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REwN 31, IMICHIGAN 27
'West Toast' makes return
to center stage in Eugene
J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGH
All About the Cause
EUGENE, Ore. - After one season
off, the cast members of the much-
ballyhooed drama I like to call "West
Toast" decided to take their show on the
road one more time Saturday. Viewers saw
the same plot and the same characters from
the first two productions (2000 and 2001),
but with a slightly-altered script.
As avid fans of the first two seasons, we
should have expected this plotline from the
start. You know, the trip out West, the loss in
nonconference play, the crushed dreams of a
national championship just as we actually
started to believe this team was different.
Nope, no difference.
I will give the heavens one thing: The set-
ting they picked for this year's production of
"West Toast" to unfold was magnificent.
Sitting in the foothills of the Cascade
Mountains, Oregon's Autzen Stadium is one
of college football's hidden jewels. Before
kickoff, Autzen is as peaceful as the
Willamette River, which runs through
Eugene just a few minutes from the stadi-
um. After kickoff, the fans - even the
alumni - forget who they are, where they
come from and what their degree is in. The
audience adopts a new collective identity
for the next three-and-a-half hours: the 12th,
13th and 14th man.
Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big
House collectively sound like a pathetic
whimper. It's louder than any place I've ever
been, and that includes "The Swamp" at
Florida, "The Shoe" in Columbus and
"Death Valley" at Louisiana State. Autzen
Stadium is where great teams go to die.
R.I.P. Michigan 2003.
The protagonist of our drama, as always,
was John Navarre. Navarre willed the
Wolverines back from a 24-6 second-half
deficit. He threw for 360 yards, most of
which came after intermission, and three
The fifth-year senior has been through it
all. His character develops more and more
with each pass he throws. His legacy at
Michigan is still up in the air, but he has
confirmed one thing with every single game
he's played for Michigan: He's no quitter,
See McCOLLOUGH, Page 5B
Yes, the Wolverines' running explo-
sion might have taken the week off.
But that does not mean Daily foot-
ball writer Kyle O'Neill took the
week off as well. Check out his
breakdown, along with staff picks,
the Hype-meter and Ask the Foot-
ball Writers. Page 5B
Varsity bumbles into another
nonconference road defeat
By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor
EUGENE, Ore. - One more chance.
Braylon Edwards dove for an onside kick
and then hung onto the ball like the game
depended on it - which it did - and
Michigan wasn't done yet.
The Wolverines had made a frantic,
roller-coaster-ride of a comeback after trail-
ing Oregon by 18 points, finding new life
when it looked like the game was surely
over. Now the Wolverines were down by
four with the ball in their hands and 2:12
left. But Edwards, who had made acrobatic
catches and snatched balls away from
defenders all game long, couldn't make one
last big play. John Navarre's fourth-down
pass sailed out of the reach of Edwards'
fingertips, and with it slipped away Michi-
gan's last chance.
The Wolverines, unable to overcome
crippling mistakes and a lifeless running
game, fell to the Ducks, 31-27.
"Bottom line is we need to come out and
play Michigan football," defensive lineman
Larry Stevens said.
And for the first 40 minutes, the brand of
football was a far cry from what Michigan
had played in its first three games. In a
deafening Autzen Stadium, filled with an
Oregon record 59,023 people, the Wolver-
ines' formerly blazing running game fizzled
out. Oregon's defensive line repeatedly
stuffed Michigan running back Chris Perry
See DUCKS, Page 4B
Oregon players celebrate after John Navarre's fourth-quarter pass to Steve Breaston was intercepted. The Ducks led 31-21.
Despite sub-par showing, Blue
wins Michigan/Nike Challenge
BUMP, SET, SPIKE
With its victory in yesterday's Michigan/Nike
Challenge$ the Michigan volleyball team has now
won three straight tournaments.
Date Tournament Result (place)
9/7 Michigan/Pepsi Challenge 2-1 (first)
9/13 Toyota LV Classic 3-0 (first)
9/20 Michigan/Nike Challenge 2-0 (first)
scoreless on weekend
By Eric Ambinder and
Daily Sports Writers
Is it in you?
After a volleyball was deflected into the Wolver-
ines' cooler early in the Michigan/Nike Challenge,
not only was the beverage knocked down, it
appeared as if the team's morale was beginning to
spill as well. At this point, Gatorade would ask: Is it
Even though the Wolverines 3
captured their third consecu- MICHIGA
tive tournament championship
at Cliff Keen Arena on Saturday, many of the
Wolverine players would say no, it wasn't in them.
This weekend's tune-up matches were supposed to
be momentum builders going into the Big Ten sea-
son, but according to Michigan coach Mark Rosen,
wins don't necessarily translate into success.
"I like the wins, but I don't think we played very
well at all, Rosen said.
"That frustrates me; I would rather win the right
way than the wrong way."
Even though Michigan (8-3) only dropped one
set this Saturday against Central Michigan (5-6)
and Valparaiso (11-4), it was plagued by inconsis-
tent defense and frequent attack errors throughout
"We didn't control the ball very well," Rosen
said. "Our attackers didn't make very good choic-
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lost the next four points and struggled throughout
the second set.
Twenty-one tie scores and 15 lead changes later,
the energized fans helped the Wolverines to a 34-
"The crowd was definitely trying to get us
going," Michigan junior Jennifer Gandolph said.
"It wouldn't have mattered if there were 500 or
1,000 people. They were ridiculous."
Building upon the crowd's excitement, Michigan
quickly captured the final set over the Chippewas,
Hoping to improve upon their error-filled, yet
convincing victory over Central Michigan, the
Wolverines went into their final match against Val-
paraiso with higher expectations.
Michigan's Erin Moore paced the Wolverines
from the start with a match-high 19 kills and 13
digs as Michigan took the first set, 30-25.
"I'm really proud of Erin because she is hurt-
ing," coach Rosen said. "She had to come in and be
Gandolph and teammate Nicole Poquette
sparked the Wolverines to an easy 30-18 second-set
victory, giving them a 2-0 match lead and the
apparent momentum heading into what should
have been the final set.
But Michigan committed 13 of its 34 match
errors in the third stanza, losing its first set of the
The Wolverines continued to struggle in the
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By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer
It wasn't the way the Michigan
women's soccer team wanted to start
its Big Ten season. Not since 1998
have the Wolverines gone into their
opening weekend of conference play
and emerged without a victory. Michi-
gan also hadn't
lost to Northwest-
ern in four years.
both of those things happened.
Michigan fell to Northwestern 1-
0 after allowing a goal early in the
first half. Those results, combined
with the Wolverines' 0-0 double-
overtime tie with Illinois on Friday,
meant that Michigan went winless
for the weekend.
"We need to figure something out
quick," Michigan coach Debbie
Rademacher said. "We (have been)
playing good defense and having
some shutouts these past few games.
We should be winning games."
Strong defense just wasn't enough
to put Michigan over the top. The
Wolverines have been plagued by a
tendency to fall behind early, and that
makes emerging with a win much
been prepared to play yesterday, but
was quick to say that it wasn't the
"It started with the mental (mis-
takes). If you underestimate a team
then you play a little bit more lethar-
gic," Rademacher said. "I think it had
a little bit to do with both."
Michigan might have been worn
out after playing 110 minutes on Fri-
day against Illinois. The game went
int double-overtime - the third dou-
ble-OT game the Wolverines have
played this season already - and it
ended in a scoreless tie.
"Illinois is a great team, and they're
very dangerous," Rademacher said.
"We played real solid and real physi-
cal. If there was any tie that was going
to be good, it was that one."
Freshman goalkeeper Megan Tuura
- who played all 110 minutes -
made a save with less than five min-
utes to go in the second overtime to
preserve the tie. Tuura is part of a
solidifying Michigan lineup that
Rademacher says has lately become
more consistent but it still open to
"If someone wants to step up and
be that person to take over the game
offensively, then they will earn a start-
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