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November 20, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-20

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Thursday
November 20, 2003
www.rmichigandaily. corn
sports@michigandaily.com

oJhe firifugan falilQ
PORTS

5a

One year later, Perry
hopes for big impact
By Naweed Sikora

No. 100 celebrates past,
but future is at stake

Daily Sports Editor
Senior tailback Chris Perry didn't
do much talking at Monday's press
conference about this weekend's
monumental battle with Ohio State,
but in some ways, he didn't have to
- everybody knew what he was
thinking.
After all, it was Perry who decid-
ed to stay on the field to watch the
Scarlet and Grayhcelebration after
the Wolverines had fallen to the
Buckeyes last season. Perry was the
last one to leave the field, almost
forced off by police officers and
running backs coach Fred Jackson.
"I wanted to see the celebration,"
he said at the time. "I wanted to see
them all celebrating, because I want
to live with it and remember it."
One year later, Perry has had
plenty of time to reflect on the
scene he witnessed at Ohio Stadi-
uin. He's grown mentally, become
more powerful and sure-handed
with the football and developed into
one of Michigan's most dependable

players. And he's determined to do
everything he can to make sure
what happened last season is not
repeated.
But the question is, will Perry be
able to make the impact he wants to
make, or will the dominant Ohio
State defensive front take him out of
the equation?
No team has been as successful as
Ohio State this year in shutting
down the running game. The Buck-
eyes pride themselves in this area
and have allowed just 50.5 yards per
game. This stinginess is what has
allowed the Buckeyes to get away
with a lack of offensive touchdowns.
"This is definitely going to be our
biggest challenge of the season,"
Perry said. "We're going to do what-
ever we need to do to win."
While the entire line is talented
and experienced, no player can hurt
the Wolverines more than Will
Smith.
The "Fresh Prince" of Columbus
has been wreaking havoc this sea-
son. He's already collected 10 sacks

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily
Michigan running back Chris Perry, still in the running for an invite to the Heisman
Trophy presentation, drags a Northwestern defender.

- six more than anyone else on the
team - and 20 tackles for loss.
Lloyd Carr says Smith is so diffi-
cult to defend because of his athlet-
ic ability and his versatility.
"They move him around a lot,
which creates a lot of pressure on
anyone who is going to block him,"
Carr said. "He's great against the

run, he's an athlete, and they drop
him out into coverage. He will pres-
ent a tough challenge for us."
Michigan senior Tony Pape will be
the lucky one who gets to lock horns
with Smith for the majority of the
game. Pape is welcoming the
matchup, which he says is something
See PERRY, Page 11A

Michigan's BCS hopes dashed in 26-20 loss

COURTNEY LEWIS
The Daily Grind
Michigan and Ohio State will
collide for the 100th time this
week, but that number will
mean little on Saturday. This game is
more about the rivalry's future than its
past.
This clash of Big Ten titans has been
cyclical - one team leaves the other
looking up from the ground, until the
weaker team takes over and becomes
the strong. That ebb and flow is often
defined by - and at the same time,
has defined - the coaches. This game
could be one of those pivotal points
that determines whose time is now.
It wasn'tImuch of a rivalry at all in
the 1950s and 60s - Ohio State won 9
of 12 from 1957 to 1968. Enter Bo
Schembechler, and a new era in the
rivalry. The rookie coach stunned
Woody Hayes' Buckeyes in '69, end-
ing their 22-game wining streak and
beginning an epic 10-year brawl.
"Of course, the '69 game has always
been a great remembrance, because it
was Woody's greatest team," Schem-
bechler said this week. "He admitted
that. We beat them here. But I think the
fact that we were able to win that game
really set the tone here for my pro-
gram. That will always be in the ;back
of my mind, the way that turned out."
By the late '80s, Michigan began to
dominate again, and that eventually
cost Ohio State coach John Cooper his
job. He went 2-10-1 in his 13 years at
the helm. Meanwhile, Lloyd Carr took
over as Michigan coach in 1995 and
led the team to mediocre four-loss
records in his first two years. His sav-
ing grace? He beat Ohio State both
seasons, ending the Buckeyes' hopes
of a national title both times.
Jim Tressel replaced Cooper in 2001

and, like Schembechler in 1969, Tres-
sel won his first encounter with the
enemy. That has defined his tenure so
far and may very well be as meaning-
ful to his career as Bo's first game was.
Which is part of why this year's
game is so big. Tressel came in with
the goal of beating Michigan, and so
far he's done just that. He has his
Buckeyes in position to reclaim this
rivalry.
The Buckeyes are defending nation-
al champs and have lost just once in
their last 25 games. Michigan, on the
other hand, has slipped from the
pedestal that the two teams once
shared. The Wolverines haven't won a
Big Ten title outright since 1997 and
have lost at least three games in each
of the past three seasons.
But it's widely held that it is the
rivalry with Ohio State that defines
Michigan teams.
"You ask the guys, 'How many
times did you beat Ohio State?' "
Schembechler said. "If you want to be
recognized around here as a coach or a
player, you beat Ohio State."
And lately, the Wolverines haven't
done that. A Michigan loss this week
would mean three straight defeats at
the hands of Ohio State. That hasn't
happened since before Bo's days - the
Buckeyes beat the Wolverines four
consecutive years from 1960-1963.
"I don't think anything that hap-
pened last year has anything to do with
this game," Carr said. "I think they're a
great football team. They are Ohio
State. And Michigan-Ohio State is the
greatest rivalry in college football. So I
don't think you need anything more
than that."
He's right. But for rivalries to thrive,
there has to be give-and-take. And the
Buckeyes haven't given anything late-
ly. If Ohio State wins Saturday, Tressel
will have done in three years what
Cooper couldn't do in 13 - beat
Michigan three times and turn the tide
back in favor of Ohio State.

4DITOR'S NOTE: In preparation
for The Game, the Daily will count
wn to Saturday's historic 100th
meeting between Ohio State and
Michigan by runnin excerpts from
the past four games between the
Buckeyes and Wolverines.
ly Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Editor (Nov. 26,2001)
With the Big Ten title and Bowl
Championship Series bowl bid at stake,
1v ichigan needed to find a way to beat
its biggest rival, Ohio State. And with
the team one game away from reaching
its goals, the Wolverines played their
worst first half in years.
The Wolverines (6-2 Big Ten, 8-3
overall) committed six turnovers -
four in the first half - and dug them-
selves a 23-0 halftime deficit, from

which they never recovered.
In the end, 20 second-half points by
the Wolverines were not enough as
Ohio State (5-3 Big Ten, 7-4 overall)
won 26-20.
The loss means Illinois (7-1 Big Ten,
10-1 overall) wins the Big Ten champi-
onship and will represent the Big Ten in
a BCS bowl, likely the Sugar Bowl.
Michigan will either play in the Orlan-
do-based Citrus Bowl or the Tampa-
based Outback Bowl. Both games are
on Jan. 1.
"We came into this game knowing
what we had to do and what was at
stake," Michigan senior co-captain
Shawn Thompson said. "We didn't get
it done."
The first-half deficit meant the
Wolverines needed to play mistake-free
football in the second half, but they

couldn't capitalize on their opportunities.
Michigan opened the second half
with a touchdown and drove the ball all
the way to the Buckeyes' 10-yard line
late in the third quarter, when Michigan
quarterback John Navarre spotted Mar-
quise Walker on a slant in the endzone.
The ball bounced off Walker's chest.
"Blame that on me," Walker said.
Hayden Epstein missed a 27-yard
field goal on the next play.
Much as it did all day, the defense
responded, forcing the Buckeyes to punt
the ball back four plays later.
Following a blocked punt, Michigan
scored again, but failed the two-point
conversion attempt, leaving it down 10
points, 23-13.
The Wolverines got the ball back
with 7:27 to go, and the fans still did
not give up hope. But Navarre over-

threw Walker on a fly and the Buck-
eyes' Mike Doss returned the ball to
Michigan's 9-yard line, setting up Ohio
State's final three points of the game.
Even after the field goal, the Wolver-
ines still had a chance. Michigan
responded this time by driving the ball
all the way to the Buckeyes' 7-yard line.
Faced with 3rd-and-3, Navarre threw
two incomplete passes the next two
plays, giving the ball to Ohio State.
Michigan could not recover from the
final mistake. Walker caught a touch-
down with about two minutes left, cut-
ting the deficit to six, but Michigan
would not get any closer.
"Our goal was to win the Big Ten
championship," Carr said. "I'm disap-
pointed, because we were in position to
win the Big Ten championship and we
didn't play our best game."

Courtney Lewis can be reached at
cmlewis@umich.edu.

-U

universtyof michigan school of art & design
roman j. witt residency program presents
rrexoilCa:
a livin8 museum oF FeLish-ized oLher
A performance/installation and living museum by cross cultural rebel artist
uilermo 86mez-pena
in collaboration with Michelle Ceballos, Emiko Lewis and
a troupe of University of Michigan students
Friday, 21 November 2003 Open 7:00 - 9:30pm
University of Michigan Media Union Video Studio
2281 Bonisteel Blvd. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Free and Open to the Public
Audience participation encouraged. Come dressed as your favorite cultural "other."
For more information, contact 734.763.1265.

I.

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