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November 20, 2001 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-20

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michigandaity.com/s ports

NOVEMBER 20, 2001


_ . . . . ... . . .

Seniors play for
BCS bidinfinal
game at home
By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Editor
For the seniors on the Michigan football team,
this Saturday's game against Ohio State will be
their last at Michigan Stadium. Added to the sig-
nificance of playing in one of college football's
greatest rivalries is the possibility that a Big Ten
title and BCS berth could be on the line against
the Buckeyes.
But in typical Michigan fashion, at yesterday's
media luncheon the seniors made it clear that they
don't view the game much dif-_
ferently than any other. FOOTBALL
"We understand that you
can't get too excited, too moti- Notebook
vated because sometimes that
hurts," senior tight end Shawn Thompson said.
Try as they might, the seniors could not avoid
the emotions of playing their last game in Michi-
gan Stadium.
"You just try to cherish the moment, but at the
same time, realize that I have to concentrate on
what has to be done this week," said sernor offen-
sive lineman Jonathan Goodwin. "I am just going
to try and go out and save my best for last."
For many of Michigan's seniors it will be the
routine of practice - watching film, a Friday
practice at Michigan stadium, staying in the hotel
- that they will miss the most.
"It seems like I have a clock on my left shoulder
and I turn around to look at it and it keeps ticking
down," senior offensive lineman Kurt Anderson
said. "There are a lot of things that will be the last
time I will be doing them. Every single one of
those things is going to be emotional."
By contrast, some Wolverines will be playing in
their first game against Ohio State. If they don't,
know the meaning of the rivalry, they will find out
Junior linebacker Victor Hobson remembers his
first play in the rivalry.
"I mean as players, even if it is your first game,
and you're playing against Ohio State, if you did-
n't know it was a big rivalry, after that first play
you pretty much know," Hobson said. "It is just a
great game to play in. It's just an intensity that you
have to get ready for."
NAVARRE-ENDING STORY: For the second consecu-
tive game, quarterback John Navarre had a tough
passing day. He completed just 11-of-24 passes



Tressel s promise seeming
more and more ill-advised

Quarterback John Navarre will need to do better than his combined 202 passing yards in the past two
contests if he hopes to lead the Wolverines past the Big Ten's second-best pass defense of Ohio State.

for 58 yards against Wisconsin and 12-of-22 pass-
es for 144 yards against Minnesota.
Not coincidentally, freshman Jermaine Gonzales
has played in more than just garbage time in each
of the two games.
According to Navarre's teammates, his
demeanor has not changed in the adversity.
"He seems the same to me. I haven't seen him
down or worried about anything," Goodwin said.
"Even on the sidelines he was still trying to get
guys motivated'and get guys going, but to me he
is still the same John. I have not seen any changes
in him personally. If he's down I wouldn't know
Navarre will face one of his toughest tests this
weekend against the Buckeyes' aggressive second-
ary, led by safety Mike Doss. Ohio State is second

in the Big Ten in scoring defense and pass
"This might be the most aggressive secondary
we face all year," wide receiver Marquise Walker
State's Terry Glenn and David Boston have
given Michigan bulletin board material in the
past few years, the Wolverines have strayed away
from any possibility of doing the same for the
Yesterday was no different.
When asked what Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
would do if he predicted a victory, Goodwin just
"I don't know, but I don't want to be that guy,"
Goodwin said.

Don't ever say that Ohio State
coach Jim Tressel isn't willing
to put his neck on the line. I'm'
sure that just about everyone from
Columbus to Ann Arbor remembers the
promise that he made when he got the
Standing on the Value City Arena
court on the day he was introduced as
coach, Tressel announced that Ohio
State fans would be proud of the Buck-
eyes 310 days later inAnn Arbor. I'm
sure that he said other things during the
ceremony at halftime of the basketball
game, but neither I, nor anyone else,
really remember.
There were a lot of questions sur-
rounding his proclamation. Was Tressel
predicting an Ohio State win in Michi-
gan Stadium - something that former
coach John Cooper was not able to
experience in his 13 years in Colum-
When nearly every media member at.
Big Ten Media Day this past summer
asked him, he said no. Possibly realiz-
ing that his ass couldn't cash the check
he'd written, Tressel backed off and
asserted that fans would be proud of the
way his team acted, on and off the field.
So he has just five days left, and if I
was an Ohio State fan, I would not be
too proud.
Steve Bellisari, Ohio State's quarter-
back, was arrested for driving under the
influence of alcohol early Friday morn-
ing. His blood-alcohol level registered
at .22 - more than twice the legal limit
for the state of Ohio.
Immediately, Tressel suspended the
quarterback indefinitely, but Sunday
night, he was reinstated. Tressel says
that Bellisari won't start against Michi-
gan, and isn't yet sure whether the sen-
ior will play at all.
Anyone who thinksBellisari won't
find his way into a close game has been
drinking far more than Bellisari.
Now, people associated with The
Ohio State University aren't generally
known for intellectual prowess. Let's be
serious here; their athletics website has
a definition of a Buckeye. No mascot
should require explanation.
And when Tressel showed up in
Columbus, immediately throwing
kerosene onto the fire of the Michigan-
Ohio State rivalry, I was as happy as
anyone. Things tend to get boring after
such a long period of one-sidedness.
So now I'm just amused that Tressel's

defense for his bold statement has
turned even more unlikely than the orig-
inal comment. After all, while the
chances of an Ohio State victory may
be slim, I can't see a possible way that
anyone can be proud of the way Bellis-
ari acted.
Tressel needs to go back and realize
what his words mean. He can't hide
from what he said. He tried to, and now
that has backfired.
Moreover, I don't understand how
Tressel could feel any pride for the lack
of accountability that the entire Ohio
State athletic department has shown.
I'm having trouble believing that Bel-
lisari would have been reinstated so soon
if this hadn't been Michigan week. Can
Tressel, and Ohio State Athletic Director
Andy Geiger honestly claim that Bellis-
ari would play if the Buckeyes were
playing Purdue? Do they think anyone
believes that three days suspension,
missing one game, and not starting
another is punishment?
This isn't an issue that I'm going to
lose much sleep over. Bellisari is not
even that good. He's average at best.
And frankly, all streaks and emotions
aside, if Michigan's offense plays like it
did against Wisconsin, Ohio State will
win, even with Tressel himself playing
Ijust think it's ridiculous that Ohio
State doesn't see anything wrong with
this situation.
What would Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr do? Who khows? He certainly
wouldn't be so open about the action
he was taking. Carr has enough experi-
ence to know that if you're going to
put aside morals for the sake of win-
ning football games, it's best to keep it
I don't think Tressel realizes this yet.
This is not Youngstown State anymore
- it's Michigan-Ohio State, possibly
the greatest rivalry in the history of
sport. It's Bo and Woody, Woodson and
Boston, the Horseshoe and the Big
So Tressel should play Bellisari. His
job is to win football games, and as dif-
ficult as it is for me to say this with a
straight face, Bellisari gives Ohio State
a better shot at the win.
But Ohio State needs to stop pretend-
ing that the quarterback served his time.

Moore's back to contributing off the bench
Junior LaVell Blanchard doesn't feel ill effects of ankles; Michigan gets practice with zone

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

A Michigan nightmare was brought
to life just seven minutes into last Fri-
day's game with Oakland.
Starting center and emotional
leader Chris Young picked up his sec-
ond foul in an attempt to take a

charge. The sen-
ior tri-captain was
then forced to
become a specta-
tor for the
remainder of the
half. This made

Michigan coach

before racing down the court to score a
basket in transition.
Young must stay out of foul trouble
tonight as the Wolverines host Fair-
field, a small college in Connecticut,
at 7 p.m. in Crisler Arena. The Stags
were picked second pre-
season in the Metro
Atlantic Athletic Confer- CRISLE
ence, and are coming off Who: Michig
a season-opening, 68-62 Fairfield (0.1
loss to Harvard. When: 7 p.m
Just five days had past Latest: Fairfi
since Moore lamented midweek tes
after Michigan's last Wolverines b
exhibition game against head out to V
Nike Elite that his back Facewestern
was getting worse, and Fra
that surgery was the only cure. But
Moore proved on Friday that he's
capable of spelling Young when the
Wolverines need him.
"He definitely had a big-time
night," sophomore Bernard Robinson
said. "And he only showed half of his
talent, because he's far better than he
showed today."
Moore's ailing back limits his prac-
tice time and can also detract from
his effectiveness on the floor if it's
one of his "bad days." While Moore

wasn't 100 percent, he helped soften
the blow of Young's absence with
eight points and two rebounds in 14
minutes of play.
Moore even sacrificed his body by
taking a charge in the first half, land-
ing hard on his ailing
ARENA "Every time I landed
(1-0) vs. on my back it really
hurt," said Moore, who


eld provides a
t for the
efore they
Kalamazoo to
n Michigan on

received treatment in an
ice-cold tub before the.
game. "But as I said
before, I'll do anything it
takes to help this team

"There were a couple other times
where I wanted to step in, but I could-
n't afford to since I had so many
(fouls)," Young said. "But I just was-
n't playing smart."
STAYING ALIVE: Michigan forward
LaVell Blanchard's two injured ankles
didn't seem to hold him back Friday
night. The junior logged 35 minutes
with 17 points and 14 boards.
SHAQ SIGHTING?: After gaining a ton
of experience running half-court sets
against man-to-man defense throughout
the preseason, the Wolverines got plen'
ty of practice against a zone versus
The Grizzlies played different ver-
sions of an aggressive 2-3 zone that pri-
marily took away the three-point shot
and forced Michigan into shooting mid-
range jumpers. The Wolverines didn't
mind, as they shot 57 percent from the
field, but couldn't help from becoming
surprised that Oakland stuck with the
zone for so long.
"I never played against a team that
played zone for 40 minutes in my entire
life," Moore said. "You would think they
came at us eventually. I mean, I'm not
Shaq, and I don't see Kobe Bryant play-
ing on this team."

Jon Schwartzcan be reached at


Tommy Amaker's heart race for an
"When he got in foul trouble and
we had to take him out we weren't the
same team," Amaker said.
But it didn't take long for 7-foot-2
sophomore Josh Moore to ease his
mind. Moore celebrated his 21st
birthday with a bang, asserting him-
self on the floor in Young's place.
The injury-plagued sophomore
showed no signs of letting a herniated
disk in his back slow him down, as with-
in a minute of entering the game, Moore
blocked a shot on the defensive end

I But what surprised
everyone was Moore's 4-for-4 per-
formance from the charity stripe.
"Finally," said a smiling Moore, a
career 24-percent free throw shooter.
While a healthy and effective Moore
is key for Michigan's success this sea-
son, so is the ability of Young to stay on
the floor and out of foul trouble. Early
fouls not only put Young on the bench,
but also force one of Michigan's most
active and aggressive players to play ten-
tatively when he does come back into
the game.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel explains his decision to reinstate quarterback
Steve Bellisari at a press conference yesterday.


M This Weekend in
. Michigan Athletics

Presented by:


Men's cross finishes 11th; Webb,
Wisnlewski named All-Americans

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Satur'day, November 24
Michigan vs. Ohio State
1 p.m.
Free Bo Schembechler
Bobbleheads to the first
7,500 fans!
4A 0nn nmmemnrative Ticeret

' 0eI e y CingisIar
Fridy Nvember 23
:. vs~Minnesota
?:35 p~m.
S~trdy~November 24
UMvs, Wisconsein

By Megan Fitzgerald
Daily Sports Writer
The men's cross country team ended its season with
an 11 th place finish yesterday at the NCAA Champi-
onshi s in Greenville, S.C.
Led by All-Americans Alan Webb and Mike Wis-
niewski, the team tallied 364 points, good for Michi-
gan's 11th top-15 performance in the last 12 years of
championship meet competition.
"We've been ranked around 11 to 15 all season,"
coach Ron Warhurst said. "All in all, we did a pretty
good ioa"

'finish overall, earned his first collegiate All-America
"Alan did well, considering it was his first NCAA
Championship," Warhurst said.
Webb covered the second 10-K cross country race of
his career in a time of 29:38.
Mike Wisniewski finished only 12 seconds behind
Webb, earning his second All-American honor placing
18th overall.
"Mike ran absolutely great." Warhurst said. "He
closed out his collegiate career in fine fashion."
Mark Pilja, in his fourth NCAA Championship, fin-
ished third for the Wolverines The senior ran a time of __



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