The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 24, 2003 - 5B
Michigan Daily Sports Editor Kyle O'Neill is not a collegiate athlete, nor is
Fal he a collegiate coach. But he was a starting wide receiver for his winless
team at Garber High School, was third in Bay County in receptions his sen-
ior year and claims to know something about the game of football. So each
game, we'll let him and his 5-foot-10, 158-pound frame break down why
Michigan either succeeded or failed.
3 Observations Key play: Second-and-10;13:04, Third quarter
1. Anyone who still thinks
that Ohio State's Will Allen -
or the Buckeyes' secondary
in general - is just as good
as last year's is kidding them-
selves. Losing safety Mike
Doss to graduation may have
not affected the Buckeyes'
stats - 14 interceptions this
year - but there is an obvi-
ous decline in product on the
* field. On both of Braylon
Edwards' touchdowns, and
anytime a post route was run,
a safety could not give help
like they should. On Edwards'
second touchdown, Allen was
actually in position to make
the pick, but his lack of
awareness allowed Edwards
to sneak in right behind him
for the score.
2. Robert Reynolds may be
the dirtiest player to ever
grace college football. He's
tough, and a key to the
Buckeyes' defense, but
twisting Perry's ankle in a
pile, running Perry out of
bounds with a late hit and
ripping Willis Barringer's hel-
met off during a blocking
scuffle are hardly what foot-
ball is about. Then there's
the whole Jim Sorgi thing
from the Wisconsin game.
3. There's nothing like watch-
ing football players do a "happy
cry" as Tony Pape put it. Most
of mine during high school were
the other way. So to Michigan,
congratulations, and have a
"happy cry" in Pasadena.
S SALLEY X
X~X OHIO STATE
Explanation: Like I said last week in my column, this game would come down to Michigan's wide
receivers' ability to make big plays and Ohio State's defensive line. This play exemplified both of
these keys, as Michigan's offensive line dominated off the ball, and the Wolverines' wideouts drew
enough of Ohio State's attention, it never had a chance to catch Chris Perry. This was a simple
pulling-guard counter, but what made it extraordinary was the result that Michigan's wide
receivers produced. Sophomore Carl Tabb had defensive back Dustin Fox so convinced he was run-
ning a route, that Fox followed Tabb all the way into the endzone without ever looking back -
clearing out the left side of the field for Perry. What made this more effective than a 10-yard, down-
field block was that it completely removed the defender from the field. Even if Fox had been
blocked by Tabb successfully, Perry would have been forced to cutback to the middle of the field
where safety Nate Salley was waiting for him.
Ohio State fans
game last year
- Lloyd's proud
You'll be a fine
:a Sorority girls
on cell p ones
You conquered, heroes. Victors
valiant and all that good stuff.
When we didn't know what to
think of you, you came to play
like champions. The claw or
chop - whichever you prefer
- was like a scene from the
Continued from Page 1B
If you define him by his numbers,
than he is one of the greatest quarter-
backs in Michigan history. If you define
him by his performances against Michi-
gan's rivals, he's beaten Notre Dame,
Michigan State and Ohio State this sea-
son - all of which he lost to over the
past two years.
But if you're like me, you will look
beyond any on-field performances to
find the true answer to this question.
Like his father Larry said, John is a
man, and he's become a man, not
because of the beating he's withstood on
the field, but because of the mental
stress he's dealt with at such a young
"He is an unbelievable human being,"
Carr said. "The way he has handled all
the things that were said and written
Continued from Pageli ad
blown. During Michigan's second
drive of the third quarter on 2nd-and-
6, Perry ran off left tackle Adam Ste-
navich for a two-yard gain. On
television, amidst the pile of Ohio
State defenders and Perry, it was
apparent that Ohio State linebacker
Robert Reynolds twisted Perry's
ankle, causing the Michigan senior to
stay down in pain until the crowd
chant of "Perry" brought him to his
feet and to a verbal exchange with
Reynolds. Reynolds was suspended
earlier this season for choking Wis-
consin quarterback Jim Sorgi after a
play and had also ripped off Willis
Barringer's helmet and injured Jason
Avant during Saturday's game.
"The cameras will show what hap-
pened on that (2nd-and-6),"aPerry
said. "I couldn't hear him, I was try-
ing to get out what I had to say."
That wasn't the final comment on
Reynolds or Ohio State, either, as
Perry 'was impressed - jokingly -
with the physicality of the celebration
after the game than the game itself.
"I kept getting jerked around by the
fans," Perry said. "I'm telling you,
Michigan's fans are a little more
physical than the Ohio State defense.
I ran into one band member, he
knocked my jaw out of place."
Bad blood aside, Perry was all
smiles after the game, and was
dressed in some new apparel. Wear-
ing a Big Ten Championship hat and
shirt, Perry was also holding the
championship trophy and had a red
rose inside his hat. As for why he put
the flower on his head?
"I keep it right there, it's pimpish,
you know," Perry said. "It's for the
ocean. You even abandoned the
wave when it wasn't working
so you could watch the game
...now you're talking!
You looked like football fans,
most importantly, and that's all
we ever wanted out of you.
You made noise on first, second
and third downs, showing that
you've tried to remedy your old
The highlight was, of course,
rushing the field. It was some-
thing we never would have
expected out of you. Our
favorite part was when you ran
into the Ohio State section and
chanted, "Overated." That was
really needed - although those
crazy Bucknuts will probably
remember come next season.
We have enjoyed working with
you to make sure the Big
House will be a feared venue
for years to come. Congrats.
But, with that, we still see
room for improvement. Safety
Willis Barringer admitted he
needed improvement, we admit
we need improvement, so
guess what, so do you.
about him; I can't tell you how much I
admire him. I have had some great quar-
terbacks here - I mean great ones. John
Navarre is one of them."
Did Navarre deserve the criticism he
received at Michigan? Probably some it
- definitely not all of it. Either way,
he's earned my respect and the respect
of many Michigan fans, and not just
because he beat Ohio State.
Larry, it's taken me a while, but I
think I finally figured out who your son
is. He's not John Navarre, the quarter-
back, or John Navarre, the 2003 hero, or
even John Navarre, the underachiever.
He's just John Navarre, the 23-year-old
man - strong-willed, determined and
tough-minded - and that's all he'll ever
need to be.
-Naweed Sikora can be reached at
A Big Ten trophy and a rose might
not have been the only things that
Perry earned himself on Saturday,
With such a big performance
against a team like Ohio State, he
will most certainly jump into the
Heisman Trophy race with Pittsburgh
wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and
Oklahoma quarterback Jason White.
"I'm not worried about the Heis-
man," Perry said. "I'll be happy if I
get invited. There's a lot of great
players out there. I think it's already
decided, so I'm not really worried
Perry wouldn't name a specific
player who he thought would win the
Heisman, but some of his own team-
mates offered in their opinion.
"He walks it and he talks it," wide
receiver Steve Breaston said. "That's
Chris, you know. Theysaid he was
only going to get 10 yards rushing.
He made believers out of everyone
out there. We knew what he could do,
and he went out there and played the
best game ever. If I had a Heisman
vote, it'd be (Perry)."
He's even got the respect of the
defense, as well.
"Chris Perry is a great back," safe-
ty Willis Barringer said. "I haven't
met a back better than him. He's a
great team guy, he does everything.
He does all the protection, blocks as
well as anyone else. He's unselfish ...
great will (to play injured). He's got a
great will to come back, succeed."
Great enough will for the Heis-
"No comment," said Barringer in
typical Michigan avoiding-the-diffi-
cult-question fashion. But after a
quick laugh, the sophomore added:
"It would go to Perry, if I had a vote."
M' offensive line finds 'greatness in win
By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Editor
One beauty about the Ohio State game is that a
solid performance can absolve any poor performances
from the season.
For Michigan's offensive line, it was never that it had
turned in a bad performance, just not up to the level it
admittedly set for itself. But after its performance
against the Buckeyes, all negative
images from the minus-three-yard
rushing performance at Oregon, and ,
the inability to get Chris Perry 100 O$
yards on the ground against Min- $d .
nesota and Iowa, were erased from
With 179 yards rushing against
oneof the nation's best rush defenses, and no sacks
allowed, it was safe to say that the men up front
had reached the pinnacle that they had envisioned
"I think in the last half of the year we did what we
wanted to do," Michigan right tackle Tony Pape said.
"We played our best game the last five games, and
between me and (center) Dave Pearson, we took this
line to greatness. I think we've become a great line
towards the end of the season. We protected a great
quarterback and blocked for a great back."
It wasn't going to be easy for the Wolverines, as
Ohio State's defense had recorded 92 tackles-for-loss
and 35 sacks before Saturday. The aforementioned no
sacks wasn't the only impressive stat from the game,
as Michigan went in the opposite direction just once
on a run - a minus-three-yard scramble by Perry in
the third quarter.
"I thought we'd be able to get some plays on them,"
Pearson said. "I was glad we were able to run the ball
Pearson wasn't the only one glad about being able
to run the ball consistently.
"They did a great job, the offensive line has been
doing a great job all year, and (fullback) Kevin Dud-
ley has been doing a great job:' Perry said. "I mean,
with those guys in front of me - I'm lucky to have
them. I'm more lucky to have them, then (they are to
Offensive guard Matt Lentz pushes Ohio State defensive tackle Tim Anderson out of John Navarre's way. The
offensive line kept pressure off Navarre (no sacks allowed) all game.
'BEAT OHo!': While beating Ohio State as a Michi-
gan player in itself is an unbelievable thing, beating
the Buckeyes as a former resident of Ohio is another.
Sophomore Willis Barringer, a resident of Toledo,
Ohio, found nothing but pleasure in defeating his
home state's No. 1 prized possession in Buckeyes
He even let out a few yells to Ohio State's fans as
he entered the tunnel.
"Oh yeah, it was, 'Beat Ohio!' " Barringer said.
"I'm from Ohio, so it means a lot to beat the team and
home university I'm from."
Barringer said he doesn't have any friends on Ohio
State's team, but he has plenty who currectly go to the
school. While he didn't return any phone calls last
week, his buddies can expect to hear from him this
week - as he knows how seriously all those in Ohio
and Michigan take the game.
"Growing up in Ohio, you hear about all the Big Ten
stuff - the first thing you think about when you hear
championship is the Rose Bowl and the Ohio State-
Michigan game," Barringer said. "So (winning the
Rose Bowl) is a dream that will be fulfilled, hopefully."
IT HELPS YOU GET YOUR Zzz's: With so much on the
line this week, it truly is a wonder that anyone got
much sleep at all. Pape, enduring his fifth Ohio State-
Michigan game (fourth as a player not redshirted),
may have found a trick for all those underclassmen
tossing and turning the night away.
"With the aid of NyQuil, I slept," Pape said.
BACK FROM 'VACATION': Defensive lineman Alain
Kashama, who has been absent with no explanation
since the Minnesota game, returned to action on Sat-
urday with no signs of rust, as he recorded two of
Michigan's four sacks.
"I've been out for the last four games, so when I got
back, I really wanted to do good," Kashama said. "I
was very surprised (to be in the game), believe me.
That's why I had so much energy. I wasn't expecting to
play. I was getting some time in practice, but I didn't
think I'd get this much in the game.
"I've been getting my schoolwork together - on a
Je fdiitjan a ln
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 State at 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 BowgGreen (-14) at BALL STATE
-~, A L - 1 1M + - -T,,.
Michigan Stadium supervisor
Ehman sets stage for
bowl week showdown
Not only are the celebrities out of
the red, they are ready to contend
for the title of staff picks. Thanks
to Chris Ehman, who turned in a
12-5 record, the celebrities are
within five games of leader Court-
ney Lewis going into the bowl sea-
son. Lewis backed up herbbulletin
board material from last week
with an 11-7 record to keep the
staff lead for another week.
The surprising thing this week,
though, belonged to J. Brady
McCollough. Left for dead in the
Joe Smith realm of terrible pick-
ing, McCollough came into this
week putting his trailer onto the
backs of teams like Ohio, Boston
College and his best bet on the
eternal choke artists in Michigan
C+-Ma Thirtaan n lat~~~e~r M.rn-I.
...................... ...... _