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December 03, 2001 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-12-03

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 3 2001


Shazor may
move to LB
for bowl prep
By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan football team will take a couple
weeks off before preparing for the Citrus Bowl.
The break provides the Wolverines an opportunity
to work out the kinks they encountered during the
season and to, work with new combinations both
offensively and defensively.
During last week's media luncheon, Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr used former Michigan standout
and current Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman
Steve Hutchinson as an example. Hutchinson came
to Michigan wanting to play as a defensive tackle,
but was moved to the offensive line during the
bowl break his freshman year and never looked
This season, highly-touted recruit Ernest Shazor
may move to linebacker due to the logjam in the
defensive backfield.
"(Charles) Drake, (Cato) June, (Julius) Curry
and (Jon) Shaw are all returning and all are out-
standing football players," Carr said. "You have to
look and find a place for Ernest Shazor because he
has tremendous ability. That's a challenge we have,
but we have to do that because-he is a difference
Next season, the Wolverines will have to replace
linebackers Larry Foote and Eric Brackins, both of
whom have no remaining eligibility.
SPENCER'S GIFTs: Carr hopes to use the break to
give quarterback Spencer Brinton extra practice
and repetitions with the first team.
Freshman Jermaine Gonzales has seen his play-
ing rime increase as a result of inconsistent play by
starter John Navarre, but Brinton did not have
enough time to return to playing shape after return-

Davie regime comes
to end in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Bob
Davie was fired yesterday as Notre
Dame's coach, one day after the sto-
ried football program completed its
second losing season in three years.
Athletic director Kevin White' said
that while Davie's teams have done
well academically, "We also expect
and intend to excel on the field, and
there unfortunately, our results and
progress have been disappointing."
The search for a new coach would
begin immediately, White said.
"It is no secret to anyone that high
expectations come with the job of
head football coach at Notre Dame,"
White said. "Those expectations are
the product not only of our history and
tradition and national following, but
also our institution-wide commitment
to excellence and everything that we
The team's assistant coaches were
told yesterday that the new coach
would select his own staff, but that
they would continue as university
employees at least until their succes-
sors were chosen, White said.
The players were informed of the
decision yesterday.
Davie was Notre Dame coach for
five years and had the third-worst win-
ning percentage in Irish history. The
Irish lost six or more games three
times under Davie.
The firing came a year after Davie
signed a five-year contract, following
a season in which the Irish went 9=2.
But the Irish started this season 0-3 for
the first ever and finished 5-6.

"I think Coach Davie has been treat-
ed unfairly in a lot of ways. I think he
busted his tail trying to do things the
Notre Dame way," offensive coordina-
tor Kevin Rogers said yesterday. "I
think he tried to do everything here the
right way, and he was vilified for it."
The Irish struggled after Davie
raised expectations before the season
by saying this was the most talented
Irish squad since he arrived in South
Bend as an assistant in 1994.
During Davie's tenure, the Irish
were placed on NCAA probation for
the first time. They also produced no
first-team All-Americans and only one
first-round draft pick, offenseive line-
man Luke Petitgout to the New York
Davie leaves without leading the
Irish to a top-10 finish in his five sea-
sons. The Irish were ranked at the end
of the season only twice -No. 15 last
season and No. 22 in 1998.
His 35-25-0 record gives him a .583
winning percentage.
Davie was never fully embraced by
the Notre Dame community after get-
ting off to a tumultuous start.
To many Irish fans, though, the
most upsetting thing was losing.
The Irish were 6-15 against ranked
teams during Davie's stay, 1-7 against
teams ranked in the top 10 and 11-18
away from Notre Dame Stadium.
The Irish also suffered some embar-
rassing losses, including 45-23 to
Michigan State in 1998 and 41-9 to
Oregon State in the Fiesta Bowl last

Junior safety Charles Drake has helped strengthen the Michigan secondary this past year, making it Michigan's
deepest defensive position.

ing from a Mormon mission earlier this year.
"Spencer displayed the ability to play, unfortu-
nately we were in a time frame where we didn't
have enough time and we had to make * decision
for the sake of the team," Carr said. "I want to see
what he can (1o during this bowl preparation. I'm
going to evaluate our situation at quarterback and I
want to step back and look at that entire situation
and evaluate it."
Brinton played briefly in mop-up duty against
Miami (Ohio), Illinois 'and Penn State, but has
attempted just one pass this season.
CITRIC ACID: A week of stunning upsets has left
Michigan with a better idea of who it will face in
the Citrus Bowl. The Citrus Bowl will likely select

Florida, Louisiana State or South Carolina to take
on the Wolverines on Jan. 1.
The automatic BCS game berth for the SEC will
be decided next Saturday when Louisiana State
faces Tennessee. The Volunteers dashed the Gators
Rose Bowl hopes last Saturday by handing them a
36-34 loss in Gainesville. Should Tennessee defeat
the Tigers next week, it will likely earn a spot in
the Rose Bowl and Florida will receive an at-large
BCS berth. The Wolverines would then face either
Louisiana State or South Carolina.
But if Louisiana State defeats Tennessee, then
the Tigers will go the BCS, the Volunteers should
get an at-large spot and Florida will be in the Cit-
rus Bowl.

Heisman hopefuls T
Here's a look at some of the potential Heisman front-runners:'a
The Finalists:
Eric Crouch Nebraska Senior QB
(1,510 yds passing, 7 TDs; 1115 yds rushing, 18 TDs)
The favorite for the Heisman until his team was crushed by Colorado 62-36 on Nov. 23. But even in his team's
only loss he still amassed 360 total yards of offense. He is the all-time total offense leader in the Big 12
with 7,915 yards.
The Big Question: Will the late loss doom him?
Joey Harrington Oregon Senior QB
(2,414 yds, 23 TDs, 5 INTs)
Might have been in the driver's seat following Crouch's loss but hurt himself by playing less
than spectacularly in Oregon's 17-14 win over rival Oregon State on Saturday. He played
poorly at the wrong time, going 11-for-22 for only 104 yards against the Beavers.
The Big Question: Oregon bought a $250,000 poster of him and put it in Times
Square, but how will his lack of exposure on the East Coast affect him?
Rex Grossman Florida Sophomore QB (3,896 yds, 34 TDS, 12 INTs)
His strong arm, which threw for 3,896 yards and 34 touchdowns, makes him the quarterback with the strongest numbers, but being a
sophomore hurts him. Not to be outdone by Crouch, Grossman also lost his last game, 34-32 at the hands of Tennessee.
The Big Question: Is it really likely for a sophomore quarterback on a team with two losses to win the Heisman? No.
David Carr Fresno State Senior QB (4,299 yds, 42 TDs, 7 INTs)
He was the talk of the nation up until mid-October and even though the talk has died down his numbers haven't. Carr finished his stellar
senior year by throwing for 4,299 yards, 42 touchdowns and completing nearly 70 percent of his 476 passes.
The Big Question: Playing in the WAC didn't help him one bit. Even if Carr threw for 60 touchdowns he probably had no
legitimate shot. He will get a few votes, but nothing to take him over the top.

Buffs stomp out Horns' title hopes
Tennessee runs wild against Florida; Miami locks up Rose Bowl

Home or away? It's all the same to your minutes.

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Just call
Colorado the Rose Bowl elimination
squad. One week after erasing
Nebraska's road to the national title
game, it knocked Texas out of the
way, too.
Chris Brown ran for three touch-
downs as No. 9 Colorado turned
Texas quarterback Chris Simms' four
first-half turnovers into 22 points,
then held off a rally to beat No. 3
Texas 39-37 Saturday night for the
Buffalos' first Big 12 championship.
Colorado (10-2) fulfilled the vision
coach Gary Barnett had for the Buffs
this summer when no one else expect-
ed much from them after a 3-8 sea-
son. Their stunning turnaround will
continue in a Bowl Championship
Series game, likely the Fiesta Bowl.
Representatives from the bowl were in
the lockerroom right after the win.
"When we left the hotel today, I
told them we are a team of destiny,"
Bamett said. "No one is playing with
more heart right now. Whoever we
play next, they're going to face one
heck of a football team."
Simms' meltdown prevented Texas
(10-2) from finishing its own story-
book season.
Texas knew before kickoff that if it
won, it would be in position to move
up to No. 2 in the second-to-last BCS
standings because Florida lost to Ten-
nessee. Early arriving Longhorns fans
cheered wildly when that result was
announced and several waved red
Instead, the Longhorns are likely
headed to the Holiday Bowl for the
second straight year, this time against
No. 19 Washington.
"The Rose Bowl was right there,"
said receiver B.J. Johnson, who scored
the first and last touchdowns in Texas'
comeback bid. "All we had to do was
beat Colorado and we didn't get it
TENNESSEE 34, FLORIDA 32: A little
tailback and his insulted group of
teammates helped Tennessee earn a
chance for a championship season.
They also did what so many previous
Tennessee teams couldn't.
Tennessee was much more physical
than Florida. The Volunteers dominat-
ed the line of scrimmage and were
able to run the ball at will.
It's surprising that Tennessee could
come into the Swamp and run for 241




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Texas wide receiver Roy Williams lays his head on the bench after Texas lost the
Big 12 Championship to Colorado 39-37, Saturday.
yards against one of the top run 10-yard line at the south end of Lane
defenses in the country. Stadium, jumping up and down in
The Vols' defense did a good job of unison. Some raised helmets skyward,
putting pressure on Florida quarter- others held long-stemmed roses.
back Rex Grossman. Not many teams "We're going to the 'ship! We're
have been able to get in his face. But going to the 'ship!" they chanted.
with John Henderson inside leading Indeed they are going to the nation-
the rush, Tennessee was able to make al championship game in the Rose
Grossman uncomfortable in the pock- Bowl on Jan. 3. But they had to with-
et. stand another close call on the road to
The early turnovers helped Ten- hold off No. 14 Virginia Tech 26-24
nessee get a lead and gain some con- on Saturday.
fidence and also took the crowd out "I'm happy we won," cornerback
of it - which helped Casey Clausen Phillip Buchanon said, "but walking
more than anybody. off the field I didn't have that feeling
Grossman had the best day of the you should for a team going to the
Heisman candidates playing Saturday, Rose Bowl."
but he couldn't pull out the victory. Thanks to a dropped 2-point con-
And while Miami and Oregon won, version pass by Tech's Ernest Wilford
neither quarterback Ken Dorsey nor with 6'03 left and a stifling defense
quarterback Joey Harrington did that sacked Grant Noel five times,
much to advance their candidacies. intercepted four passes and recovered
Travis Stephens ran for a career- his fumble, Miami completed a per-
high 226 yards Saturday and over- feet regular season and extended its
looked No. 5 Tennessee stopped No. NCAA winning streak to 21 games.
2 Florida on a 2-point conversion with "Our team didn't flinch," Miami
1:10 left for a 34-32 win that further rookie coach Larry Coker said. "It
scrambled the Rose Bowl picture. certainly didn't look good for us at
MIAMI (FLA.) 26, VIRGINIA TECH times, but I'm extremely proud of the
24: Miami players gathered near the way we played."

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TOP 25

Associated Press Poll for week of November 5.
Games updated through November 12.
Team: Last week:

This week:

(first-place votes in parentheses)

Hurry! Offer ends soon.

The clear alternative to cellular.

1. Miami (Fla.)
2. Florida
3. Nebraska
4. Texas
5. Oregon
6. Tennessee
8. Maryland
9. Brigham Young
10. Illinois
11. Oklahoma
12. Michigan
13. Washington

beat No. 13 Virginia Tech
lost to No. 4 Tennessee 34-32
did not play
lost to No. 10 Colorado 39-37
beat Oregon State 17-14
beat No. 2 Florida 34-32
beat No. 4 Texas 39-37
did not play
beat Mississippi State 41-38
did not play
did not play
did not play
did not play

vs. LSU

1. Miami (Fla.) (72)
2. Tennessee
3. Oregon
4. Colorado
5. Nebraska
6. Florida
7. Maryland
8. Illinois
9. Brigham Young
10. Texas '
11. Oklahoma
12. Stanford!
13. Washington State
14. Virginia Tech




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