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November 21, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-21

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Thursday
November 21,2002
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

POeORTSgan aill

5A

Gamble a sure fire
bet for Ohio State

JOE
SMITH

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

Some of his teammates call him "Mr.
Everything."
Others just call him crazy.
Sophomore Chris Gamble is Ohio
State's wide receiver-defensive back-
kick return specialist-human motor.
The only thing the Sunrise, Fla.
native can't seem to do is sit still.
In the Buckeyes' overtime victory at
Illinois last Saturday, coach Jim Tressel
said Gamble was on the field for 128 of
the 150 snaps.
"He's never tired ... at least when
you ask him," Tressel said.
Ever since Gamble, Ohio State's sec-
ond-leading receiver with 28 catches,
aided a depleted Buckeyes' secondary
by playing both sides of the ball four
weeks ago against Penn State, he's
made an immediate impact.
He returned one of his team-lead-
ing four interceptions for the game-
winning touchdown against the
Nittany Lions. Two weeks later, Gam-
ble recorded the game-clinching pick
against Purdue to keep the Buckeyes'
national title hopes alive.
"He does everything for us," said
quarterback Craig Krenzel. "He is

deserving of one of the best, if not the
best player in college football. He is in
such great shape. You never see him
breathing heavily in the huddle. He
never loses that fifth gear and continues
to just makes plays for us."
And even on the Big Ten's top
defense - which allows just 11.3
points per game and features two-time
All America safety Mike Doss -some
Buckeyes aren't ashamed to call Gam-
ble their best bet.
Not to mention Doss himself, who
said he sometimes marvels at Gamble's
ability to change a game on his own.
"I think he has great instincts; he's
very athletic," Doss said. "There's not a
play he can't make. He can make any
play out there, no matter what side of
ball he's on."
Sound familiar to Michigan fans?
A player Gamble draws compar-
isons to is Charles Woodson, who
offered a similar multi-dimensional
threat in the late '90s for the Maize
and Blue. Big special teams plays
like Woodson's 78-yard punt return
for a touchdown against the Buck-
eyes in 1997 have characterized the
oft considered "best rivalry in col-
lege football."
And a critical punt return or inter-

Columbus crazies try to

VJiJ ,s-or ine Ler
Ohio State sophomore Chris Gamble often draws comparisons to former Michigan
star Charles Woodson for his playmaking abilities on both sides of the ball.

ception by Gamble could play a huge
role in this Saturday's game, as there's
no secret that while the Buckeyes
boast a stingy defense, they have
scored fewer than 20 points in three
of their past five games.
"If you possess the ball, it's going
to come down to who makes the
least mistakes," Michigan quarter-
back John Navarre said. "That's the
difference."
Navarre admittedly made plenty of

mistakes in last year's loss to the Buck-
eyes - throwing four interceptions.
Gamble wasn't in the Ohio State sec-
ondary then, but he will be licking his
chops this time around.
"This is a big-time rivalry matchup,
and I just want to get fired up and go
out there and make big plays," Gamble
said. "We are in The Shoe and we are
going to play 100 percent on both sides
of the ball."
And that's just old hat for Gamble.

avoid.
T ime just can't se
quickly enough
nuts in Columbu
have had enough of w
sweat and feeling thate
twinge in their stomac
Painting signs that r
gan" seems almost pat
cathartic - for the Bu
fans are even trying so
this time around - pa
"Beat Michigan" five-
before the big game.
They can run thems
all they want, but theyc
the cure to that annoyi
as dontwannablowitag
And this year it's ata
"This is the biggest
on this football team h
their entire life. Hands
question about that" sa
quarterback Craig Kre
This isn't just anoth
Buckeyes. It's a "seaso
It's their livelihood. It's
Once again, pesky N
impeding the Buckeye
first National Title sin
season and ultimate ha
devastating despair.
Just like in 1993 ...'
1996. Every time the B
more to lose, they lost.
It got so bad that in1
Buckeyes finally beat d
gain a three-way tie for
Big Ten, Ohio State spe
Kevin Griffin wrote an
in the student paper, Th
"I know that there a
are Big Ten champions
Michigan and Ohio St
doesn't matter to me b
Michigan. After the ga
guys were really emoti
Michigan relieved a lo
football program."
That game may hav
stress from the Buckey

Michigan curse
em to tick away didn't cure them of the Wolverines curse.
for those crazy Neither did last year's win in Ann Arbor,
us. Ohio State fans when a 6-4 Ohio State team with nothing
aking up in a cold to lose beat a Michigan team that gave
ever-so-familiar the game and the Sugar Bowl away.
hs. Yes, the Buckeyes have a new coach
ead "Beat Michi- in Jim Tressel, and their fans can talk all
riotic - and they want about "the past is the past," as
ickeye nation. The though the "2-10-1 record against
mething different Michigan" is gone. But it wasn't poor
rticipating in a old John Cooper who fell while covering
kilometer race Tai Streets in 1996.
That's why the burden on the Buck-
elves into a frenzy eyes' shoulders remains of far greater
can't seem to find magnitude than Columbus can hold.
ng disease known The Buckeyes still haven't shown they
ain syndrome. can survive the pressure-cooker when it
an all-time high. matters the most. And everyone reminds
game that anyone them of that, even former Ohio State
as ever played in legends like coach Earle Bruce.
down, there's no Bruce was one of the numerous
aid Ohio State "motivational speakers" Tressel brought
nzel. in to inspire the Buckeyes - as if they
er game for the needed it. And his message struck a
n within itself." chord with the team.
their legacy. "He broke it down for us as seniors,"
Michigan is linebacker Matt Wilhelm said. "We can
s' path to their go 12-0, lose to Michigan and there
ce 1968, a perfect would be a question mark next to the
ppiness ... or 2002 team. That's the type of pressure
there is."
1995 ... and Not that this Ohio State team needs
Buckeyes had any more question marks. These Buck-
eyes are far from dominating, having
1998, after the squeaked past their last two sub-par Big
he Wolverines to Ten foes in Purdue and Illinois.
first place in the To their credit, the Buckeyes have
ecial teams captain found a way to win. But the real season
inspiring editorial has yet to begin.
he Lantern: "You throw the records out," said Ohio
re three teams that State safety Mike Doss. "This Saturday
(Wisconsin, is a season within it's own season."
:ate) but that really If so, the Buckeyes have suffered los-
ecause we beat ing seasons in 10 of the past 13 years.
me a lot of the And you wonder why the Columbus
ional. Beating- faithful are all worked up?

M' continues to cut down on 'silly' turnovers

By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer

Before the season began, Michigan basketball
coach Tommy Amaker said he wanted to push the
ball up the court and run an up-tempo offense. But
turnovers have plagued the Wolverines in their first
two exhibition games as a result of that fast-paced
style of play.
In its first exhibition game, Michigan committed
an astonishing 24 turnovers against Wayne State. A
duly frustrated Amaker put a great emphasis on ball
security and decision making in practice the week
before the team's game against the Nike Elite.
"We definitely worked on it," junior swingman
Bernard Robinson said. "(Amaker) stressed it. He
made us run if we did something like that in prac-
tice."
The all the running and practice paid off when
the Wolverines took the floor last Friday. Against

the Nike Elite, Michigan committed 16 turnovers,
significantly better than its performance against
Wayne State.
With Amaker's commitment to running the floor
and pushing the ball whenever possible, the team
will undoubtedly make a few errors on offense, but it
is the type, not the number, that Amaker is most con-
cerned about.
"We're going to have turnovers because we're try-
ing to play a certain style, that comes with the terri-
tory," Amaker said. "We have to live with that part of
it. To be lackadaisical and have silly turnovers, you
want to eliminate those types of turnovers."
Not only did the Wolverines make fewer mistakes
in their second exhibition game, they cut down their
number of "silly" mistakes as well. With the decrease
in sloppy mistakes comes the promises of a bright
future for Amaker's transition offense:
"I don't remember an abundance of silly turnovers
in the second game," Amaker said. "In the first

game, that's all I can remember. If we can eliminate
that category, we'll be pleased. We'll be young and
aggressive, and with that comes the opportunity to
make mistakes."
One of the keys to the improved fast-break offense
was the play of freshman Daniel Horton. The
McDonald's All-American has begun to regain his
point guard skills after playing mostly shooting
guard in high school. Horton is the only Michigan
player who had more assists than turnovers during
the exhibition season, and he committed just three
turnovers to go with his six assists against the Nike
Elite, when he made his first start. Horton's ability to
shoot and distribute the ball opens up possibilities for
the fast-break offense.
"I feel we can be a fairly good team in transition,"
Amaker said. "We have capability for guys to finish
'and score - Lester"(Abram) and Bernard (Robin-
son). Then Horton adds the threat of the long dis-
tance ball, and yet he's still a point guard."

t of stress for this
e relieved some
'es' minds, but it

Joe Smith can be reached at
josephms@umich.edu.

Cook signs despite defensive abundance

By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan hockey team didn't
need any more defensemen, but Tim
Cook didn't want to go to any other
school.
After visiting Ann Arbor as a soph-
omore in high school, the Montclair,
N.J. native knew Michigan would be
his first choice. Even with just one
senior leaving the blue line after this
season (Mike Roemensky) and two
defensive recruits already verbally
committed for next season, the
Wolverines remained on the top of
Cook's list.
And for the Michigan coaches, the
6-foot-4 defenseman was "too good
to pass up." He will add a physical
presence to a group that is slated to
have just oneaother player over 6-foot-
1 - David Wyzgowski at 6-foot-2.
Cook also leads the first powerplay
unit with his current team, the River
City Lancers of the United States
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Hockey League. In time, Michigan
assistant Billy Powers thinks he may
be able to make an offensive contribu-
tion to the Wolverines as well.
"He wanted to be at Michigan, we
wanted to make it work for him,"
Powers said. "And instead of worry-
ing about recruiting a guy for (junior
Andy) Burnes when he's done in a
year, now we're set."
Rounding out next year's class of
blueliners are Cook's current team-

mate Jason Dest and U.S. National
Team Development Program defense-
man Matt Hunwick. Michigan also
has seven returning defensemen next
season. With just six spots in the line-
up, icetime will be at a premium. But
freshman defenseman Danny Rich-
mond doesn't think that's necessarily
a bad thing.
"Whenever there's competition for
jobs, everyone plays their best," Rich-
mond said.

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