November 19, 2002
Bulletin boards stay
empty once again
Injury ends Combs' football career at Michigan
The Showdown at The "Shoe"
No. 12 No.2
Michigan Ohio State
Saturday, 12:15 p.m. m Ohio Stadium m ABC
Tresse proves his worth
with undefeated season
By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Writer
There's a saying that Michigan-Ohio
State games in the past have been won
and lost on Monday mornings.
But yesterday morning at Michigan's
weekly press conference, reporters'
lunches were the
only things that FOOTBALL
With each Notebook
that stepped to the plate, media mem-
bers waited anxiously for, that elusive
home run - a quote or anecdote that
could be sent immediately to the Ohio
State bulletin board.
Needless to say, all seven Michigan
players weren't swinging for the fences,
and when they were thrown a meaty
fastball right down the middle of the
plate, they either took it for a strike or
bunted back to the pitcher.
"I think we are always a little
reserved. in what we say," Michigan
captain Bennie Joppru said.
Yes, but not quite like this.
Michigan downplayed absolutely
every possible angle of interest. Do the
Wolverines want to spoil unbeaten Ohio
State's run to the national championship
(the Buckeyes are No. 2 in the Bowl
Championship Series standings this
"We're not worried about going
down there and upsetting them and
ruining their chances," said Michigan
linebacker Carl Diggs, a Warren, Ohio
native. "We just want to stay focused on
our team goals and do what we need to
do to win the game."
The team goals must not include
avenging last season's 26-20 defeat to
the Buckeyes at the Big House - a
game that lost Michigan the Big Ten
championship and sent the senior class
out with a loss in its last home game.
"Last year was last year, and this is a
different team," Michigan safety
Charles Drake said. "This is a new sea-
son and a new team. We are not really
worried about what happened last year."
You get the point, and not that it even
needs to be said, but the Ohio State
camp remained quiet as a mouse yester-
day as well.
Whatever happened to the Terry
Glenns, the David Bostons and the
Charles Woodsons in this storied rivalry?
Before the 1995 game - one in
which Ohio State was ranked No. 2 in
the country and would have gone to the
Rose Bowl with a win - Glenn, a star
wide receiver, definitely hit a long ball.
"I think we should keep Michigan
down (there) where they belong like the
rest of the teams (in the Big Ten) and go
up (to Ann Arbor) and kick their butts
like we did everybody else," Glenn
said. "Michigan is nobody."
The Wolverines upset Glenn and the
Buckeyes 31-23 at the Big House. Two
years later in 1997, Boston - another
Ohio State receiver - opened his
mouth before the game, one in which
Ohio State had a chance to knock off an
undefeated Michigan team.
Former Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson made his claim to the 199
Heisman Trophy in this 20-14 victory against Ohio State.
"We're going to go up there and
upset them;' Boston predicted. "I think
we're better than Michigan."
Boston didn't back up his words, as
-Woodson shut him down and Ohio
State lost 20-14. Michigan went on to
win the Rose Bowl and the national
title. After the game, Woodson likened
his matchup with Boston to "a father
chastising his son."
It seems like both teams are trying to
avoid the pattern of talk-and-lose.
Loss OF A LEADER: Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr announced yesterday that
sophomore cornerback Zia Combs'
football career is over. Combs, known
as an emotional leader of the defense,
was knocked unconscious during the
Wolverines' 24-21 win over Penn
State. Carr said that Comb
stay in school at Michigan an
INJURY UPDATE: Carr said th
Julius Curry could possibly re
week and bring the safety unit
full strength. Ohio State co
Tressel said that freshmant
Maurice Clarett, who has been
up with a shoulder injury, "ex
play" Saturday against Michiga
CATCH A CLASSic: ESPN C
broadcasting six Ohio State-M
games during the next week
clash will be broadcast tody a
the game from 1986 will air Fr
p.m. and Sunday, from noon
p.m., games from 1979, 1977,'
1987 will air in that order.
Tast year before the Michigan-
Ohio State football game, I wrote
t; a column that questioned whether
Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel could
restore the rivalry that had been domi-
nated in recent years by the Wolverines
("Rivalry needs to be competitive, but is
' Tressel the right man for the job?" Nov.
21, 2001). Entering the game, Ohio
State was 6-4 and had simply not won
any game of significance. Tressel had
not yet separated himself from the fail-
ures of his predecessor, John Cooper.
Just before I walked over to Michigan
Stadium for the game, confident that I
had written a column that both Ohio
State fans and Michigan fans could
agree with, I confirmed that my inbox
FILE PHOTO was empty and walked out the door.
7 Five hours later, after watching
Jonathan Wells and the Buckeyes run all
s would over the Wolverines and hold on to a 26-
id finish 20 upset, I returned home a bit stunned
over what I had just witnessed. Tressel
at safety was right. Ohio State fans would be
turn this proud of their team after the Michigan
back to game.
ach Jim Dejected, I checked my e-mail and
tailback found that the Buckeye nationdid not
n banged agree with my column - they were just
pects to waiting until after the game to tell me.
n. Some disagreed with the interpretation
lassic is of "proud" as also meaning "happy."
Michigan Some said that former coach Cooper
. 1969's wasn't fired because he couldn't beat
at 1 p.m, Michigan, he was fired because Ohio
iday at 9 State wasn't pleased with his teams cdn-
iuntil 8 sistently finishing in the nation's top
1974 and five. Still others told me that they
enjoyed reading my article in the Detroit
Free Press, which while interesting, is
But mostly, Buckeyes fans just told
me what I already knew: "Guess what?
Tressel is the right man for the job -
look forward to years and years of this."
is Michi- Fast forward to 2002 and now, faster
s, Michi- than anyone expected, Tressel has Ohio
en in the State vying for the national title. There is
on game only one roadblock for the Buckeyes.
Anderson, between Columbus and Tempe, Ariz. -
rnia All- a Michigan team looking to avenge last
the team. season's loss:
1o is just Last year, Tressel was under a
u were a tremendous amount of pressure to
is year's redeem his team's season against Michi-
ck to the gan. This year, that pressure has
the pro- increased 10-fold as not only does Ohio
at didn't State need to defeat Michigan to keep its,
fans happy, it needs to do it with much
ill tip off more on the line.
es of the In last season's win, while Tressel all
Virginia but guaranteed a win, it was Michigan
f the Vir- that had the pressure of a Bowl Champi-
day. The onship Series berth and Big Ten title to
ith a lay- deal with. Now the pressure is on the
1 be pur- Buckeyes, something that they haven't
50. dealt with well in seasons past.
As if anyone needs a history lesson,
in eerily similar situations in 1995 and
1996, Ohio State was undefeated and
ranked No. 2, only to fall to Michigan
31-23 and 13-9, respectively. In 1997,
the Buckeyes couldn't spoil Michigan's
bid for a national title.
Now with Ohio State again ranked No.
2 and undefeated, the situation is just too
perfect for Michigan fans - it is almost
as if the Wolverines are expected to win.
Many Michigan fans were even rooting
for the Buckeyes to defeat Illinois, as if
the Wolverines wouldn't win this week if
Ohio State faltered.
As early as three weeks ago, analysts
were looking ahead to this game as to
where Ohio State would finally fall. A
recent ESPN.com poll had 60 percent of
voters saying Michigan would prevail in
Columbus. To fuel the talk of upset,
Ohio State has hardly looked sharp in its
past two games, doing just enough to get
past Illinois and Purdue. But a win is a
win, and an undefeated season with all
close victories is obviously better than a
one-loss season with all blowouts.
This game is also important for the
Big Ten as a whole. After a four-year
hiatus, the game again has national
implications. In the past few seasons,
the conference has come under scrutiny
for being unable to compete on the
national level. The Big Ten has yet to
place a team in the BCS title game and
doing that could go a long way in rele-
gitimizing the conference.
Outside the Big Ten, Ohio State has
already handled No. 3 Washington State
- which sits atop the Pac-10-- and
No. 24 Texas Tech, which just upset
Texas. Yet, the lack of respect for the
Buckeyes is obvious. During a season in
which the first-place votes were often
distributed amongst the top five teams,
Miami (Fla.) controls all 74 first-place
As if that wasn't enough, the, BCS
braintrust is no doubt hoping for an
Ohio State win in order to avoid another
This has been the story all season as
Ohio State has marched up the rankings
as those on top continue to falter. Tressel
has guided his team through the unreal-
istic expectations and has thus far
Last season, Tressel proved that his
team could deal with the pressure of
defeating Michigan. Now that all of the
pressure has come to a head, there is no
reason to doubt that Tressel cannot per-
form well again - even if everyone out-
side of Ohio is.
Blue improving on turnovers, reboundir
By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
After Michigan's first exhibition game against
Wayne State two weeks ago, there were two things
which needed to be addressed
immediately. One was the veracity BASKETBALL
with which the Wolverines Notebook
attacked the defensive glass to pre-
vent offensive rebounds and easy
put-backs by their opponents. Wayne State was able to
grab 21 offensive boards in that game compared to
Michigan's 13 defensive rebounds.
A bright spot for the Wolverines was the play of
Bernard Robinson, who grabbed seven rebounds in
addition to his team-high 23 points. Rebounding has
been one area that Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
wants Robinson to improve in after averaging fewer
than five per game last year.
"Coach has really stressed rebounding to us," fresh-
man Lester Abram said. "We may not be the biggest
team in the Big Ten. In fact we may be one of the small-
er teams out there, but that just means that everyone has
to box out and attack the boards more."
The other concern was handling the ball more
carefully and preventing unnecessary turnovers. The
Wolverines committed 24 turnovers against Wayne
State, seven of which came from the point guard
Friday night against the Nike Elite, Amaker's squad
seemed to have addressed these problems, improving in
both areas. The Wolverines committed 16 turnovers,
with just four coming from their point guards, and
grabbed 34 rebounds while holding the Nike Elite to 10
offensive boards. Michigan averaged 14.1 turnovers and
31.1 rebounds per game last year.
FEARSOME THREESOME: Entering this season, Michi-
gan had high hopes for its freshman class and acknowl-
edged that it needed to have major contributions from
its six-member group.
In Friday night's game, Amaker took a major step in
giving his freshman class a chance to contribute by
naming three freshmen to his starting lineup. Shooting
guard Lester Abram and center Chris Hunter both
returned to the starting lineup, while point guard Daniel
Horton got the nod over junior Avery Queen to make
his first start for the Maize and Blue.
While the 1991 "Fab Five" freshman class]
gan's most famous group of freshman starter
gan also finished with 81 starts by freshme
1999-2000 season. In Michigan's first exhibiti
that year, coach Brian Ellerbe started Leland A
Blanchard and Kevin Gaines against the Califo
Stars. Of the three, only Blanchard is still with t
"The main thing that the upperclassmen d
tell them what you went through when you
freshman," said Blanchard of helping thi
freshmen adjust to college. "(You) revert ba
thoughts and ideas when you first came into
gram and tell them what worked and wha
LEAVING ON A JET PLANE: The Wolverines wi
their season this weekend on the sunny beach
Virgin Islands against St. Bonaventure and
Tech. Michigan will leave for the University o'
gin Islands Paradise Jam in St. Thomas Thurs
flight is expected to take more than six hours w
over in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Tickets can stil
chased for a weekend get-away for less than $4
JeffPhillips can be reached at
Michigan State young in goal, low in wins
Cammalleri makes his presence felt with Kings by scoring tie-breaking goal Saturday
The Michigan men's soccer team lost in the Big Ten championship game to Penn
State, 2-1. It turns out the Wolverines were one goal away from an NCAA berth.
No NCAA Tourney
for 'M'-men s soccer
By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan hockey team has
spent the last few years chasing Michi-
gan State. How times have changed.
have started the HOCKEY
season on the
rocks, as this past Notebook
Spartans were swept by Ohio State for
the first time since November of 1972.
The losses dropped Michigan State to
3-3-0 in the CCHA.
Last season with superstar goal-
tender Ryan Miller, who'll be starting
for the first time as a Buffalo Sabre
today, Michigan State started out the
season as the No. 1 team in the nation.
Now, with freshman Justin Tobe and
sophomore Justin Migliaccio sharing
time in net, the Spartans have lost to
Niagara at home and were blown out
by Northern Michigan 10-4 in new
coach Rick Comley's first trip to Mar-
quette after 26 years as the head coach
for the Wildcats.
The Wolverines have been waiting
to see how the Spartans are playing,
despite the fact that Michigan will not
be playing Michigan State until at least
the Great Lakes Invitational at the end
Milan Gajic, whose brother Nenad
joined the Spartans this year, talks with
his brother twice a week and has a the-
ory about the situation.
"Miller was pretty much their entire
team last year," Gajic said.
Comley is trying to change the
Spartans' system to resemble the ,one
he used at Northern Michigan. But
Michigan coach Red Berenson has full
confidence that Comley will turn the
Spartans around. After all, the Wolver-
ines started 5-5-2 last season with 11
freshman and advanced to the NCAA
"I've said from day one Rick Com-
ley will do a great job over there,"
Berenson said. "But obviously there's
this transition period."
Of course, Michigan has to worry
about the Fighting Irish first.
"I'm not worried about Michigan
State right now," Berenson said.
BACK IN THE GROOVE: Jason Ryznar
has been spending a lot of time in
street clothes watching the team prac-
tice this season. The sophomore for-
ward had a first-degree separation of
his right shoulder in the season opener
against Niagara. Then, in his first
game back against Alaska-Fairbanks,
he suffered a third-degree separation to
his left shoulder.
But the Alaskan returned to ice Sat-
urday and looks like he's getting
healthy. After Berenson decided to
keep Ryznar out Friday, he returned
Saturday and picked up an assist on
Gaj ic's goal in the first period. While
Ryznar will not be 100 percent for the
next week or two, it's not going to
"You have to play like you normally
play before you had an injury," Ryznar
said. "You can't be hesitant at all, or
else you won't be the player you were
The freshman and sophomore
defender Brandon Rodgers were kept
out of practice because of sore knees
from collisions last week. Both are
expected to return to the ice today.
CAMMALLERI SCORES: FormerMichi-
gan forward Mike Cammalleri has
made an impact in the NHL, and it
couldn't have come at a better time.
Michigan's leading scorer last season
scored his first goal with the Los
Angeles Kings on Saturday night to
break a tie in the second period, help-
ing the Kings down the Edmonton
By Steve Jackson
Daily Sports Editor
"We all feel like we got our guts
Those were the words of Michi-
gan men's soccer coach Steve Burns
after he was told that his team was
Penn State, winners of the regular
season and tournament champi-
onships, respectively) earned bids.
Last season the conference sent four
teams to the tournament.
"We thought we would get it,"
junior midfielder Ian Hirschfield
said. "But we weren't up there, and
.+1 A - .. I.- L o1 _ -
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