September 30, 2005
. . ............ . . . .... ........
will test M'
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
When the name Drew Stanton comes up in conversa-
tion around the state of Michigan, an exercise in counter-
factual history usually ensues.
More specifically, the parties privy to the discussion
typically mention that, if the Michigan State quarterback
hadn't gone down with an injury during the first half of
last year's game against the Wolverines, the end result - a
45-37 triple-overtime Michigan victory - might've been
a little different. That's because, by the time Stanton dislo-
cated his right shoulder after being tackled by Michigan's
LaMarr Woodley late in the second quarter, the Spartans'
signal-caller had already accumulated 95 aerial yards on
10-for-13 passing to go along with 84 rushing yards and a
touchdown on 12 carries. Michigan State led, 17-7, at the
time of Stanton's departure.
"You talk to various people who are Michigan fans -
big Michigan fans - and everyone wants to talk about,
'If you would have stayed in the game, you guys would
have won,' " Stanton said. "It's nice to hear that compli-
ment from Michigan fans - to hear that they have that
much respect for you."
Still, the Farmington Hills native doesn't exactly have
fond memories of the Michigan fans' reaction when he
was lying on the turf in pain. In fact, he remains very bit-
ter about the cheering he heard when he got injured.
"I think it was a little classless of the student section,
to be honest with you, just because I was down," Stanton
said. "It was completely classless on their part. And that's
what was hard for me. Because, yeah, it's a big game and
there is a lot of emotion, but it's still a game. As soon
as I went down, I was right next to student section and I
could hear them cheering. I thought, 'The last thing I'm
going to do is sit on this turf anymore. I'm getting up and
getting out of here.' Unfortunately, it left a bad taste in
An angry Stanton is the last thing Michigan needs
right now. He looks to present a major challenge to the
Wolverines' defense on Saturday. The redshirt junior,
who is considered a major dual threat out of the spread
offense, is by far the most mobile quarterback Michigan
has faced all season. And he's peaking at just the right
time for the teams' intrastate rivalry game.
With 1,184 passing yards and a 73.1 percent comple-
tion rate, Stanton has tossed an impressive 13 touchdown
passes while giving away just two interceptions, and he
has positioned himself on the fringes of the early-season
* ICE HOCKEY
idea expands zone
By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
Anyone who has ever played or
watched hockey knows the utter frus-
tration that comes when the opposing
defenders poke the puck out of your
team's offensive zone. Nothing dis-
rupts a team's rhythm more. Not only
do the attackers have to skate back to
retrieve it, but the entire team must
skate back over the blue line before
taking the puck back in.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
knows the feeling. In an effort to save
himself some headaches and make
sure that NCAA officials were doing
their best to create a more offensive
game, Berenson decided to give his
two cents on the matter.
"I was just thinking one day while
I was on a road trip," Berenson said.
"I hate to see the puck come over the
blue line by an inch and then every-
body has to pull out and play a delayed
offside game. It pretty much allows
the other team out of the zone."
Berenson proposed a rule change
that has come -to be known as the
"Berenson Boundary." Instead of
hockey's typical offside rule, which
prevents players from crossing the
blue line before the puck, the new rule
makes the center line the boundary of
the offensive zone once the attackers
have crossed the blue line.
The actual effects of this change
remain to be seen, but if it's put in place
permanently, it would allow for extra
space to create new offensive schemes
and make it tougher to clear the puck
from a team's defensive zone.
Berenson's proposed solution has
been approved for use in NCAA exhi-.
bition games this season and will be
featured in tomorrow's Blue and White
game and the exhibition game against
Toronto on Sunday. For this weekend,
Berenson has no special strategies to
capitalize on the extra space.
"I don't want to get our team too
worried about it," Berenson said. "I
just want to play it with those rules
and see what happens. I told the
Toronto coach the same thing. It's
just an experimental rule. I can't tell
you if it will be beneficial to our team
playing good hockey or not, but we're
going to try it."
But the Wolverines have started to
think about the rule's impact. Fresh-
man Andrew Cogliano is familiar
with the rule and believes a perma-
nent change would alter the face of the
"I think it might force the points to
be higher on the power play," Coglia-
no said. "It could allow for more two-
on-ones in the zone. But we really
have to play the gameto see what will
In addition to the proposed rule
change, this weekend will give Michi-
gan fans their first look at the team's
11 new freshmen before the regular
season begins next Friday. The fresh-
men class features two first round
draft picks -- defenseman Jack John-
son and forward Andrew Cogliano
- and Billy Sauer, the heir-apparent
to the goaltending position vacated by
Al Montoya's departure for the NHL.
"I can't tell you'that we've decided
(on a goaltender)," Berenson said. "I'd
like to see Billy get in there and get
off to a good start. We'll see whether
we need Noah (Ruden) to come in and
help him or not."
Michigan State Drew Stanton is aching for revenge after suffering a dislocated right shoulder on a tackle by
juniorLaMarr Woodley last season.
Heisman race. On the ground, the Harrison High School
graduate has picked up a modest - for him - 123 yards
and one touchdown. But the Wolverines are well aware
that he could break out for a big scramble on any play.
After all, in just 10 games and seven starts last year, Stan-
ton ran wild for nearly 700 yards and five scores.
"Like everyone knows, it all starts with Stanton, a guy
who can do it all - pass, run - he's a mobile quarter-
back," senior co-captain and defensive tackle Pat Massey
said. "If you watch film on him, he's a tough kid. He's
going to come to play, (and) he wants to win."
Michigan's struggles against running quarterbacks
have been well publicized. In their final two games last
year, the Wolverines allowed Ohio State's Troy Smith
and Texas's Vince Young to rush for an unbelievable
337 yards and five touchdowns. But much of the team's
offseason preparation was geared toward containing big
plays on the ground from the opponents' men under cen-
ter. The early results appear successful, since Michigan
has held opposing quarterbacks to negative-eight yards
rushing this season. But the Wolverines haven't run into a
defensive task as difficult as the one Stanton presents.
"I think he's obviously a talented guy," coach Lloyd
Carr said. "I think he's surrounded by excellent people.
I think he's in a scheme that gives him an opportunity to
do a lot of things."
At 6-foot-3 and 222 pounds, Stanton prides himself on
being unpredictable when he crosses the line of scrim-
mage with the ball. In fact, he claims he's not always sure
where he's going sometimes.
"I'm out there, and I don't even know what I'm doing,"
Stanton said. "So that means the defense probably doesn't
have any idea of what's going on. It's definitely a fun part
of the game. I enjoy doing it, but I definitely realize the
need for staying healthy."
Chances are, Stanton will finish the game on Saturday
healthier than he did last year. But the Wolverines hope
the victor remains the same.
For the first time since the spread was
introduced, Michigan State is favored to
For the first time since 1968, the Spar-
tans are ranked and the Wolverines are
This showdown has a different feel.
But it's still one of the bitterest rivalries
in all of college football.
Michigan State comes in riding high,
in the top 15 and averaging 49 points
per game. Michigan, on the other hand,
enters having only beaten two Mid-
American Conference teams. The roles
have reversed, but still expect a close
Michigan passing offense vs. Michi-
gan State passing defense:
It's obvious that sophomore quarter-
back Chad Henne is struggling right now.
Though his numbers are pretty good
- save his completion percentage of 53
- he is not playing like the stud he was
last year. He has looked rattled at times
and has seemed unsure of his play. But
everyone knows what he is capable of,
especially against the Spartans' defense
- which he exploited for 273 yards and
four touchdowns in last season's over-
time comeback. The Wyomissing, Penn.,
native has to be more accurate and not
lock in on receivers for the Wolverines to
click on all cylinders.
One of Henne's targets tomorrow
should be freshman Mario Manning-
ham, who had his first career 100-yard
game against Wisconsin. Manning-
ham has shown that he could be the
deep threat to complement senior
Jason Avant's intermediate routes.
Avant comes into the game leading
the Big Ten in receptions and receiv-
ing yards and could have a big day
against the Michigan State second-
ary. The Spartans defense has given
up an average of 293 yards per game,
while yielding 11 touchdowns so far
this season. This could be the game
in which Henne and the passing attack
get back on track.
Michigan rushing offense vs. Mich-
igan State rushing defense:
The Wolverines have played musical
chairs in their backfield early this sea-
son. Sophomore Mike Hart led the team
in rushing in the first game but has been
out with a leg injury since the Notre Dame
game. Sophomore Max Martin and fresh-
man Kevin Grady have combined for 366
yards and two touchdowns in the last three
games. But the two have also had problems
holding onto the football. Martin lost the
ball in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's
game against the Badgers, and the turn-
over set up a Brian Calhoun touchdown.
The Michigan offensive line has worked
with a very patchwork group. Starting
right tackle Mike Kolodziej has missed
the past three games with an undisclosed
injury, and right guard Matt Lentz has
also missed parts of two games.
Michigan State has given up just 91
yards per game on t
But the Spartans ha
quality rushing team
running back Darius
yards, despite being b
half. If Mike Hart isc
Michigan could keep
offense off the field by
Michigan State F
Michigan passing d
Drew Stanton h
touchdowns while r
just two picks. In the
games, the junior ha
1,200 yards while
three-fourths of his
gan State returns ei
unit that torched the
yards and 37 pointsi
effort in Ann Arbor.
ary, which has lost
last season, has actuz
bright spots for the
cornerback Leon Ha
of greatness. But 6-f
Matt Trannon is a t
one, and he isn't even
be too much
he ground thus far. ing receiver; that honor goes to Kyle
ive played just one Brown, who has 17 catches for 262 yards
Notre Dame. Irish and two touchdowns.
Walker gained 116
ottled up in the first Edge: Michigan State
close to 100 percent,
the potent Spartan Michigan State rushing offense vs.
y controlling the line Michigan rushing defense
At the beginning of the year, run-
ning back was a big question mark for
the Spartans. But Michigan State has
turned it around and is No. 7 nationally
passing offense vs. in rushing yards with 272.2 yards per
efense game. The real question for Michigan
zas completed 13 will not be how many yards the Spar-
managing to throw tans' running backs pick up, but rather
Spartans' first four how many yards Stanton can muster.
s thrown for nearly Last year, he rushed for 84 yards before
completing almost leaving the game in the second quarter.
attempts. Michi- Stanton said that dozens of people have
ght starters from a approached him saying that if he had
Wolverines for 535 been healthy, Michigan State would
in last year's losing have won that game. And they're prob-
Michigan's second- ably right. Michigan's front seven
three starters since worked all offseason on rush lanes and
ally been one of the containment, and this week will be the
Wolverines - and first real test.
11 has shown flashes
oot-6 wide receiver Edge: Michigan State
P ROCR ASTINATION
Before every football game this season, two of the Daily football
writers will take the weekend's matchup to the PlayStation 2 and then
let you know what happened.
* Play of the game - Sparty had pulled into the game late, 17-7. On
thitd-and-26, Michigan QB #7 threw a long pass down the right side-
line to WR #15. He hauled in the pass for a 40-yard gain and sealed
" Player of the game - Michigan QB #7 was 15-of-25 for 276 and two
touchdowns. He snapped out of his slump and picked up key first downs
throughout the contest.
Michigan coach Matt Venegoni:
"Conservative? Conservative my
boot. I think we showed the nation
that we are not boring - take a look
at that fake punt."
"Hey, media what's wrong with
QB #7 now? Oh yeah, nothing. His
mechanics looked pretty. fine to
"State, once again you are the little
bitch that can't, and that will never
Michigan State coach Ian Herbert: "I
gotta tell you, I thought that QB #5
was actually fast. I don't know what
happened, but he looked like John
Navarre out there."
"I probably shouldn't have called a
prevent defense on that third-and-26.
That was a coaching mistake. I told
the corner to give him a thirty-yard
cushion, and I guess that came back
to bite me in the ass."
"No, I wouldn't have changed anything.
I think I made the right decision at the
end of the first half, Sure, going for it
with three seconds left was risky, but
that's what I am, a risk-taker. I thought
we could get a two-yard pattern off
before the half anyway, but I guess I
was wrong about that."
"I guess we can't completely blame
last year's loss on QB #5's injury."
ough cover for any-
the Spartans' lead-
See SPARTANS, page 10
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