November 2, 2002
No. 12 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State. Tomorrow, 12:15 p.m. Ohio Stadium ABC
By David Horn
Daily Sports Editor'
If defense and running games win
championships, then Ohio State is cer-
tainly in a good position to return from
Tempe, Ariz. victorious. A lot needs to
happen between now and then, of
course, but the Buckeyes have survived
this season because of the No. 2 defense
in the country and the paltry 12.5 points
per game it allows. Going undefeated is
easy for an offense when two touch-
downs will win the game every time.
That shouldn't be much different tomor-
row against a Michigan offense that has
performed satisfactorily, at best, and
inconsistently, at worst. Either way,
points will be at a premium, leading
many experts to surmise that special
teams and the field position battle will
be the deciding factors.
MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS. OHIO
STATE PASSING DEFENSE: Will Michigan
quarterback John Navarre take a gamble
and throw to No. 7's side of the field?
Ohio State multi-position stud Chris
Gamble is a defensive playmaker if ever
there was one, and his matchups against
Michigan receivers Ron Bellamy and
Braylon Edwards will be a made-for-
T.V spectacle in and of themselves.
Believe it or not, Navarre will lead the
Big Ten in passing yards by the end of
the day tomorrow. Many of those yards
came courtesy of tight end Bennie Jop-
pru, who will have to have another
career day in a game where short-
yardage passing and moving the chains
become as crucial as ever.
If Michigan can lull the Buckeyes to
sleep with its formulaic run-run-pass,
and then open it up at opportune times
(against a pass defense that allows more
than 235 yards per game), it has a
chance to put a few more points on the
board than Ohio State is used to.
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS. OHIO
STATE RUSHING DEFENSE: B.J. Askew and
Chris Perry could be running like Walter
Payton, but the Buckeyes' front seven is
allowing 75 yards per game on the
ground and has been stopping the run
better than anyone in the nation. Michi-
gan simply won't win this battle. The
best the Wolverines can hope for is that
the ground game is moderately function-
al and Navarre finds himself in a lot of
And as for Askew and Perry, they've
been good and they've gotten better. But
they're no Sweetness.
Edge: Ohio State
ucee antics prove
love for team
By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Writer
They don't dance like Bullwinkle, they don't do the wave
in the second quarter and they certainly don't use keys to
make noise on third down.
Ohio State football fans are a different breed, and if you
don't believe it, just ask Michigan equipment manager John
Falk, who has been taking care of the Wolverines since
1974, has more Ohio State-Michigan stories than anyone. He
also has the distinct privelege of driving the "Michigan foot-
ball" 18-wheeler down to Columbus Thursday nights before
the big game. Aside from getting countless "We're No. l's"
(middle fingers) on his way through Ohio, he sees many
things that, as Michigan coach Lloyd Carr puts it, are "X-
"It was about 32 degrees and (snowing), there were about
three guys in a car," Falk recalled. "(They) got even with us in
the truck, a guy in the back rolled his window down and stuck
out his rear-end on the highway. The guy in the front seat
made the motion (for me) to 'kiss it.' I don't know what those
guys were thinking."
They were probably thinking the same thing that thousands
of Buckeyes fans were thinking in 1998 after Ohio State's 31-
16 victory. Throngs of rabid Buckeyes rushed the field (it was
Ohio State's first win over Michigan in four years). For Falk it
was a "frightening experience," and Carr called it "terrifying."I
"It was like an invasion," Falk said. "It's every man for
himself. They're kicking, swinging at you, they were kicking
at (former offensive tackle Jon) Jansen, who had hurt his legt
that game. I was doing pretty good until a guy hit me with his
fist in the back of my head. As I was falling down, another
guy came by and grabbed my hat and then I (couldn't) find I
my glasses and somebody stepped on them."
Falk decided he would hunker down and wait until the
wave of fans slowed down, but the wave did not cease.
"I couldn't catch my breath," Falk said. "I was disoriented, Ic
had no idea where I was.t
"Some of those people are so riled up themselves that they I
don't even know what they're thinking."
This'experience prompted Carr to make a statement Monday
that he was very "concerned" about crowd control tomorrow. t
"I hope that we are not going to have somebody killed
before we do the things that are necessary to protect those
people,' Carr said. "If we can't protect the students, players
and coaches, we shouldn't be playing. Whatever costs are 1
necessary to ensure the safety of the people on the field is
Ohio State has taken action in response to Carr's requests,I
as there will be more security everywhere, especially near the
READING THE RIOT ACT
Responding to Michigan coach Lloyd Carr's concerns
about on-field safety, Ohio State promised to enhance
security for this year's game. Extra security will be located
around the field tomorrow, and additional personnel will
also be on hand to escort Michigan players and staff to
and from the stadium.
Only time will tell what kind of mayhem the Buckeye fans
will have in store this time around.
Here's a look back at what happened after the Wolver-
ines' last trip down to Columbus in 2000.
Michigan 38, Ohio State 26
Before the game, an e-mail was sent out by the school's
president urging students to behave responsibly no matter
what the outcome. The message: "Your response to the
game will reflect on the entire university. I expect every-
one on and around campus to celebrate safely and peace-
Apparently, the plea for sanity fell on deaf ears. The car-
nage from the ensuing riots:
Five cars overturned or significantly damaged
Tear gas and bullets fired by police
Senior Todd Howard broke up this pass to Michael Jenkins last year, but couldn't
prevent the Buckeyes from winning 26-20 in Michigan Stadium.
that tell you? When the Buckeyes open
it up, they open it up big. To comple-
ment that statistic is one that reveals the
strength of Ohio State's ground game:
The Buckeyes throw the ball about half
as often as Navarre and the Wolverines;
Ohio State relies on quarterback Craig
Krenzel's mobility and of course their
backfield thoroughbreds. Michigan has
been guilty of giving up the big play
through the air, and could fall victim to
that if the secondary is overly concerned
by the run (Krenzel or Clarett, et al.).
But expect the Wolverines to contain
Ohio State in the air, as the Buckeyes
happily pound away on the ground.
Edge: Ohio State
Following the game, police had to physically escort fire-
fighters to the scene of the riots, said Ohio State spokes-
woman Elizabeth Conlisk. Ohio State sophomore Lisa
Ketchmer descried the area as resembling "a Third World
Michigan buses before and after the game.
"I'm happy that Ohio State has decided to do something
about it'"Falk said. "There have been a lot of times, but this is
the first time anyone brought it up."
The entire state of Ohio will have its eyes on the "Horse-
shoe" tomorrow at noon, as there is no game that sends the
Buckeyes into a frenzy like the annual season-ending clash
Orlas King, known as "Neutron Man" by the Ohio State
faithful, has been Ohio State's "Superfan" for 29 years. Four
or five times during the game, Neutron Man, 60, dances to
the marching band's rendition of the Pointer Sisters' "Neutron
"I've been (dancing) all over the state this week," said King
over the phone Wednesday. "It's unbelievable. I'm going to
two 'Beat Michigan' parties tonight."
Neutron Man said that he went to a "Beat Michigan" party
Tuesday night in Mansfield, Ohio. More than 1,000 people
were in attendance, including part of the Ohio State marching
band and even Miss Ohio.
"You could lose all your games all year long and beat
Michigan and that coach would have his job for a long time,"
Ask John Cooper about the inverse.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Ohio State's Mike
Nugent is 24-for-26 on field goal
attempts this season, which certainly
makes Michigan's combined 8-for-20
mark seem ever-the-less impressive.
And while the field goal unit will likely
come into play tomorrow, it is the pun-
ters that will be key in a battle for field
position. Ohio State's Andy Groom and
Michigan's Adam Finley have been sim-
ilarly impressive (45 and 42.4 yards per
punt averages, respectively). But Groom
has been blocked twice, and although a
Michigan special teams unit known for
its blocking has been less successful at
doing so this year than in years past,
Pierre Woods and his teammates on the
punt block team have hit once and have
been getting closer. A blocked punt is
exactly the kind of play Michigan will
need to win momentum and win the
Edge: Ohio State
Crossing border defines rivalry
OHIO STATE RUSHING OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN RUSHING DEFENSE: Say
what you will about Ohio State's
last few wins. Yeah, the Buckeyes
have struggled against the defini-
tion of Big Ten mediocrity, but they
have done so without the preemi-
nent running back in the country.
Maurice Clarett may or may not be
ready to go tomorrow, but he says
he is and that may be enough for his
team. If he remains healthy and
plays the entire game, Michigan
would be a miracle away from vic-
tory. If Clarett's shoulder is still a
problem and his running is serious-
ly hampered, Michigan still faces
two very tough backs in Lydell
Ross and Maurice Hall. As good as
the Wolverines have been against
the run (116.2 yards per game; 25th
in the nation) they will likely be
beaten on the cold ground of
By Jeff Phllips
Daily Sports Editor
INTANGIBLES: Michigan-Ohio State
is known for this very situation, and
it is the spoiler that tends to emerge
victorious. For that reason and for
that reason only, Michigan takes
"intangibles," with history entirely
on its side.
The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is
one that in recent years has been defined
by players from the state of Ohio -
both for the Wolverines and the Buck-
In 1991, Desmond Howard helped
lead Michigan to a dominating 31-3 vic-
tory of Ohio State en route to a Heisman
trophy and a Rose Bowl berth.
In 1996 and 1997, cornerback
Charles Woodson was the player of the
game. In 1996, he shut down the Buck-
eyes' star wideout Terry Glenn and
nabbed two interceptions. In 1997 he
defined his Heisman season with an
interception in the endzone and a punt
return for a touchdown.
It was the play of these two players
that are prominent in bringing non-
Michigan recruits to Ann Arbor.
California native Charles Drake's rea-
son for coming to Michigan is simple.
"Charles Woodson, 1997," Drake
said. "That was a big thing and I just
liked Michigan when I was little, espe-
cially those helmets. A lot of people
joke about the helmets and uniforms,
but even in California a lot of kids love
those helmets and uniforms."
But in a bit role reversal last year, it
was a Michigan native that was the story
of the game. Then-freshman Craig
Krenzel, led the Buckeyes to a 26-20
upset of the Wolverines. The Utica-
native, playing in place of Steve Bel-
lasari, was unspectacular but consistent
in his play as most of the load was car-
ried by senior running back Jonathan
Krenzel has parlayed that perform-
ance to the starting position this season,
and has continued his understated, but
Though the Buckeyes are predomi-
nantly a running team - as exemplified
OHIO STATE PASSING OFFENSE VS. MICHI-
GAN PASSING DEFENSE: Ohio State receiv-
er Michael Jenkins has as many
receptions this season as Edwards, but
for nearly 200 more yards. What does
Ohio State 16, Michigan 14
by its 200 yards per game on the ground
- Krenzel's play has been outstanding
in keeping Ohio State unbeaten without
running back Maurice Clarett. In escap-
ing upsets against Purdue and Illinois,
Krenzel connected with wide receiver
Michael Jenkins on a long pass play in
Against the Boilermakers, in the
fourth quarter on 4th-and-1 and with the
game on the line down 6-3, Krenzel
stepped back and hit Jenkins on a 37-
yard touchdown pass to go ahead for
Versus the Illini,when it appeared the
game was slipping away from the Buck-
eyes in the third quarter, as they were
down 10-6, Krenzel took the momen-
tum right back from Illinois with a 50-
yard bomb to Jenkins for the score.
"I think Krenzel has done a great job
of creating plays," Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr said. "He has improved a
great deal and is smart and competitive,
which is shown by him making a lot of
plays when things broke down. He has
hit some big passes, especially in the last
Now, just like Krenzel hopes to do
again and as Woodson did before him,
several Wolverines would like the
chance to defeat the most prominent
school from their home state.
On Michigan's roster, 15 players hail
from the state of Ohio, including defen-
sive linemen Grant Bowman. Shawn
Lazarus and Pierre Woods, fullback B.J.
Askew and linebacker Carl Diggs. Each
will have a chance to make an impact in
the game tomorrow.
"I always wanted to come to Michi-
gan ever since I was little," Diggs said.
"When I found out about the tradition
that comes along with being a Wolver-
ine, that was enough for me."
Though the players were mum about
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