4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 3, 2003
MICHIGAN 27, MICHIGAN STATE 20
By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
EAST LANSING - Michigan State defen-
sive end Greg Taplin may have learned a lesson
about pre-game trash talking.
The senior told the Michigan Daily last week
that he planned to "exploit" Michigan's offen-
sive tackle, either Tony Pape or Adam Ste-
navich, who is "kind of slow." Taplin called
Michigan quarterback John Navarre "a sitting
duck" in the pocket.
"I was telling Stenavich, I was like, 'Did you
see that? They put your name in the paper.
They're talking about you,' " Michigan defen-
sive end Larry Stevens said. "Those guys got
hyped up. They were pumped the whole week
of practice and couldn't wait to come up here.
It showed each time the Michigan offensive
line fired off the line of scrimmage. It physi-
cally dominated the Michigan State defense,
which came into the game leading the nation in
sacks with 34. The Spartans, whoabrought
safeties up to blitz on numerous occasions,
gave up 439 yards of total offense and regis-
tered just one sack on Navarre, which resulted
in a Clifford Dukes 65-yard fumble return for a
"We read their comments, and it was all very
shocking, especially talking about individuals,"
Stevens said. "About 10 percent (of our reac-
tion) was, 'What were they thinking?' The
other 90 percent was like, 'Let's go handle
some business.' "
Michigan running back Chris Perry, who ran
for 219 yards on 51 carries, ended up being the
main benefactor of the line's anger.
Time of Poss
M I C H I G A N
Michigan State defensive end Greg Taplin had a lot to say prior to this past weekend's game, but the Michigan offensive line shut him down and shut him up.
"I think the whole University of Michigan
saw what he said," Perry said. "How'd he do?"
Taplin didn't sack Navarre once.
"Well I guess they're not too slow," said
Perry of his two tackles.
When asked about Taplin's comments, offen-
sive guard David Baas let out a hearty chuckle.
"We knew about it," Baas said. "All we had
to do was show it out on the field, and that's
what we did. We don't need to talk.
"It's his decision to do that."
At last week's Michigan press conference,
the Wolverines opted for the more traditional
rivalry-week strategy: Keep your mouth shut.
"I told these guys, 'We'll let Michigan State
talk before the game, and we'll talk after it,' "
As the game wore on, there was never any
doubt about which team was controlling the
line of scrimmage. Even after Dukes' return
brought the Spartans to within a touchdown
with six minutes left, the Wolverines knew
they'd be able to run down the clock with Perry
on the ground.
"When you're home team makes plays like
that, the crowd is going to get back into it,"
to go b
Continued from Page 11B
His mother's situation definitely
affects Perry on and off the field, but
he does his best to use it as a positive
motivational factor when competing.
"He gets emotional," Jackson said.
"He loves his mom, and he thinks the
worst, but I tell him to pray; they've
got cures for things and everything
will be all right. He's a very powerful
person, both mentally and physically."
Continued from Page 1B
290 yards. "It all worked, with the
exception of one blown assignment,
when we were supposed to have
two deep safeties, and we only had
one. It didn't take Jeff (Smoker)
long to recognize that."
Michigan would not be outdone,
however, as it used Perry for seven
carries and 23 yards on its 65-yard
touchdown drive. Navarre split two
Michigan State defenders and hit
Edwards on a 16-yard post into the
endzone, giving Michigan a 27-10
lead with 13:31 to play.
Michigan State added a Rayner
field goal three minutes later, but
the Spartans' biggest play in the
game came on their own 22 yard
Navarre ran a naked bootleg on
ve guard Matt Lentz said. "We just had
ack out there and do our job; there was
we could do about it.
as an attitude that we weren't going to
one come in and dominate us."
ine's performance harkened back to the
yards and a cloud of dust" days of
an football. The Wolverines ran the ball
s and attempted just 31 passes.
y did an extra-special job," Navarre
pecial Navarre may have shed the "sit-
ck" label in East Lansing.
"She's doing all right," said Perry of
his mother. "She's going through her
treatment and doing well. I'm handling
it well because it's a part of my life. It
makes you realize that football isn't
But football is what Perry has some
control over. So he just keeps running.
Running and praying.
Naweed Sikora can be reached at
first down when the Spartans'
Robert Flagg blitzed untouched.
Without being hit by Flagg, Navarre
began to bobble the ball. When
Flagg did sack him, he knocked the
ball from Navarre's grasp. Michigan
State defensive end Clifford Dukes
picked the ball up and ran it all the
way for the score to pull the Spar-
tans within seven.
"If we just hand the football off
and pooch it down there, they have
to score twice," Carr said. "That
decision to throw the football there
was a bad one. It was my decision.
Had we lost this football game, I
can't imagine being any sicker than
making a call like that and having it
cost a group of kids who played
their hearts out in the game."
Michigan can be thankful that
one big play wasn't the decider in
this rivalry game.
The Wolverines will enjoy a bye week
before heading to Evanston to play their
final road game of the season. The last
time Michigan played at Northwestern, in
2000, it suffered a heartbreaking 5451
loss that ruined its hopes of a Big Ten
title. The 2003 Wildcats squad is floun-
dering under .500 and has won just two
conference games. But Northwestern did
knock Wisconsin out of the Big Ten lead,
upseting the Badgers, 16-7 on Oct.25.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Willis Barringer (19), Leon Hall (29) and the rest of the Michigan defense held the Spartans In check for most of the game.
Defense bends, but doesn't break
Marlin Jackson sits out another due to
By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor
EAST LANSING - Larry Stevens
raised his eyebrows, as if to say, "Are
you kidding me?"
Someone had just asked him if he
thought defensive tackle Grant Bow-
man had played
through a lot of pain.
"A lot of pain?"
Stevens, a defensive
lineman, asked. "He's
a man to go out there,
because he was hurt."
Saturday on a right ankle that was
injured to an undisclosed degree against
Purdue, but in a game this big, it was
what Stevens expected.
"We all play like that," Stevens said.
"It doesn't matter."
Bowman's gritty effort helped the
Michigan defense contain one of the
top offenses in the Big Ten. The
Wolverines limited the Spartans to one
offensive touchdown, forcing them to
kick field goals twice.
One major defensive miscue at the
end of the third quarter - a blown cov-
erage that led to Jeff Smoker's 73-yard
touchdown pass to a wide-open Agim
Shabaj - brought the Spartans within
reach of the Wolverines and put more
pressure on the defense in the fourth
quarter. But Stevens expected that, too.
"I was tellini our guys on defense
with defending a pass-happy team after
beating Purdue last weekend, but the
Wolverines said the two offenses aren't
"It was a lot different," linebacker
Carl Diggs said. "Michigan State, even
though they run a spread offense, they
have a lot of different plays (than Pur-
due). They run the screen, so if you
were blitzing off the edge, if the (run-
ning back) goes out, you have to pick
him up. So sometimes we had to be less
aggressive out there."
Smoker threw for 254 yards and
seemed to have little trouble finding
open receivers in the second half, but
the defense didn't allow many big plays.
And when Michigan State's receivers
had trouble hanging onto the ball, the
Spartans couldn't turn to their running
backs. The Wolverines stuffed the Spar-
tans on the ground, giving up just 36
rushing yards - their stingiest effort
since Sept. 21, 2002, when they held
Utah to 13 yards.
"It's definitely one of our best per-
formances on the road," cornerback
Markus Curry said. "The offense just
dominated today and defense - we
came through. That's what you want in
a game like this. Everybody stepped up.
We did everything collectively. We
played together today as a team."
BALANCING ACT: Unlike Michigan
State, Michigan kept the defense on its
toes by using both the passing and run-
ning games effectively.
nagging leg injury
Michigan has leaned on the passing
game against tough opponents this sea-
son, and several members of Michigan
State's defense said they were surprised
at how often the Wolverines ran Satur-
day. Tailback Chris Perry motored the
offense, carrying the ball 51 times, but
the passing and running yards were
nearly identical. The Wolverines threw
for 223 yards and ran for 216.
STILL SIDELINED: Carr had said that
safety Marlin Jackson would play
against the Spartans, but Jackson stayed
on the sidelines all afternoon. It was the
third game Jackson missed because of a
strained muscle in his right leg.
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
Michigan 27, MICHIGAN STATE 20
Ohio State 21, PENN STATE 20
MINNESOTA 55, INDIANA 7
IowA 41, Illinois 10
PURDUE 34, Northwestern 14
TN DIN G/Daily
Michigan's Braylon Edwards had two touchdown catches, including a 40-yard grab,
to help the Wolverines knock off the Spartans.
Central Michigan W, 45-7
Houston W, 50-3
Notre Dame W, 38-0
at Oregon L, 27-31
Indiana W, 31-17
at Iowa L, 27-30
at Minnesota W,3-35
Illinois W, 56-14
at Michigan State W, 27-20
at Northwestern TBA
Ohio State Noon
HOKIES' HOCUS POCUS : Miami's
undefeated streak came to an
abrupt end after the Hurricanes were
pounded by Virginia Tech, 31-7.
As the biggest win in the Hokies'
history, Virginia Tech's two defen-
sive scores helped put an end to
Miami's 39-game regular-season
In its 33 previous tries, Virginia
Tech had never defeated a team
ranked eighth or higher. The Hok-
ies' upset left Oklahoma as the only
undefeated team remaining and
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
Associated Press Poll for the week of Oct. 26.
(first-place votes in parentheses)
REC PTS F
Games updated through Nov. 2.
2. Miami (Fla.)
3. Southern Cal.
5. Florida State
6. Washington State
7. Louisiana State
8. Ohio State
9. Michigan State
10. Virginia Tech
beat Oklahoma State 52-9
lost to Virginia Tech 31-7
beat Washington State 43-16
lost to Florida 16-13
beat Notre Dame 37-0
lost to Southern Cal. 43-16
beat Louisiana Tech 49-10
beat Penn State, 21-20
lost to Michigan 27-20
beat Miami (Fla.) 31-7
beat Michigan State 27-20
lost to Texas 31-7
at Ohio State
1. Oklahoma (62)
2. Southern Cal.
3. Florida State
4. Louisiana State
5. Virginia Tech
6. Miami (Fla.)
7. Ohio State
12. Washington State
13. Texas Christian
14. Michigan State
15. Bowling Green
8-0 1,622 1