4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 8, 2003
MICHIGAN 50, HOUSTON 3
Jackson, Shazor give
A _r_ 1
By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor
When Marlin Jackson's one-week
suspension ended, he wanted to make
sure his Michigan teammates knew
"I was walking around all last week
telling them that I'm back," the junior
Saturday, Jackson didn't have to say
anything. His play spoke plenty loud
On Houston's second possession,
quarterback Kevin Kolb tried to run
with the ball and was promptly thrown
down by Jackson for no gain. The next
time the Cougars had the ball, Jackson
forced receiver Vincent Marshall to
fumble on Houston's 31, a turnover that
led to Michigan's first score of the
game. Jackson led a much-improved
Michigan defense with six tackles.
Safety Ernest Shazor also energized
Michigan's secondary. Shazor, kept on
the sidelines last weekend for undis-
closed disciplinary reasons, recorded
just one tackle, but it was a big one. He
drilled receiver Chad McCullar after a
catch in the first quarter.
"You saw Ernest put the lick to some-
body early," lineman Larry Stevens
said. "(Shazor and Jackson) can change
the flow of the game in a hurry. Both of
those guys can put some big hits on the
other team and get the entire team
That added excitement was evident
Saturday, as the Michigan defense
looked like a different group than the
one that gave up 218 rushing yards to
Central Michigan. Houston managed
just 74 yards on the ground and 138
yards of total offense.
"This is Michigan, and when teams
come into this house we have to defend
it like it is our own backyard," Stevens
said. "Our defense took that to heart
today, and we played tough."
The Wolverines harassed the true-
freshman Kolb, sacking him six times
- once for a safety - and caught the
Cougars behind the line of scrimmage
11 times. Against the Chippewas,
Michigan did not register a sack and
made just five tackles for loss.
"I think we were a little better pre-
pared for (the Cougars') scheme," tack-
le Grant Bowman said. "They always
say the biggest improvement is between
the first week and the second week. I
really think we improved the way we
were playing, our techniques and the
intensity we had in the game."
Jackson, a former cornerback, and
Shazor brought a lot of the speed that
Time of Poss
M I C HE1 G A N
Junior Marlin Jackson was impressive in his 2003 debut this Saturday against Houston. Jackson finished with six tackles, and
forced a fumble that jumpstarted the Michigan offense.
the Wolverines used to overwhelm
Houston. Jackson said the move to safe-
ty means that Michigan can effectively
have three cornerbacks on the field
" We have a lot of speed, and it really
showed up (Saturday)," Jackson said.
But Pierre Woods said the secondary
players aren't the only ones with speed.
The 6-foot-5, 244-pound linebacker
showed quickness of his own when he
chased down the 5-foot-7, 170-pound
Marshall early in the second quarter.
"I thought he had me beat," Woods
said. "He was like 10 yards ahead of
me, so I didn't think I was going to
catch him, but I did. One thing I pride
myself on is we don't want anybody to
score touchdowns. And I know I can
catch you. I've got nice speed, too. I'll
get you from behind."
While the Michigan defenders were
pleased with their performance Satur-
day, tackle Norman Heuer said they
enjoyed it for "two seconds." They
know they have bigger tests to come,
namely Notre Dame.
(first-place votes in parentheses)
Rivas kicks well; may be named starter
By J. Brady McCoiough
Daily Sports Editor
As the day wore on and Garrett Rivas kept put-
ting the ball through the uprights, fellow kicker
Adam Finley had two words for him: "Thank you."
Even Finley, who appears to have lost his job as
starting field goal kicker after hitting 1-of-3 attempts
against Central Michigan, had to feel relieved.
Rivas punched through field goals of 43 and 38
yards Saturday against Houston,
giving Michigan a glimpse of why
he was one of the top kicking
recruits in the nation.
"It's a great feeling to know that
I can perform," Rivas said. "A lot
of people believed in me, and theyx
put me in the game, and I'm just
glad I got the opportunity."
Special teams coach Jim Boccher approached
Rivas just a few minutes before the game, and told
the Tampa, Fla. native that he'd be handling the
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr would not confirm
that Rivas has won the starting job after the game,
but it's clear Carr is satisfied with what he's seen
from the youngster.
Rivas is a welcome addition to the Wolverines'
special teams unit, which appears to be one of the
most improved areas for the team. A consistent
field goal kicker is something the Wolverines have
missed since the days of Jay Feely (1995-98) and
Remy Hamilton (1993-96).
Michigan missed 12-of-24 field goals last sea-
son, as it rotated among Finley, Phil Brabbs and
During the three years prior to Michigan's
2002 kicking carousel, Hayden Epstein put
together a 26-of-42 career mark, but it was mak-
ing kicks in crunch time that gave Epstein the
Rivas will likely have his chance Saturday
against Notre Dame to make some pressure-packed
kicks. When asked about the high stakes of kicking
against Notre Dame, Rivas gives the kicker mantra.
"I'm not going into it any differently," said
Rivas, who also pulled a 43-yarder in the
third quarter. "I prepare the same for every
Rivas, who considers himself "unleashed" after
getting a start Saturday, comes from a high school
(Tampa's Jesuit High) that is known for producing
top kickers, including Feely and current Florida
State kicker Xavier Beitia.
TouGH WEEK: Michigan captain and linebacker
Carl Diggs sat out Saturday's game because his
three-year-old niece passed away last week.
Diggs missed some practices last week, and will
attend the funeral today in his hometown of War-
ren, Ohio. He plans to return to practice in time to
play against the Fighting Irish Saturday.
"I'm taking it in stride," Diggs said after the
game Saturday. "I'm just trying to be strong for my
family right now.
"It just shows how things can change overnight.
Football is just a game. My family loves to see me
do this, and that's why I came back so early to get
ready (for Notre Dame)"
The Michigan family is also mourning the death
of Chip Schembechler, the stepson of legendary
Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler.
"It has been a difficult week in terms of things
that happened off the field," Carr said.
INJURY UPDATE: Michigan wide receiver Jermaine
Gonzales broke his hand on what Carr called a
"freak injury" in practice this past week. Gonzales
said that he expects to be back in a few weeks.
Michigan true freshman linebacker Shawn
Crable sat out again with his bruised shoulder.
Crable predicted a return to the lineup this week.
Sophomore wide receiver Jason Avant missed
Saturday's game because of an injury he sustained
in practice jumping up for a pass. The injury does
not appear to be serious.
Linebacker David Harris left the game on a
stretcher after injuring his leg. He said he would
have an MRI Saturday night.
Carr said he was shocked that linebacker Pierre
Woods was able to play in Saturday's game after a
scary incident at practice..
"I don't know how Pierre Woods played," Carr
said. "He had a nail on his finger ripped off and
had to have his finger sewn back together."
NOTES: John Navarre passed Elvis Grbac for
first place on the all-time completions list
with 527 for his career. ... Fifth-year senior
1. Oklahoma (47)
2. Miami (Fl.) (2)
3. Ohio State (8)
4. Southern Cal. (4)
5. Michigan (2)
7. Kansas State
9. Virginia Tech
10. Florida State ;
12. Louisiana State ;
13. Tennessee ;
15. Notre Dame
16. Aizona State
20. Wake Forest
24. North Carolina State
25. South Carolina
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
WELCOME TO MIAMI: After a terri-
ble first half by Miami quarter-
back Brock Berlin, Florida
seemed poised to upset the
third-ranked Hurricanes. The
Gators led 33-10 late in the
third quarter, but then Berlin
began to break Florida hearts -
The quarterback, who left Flori-
da for Miami after the 2001 sea-
son, pulled the Hurricanes back
into contention and then shook
off leg cramps to direct an 89-
yard scoring drive in the closing
minutes of the game.
The Gators got the ball with
1:20 left but couldn't convert
and lost 38-33. Berlin's two
interceptions and one fumble
were all but forgotten by the
end of the game. He finished 27-
of-41 for 340 yards.
IRISH FIGHT BACK: Washington
State held No. 16 Notre Dame
without a touchdown until the
fourth quarter, but that defen-
sive effort wasn't enough.
The Fighting Irish's kicker, Nick
Setta, hit four field goals to
keep Notre Dame blose, then
nailed a 40-yarder in overtime
to give the Irish the 29-26 win.
JACKETS STUFF TIGERS: How quickly
the Tigers have fallen. Auburn
was ranked sixth in the presea-
son AP poll, but has yet to
score a touchdown.
After getting blanked by South-
ern Cal., Auburn managed a
field goal - not nearly enough
to fend off unranked Georgia
Tech. The Jackets won 17-3.
Associated Press Poll for week of Sept. 1.
Games updated through Sept. 8.
2. Ohio State
3. Miami (Fla.)
4. Southern Cal.
7. Kansas State
9. Virginia Tech
11. Florida State
13. Louisiana State
14. North Carolina State
19. Notre Dame
20. Arizona State
25. Texas Christian
beat Alabama 20-13
beat San Diego State 16-13
beat No. 21 Florida 38-33
beat BYU 35-18
beat Houston 50-3
beat New Mexico State 66-7
beat McNeese State 55-14
beat Middle Tenn. State 29-10
beat James Madison
beat Kent State 43-3
beat Maryland 35-10
beat Marshall 34.24
beat Arizona 59-13
lost to Wake Forest 38-24
lost to South Carolina 31-7
lost to Bowling Green 27-26
lost to Georgia Tech 17-3
beat Akron 48-31
beat Washington State 29-26
beat Northern Arizona
lost to No. 3 Miami 38-33
beat Indiana 38-13
beat Utah State 31-7
beat UCLA 16-14
beat Navy 17-3
vs. Fresno State
San Diego State
at Western Michiga
at Wake Forest
Freshman kicker Garrett Rivas connected on his
first two collegiate attempts.
quarterback Mike Kaselitz played his first
career snap on the last snap of Saturday's
game. ... Sophomore fullback Brian Thomp-
son and sophomore tight end Tyler Ecker
caught their first passes at Michigan. ...
Michigan's safety was the team's first since
2001 at Washington. ... The 50-3 win was
Michigan's largest margin of victory since the
Wolverines beat Indiana 58-0 in 2000.
Continued from Page 18
struggled Saturday, it flourished
against Central and has the capabili-
ty of exploding at any time.
Now all that's left is to bring it all
- Is it too much to ask of the
Wolverines to keep their fans' hopes
and dreams of a championship sea-
son alive until at least October? Is it
too much to ask of them to perform
well in those crucial, game-deciding
Not only would a win make up for
last season's loss to Notre Dame, it
would allow fans to keep their
dreams of a championship alive for
an the first time in four years.
Chris Perry commented on how
Michigan would be preparing for
"We just have to take them as any
other team," Perry said. "They are a
great ballclub, but we just have to
prepare like it would be any other
But this is not just "any other
game." This is the third game. And
this is Michigan's chance to put this
ugly streak to rest.
Othes receng votes: Alabama, Missouri,
Northern Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, Purdue,
Oregon, Arkansas, Colorado State, Bowling
Green, Texas A&M, Boise State, Arizona.
It's been four years since the Irish
have played at the Big House, and
the Wolverines can't wait to get
some payback for their 25-23 loss
last season. The Irish are coming into
Ann Arbor with a 2-0 record after a
comeback victory this past Saturday
against Washington State.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MICHIGAN 50, Houston 3
Boston College 27, PENN STATE 14
ILLINOIs 49, Illinois State 22
IowA 56, Buffalo 7
OHIO STATE 16, San Diego State 13
Air Force 22, NORTHWESTERN 21
Bowling Green 27, PURDUE 26
WISCONSIN 48, Akron 31
MICHIGAN STATE 44, Rutgers 28
WASHINGTON 38, Indiana 13
MINNESOTA 48, Troy State 7
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central Michigan w, 45-7
Houston w, 50-3
Notre Dame 3:30 p.m.
at Oregon 3:30 p.m.
at Iowa 2:30 p.m.
at Minnesota TBA
at Michigan State TBA
at Northwestern TBA
Ohio State Noon
Naweed Sikora has never witnessed
Michigan get past the third game of its
season undefeated, and is hoping that he
won't have to graduate without seeing it.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
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