoring opportunities from the
wing. In addition, freshman Mychal
Tutpin emerged as a dangerous one-on-
one player from the midfield position.'
Showing savvy in addition to athleti-
cism, the Wolverines recognized Friday
that they were in an ugly game, and

This might have been helped by Michi-
gan's evident tenacity to the ball - the
Wolverines seemingly won every 50-50
ball, and: chased down anything loose in
space.
Sunday, the Wolverines conquered a
different challenge--complacency- in
their match against underdog Western
Michigan. In Michigan's up-tempo 5-2
win over the Broncos, it showed
improvement on the offensive end.
Many times, the Wolverines exploited
the Broncos' aggressiveness to create
excellent scoring chances.
Leading just 1-0 at halftime, Burns.
made the decision to play possession
soccer in the back two-thirds of the field.
Trailing, the Broncos tried to pressure
the ball, which produced gaps in their
defer, ;-t1 -4" '^"l1arnes mercilessly
exploited for four goals in the second
half.
Against Oakland tomorrow, the
Wolverines will have to fight the urge to
overlook the Grizzlies.
Though it may be easy to overlook
Oakland, Wednesday's match could

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