'4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 27, 2004
MICHIGAN 30, IOWA 17
Stanford transfer stars
in nickleback position
Time of Poss
By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Editor
Leon Hall learned on Saturday what Markus Curry
experienced during Michigan's first three games:
Playing cornerback alongside Marlin Jackson makes
you an inviting target.
"Marlin is such a great corner that the other (defen-
sive backs) on the field have to know the offense is
going to come after you," Hall said. "He sees the ball
every once in a while, but usually it's on us, and we
have to be ready to make plays."
Opposing teams threw the ball Curry's way so often
that - despite three interceptions - he had given up
numerous long completions. Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr considered replacing him with Hall in the start-
ing lineup, but an injury sidelined Curry.
Carr made one other adjustment in his secondary.
Senior Grant Mason, who had played primarily on
special teams, played a significant role on defense.
Iowa quarterback Drew Tate threw at both corner-
backs with mixed success. Although Tate finished 24-
of-32 with two touchdowns, Hall and Mason recorded
important interceptions that led to touchdowns.
Midway through the third quarter, Tate overthrew
Clinton Soloman and Hall made a diving intercep-
tion at Iowa's 40-yard line. Two plays later, Michigan
scored a touchdown.
"I just saw the ball coming and knew it was over-
thrown and only I could get the ball, so I just reached
out and got it," Hall said. "On the sideline they were
telling me I should switch to receiver and things like
Because Jackson and Curry are both seniors, Hall
knew that his time as a starter would come, but he
didn't expect it to come so soon.
"Anytime I think I have a chance to start - whether
it's in the nickel package or whatever - I have that
little extra effort," the sophomore said. "I concentrate
a little bit more. I get nervous a little bit more. Then
after that first play, it's just like practice. I settle down
and just focus on making plays."
Mason, who was a receiver at Stanford but trans-
ferred after his sophomore year, intercepted Tate in
the fourth quarter and put the game away. With Michi-
gan ahead 23-10, Mason pulled down a pass intended
for Soloman at Iowa's 25-yard line. From there, he zig-
zagged his way into the endzone with some help at
"I just grabbed it and headed up the sidelines,"
Mason said. "I picked up a couple of blocks, and once I
got inside the five I just felt (Michigan linebacker Roy
Manning) grab me and throw me into the endzone. I'll
have to thank him for that."
Despite revamping their cornerback rotation, the
Wolverines continued to force turnovers. Michigan
now has 11 interceptions this season, the most in the
"Every week, everybody gets reps in practice,"
Mason said. "We all know we'll get a chance some-
where along the way and we're a] I ready. This week it
happened to be Leon and me."
Though the Wolverines are practically fighting each
other for interceptions, Jackson of all people is still
waiting for his first of the season-If teams continue to
avoid throwing at him, the wait may have to continue.
"He tries to bait the quarterbacks once in a while
so he can jump in and get the interception, but they're
smart," Hall said. "They know they're better off just
never looking his way."
Michigan's defense has been its best offense this season, forcing 19 turnovers in four games. Here's how
the Wolverines have stolen the ball away from their opponent so many times and taken advantage:
vs. Miami (Ohio) (7): Markus Curry (2), Ryan Mundy,
Ernest Shazor and Jacob Stewart interceptions, Prescott
Burgess and Pierre Woods fumble recoveries.
at Notre Dame (4): Curry, Mundy and Lawrenence Reid
interceptio ns, Burgess fumble recovery.
vs. San Diego State (3): Sharor interception, Reid and Alex
Ofili fumble recoveries.
vs. Iowa (5): Leon Hall and Grant Mason interceptions,
Hall, Scott McClintock and Shazor fumblerecoveries.
No. Yds Avg Lg
6 276 46.0 54
6 276 46.0 54
Points off Turnovers (79):
vs. Miami (Ohio) (36): Garrett Rivas fiei goal, Braylon
Edwards reception, Shazor interception return, two David
at Notre Dame (9): Three Rivas field goals.
vs. San Diego State (7): Reid fumblle return
vs. Iowa (27): Edwards reception, Chad Henne run, Mike
Hart run and Mason interception return.
Grant Mason runs for a touchdown in the second half of Satruday's game against Iowa. The
senior took advantage of the most playing time of his career.
Captain goes fom
left guard to center
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Bi Ten Overall
By Gennaro Filice
Daily Sports Editor
A two-time first-team All-Big
Ten selection and second-team All
American in 2003, senior left guard
'David Baas seems like the last play-
er you'd want to move positions. But
the offensive team captain played the
entire game at center on Saturday.
"This allows us to have a really
strong, powerful line," Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr said. "We really
have to run the foot-
ball to be effective.
He worked (at cen-
ter) all summer. I
just think it enables,
us to get a lineup in
there that is very,
very physical and is going to get
movement and knock people off the
ball. If we can run the football, we
stay out of all those third down and
long situations where all the pres-
sure is on the quarterback. It's what
you want to avoid with a young quar-
Entering this weekend, Baas had
started 30 consecutive games at left
guard. He replaced sophomore Mark
Bihl at center.
"It shows great leadership by Baas
- it doesn't matter where they put
him," junior Matt Lentz said. "If he
can help the team in any way, he'll
play that position."
Lentz went on to really stress
"If they. want him at defensive
tackle, defensive end, secondary
- he'll play there."
"Baas, he's got some wheels,"
Lentz said with a smile.
Leo Henige Jr. filled in for Baas
at left guard, making his first col-
"Coaches always say that they're
going to put their best five out there
and 'that was it," Lentz said.
SACKED up: For the second straight
game, the Wolverines recorded four
sacks. Pat Massey, Gabe Watson,
LaMarr Woodley and Alex Ofili
were credited with one each.
"I think (defensive coordinator)
Jim Herrmann did a great -job in
terms of coming up with a scheme
that gave us an opportunity to get
some pressure," Carr said.
The Wolverines seemed to employ
their most aggressive attack this
year, bringing extra men on many
occasions. Senior Marlin Jackson
caused Iowa quarterback Drew Tate
to get rid of the ball prematurely
through multiple corner blitzes,
including the play that led to Leon
Hall's second quarter interception.
"Personally, I love (the aggressive
gameplan)," Massey said. "Speaking
for the defense, we all like it. We all
like to get after it, we've got great
athletes, good speed and it definitely
works to our advantage when we're
getting after them like that."
The Wolverines' defensive line
also held Iowa - a team that bases its
offense around the run - to negative
15 yards on the ground, four yards
shy of tying the Michigan record for
fewest rushing yards allowed.
ROTH THE (BIG) HoUSE: Although
Iowa's play against Michigan was
far from stellar, one Hawkeye left a
huge impression on the Wolverines.
Senior defensive end Matt Roth was
in the Michigan backfield all day,
recording seven tackles, including
two tackles for loss and a sack.
"He's pretty good," Lentz said. "I
give him all the credit in the world.
He played his butt off today."
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Roth
used his speed to record 12 sacks en
route to being named first team All-
Big Ten in 2003.
Minnesota 1 0 4 0
Wisonson 1 0 4 0
Purdue 1 0 3 0
Michigan 1 0 3 1
Michigan State 1 0 2 2
Ohio State 0 0 3 0
Indiana 0 1 2 2
Iowa 0 1 2 2
Penn State 0 1 2 2
Illinois 0 1 2 2
Northwestern 0 1 1 3
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
Michigan State 30, INDIANA 20
Purdue 38, ILLINOIS 30
MICHIGAN 30, Iowa 17
WISCONSIN 16, Penn State 3
MINNESOTA 43, Northwestern 17
Michigan travels to Bloomington to take
on a Hoosier program that is coming off a
heartbreaking loss to Michigan State. The
Hoosiers took a 20-7 lead into the locker-
room, before yielding 23 unanswered
points in the second half to the Spartans
offense, which was spearheaded by quar-
terback Drew Stanton. Indiana could only
muster up 41 yards of total offense in the
second half and the Hoosiers saw their Big
Ten opener slip through their hands.
Miami (Ohio) W. 43-10
at Notre Dame L, 20-28
San Diego State W, 24-21
Iowa W, 30-17
at Indiana 3:30 '
at Illinois TBA
at Purdue TBA
Michigan State TBA
at Ohio State Noon
Michigan players spill onto the field just before kickoff on Saturday.
TROJANS SURVIVE: No. 1 Southern
Cal. overcame a 28-17 halftime defi-
cit en route to a 31-28 victory over
Stanford. The Trojans trailed by four
points with 6:15 left in the fourth
quarter before a two-yard touchdown
run by running back Lendale White.
The score was set up by an impres-
sive 33-yard punt return by all-pur-
pose back Reggie Bush. Inability to
move the ball in the second half (43
total yards) prevented Stanford from
pulling off an upset that would have
ended the nation's second longest
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
Associated Press Poll for the week of Sept. 21
(first-place votes in parentheses)
Games updated through Sept. 25
1. Southern Cal.
6. West Virginia
7. Ohio State
8. Florida State
beat Stanford 31-28
beat Houston 38-13
beat Rice 35-13
beat James Madison 45-10
beat Clemson 41-22
beat The Citadel 33-13
beat Louisiana Tech 42-17
at Georgia Tech
at Virginia Tech
at Oregon State
1. Southern Cal. (46)
2. Oklahoma (18)
3. Georgia (1)
6. West Virginia
7. Ohio State
9. Florida State
fl UW -V>.U .. -,-Z V >E.