4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsWednesday - October 15, 2003
MICHIGAN 38, MINNESOTA 35
Hall, Stewart team up late; Woodley has monster game
By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Editor N
MINNEAPOLIS - Both weren't sup-
posed to bein there.I
It was a play that was designed for two
of Michigan's best defensive backs -
Marlin Jackson and
Jeremy LeSueur - but
that was executed by X
two relative unknowns.
Sophomore safety e
Jacob Stewart and true
Leon Hall teamed up
for the biggest defensive play of the
After Michigan had just scored its sec-
ond touchdown of the game, the Wolver-
ines were lining up to stop a Minnesota
team that had been running all over the
Wolverines' defense. But on its own 31-
yard line, Minnesota chose to pass on frst
down instead of run.
Minnesota senior Asad Abdul-Khaliq
dropped back to pass on 1st and 10, only
to find Hall blitzing from Michigan's
sideline, in his face. Unlike previous
times, when Abdul-Khaliq was able to
escape and scramble for a long run, Hall
had a good wrap around the quarterback's
legs. Instead of taking a sack, Abdul-
Khaliq tried to force a pass to a seemingly
wide-open wideout. Enter Stewart, who
baited the pass perfectly from the safety
position, stepped in and took the inter-
cepted ball to the endzone.
"It was a play we had been working on
all week," said Stewart, who was in for
the injured Jackson. "It was a great corner
blitz, jumped the tight end ... without
(Hall) I wouldn't get that pick."
What makes Hall's situation impressive
is that he is a true freshman and actually
missed a portion of camp due to injury.
"We have Leon Hall, who's doing a
great job with a senior being out and him
being a freshman," said Markus Curry,
the opposite corner to Hall. "We feel
there's more pressure on him, and he's
Time of Poss
M I C H I G A N
True freshman Leon Hall grabs a hold of Minnesota running back Marion Barber to make the tackle. Hall played well Friday in Jeremy LeSueur's absence.
really stepping up. The coaches had con-
fidence in Leon, definitely. During two-a-
days he was out for awhile, and they
didn't know how he would hang in there."
LA-MORE PLAYING TIME: Michigan defen-
sive end LaMarr Woodley has been listed
as the starter at right end this weekend
against Illinois. Obviously, he'll still have
to earn that right to start in practice this
week, but after last weekend, it would take
a lot for him not to get quality playing
"In the Minnesota game, there were a
lot of people asking me about LaMarr,
and honestly, when I saw the film, I have
never seen a freshman at that position
make as many plays as he did," Michi-
gan coach Lloyd Carr said. "This kid
had an absolutely sensational game for a
freshman. Now, that's one game - but
against a very, very good offensive line."
Woodley finished with nine tackles,
including one tackle for loss. The fresh-
man beast (6-foot-2, 263 pounds) also
had one key stop on Minnesota's final
drive, showing his ability to play an entire
game effectively. Combining with defen-
sive tackle Grant Bowman, he wrapped
up Abdul-Khaliq to force an incomplete
pass on the first play of Minnesota's
unsuccessful attempt to try and tie the
Continued from Page IS
games, they'd have to finish out the
season knowing that after so much
hype and with so much potential,
there'd be no championship, no BCS
When did you start thinking the
Wolverines could win? Did you let
the thought creep in after they
scored in the third quarter? Or did
you push it away still?
For many of the players, it was
Jacob Stewart's interception at
13:30 in the fourth that r~de them
think they could really do this. The
cornerback stepped in front of a
receiver and ran the ball back, mak-
ing it 28-21 and giving the porous
defense a little redemption.
The defense hadn't made a play
all night, it seemed. They flailed
their arms while the Gophers ran for
424 rushing yards.
"Of course we had to turn it
around," defensive end Larry
Stevens said emphatically. "I mean,
the team's jamming it down our
throat. What (are) you going to do?
You going to lay down? That's your
manhood right there. That's your
pride. That's what you stand for."
So the defense started making
tackles, and the offense had
switched to the hurry-up and they
were only down by seven. Did you
believe in Michigan yet?
Not so fast.
Sure, it looked like the Wolver-
ines could win now, but they've
been close at the end before.
Remember Oregon? How about
"It is remarkable for an 18-year-old kid
because normally, at that position, it takes
a couple of years to build the type of
strength and endurance. Here we're get-
ting ready to play the eighth game of the
year and in most cases a freshman at this
stage, he's worn down, and he's fatigued.
LaMarr came up with an exceptional
INSERTING A TABB: Another redshirt
freshman has begun to take a more
prominent role with the Wolverines, as
wide receiver Carl Tabb was the starting
kick returner on Friday.
"Carl is a guy that we'd like to get
the football to, because he can really
Iowa? And sure enough, just as soon
as Michigan pulled close, Minneso-
ta pulled away again, 35-21.
But like some game of tug-of-
war, Michigan pulled back, harder.
A touchdown bomb to Braylon
Edwards. A Chris Perry 10-yard
touchdown run. 35-35.
On the next drive, the Gophers
had a 3rd-and-4 on their own 20,
and the Wolverines stopped them.
Oddly similar to Michigan's other
two road games, it came down to
this: Michigan had the ball and a
chance to win with just 4:12 left.
Did you let yourself think it could
happen then? Even with the way the
Wolverines had fought back, you
had no reason to believe they could
finish it. You had every reason to
think that they'd come up short
again. You'd seen it before.
So had the Wolverines. What were
they thinking on the field?
"Don't let this be (like) the last
two games." That's what Braylon
Edwards was thinking. "I'm tired of
hearing about how we fought hard,
but yet we didn't make the plays.
'You guys did good, you guys didn't
give up, but you just didn't come up
with it.' We said, 'To Hell with that.
We're going to come up with this
one. We're going to make this one
So they advanced down the field,
and they fumbled the ball. Perry
dropped it, and you must have been
crushed. But wait - there was Tim
Massaquoi, finishing a block, spot-
ting the ball, falling on it, saving
And those chances now rested on
run," Carr said. "He's worked hard. I
think he's going to develop into an
outstanding football player. I think
the first thing you have to do when
you put a guy back there is trust that
he's going to bring the ball out and
hit the crease. He's not going to
come out and dance around. Carl
will do that. We missed one of the
double teams that we should have
had on that kick-off. We only got two
out because the rest of them were
kicked out of the end zone, but he
did his job well."
Tabb returned two kicks for 40 yards
the leg of a true freshman. Michigan
took a knee on third down, and Gar-
rett Rivas came out to kick the 33-
yard field goal.
Did you trust him? Stevens,
Edwards and John Navarre - they
all said they knew Rivas would
make it. And he did.
That was it. Markus Curry
grabbed the Gophers' Hail Mary
attempt at the end, and it was over.
Did it take a while to sink in?
Was it hard to believe that the
Wolverines had completed the
biggest comeback in Michigan his-
tory, scored 31 points in the fourth
quarter? Imagine how the players
"That's probably the most emo-
tional lockerroom I've ever been in
in my life," Edwards said. "You had
guys that were crying, coaches that
were crying. I even cried a little bit.
I don't even cry, but I cried a little
After the game, Stevens said he
still didn't know what happened.
How did it happen? How did a team
this talented get itself in that posi-
tion anyway - 4-2 and staring
down loss No. 3? How did Michigan
dig ifself such a deep hole and then
overcome so much so quickly?
"We're not a great football team,"
coach Lloyd Carr said, "but we've
got great heart, I'll tell you that.
We've got great heart."
You know that now, don't you? Or
maybe you knew it all along.
Courtney Lewis can be reached at
Yds Avg Lg
40 20.0 21
40 20.0 21
Yds Avg Lg
46 15.3 18
46 15.3 18
............................ .... ........ ... ..
The Fighting Illini got trounced by the
Spartans 49-14 Saturday to remain
winless in the Big Ten. The conference
bottom-dwellers are just 1-5 overall.
With one Big Ten loss already, Michi-
gan needs to win out to have a shot at
the Big Ten title. The Wolverines have
won six of their last seven games
against the Illini.
....... TEN........ ..
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Minnesota quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq (left) ran for 107 yards, but he could do
nothing to help Minnesota's defense stop Michigan's offense in the fourth quarter.
can't stop Bu late
By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports Editor
MINNEAPOLIS - Asad Abdul-
Khaliq was not going to let this one
get away. The Gophers' senior quarter-
back had spent the first two seasons of
his college career watching the
Wolverines walk away with the Little
Brown Jug. He wasn't going to let it
With just over 11 minutes left in the
fourth quarter and Minnesota leading
28-21, Abdul-Khaliq exploded through
the Michigan defensive line on third-
and-short and took it 52 yards all the
way to the endzone to put the Gophers
But as it turned out, Minnesota's
fate did not lie in Abdul-Khaliq's
hands. Maybe he should have started
playing defense, too.
Despite leading the Minnesota
offense to 35 points (the most its
scored against Michigan since 1937),
Abdul-Khaliq could do nothing to help
the Gophers' 'D' stop the Wolverine
offense from putting up 24 points in
the fourth quarter.
"Every guy who played tonight left
everything out on the field, but for
some reason, I can't explain it, we did-
where, at times, we played really well,
but at other times, we left a lot to be
The fourth quarter was one of those
"left a lot to be desired" instances
Mason referred to.
The Wolverines passing game start-
ed clicking just as Minnesota's defense
began imploding. Chris Perry caught
seven passes - mostly short screens
and dump-offs from John Navarre -
for over 70 yards. The Gophers had
difficulty reading these short passes,
allowing Perry to run for big yardage
after the catch.
"We didn't have a way to stop him,"
said Mason of Perry. "I was amazed at
how they went from being cold to hot."
Michigan also had success going
deep, as Navarre connected with
Edwards for a 52-yard bomb down the
sideline that brought the Wolverines
within a touchdown in the middle of
the fourth quarter.
Minnesota running back Marion
Barber, who set a new career-high
with 197 yards, said it was difficult
watching the Michigan offense score
repeatedly from the sideline.
"It was tough, but the defense was
doing their thing, and they just came
up short tonight," Barber said.
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
Michigan 38, MINNESOTA 35
Michigan State 49, ILLINoIS 14
WIScoNSIN 17, Ohio State 10
Northwestern 37, INDIANA 31
PURDUE 28, Penn State 14
Date Opoonent Time/Result
Aug. 30 central Michigan W, 45-7
Sept. 6 Houston W, 50-3
Sept. 13 Notre Dame W, 38-0
Sept. 20 at Oregon L, 31-27
Sept. 27 Indiana W, 31-17
Oct. 4 at Iowa L, 30-27
Oct. 10 at Minnesota W, 38-35
Oct. 18 Illinois Noon
Oct. 25 Purdue 3:30
Nov. 1 at Michigan State TBA
Nov. 15 at Northwestern TBA
Nov. 22 Ohio State Noon
(first-place votes in parentheses)
Braylon Edwards stretches to pull In a pass earlier this season. Lloyd Carr says Edwards has been playing very well lately.
Continued from Page 11B
Carr said the reason he took his issues
with Edwards to the public was because
he thought it was the only way his 20-
year old receiver would get the message.
He also said that Edwards might have
been distracted going into season with
the hype surrounding the No. 1 jersey.
"I tried to give him the message pri-
vately, and he wasn't getting it," Carr
said. "But I was never critical of him.
"Braylon is a highly motivated guy, and
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
Associated Press Poll for the week of October 14.
2. Miami (Fla.)
3. Ohio State
4. Virginia Tech
5. Florida State
6. Louisiana State
9. Southern Cal.
beat Texas 65-13
beat Florida State 22-14
lost to Wisconsin 17-10
beat Syracuse 51-7
lost to Miami 22-14
lost to Florida 19-7
lost to Auburn 10-3
beat Tennessee 41-14
beat Stanford 44-21
lost to Missouri 41-24
at Notre Dame
1. Oklahoma (61)
2. Miami (3)
3. Virginia Tech
5. Southern Cal.
6. Washington State
7. Florida State
8. Ohio State
10. Louisiana State
12. Northern Illinois
15. Michigan State