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October 15, 2004 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-15

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Friday
October 15, 2004
sports. michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily. com

ORTS

7

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

Illini no match
for Wolverines

'M' unable to solve
Oakland's defense

By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Editor

Edge: Michigan

By Max Kardon
Daily Sports Writer

The Illini have lost II consecutive
Big Ten games, while Michigan's con-
ference winning streak is now at nine.
Will both streaks come to an end in
Champaign on Saturday? Well, the 19-
point spread sure says no.
But there's always the possibility that
the Wolverines - a week removed from
a come-from-behind win against Min-
nesota and one week away from a show-
down at No. 5 Purdue - could start out
flat against Illinois.
MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS. ILLINOIS
PASSING DEFENSE: Quarterback Chad
Henne has to have more confidence
right now than at any point so far this
season. The freshman threw two inter-
ceptions against Minnesota, but showed
tremendous poise during Michigan's
game-winning drive. And with wideout
Braylon Edwards facing double teams,
he was able to spread the ball around
better than any game before.
Edge: Michigan

ILLINOIS PASSING OFFENSE VS. MICHI-
GAN PASSING DEFENSE: Sure, quar-
terback Jon Beutjer certainly has
experience going for him. But the
sixth-year senior has actually been
performing well; he's completed 72-
of-118 passes and thrown five touch-
downs and no interceptions. But
going up against Michigan's fast line-
backers and defensive backs won't
be easy. Beutjer faced a top defense
in Wisconsin's two weeks ago and
struggled mightily in the Illini's 24-
7 loss.
Edge: Michigan
ILLINOIS RUSHING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN
RUSHING DEFENSE: After shutting down
Minnesota's potent ground game last
Saturday, Michigan shouldn't have
a problem with Illinois', right? Well,
sophomore Pierre Thomas hopes that's
not the case. He dominated last week
against Michigan State, rushing for 188
yards and two touchdowns. But against
the Badgers, Thomas had five carries
for negative-one yard.
Edge: Michigan

TONY DING/Daily
Illinois will struggle to stop Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Michigan's special
teams have been good for the most part.
Garret Rivas's kicking has been up-and-
down and Adam Finley has struggled
with pooch punts, but Michigan's return
game and coverage units have been
spectacular. Illinois' Thomas has been
a dangerous kickoff returner, but for
the most part, the Illini have been very
mediocre otherwise.
Edge: Michigan

But Illinois will definitely be revved
up for this game, and who knows how
much that will matter. Against Purdue
at home, the Illini stayed within sight
for a full 60 minutes before ultimately
falling 38-30.
Edge: Push
PREDICTION: Saturday's game against
Illinois could be similar to the Wolver-
ines' game against Indiana. Against the
Hoosiers, Michigan struggled to pull
away from an inferior team until the sec-
ond half. Look for the same this time.
Michigan 45, Illinois 14

ROCHESTER HILLS - "I don't
mean any insult to their team, but we
played better thanM1G,
them," Michigan AAN
sophomore forward
Judy Coffman said. "I hate their style
of play, but it worked - it's annoying.
At least we'll be really pumped for next
game."
The No. 13 Michigan women's soc-
cer team outshot Oakland (7-7 overall)
14-4, but the Grizzlies' lock-down
defense left Coffman and her team-
mates frustrated all day.
The Grizzlies hung tough to keep
the Wolverines off the board, and
secured a 1-0 nonconference victory at
OU Soccer Field.
After a defensive first half, with a
combined total of six shots on goal,
Oakland got on the board early in
the second half. The Grizzlies, an
unranked but tournament-ready team,
shifted gears to preserve their lead fol-
lowing junior forward Kristi Swaving's
goal at 53:36.
Swaving managed to sneak a left-
post liner past diving sophomore goalie
Megan Tuura, breaking the scoreless tie
from behind the top of the goalbox.
"It's a disappointing loss, because we
were the better team," Michigan coach
Debbie Rademacher said.
"We had one player to mark, and we
let her score - and you can't win if you
don't defend the obvious. We knew they
wouldn't play our game in the second
half, but we had 10 corner kicks. We've
got to execute our set pieces."
"The Grizzlies definitely changed
their defensive formation after they got
a lead," Coffman said. "They just set up
a wall and let us try to break through."
The Wolverine attack moved the ball
well in the offensive zone, but the Griz-
zlies swatted away every approach to
the net.
Led by freshman Melissa Dobbyn,
the Wolverines put on a clinic in ball

movement, but fresh Oakland troops
stood at attention whenever Michigan
broke through the first line of defense.
Oakland's refusal to play a transi-
tion game stymied the Wolverines'
strengths by taking speed out of the
equation of the game.
"They gave themselves every advan-
tage they could, and that included
staying away from our midfield play,"
Coffman said.
"After the goal, they relaxed their
offense and dug in on defense."
The Grizzlies' defense, fronted by a
roadblock in Norwegian-born defender
Susann Kamrud, steered Michigan's
offensive pushes away from the middle.
The Wolverines moved the ball around
the perimeter with ease, but a barrier of
five base defenders forced many deep
shots that were deflected or absorbed by
the Oakland line.
Oakland goalie Jackie Howard made
a few spectacular saves, but the Wolver-
ines' best chances often went wide of
the net.
The Wolverines (6-1-1 Big Ten, 9-4-
2 overall) will travel to Madison for a
conference battle with Wisconsin at I
p.m. CDT Sunday.

MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS. ILLINOIS
RUSHING DEFENSE: Thanks to freshman
Mike Hart, the Wolverines' ground
attack is back. Though Michigan averag-
es just 2.9 yards per carry and 116 yards
per game, the Wolverines had their best
performance of the season against Min-
nesota, when Hart ran for 160 yards.

INTANGIBLES: As long as Michigan
isn't looking ahead to the Boilermak-
ers, it shouldn't have any problems with
Illinois.

N HOCKEY
Wildcats looking to lick wounds versus Icers

By Jake Rosenwasser
Daily Sports Writer
Last season the NCAA selection committee didn't
do the Wolverines any favors. After two consecutive
seasons of hosting the NCAA tournament regionals
at Yost Ice Arena, Michigan drew New Hampshire
in the 2004 Northeast Regional to be played in
Manchester, N.H.
Before the game last March, Michigan coach Red
Berenson was not upset about having to play a "road"
game with the season on the line.
"We expected to travel," said Berenson after he found
out. "I think, personally, it's good for us. I'm tired of
hearing about how we're the favorite team, week after
week, game after game. Finally, that's off our back;
we're no longer the favorite."
He was right - it was good for the Wolverines.
Michigan went into New Hampshire, having won just
three of its last nine games, and dominated the Wild-
cats 4-1. Brandon Kaleniecki scored two goals, includ-

ing one just one minute into the game that silenced the
packed crowd, and Michigan went on to play Boston
College in the next round.
Tonight, No. 8 New Hampshire (2-0) will travel to
Michigan to compete in the frosty confines of Yost for
No. 3 Michigan's (1-1) home opener. Even with the post-
season win last year, Berenson knows the challenge his
veteran team will be facing.
"They're like us," Berenson said. "They have a good
returning nucleus, they skate well and they're expected
to have a good team. They've essentially got everyone
back but their goalie."
New Hampshire's new goalie isn't a tender to scoff
at. Freshman Kevin Regan stopped 36 of 38 shots in his
debut against St. Lawrence last weekend en route to a
4-2 victory. The Hockey East named the freshman the
Superskills Hockey Rookie of the Week for his break-
out performance.
Last season the Wolverines set a school record when
they won 19 games at Yost.
"Getting a good start at home is important," Beren-

son said. "You want to play well and build up some con-
fidence because it could go the other way. It's a great
environment, our fans are good, this is a great rink to
play in and it can be intimidating to the other team."
Maybe too intimidating, according to Michigan Ath-
letic Director Bill Martin. The athletic department has
made a plea to the student season ticket holders in an
effort to temper their "vulgarity" while in attendance.
When season ticket holders picked up their tickets, a let-
ter stating that vulgarity will not be tolerated accompa-
nied the contents in an envelope.
Pleas, similar to this one, have been made in the past
without results.
But regardless of the fans' behavior, Berenson knows
New Hampshire will come to play.
"This is a real tough place to play as an opponent,"
Berenson said. "But the good teams always play well
here. I expect them to play well. They will be a real
good gauge so we can see where we're at."
After New Hampshire today, Michigan will host St.
Lawrence (0-1-1) tomorrow.

Michigan coach Debbie Rademacher.

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