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September 24, 2003 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-24

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September 24, 2003




Recommitted Vozza
earns top spot for Blue

Big House needs big
crowd, despite loss

By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan men's golf coach Andrew Sapp didn't
recruit Christian Vozza.
But after this past weekend, Sapp is certainly glad
he's got him on his team.
Vozza, a sophomore who committed to the
Wolverines during former coach Jim Carras' final
year, started off the Wolverines' 2003 season in
style this weekend, shooting rounds of 74-69-67-
210 to finish third individually in the Northern
Intercollegiate at the Michigan Golf Course.
He not only nearly beat the entire field of 75
golfers, but he did so playing as an individual,
which meant his scores didn't go toward helping the
Wolverines out of their 12th-place finish.
Vozza's qualifying rounds in practice prior to the
weekend were not low enough to make the tourna-
ment team, but after this weekend's performance,
he won't be playing as an individual for much
"I was pretty much in the zone," Vozza said.
"Everything was just consistent. In the last round, I
hit 16 greens and birdied three of the last four
holes. I've never been that consistent."
Sapp couldn't have been happier for one of his
"I was more than pleasantly surprised with the
way Christian played this weekend," Sapp said. "He
worked hard all winter long on his conditioning,
and I really challenged him to perform. Now I'm
glad to see he's getting what he worked for."

When Vozza came to Ann Arbor last fall, he did-
n't expect it would take him more than a year to
make an impact.
Coming out of Grand Rapids Baptist High
School, Vozza was a first-team all-state selection
three times and was a member of the 2000 state
championship team. He was recruited by the likes
of Notre Dame and Emory.
Yet during his freshman season, Vozza played in
just two events for the Wolverines and his scoring
average was 75.16.
"I didn't realize how hard it was to balance
everything as a freshman," he said. "Playing a sport
and going to school here is like having two full time
jobs. Everything just suffered. I was disappointed."
Vozza's game wasn't up to par, literally.
"I didn't play as much as I hoped, only being in
those two tournaments," he said. "But it's been my
goal to get it back."
Vozza recommitted his mindset, and his game
during the summer. Now he's back.
He played in the Western Amateur, one of the
largest amateur tournaments in the country and
almost qualified for this year's U.S. Amateur Cham-
"I worked hard all summer because my game
wasn't up to speed," Vozza said.
For now, Vozza's got a spot in the starting five. In
fact, he'll be playing No. 1 for the Wolverines in
this weekend's tournament at Indiana.
Vozza knows that he must maintain consistency
to stick around, but if there's anyone ready to make
his presence felt, it's Christian Vozza.

With his stellar play last week, sophomore Christian
Vozza has secured his place among the top five.

Goin' to Work
Mary Pinter, LSA junior
... I hear you. Pinter's
letter to the editor ran in
yesterday's paper. The gist of the
letter was that she was disgusted.
Disgusted with the attitude that
Michigan students and alumni are
beginning to show in the face of
Saturday's pass-the-Rolaids loss to
Pinter begged for the Maize and
Blue faithful to rally together, once
again pack the Big House and engulf
Indiana in a raucous swarm of
My guess? It's not going to happen.
I've heard the rumblings, too.
People 'round these parts just
don't have much interest in Satur-
day's game between Michigan and
Indiana at the Big House.
This is my fourth year here, and
the same thing happens every time
the Wolverines drop a ballgame.
If Notre Dame, Penn State, Michi-
gan State, or Ohio State travel to
Ann Arbor, the Michigan Stadium
crowd gets going. The place is
packed (see NCAA-record crowd
against the Irish), the students are
loud and occasionally the alumni
will even get into the act.
But, inevitably, there are games
like this weekend's.
As of yesterday, Michigan was a
35-point favorite over the Hoosiers.
There's about as much chance of
Indiana hanging in this game as
there was the Emmy broadcast last
Sunday going an entire segment
without a joke about the California
gubernatorial race.
And this type of game - be it
Indiana, Houston, Central Michigan,
etc. - is exactly the type of game
that gives the Michigan Stadium
crowd its bad name.
I know that there hasn't been a
crowd of less than 100,000 for a game
in the Big House since 1975. I know
that the crowd was a factor against
Notre Dame. I know that when Ohio

State comes calling in November,
Ann Arbor will be jumping.
I also know that none of that is
good enough.
The thing that stands Michigan
crowds out as a "champagne sip-
ping" group is a game like this one.
If everything goes as expected,
Michigan will be up by the end of
the first quarter, the crowd will be
near silent by the second and seats
will start emptying out at halftime.
That - and I think Mary Pinter
agrees - is unacceptable.
Look, no one's demanding that
every single student go to every sin-
gle game and stay for every single
But it would be nice if people went
to Michigan Stadium not to hang
out, but to watch football, and they
cheered, regardless of the opponent.
If the alums and students here are
serious about erasing the Big
House's reputation of silence, then
there's your mission.
Go ahead, someone pinch me,
wake me up.
I'm dreaming.
It'd be great to hear Michigan Sta-
dium erupt all day Saturday.
Chances are that it'll be closer to a
three-hour awkward silence.
I didn't get the opportunity to
make the trip to Oregon last week,
so I missed out on those festivities.
But Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
claims that it's the loudest stadium
he's ever been in - and I'm pretty
sure he's been in the Big House. I've
been told by people who did make
the trip that it was something you
have to see to believe.
I doubt we blew away the Houston
fans (if there were any) when they
came to Ann Arbor.
The eventual goal has to be for
announcers and coaches to talk
about having to play in Michigan
Stadium like they talk about having
to play at Oregon, Ohio State or Ten-
A good showing Saturday would
be a nice start.
See you there, Mary.
- Chris Burke feels that just doing the
wave is not enough this weekend ... or
any weekend. He can be reached at



Pac- O ffers opening week excitement

By Matt Singer
and Beth Adelson
For the Daily

As Michigan's horrifying loss to Ore-

gon this past Satur-
day proved, anything
can and will happen
in the world of col-
lege football. With
most Big 12 teams
idle this week, the


most interesting matchups come out of
the Pac-10.
No. 3 SOUTHERN CAL. (3-0) AT CAu-
FORNIA (2-3) - 6:30 P.M., Fox SPORTS
NET: So it's not exactly California vs.
Stanford. But it's still an intrastate rival-
ry between the third-ranked Trojans and
their Golden State brethren. Southern
Cal. is coming off a bye week, while the
Golden Bears are still celebrating their
thrilling 31-24, victory at Illinois.
At quarterback for the Golden Bears
is junior college transfer Aaron
Rodgers, who made his first career start
last week against the Fighting Illini.
Rodgers will be looking to junior wide
receiver Geoff MacArthur, who caught
10 passes for 155 yards and one touch-
down last week. The California running

game is also coming off a big week in
which wrecking ball Adimchinobe
Echemandu ran for 70 yards and a
score. California's aggressive defense
can wreak havoc on opposing quarter-
backs. Just ask Illinois quarterback Jon
Beutjer, who is still having nightmares
about California linebacker Wendell
Hunter's nine tackles and three sacks.
Well-rested Southern Cal. showcased
a high-octane offense in its Sept. 13
game against Hawaii. True freshman
tailback tandem Reggie Bush and
LenDale White combined for 112 yards
and four touchdowns. Quarterback Matt
Leinart was efficient, completing 15-of-
21 passes. Star wide receiver Mike
Williams strikes fear into defenders and
will showcase his incredible combina-
tion of size and speed Saturday.
The Trojans will march confidently
into Memorial Stadium and steamroll
the overmatched Golden Bears. Howev-
er, don't underestimate the Echemandu
factor, or the impact of California's
swarming defense.
Southern Cal. 45, California 17
No. 10 OREGON (4-0) - 3:30 P.M.,
ESPN: As Michigan fans are painfully
aware, the 10th-ranked Oregon Ducks

are coming off of one of the biggest
wins in school history, a heart-stopping
31-27 victory over Michigan. Now the
Ducks have a new target, in No. 21
Washington State. The Cougars, fresh
off a 23-13 win over New Mexico, are
hoping to end Oregon's hot streak.
Hosting their second straight ranked
team at the "Nut House," the Ducks are
poised to continue their improbable suc-
cess. The two-quarterback system
employed by coach Mike Bellotti has
worked wonders, and the Oregon run
defense has been rock solid. Despite its
lack of a superstar, Oregon's offensive
unit has been efficient and has avoided
mistakes. However, as Michigan proved
in last week's second half, Oregon's
major weakness lies in its pass defense.

Washington State has fully recovered
from its gut-wrenching opening-day
loss to Notre Dame, dismantling Col-
orado 47-26 last week. Washington
State's offense focuses on the passing
game, and expect quarterback Matt
Kegel to exploit the Ducks' shaky pass
defense. Junior Devard Darling is con-
sidered among the most talented wide-
outs in the country and is riding the
high of a 113-yard performance against
New Mexico.
This should be a close game with
offensive fireworks abound. But with
the way things have been going for Ore-
gon, expect the Ducks to pull out a late
victory. In this Pac-10 battle, two quar-
terbacks are better than one.
Oregon 48, Washington State 42




The Ducks are flying high after last weekend's upset of Michigan.

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