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November 19, 2001 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-19

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 19, 2001

MICHIGAN 20

WISCONSIN 17

GAME STATISTICS

Team Stats
First Downs
Rushes/Yards
Passing Yards
Offensive Plays
Total Offense
Return Yards
Comp/Att/Int
Punts/Avg
Fumbles/Lost
Penalties/Yards
Time of Poss

wISc
16
45/159
133
74
292
54
14/29/0
8/29.8
0/0
7/68
33:44

MICH
12
38/137
58
64
163
113
11/26/1
8/36.4
0/0
6/40
26:16

All t

hings considered,
is where it belongs

W I S C O N S I N

PASSING
Player
Bollinger
Totals
RUSHING
Player
Davis
Bollinger
Totals
RECEIVING
Player
Anelli
Evans
Davis
Charles
Kuhns
Totals
PUNTING
Player
Morse
Totals

C-A
14-29
14-29

Yds
133
133

TD
O
0

Att
27
17
44
No.
5
3
3
2
14

Yds Avg Lg
103 3.8 30
57 3.4 15
160 3.6 30

Int
0
O
TD
1
2
TD
0
0

Yds
59
31
23
18
2
133

Avg
11.8
10.3
7.6
9.0
2.0
9.5

Lg
23
13
9
14
2
23

No.
6
6

Yds Avg Lg
238 39.7 57
238 39.7 67

KICKOFF RETURNS
Player No.
Davis 2
Total 2
PUNT RETURNS
Player No.
Bell 1
Totals 1

Yds Avg Lg
42 21.0 27
42 21.0 27

TD
TO
TD
0

DEFENSE
Player
Greisen
Broussard
Starks
Herbert
Hawthorne
Thompson
Bryant
Boese
Kuhns
Echols
Smith
Brown
Schick
Mack
Ellestad
PASS DEFENSE
Player
Starks
Echols
Boese
Totals

Yds
0
O
Solo
9
5
5
3
2
1
0
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
Yds
0
0
0
0

Avg Lg
O O
0 0

Asst
7
2
0
2
2
3
4
1
1
1
0
Lng Brk-up
0 1
O 2
O 1
0 4

Tot
16
7
5
5
4
4
4
3
2
42
2
2
2
1
1
TO
0
0
0
0

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily
Michigan and Todd Howard limited Biletnikoff finalist Lee Evans to just 31 yards on three catches Saturday.
Badgers cos baksC up boasts

M ADISON - During his
press conference following
Saturday's game, a despon-
dent Wisconsin coach Barry
Alvarez told the assembled media of
his postgame exchange with Michi-
gan coach Lloyd Carr.
According to Alvarez, when the
two coaches met at midfield after
Michigan's memorable 20-17 victo-
ry, Carr told Alvarez, "Your team
deserved better."
Hmm. That sounds familiar,
doesn't it?
Two weeks
ago in East
Lansing, follow-
ing the Wolver-
ines' equally
astonishing 26-
24 loss to
Michigan State,
Carr kept telling ARUN
the press, "We COPAL
deserved better."
The common farun
axiom "what
goes around
comes around" is the first thing that
came to my mind when I heard what
Carr told Alvarez. And when you
think about it, that phrase is a pretty
accurate description of Michigan's
season thus far.
In the second week of the season,
Michigan traveled to Seattle and
thoroughly dominated Washington,
only to lose the game in a span of
51 seconds in the fourth quarter (the
memory is painful enough for
Michigan fans that I won't bother to
go into further detail).
Then, on Oct. 27 at Iowa, the
Wolverines stole a game that they
easily could have lost - thank you,
Marquise Walker. The loss to
Michigan State and Saturday's
miraculous win over Wisconsin only
serve to further underscore my
point.
Ten years from now, Michigan
fans will still be talking about the
last second of the Michigan State
game. Actually, check that - until
they are lying on their deathbeds,
Michigan fans will be talking about
that last second. They'll never stop
insisting that Jeff Smoker shouldn't
have had time to loft that pass to T.J.
Duckett.
But 10 years from now, Wisconsin
fans will probably still be talking
about when freshman defensive
back Brett Bell accidentally touched'
the ball on a punt with 10 seconds
left in the game.
No matter how you look at it,
Michigan caught an enormously
lucky break on that punt. I was
standing on the Camp Randall Sta-

dium sidelines - perhaps 20 feet
from Bell - when the ball hit him
in the leg, and I still can't come up
with a word to describe what I saw
(feel free to send me some sugges-
tions, if you have any).
After the Michigan State loss,
Michigan fans lamented the fact
that Michigan's national title
"hopes" were gone, thanks to that
(insert expletive here) Michigan
State timekeeper.
Please. Michigan fans shouldn't
kid themselves - this edition of the
Wolverines has absolutely no busi-
ness playing for a national title, and
the 28 yards of total offense in the
second half against Wisconsin
should be enough evidence for any-
one.

Int
1
1

I

M I C H I G A N

PASSING
Player
Navarra
Gonzales
Totals
RUSHING
Player
Askew
Perry
Bellamy
Gonzales
Navarre
Totals
RECEIVING
Player
Walker
Bellamy
Thompson
Perry
Dubuc
Askew
Totals

C-A
1 1/24
O/2
11/26

Yds
58

Att
16
13
2
6
38
No.
4
2
1
1

Yds
58
53
19
4
-21
106
Yds
14
19
9.0
7.0
1.0
-4.0
58

Avg
3.6
4.1
5.5
4
-3.5
2.8
Avg
3.5
9.5
9.0
7.0
1.0
-4.0
5.3

TD
1
O
1
Lg
16
15
19
4
2
19
Lg
6
16
9
7
1
-4
16

Int
1
0
1
TD
0
0
'0
0
0
TD
TO
0
0
1

By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Editor
MADISON - In the week leading
up to Saturday's game, Badgers' cor-
nerback Mike Echols convinced coach
Barry Alvarez to allow him to cover
wide receiver Marquise Walker exclu-
sively.
On Saturday, Echols lived up to his
own billing allowing Walker to catch
just four balls for 14
yards. It was Walk- FOOTBALL
er's worst perfor-
mance all season, he otebook
came into the game
averaging over 90 yards per game.
Echols' only slip-up was a pass
interference call inside the Wisconsin
five-yard line, which led to Michi-
gan's only offensive touchdown of the
game.
The senior cornerback led an out-
standing Badgets' secondary with two
pass deflections.-Wisconsin limited the
Wolverines to 58 yards of passing.
Michigan had averaged over 200 yards
of passing coming into the game.
"I couldn't imagine (Wisconsin')
playing.any better," Wisconsin coach
Barry Alvarez said.
Walker aided Echols by dropping
three passes during the game. His most

outstanding play did not come on a
reception, but on a one-handed punt
block in the third quarter.
Walker, who was a Biletnikoff Award
semifinalist, did not make the cut for
the three finalists, which *were
announced Friday. The three finalists
are Wisconsin's Lee Evans, Florida's
Jabar Gaffney and Louisiana State's
Josh Reed. The winner will be
announced on Dec. 4.
BIRTHDAY Boys: Celebrating birth-
days this weekend were for the Wolver-
ines were kicker Hayden Epstein, safety
Cato June and cornerback Brandon
Williams, each of whom had a signifi-
cant impact in the game.
June finished the game with three
solo tackles and helped the Michigan
secondary to one of its best games of
the season. The Wolverines allowed just
133 yards in the air.
Williams' heads-up play in the
game's-waning moments allowed
Epstein to kick the game winner with
10 seconds remaining on the clock.
Epstein ran down the field to pat
Williams on the back and wasn't ready
to kick the field goal.
"I sprinted down there to give
(Williams) a hug and congratulate him
and I see everyone on the sideline
yelling, 'field goal!' and I'm thinking,

'No."' Epstein said.
Epstein was 2-for-3 on field goals for
the game, missing a 46-yard kick and
making from distances of 25 and 31
yards.
The bizarre finish to give Michigan
the win was enough of a birthday pre-
sent for the trio.
"That's enough. It's too much for one
day," Williams said.
WANNA BE UKE BUDDY LEE (EVANS):
In a day with limited offense, Wiscon-
sin's Lee Evans broke former Badger
Al Toon's all-time receiving yardage
record with 2,104 yards. Toon had
2,103 yards.
Against the Wolverines, Evans
caught three passes for 31 yards.
In addition to the yardage record, it
was Evans' 24th consecutive game with
a reception, which also sets new Wis-
consin record.
Evans currently leads the Big Ten in
receiving yardage with 1,394 yards and
is tied with Walker for first in recep-
tions. He also has scored nine touch-
downs this season.
After the game, Evans, a junior,
announced that he would return for his
senior season, despite having such a
stellar season.
"I'll be back, definitely. That's not
even a question," Evans said.

But as much as Michigan proba-
bly didn't deserve to beat Michigan
State, the Wolverines didn't deserve
to lose to this Wisconsin team. On
the surface, these two games might
appear to have a lot of similarities,
but there is one big difference.
As hard as it might be for a
Michigan fan to admit, Michigan
State outplayed the Wolverines,
those 12 sacks by Michigan's
defense notwithstanding. Wisconsin
- on the other hand - missed a
field goal, had two punts blocked
and has to deal with the fact that its
quarterback is the worst passer in
the Big Ten not currently playing
for Ohio State.
Sure, with a few breaks, Michigan
could be 10-0 right now. If the
Wolverines were undefeated, a win
over Ohio State next week would, in
all likelihood, have lifted them into
the Rose Bowl.
Just imagine the possibilities -
Michigan's secondary vs. Florida's
receivers, Michigan's secondary vs.
Miami's receivers ... OK, I'll stop
scaring you now.
But, on the flip side, Michigan
isn't that far from being 6-4. Just
imagine those possibilities - the
Wolverines trying to stifle the
vaunted Southern Cal offense in
front of a half-empty stadium at the
Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Makes
you sick, doesn't it?
So, did Alvarez deserve better on
Saturday? Maybe.
Did Carr deserve better against
Michigan State? Maybe.
Assuming Michigan beats Ohio
State, do the Wolverines deserve
better (or worse) than 9-21, a Big Ten
title and a BCS bid?
No.

40

PUNTING
Player
Epstein
Totals
KICKOFF RETURNS
Player No.
Moundros 2
Perry 1
Totals 3
PUNT RETURNS
Player No.
Walker 4
Jackson 1
Totals 6

No. Yds Avg Lg
8 291 36.4 48
8 291 36.4 48

Arun Gopal can be reached at
agopal@umich.edu

DEFENSE
Player
Hobson
Drake
Brackins
Howard
Foote
Rumishek
June
Bellamy
Pearson
Williams

Yds
18
16
34
Yds
34
43
77
Solo
8
5
2
5
4 .
2
0
2
2
2
Yds
O
0

Avg
9.0
16.0
11.3
Avg
8.5
43
15.4

Lg
9
16
16
Lg
10
43
43

Asst
2
2
5
1
2
3
0
0

TD
0
0
0
TO
0
1
1
Tot
7
7
6
6
3
3
2
2.
2
TD
7 O
i O
2 0

PASS DEFENSE
Player
LeSueur
Howard
Totals

Yet again, Wolverines find
a way to come out on top

Int
O
O
0

Lg
O
O
0

Brk-up
2

.......A.....................................................
-PLAYERs OF THE aAME:

By Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Editor
MADISON - All season, No. 11 Michi-
gan (6-1 Big Ten, 8-2' overall) has found dif-
ferent ways to win games.
. Against No. 10 Illinois, the Wolverines
outsmarted the opponent, using gimmick
plays to lap the Fighting Illini, 45-20.
Against Iowa, Michigan caught an unex-
pected break when Marquise Walker grabbed
a one-handed touchdown pass to push Michi-
gan past the Hawkeyes, 32-26.
Then, agaii.st Wisconsin this past Saturday,
it was Michigan's special teams that shined.
While the game will be remembered for a
late-game turnover, that play would have
been inconsequential if not for unbelievable
play from all aspects of the special teams.
Michigan blocked two punts - returning
one for a touchdown - which led to 10
points.
What's more, when the punt rush didn't get
to the ball, it applied enough pressure on
Wisconsin punter R.J. Morse that he that he
could feel the heat - he averaged just 29.8
yards per punt.
While all aspects of Michigan's special
teams were impressive, the biggest play of
the game was without a doubt when .4ichi-
gan kicker Hayden Epstein punted the ball to
Wisconsin with 12 seconds left in a tied
game.
The Badgers had all 11 players on the line

trying to block the punt, and when Epstein
got the punt off, Michigan was going to let
the ball bounce around and take up as much
time as possible. That's when Wisconsin's
Brett Bell found himself a little too close to
the ball.
The ball took a high bounce off 'of the
Astroturf and hit Bell in the leg, creating a
fumble.
"I was absolutely shocked," said Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr, who didn't see the play
because he was watching to make sure the
punt wasn't blocked.
"On my phones (the assistant coaches)
were saying, 'We got the ball, we got the
ball.' I looked down the field and sure
enough, we had the ball."
The play left Bell distraught. "I hope (my
teammates) don't blame (the loss) on me," he
said. "I'm sorry."
After Williams recovered the ball, Epstein
had to make a game-winning 31-yard kick
with just 10 seconds left - a task made even
more difficult because Epstein was winded
from running down the field to celebrate
Williams' play.
"I was sprinting down the field to give
(Williams) a hug," Epstein said. "I was pretty
winded. It was nice to catch my breath" on
the timeout.
'Carr opted to kick the field goal right away
rather than center the ball first because his
team had no timeouts and he didn't want to
create any last-second controversy, which

a

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Hayden Epstein's punt led to the bizarre ending last Saturday. Epstein also kicked the game-winning
field goal with 14 seconds left.

happened three weeks earlier when Michigan
State got two plays off in the final 12 sec-
onds.
The final sequence would have never hap-
pened had Wisconsin's freshman place kicker
Mark Neuser made a 36-yard field goal from
the center hash.

OFFENSIVE - Hayden Epstein: The
senior kicked two field goals, including
the game-winner with just 10 seconds
left in the game.
DEFENSIVE - Marlin Jackson: He
blocked a punt and ran it back 43
yards for a touchdown, giving
Michigan its first points.
-..

BADG ERS
Continued from Page 1B
"When they make it impossible
for you to run it, you have be able
to throw it and our biggest problem
today is that we just couldn't throw
it," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said.

With the score tied at
freshman cornerback Marlin
son ran in untouched to b
Wisconsin punt and returne
yards for the touchdown,
silenced the raucous Camp I
Stadium crowd.
The Wolverines also ki
field goal after a one-hand

His kick was just right of the goal post,
putting the Wolverines in a no-lose situation
- either they score and win, or don't score
and play overtime.
Ultimately, the Wolverines' offense -
which totaled just 45-second half yards -
had to punt, setting up the memorable play.
seven, gers were led by running back
n Jack- Anthony Davis, who rushed for 103
lock a yards and a touchdown.
d it 43 Wisconsin also suffered from an
which inability to pass the ball. It gained
Randall 133 yards in the air and its leading
receiver, Lee Evans, had just three
cked a catches for 31 yards.
ed punt With the loss, Wisconsin cannot

NNt

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