4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 19, 2005
Michigan 55, Eastern Michigan 0
Martin seizes chance
in first career start
Time of Poss
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Editor
Max Martin had to be wondering when his
turn was going to come.
In the first two games this season the sopho-
more had just five carries for six yards. But Sat-
urday was a completely different story. Martin
notched his first career start and took full advan-
tage of the opportunity. The running back car-
ried the ball 26 times against Eastern Michigan,
gaining 117 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
"I thought he did a very good job," coach Lloyd
Carr said. "Obviously, down the road here, most
of the (Big Ten title) races I've been in, you need
somebody that can come in and give your team a
lift. I think Max put himself right in the middle
of our running back situation,"
In Michigan's season opener against Northern
Illinois, fellow sophomore Mike Hart led the
Wolverines in rushing with 117 yards, and fresh-
man Kevin Grady took over as the starter in the
17-10 loss to Notre Dame. Martin didn't get as
much playing time as he wanted to, but he kept
his head up despite being passed up.
"It was frustrating, but I have to come out here
and prove to my teammates and coaches and see
that I'm ready to play," Martin said. "I know that
I'm going to go out and compete as hard as I can."
Martin's perseverance paid off in the practices
leading up to the game against the Eagles. The
Madison, Ala, native showed the coaches he was
ready to do all the things necessary to start.
"I think he did a good job," Carr said. "I think
the biggest thing that he did, really, was there
were a couple passes where he did a great job
of protecting the quarterback. That's been some-
thing that he has needed to improve on. He was
great in practice this week in stepping up and
knowing the protections. That's big."
Chad Henne agreed: "Max stepped up in prac-
tice this week and did something to spark the
coaches' eye, and he did well in pass protection,
which gives us another element to the offense."
With Martin's pass protection shored up, the
6-foot-1 bruiser had to display that he could do
more than protect the quarterback. Martin took
the first Michigan offensive play seven yards
over the left side, giving the Wolverines the ball
at the Eastern Michigan two-yard line. Two car-
ries later, Martin gave Michigan the 7-0 lead, but
he was just getting his day started.
The coaching staff showed confidence in
Martin early in the first quarter, giving him the
ball two more times on the Wolverines' second
possession. He gave Michigan a 14-0 advantage,
but Martin knew he had to relish the chance he
"I don't want to say I was nervous, but I was
really anxious to get out there and do what I
had to do," Martin said. "But I wasn't nervous
because of the way I prepared - I felt like I
knew everything like the back of my hand."
Martin's number kept getting called well into
the third quarter. By the time he went to the
bench he had reached career highs in carries,
yards and touchdowns and also showed the over
109,000 in attendance that he is not just a backup
to Hart and Grady.
"Our coaches are going to let the best man
play - whoever they deem (to be) that person,"
Martin said. "They're going to tell you why and
what you need to work on, and I have confidence
M I C H IG A N
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Michigan has had three different players lead the tear in rushing in the season's first three games
Northern Ilinois' Mike Hart 27 carries for 117 yards and one touchdown
:Notre Dame Kevin Grady 1$ carries for 79 yards wid zero totschdownls
Eastern Michigan Max Martin 26 carries for 126 yards anid two touchdowns
tSLLAASNL L L /ua~lJ.)~ iJriy
Sophomore Max Martin got the starting nod Saturday and helped carry the Wolverines to a 55-0
victory. Martin rumbled for 117 yards and two touchdowns, both career-highs.
Woodley a big hit
in win over astern
Yds Avg Lg
39 39.0 39
39 39.0 39
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
LaMarr Woodley sports a Woody Woodpecker
tattoo on his left biceps. Fittingly, the junior rush
linebacker played a whole lot like his animated
companion during Saturday's game against East-
ern Michigan, flying around the field with ease and
making big hits in key situations.
Woodley's performance against the Eagles
was nothing short of spectacular. He made six
tackles - four solos and two assists - in the
first half. The Saginaw native was involved in
key plays during every Eastern Michigan drive
in the opening 30 minutes before leaving the
game at halftime because of Michigan's 38-
point lead. But he continued to solidify his role
as Michigan's primary defensive playmaker.
Last year, Woodley led the Wolverines in tack-
les for loss with 16. He was also second on the
team in tackles, with 70, and sacks, with four.
At this point, Woodley's teammates are getting
used to his consistently stellar play.
"He's overall a dominant player," senior defen-
sive tackle Gabe Watson said. "He's strong (and)
fast. He gets the job done."
Woodley got started on the third play of
Eastern's first series, when he broke through the
Eagles' offensive linemen to pressure quarterback
Matt Bohnet. Even though Bohnet got the pass off,
the signal-caller was knocked down and threw an
incompletion, bringing up third down.
It wasn't until Eastern's next drive that Woodley
put his tremendous athleticism on display. On sec-
ond-and-10, Bohnet decided to keep the ball and
run up the middle. Although Woodley was initially
engaged by Eagles right tackle Courtney Ford, he
managed to spin out of the offensive lineman's
grip, chase down Bohnet and tackle him from
behind after a moderate four-yard gain.
"LaMarr's a great athlete," redshirt junior
defensive end Rondell Biggs said. "He just uses his
athletic abilities to make a lot of plays. There were
so many (big plays by Woodley)."
The left side of the defensive line is typically
Woodley's territory before the snap, and that was
the launching pad for perhaps his most impres-
sive play of the day. After Bohnet managed to slip
defensive tackle Alan Branch, Woodley wrapped
up his prey with his right arm and tossed the quar-
terback to the ground. In a literal sense, Woodley
made the play single-handedly, bringing up fourth
down and pushing the Eagles back 12 yards.
"You have to get him down the best way you can
get him," Woodley said of his approach to tackling.
"I reached out, and that's what I grabbed him with.
One arm. So I had to get him down that way."
Redshirt senior defensive end Jeremy Van
Alstyne recalls a different play as Woodley's most
memorable. It came on third-and-two on Eastern's
drive following the sack. After Bohnet took the
snap, Woodley stood patiently, shadowing the quar-
terback in the middle of the field. When Bohnet
heaved a shovel pass to wide receiver A.J. Bennett,
No. 56 was there to meet the ball carrier. The mas-
sive 6-foot-2, 274-pound defender slammed Bennett
to the turf and ended another Eagles possession.
"I think that big hit he made on that shovel pass,
it was something I knew was going to happen in
the game," Van Alstyne said. "I was just waiting
to see it. LaMarr Woodley is an awesome player,
and he just takes that out onto the field. He's got a
real sort of leadership, and he came out to play. We
don't expect anything less (from) him."
Woodley acknowledged that he was anticipating
the toss because of preparation and scouting dur-
ing the week leading up to the game. The Michi-
gan defense was fully aware that the shovel pass
was part of Eastern's playbook.
"You're so tight in there," Woodley said of the
situation. "The man was right there, so it wasn't a
great collision. But it was all right. We worked on
the shovel pass (in practice). We expected that."
There were other moments, as well. Woodley
brought up yet another fourth down on the Eagles'
next drive, fighting Eastern's right tackle, right guard
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Big Ten Overall
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MICHIGAN 55, Eastern Michigan 0
PENN STATE 40, Central Michigan 3
Wisconsin 14, NORTH CAROLINA 5
Purdue 31, ARIZONA 24
MINNESOTA 46,;Fla Atlantic 7
CALIFORNIA 35, Illinois 20
IowA 45, Nothern Iowa 21
Michigan State 44, NOTRE DAME 41
ARIZONA STATE 52, Northwestern 21
OHIO STATE 27, San Diego State 6
Junior rush linebacker LaMarr Woodley (56) takes down Eastern Michigan quarterback Matt Bohnet on
Saturday. Woodley and Grant Mason tied for the most tackles, six, in the 55-0 win.
and center before getting to Bohnet and bringing him
down after a three-yard gain. Woodley also closed
a five-yard gap between himself and Eagles backup
quarterback Tyler Jones to make a leaping assist with
help from linebacker Chris Graham in the second
quarter. The final two Eastern drives featured Wood-
ley making a hurry-and-knockdown on Bohnet just
after he released a pass and contributing another
assist in tackling Eagles running back Anthony Sher-
rell after Woodley spun away from a blocker.
"LaMarr forced a lot of pressure on the quarter-
back," linebacker David Harris said. "He disrupted
a lot of things they were trying to run, just putting
pressure (and) getting back there."
But Woodley took his success on Saturday in
stride, brushing off the notion that he did anything
special. His right hand wrapped in ice because of
a jammed finger - nothing serious, he claimed
- Michigan's defensive standout explained it was
just another day on the football field.
"I was just doing what I was coached to do,"
Woodley said, a smile on his face.
His grin bore a striking resemblance to that of
the figure inked onto his arm.
Northern Illinois W, 33-17
Notre Dame L, 10-17
Eastern Michigan W, 55-0
at Wisconsin 6 p.m.
at Michigan State TBA
Minnesota 1 p.m.
Penn State TBA
at Iowa TBA
at Northwestern TBA
Ohio State Noon
IRISH FALL SHORT IN OT: After ral-
lying back from a 38-17 third-quarter
deficit against Michigan State Satur-
day, Notre Dame (2-1) succumbed to
the Spartans 44-41 in overtime. Irish
quarterback Brady Quinn capped the
furious comeback by throwing a touch-
down pass to Jeff Samardzija with 2:31
remaining in regulation to tie the score
at 38. After Notre Dame managed just
a field goal in its overtime possession,
Jason Teague dashed 19 yards for a
touchdown to give the Spartans
(3-0) an emotional victory. Drew
Stanton threw for 327 yards and three
touchdowns to lead MSU.
MEYER PASSES FIRST TEST: New
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
(first-place votes in parentheses)
Associated Press Poll for the week of Sept. 17
Games updated through Sept. 18
1. Southern Cal
4. Virginia Tech
8. Florida State
9. Ohio State
10. Notre Dame
beat Arkansas 70-17
beat Rice 51-10
beat Ohio 45-0
lost to Florida 16-7
beat Tennessee 16-7
beat LA Monroe 44-7
beat Boston College 28-17
beat San Diego State 27-6
lost to Michigan State 44-41
beat Oregon State 63-27
beat Arizona 31-24
beat Clemson 36-30
beat Eastern Michigan 55-0
at Miss State
at South Florida
1. Southern Cal (57)
2. Texas (8)
4. Virginia Tech
6. Florida State
8. Ohio State
15. Georgia Tech
16. Notre Dame
17. Michigan Stae