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12B - The Michigan Daily - KICKoFF 2002 - Thursday, September 5, 2002
DANNY MOLU0i-,/Da iy
Strong safety Julius Curry.
Continued from Page 11B
Jackson and has potential but lacks much
game experience. Still he looked sharp
against Washington, nabbing Michigan's
"There was a lot of talk about Reggie
Williams destroying our secondary, and
that didn't happen," Curry said. "We made
a statement as a secondary today, we made
some mistakes but those will be fixed."
Curry and Jackson are supported by
experienced cornerbacks Jeremy LeSueur,
and Brandon Williams, but Zia Combs
will be the first to come in off the bench.
At safety there is also a lot of experi-
ence. Fifth-year senior free safety Cato
June has battled injuries his entire career
and has yet to live up to the high expecta-
tions. He is backed up by redshirt fresh-
man Ernest Shazor, who at 6-foot-4 has
loads of potential. At strong safety, seniors
Julius Curry and Charles Drake will both
see significant action.
DEFENSIVE LINE: The Wolverines
return their entire starting defensive
line in Shantee Orr, Norman Heuer,
Shawn Lazarus and Dan Rumishek,
with Grant Bowman and Larry Stevens
also seeing the field often. The group
had a successful season and now have
to deal with the high expectations that
come as a returning starter.
Against Washington, the line effectively
stopped the run, but could not stop the
three-step drop of Cody Pickett and the
"That's our goal all year, we want to
stop the run and force the team to pass,"
Rumishek said. "Unfortunately they had a
game plan and they executed it."
Rumishek notched the only two sacks
for the Wolverines, but Pickett was hurried
and knocked down the entire game.
Redshirt freshmen Pierre Woods and
Pat Massey were highly recruited out of
high school and should be ready to step
in after sitting out last season.
LINEBACKERS: Michigan has rarely
had a dearth of talented linebackers and
this season is no different. Zach Kauf-
man, Carl Diggs, Scott McClintock and
Lawrence Reid are all ready to step up
with the departure of Larry Foote and
Eric Brackins at inside linebacker,
despite their lack of experience.
Reid "is a guy that can run. He is tough
and competes hard," Carr said before the
season. "Scott McClintock is going to be a
heck of a football player here."
But the crown jewel is fifth-year senior
and captain Victor Hobson He showed
why against Washington, leading the way
with a team-high nine tackles, eight solo.
As a group, the linebackers were solid but
not outstanding. They were unable to stop
the Huskies' quick passes underneath, but
combined well with the defensive line to
stop the run.
The low-key Hobson doesn't think they
have too much to worry about for the rest
of the season.
"As long as we go out and execute and
play like we know how, I think we'll be all
right," Hobson said.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A thrilling Philip Brabbs
kick may have eliminated his early jitters
and earned the starting spot and Adam Fin-
ley punted extremely well in the opener.
Julius Curry will handle the punt
returning duties again this season, with
Chris Perry and Jeremy LeSueur han-
Western Michigan September 7
Western Michigan returns to the Big House with its potent, spread
offense attack. But it also returns with its porous, weak defensive
unit. Michigan should roll again in this game, barring an unforseen
complete collapse. Last season: 38-21, Michigan
at Notre Dame September 14
After a two-year hiatus, Michigan renews its rivalry with Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish looked impressive in their 22-0 blanking of No. 20
Maryland on Saturday and new coach Tyrone Willingham could have a
Tressel-esque reception with a win. Last season: Did not play.
Utah September 21
A late addition to Michigan's schedule, Utah - a contender in the
Mountain West - could sneak up on the Wolverines if they suffer a
letdown after what promises to be an emotional game against the
Fighting Irish. Last season: Did not play.
at Illinois September 28
Returning Big Ten champion Illinois hasn't received much respect
after losing star quarterback Kurt Kittner. But Champaign is a tough
place to play and the Illini could avenge an embarrassing loss from
last September. Last season: 42-17, Michigan
Penn State October 12
As usual, legendary coach Joe Paterno refuses to hype his Nittany
Lions, who could contend for a Big Ten title. Penn State hasn't beaten
Michigan since it joined the Big Ten. Paterno could be passed by
Bobby Bowden at this point. Last season: 20-0, Michigan
at Purdue October 19
The Boilermakers are again below the Big Ten radar, but after solidi-
fiying the quarterback position with Kyle Orton in the middle of last
season, Purdue could turn some heads again with an always powerful
offense. Last season: 24-10, Michigan
Iowa October 26
Iowa just missed an upset before its home crowd last season and the
rotating quarterback situation didn't help. This season, Brad Banks
brings a mobile threat that is so popular these day and could give
Michigan fits. Last season: 32-26, Michigan
Defensive lineman Shantee Orr.
Michigan State November 2
The Spartans could be undefeated entering this contest thanks to a
very favorable schedule and a very favorable pitch-and-catch combo
in Jeff Smoker and Charles Rogers. This is Michigan State's game of
the year and it should be ready. Last season: 26-24, Michigan State
at Minnesota November 9
On paper, Minnesota doesn't have enough to challenge the Wolver-
ines, but strange things can happen at a night game in the
Metrodome, so you never know. Asad Abdul-Kaliq is another mobile
1 Big Ten quarterback. Last season: 31-10, Michigan
Wisconsin November 16
Michigan got a lucky bounce at the end of last season against the
Badgers to set up a game-winning field goal by Hayden Epstein. With
the return of Lee Evans and emergence of Jonathon Orr, Wisconsin's
passing game should be powerful. Last season: 20-17, Michigan
Is success a
at Ohio State November 23
Last season, this game made Buckeyes' coach Jim Tressel a hero and
led to the preseason excitement surrounding Ohio State. If the Big
Ten title isn't decided against Michigan State, it could be ironed out
in the season finale at the Horseshoe. Last season: 26-20. Ohio State
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IT'S A GOOD LIFE
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A loving heart and a willingness to learn is all it costs.
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