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October 30, 2001 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-30

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Re TS¢dlgan Btilg


OCTOBER 30, 2001



. M' prepares for big
game after big win


By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
Let the insults begin.
Now that Michigan has had time to
savor Saturday's heart-stopping 32-26
win at Iowa, the Wolverines (and their
fans) can turn their attention to the
annual intrastate grudge match against
Michigan State. Michigan' at 1I
What used to be
a relatively one-
sided rivalry has
evened out a bit in
recent years.
Michigan has lost Saturday, 3:30 p.
three of its last four -
games in East Lansing. The latest set-
back was a 34-31 loss two years ago
when - in the span of three hours -
the Wolverines' defense made Plaxico
Burress into a first-round NFL draft
This year's edition of the Spartans
has similar big-play ability. Sopho-
more receiver Charles Rogers has
game-breaking speed (as evidenced by
his 22.4 yards-per-catch average) and
junioltailback T.J. Duckett is one of
the conference's top runners. These
two have Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
concerned, to say the least.
"There's been a lot of talk about that
Michigan defense, and the truth is,
we're going to find out this week what
that defense is all about," Carr said at
yesterday's media luncheon. "I think
we're going to play the most talented,
explosive offensive football team
we've seen this year."


who has grown up in Michigan knows
how intense the Michigan-Michigan
State rivalry is.
Unlike some of college football's
other storied rivalries (e.g. Miami-
Florida State, Alabama-Auburn) the
feud between the Wolverines and the
Spartans extends beyond the football
ichigan State Michigan and
Michigan State
compete at any-
thing and every-
thing, which makes
this one of the most
Spartan stadium all-encompassing
rivalries in the
Defensive tackle Dave Pearson, a
Brighton native, has been immersed in
the tussle between the Wolverines and
Spartans since childhood. It would be
an understatement to say that he is
eagerly anticipating Saturday's contest.
"We get really excited to play this
game," Pearson said. "I'm looking for-
ward to playing in it. I got a chance to
play in it a little bit last year, and it was
a great experience. Hopefully, I'll get
to contribute a little more this year."
BCS? WHAT BCS?: Proponents of
the Bowl Championship Series claim
that all of the controversy it creates is
proof that it works.
In fairness, college football fans
around the country do get quite
intrigued by the weekly BCS poll.
Numerous websites offer projections
- which are updated weekly - on
which teams will be playing in the four
BCS bowls.


Michigan linebacker Larry Foote (17) and his Wolverine defense are getting geared
up for this weekend's game against rival Michigan State.

Michigan is ranked fourth in the lat-
est BCS poll, behind Nebraska, Okla-
homa and Miami (Fla.). While this
might be cause for some Michigan
fans to start dreaming of Pasadena, the
Wolverines themselves claim to be
paying no attention at all to the BCS.
"Now, at this time of year, it doesn't
really matter where you are," defensive
end Shantee Orr said. "The only thing
that matters is in the end. We have to
just focus on one game at a time, and
the results will just take care of them-
linebacker Larry Foote was named Big
Ten Defensive Player of the Week for

Rivalry-week strategy
makes for a dull scene

his 15-tackle, three-sack performance
against Iowa.
Following the game, in typically
humble fashion, Foote deflected praise
toward the front four. Foote acknowl-
edged that without the tremendous
pressure exerted by the linemen, he
wouldn't have had so many opportuni-
ties to make plays against the
This unselfish gesture didn't go
unnoticed by the defensive line.
"We get excited for anybody that
has a great day like Larry Foote had,"
Pearson said. "For him to give the
defensive line some credit, that's a
great thing."

he balcony at my apartment last,
* year looked out over Michigan's
football practice field. It was
always fun to sit out with a beer and
check out what coach Lloyd Carr was
working on for the upcoming game.
Of course, the location had its draw-
backs - I can assure you that there's
nothing worse than waking up to music
blasting from the field to get players
ready for crowd noise. "Who Let the
Dogs Out" was an awful song -don't
even get me started on how much I
hated it after it served as my alarm
clock at 8 a.m. every morning during
'orthwestern week. Too bad the season
was over when finals rolled around in
April; I could have used an alarm then.
My neighbors and I heard anecdotes
about Carr going from apartment to
apartment before the season, making it
very clear that practices were not to be
watched. We never believed it - Carr
may be a divinity around Ann Arbor,
but he wasn't going to tell us what we
could and couldn't watch from the pri-
vacy of our own homes.
So when an assistant coach showed
up at my neighbor's door during Michi-
gan State week because he had spotted
us watching with binoculars, we were a
bit taken aback.
That's just the way things-go, though.
And after Michigan came back and
beat Iowa this past weekend, it began
again - the Michigan State hysteria.
What is Michigan State week? Sim-
ply put, it's a state of mass paranoia.
It's the feeling that everything you
say can and will be used against you in
a court of Michigan State players, the
knowledge that if you show any confi-
dence, your statement will end up on a
lockerroom's bulletin board.
So it was no surprise to find tight-
lipped players holding court at Michi-
gan's press conference yesterday.
Media members were wowed by such
bold statements as Dave Pearson's
"there's always a little bit more intensi-
ty for this game."
Dave, tone it down a bit, man.
At least defensive end Shantee Orr
was fighting back laughs as he pointed
out that "all our emotion and intensity
should be the same for each and every

Well put, Shantee.
Michigan players seem to spend this
week wearing colorful bracelets
embroidered with "W.W.L.S." -
"What Would Lloyd Say?" They seem
like they're constantly looking over
their shoulders, afraid of being honest,
but far more afraid of being caught
being honest.
It's typical rivalry-week strategy. And
while it's funny to watch, it does have
No Michigan fan will ever forget
Ohio State's David Boston claiming
before the 1997 matchup that "if our
offense and defense are clicking, we
should win by two or three touch-
downs." Of course, Michigan's defense
(particularly Charles Woodson) held
Boston to three catches for 68 yards on
the day, 56 of those yards coming on
one touchdown play as Michigan won
20-14. It was such a harsh beating that
Boston should still be sending Wood-
son Father's Day cards every June.
So yeah, I guess I understand Carr's
rationale. But it's impossible not to
miss the pageantry of rivalry games,
the desire to check message boards to
see who's saying what about someone
else's mother.
Thisis aweek like no other week'
This is a week when Michigan State
quarterback Jeff Smoker can be called
"great" by the Wolverines. My god, if
Smoker's "great," what adjectives are
left for Dan Marino or John Elway?
Where's the hatred? Where's the
drive? Where did the arrogance go? It's
a lost art in college football, the ability
to make an ass of your opponent before
the game, and follow it up on the field.
I was waiting for a man in black to
show up in the press conference, ready
to whisk away any player stupid enough
to speak.
At least quarterback John Navarre
had the guts to put it bluntly. "It's a big
game," he said.
And these days, if that's not bulletin
board material, I don't know what is.
Jon Schwartz hopes that he's never again
woken up to "YMCA" or "Across the
Field." He can be reached at

Times have changed for Michigan's Gallo

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer

CHAMPAIGN - After a 56th-place finish in
last year's Big Ten Championships as a freshman,
Lindsey Gallo felt pretty down on herself. After the
adjustment from running in high school to running
for a nationally ranked team, she lacked confi-
dence in her running.
But times have changed.
Gallo ran well enough for a remarkable seventh-
place finish in yesterday's Big Ten Championships,
earning first team All-Big Ten honors and leading
her team to a remarkable second place finish this
past weekend.
"This was by far my best collegiate race," Gallo

Gallo ran the 5-kilometer course in 17:26.4,
twenty seconds off her previous record of 17:47,
set at the iNotre Dame Invitational earlier this
This completes an amazing one-year turnaround
for Gallo, who ran well at times during the begin-
ning of last season, but performed poorly at the big
meets, placing 49th at regionals and 225th at
"I was feeling pretty down after freshman year,"
Gallo said.
But after a summer of training hard, Gallo has
been the frontrunner for a young Wolverines squad
all season long. She led Michigan at the four meets
prior to the Big Ten Championships and placed in
the top 10 in three of those meets. She had
momentum going into the race because the course

was similar to Notre Dame, where Michigan had
its best race of the season prior to yesterday's
astonishing performance.
"I felt really confident that I could do well,"
Gallo said.
But a top-seven finish at the Big Ten meet was
what she was striving for.
"It was my main goal going into the season,"
Gallo said.
But Gallo's season is far from over. She will lead
the team into the regional meet just two weeks
from now in Terre Haute, Ind. While performing.
well at regionals was almost an afterthought for the
Wolverines prior to the Big Ten meet, their second-
place finish putts them in the running for a berth at
the National Championships - and Gallo will be
needed to take them there.

Northern goalie dominates weekend at Yost

- By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writers

Northern Michigan goaltender Craig
Kowalski stepped out of the Yost Ice
Arena visitors' lockerroom Friday night
and into a sea of green and sonorous
The sophomore raised his fist in vic-
tory, sending the throng of about 100
Northern fans into a frenzy, prompting
a brief chant of 'Kowalski.' He had just
done something that had not been done
in over 50 years - shut out Michigan

in two consecutive appearances in Ann
Last February, as a freshman, Kowals-
ki stoned all 25 shots he faced to shut
out Michigan, a team that would later
play in the Frozen Four --2-0.
Kowalski followed that performance
with a 1-0 overtime shutout of the
Wolverines last Friday. In the win, he
faced 28 shots, a quarter of which came
on the powerplay. But like most superb
goaltenders, he received help from his
defense, which was able to stop 17 shots
from getting through.

While not as sharp Saturday night,
Kowalski still played well enough to
win 5-3 and complete Northern Michi-
gan's first sweep of Michigan since
His performance in the two games
earned him the title of CCHA Defensive
Player of the Week. It is the second time
in as many weeks that he has received
the honor.
What makes the victories sweeter for
the goaltender is that he is from neigh-
boring Clinton Township and wanted to
be a Wolverine growing up. Unfortu-
nately for the Michigan coaching staff,
had it not been for an off year in the
goalie-recruiting cycle, Kowalski would
be wearing maize and blue right now.
"We've always liked Craig Kowalski,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"We essentially recruited him but told
him he would play behind Josh Black-
burn for two years. At the time he was
interested in Michigan and we talked to
him. Our staff loved him as a kid and as
a goalie."
Michigan had three experienced goal-
tenders last year and could not have
found playing time for the talented

recruit. In addition, Michigan had also
been recruiting standout goaltender,
Jason Bacashihua, who would also have
challenged Kowalski for playing time.
"He is from down here and would
have loved to have come to Michigan,
but the recruiting cycle didn't work for
him," Northern Michigan coach Rick
Comley said.
As a freshman last year, Kowalski
split time with then-senior goaltender
Dan Ragusett from the start of the sea-
son. In his rookie year, Kowalski strug-
gled to become comfortable winning in
just seven out of 18 starts with a 2.73
goals against average.
The decision to give the freshman
playing time is starting to pay dividends
for Comley. With experience under his
belt, Kowalski looks like one of the best
goalies in the CCHA, with a 1.71 goals
against average with a .942 save percent-
age. In addition, the sophomore has yet
to lose a game in four starts.
"It is really important for him to go
out and establish himself early and I
think he has done that in our games so
far," said Northern Michigan senior
Chad Theuer.

Michigan's Andy Hrovat will play a key role on the mats this season as the
Wolverines are once again expected to compete for a national title.
Grappers sights pinned
. .
on beginning of seson
By Eric Chan AURDAY
Daily Sports Writer

All it takes is one weekend a month and as little as
two weeks a year to serve in a part-time capacity in
the full-time Army. In the U.S. Army Reserve you can
pursue your civilian career. Stay close to home and
develop your skills while learning new ones. The
Reserve offers training in accounting, engineering,
electronics, law enforcement, software analysis,
medicine and more.

The Michigan wrestling team
begins preseason action this weekend
at the Eastern Michigan Open in Ypsi-
lanti. The tournament allows younger
wrestlers to experience collegiate level
wrestling. Also, the more experienced
and varsity wrestlers can shake off the
rust of offseason inactivity.
At preseason tournaments like the
Eastern Michigan Open, the Michigan
State Open and the Cliff Keen Invita-
tional in Las Vegas, the Wolverines
look to gain valuable live-match expe-
rience. Michigan's regular season
action kicks off Dec. 7 against Michi-
gan State in East Lansing.
But the Michigan wrestlers don't
look at this weekend's tournament as
just a warm-up - they want to win.
"I'd like to have our team go in there

Who: Michigan at Eastern Michigan Open
When: All day Saturday
Latest: The Wolverines open their season in
Ypsilanti, where competitors will be wrestling
as individuals, instead of attached to teams.
a disappointing seventh place.
Michigan is once again expected to
compete for the national title. The
Wolverines return all but one of last
year's starters -197-pounder Joe
DeGain. Alongside Olson, Michigan
returns Andy Hrovat, another All-
American, who placed fourth at last
year's NCAA Championships.
Hrovat looked very impressive this
summer, winning the 187.25-pound
freestyle national crown and taking
the silver medal at the Pan Am meet.
In late June at the World Team Trials,
Hrovat took third to earn a spot on the

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