The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 20, 2004 - 58
The Rant Box
Like everyone watching the game, The Michigan Daily football writers tend to
complain from time to time. This year, we decided to share what's bugging
us. And, you, the reader, can join in, too. Send us your 'Reader Rant' to
TheRantBox@umich.edu and please include your name, year and school.
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on cell phones
The Hype-meter is back by popu-
lar demand ... Fine, it was fairly
loud at times during Saturday's
game. There were plays when
the defense asked the crowd to
make noise -and you definitely
responded. But showing up at the
end of the first quarter, and leav-
ing before a 3-point game is over
is pretty unacceptable. And then
there's the wave. Now the wave
can be one of the more entertain-
ing things Michigan Stadium fans
do. But you do not do the wave
in a three-point game in the third
quarter. That's it ... no excuses.
The wave is something that should
be done when Michigan has the
game put away - almost like
taunting the opponents. Look, the
Michigan Stadium crowds are
quiet enough on their own without
having everyone stop paying atten-
tion to the game so they can stand
up and swing their arms around.
Iowa's coming into Ann Arbor
this week, riding a two-game win
streak over the Wolverines. It can't
be a friendly atmosphere for them
at The Big House.
Predictions against the
spread for 9/18/04
San W06I State (+21) at No, 17 Michigan
Notre Dame (-3) at Michigan State
Kansas (+3) at North* ter
No. 16 Iowa (+1) at Arizona State
No. 9 Ohio State (-2.5) at N.C. State
No. 20 Wisconsin (-10.5) at Arizona
No. 22 Minnesota (-4) at Colorado State
No.11 Florida (+3) at No. 13 Tennessee
Nebraska (-4) at Pittsburgh
Indiana (+2) at Kentucky
Oregon (+27) at No. 2 Oklahoma
No. 1 Southern Cal. (-26) at BYU
No. 2Mary . (+7) at No. 7 West Virginia
No. 5 LSU (+1) at No. 14 Auburn
UCLA (-1) at Washington
Week record (Best bet)
Season record (Best bet)
Master Keith Hafner
Martial Arts Guru
San Diego St.
San Diego St.
Keith Hafner' Karate is
great-so are his picks
When Keith Hafner sent us a photo
with him donning a suit and tie,
we should have known he meant
Simply put, Hafner proved college
football knowledge is not a require-
ment to be part of the Daily's
football beat. Just think about how
well he'd have done if he weren't
so blindly loyal towards Michigan.
On to the important stuff.
Chris Burke's picks, suspiciously
strong in week one, stunk in week"
two, and Gennaro Filice's best bet
didn't cover. In fact, it lost 44-
7. Ouch. But at least that team
is coming to the Big House this
For the second straight week, Bob
Hunt started strong and faded.
And while Sharad Mattu bounced
back, the LSU loss nearly crushed
We leave you with this:
"Keith Hafner's Karate has helped
me with my business and personal
"My kids are so much more
respectful since joining Keith Haf-
Continued from page 1B
"I liked the way we played the entire game," Carr said
of the unit. "Our offense put them in bad field position
and this week they responded."
In a game where each point was needed, Michigan's
defense was also able to put up seven points in the first
quarter. On third down at the Aztecs' nine-yard line,
linebacker Roy Manning stripped Dlugolecki. Line-
backer Lawrence Reid scooped it up off the turf at the
five-yard line and eased into the endzone for a touch-
"Our coaches teach us that if we get blocked, just
keep going and keep fighting," Manning said. "Those
guys in the back must have been covering great because
when I got to him, he still had the ball. I just tried to go
in there and throw my body into him."
While the running game made progress, the Wolver-
ines' air attack had another up-and-down day. On Mich-
igan's first offensive play of the game, Braylon Edwards
caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne.
With Michigan trailing 21-17 at halftime, the duo went
to work again on the second half's first drive with a 45-
yard pass and a seven-yard touchdown.
But Henne struggled at times with the blitzes the
Aztecs sent at him, getting sacked five times and throw-
ing three interceptions. As was planned before the
game, sophomore quarterback Clayton Richard played
two series, completing three-of-four passes.
In a conference known for hard-nosed, defensive-ori-
ented football, Michigan could be entering the Big Ten
season with true freshmen starting at quarterback and
running back. The Wolverines are aware of the risk the
"Our offensive line needs to play like a Michigan
offensive line," Baas said. "If we do that, it won't matter
who's back there. They may make mistakes, but if we
open holes and give the quarterback time to throw the
ball, we'll be fine."
Continued from page 1B
were scored or set up in one of these
three ways. While the Aztec defense
should receive due credit, the Wolver-
ines can't depend on this combination
of Hart and Edwards to take them to the
top of the Big Ten standings. Edwards
could be double-teamed. Opposing
fronts could stack up on Hart. Offenses
could hold onto the football.
Throughout the preseason, Michigan
received more hype than any other
team in the Big Ten. We were told that
Matt Gutierrez would be able to step
up and take charge of the offense. We
were told that David Underwood would
be able to be a clear-cut No. 1 starter.
And, although it's possible we could
see one or both of those Wolverines in
significant roles later in the season, we
were left after Saturday's win with the
impression that Henne and Hart would
start at quarterback and running back
for the time being.
Both have shown great strides in
their time on the field, but both are also
Neither has spent an entire year
learning the ultra-complex Michigan
offense, something that takes years, not
weeks to master. Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr said as much during the post-
game press conference.
"It is what it is Carr said of the situ-
ation facing his team on offense. "Expe-
rience is a great thing, but it's hard to
impressed many with his arm strength
and poise in his first three games. But,
then again, it's been just three games.
Even fellow quarterback Spencer Brin-
ton admitted last week that Henne knew
about 50 percent of the offense.
"For a freshman to come in, he's
going to make some mistakes," said
wide receiver Jason Avant, who has had
a less-than-deserved role in the offense
so far this season. "We just have to help
him with it."
As for Hart, many scouts felt that the
biggest knock on him, other than his
size, was the lack of competition that he
faced at such a small upstate New York
high school. Now he's going to face the
trenches of the Big Ten.
"What you try to do with a young
back is that every week you try to give
them a little bit more," Carr said. "The
thing you want to avoid is having a guy
in the game where everyone knows it's
a run or a pass. Sometimes with young
backs you're going to have to do that
because of their limited experience."
Like Saturday, the Michigan offense
is going to have troubles offensively. But
there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It's just going to take time.
Bob Hunt can be reached at
BURRITO OF ALL