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September 13, 2004 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-13

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Behind Laura Olin, the Michigan women's golf
team is ready to rediscover success on the links.

Time to open the cur-
tain on Michigan's
tragic comedy.
The SportsMonday Column

c, A Y

September 13, 2004






No matter
who's QB,
fire away
S OUTH BEND - Lloyd Carr knew it wasn't
worth denying.
"I just don't think - right now, offensively
we're a very good football team."
As Ray Zalinsky said
to Tommy Callahan in the
elevator after he rubbed air
freshener all over himself
in Tommy Boy: "Good,
you've pinpointed it. Now
the next step is washin' it
The Wolverines weren't SHARAD
just running a conservative MATTU
offense Saturday against
Notre Dame. They were Booyakasha
running a bad conserva-
tive offense.
: One in which they couldn't run the ball (appar-
ently Michigan is trying to revolutionize the
conservative offense) and didn't trust their quar-
terback (though this is nothing new - Carr barely
trusted John Navarre last year when he was a
senior, and he holds just about every Michigan
passing record).
When the plan is to take an early lead and let the
defense take you home from there, I wouldn't rec-
ommend three turnovers and a blocked punt - all
of which give the Irish the ball within sight of the
I'm still baffled by the Michigan offense. Ini-
tially, it seemed like the goal was to ease true
freshman Chad Henne into his first road game
with safe plays.
OK, I thought. That makes sense.
Then, before I knew it, the Wolverines were
running on 3rd-and-goal to end the first half and
on 3rd-and-17 immediately after Notre Dame had
taken the lead in the fourth quarter.
Of course Michigan's offense is a work in prog-
ress. But how did Carr, offensive coordinator Terry
Malone, quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler and
company sit down and come up with that?
Now, Henne is a true freshman, so I understand
that a sizable chunk of the playbook has been
tossed aside. But didn't Michigan take it too far? It
seemed like Carr had sent a pre-programmed robot
out on the field for the first 50 minutes.
Drop back three steps and throw a 3-yard pass
over the middle to the tight end.
Roll out to the right. After your fifth stride, give
me three chop steps and fire the ball off your left
foot to the wide receiver's left shoulder, five yards
in front of you at the hash mark.
In Braylon Edwards, Jason Avant and Steve
Breaston, Michigan has a trio of wide receivers
that would put fear in just about every defense
in the nation. But you wouldn't have known that
Saturday, seeing short route after short route get
stuffed shy of the first-down marker.
Granted, the three of them were involved in
Michigan's three turnovers, but didn't that at least
partly have to do with the fact that so much was
up to them? This is what they were told: We're ten
yards from a first down, so run three yards, catch
the ball and do what you have to do.
Why are a quarterback-friendly offense and
down-field passing attack truly mutually exclu-
sive? The Wolverines - with or without a running
attack and with or without a freshman quarterback
- will be better off making proper use of their
Better off for the next two months.
Better off for the next three years.
See MATTU, Page 5B


Running back David Underwood and safety Ernest Shazor walk through the tunnel In Notre Dame Stadium to their lockerroom.

Freshman helps send Varsity packing

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Editor

SOUTH BEND -- Leading 14-12 and lin-
ing up on the Michigan five-yard line follow-
ing a blocked punt, Notre Dame wanted to put
the game out of reach.
And, just as they did throughout the sec-
ond half, the Fighting Irish turned to running
back Darius Walker.
The freshman took a handoff from quarter-
back Brady Quinn and bounced out towards
the left sideline. There, he eluded tackles
from Michigan cornerback Markus Curry and
linebacker Lawrence Reid, and headed for the
goal line with one arm in the air, pointing at
the exuberant Notre Dame student section.
Hello, end zone.
Good-bye, Michigan.

All told, Walker finished with two touch-
downs, while accumulating 115 yards on 31
carries, helping Notre Dame (1-1) hand No.
8 Michigan (1-1) a 28-20 loss - marking the
fifth straight year the Wolverines have suf-
fered a crushing nonconference defeat away
from the Big House.
"We have no excuses," Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr. "We just didn't do the things that
were necessary to win."
Thanks to a stellar defensive effort, the
Wolverines took a 9-0 lead into halftime as
sophomore Garrett Rivas drilled three field
goals - the last coming on the final play of
the first half.
But things quickly unraveled for Michigan
after halftime.
The Wolverines went three-and-out to open
the third quarter, and three plays later, Quinn

went up top for a 46-yard touchdown pass to
wide receiver Matt Shelton, who leaped over
top of Curry for the catch.
That connection invigorated the Irish, who
went on to score 28 of the game's next 31
"That's what big plays do," Carr said.
"They change the momentum of the game.
"It got the crowd back in the game, and
I think it gave Notre Dame a lot of confi-
The Irish rode that emotional surge to take
control of the contest.
Reid briefly halted the Notre Dame rally,
intercepting a pass to set up Rivas's fourth field
goal of the game to put Michigan ahead 12-7.
But just before the end of the third quar-
ter, a pass from Michigan quarterback Chad
Henne - who finished his first career road

game 25-of-40 for 240 yards and one touch-
down - deflected off wide receiver Braylon
Edwards' hands and was picked by Notre
Dame defensive back Dwight Ellick.
And, from there, it was all Irish.
Walker punched in his first touchdown
with 13:48 left, giving the Irish a lead that
they would never relinquish.
"The right person at the right time can give
you that spark that everyone feeds off of,"
said Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham
of Walker's performance.
"We wanted to get him in the first quar-
ter, but we didn't know how many carries he
would get."
After that, the Wolverines were struck by
one of their old downfalls - a special teams
See IRISH, Page 51

Five Alive: Soccer wins again

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 9 Michigan men's soccer team
was ready to shake the hands of its Detroit
opponents following its 2-1 victory yester-
day at the Varsity Soccer Field. And this
time, the gesture wouldn't have been out
of "good sportsmanship", but rather as a
"thank you."
Michigan had the Titans to thank for the

to win it," Michigan coach Steve Burns
said. "They wanted to play a slower game,
and we fell into that at first. But then we
got out of that and played a more up-tempo
game. We were able to make them defend
a lot, kept possession in the front half of the
field and took a lot of energy out of them,
which was to our advantage."
Before Michigan was able to get on the
scoreboard again, Detroit converted late
in the 38th minute of the first half. Titans

for the game.
Luckily, Michigan senior Mychal Turpin
was able to take advantage of one of those
many opportunities in his typical athletic
At 55:25, junior Ryan Alexander's fancy
footwork on the far left side of the field
set up a pass back to sophomore Brian
Popeney in the middle of the field. Popeney
then sprayed the ball across to Turpin, who
found the right side of the net and gave the

- Q~~. ,.:__


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