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October 09, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-09

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michigandaily. com/sports.

OCTOBER 9, 2001



Purdue loss no longer stings for Varsit
Michigan opts to give # h ..%...
Detroit freshman safety .
Shazor redshirt season
Daily Sports Writer << h h


Getting past tough years,
one small step at a time

Last year, Michigan built a seemingly insurmount-
able 28-10 lead against Purdue before watching the
Boilermakers mount a furious second-half comeback
Travis Dorsch's 33-yard field goal with 4 seconds left
in regulation gave Purdue a
miraculous 32-31 win which FOOTBALL
ignited the Boilermakers' run to
the Rose Bowl. Notebook
With that contest still fresh in
everyone's minds, the Boilermakers and Wolverines
will square off this Saturday in an early statement
game for Big Ten supremacy. Along with Ohio State,
Michigan and Purdue are the only 2-0 teams in the Big
Ten, so the winner of this game will have a clear leg
up in the conference race.
Considering what happened last season, it's easy to
think that Michigan has revenge on its mind. Think
"I think that works on an individual basis," defen-
sive tackle Shawn Lazarus said at the weekly media
luncheon yesterday. "Personally, I just kind of let
things in the past be in the past and focus on the
Lazarus wasn't alone in trying to downplay last
year's debacle in West Lafayette. At least publicly, the
Wolverines claim that they aren't out for revenge
against Purdue.
The loss "was last year," wide receiver Ron Bel-
lamy said. "I'm just ready for this year."
SHAZOR TO REDSHIRT: Anyone who watched Michi-
gan play last year knew that the secondary had to be a
focal point in recruiting for this season. With that in
mind, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr went out and signed
a top-flight group of defensive backs. Cornerbacks
Marlin Jackson and Markus Curry have cracked the
Wolverines' secondary rotation and should be major
contributors for the rest of the season. In particular,
Jackson has made quite an impression and might chal-

Purdue kicker Travis Dorsch defeated the Wolverines last year on a 33-yard field goal in the final seconds of the
game. Last week he earned Big Ten special teams player of the week honors for the second time this season.

lenge Jeremy LeSueur for the No. 2 cornerback spot.
But the man who was possibly Michigan's best sec-
ondary recruit - and, arguably, the nation's best sec-
ondary recruit - won't play this year. Carr
announced yesterday that Ernest Shazor, a 6-4, 215-
pound safety from Detroit, will redshirt this season.
"We decided that early in the season," Carr said.
"But, I expect him to be a great football player here at
BEING READY: Sophomore offensive tackle Courtney
Morgan said Michigan offensive line coach Terry
Malone repeats this mantra to all of his charges every
week: "Prepare like you're a starter."
But, it's been difficult at times for Morgan to pay
heed to his coach's advice. Last year, Morgan - who
has played all over the offensive linesince coming to

Michigan - was stuck behind standouts Steve
Hutchinson, Jeff Backus, Maurice Williams and David
With all of those players now in the NFL, Morgan
appeared to have a good shot at a starting spot. But, as
the season opened, he was listed as the third offensive
tackle, behind fellow sophomores Tony Pape and
Demeterius Solomon.
On Saturday, Morgan finally got a chance to show
what he can do when Solomon went down with an
injury. As excited as Morgan was to be playing, it did-
n't completely hit him until Sunday.
"The day after, I was still in shock, like, I just played
a lot," Morgan said with a smile. "Every week, coach
tells you to prepare like you're a starter, so I was
ready, and I went in and just played some football."

Hard to believe that college
basketball is quickly
approaching. It seems like
just days ago that the Wolverines
were marred by an era that was,
unquestionably, the most pitiful col-
lege basketball experience that
Michigan fans have ever - and
should ever - know.
Tommy Amaker's team is going
to win more games this year than
last. More importantly, he should
make the program a worthwhile rep-
resentation of Michigan's athletic
But he's going to need some help.
So here is one suggestion that I've
come up with to return the basket-
ball team to prominence - not just
on the court, but also in the minds of
There's an open space on Michi-
gan's football schedule for next
year. The Wolverines weren't satis-
fied with a suicidal schedule that
included nonconference games
against Washington, Oregon and at
Notre Dame. So Oregon was
If the team is looking for a pansy
team to face, here's one - Duke.
Sure, the Blue Devils have had
Michigan's number on the basket-
ball court - they've had every-
But the majority of the players on
their football team couldn't make
most high school All-State lists.
If I'm Amaker, I'm on the phone
with football coach Lloyd Carr right
now, begging him to schedule the
Can you imagine the way that
Michigan would bend Duke over?
In case you can't, here's how I see
it playing out.

Duke receives the opening kickoff
and goes three-and-out (heretofore
referred to as "the usual," as I see
the Blue Devils losing yards on
more drives than they gain.) Michi-
gan does the same, because the
Wolverines are incapable of scoring
on their early drives.
But after Duke loses 42 yards on
its next attempt, the Maize and
Blue's offense takes form. In the
next eight minutes, Michigan scores
three touchdowns - two on passes
to Ronald Bellamy, and the third on
a 79-yard run by Chris Perry.
The touchdowns are set up by a
Michigan secondary - surprisingly
improved after graduation - that
makes three interceptions.
With 7:32 left in the first half, a
21-0 Michigan lead and a Duke
team that has amassed a total of neg-
ative-32 yards, Carr pulls every
offensive starter from the lineup.
Michigan's Philip Brabbs tacks on
a field goal as time expires and the
head to the lockerroom for the break.
Things slow down a bit in the
third quarter. Duke finally gains
some positive yards, which are
quickly erased on a Victor Hobson
23-yard sack. But the Jermaine Gon-
zales-led Michigan offense sputters,
gaining only 226 yards in the entire
third quarter. The only touchdown
comes when Gonzales goes in to
fake a punt and runs 73 yards before
fumbling at the Duke 11. Shawn
Lazarus picks up the fumble and
runs the remaining 11 yards in just a
hair under 30 seconds.
Duke does the usual six more
times, bringing its total to 24 for the
game. Trey McDonald becomes the
first punter to ever tell a coach that
See SCHWARTZ, Page 10

Early signings benefit new Michigan coaches

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

New Michigan basketball coach
Tommy Amaker knows that while
he can't lose focus on the future of
the program and possible recruits,
he needs to concentrate on the pre-
sent - in the form of his current
And rounding out a top-10 recruit-
ing class for 2002 by the end of Sep-
tember will definitely help him do
just that.
"Certainly it gives us a great feel-
ing," said Amaker about landing
recruits so early.
"We're very pleased with the
direction and where we're heading
with things. We've addressed some
of our needs and are also getting
quality kids, kids who want to be
here, and kids that can compete on
the highest level."
While Amaker said that he's used
to finishing his recruiting early at
Duke and Seton Hall, it's not a com-
mon occurrence for college coaches.
The early signings will also help
the new Michigan coaching staff as
not only do they get a head start for
the 2003 class, but they also can
also put extra attention on this
year's Wolverines, who have to
learn a different system and grow
accustomed to the coaches before
the season starts in a month.
Michigan doesn't start official
practices until Friday night at mid-
night - as per NCAA rules - but
Amaker has had the chance to

observe the Wolverines in workouts
and conditioning over the past
month and has been "pleased with
their work ethic."
Through all the scrimmaging,
weightlifting, conditioning and indi-
vidual workouts, Amaker has had
time to break down his team and see
where it stands without having to
rely solely on tapes from last sea-
"We don't have a lot of margin
for error," Amaker said. "We need
to be precise with a lot of attention
to detail. We're going to have to
outwork people and do all the little
In order to prepare the Wolverines
to do just that, Amaker said his
challenge in these workouts is creat-
ing high energy by being active and
teaching "positivity" to the players
while also having the proper balance
of being demanding.
Amaker said that while he doesn't
see the Wolverines as a "run-and-
gun" team, he can notice. the style of
play Michigan will show on the
floor this season and what it needs
to work on.
"We're going to have some free-
dom on the floor," Amaker said.
"But we'll have to use discretions
with our shot selection to provide us
with best chance of winning.
"We're not very deep and I think
it's obvious. We need to be healthy
and wise out on the floor. We recog-
nize the limitations when it comes to
our team. We have to massage it and
make our way through it."

Michigan is especially lacking in
the post, where the graduation of
Josh Asselin has left Chris Young
and Josh Moore as the only experi-
enced post players. This makes the
7-foot-2 Moore's necessity to stay
out of foul trouble vital to Michi-
gan's success.
"Josh has done well," said Amak-
er about Moore's performance in
workouts. "Conditioning will be a
big key with him. The better shape
he's in will help prevent the fatigue
fouls or early fouls he had last
In the backcourt, depth should
prove less of a problem for Michi-
gan, as six guards will be competing
for playing time. Amaker said that
junior Gavin Groninger has stepped
up with a good spring and summer,
and has followed it up with solid
workouts this fall.
Amaker said that Bernard Robin-
son, who is still recovering from
mono with which he was diagnosed
with this summer, is "getting better,
but not 100 percent."
MAIZE RAGE: Now that the Maize
Rage, the Michigan basketball stu-
dent fan club, is a legitimate student
organization, it is on a mission to
make more of a presence at Crisler
Arena this season - which brought
a smile to the face of Amaker.
"I'm so happy and pleased,"
Amaker said. "We can't have any-
thing better than having our students
support our team."
And what would be his reaction
when the Maize Ragers follow the

Wolverines on the road to places
such as Mackey Arena in Purdue?
"That would be wonderful,"
Amaker said. "And very much need-

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Or... .
* cheering like crazy at a football match
between Arsenal and Tottenham (that's
soccer to us Yanks).
* taking a train this weekend to Wales for
horseback riding and some of the best
scenery in Britain
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