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September 23, 2004 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-23

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Thursday
September 23, 2004
sports. michigandaily. com
sports@michigandaily.com

ahbe idiiTj*in ]DuU
SPORTS

1OA

. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .

Blue's farm
boy makes
By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Editor
As Saturday's game against San Diego State
wore on, and Michigan ran the ball more and more,
just about every carry went to the right side.
Even though their star on the offensive line, All-
American candidate David Baas, plays left guard,
the Wolverines put their trust in right tackle Jake
Long - who was making his first start - and
right guard Matt Lentz.
"It's pretty fun when they're calling it to your
side, because you just pin your ears back and go
after them," Lentz said.
And that's exactly how Lentz would prefer it. He
can worry about production on the field while not
having to deal with attention off of it.
"I like where I'm at," the redshirt junior said.
"I can stay out of the limelight, sneak in and out,
let (Baas) get all the credit and handle the press.
It's nice to stake underneath and get away from
all that."
It's a good mentality for linemen. Especially
since, as Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said on Mon-
day, "except for their girlfriends and their family,
nobody is watching them."
Lentz has much more than just his mentality
going for him.
At 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, he's obviously big
- but not very big for a lineman. Still, Lentz is
one of the stronger players on the team, if not the
strongest.
Though he scales back during the season, Lentz
leg presses more than 1,000 pounds, bench presses
three sets of five at 405 pounds and curls more
than 200 pounds.
"The other guys say they can always tell when I

Buckle up:

Blue vs.

Hawkeyes a wild ride

TONY DING/ Daily
Matt Lentz (67) prepares to run onto the field before a game at the Big House. Lentz, who grew
up on a farm, has retained his love of nature while dedicating most of his time to football.

leave a weight machine," Lentz said with a laugh.
"They either have to take a lot of weight off, or
they just skip it and go on to something else."
When he was younger, Lentz grew up on a 21-
acre farm in Ortonville, and took care of anywhere
from four to 12 horses.
Lentz would train for football season by drag-
ging his father's pickup truck up hills.
While his size doesn't stop him from doing any-
thing on the football field, on the farm it makes
horseback riding pretty difficult.
"I'd say when I was around 10, I was a little too
big for that," Lentz said. "The horses can handle
it, but they don't like when you put around 300
pounds on their back."
If he wasn't busy with any of his football activi-
ties, Lentz would probably be marveling at the

foliage before the winter weather comes along.
"I like to just relax," Lentz said. "Everything's
so hectic during the season that I never get to relax
and enjoy the outdoors.
"It's nice to get outside every now and then.
Growing up on a farm, I'm just used to the out-
doors. Inside just isn't the place to me."
Though Lentz spent most of his summer in Ann
Arbor working out, he got a couple of chances to
get away and took advantage of them, going to Tra-
verse City State Park.
But right now Lentz is preoccupied with Michi-
gan football and making sure the running game
continues to improve.
"It's definitely not where we want it to be," Lentz
said. "But we should always be improving, and last
week was definitely a step in the right direction."

CHRIS BURKE
Goin' to work
o yourself a favor and watch
- very closely - the Michi-
gan-Iowa game on Saturday.
Not because it should be a good game
or because it's an important Big Ten
contest or because that's what people
do on weekends in the fall.
Watch it because you will probably
see something that you cannot believe.
Games between the Wolverines and
Hawkeyes tend to get buried beneath
Michigan's matchups with bigger rivals
like Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio
State and the rest. But the last five
games between these two Big Ten com-
batants have almost defied explanation.
The slogan for this game every year
should be: Michigan versus Iowa - we
have no idea what's going on.
This weekend will mark the sixth
game since 1997 involving Michigan
and Iowa, and - if Saturday's game
follows the pattern - it will probably
look something like Looney Tunes
meets "Remember the Titans" meets an
Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Drama, suspense, great football and
a whole lot of cartoon zaniness.
Alright, let me start with last year.
Speaking of games getting buried ...
there are probably Michigan fans who
plum forgot about this one since the
Wolverines lost to Oregon the week
before it and then went on to win the
Big Ten title after it. But last year was
just a little sampling of what this game
has become.
Michigan had a 20-10 lead, but gave
up a touchdown after a 43-yard punt
return by Ramon Ochoa was ended
with a late hit by the Wolverines.
Michigan held a 20-17 halftime lead
(cue "Remember the Titans" halftime
speech). The Hawkeyes came out of the
lockerroom and promptly tied the game
at 20 after an interception (cue Hitch-
cock-suspense music). Then Iowa took
the lead when Michigan punter Garrett

Rivas rolled out... on a punt ... and had
it blocked (cue Vile E. Coyote blowing
himself up withan ACME bomb). Iowa
won, 30-27.
Now, how coild you have forgotten
that?
Fine, maybe you didn't - heck,
the game almos single-handedly got
Michigan a new special teams coach.
Well, then, lei me take you back to
2002. Michigan was ranked No. 8 in
the country and Still very much in the
hunt for the national title. This one,
unfortunately for the fans, lacked the
creativity of the 2003 game. This one
looked more like a professional body
builder arm-wrestling a 10-year-old.
Iowa outgained Michigan by over
200 yards, scores 24 unanswered
points in the second half and sent
a packed Michigan Stadium crowd
home early in a 34-9 win. Crazy? Not
really - unless you account for the
fact that the Wolverines suffered their
worst home loss in 35 years. Oh, and
Michigan's longest run of the day was
a 39-yard scamper by quarterback John
Navarre, on a play that happened about
as quickly as a Baywatch lifeguard run-
ning to the water.
And that disappointment for Michi-
gan probably washed away the memory
of 2001's dramatic Wolverine victory in
Iowa City.
In that one, Iowa jumped out to a
20-7 lead when the Hawkeyes ran a
reverse - on a punt return - for a
67-yard touchdown. Michigan finally
took the lead on a touchdown when
wide receiver Marquise Walker went
"Go-Go-Gadget-Arm" on a pass that
looked like Navarre was throwing into
the 15th row of the stands for a touch-
down. That play was set up by a B.J.
Askew 14-yard run on the rarely-used
fumble-rooskie play (it's sort of like the
"Annexation of Puerto Rico" play from
"Little Giants" for those of you stuck in
movie and TV mode). The Wolverines
finally put the 2001 game away when
tight end Shawn Thompson caught his
only touchdown pass of the year for a
32-26 Michigan win.
Whew. I'm tired. There's a break
between 1998 aAd 2001 when Michi-
gan and Iowa didn't play, so I'm going
to catch my breath for a second.
See BURKE, Page VA

*I

N MEN'S GOLF
Unorthodox practice inspires Sapp's squad

By Dan Ketchel
For the Daily
The sun was low in the afternoon sky,
beating down on 12 necks assembled in a
circle. The Michigan men's golf team held
a formation that didn't seem quite right at
a golf practice. No drivers, irons or putters
were anywhere in sight. No golf carts, no
putting greens, no fairways - not even
so much as a spiked shoe. This was not
the ordinary routine that Michigan coach

Andrew Sapp conducts.
The golfers held their circle patiently
until they finished strategizing and decid-
ed to take action. In a flash, each athlete
switched positions with the teammate
directly across from him, careful to touch
the center of the circle on his way and to
avoid brushing another teammate pound-
ing through the circle in a different direc-
tion. The first few tries ended in chaos, but
once they got their timing synchronized, it
looked as elegant as the perfect golf swing.

Next, the golfers moved on to an activi-
ty conducted on two elevated wires angled
in a 'V' shape. They took turns going in
pairs, starting off with their feet on the
wires closest to one another and their
hands pressed together.
Slowly they scaled down to the wider
part of the wires, pushing against one
another's palms, keeping each other
balanced across the gaping space in
between.
Why is it so important to travel to a

ropes course and build teamwork skills
like these in a sport such as golf, which is
so individually driven?
"Trust," senior Jimmy Wisinski said.
"On these wires, we have to be able to trust
each other or we'll both fall off. On the golf
course, if one of us is having an off day, we
have to trust and depend on each other to
pick that guy up and make sure he has a
better day tomorrow."
Sapp prescribed this type of afternoon
See GOLF, Page 12A

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