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November 21, 2003 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-21

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6B - The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SATURDAY - November 22, 2003

The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL

Predictions AGAINST THE
SPREAD for 11/22/03
No. 4 Ohio State at No. 5 MIcHIGAN (-6.5)
No. 17 Iowa at WISCONSIN (-2)
Penn Stateat MICHIGAN STATE (-5)
Northwestern (-3.5) at ILLINOIS
No. 16 Purdue (-24.5) at INDIANA
Rutgers at No. 13 MIAMI (FLA.) (No LINE)
No. 25 West Virginia (-2) at SYRACUSE
Boston College at No. 12 VIRGINIA TECH (-15)
Vanderbilt at No. 9 TENNESSEE (-21)
No. 22 Bowling Green (-14) at BALL STATE
No. 1 Oklahoma (-19) at TEXAS TECH
No. 3 Louisiana State (-6.5) AT No. 15 MIssIsSIPPI
No. 18 Miami (Ohio) (-24) at OHo
Missouri at No. 19 KANSAS STATE (-14.5)
Alabama at AUBURN (-8)
No. 8 Washington State at WASHINGTON (No UNE)
UCLA at No. 2 SOUTHERN CAL. (-22)
Kentucky at No. 6 GEORGIA (-18.5)
Best bet
Total season record (best bet)


Penn State
Miama (Fla.)
West Virginia
Bowling Green
Miami (Ohio)
Wahsington State
95-84-1 (7-3)

J. Brady
Ohio State
Michigan State
Miami (Fla.)
West Virginia
Bowling Green
Washington State
Southern Cal.
Michigan State
85-94-1 (3-7)

Miami (Fla.)
West Virginia
Virginia Tech
Bowling Green
Miami (Ohio)
Kansas State
Washington State
93-86-1 (6-4)

Michigan State
Miami (Fla.)
West Virginia
Bowling Green
Louisiana State
Miami (Ohio)
Kansas State
Washington State
Southern Cal.
92-87-1 (3-7)

I watch them closely'
Bo Schembechler stopped by this week's press
conference and offered some wisdom on the rivalry

Chris Ehman,
Michigan Stadium supervisor
Michigan State
Miami (Fla.)
West Virginia
Boston College
Bowling Green
Miami (Ohio)
Kansas State
Washington State
Southern Cal.
89-90-1 (4-5)

The Boss of the Big House

After the first sub-.500 week in
four weeks from an Ann Arbor
celebrity, the Michigan Daily
, turns to the man in charge of
preparing the Big House: Chris
Whilenhis two children, Nolan
and Owen (yes, he's aware of
the fact that his kids' names
produce Owen Nolan of the
Toronto Maple Leafs), will
undoubtedly be in his office
with their mother Christine,
Chris will be roaming the side-

lines, the press box and the
stands making sure your expe-
rience this weekend is what it
should be for a game of this
But as Chris tries to restore
greatness to the celebrity posi-
tion, Courtney Lewis will do
her best to hold off her three
male counterparts.
Lewis even gave the guys some
bulletin board material after
her win last week: "I kick butt,
and I'll do it again."

Perry takes on best
run D' i*n the nation

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor
HUGE. That's the easiest and best
way to describe today's showdown.
Ohio State - which has just one loss in
its last 25 games -- and Michigan play
very different styles of football, and the
game will probably come down to the
clash between the Buckeyes' defense
and the Wolverines' offense.
Ion Edwards doesn't think anyone can
stop Michigan's receiving corps, and
he's probably right. The Buckeyes
staunch defense gives up a lot more
yards through the air than on the
ground, but that may be because it shuts
down teams on the ground and forces
them to throw the ball a ton. Still, the
trio of Edwards, Jason Avant and Steve
Breaston is difficult to cover, and no
one has solved it yet.
Quarterback John Navarre has had a
couple of rough games against the
Buckeyes, but as long as he maintains
the poise he has shown this season, the
Wolverines should rule the air.
Advantage: Michigan
should be an awesome matchup: The
best back in the Big Ten against the best
rushing defense in the nation. Chris
Perry has come up big in big games this
season, but he hasn't seen a defense like
this. Will Smith is Ohio State's standout
defensive end who leads the Big Ten

with 20 tackles for loss. The Buckeyes
give up just 50.5 rushing yards per
game, and Perry has averaged 130.5 per
game. Something will have to give.
Advantage: Ohio State
State has relied on defense and the
kicking game for most of its points
while struggling offensively.
Quarterback Craig Krenzel, who's
been banged up, has thrown just one
more touchdown (nine) than intercep-
tions (eight). Michigan has a deep, tal-
ented secondary. Freshman Leon Hall
has made a major contribution at cor-
nerback, and safety Marlin Jackson
should be back at full strength.
Advantage: Michigan
State's third-leading rusher is its quar-
terback, and besides Krenzel, only two
other players have scored rushing
touchdowns. Tailback Lydell Ross leads
Ohio State with 722 yards and nine
touchdowns. Ross was bothered by
injuries early in the season, but he has
looked solid the last four games, scor-
ing a touchdown in each.
Advantage: Michigan
SPECIAL TEAMS: Ohio State has won
by doing the little things, like making

Q: Has your perspective on the game
changed now that you're not actually in
A: No, it hasn't changed at all. This
is the 14th game that I've been out of,
and I can tell you, during those seasons,
I follow Michigan very closely, and I
also follow Ohio State. That's the way I
did it when I coached. I always wanted
to know what they were doing. So I fol-
low then. When you ask me a question
about Ohio State, I know quite a bit
about their team. It's not like I've casu-
ally watched them like I do the other
teams in the Big Ten. I watch them
Q: Do you want your team to be
loose or fired up going into this game?
A: I don't ever want to go in with a
team loose. I want to go in with them
fired up. I remember in 1969, they told
me our team was going to get too high
early in the week. I said, 'Nah, let's just
let them get higher.' I don't think they
can get too high. These are teams that
have been in big games. They know
how to be emotional and play hard, and
still know what they're doing. They're
not going to get a lot of penalties and
things like that. The emotional aspect
always balances out. Both teams are
going to be pretty highly emotional.
Q: This is a rivalry that has been
defined by the coaches. Could you see
that happening with Jim Tressel and
Lloyd Carr ?
A: I think it has. With Ohio State
winning the last two games, that kind of
put a little fuel on the fire. I think it's
always a great rivalry. You understand,
I've been on both ends of it. For six
years, I was coming up here on the
Ohio State sideline, trying to beat
Michigan. I know what it is on both
sides. I don't think it makes any differ-
ence, really, who is coaching. I don't
think it makes any difference what the
situation is, although you people make
it a lot more emotional when everything
is hanging in the balance. That's proba-
bly the way it should be - that makes
for a great football game.
Q: What do you say to people who
think Michigan State is a bigger rival?
A: Well, Michigan State is a big rival
of Michigan - make no mistake about
that. I think the one thing about it is,
we've had a little more success with
Michigan State than we have with Ohio
State. The Ohio State-Michigan series,
in the last 30, 40 years, has been pretty
much even. That is not true with Michi-
gan State. The 'last 35 years we've
played Michigan State, we've beaten
them 26. If we'd have done that to Ohio
State, that would have been wonderful,
and maybe cooled the rivalry a little bit.
But that didn't happen. The Michigan-
Ohio State rivalry is 50-50, six of one
and half a dozen of the other. That's the
way it should be.
Q: What's your favorite game you
coached in?
A: Of course, the '69 game has
always been a great rememberance,
because it was Woody's greatest team.
He admitted that. We beat them here. It

was my first year, and I'm just trying to
establish myself as a coach here. I know
for a fact that Woody was kind of sur-
prised when I was named coach here.
Whether people realized it or not, that
was going to add a little something to
the rivalry. But I think the fact that we
were able to win that game really set
the tone here for my program. That will
always be in the back of my mind, the
way that turned out. Otherwise, every
game I've been involved with has
always been close. There have never
been any big blowouts. They've always
been very intense and everything, but I
must admit, I probably enjoyed the 10
years with Woody more than any of the
other games that I played against Ohio
Q: Why was Hayes surprised that
you left Ohio State to coach at Michi-
A: I don't think he anticipated some-
one who knew so much about him and
his football wassuddenly going to be
on the other side, and especially at
Michigan. Things were sort of going his
way in that rivalry, and then all of a
sudden, someone who really knew ...
You've got to understand, when I came
here, I was sent to beat one and only
one team. I only wanted Ohio State.
That's the team I wanted to beat. Michi-
gan could beat those other guys. But
Ohio State was different. I talked about
it all the time. I did something every
day to beat Ohio State, and to beat
Woody. That was the greatest challenge
in my coaching, was to beat him. If that
added fuel to the fire, so be it. That's
the way I approached it.
Q: Did you feel the most pressure
coaching against Ohio State?
A: Oh, yeah. This is the pressure
game. This is the big one. Just like at
Ohio State, they always know your
record against Michigan. Here, they
always know the coach's record against
Ohio State. That's the way it is. That's
what makes it such a beautiful rivalry. I
don't know that there's another one in
the country that is as intense, and is as
great a rivalry as this one.
Q: Does this game define every
Michigan coach and player?
A: Oh, yeah. You ask the guys, 'How
many times did you beat Ohio State.' If
you want to be recognized around here
as a coach or a player, you beat Ohio
State. That's what you're here for. I'm
sure that's exactly what they say down
there. Tressel was brought up in Ohio,
and he knows exactly what all that's
about. That's just like in recruiting in
the Midwest here, particularly Michi-
gan or Ohio. When you go in to talk to
a prospect, he either wants to play with
us against them, or with them against
us. That's it. Now that has changed a
lot, because there are a lot of other
good teams in there. When you stop to
think, in our league today, Ohio State
beating Purdue was a great accomplish-
ment. That was a wonderful Purdue
team. Now we got the better of them
here real quick. That doesn't mean they
aren't an outstanding team. So there are

a lot of other good teams in the Big
Ten, maybe more than there were back
then, when Woody and I were playing.
But if this isn't a great rivahy, why in
the hell are all you staying around here
to listen to me. I haven't coached in 14
years, and you all come around to here
what I have to say about the Michigan-
Ohio State rivalry.
Q: What do you like about this
Michigan team?
A: Well, I can tell you, it's a talented
football team. They've done a lot of
good things. I was very disappointed
early in the year when they let the kick-
g game beat them twice. I would say
that going into this game, the one area of
their football that I would be concerned
about would be the kicking game.
Ohio State has a great kicking game,
and they are smart enough to play
defense and to have that kicking game
and play field position, kind of like the
old days. They are not a great running
team. They try to run, but they're not a
great running team. They're not a great
passing team. They're just a team that
has a great defense and a great kicking
game. I like everything about our team
except what they've done early in the
year in the kicking game.
I can tell you, back when I played
against Woody, there were very few mis-
takes made on either side, because nei-
ther one of us wanted to make a mistake.
We both had good defenses, and we both
could kick the ball, and we both could
run it pretty well. We didn't want to
make mistakes - let the other guy make
the mistakes. I would say turnovers,
missed assignments, botched plays,
missed tackles, things like that are going
to determine who wins. The kicking
game will be very, very instrumental.
Q: Why is this rivalry so popular on a
national stage?
A: We have historically played this
game as the last game of the season.
These are the two most dominant teams
in the Big Ten Conference. The Big Ten
Conference, whether you like it or not,
or whether it is today or not, has always
been looked at as the premier confer-
ence in college football. So here are the
two best teams, they play in the clash,
they win a lot of championships - it's a
natural. It's just an absolute natural.
There are a lot of people who would say
Auburn-Alabama is. No longer is it
USC-UCLA. There's always one team
of a rivalry suddenly hits the skids for a
few years. That hasn't really happened
here. Both of these teams don't have a
lot of losing seasons. There isn't a lot of
that going on. Every time they play, one
team can beat the other. I don't care if
one has had a better year than the other
- it doesn't make any difference. Any-
thing can happen. It's always been that
kind of a game, and that's probably
caught the eye of the nation.
Q: Is Lloyd Carr consumed by this
A: (laughing) He's a pretty uptight
guy. I don't know how he was at the
press conference, but I think everybody
will be ... he knows how to do it. He

Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes ex
does a tremendous job with players. H
knows how to handle players. He's ver
good at that. So I have no doubt that h
will have this team ready.
Q: Do you think Carr enjoys th
pressure of the rivalry?
A: I don't know. I enjoyed it a Ic
with Woody, because he was doing hi
thing and I was doing my thing. I kin
of miss the old guy. It would be nice i
he were here today to talk to you a
well. Although, when he would talk t
you about what happened when he an
I played, it wouldn't sound anythin
like what I would say that happene(
when he and I played. He always had
different slant on what happened in tha
game than I did.
Q: Did you consider staying at Ohi
State and replacing Hayes?
A: Yeah - that was my goal in life, t
replace Woody Hayes. Absolutely, that
what I wanted. I went down to Miam
and Dick Larkins told me, 'You'd bette
win down there if you go.' That's whe
he said. I said, 'Okay.' I went dow
there, and Woody told me I'd be foolis
to go, because I would be the next coac
at Ohio State. I said, 'Well, geez, ho'
much longer are you going to coach'
He said, 'Oh, four or five years, probo
bly.' After I went to Miami, he coache
for 17 years after I left. I don't think h

Running back Chris Perry could have a
tough day against Ohio State's defense.
field goals and pinning teams deep in
their own territory. Michael Jenkins has
the Buckeyes' only touchdown on a
return. Michigan's Breaston has taken
two punts to the house, and Troy Nien-
berg has had solid kickoffs all season.
But the Wolverines' punting and place-
kicking have both been a little shaky,
and Michigan has given up substantial
yardage on returns lately.
Advantage: Ohio State
INTANGIBLES: This is why they call it
The Game. Michigan is trying to reclaim
the rivalry, as well as win the Big Ten
title and secure its first Rose Bowl berth
since 1997. For Ohio State, a win would
be the third straight over its archrival,
and it will likely give the Buckeyes a
return trip to the BCS national title
game. Basically, for both teams, the sea-
son comes down to this game.
Advantage: Push
Predi c tio n:S
Michigan 21, Ohio State 12

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