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September 05, 2003 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-05

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September 5, 2003





No. 5 Michigan vs.
Michigan's depth at1

Houston .

Tomorrow, Noon. m Michigan Stadium m ESPN TV
r Q Kolb, Middleton to
test Blue secondary

receiver wi
By Naweod Sikora
Daily Sports Editor
One game down, 12 to go.
Even though the 5th-ranked Wolver-
ines beat up on Central Michigan to +
open the season last Saturday, there are
still many burning questions that fans
are hoping will be answered this week-
end. Michigan will welcome Houston
to the Big House and looks to start the
season 2-0 before heading into a tough
matchup with Notre Dame.
Houston opened the season on a high
note with a 48-14 win over Rice. The
Cougars were led by freshman quarter-
back Kelvin Kolb, who threw for two
touchdowns and also ran for a pair. He
finished with 246 passing yards.
quarterback John Navarre was on
against the Chippewas and should have
no problem putting up similar numbers
against the Cougars. The senior went1
19-for-31 for 245 yards, an interception
and a pair of touchdowns. Despite one1
pick, it was a solid season opener over-
all. Receiver Braylon Edwards saw lim-:
ited playing time but still managed to7
reel in a pair of touchdowns.
Beyond Edwards, the Wolverines 1
showed substantial depth Saturday, with
Steve Breaston, Calvin Bell and Jason
Avant each pulling in more than three
catches. Breaston was the most pleasant
surprise, as his four catches for 72 yardsj
gave Michigan a big offensive boost.
The Cougars will have a difficult time
dealing with Michigan's depth, and the
Wolverines should have the upper hand.
Edge: Michigan
Kolb performed very well against Rice;
last weekend, but Rice is not Michigan,
and things will be very different tomor-
row. The Cougars' Brandon Middleton
could be a potential threat, as he pulled
in four catches for 122 yards last week-
end, but he might be the only force
Houston comes with.I

[ll be key
The Michigan secondary all but shut
down the Chippewas' passing game,
allowing just 150 total yards. Jeremy
LeSueur led the effort with one intercep-
tion and a pair of pass breakups. Markus
Curry made a team-high nine tackles.
The return of Marlin Jackson and
Ernest Shazor to safety should give the
Wolverines even more strength, quick-
ness and athleticism in the secondary,
which will only make things harder for
the Cougars. The Wolverines will con-
trol this part of the game.
Edge: Michigan
dominating performance against Cen-
tral Michigan, Michigan's Chris Perry
now leads the nation in rushing with
232 yards on 22 carries. It might be just
one game in, but it's still a big start for
the senior, who is playing under high
expectations. Perry's job is a little easier
this year, as the Wolverines now boast
one of the most experienced and power-
ful offensive lines in the nation. The
running back had some big holes to run
through in scoring a pair of touchdowns
last weekend. Backup David Under-
wood was also impressive, which gives
Michigan a strong balance in the back-
field. Houston gave up 206 total yards
on the ground to Rice. Perry alone
racked up more than that against Cen-
tral, and he should have no problems
finding the holes once again.
Edge: Michigan
by far, the weakest part of Michigan's
game against Central Michigan. After
giving up 218 total rushing yards, the
defensive line seemed appalled by their
"It made us sick to our stomach,"
Michigan defensive end Larry Stevens
said. "Even though they only had seven
points, they had 200 yards rushing on
us. That is sickening. If you are a com-

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor
Last weekend against Central
Michigan, the Michigan defense
had a surprisingly tough time stop-
ping the run. The linebackers vowed
to improve - and fast - but
tomorrow it will probably be the
secondary that is tested against
With true freshman quarterback
Kevin Kolb directing the offense,
the Cougars aired it out in their
thumping of Rice last Saturday.
Houston put up 48 points and Kolb
was responsible for more than half
of them.
The quarterback connected on
17-of-22 passes for 246 yards. He
threw for two touchdowns and
added two more on the ground.
Receiver Brandon Middleton
comes into Michigan Stadium hav-
ing caught at least one pass in each
of his last 28 games. He totaled 122
yards in just four catches against
Rice, including 47- and 55-yard
touchdown receptions.
Houston is developing another
receiving threat in redshirt fresh-
man Vincent Marshall, who
snagged eight passes for 95 yards in
his collegiate debut last weekend.
While the Cougars' offense didn't
show its youth last Saturday, tomor-
row could be a different story.
Michigan fifth-year senior Norman
Heuer knows how intimidating a
player's first game at tlhe Big House
can be.
"I know how I felt when I was a
freshman in front of 110,000 (peo-
ple), and I was not even playing,"
said Heuer, who didn't have the
whole stadium cheering against
him, as Kolb will. "For us as a
defensive group, we have to get
after (Kolb) and force him to make
some bad throws and just hit him as

much as we can."
Houston runs what Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr described as "a
very unorthodox offense." Carr said
he expects to see a no-huddle
offense that uses five wideouts, or
four wideouts and a tight end.
"It's a good scheme," Carr said.
"We're going to have another chal-
lenge defensively in terms of no-
huddling and being able to
substitute and find out where peo-
ple are."
The Wolverines expect the
Cougars to throw the ball often, but
Houston's offense is not totally one-
sided. Michigan back David Under-
wood grew up in Madisonville,
Texas, and has played with Cougars
tailback Anthony Edwards.
"He's fast and quick," Underwood
said. "He's got great moves and can
shake you in the open field. If he
gets loose, he can take it to the
house. He's gotten a lot bigger since
high school, so I assume he's a lot
stronger and can probably break
more tackles now."
Carr said shutting down Hous-
ton's offense starts in the trenches.
"What we have to be able to do is
continue to control the line of
scrimmage," Carr said. "Any time
you can control the line of scrim-
mage, that's really where it all
begins, because if you can, you
have an opportunity to put yourself
in good down and distance situa-
Michigan's defense should get a
boost from safeties Marlin Jackson and
Ernest Shazor. Jackson, who plead
guilt to an aggravated assualt charge
last month, returns from a one-game
suspension. Carr would not say if Jack-
son will start or come off the bench.
Shazor, who dressed against Central
Michigan but did not play for discipli-
nary reasons, will play tomorrow and
is listed first on the depth chart.

Michigan receiver Calvin Bell was a handful for a Central Michigan defender. The
Wolverines' depth at wide receiver should be an advantage against Houston.

petitor, regardless of what the score is,
you will take that personally."
Still, Stevens and defensive tackle
Norman Heuer both felt the problem
was mainly knowing where to be and
filling the gaps in time.
Regardless, Houston does not boast a
powerful running game, and the
Wolverines should come out with a
higher resolve to make up for last
week's performance.
Edge: Michigan
INTANGIBLES: Everything in this cat-
egory goes to the Wolverines. From
playing in the Big House to the Wolver-
ines' confidence heading in, Houston
will have to overcome much more than
a talent gap to make it close. The teams
met in 1992 and 1993, with both games
going to the Wolverines.

Edge: Michigan
PREDICTION: New Houston coach
Art Briles had an impressive debut
against Rice last weekend, but he, along
with about 110,000 other people, know
it's going to be a much different story
tomorrow. As long as Michigan doesn't
get too wrapped up looking ahead to
next weekend and the Fighting Irish, the
Wolverines should once again come
away with a win.
Michigan 48, Houston 10

1- -1


The University of Michigan
Department of Recreational Sports
Intramural Sports Program



Entries taken:
Mon, 09/08 ONLY
11:00AM - 5:30PM
IM Building
j Entry Fee:
$85.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Wed, 09/10
M6:00 PM
0IM Building
Play begins:
Thurs, 09/11
Mitchell Fields
Entries taken:
Mon, 09/08 ONLY
11:00AM -5:30PM
IM Building
Entry Fee:
$50.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Wed, 09/10
7:15 PM
IM Building
Play begins:
Thurs, 09/11
IM Building

Entries taken:
Mon, 09/08 ONLY
11:00AM - 5:30PM
IM Building
Entry Fee:
$85.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Wed, 09/10
8:00 PM
IM Building
Play begins:
Thurs, 09/11
Yost Ice Arena
(Frat, GFS, ResHall, Ind Men, Ind Women & Sorority)


Entries due:
Wed, 09/17
5:00 PM
IM Building
Entry Fee:
' $70.00 per team
Manager's Meeting:
Thurs, 09/18
t\ 6:00 PM
IM Building


Entries also
taken online

Play begins:
Sun 09/21
Mitchell Field




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