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October 11, 2001 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-11

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e diciig an ztilg
PORTS

michigandaily.comn/sports

THURSDAY
OCTOBER 11, 2001

5A

Summer workouts pay off for O'Malley

JOE
SMITH

Solution to Lions' QB
problem lies in the past

It was a comical, yet frustrating
experience. Watching Tuesday
morning's SportsCenter Showcase
highlights exemplified why it's so
painstaking for anyone to root for the
Detroit Lions.
As if the 35-0 score of Monday
night's game wasn't embarrassing
enough, the anemic Lions' offense that
sputtered once again definitely took the
cake.
After all, it didn't matter if the foot-
ball gods would have miraculously
inserted the members of the Steelers
"Iron Curtain" defense from the 1970s,
Detroit simply wasn't going to win -
and will not win - unless it can put
points on the board.
And find a new quarterback.
One offensive touchdown in three
games isn't going to cut it - not even
in Pop Warner football leagues.
And the laughable revolving door at
quarterback for the Lions is a major
culprit.
Granted, the Lions have more prob-
lems than just the signal caller. An out-
matched secondary, a non-existent
running game and the "run-and-shoot"
offense isn't that easy to perfect.
But watching highlights of both Ty
Detmer and Charlie Batch throwing
perfectly tight spirals into the hands of
Rams' cornerbacks symbolize the
weakness of the Lions team and is
almost as degrading as hearing Dennis
Miller mock the Lions' fans that was
cheering "Let's Go Red Wings!" in the
SilverDome.
"We got zero points. Zero," coach
Marty Mornhinweg told the Associat-
ed Press after the game. "It was a bru-
tal offensive game."
Good Marty, you can count. Now all
you have to do is find, and stick with a
quarterback who can legitimately lead
this team.
But the answer to the problem clearly
isn't wearing Honolulu Blue and Silver.
Mornhinweg was never really high
on Batch before the season, but he was
the $35 million dollar quarterback he
inherited when he became the new
Lions coach. Jim Harbaugh was an old,
yet solid backup - but it was uncer-
tain whether he could work his magic
over a 16-game schedule. And rookie
Mike McMahon was an afterthought.
So Batch started the season, and
Mornhinweg publicly stated his confi-
dence that Batch was his man.
But just six sacks and a season-
opening 28-6 thumping by Green Bay
later, Mornhinwheg was already
searching the waiver wire for a new
quarterback.
Some confidence.
Scrambling to find a quarterback,
Mornhinweg found Cleveland Brown
defect Ty Detmer, who didn't have
much starting experience other than
holding a clipboard for numerous NFL
teams.
But who cares? He knew the "run-

and-shoot" better than anyone else
available.
But after eight interceptions in a
game-and-a-half, with only one touch-
down pass, Mornhinweg had seen
enough - spinning the quarterback
carousel one more time and placing
Batch back into the lineup in the sec-
ond half of Monday night's game
against the Rams.
Despite Batch throwing an intercep-
tion and fumbling once, Mornhinweg
says Batch is his man for good.
"Charlie is the guy,"' said Mornhin-
weg, who mentioned that Batch needed
that time off to rest his injured body.
"This is Charlie's job, and he won't have
to be looking over his shoulder. We'll
stick with him through thick and thin."
Where have we heard this before?
After next week's loss to winless Ten-
nessee, will Mornhinweg change his
mind again and insert Matt Millen
himself behind the center?
Batch, who has two more injuries
this year than touchdown passes, will
eventually hurt himself, and Mornhin-
weg will find himself between a rock
and a hard place again.
"I am searching for a quarterback
who can play at the highest level on a
consistent basis," Mornhinweg told the
Associated Press on Tuesday. "Neither
has played at the highest level."
So common sense dictates that the
Lions new coach should smarten up,
and take a look for a ghost from the
Lions' distant playoff past to lead them
to the promise land (beyond first round
of playoffs).
He should bring in the last man to
direct the "run-and-shoot" to perfec-
tion for the Lions, who won Detroit's
only playoff game since 1991.
Erik Kramer.
Yes, the man is pushing 40, but he
still has skills - at least more than
Batch and Detmer. Look how well
older quarterbacks like Doug Flutie
have done in the league. Flutie has the
Chargers turning some heads in the
AFC West.
Plus, Kramer knows the system and
will undoubtedly do better than throw-
ing eight interceptions in two weeks.
And he won't ask for a contract exten-
sion he doesn't deserve.
He's a smart quarterback who isn't
injury prone and will not make a ton of
mistakes.
After all, what else do the Lions
have to lose - except their dignity?
"I'm excited," Batch told the Associ-
ated Press. "We are at the bottom right
now, so there is nothing to do but get
better."
Just call Erik Kramer. I'm sure he's
available.
Joe Smith is going to sign a 10-day con-
tract with the Lions to play quarterback
He can be reached at
josephms@umich.edu.

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Writer
In Tuesday's 3-1 victory over the U.S.
National Under-18 team, senior backup goalie
Kevin O'Malley proved once again that he is a
capable replacement for starter Josh Blackburn.
O'Malley faced 14 shots from Team USA
and the lone goal scored came on a tremendous
play by defenseman
MatthewbCarle. In addition, HOCKEY
in the Blue-White intrasquad Notebook
game, O'Malley stopped 24 ______
of 25 shots and actually out-
performed Blackburn, who let in two goals on
21 shots.
"I worked a lot this summer with Michigan
volunteer goalie coach Stan (Matwijiw) and it
helped a lot," O'Malley said when asked if he
had improved since last season. "Usually in the
past I didn't skate all summer, and then came in
and by December I was feeling good. This year
I skated a lot, and I'm excited and ready to
play."
COMING DOWN: Coming off the world
record-breaking "Cold War" game last Saturday
against Michigan State, the Wolverines came
out flat against Team USA. Going from one of
the most intense hockey atmospheres to an
exhibition game was a tough transition for
Michigan.
"One of the things I think was difficult mentally
for our team is that we came off a high on Satur-
day," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "I know
that that event affected me as a coach, and can you
imagine how it affected the young players on our
team, or all the players on the team. So, they're still
coming down from that. It took us half the game to
get our heads in the game."
While the "Cold War" is tough to match in
intensity, the Wolverines know it's not a good
excuse to not play to their full potential.
"It's hard to motivate yourself but you just
have to do it," Michigan freshman forward
Jason Ryznar said. "Every time you go out
there you have to play like it's any other game,
no matter who your opponent is."
ALMOST THERE: Michigan junior forward
Mark Mink, who has been out of commission since

FILE PHOTO
Michigan senior backup goaltender Kevin 0' Malley seems to have saved his best for last, as he's had
solid performances in the past two games he's had action in.
the beginning of the season with a broken hand, against Team USA - the Wolverines are
skated with the Wolverines at practice yesterday. healthy and ready to go for this weekend.
Mink's hand is improving, but instead of pushing it That includes junior forward Mike Cammal-
by playing this weekend, he has decided to wait it leri, whose hip flexor was sore after his first

out for another week.
"(The hand) feels good. It gets better day by
day," Mink said. "This week I can shoot and do
the things that I normally could. The strength is
still down and that's a big problem.
"I'm going to take another week off and hopeful-
ly be ready to play against Western (Michigan)."
Aside from Mink and freshman defenseman
Nick Martens -- who dinged his shoulder

real action last Saturday against Michigan
State.
Freshman forward Michael Woodford sat out
the game against Team USA with a separated
shoulder, but skated yestereday and feels that
he will be ready for the trip to Omaha.
HOME, SWEET HOME: When Michigan
captain Jed Ortmever takes the ice against
See ORTMEYER, Page 10B

Pesky Wisconsin hit hard by graduation

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

Pop quiz: Who was the win-
ningest college basketball coach of
the 1990s?
It's not the legendary "Coach K."
of Duke or North Carolina's former
coach Dean Smith - it's Bo Ryan,
Wisconsin's new head man.
Ryan has an impeccable record
of 383-103 in his 17 years as coach
of both Div. I Wisconsin-Milwau-
kee and Div. III Wisconsin-Plat-
teville. He won four national titles
and had the uncanny ability to turn
programs around.
But this year, Ryan will have his
work cut out for him if he wants
Wisconsin to return to the NCAA
Tournament for the eighth time in
Inside the paint
WIscoNsIN BADGERS
2000 RECORD:
9-7 Big Ten, 18-11 overall (No. 24)
RETURNING STARTERS:
POs. NAME 2000 STAT
K Kirk Penney, Jr. 11.2 ppg
KEY ADDITIONS:
POs. NAME
G Devin Harris
F Andrea Helmigk
F Neil Plank
F Mike Wilkinson
KEY LOSSES:
G Roy Boone
G Mike Kelley
F Andy Kowske
F Mark Vershaw

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

10 years. Not only does he have to
fill the shoes of former Badger
coach Dick Bennett, but also the
major void left by graduation.
Five seniors, with 367 career
starts between them, are gone. The
only starter left is Wisconsin's
sharpshooter, junior Kirk Penney,
who drained 42-percent of his 3-
pointers last season and averaged
11.2 points per game last season -
which is more than the cumulative
average of seven other returning
players.
"Having taken over programs
before where there wasn't a lot of
experience coming back, I'm used
to making adjustments," Ryan said.
"This is going to be a year of gain-
ing experience. We have a couple
players that have gotten significant
time. However, I plan on playing
nine or 10 guys every game so that
leaves six or seven positions in the
rotation that either have never
played in college or have had very
little time."
Finding 10 guys on his bench
may propose a problem for Ryan,
as the Badgers took a major hit in
the past few months as they lost
three more players for personal rea-

sons.
Superstar recruit, Latrell Flem-
ing, who Ryan expected to make an '
impact right away in the Badger
backcourt, will not be able to play
due to a medical condition called
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Sophomore Julian Swartz, a for-
mer Wisconsin Mr. Basketball, also
left the team after speaking with
Wisconsin medicine staff and his
family due to "mental health
issues."
That's not all.
Another sophomore, guard Ricky
Bower, announced over the summer
that he was transferring to Brigham
Young University.
Even with the huge overhaul of

personnel, Ryan has said that he
will not waver in what has worked
for him in the past - a swarming
defense and an attacking, run-and-
gun offense.
"We're going to push the ball at
people and try to get some action
out of our offense," Ryan said.
"We're looking for four or five
scorers, not one or two. We're look-
ing to get easy baskets from our
defense."
Wisconsin's fate lies on the
shoulders of Penney and his shoot-
ing touch, along with seniors
Travon Davis and forward Charlie
Wills - who need to have breakout
final years as Badgers for Wiscon-
sin to be competitive.
Many preseason publications are
picking Wisconsin to finish in the
bottom half of the conference. If
Penney and company can't knock
down the treys, or are hampered by
injuries, the 2001 Badgers could
end Ryan's streak of 17-straight
winning seasons - and their post-
season chances at the same time.

Playoff results

1

AMERICAN LEAGUE RESULTS:
Oakland at New York
The Athletics knock off the defend-
ing World Champions in Yankee Sta-
dium, 5-3.
(Oakland leads series, 1-0)
NATIONAL LEAGUE RESULTS:
St. Louis vs. Arizona
Randy Johnson extended his playoff
losing streak to seven as Cards
win, 4-1.
(Series tied at 1-1)
Atlanta vs. Houston
Glavine did not give up a run in the
Braves 1-0 win against the Astros.
(Atlanta leads series, 2-0)

Reaction Women's

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Steve Madden

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AP PHOTO

TOMORROW'S GAMES
Cleveland at Seattle, 4:20 p.m.
(Cleveland leads series, 1-0)
Oakland at New York, 8:17 p.m.
(Oakland leads series, 1-0)

Reaction Men's

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Steve Madden

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