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September 23, 2002 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-23

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

September 23, 2002

dir l t~jigau &iiI

Vol. CXII, No. 15


- - - - - - - --------------------------- - i S ;: i i! A i;: i i ;; 1




Blue unimpressive
N in marginal victory

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
Utah coach Ron McBride usually
fumes at such a pathetic offensive
On Saturday, his offense sput-
tered, crashed and burned.as it
compiled nine three-and-outs and
just 13 yards on the ground.
McBride could have been extreme-
ly disappointed that his one-dimen-
sional Utes didn't crack the
100-yard total offense mark in the
first half, or that they didn't cross
midfield until midway through the
fourth quarter.
But on Saturday, such a dismal
performance by the Utes was nearly
enough to beat No. 14 Michigan at
the Big House, as the Wolverines
squeaked past Utah, 10-7. After the
game, Michigan players said they felt
a huge sigh of relief and were "glad
it was over," while the Utes said they
wondered why everyone makes a
huge fuss over the Wolverines.
"We didn't come here to play
them close, or to gain respect,"
McBride said. "We came to win,
and anything other than that is not
acceptable. Period."
Said Utah running back J.R. Per-
oulis: "You know what, they're a
great team, but out on the field I
don't think there as good as people
said they were. All you hear is
Michigan this, and Michigan that,
but we played them tight. They have
better athletes, but as a whole I don't
think they lived up to the hype."
Utah's lone drive past midfield
resulted in its only touchdown - a
29-yard reception by Travis LaTan-
dresse. The Utes had a chance to
win when they got the ball back
with under two minutes left. But
they self-destructed, getting called
for two holding penalties before
quarterback Lance Rice threw a
fourth-down interception near mid-
field to end any hopes of an upset.
After the game, Utah defensive
end Jason Kaufusi - an All-Amer-
ica candidate who reminds team-
mates of former Ute and current
Detroit Lion Luther Elliss - deliv-
ered an emotional and biting
speech to his teammates in the
lockerroom, mostly about Utah's
offense leaving its defense on the
field for more than 70 plays and
giving them just seven points to
show for it.
"We can't keep doing this to our-
selves," Kaufusi yelled. "I'm get-
ting sick and tired of it."
Peroulis agreed: "He's right. We
have to complement our offense.

You can't ask for more from our
defense than giving up just 10
points to Michigan, and we didn't
do our job."
But according to Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr, the Wolverines' "new"
offense also didn't do its job.
Despite rushing for 175 yards
against the third best rushing
defense in the nation, Michigan had
a horrendous, 5-of-19 conversion
rate on 3rd down and the Wolver-
ines couldn't cash in when they-
were in the red zone. Michigan's
average starting field position was
at its own 39, but on 10 different
occasions the Wolverines found
themselves watching drives past
midfield stall from either penalties,
poor throws by John Navarre,
botched catches from receivers or a
costly Chris Perry fumble.
"When you get the ball 1 st and
goal at the 2-yard line, that's got to
be a touchdown," Carr said.
Safety Julius Curry started the
drive in question with one of his
two interceptions on the day and
ran it back to the Utah 15-yard line.
After the drive sputtered, kiclker
Phil Brabbs lined up for an appar-
ent chip shot. But instead, Brabbs
took a handoff from Navarre and
See UTES, Page 4B
~. U

Michigan strong safety Julius Curry (26) interceptsa pass from Lance Rice on the Utes' final drive of the game. Curry finished the game with two interceptions, leading a
strong performance by the Michigan defense.

Sloppy win a big loss for



Saturday night, a friend of mine unknowingly
summarized the Michigan-Utah game: "John
Navarre lost the game for us ... Oh, wait, we
didn't lose."
It was a telling statement.
Michigan players talked after
the game about how they
were just glad to put another r}
game in the win column.
They were happy to dismiss
their sloppy performance K -
against an inferior team with
a predictable "a win is a win" J. BRADY
attitude. . MCCOLLOUGH
But Saturday's 10-7 nail-
biting "win" over Utah All about
should not be considered the cause
anything but a loss. This
game was supposed to be Michigan's chance to prove
that its loss to Notre Dame last week, characterized by
undisciplined mistakes, was an aberration.
"I think that we have a point to prove because that
team you saw (against Notre Dame) was not us," said

captain Bennie Joppru last Monday. "We are not a
mistake-prone team."
But the only thing the Wolverines showed against
Utah was that they might even be more mistake-prone
than they were against the Irish. Michigan drove into
Utah territory 10 times and came away with just two
scores because of things such as penalties, two missed
field goals and an inexplicable fumble on the goalline
by running back Chris Perry.;
Apparently, mistakes have become a vital part of
the equation for this 3-1 Michigan team.
"You're going to have mistakes in a game, it's just
sometimes they're costly and sometimes they're not,"
running back Tim Bracken said.
Has Michigan become so conditioned by its recent
mediocrity that it no longer strives for perfection and
just hopes its inevitable mistakes won't lose the game?
Offensive coordinator Terry Malone tabbed the
problem "a lack of execution." He's right. There was
no execution on offense. But he left out the lack of
discipline that has become a recurring theme for
Michigan over the past few years.
Let's take a look at a few choice selections from

Michigan's losses from the last two seasons - of
course, I'm going to include Utah.
Nov. 3, 2001 at Michigan State, with Michigan
rolling through the Big Ten with a 4-0 record and No.
4 ranking in the Bowl Championship Series, is an
obvious place to start. With the Wolverines leading
24-20 with less than a minute to play, Michigan cor-
nerback Jeremy LeSueur grabbed receiver Charles
Rogers by his facemask and threw him out of bounds
away from the play - a fourth-and-16 incomplete
pass that should have ended the game. LeSueur went
out of his way to draw a penalty, putting his own per-
sonal battle with Rogers above the team.
Against Washington in Seattle on Sept. 8 of last
season, Michigan was ahead 12-6 in the fourth quar-
ter, until Washington's Omare Lowe blocked a 33-
yard field goal attempt that would have put Michigan
ahead by two scores. The Wolverines lost their
momentum and the game, 23-18.
And what about last week's holding penalty in the
end zone by offensive tackle Courtney Morgan that
gave the Irish the two points they needed to beat

Michigan kicker Phillip Brabbs missed
two of his three field goals Saturday.

Wolverines foiled by
late Penn State goal

Extra frame friendly
to stickers at Ocker

By Gennaro Filice
Daily Sports Writer
Playing on the Varsity Soccer
Field for the first time this year, the
men's soccer team fought through
an overcast sky, winds and frigid
temperature, but couldn't weather
the storm of Penn State (0-1 Big
Ten, 5-3 overall).
T h e
Wolverines PENN STATE 1
(2-3-1, 0-1)
opened up M MICHIGAN 0
the Big Ten
season yesterday with a contest
against the Nittany Lions, but the out-
come was a heartbreaking 1-0 loss.
Trn the '73rd minite of the ame.

gan by surprise.
"We weren't expecting (the
shot)," sophomore forward Mychal
Turpin said. "That shot is some-
thing you sometimes give them
because you don't want them to be
inside your box."
Treschuk's score came at a time
when the Wolverines felt they were
in command of the match.
"The whole game was back and
forth,"-Turpin said. "We started to
control the game a little bit in the sec-
ond half, but they got a lucky bounce
at the top of the box, and the guy hit a
nice shot to the low corner."
Although the game featured just
one goal, there was no lack of
excitement. There were many stir-

By Brian Steere
Daily Sports Writer

Whether it's blowouts or nail-
biters, the No. 3 Michigan field
hockey team keeps finding different
and improbable ways to win.
After routing Temple 8-0 on Sat-
urday, Michigan (7-1) needed over-
time yesterday to rally and defeat
No. 12
ern (5-1, 2-
1) under A MICHIGAN 2
wet and
windy conditions at Ocker Field.
Jessica Blake tied the game in the
final minute of regulation and
Stephanie Johnson scored the

Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz
said. "They overcame a ton of
adversity in many directions. I was
really proud that they stayed poised
and focused and always felt like
they were still in it."
Despite 10 penalty corners
throughout the game, Michigan
was unable to convert on any of
them until Johnson came through
in the clutch. Benefiting from a
perfect set by Lori Hillman, the
junior co-captain broke right with
the ball and sent a blistering shot
past Huskies' goalkeeper Emily
"I think we were just sick of
playing by that point," Johnson said
with a laugh. "I think our timing

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