November 17, 2004
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Slow first halves
could haunt Blue
End result neverfor
sure in 'The Game'
By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan's recent trend of starting
slowly and improving as the game pro-
gresses has been something of a mystery,
and it hopes to solve it in time for Satur-
day's game at Ohio State.
In their last five games - all wins
- the Wolverines
have been outscored
in the first half 61-54
only to outscore their '
opponents in the sec-
ond half 106-53.
"It's been a prob-
lem all season," tight
end Tim Massaquoi said. "We haven't
gotten off to the right start that we want-
ed to. We try to emphasize that, but it just
hasn't been working out.
"But I think the main thing is how we
finish the game, and we finish the game
playing really well offensively."
In particular, its been Michigan's
offense that has waited until halftime
to really get going. With teams adding
new wrinkles to rattle quarterback Chad
Henne, the Wolverines have often found
themselves making adjustments on the
"We need to get off to a fast start, and I
think we will," redshirt sophomore Steve
Breaston said. "The freshmen have been
learning a lot as the season goes on. The
entire team has been getting better and
better and I think it just builds up."
Although the Wolverines have devel-
oped confidence in their ability to rally to
victory, they know that doing it at Ohio
Stadium is another story. Two years ago
in Columbus, Michigan was trailing 14-
9 after a late touchdown, and had a tough
time on offense dealing with the crowd
noise. On its last two drives, Michigan
moved the ball past midfield but was
unable to punch it in.
"It's going to be real tough to come
from behind," Massaquoi said. "That's
why we don't want to be in that situation.
We want to be in a situation where the
game is in our hands. We don't want to
have to come back at Ohio State. That's
Although neither matches up to
Ohio Stadium, Michigan has faced two
tough road tests thus far this season. In
its second game of the season against
Notre Dame, Michigan settled for three
first-half field goals, and then allowed
28 points in the second half and lost.
Against Purdue, the Wolverines strug-
gled to get to the endzone, but won on a
late field goal.
"All we're doing is preparing ourselves
for a dogfight in a hostile environment,"
senior receiver Braylon Edwards said.
"We'll have loud noise going all week in
practice so we can kind of simulate what
goes on in their stadium. We'll just have
to have a strong week in practice from all
of the guys. The veterans have to tell the
young guys what it's all about.
"That's what this week is all about."
BIG PLAY GINN: After losing its first
three conference games, Ohio State
rebounded to win three straight before
taking a step back Saturday against Pur-
A significant reason for the Buckeyes'
TREVOR CAM PBELL/Daily
Steve Breaston will be key for Michigan to get off to a fast start against Ohio State.
turnaround is the play of freshman Ted
Ginn Jr. In their 32-19 win two weeks
ago against Michigan State, Ginn scored
touchdowns on a reverse, a punt return
and a catch. He was expected to play
cornerback this season, but has been a
much-needed weapon for Ohio State's
otherwise lackluster offense.
"He's like our Steve Breaston," Roy
Manning said. "He's fast - he can prob-
ably outrun anybody on that field on Sat-
urday. We're going to have to do a good
job of keeping him inside the defense.
Also, on special teams, I know he's a
punt returner, so we have to get down-
field. We're going to have a challenge
Michigan's defense, which tends to be
overly aggressive and fall out of position,
has been susceptible to big plays. In its
last two games, it allowed touchdown
runs of 72 and 64 yards to Michigan
State's DeAndra Cobb and 68 yards to
Northwestern's Noah Herron.
INJURY NOTES: On Monday, Carr said
he was "very optimistic" that linebacker
Scott McClintock would play Saturday.
The redshirt junior did not play in the
Northwestern game due to illness.
Backup safety Willis Barringer, who
was carted off the field on Saturday with
a leg injury, isn't expected to play.
FINAL THREE: Senior Braylon Edwards
was named as one of the three finalists
for the Biletnikoff Award for the top
wide receiver in the country, along with
Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield and Ball
State's Dante Ridgeway.
At the start of one of my classes on
Monday, my professor asked everyone if
they thought Michigan would beat Ohio
State this weekend. Almost everybody
raised their hands. Then she asked if any-
one had their doubts.
Of the approximately 35 people in the
room, I was one of two that raised a hand.
Not that I don't think Michigan can win
on Saturday, but with the optimistic feel-
ing all over campus these days, it is appar-
ent that a history lesson is in order.
Yes, Ohio State is having a down year.
Yes, Michigan hasn't lost since September.
But to everyone who is already looking for
plane reservations to southern California, I
have one thing to say:
* This is Michigan-Ohio State.
This is a rivalry that has been defined
by the seasons that have been ruined in
late November. Ohio State may be 6-4
and unranked, but this is a game that, over
the years, both teams have often come in
as severe underdogs and have ruined the
other's chance at a Rose Bowl or National
If you don't remember, let me jog your
1%9: Undefeated and top-ranked Ohio
State looked to be on its way to a Rose
Bowl and national title, but it first had
to travel to Ann Arbor to face first-year
coach Bo Schembechler and the Wolver-
ines. The Wolverines picked off six passes
and upset the Buckeyes 24-12. Michigan
football was changed forever, and a rivalry
was truly born in a win considered the best
ever over Ohio State.
1972: This time, No.3 Michigan trav-
eled to Ohio State with a 10-0 record. It
also dominated. It threw for 160 passing
yards compared to Ohio State's 17. It made
21 first downs compared to Ohio State's
10. It ran 84 offensive plays, compared to
Ohio State's 44.
But Michigan also failed to score when
it had a third-and-goal at the Ohio State
one-yard line in the fourth quarter, and
lost 14-11. The Wolverines' season ended
on that day, as just one Big Ten team was
allowed to go to a bowl game until 1975.
1973: Both schools went into this game
undefeated, and the game ended in a 10-10
tie. Michigan felt it played a better game
after Ohio State failed to complete a pass.
But the Wolverines fell short of the Rose
Bowl because of a special athletic direc-
tors' vote, ending their season once again.
1974: Michigan was ranked slightly
ahead of Ohio State as it once again
entered the matchup undefeated. Kicker
Mike Lantry missed a short field goal with
18 seconds left, and the Wolverines lost
12-10 on Czechoslovakian import Tom
Klabon's four field goals. For the third
straight year, Michigan enters the Ohio
State game unbeaten. For the third straight
year, Michigan ends up short of the Roses.
1981: Ohio State comes into Michigan
Stadium unranked, but Michigan settles
for field goals of 19,26 and 23 yards, while
Ohio State gets in the endzone twice. The
Buckeyes win 14-9. Michigan ended up in
the now defunct Bluebonnet Bowl.
1982: Ohio State is unranked going
into Michigan week again, but this time
the Wolverines have to travel to Columbus.
Michigan quarterback Steve Smith throws
three interceptions and loses two fumbles.
But it was the fumble by Anthony Carter
at the Ohio State 14-yard line in the 4th
quarter that dealt Michigan a 24-14 defeat.
The Wolverines ended up going to the
Rose Bowl anyway, but lost to UCLA.
1993: Ohio State came into Ann Arbor
needing either a win over unranked Michi-
gan or a loss by Wisconsin against Michi-
gan State in Tokyo (yes, Tokyo) two weeks
later to head to Pasadena. It got neither.
The Buckeyes threw four interceptions,
and were shut out for the first time in 11
years in the 28-0 loss. The Badgers went
to their first Rose Bowl since 1962.
1995: No. 2 Ohio State came to Ann
Arbor undefeated, trying to prevent North-
western from heading to its first Rose
Bowl since 1948. But Tim Biakabutuka
ran for 313 yards, dwarfing Heisman Tro-
phy candidate and eventual winner Eddie
George's 104, and.Michigan won 31-23.
1996: Having blown chances at the
Rose Bowl in 1993 and 1995, no one
thought another undefeated Ohio State
team would let another Rose Bowl oppor-
tunity slip away again. The Buckeyes
entered the game as 17.5-point favorites.
Ohio State had a 9-0 lead at halftime, but
a 61-yard touchdown strike from Brian
Griese to Tai Streets started the comeback.
No.21 Michigan won 13-9, ending anoth-
er Ohio State national title bid.
2001: No. 11 Michigan needed a win
against unranked Ohio State to head to
a BCS bowl. It fell down 23-0 at half-
time. Quarterback John Navarre was
even pulled from the game for Jermaine
Gonzales, but had a shotgun snap went
over his head for a safety. The Wolverines
got within 26-20 after a Marquis Walker
touchdown catch with 2:26 remaining, but
that's how the game would end. Michigan
lost to Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl.
Saturday's game has some strange simi-
larities to many of these battles. Michigan
has the Rose Bowl in its grasp, and this
game will constitute Ohio State's season.
So don't plan your holiday break just yet.
Bob Hunt is looking for things to do for
"On the Road" Friday night in Columbus.
If you would like to give him any ideas, you
can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
M' looks to avoid letdown in NIT
By Brian Schick
Daily Sports Editor
With the first game of the season over, Michi-
gan looks to put its shaky start against Bingham-
ton behind it. A 12-point deficit in the first half
was seen as a major defensive meltdown, con-
sidering the Bearcats were playing in Division
II just two season ago.
The Wolverines managed to turn it around
in.the second half. Michigan was able to rely
on its experience to help overcome the halftime
deficit, as junior Daniel Horton and sophomore
Dion Harris led the Wolverines to victory. The
win came in large part to a second-half rally,
despite Horton's early turnovers (six turnovers
in the first half) and Harris's poor shooting (1-
of-5 from the floor).
Michigan's opponent tonight in the second
round of the Preseason NIT, Colorado, isn't able
to rely on its experience, as it returns just one
starter from last year's 18-11 squad.
But the Buffaloes appeared to, overcome the
problem on Monday, sending College of Charles-
ton home with a 72-57 loss.
Michigan will face Colorado tonight, and eras-
ing a double-digit lead might not be as easy as it
was on Monday.
"Defense won the game for us," Harris said.
"We need to play tough defense from start to fin-
ish. We need to take pride in our defense (this
Chances are that the
Buffaloes won't shoot
15 percent in the second
half, like the Bearcats
did. Colorado freshman
Richard Roby made an
impressive debut, scor-
ing 19 on 7-for-l shoot-
ing, and led all Buffaloes
with 32 minutes against
less if Michigan would face Colorado or Col-
lege of Charleston, Amaker said heading to New
York for the semifinals of the Preseason NIT
undefeated would be a great start to the season.
Michigan could potentially play No. 10 Arizona
or No. 2 Wake Forest in the semifinal and finals,
"It'd be a tremendous start for us to go 2-0,"
Amaker said. "For our team, we feel good about
playing in New York. We've played there and had
some success there and that'll be in the back of
their minds. The other teams that make it will
deserve to be there, so we'll have our work cut
out for us."
Michigan and Colorado have a history in the
NIT, as the schools' last meeting came in the
1991 Postseason NIT, with the Buffaloes coming
out on top 71-64. Michigan needs to be wary of
overlooking Colorado and toward the potential of
playing in Madison Square Garden. The Wolver-
ines feel fortunate to have these games to add to
their NCAA Tournament resum6 come Selection
"This is a great chance to play quality teams,"
Horton said. "It's a great opportunity for us."
College of Charleston. Jayson Obazuaye and
Julius Ashby shot 50 percent from the floor and
added 10 and 13 points, respectively.
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker admitted
after Monday's game that he hadn't looked at
either Colorado or College of Charleston, but
said he'd start looking at the winner of the game
immediately after the game was over. Regard-
Flippin, Clement give Burnett backcourt options
By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Writer
Before the start of the exhibition season, Michi-
gan women's basketball coach Cheryl Burnett
believed she needed to find one standout point
guard to lead her team.
With two exhibition games complete, Burnett
has yet to find one player.
Instead, she's found two.
Freshmen Becky Flippin and Krista Clement
split point guard duties in the exhibition games and
they averaged 2.5 assists apiece. Clement believes
Flippin has secured the starting spot, but as a natu-
ral shooting guard, Clement is more than happy to
switch over to the point to give Flippin a break.
"It lets our coaches tell (Flippin) what to do next
without having to take a timeout," Clement said.
"I like making that opportunity available to the
Sharing time is nothing new for Flippin - her
summer AAU teams used a similar system, and
she has come to enjoy playing with another point
guard on the floor. Not only does it give her a sec-
ond pair of eyes to survey the opposing defense, but
it also enables her to create shooting opportunities
for Clement when sh'es in the game as a shooting
"Becky is great in terms of seeing early passes
down the court," Burnett said. "Her innate instincts
are just incredible."
But perhaps the most impressive part of Flippin's
game is her dribbling. Flippin spins and weaves
through defenders, deftly protecting the ball and
bailing her teammates out of trouble, according to
"She's better than anyone I know at handling the
ball," Clement said. "Every time she's on the floor,
she's all over the place."
In contrast to Flippin's flashy ball-handling,
Clement is more of a steady floor general when
playing point guard. At LaSalle High School in
St. Ignace, her coaches stressed basketball funda-
mentals, usiig many of the same drills that Burnett
employed the first few weeks of practice. Burnett
believes this experience enabled Clement to grasp
Michigan's offense and defense faster than most
"Krista has the understanding of a senior who's
been in the program for four years," Burnett said.
"She's so exceptional - I've never seen anyone like
Clement has used this knowledge to provide
senior-like leadership on a young team, commu-
nicating with her teammates and working hard in
practice. She is developing into a vocal leader in
game as well. In the closing seconds of last week's
exhibition win against the Australian Institute of
Sport, Clement loudly instructed her teammates to
hold onto the ball and not shoot on their final pos-
But for all their individual strengths, Flippin and
Clement believe they are most effective together.
They - along with freshman Katie Dierdorf -
spend almost all their time together off the court,
which has taught them how to deal with each other
"It goes beyond the two of them - the team
chemistry is phenomenal," Burnett said. "But
(Flippin and Clement) have been great in terms of
sharing what they see with one another and running
the team in tandem."
Krsta Clement has been a vocal leader
on the floor, despite being a fresman.