4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 6, 2003
IOWA 30, MICHIGAN 27
Offense relives last-minute
drive, falls just short again
By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor
IOWA CITY - John Navarre has been
there before. Just two weeks ago, against
Oregon. And again last season at Notre
Fourth quarter. Michigan's down by more
than a touchdown on the road. The Wolver-
ines have the ball.
This time it was 30-20, Iowa, with 5:13
left. Navarre dropped into the shotgun to run
the two-minute drill, and just like before,
marched his team downfield. Touchdown.
Michigan was within three.
Just like before, Michigan got the ball back
with time running out. Just like before,
Michigan had a chance to win it.
But two penalties and two incompletions
later, it was 4th-and-12. Navarre heaved a
pass down the left sideline, the ball dropped
to the ground, and Michigan couldn't get it
done. Just like before.
"We had total confidence in our two-
minute offense, and ... I had total confidence
that we were going to be able to move the
football," a devastated Navarre said after the
30-27 loss. "And we did that. We're never
going to quit. And we did a good job of that,
but we still have to pick it up."
In what may have felt like a serious case of
deja vu to players and fans alike, the Michi-
gan offense couldn't pick up the team and
carry it to victory at the end of the game.
Navarre has not won a road game against a
top-25 team in six tries. But Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr advised against quickly blaming
the quarterback for the loss.
"It's a team game, and any time the plays
don't go well for an offense, the first guy you
want to criticize is the quarterback, and
sometimes that's accurate and many times it
isn't, so we'll just have to look at the film,"
Carr said. "There wasn't a guy on our foot-
ball team that wasn't busting his tail and
playing as hard as he could, and that's all you
can ask of any man."
Michigan couldn't ask much more of
Navarre, who connected on 26 of 49 attempts
for two touchdowns. The fifth-year senior
threw for 389 yards, the highest single-game
total in Michigan history, eclipsing Tom
Brady's record of 375 against Ohio State in
From the beginning, Michigan's offense
looked much-improved from last weekend's
sloppy performance against Indiana. It put up
20 points in the first half and, as in the Ore-
gon game, had two receivers with more than
100 yards on the day (this time it was Bray-
Ion Edwards and Jason Avant). But the
Wolverines stalled after halftime. Iowa's
defense held Michigan scoreless in the third
quarter, and Navarre credited the Hawkeyes
with not allowing him to make plays that
were there in the first half.
"I don't know if it was accuracy, but it was,
you know, they took some things away,"
Navarre said. "We had to get in some differ-
ent plays, and they stepped up their game in
And Michigan wasn't able to do the little
things in the second half. Navarre threw some
characteristic high passes, receivers dropped
balls and the Wolverines committed costly
penalties, including debilitating delay of
game and holding penalties on the final
drive. Navarre spoke of missed opportunities
and an inability to execute.
"This offense as a whole, we had some
mishaps, and we have to correct those,"
Navarre said. "We played well ... (but) we
have to take advantage of the situations we
Especially situations where the game is on
the line and the ball is in Michigan's hands.
Time of Poss
M I C H I G A N
Chris Perry attempts to hurdle several Iowa defenders in the first half of Saturday's game. Perry finished
with 87 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.
Avant becoming third-down option
By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Editor
IOWA CITY - On a team with a lot of
receiving talent, it's tough for just one
player to ever stand out. Especially if
they're not wearing No. 1
nor are they a speedy punt
returner slated to be the
next Anthony Carter.
But Michigan wide
receiver Jason Avant has
established himself as the
go-to guy in tough situations for quarter-
back John Navare1 " "" "" - "i1
Especially on third down - when
teams usually drop back into a zone
defense - it is Avant who is able to find
a hole for Navarre to throw to.
On three first-half occasions on Satur-
day, Avant took advantage of the zone
defense being run and found openings
for 20, 38 and 71 yards. On all three, he
took a 10- to 15-yard route and turned it
into something bigger. Avant also had an
li-yard reception in the half
Navarre even tried to give Avant much
more than the 175 yards receiving that he
finished with, but the duo couldn't con-
nect on slant, flag and fade routes when
Iowa went into man coverage - presum-
ably a switch from the zone coverage that
Michigan was able to abuse so much dur-
ing the game.
"They're coaches, that's their job,"
Navarre said of the Iowa coaching staff.
"They're going to adjust to that. We have
to be able to adjust to that, too. It's just a
coaching battle back and forth. We have
to be able to do the job there. They just
did a good job of adjusting."
PLAYING THE PYRAMID: Michigan' si mt0
team saw a new look, when it debuted a
triangular-shaped seven offensive line-
man, three protector and one punter set.
'Freshman kickertiarrett Rivas served as
the punter in the three second-half situa-
tions it was run. Rivas had pooch punted
earlier in the second half.
The design of the punt was in response
to Iowa's Ramon Ochoa and his second-
quarter 43-yard return. The punt team
also lost two of its regular special team
starters in Jeremy Van Alstyne and Larry
Stevens to injuries.
"That's part of that particular punting
plan," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
"We wanted to roll him, and they brought
pressure off the edge he was rolling to.
He was to punt it. He had two very good
punts. The strength of that protection is
that you should get great coverage. Early
in the game, we gave up a long punt
return because we didn't get the coverage
The punting strategy paid off well the
first two times Michigan did it, as it
kept the ball away from Ochoa and
l 'aced the Hawkeyes inside their own
But Rivas found problems on Michi-
gan's first drive after Iowa tied the score
"at 2I0late in the thd iuaiter Michig '
drove to its own 27 and then stalled out,
bringing out Rivas.
As Rivas rolled right, he might have
delayed on kicking - Carr said he had to
check game film on that - and Iowa's
Chris Smith broke through the three pro-
tectors for a block to set up what would
be the game-deciding field goal.
The Golden Gophers, 42-17 winners at
Northwestern Saturday, are now 2-0 in
the Big Ten and 6-0 overall. Michigan,
meanwhile, is reeling after dropping to
0.2 on the road with a loss to Iowa. -
Minnesota will be trying to capture the
Little Brown Jug fornthe first time since
1986. Michigan won at Minnesota last
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Jason Avant is becoming John Navarre's go-to guy on third down
these days. Avant finished with 175 yards receiving on the day.
Continued from Page 1B
the world could feel;' said Krenzel after
his heroic effort against the Boilermak-
ers, "with that kind of excitement, that
Navarre, who fell to 0-6 against ranked
opponents on the road, has tasted that
high so many times, but has never been
able to fully devour it.
We played well," said Navarre, who
had 389 yards and two touchdowns on
26-of-49. "It's just those little things, and
we have to take advantage of the situa-
tions we're in. Sometimes we weren't
doing that. (If) we're a championship
team, we have to do that all the time."
The Miami defense made a play of its
own to keep Miami's run for the title alive
in 2001. Down 12-7 to the Hurricanes,
Boston College drove the length of the
field to the Miami 9-yard line in the final
minute. Eagles quarterback Brian St.
Pierre dropped back to pass and his throw
bounced off the back of Miami defensive
back Mike Rumph's knee and ended up
in the hands of Miami defensive lineman
Matt Walters. After Walters trudged for
10 yards, Miami safety Ed Reed took the
ball from his teammate and galloped for
an 80-yard touchdown. Miami held on
for an 18-7 win.
The Michigan defense gave up just
295 yards to the Hawkeyes. But thanks to
Michigan's lackluster punt and kickoff
coverage, Iowa began drives with the ball
past its own 40-yard line six times. In the
second half, the Hawkeyes got the ball at
Michigan's 28- and 15-yard line on back-
to-back possessions after a Navarre inter-
ception and a punt block, respectively.
But even with the field position against
them, the Wolverines - led by lineback-
ers Scott McClintock and Lawrence Reid
- held the Hawkeyes to two Nate Kaed-
ing field goals to stay within striking dis-
tance at 23-20.
"We can't take anything (positive)
from the game," Diggs said. "We lost.
Any time you lose, you're always down.
"We came out and didn't give up any
touchdowns, but we still lost the game."
After all the clutch stops the defense
made in the third quarter, it couldn't keep
Iowa from scoring what ended up being
the winning touchdown in the fourth.
Iowa quarterback Nathan Chandler hit
Ramon Ochoa for a 31-yard touchdown
to give the Hawkeyes a 30-20 lead.
"We weren't tired, we just didn't make
the plays to win the game," Diggs said.
"You have to give Iowa credit. They made
the play at the end to win the game. I
don't think anyone was tired. We were
pumped and ready to go; we just have to
make the plays. The play they made, we
can't let happen
ROCKY FLOP: Looks like Auburn's
finally gotten its act together.
The Tigers bounced No. 7 Ten-
nessee from the top 10, domi-
nating the Volunteers on the
ground for a 28-21 win.
Running back Carnell Williams
churned out 185 yards, and
quarterback Jason Campbell
tossed two touchdown passes.
Auburn is now 5-2 in its last
seven games against teams
ranked in the top 10.
Bia MAC: The surprise team of
the year in college football just
keeps on winning.
No. 17 Northern Illinois scored
a game-tying touchdown with
1:42 left, setting up a dramatic
30-23 overtime win over Ohio.
The Huskies were led by wide
receiver P.J. Fleck, who caught
14 balls for a school-record 234
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
Associated Press Poll for week of Sept. 29.
Games updated through Oct.4.
2. Miami (Fla.)
3. Ohio State
4. Virginia Teach
5. Florida State
6. Louisiana State
10. Southern cal.
14. Washington State
16. Kansas State
17. Northern Illinois
20. Texas christian
25. Michigan State
beat Iowa State 53-7
beat West Virginia 22-20
beat Rutgers 48-22
lost to Auburn 28-21
lost to Iowa 30-27
beat Arizona State 37-17
beat Alabama 37-23
beat Troy State 30-0
beat Kansas State 24-20
beat Texas A&M 37-26
lost to Texas 24-20
beat Ohio 30-23 (ot)
lost to UCLA 46-16
lost to Utah 17-13
beat Army 27-0
beat Northwestern 42-1i
beat Illinois 43-10
beat Michigan 30-27
lost to Mississippi 20-17
beat Indiana 31-3
at Florida State
at Minnesota (Fri.)
at Oklahoma State
at Central Michigan
at Arizona State
at South Florida
at Louisiana State
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
IowA 30, Michigan 27
Wisconsin 30, PENN STATE 23
MICHIGAN STATE 31, Indiana 3
Minnesota 42, NORTHWESTERN 17
PURDUE 43, Illinois 10
Date O DOnent Time/Result
Aug. 30 Central Michigan W, 45-7
Sept. 6 Houston W, 50-3
Sept. 13 Notre Dame W, 38
Sept. 20 at Oregon L, 31-27
Sept.'27 Indiana W, 31-17
Oct. 4 at Iowa L, 30-27
Oct. 10 at Minnesota 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 Illinois Noon
Oct. 25 Purdue TBA
Nov. 1 at Michigan State TBA
Nov. 15 at Northwestern TBA
Nov. 22 Ohio State Noon
(first-place votes in parentheses)
BECOME ONE OF AMERICAS
HEALTH CARE HEROES
Would you like to start a
fraternity? We have got a
great opportunity for you!
Local/national scholarship programs
145 years on campus
1. Oklahoma (59)
2. Miami (1)
3. Ohio State (5)
4. Virginia Tech
5. Florida State
6. Louisiana State
9. Southern Cal.
12. Washington State
16. Northern Illinois
If you are a primary care student inspired by the opportunity to serve patients who need
you the most, an NHSC scholarship may be right for you. Scholarships cover tuition, a