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8B - The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SATURDAY - November 2, 2002
The Michigan Daily - FOOTBAL
Trash-talking on display at corner
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
As sophomore cornerback Marlin
Jackson and Michigan State star
receiver Charles Rogers are bumping,
jamming and chasing each other stride
for stride, they won't forget one of their
"We both like to talk it up, that's for
sure," Jackson said with a grin. "It
should be a fun time."
Both Jackson and Rogers have done
more than back up their trash talk on
the field, as the two are considered
among the best at their positions.
Jackson has said he wants to be better
than former Wolverine and now perenni-
al Pro Bowler Charles Woodson. And
while the Sharon, Pa. native hasn't made
any one-handed interceptions or returned
any punts for touchdowns, he's remained
a steady, lock-down corner for Michigan
- shutting down the opponents' top
receiver on most occasions.
"I'll see first hand if he's the next
Charles Woodson or not," Rogers said. "I
look forward to the challenge he brings."
And Jackson may face his toughest
challenge yet in Rogers, a preseason
Heisman Trophy candidate. The 6-foot-
4, 215-pound Saginaw native boasts the
perfect combination of size, speed and
soft hands. Just 51 yards away from his
second-straight 1,000-yard season,
Rogers has averaged 118 yards per game
- including an amazing 20.6 per grab.
"He's a great football player," Michi-
gan coach Lloyd Carr said. "He
stretches the defense like nobody I've
ever seen. He can change a game."
On Saturday, Rogers may even change
how Michigan plays defense. The
Wolverines have seemed to recently
adopt a bend-but-don't-break defense to
avoid their Achilles Heel - big plays.
Jackson has found himself stymied as
Michigan played a multitude of zone
coverages over the past few games.
Instead of playing his usual physical,
bump-and-run style, Jackson has been
relegated to playing nearly 10 yards off
receivers - letting them be on the
"I love to get up in a receivers' face
and battle," Jackson said. "But whatev-
er the coach says I'll do."
Jackson said he thinks he'll be
matched up one-on-one with Rogers
most of the day, and the sophomore
should see plenty of action as
Rogers remains one of the Spartans'
lone play-making threats. With
Michigan State's stagnant ground
game and the fact backup quarter-
back Damon Dowdell will be taking
the snaps, Michigan State coach
Bobby WilliamOs may put the game
in Rogers' hands.
Williams said he's looking for-
ward to the matchup.
Jackson is "probably the best corner
in the conference and one of the best in
the country," Williams said. "They do a
great job utilizing him, they match him
up with the best receiver, and put him in
single coverage, man-to-man, with no
man behind him."
Over the summer, Rogers labeled
Jackson the toughest cover corner he's
"He just uses his size well and you
can't shake him," Rogers said. "It's
always going to be a battle when we
Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson has played well against most opponents,
including Utah, but has yet to face a talent like Michigan State's Charles Rogers.
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 Spartans and David Horn
took the helm for the Wolverines.
Play of the game - Just four seconds into the game, Michigan QB No. 16
attempted a wide receiver screen to WR No. 9, but the pass was knocked
down behind the line of scrimmage by Michigan State CB No. 21. Ruled a
fumble by referees, CB No. 21 picked up the loose ball and ran it into the
end zone to give the Spartans an early 7-0 lead.
Most unrealistic play of the game - Michigan not only converted on fourth
down, but converted for a touchdown.
Player of the game - Reluctantly, the game ball has go go to Michigan
State CB No. 21, whose defensive awareness led to a touchdown that
proved to be the difference. Michigan CB No. 30 gets some props for his
Michigan State key stats
Passing: QB No. 9 - 9-18, 206 yards, 2 TD, 3 INTs
Rushing: RB No. 49 - 12 carries, 37 yards QB No. 7 - 2 carries, 22 yards
Receiving: TE No. 44 - 4 receptions, 96 yards, 2 TDs; WR No. 9 - 2 recep-
tions, 44 yards
Defense: MLB No. 48 - 6 tackles; CB No. 21 - 1 fumble recovery, 4 tack-
les; LOLB No. 44 - 2 tackles for loss
Michigan key stats
Passing: QB No. 16- 18-40, 226 yards, 2 TD
Rushing: RB No. 23 -12 carries, 44 yards
Receiving: TE No. 83 - 7 receptions, 93 yards; WR No. 9 - 3 receptions,
59 yards; WR No. 27 - 3 reception, 29 yards, 1 TD
Defense: LE No. 92 - 3 tackles for loss, CB No. 30 - 2 INTs
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES:
Michigan State head coach Joe Smith: Phew! At least I can count on my team
showing up for one game a year - and to my bosses that's all that matters. So to
all those haters and creators of www.firebobbywilliams.com, eat that! You'll get to
see plenty of me for a while, don't you worry.
Some people might say that re-instating QB No. 9 for the game is unethical, but
I'd rather call it clever coaching. No one expected QB No. 9 to come right out of
nowhere and onto the field, did they? He had trouble catching his breath for parts
of the first half, and I had to take him out. Darn kids.
I was licking my chops when I didn't see CB No. 3 matched up on receiver WR No.
1, but this damn CB No. 30 character played a tremendous game. Although he was
holding WR No. 1 all game, I'll give him partial credit for the two interceptions.
For those of you media folk who liked to overhype mine and coach Horn's "non-
existant" and "cold" relationship, I decided to play into your hands. I never shook
coach Horn's hand at the end of the game, gave him the uncomfortable chair for
the sidelines and proceeded to kick him out of the Big House (my Geddes Ave.
apartment) immediately afterwards.
I dared coach Horn to kick field goals. I even triple-dog dared him. But he'd always
cower away, preferring to go for every fourth down on this side of the Mississippi.
Maybe he should have listened - he was 1-for-8.
Anyone else want to complain about the damn timekeeper? Didn't think so.
Michigan head coach David Horn: I need to tell a story. Last year, coach Smith
and I wrote for The Michigan Daily, and we covered the basketball team. There
was a weekday game in West Lafayette that neither of us wanted to go to
(midterms and whatnot), so we settled who would go by a game of adden. He
had the Bucs. I had theBroncos. Winning by three with time ticking away, I hand-
ed the ball off to Terrell Davis. Again to Davis. Again to Davis. My man was pound-
ing it away, and Smith's chances of a Tuesday night in West Lafayette were
looking good. Then with less than a minute to go, on what would have been his
second-to-last carry of the game, Davis pulled a Michigan HB No. 32 and coughed
up the rock! Derrick Brooks picked it up and returned it to pay dirt for the lead
and the game.
Ironically, this time around the fumble fiasco happened on the first, rather than the
last, p lay of the game. No matter - coach Smith is clearly a lucky turnover away
from being a worse PlayStation player than me. I don't know which is worse - the
indignity of a Procrastination Station defeat, or eating Wendy's off 1-65 at 2 a.m.
in the middle of February.
I don't like the "Pass Mode" to be on "quick." I like it on "normal." It was on
"quick" and I forgot to turn it off, and that first pass was released too quickly. Not
that I like to make excuses.
WR No. 1 is stupid and ugly and made at least three plays that a Superman-Jesus
Christ-Randy Moss menage a trois love child, playing in zero-gravity, could not
Continued from Page 3B
On and off the field, the Spartans are
back to square one, and that's why
many Michigan State fans and alumni
are calling for Williams' head.
"We need to keep in mind that we're
building a program here, and to build a
program it takes time," Williams told
The Associated Press last week, "We're
bringing in quality student-athletes,
guys who will eventually turn this pro-
gram around, and you will see results
soon ... not this year, (but) soon."
In the span of just a few months, the
goal of Michigan State's season has
swung from a Big Ten championship to
playing "the kind of ball that will get us
in position to win a game."
"We're a frustrated team, very frus-
trated," Williams said. "These guys went
into the season with very high expecta-
tions. As a result, we have not met the
expectations that we set for ourselves.
Things just haven't gone our way."
His team's "downward spiral," as The
State News proclaimed it Monday, and
all the speculation about his job are
wearing on Williams. Beating Michi-
gan Saturday might not even be enough
to save his job.
"It's been very tough," he said.
WEEK 9 SELECONS
ALL PICKS MADE AGAINST THE SPREAD.
HOME TEAMS IN SMALL CAPS.
PENN STATE (-14) vS. illinois
David J. Brady
(Hid STATE (13.5) vs. Minnesota Ohio State,
IowA STATE (-10) vS. Missouri Iowa State
N0T1E DAE (40) vs. Boston Colege Notr& Damn
NORTH CAROUNA STATE (-10) vs. Georgia Tech North Carolina State
Tennessee (-1.5) at SouTh CAROUNA Tennessee
OKLAHOMA (-12.5) vs. Colorado Colorado
WAs IGTON STATE (-7.5) vs, Arizon State Washington State
Texas (-3.5) at NEBRASKA Texas
tCLA (41) at WAsnINGToN Washington
VIRGINIA TECH (-13) vs. Pittsburgh Virginia Tech
Georgia (2) vofrid: Faorida
Auburn (-2.5) at MississiPPi Mississippi
QREGoN (-13.5) vs, Stafrd Oregon
Record last week (Best bets)
Overall record (Best bets)
Former favorites battle for pride
By David Horn
Daily Sports Editor
A Michigan Tradition Since 1934
There was a time, just two short
months ago, when this game looked to
have major Big Ten implications. Both
Michigan and Michigan State were
ranked, and were poised to give Ohio
State a run for its money in the quest for
the Big Ten title. While Ohio State has
soared effortlessly and Michigan has
suffered a few setbacks, Michigan State
has plummeted to the bottom of the
conference, embarrassing itself on the
way down. While Michigan is still play-
ing for a major bowl game, the Spartans
are playing primarily for the Paul Bun-
yan Trophy, and the in-state bragging
rights that come with it. Oh yeah - and
a win might save Bobby Williams' job.
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS. MICHI-
GAN STATE RUSHING DEFENSE: Whatever
happens at this matchup, it won't be
pretty. The Michigan State defense has
allowed nearly 200 yards per game on
the ground, which is good enough to be
the 99th-best run defense in the country.
Michigan will try to exploit it with tail-
back Chris Perry, who in the midst of
recovering from injury was stymied
against Iowa last weekend. Look for
Perry and Michigan to re-establish
themselves on the ground.
to beat you unless significant pressure is
put on quarterback John Navarre. The
burden will be on defensive end Clifford
Dukes (four sacks, seven-and-a-half
tackles for a loss) and the Michigan
State front four to force Navarre into
MICHIGAN STATE RUSHING OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN RUSHING DEFENSE: Before last
week, this would have been a no-brainer.
The Michigan rush defense was the one
component of the Wolverines that lived
up to its billing. But when Iowa's Fred
Russell left the game and the sensational
sophomore tailback Jermelle Lewis
entered the game, the Michigan rush
defense looked positively horrid. Michi-
gan State's Dawan Moss has been func-
tional, but will need to be sensational if
the Michigan State offense is to move
the chains without quarterback Jeff
Smoker. Short of that, expect the Michi-
gan rush defense to get back on track.
ball in his hands, Rogers can make the
day a disaster for Michigan.
Edge: Michigan State
North Carolina State
Arizona State Washir
Virginia Tech Virgi
Virginia Tech ...: Was
9-6 (0-1) 9-
You asked, we answ
Want your questions answered? E-mail fc
Question: What does Chris Perry order at Wer
Answer: According to Perry, before his grue
everything at Wendy's. Perry, who trimmed
that the main difference in his diet is that he
Question: Why isn't Michigan playing more ma
tage of cover corners like Marlin Jackson?
Answer: Against Purdue and Iowa, Michigan
mobile quarterback. Jackson said after the I
man-to-man coverage. But with Damon Dow
could see more zone from the Michigan defe
Question: Between defensive plays, why do th
just run off without getting into the huddle?
Answer: You can only have 11 guys in the hud
10 players who are definitely staying in the ga
called, they make the necessary switches to g
SPECUAL TEAMS: Michigan State kicker
Dave Rayner is 8-for-10 on field goals
this season, and a perfect 22-of-22 on
PATs. If you need to know the stats of the
Michigan kickers, just imagine the worst
possible stats and make them a touch bet-
ter. But last week punter Adam Finley
emerged as coach Lloyd Carr's choice for
the rest of the season after pumping a 40-
yarder through the pipes. Will Finley kick
consistently enough to offset two months
of special teams disaster? It would take a
lot. Finley gets the edge over Michigan
State punter Jason Daily whose punts
average less than 40 yards.
INTANGiBLEs: Michigan does not make
it a habit to drop two straight in the Big
House. Michigan does not make it a
habit to drop two straight to Michigan
State. Michigan will have to try pretty
damn hard to lose this game against a
Michigan State team that is not only suf-
fering serious off-field turmoil, but has
looked pretty pathetic on the field as
well. In what could be Bobby Williams'
last game at Michigan Stadium, look for
his Spartans to put up a fight that does
not come near to being enough of one.
Football Season is here.
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MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS. MICHI-
GAN STATE PASSING DEFENSE: Michigan
State's pass defense is as good as its
rush defense is bad. Spartans Thomas
Wright and Jason Harmon have three
interceptions each, and could make
things very difficult for a crop of Michi-
gan receivers that has been, at best,
inconsistent. But what this Michigan
offense has shown this year is its ability
MICHIGAN STATE PASS OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN PASS DEFENSE: Who knows
what happens to the Smokerless Spar-
tans? But no matter who lines up behind
center, Michigan State still has Charles
Rogers, who will be matched up against
Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson in
the premier one-on-one matchup of the
day. The problem for Michigan is that
Rogers is a big play receiver, who is
averaging 20.6 yards per reception.
Michigan has had a tasty habit this sea-
son of giving up the big play, so if
Michigan State can find a way to get the
Michigan 24, Michigan State 13