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September 20, 2002 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-20

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8B - The Michigan Daily - FooTBALL SATURDAY - September 21, 2002

The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SATURDA

Utes face
upset 'M'
ByDvdHrDaily Sports Editor







Tomorrow's game between Utah
and Michigan features two teams that
feel like they deserve better. Utah lost
last weekend at Arizona, after a series
of disputed calls led Utes coach Ron
McBride to question the allegiance of
the Pac-10 official John Fogltance.
With 38 seconds remaining, a touch-
down pass to Josh Lyman that would
have tied the game was ruled incom-
plete, negating the Utes' game-win-
ning drive.
Earlier that day in South Bend, Ind.,
Michigan was involved in an emotion-
al and controversial defeat at the
hands of Notre Dame. A Carlyle Holi-
day sneak run appeared to come up a
yard shy of the end zone, but was
ruled a touchdown. Add to that a
phantom pass interference call on
Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson,
and Michigan feels like it was a few
bad calls away from being 3-0 instead
of 2-1.
But which team has more to prove?
The perennial power trying to resume
a winning rhythm or the scrappy,
physical Mountain West challenger?
"I think we're both upset about last
week," Utah quarterback Lance Rice
said. "it was tough. We had a chance

DANN""MO 'L" '/Daly
With Utah's leading rusher, Marty Johnson injured, Marlin Jackson and the rest of
the Michigan defensive seconday will see more of the Utes' air attack.

to win there. But there's a new game
each week ... (Today) is a huge
opportunity for our program. Any
time you can play BCS teams it's
exciting and a challenge for us. We
have a chip on our shoulder."
Utah prides itself as a hard-hitting,
physical team. It will need to catch
Michigan off-guard in the hopes that
the Wolverines are either still coming
down from their own tough loss, or
are looking ahead to the beginning of
the Big Ten season, which commences
next weekend.
"We are looking forward to playing
a very good Utah team," Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr said. "It is going to
be a challenge for us from the stand-
point that anytime you come off an
emotional game like last Saturday, it
is a challenge for your team. We are
looking forward to it."

Michigan will focus on playing a
clean game. Last weekend's loss to
Notre Dame was plagued by turnovers
and penalties, and the Michigan
defense in particular seemed to have a
knack for giving up the big play.
Utah will be forced to air it out,
having lost for the season its starting
running back (and the nation's leading
rusher at the time of the injury),
Marty Johnson. The Utes will likely
avoid Jackson, who has been spectac-
ular at the corner for the Wolverines.
"Jackson is obviously very talent-
ed," Rice said. "He's a big-time player
and it's going to be a huge challenge
for us. You want to go away from
Without their star running back and
faced with the hostility and awe of
Michigan Stadium, the Utes may be
disappointed yet again.


'l bdcA%


Before every football game this season, two of the Daily football writers will
take the weekend's matchup to the Playstation 2.
For this week's matchup, coach Joe Smith led the Wolverines and J. Brady
McCollough took the helm of the Utes.
Play of the game - Covered by four or five Utes, Michigan WR No. 19 prac-
tically jumped out of the Big House to catch a touchdown pass from QB No.
16 in the first quarter. Oh, wait, that happened four times.
Most unrealistic play of the game - Down 35-14 with his team pinned deep
in its own territory, coach McCollough rolled the dice with a fake punt on
fourth-and-long. P No. 14 avoided the rush of Michigan CB No. 31, and
threw a rope to a wide-open TE No. 10, who dropped the ball with nothing
but green in front of him.
Player of the game - Michigan WR No. 19. His gamebreaking speed helped
him embarrass the Utah secondary for four touchdowns and 216 yards.
Michigan key stats
Passing: QB No. 16 -11-of-24, 323 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: RB No. 23 - 8 carries, 26 yards
Receiving: WR No. 19 - 7 receptions, 216 yards, 4 TD; TE No. 83 - 2
receptions, 46 yards, 0 TD
Defense: SS No. 24 - 1 INT, 6 tackles, 2 forced fumbles; LB No. 37 - 2
Utah key stats
Passing: QB No. 16 -12-of-32, 321 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: RB No. 1- 8 carries, 33 yards, 1 TD; RB No. 2 - 6 carries, 32
Receiving: WR No. 27 - 9 receptions, 256 yards, 3 TDs; TE No. 88 - 2
receptions, 50 yards, 0 TD
Defense: Horrible.
Utah head coach J. Brady McCollough: When I coached Notre Dame last
weekend and went up against coach Smith, it was a much different story.
He quit the game after it was 31-0 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Too b ad the game wasn't televised.
I have to tip my hat to RB No. 1, who was supposed to be out for the sea-
son. He got up in the lockerroom at halftime and said he was tired of
watching RB No. 2 lollygag around out there. But, in retrospect, we're
lucky his leg is still attached to his body.
I'm disappointed in this team. This was a statement game for us and the only
statement we made was that we just plain stink. We fumbled the ball twice, in
crucial situations, and the blocked punt by CB No. 31's privates hurt, too.
Although, I have to say, the blocked punt was more my fault than my
team's. I didn't put them in the "max protect punt," and we paid for it.
Who stole my PlayStation? I woke up this morning to start reviewing some
film of the game, and it was gone. It's the second time in two months my-
PlayStation has been stolen. My players, coaches and this University
deserved better than that. Now what are we going to do? If you find an
abandoned PlayStation, call our media relations department immediately.
Michigan head coach Joe Smith: First things first, coach McCollough needs
to stop living in the past.
No. 19 made tremendous strides in practice this week and I knew he'd
have an outstanding game.
Coach McCollough said No. 19 couldn't catch the ball. But we made a
believer out of him today ...
I was impressed with the way Utah's tailback No.1 changed out of his
street clothes at halftime and played the entire second half on a torn MCL.
Thank God we stopped him.
Michigan K No. 34 had trouble with his kickoffs and his lone field goal
attempt. But he did an outstanding job on his extra points. He's been near-
perfect in practice, so I'm not concerned.
Didn't know Jerry Rice played for Utah? Utah WR No. 27 had a tremendous
g ame. We just couldn't stop him. He victimized our secondary for I don't
now how many yards, and I'm just glad we won't see him ever again.
I can't comment on the injury to Michigan- CB No. 31, who took one for the
team by blocking a punt with a body part below his belt. He's an extremely
tough young man.
Too bad coach McCollough's PS2 got stolen after the game last night.
Maybe it was the Michigan State timekeeper.

When you're right
52% of the time
Entering the week, the Michi-
gan Daily football writers are a
mere two games above the .500
mark, thanks in part to David
Horn's extraordinary first week.
But now the writers must prove
that a quarter wouldn't beat
them in Staff Picks.
This week features a myriad dif-
ficult games to pick, but the
football writers racked their
brains and the Internet to get
an egde. A surprising feature of
this week is the lack of respect
for Florida and Texas A&M. And
while Michigan State looked
pathetic against California last
week, it is favored against
Notre Dame and rightfully so
according to three writers.
Michigan has yet to cover this
season, but remain 9.5 point
favorites this week and have
most of the writers convinced
they can cover.
It should be an interesting
week again in Staff Picks, with
every writer likely wondering,
'How could I possibly pick this
team?' at some point during the


MiwaG95) vs. Utah Michigan Michigan Utah
WISCoNSIN (-5.5) vs. Arizona Wisconsin Arizona Wisconsin
PENN SIATE (44.5) VS. LOUIS1ana'Tech Pen State Penn State Penn State
PURDUE (-10) vs. Wake Forest Purdue Purdue Purdue
MIC;IAN SAE2) .NtrDm. ..hign Stateg
ILLINoIS (-23) vs. San Jose State San Jose State Illinois Illinois
OhiO State (47) atC~eNT iAmnatflfl State Cmncinnati
IowA (-21.5) vs. Utah State Iowa Iowa Iowa
MJNN~sOTA (-3I) vs BuffaO Minnesota. Mrnhesota ufo
INDIANA (-6.5) vs. Central Michigan Indiana Indiana Indiana
N~y(3 s otwsenNorthwestenNv North~westerr
TENNESSEE (-3.5) vs. Florida Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
A s (),C i.............he Co. J.outhern Cat ..ns.s $tate
Virginia Tech (-2) at Texas A&M Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Best bet Tennessee Virginia Tech Miami (Fla.)
Record last week (Best bets) 5-10 (1-0) 7-8 (1-0) 7-8 (1-0)


Overall record (Best bets)

16-12-2 (1-1)

14-14-2 (2-0)

14-14-2 (1-1)

Heart-breaing losses fuel the fire
Utah's only hope is run defense and inconsistent Michigan kicking 4

By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Editor

A Michigan Tradition Since 1934

Last week, both Michigan and
Utah suffered crushing defeats and
now are looking to make a state-
ment. Utah coach Ron McBride has
his Utes on the rise, earning the
respect of big-time conferences and
competing for the Mountain West
conference title. Utah lacks the
depth and talent of Michigan, but if
it can shrug off last week's loss, the
Utes will give Michigan problems.
Notre Dame, the Michigan passing
offense was on and off with over-
thrown and dropped passes, fum-
bled balls and throws tipped at the
line. Some of that was caused by the
aggressive Irish defense, but the
unit is still flawed.
Utah's pass defense has not been
spectacular, giving up an average of
nearly 300 yards per game. The
Wolverines will need to find a pass-
ing game before the Big Ten sea-
son, and this could be their game to
find it.
Edge: Michigan

aggressiveness and regardless of
how talented the Michigan back-
field is, Utah will win this battle if
the Wolverines cannot hold on to
the ball.
Edge: Utah
marily a rushing team, but an injury
to Marty Johnson has forced the
Utes to move to a more pass-orient-
ed offense that has had only moder-
ate success. Quarterback Lance
Rice has been efficient but unspec-
tacular. Marlin Jackson will again
shutdown one side of the field for
Michigan, and the rest of the
Wolverines' secondary should con-
tain the rest of the Utes receivers.
Notre Dame quarterback Carlyle
Holiday proved that the Wolverines
are susceptible to mobility. If Rice
can find this characteristic and take
advantage of it, Utah has a chance
against the Wolverines' defense.
Edge: Michigan

J. Brady


lls 41&

the Michigan line last week, rushing
for over 100 yards and two touch-
downs. But without an emerging
running back, Utah should be
stopped by a Michigan defense
looking for respect.
Edge: Michigan

Football Season is here.
Stock up on your
Maize & Blue! !
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or for a Free Catalog
(800) 288-5497

SPECIAL TEAMS: Michigan has no
kicking game. Teams need a kicking
game to win. Above all else, this is
the most important aspect of special
teams. So while Michigan has a
quality return unit, Utah has a kick-
ing game. If this winds up to be
close, the Utes can rely back on
kicker Bryan Borreson, who has
made 75 percent of his field goals,
including two from 50 yards and
Edge: Utah
INTANGIBLES: While Utah is admit-
tedly not intimidated by Michigan
Stadium, home field advantage is
still a major factor in college foot-
ball and will be on Saturday. Also,
historically, Michigan has faired
will against mid-major conference
teams at home.
Edge: Michigan

Michigan will need Braylon Edwards to hang on t


Dame, Utah forces turnovers and
especially fumbles. Last week
against Arizona, the Utes forced four
-fumbles and recovered two. Michi-
gan coughed up the ball three times
against the Irish, including one each
by Chris Perry and B.J. Askew.
Add a stifling rush defense to the

one of the best rushing games in the
nation before the loss of star run-
ning back Johnson. Now with John-
son out for the season, Utah needs
someone to step up. That didn't hap-
pen against Arizona aspfive players
combined for 32 net yards rushing.
Notre Dame running back Ryan
Grant had surprising success against

Michigan 28, Utah 21

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