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September 06, 2001 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily - SportsThursday - September 6, 2001- 5B

Navarre still looking for redemption

By Jon Schwartz
Daily Sports Editor
The last time John Navarre stepped onto a Pac-10
team's field was a day that he'd rather forget.
Following up two strong games against Bowling
Green and Rice, Navarre was
getting used to the role of start- FOOTBALL
ing in the place of an injured
Drew Henson. Notebook
Then came the Bruins.
Navarre completed eight of 28 passes with one
interception - including a 1-11 mark in the second
half - as Michigan blew a fourth quarter lead en
r route to a 23-20 loss to UCLA.
The interception came with just under a minute
and a half remaining, with Michigan in field-goal
range. The Wolverines needed only to stop the
clock.
Suddenly, the cheers that Navarre had drawnat
Michigan Stadium were turning to shocked boos.
Fans were desperate for Henson's return.
This weekend, Navarre is going back out west,
this time to Washington.
"Personally, I have to study last year and take it as
1 a positive learning experience," Navarre said.

After the UCLA game, Navarre would start the
next game at Illinois, but when Henson returned for
the second half, he was a backup again.
Since then, he's had a year to dwell on the mis-
takes that he made in the Rose.Bowl, and coach
Lloyd Carr thinks that it's prepared him for this
year.
"There's no question that the UCLA game will
help him in preparing for this week," Carr said. "I
feel very confident that he has learned some things
since then. He is a much better quarterback today
that he was a year ago."
ON THE SURFACE: On Saturday, Michigan will
play its first game on a new field surface that Wash-
ington has installed in Husky Stadium.
FieldTurf is an innovative artificial turf that is
widely considered the best substitute for grass. It is
an extremely well-mixed conglomerate of grass and
artificial turf. From the stands, it looks remarkably
similar to grass, and even on the field, players say
that it handles like a natural surface.
"I like it," quarterback John Navarre said. "It's
softer, and I like the fact that you can wear any type
of shoe on it."
The reason that Navarre and the rest of Michi-
gan's squad know enough about the surface to draw

an opinion is that FiedTurf has been installed in
Oosterbaan Fieldhouse, Michigan's indoor practice
facility.
"I think the fact that we practice on it will help us
a lot on Saturday," linebacker Victor Hobson said.
"I actually started out wearing turf shoes, but I have
now switched to cleats. It really doesn't make a dif-
ference - each shoe gets the same amount of grip."
ONE THAT GOT AWAY: This weekend, the Michigan
coaching staff will get to see a blue-chip recruit that
slipped away at the last minute.
Reggie Williams, a wide receiver out of Tacoma,
Wash. chose Washington at the last minute after
mulling between the Huskies and Michigan.
The 6-foot-4, 215 pound Williams was consid-
ered among the top wide receiver recruits in the
country. In the end, he decided to stay close to
home.
"Reggie will play this weekend," Washington
coach Rick Neuheisel said. "How much, we will
have to wait and see. But he has been what we
expected, he is a talented young man who has
learned quickly, so there's no reason to save him.
"I wouldn't be shocked to see him play anywhere
from 20 to 25 plays. I think he deserves that kind of
time."

DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily
Sophomore John Navarre played well against Miami (Ohio) in the first game of the
season, much like he did against Bowling Green and Rice last season.

Davie has a plan for
quarterback surplus

Will Michigan benefit from its first game?

NOTRE DAME (U-WIRE) - Bob
Davie opened his lunch bag Tuesday
and found a few surprises: A peanut
} butter and jelly sandwich, a Pop Tart,
some Gummi Bears and a banana.
Apparently his wife had switched her
husband and son Clay's lunches.
Just after lunch, Davie hinted that he
might have his own surprise to spring
on Frank Solich and the Cornhuskers
Saturday.
When asked how he planned on
using his quarterbacks in the first game
of the year, Davie smiled and gave away
little.
"We certainly have a plan right now,"
Davie said about his quarterback plans
for Saturday. "Our players know the
plan. But I don't think it's in my best
interests or the team's best interests to
disclose that right now. I think you'll
know how it unfolds in the first game."
After watching Solich tip his hand a
bit in the Cornhuskers' first two games,
Davie was in no hurry to give away his
quarterback surprise.
"I want to give our football team
every advantage we have to win," he
said.
Sophomore incumbent starter Matt
LoVecchio seems to have a solid grip
on the starting job but beyond the first
snap things get interesting. Davie could
bring in fellow sophomores Jared Clark
or Carlyle Holiday to spell LoVecchio
at any time.
-

All three quarterbacks play similar
styles but Holiday seems to be the most
athletic while Clark has the strongest
arm. LoVecchio, however, is the proven
leader.
Beyond the three current quarter-
backs, Arnaz Battle could somehow
mix in the Davie's quarterback surprise.
Battle started the first two games in
2000 before breaking his hand and
switching to wide receiver this year.
Battle, however, only smiled when
asked if he could be used in any passing
situations this year.
David Givens adds another multi-
purpose threat to the Irish attack. The
senior wide receiver ran, passed and
caught a touchdown in 2000.
Last year, it was Notre Dame's spe-
cial teams that surprised Nebraska by
scoring 14 points. Nebraska quarter-
back Eric Crouch said they are better
prepared for the Irish special teams this
year.
"What hurt us last year was special
teams," he said. "That has been our
emphasis this week because we felt that
we lost that part of the game last year."
Davie knows he must create a new
surprise for the Irish this year because
special teams can't be counted on for
14 points. Not only will the Corn-
huskers be better prepared, but the Irish
lost punt returner Joey Getherall to
graduation. Getherall returned a punt
for a touchdown last year.

EDGE
Continued from Page 1B
But Washington will be analyzing
the same game film. The Huskies
can review the various offensive and
defensive sets that Michigan
employed against Miami (Ohio) and
get a sense for the Wolverines' per-
sonnel this season.

Since Washington hasn't played a
game, the Wolverines don't have any
current videotape to go off of.
Michigan will have to rely on tapes
of last season's Washington team,
but with so many changes on the
Huskies' roster, it will be difficult
for the Wolverines to get a good
impression of what they will be
going up against.

"The main thing we will focus on
is the formations," Michigan safety
Julius Curry said. "Hopefully, we
will have some film on them, but if
not then we will have to go out there
and play them the best that we can."
In the end, all of the perceived
advantages and disadvantages don't
mean much if one of the teams does-
n't come out and give a maximum

effort. The Huskies' boss is well
aware of this.
"The fact of the matter is that this
is a great game for both teams,"
Neuheisel said. "As a player and an
assistant, I have been across the field
from Michigan a number of times
and it is always the same - you are
going to get into a fist-fight with one
of the top programs in the country."

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