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January 06, 2004 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-06

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 6, 2004 - 5B

Mic
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3 Observations
1. Most importantly this was
a team loss. Fans who want
to berate an individual person
or position were not watching
the entire game. All aspects
of the game belonged to
Southern Cal. This was sur-
prising since the Trojans hard-
ly put a complete game
together like this against
lesser opponents from the
Pac-10. The only part of the
game where Michigan had an
edge was against the second-
ary of Southern Cal. Unfortu-
nately, John Navarre hardly
had enough time to make his
first read, let alone go
through his progressions.
2. Marlin Jackson is right in
making his claim that he
should be moved back to cor-
nerback. Should he have
1 declared it so blatantly to the
media? Probably not. It may
have been more of a surprise
tactic for next season. But he
is right. He obviously feels -
and looks -- out of place at
the safety position. The only
time he looked at home dur-
ing the second half of the
season was when he was
playing the nickel back, but
even at that position he was
useless guarding a No. 2 or 3
receiver that would be avoid-
ed. This is not to say that
Markus Curry couldn't handle
the No. 1 spot in 2004, it's
just that the safety spot has
shown it has depth - Jacob
Stewart and Willis Barringer
- and Marlin is the best cor-
nerback on the team.
3. Braylon Edwards is ready
for the NFL. Should he go? No.
He'd be relying on his com-
bine too much in a wide
receiver-stocked draft. Right
now he's a second-rounder in
my mind, and a first-rounder
next season.

X's AND (ky (e) 0'S
higan Daily Sports Editor Kyle O'Neill is not a collegiate athlete, nor is
collegiate coach. But he was a starting wide receiver for his winless
n at Garber High School, was third in Bay County in receptions his sen-
'ear and claims to know something about the game of football. So each
e, we'll let him and his 5-foot-10, 158-pound frame break down why
higan either succeeded or failed.
Final Grades

There was hardly a reason to
break down one specific play
as for why Michigan lost to
Southern Cal., as the Wolver-
ines were outmatched when
the first Trojans' War Chant
played. But despite the loss,
Michigan's season grades are
still good enough for my
Dean's List.
Quarterbacks: B
There is no change on the
grade here, as John Navarre
proved to the Michigan Nation
that he is a high-quality quar-
terback in his win over Ohio
State. Navarre even earned
due praise from Southern Cal.
coach Pete Carroll, who right-
fully stated that had Navarre
not scrambled as well as he
did, he would have been
sacked even more than the
nine times he was. Though
Navarre was at no fault for the
Rose Bowl loss, he is not any
higher than a 'B' because of
his inability to be the differ-
ence-maker in leading his team
to victory.
Running backs: A
Make no mistake about it,
Chris Perry was the mythical
'A+++' this season, and this is
only a grade of an 'A' because
of the lack of a consistent No.
2 back. From his 51 carries
against Michigan State to his
154 yards on the ground
against the Buckeyes, Perry
has looked like the best back
in the nation. His blocking and
receiving contributions were

fullback and wideout-esque
throughout the season and
more than made up for his dis-
appearance (stats-wise) from
the Oregon, Iowa and Southern
Cal. games.
Wide receivers: Inc.
It's easy to scratch your head
as to why this group is incom-
plete, as it produced so much
during the season. By stats
and game-breaking plays
alone, the trio of Braylon
Edwards, Jason Avant and
Steve Breaston should be an
'A.' But in the end, they were
unable to make the final differ-
ence as they should have done
in the Rose Bowl. That alone
should have dropped them to a
'B+'. But all three are eligible
to return next season. Assum-
ing all three do, their grade will
be determined by what they do
as an experienced trio and not
a first-year group.
Offensive line: B-
Before their performance in
the Rose Bowl is addressed,
what Michigan's offensive line
did in the final six weeks of the
regular season was nothing
short of spectacular. Allowing
Perry so much success in the
final weeks and keeping
Navarre protected from danger-
ous Ohio State, Michigan State
and Purdue defenses should
not be overlooked - and was
reason enough to improve their
midterm grade of a 'C+' about
20 percent. Unfortunately, in
the game that mattered the
most, their performance was a
nightmare for such a talented
line.
Defensive front seven: B+
Aside from being out of their
element against Southern Cal.
- the Trojans ran the ball
effectively in the second half
- Michigan's front seven
turned in a relatively consis-
tent performance game in and
game out. The only exceptions
were the Minnesota and Cen-
tral Michigan games. Other
than that, these Wolverines

were more than dominant. But
like John Navarre, they did not
make the one game-changing
play when they were needed
most to do so. This is a young
front seven, though, and will
return most of its depth, sans
veteran captain Carl Diggs.
Defensive secondary: C+
They will be judged primarily by
one game and one game alone:
the Rose Bowl. Matt Leinart
threw at will, and the Wolver-
ines had no response. Blame
the lack of pressure on the
Southern Cal. quarterback if
you want, but the secondary
looked much more lost than
the front seven and obviously
benefited from Big Ten passing
games that were not as fast as
Southern Cal.
Special teams: C
Replacing Adam Finley will be
more crucial than replacing
Navarre, as he was the only
thing keeping that debacle
called a punt team respectable.
Garrett Rivas has to develop a
long ball in his arsenal, but was
consistent nonetheless. A kick
returner needs to be found for
next season as well, as Steve
Breaston is a natural punt
returner and is out of his ele-
ment of making people juke
when he returns kicks.
Coaching: B+
Make no mistake about it, this
team was on course to be 6-6
and face Bowling Green in the
Motor City Bowl. Give credit to
the coaching staff for coming
up with untouchable game-
plans after the third quarter of
the Minnesota game. There
was no better team in the
nation during that month of
November. But, like many
other positions on this team,
the coaching staff was taken
to school by Carroll and Norm
Chow. Any play or set that
Michigan had was outdone by
Southern Cal. While some of
that was player performance,
there was noticable difference
in who outprepared who.

Hype-meter
Ohio State fans
101 Penn State
w:game last year
"Tremendous"
Lloyd's proud
<<You'll be a fine
Michiganalum
n'"3r'ndos
'Sorority girls
on cell phones
Well, you were dominated
numerically by a Trojans crowd
that took over three-fourths of
the stadium and by a band
that was louder. But you held
your own. And though Michi-
gan's band wasn't as boister-
ous, it was more about quality
than quantity of sound. Michi-
gan's fans should be proud of

their showing on such a grand
scale.
There was only one complaint
though: Mike from Linden
Street. You know what you did.
You stiffed us on an $80 tab.
You stiffed fellow Wolverines in
hostile Southern Cal. area on an
$80 bill at the Saddle Ranch.
Don't think that we have forgot-
ten, and don't think that we are
done with you. You ordered up
the alcohol. Not us. It wasn't
our job to pay for something we
never asked for. But you decid-
ed to get cute and leave with
your friends. Dumb move my
friend. Dumb move. I'll bet you
thought you were pretty sweet
getting free alcohol on vacation.
Hope you enjoyed your moment
of victory, because it won't last
much longer. Because, as we
said, we've only begun to exact
our revenge. We suggest you
begin bar hopping in Ypsilanti,
because we have spies through-
out the University. You will be
found, so you can either settle
up now, or ... not. It's entirely
up to you.
Also, kudos to the parachuter
from Langley, Va. who landed
dead center in the Rose.

TONY DING/Daily
Wide receiver Steve Breaston was one of few bright spots on the special teams as
the punt returner.

TONY DING/Daily
Southern Cal. coach Pete Carroll hoists the Rose Bowl championship trophy. Just
yesterday he was able to lift the Associated Press trophy as well.

Ehman sets stage for

bowl week showdown

Men across Michigan's campus took a shot to their pride when Courtney Lewis not only won staff picks, but annihiliated her male counterparts in the final month. J. Brady McCollough, despite a valiant mid-bowl run, took
up the rear. "Now wait just one minizzle, we don't get to pick against the Senior Bowls? I was banking on those for my comeback," McCollough said in frustration. He took it much better than Kyle O'Neill, who proceeded to
paint his face black and white like that of the former WCW's Sting, pack up his things and walk into a blizzard where he vanished into nothing. Jamie Morris was the complete opposite of the younger generation and took
his bowl loss in stride - he does have that success at Michigan and all. Naweed Sikora was found lying in a gutter humming the Southern Cal. War Chant.
STAFF PICKS
Predictions AGAINST THE
SPREAD for the bowls"I' p

Courtney
Lewis

New Orleans Bowl: North Texas vs. Memphis (-4.5)
GMAC Bowl: Louisville vs. Miami (Ohio) (-14)
Tangerine Bowl: Kansas vs. North Carolina State (-11)
Fort Worth Bowl: Boise State (-10.5) vs. Texas Christian
Las Vegas Bowl: New Mexico vs. Oregon State (-3)
Hawaii Bowl: Houston vs. Hawaii (-10.5)
Mator City Bowl: Northwestern vs. Bowling Green (-8)
Insight Bowl: California vs. Virginia Tech (-2.5)
Continental Bowl: Virginia (-2.5) vs. Pittsburgh
Alamo Bowl: Michigan State vs. Nebraska (-3)
Houston Bowl: Navy vs. Texas Tech (-13)
Holiday Bowl: Washington State vs. Texas (-9)
Silicon Valley Classic: Fresno State vs. UCLA (-4)
Music City Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Auburn (-3)
Sun Bowl: Minnesota (-3) vs. Oregon
Liberty Bowl: Utah (-2) vs. Southern Mississippi
Independence Bowl: Missouri vs. Arkansas (-2.5)
San Francisco Bowl: Boston College vs. Colorado State (even)
Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. Florida (-3.5)
Gator Bowl: West Virginia vs. Maryland (-3.5)

Memphis
Miami (Ohio)
North Carolina State
Texas Christian
Oregon State
Hawaii
Bowling Green
California
Pittsburgh
Michigan State
Texas Tech
Washington State
UCLA
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Southern Mississippi
Arkansas
Boston College
Iowa
West Virginia

J. Brady
McCollough
Memphis
Miami (Ohio)
North Carolina State
Boise State
New Mexico
Hawaii
Bowling Green
Virginia Tech
Virginia
Michigan State
Texas Tech
Texas
Fresno State
Auburn
Oregon
Southern Mississippi
Missouri
Boston College
Florida
West Virginia

Kyle
O'Neill

Naweed
Sikora

North Texas
Miami (Ohio)
North Carolina State
Boise State
Oregon State
Houston
Northwestern
Virginia Tech
Pittsburgh
Michigan State
Texas Tech'
Texas
UCLA
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Utah
Arkansas
Colorado State
Florida
West Virginia

Memphis
Miami (Ohio)
North Carolina State
Texas Christian
Oregon State
Hawaii
Bowling Green
Virginia Tech
Pittsburgh
Nebraska
Texas Tech
Texas
UCLA
Auburn
Minnesota
Southern Mississippi
Arkansas
Colorado State
Florida
Maryland

Memphis
Louisville
North Carolina State
Texas Christian
Oregon State
Hawaii
Bowling Green
Virginia Tech
Pittsburgh
Michigan State
Texas Tech
Texas
Fresno State
Auburn
Minnesota
Southern Mississippi
Arkansas
Boston College
Florida
Maryland

Jamie Morris, former star Michigan
running back from 1984 to 1987

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