The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 15, 2003 - 5B
X's AND (ky(e) 0'S
....Michigan Daily Sports Editor Kyle O'Neill is not a collegiate athlete, nor is
he a collegiate coach. But he was a starting wide receiver for his winless
team at Garber High School, was third in Bay County in receptions his sen-
ior year and claims to know something about the game of football. So each
game, we'll let him and his 5-foot-10, 158-pound frame break down why
Michigan either succeeded or failed.
3 Observations Key play: First quarter, 7:25; 3rd-and-9
Ohio State fans
game last year
- Lloyd's proud
You'll bea fine
on 3rd down
'. C. - .
EDITOR'S NOTE: On page
SB of SportsMonday, the foot-
ball writers will answer your
questions about anything, and
we mean anything. E-mail us
with questions or just to vent at:
1. The way Steve Breaston avoids
dancing when he receives punts is
one of two reasons why he may be
Michigan's best punt returner since
Charles Woodson. The other reason
for his success is that with Michi-
gan rushing seven, he has three pro-
tectors taking out the opposing
team's gunners. With no one in his
face, Breaston is able to make his
cuts and blow by approaching
defenders who are too slow to break
down and adjust to where he goes.
2. Those who still believe that
John Navarre isn't going through
his progressions are not watching.
Carl Tab b and Jason Avant have
become legitimate threats on third
down in any sort of eight- to 15-
yard route. Does Navarre still
throw to Braylon the most? Yes,
and why shouldn't he? You go to
your playmaker, even when cov-
ered. Former Detroit Lion Herman
Moore made a career of catching
balls amidst coverage.
3. Larry Stevens. While the entire
defense is playing at a whole new
level right now, no other defender is
S showing up in quarterbacks' night-
mares like Stevens. It's really
tough to say what he's doing differ-
ently, because he's just doing
everything. He commands the
respect of being double-teamed,
and when he's left alone at defen-
sive end for one-on-one blocking, he
usually ends up racing another
defender to the quarterback.
Stevens usually wins.
S001)RT OXDSFRST DOWN AT
KAsHAMA WMAN $TEVENS
10 YARD LIMRE:
TK. LiNE AftER SNAP
Explanation: As Markus Curry, Jacob Stewart and Jeremy LeSueur dropped into cover three; Marlin Jack-
son, Grant Bowman and Ernest Shazor had zone coverage underneath. Notre Dame tight end Billy Palmer
ran a three-yard out, meaning running back Ryan Grant had to pick up a blitzing Scott McClintock,
which he had difficulties with. Left tackle Jim Molinaro had to push a rushing Alain Kashama underneath
quarterback Carlyle Holiday. Center Bob Morton and right guard Sean Milligan double-teamed Larry
Stevens out of the play. And right tackle Dan Stevenson dropped back in order to keep a blitzing
Lawrence Reid from getting to Holiday. This left Pierre Woods matched up with left guard Mark LeVoir.
As from what could be seen on tape, LeVoir looked confused at Bowman (a defensive tackle) dropping
back into the secondary. Levoir, expecting to block Bowman, barely got his head on a swivel to see
Woods fly by him and get to Holiday, who had just avoided Kashama's rush. This play set up Steve
Breaston's punt return to the two, which got Michigan's offense going. The Wolverines' defense set the
tone from the beginning and allowed the offense to fuel through their energy. This play was just one of
many times where the defense stuffed Notre Dame's offense in order to start up Navarre and the boys
with good field position.
on cell ph ones
What? You thought you
deserved better? You should
know that if you can't win a
championship three games into
a season, then you're not going
to make the hype-meter explode
after three games. With that
said, you did not disappoint in
such a big game. And even with
the blow-out, 95-percent of you
stayed around to watch the
Wolverines go nuts with those
in row A. The main thing we
were impressed with was the
consistency of noise throughout
the game. We don't think you
peaked like you did against
Penn State last season, but you
displayed more enthusiasm
throughout the contest. Before
the Bucks come to town, we
need Penn State hysteria with
the consistency of Notre Dame.
Screw questions. This
week, The Daily football
writers are all about
answers. You asked
about the "tomahawk
chop" last week, and
we suggested that it
should become a
Wolverine claw. We
saw the claw in the
stands, and we thank
you for your trust, but
we now have a real
answer for you.
The "tomahawk chop"
performed when a visit-
ing team fails to con-
vert on third down has
nothing to do with
Bobby Bowden, the
Florida State Semi-
noles, nor any other
aspect of Native Ameri-
can culture. In fact, it
has nothing to do with
tomahawks or chop-
ping. The "chop" is sup-
posed to represent a
referee signalling a first
down, in an attempt to
mock the opposing
team for not gaining a
- Brian M. Gummow,
bE wti Buan al&t
Results against the spread
for 9/13/03 Courtney
No, 1S Notre Dame at No. $ MICIIIM (11) Notre Dame.
UNLV at No. 14 WIScoNSIN (-14) Wisconsin
Purdue at No. 20 WAKE FOREST (-) Wake Forest-
Miami (Ohio) (-3) at NORTHWESTERN Northwestern
NO. 24ixC. State at No.3 081t StATE (-11.5) N.C. State
Louisiana Tech at MIcHIGAN STATE (-10) Louisiana Tech
No. 23"owa (-3.5) at IOWA STATE lowa
Minnesota (-19) at OHIo Minnesota
Pn ti tN,18NI~K (-8,5) Nebraska
11111nos at UCLA (-10) UCLA
k. TA (3)exas
Fresno State at No. 1 OKLAHOMA (-27) Fresno State
oliaat N. 4a 3.5) Georgia
Georgia Tech at No. 10 FLORIDA STATE (-23) Georgia Tech
WaShI*n Stae at No. 17 Cowl~Ao (4) -Washington State
Kentucky at ALABAMA (-12.5) Alabama
Boston College (-6) at CONNECTICUT Boston College
This week's record 10-8 (1-0)
jex as "
Pete Poulos, head cook at
Frank's Restaurant on Maynard
He's not Greek, but
Irish 0 Neill wins.
American League Central, eat your
hearts out. Low winning percent-
age? We've got it. Mediocre
results? You know it. An exciting
finish by default? No doubt about it.
After a second-consecutive week of
near-.500 picks, the Daily Sports
Editors are ready for a Twins-Royals-
White Sox-esque finish to the sea-
The story of the weekend, though,
was Pete Poulos. After a 5-13
record from Lauren Kathleen, we
were wondering if Ann Arbor celebri-
ties were up to ... well, at least our
level of mediocrity. Not only did
Pete step up to the plate with a 9-9
record, but he also made some very
good ones for the Daily sports staff.
The winner on the week was Kyle
O'Neill, who went 11-7. But even
with the win, he's still furious that
he ever put faith in Michigan State
for anything outside of lawn care.
J. Brady McCollough fought through
the Big Ten quartet of losses in Wis-
consin, WakeuForest, Northwestern
and Ohio State to stay above .500
for the season.
Naweed Sikora remains positive
despite missing on his second-
straight best bet. Rumor has it that
he'll take Alma College to cover
And Courtney Lewis continues to
outthink Maryland's coach Ralph
Total season record
Continued from Page 1B
drive, the play didn't phase him.
The senior threw for 199 yards
and a touchdown. He spread the ball
among his receivers effectively, and
made good decisions with the ball.
Navarre, who has been criticized for
his performances in Michigan's
rivalry games, was poised and under
control throughout the game.
Navarre was quick to credit the
defense, though, for giving the
offense so many opportunities with
"As many three-and-outs as they
had, with the field position and the
turnovers, we thrived on them,"
Navarre said. "They played a heck
of a game and did a tremendous job.
They had great momentum, and it
was a great motivator for us."
No unit is perfect, but the Michi-
gan defense came very close. It set
the tone very early. Following
Navarre's fumble, Notre Dame start-
ed on Michigan's 38-yard line. Three
plays later, it had moved just one
yard and was forced to punt.
"The defense was the difference
today," coach Lloyd Carr said.
"They gave us great field position
all game. The defensive stop after
our first possession turnover was
major. I have to take my hat off to
The defensive front, led by a hun-
gry Larry Stevens, simply overpow-
ered the Notre Dame offensive line.
It also contained Notre Dame quar-
terback Carlyle Holiday, who usually
picks apart defenses with his ability
The Michigan secondary might
have been better than the defensive
front, as the unit mixed up its defen-
sive sets very well. Marlin Jackson,
who led the team with six tackles,
lined up at safety most of the time,
but sometimes, in nickel situations,
moved into man-to-man coverage.
By the end of the first half, Notre
Dame had just one passing yard. It
completed just eight passes all game
and finished with 91 yards in the air.
"I feel like we put a pounding on
them," said Markus Curry, who had
an interception in the second quar-
ter. "We kept giving it to them, and
we never let up. Coach Carr said to
never let up. No matter what the
score is, no matter who is in the
game, never let up."
With their first road game coming
up this Saturday in Oregon, it's nice to
have this kind of momentum to build
on. Everything is clicking for the
Wolverines right now, and they know
it. But this is still just the beginning.
"I did not think in my wildest
dreams that this could happen," said
Carr of the blowout. "It was our day,
and things went well for us. But we
have a long season, and you have to
come ready to play."
Continued from Page IB
season, but his numbers dropped in
the loss to Notre Dame in South
This time, the Wolverines came
out and made a statement against
their oldest rival, and Perry was the
keynote speaker. Perry was off and
running on Michigan's first play of
the game - a 14-yard screen to the
left - and it seemed like he never
"When you block for a great run-
ning back like Chris Perry, you see
him going down field making
safeties miss, running them over
and everything like that," junior
offensive tackle Adam Stenavich
said. "You just know he's a play-
maker, and if you give him a
chance, he'll make plays."
That kind of go-to guy is what
Michigan's offense has been miss-
ing, and Perry's play so far this sea-
son has said that he is finally ready
to take on that role.
Perry has rushed for well over
100 yards in each of the first three
games, giving him a total of 549
yards. That's nearly half of his total
for all of last season (1,110 yards).
And with eight touchdowns, he's on
pace to easily surpass his 14 of last
Stenavich and Pape, who have
been creating many of the gaping
holes Perry has run through, had
plenty of praise for their tailback.
They wouldn't say that Perry is a
serious Heisman candidate, but a lot
of other people will after Saturday's
Perry, meanwhile, didn't have
much to say about himself after the
game, pointing out that his fumble
in the second quarter left room for
He also made it sound like he was
barely doing any of the work on the
ground. According to Perry, the
credit for his schooling of opposing
defenses goes to: "The offensive
line, receivers, John (Navarre) and
the fullbacks. And the tight ends too.
"When they make holes like that,
I have no choice but to run through
There's no doubt Michigan's line
has been superb this season, and
Navarre has been able to keep
defenses from focusing solely on
But defensive tackle Grant Bow-
man had a different theory about
why Perry has been tearing up the
"He's a warrior, and the thing
about him - he's a great player,
very talented - but he's absolutely
a team guy first," Bowman said. "I
think he cares about this team prob-
ably more than anybody on it. He
just wants to see us succeed, and
that's why he's running so hard -
because he's running for all of us,
not just himself."
Running with heart, indeed.
Courtney Lewis wishes she could jump
over people like Chris Perry can. She can
be reached at email@example.com.
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