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October 06, 2005 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-06

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Thursday
October 6, 2005
sports. michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

PheORTchSgan Bailv

12A

Tabb bides
time, takes
advantage
of chance
By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Editor
Despite playing in all 12 of Michigan's games,
Carl Tabb didn't catch a single pass last season.
That statistic would be expected from a defen-
sive lineman and believable from a fullback. But
it's surprising from Tabb - he is a wide receiver,
after all.
With Braylon Edwards, Jason Avant and Steve
Breaston listed ahead of him on the depth chart
- and only so many balls to go around - Tabb was
relegated to blocking and special teams, where he
recorded one tackle and a 10-yard kickoff return.
The situation is a little different in the receiv-
ing corps this year. Edwards is gone, Breaston has
struggled, and Tabb has helped fill the void.
In the season opener against Northern Illinois, the
senior caught one pass for 11 yards - his first recep-
tion since the fourth quarter of Michigan's win over
Ohio State in 2003. Two weeks later, Tabb nabbed
two catches for 23 yards against Eastern Michigan.'
But the Ann Arbor native had the biggest game of
his career against Michigan State last weekend.
Breaston didn't travel to East Lansing due to an
injury he suffered at Wisconsin the week before, and
his absence left one of the Wolverines' two start-
ing receiver slots up for grabs. Tabb got the start
- the first of his career - and made the most of his
increased playing time. The junior finished with a
career-high five receptions for 35 yards.
"On Saturday afternoon, Carl Tabb just gave us
an incredible lift," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
"He is a guy that you don't necessarily notice a lot,
but on special teams - and certainly on Saturday
- he made some big catches."
Tabb's longest reception was also his first, a
nine-yard grab on the Wolverines' second offensive
down. But his biggest catches may have come on the
final drive of the first half. Michigan State had just
scored its third touchdown to tie the game at 21 with
3:24 remaining. On first-and-10 from the Michigan
30, quarterback Chad Henne connected with Tabb
for an eight-yard completion. Then with about 10
seconds left in the half, Henne found Tabb for five
yards and Tabb made it out of bounds to set up a
Garrett Rivas field goal.
"It was nice to be out there with the team from the
start and to contribute," Tabb said. "Sitting on the
sideline is no fun, but, if that's what it takes to wih,

om'

athletics

TREVOR CAMPBEULL/D
Coming into this season, Tabb had a total of 10 receptions for 103 yards in 25 games. This year is a
different story; he has made eight grabs for 69 yards in just five contests .

offer more than
just football
little tired of the lackluster crowd at the Big House?
Jingled your keys one too many times on a critical third
down? Is the claw starting to get to you?
Yes, no and no? Me too. It would be hard to grow weary of
Michigan football and the whole football Saturday experience,
even if the crowd's middling enthusiasm leaves something to be
desired.
Still, it is refreshing to venture outside the cozy, 110,000-seat stadium
to support the less-watched Wolverines in their
respective environs. Although it is a personal
goal of mine to make it to a game or meet for
every sport (I am currently nowhere near accom-
plishing this), I can also give you a few reasons
as to why it might be beneficial to broaden your
Maize-and-Blue horizons:
1. Work off that beer belly - If you
thought that the runners were the only ones
who darted around those golf courses at
cross country meets, think again. At these
events, the spectator is not just right next MEGAN
to the action - he can actually participate. KOLODGY
Fans hurdle from point to point along the Megology 101
course to see how their favorite runner is
progressing. It is critical to know this prior to actually attending a
meet; oryou are liable to get trampled. Consider yourself warned.
2. Feel like a good Samaritan - Last year, women's hoops was
probably the one sport more depressing than its male counterpart,
but with a little more experience under their collective belts, the
Wolverines have a shot at redemption. Even if that doesn't happen,
who can resist the effervescent Cheryl Burnett, who stomps in an
effort to get Crisler's miniature crowds up for the game? Plus, it
just gives you a nice feeling showing up for a team that has had a
rough couple of years. In general, it's good, wholesome family fun
on a Sunday afternoon.
3. Free sauna access - It's an afternoon in February, and you're
walking down State St... The wind whips about, drying your skin
with each gust. Your socks are soaked through with melted snow.
Suddenly, you realize that there's a light on over at Canham Nata-
torium. You run in, and there's a swim meet in action. As you
warm up in the stands, you can watch the Wolverines race. Really,
these athletes are impressively fast, and you'll pretty much always
be able to find a seat.
4. Get your kicks for free - Did I mention that you can watch
all of these sports for the low, low price of free? Just show up at
the door with an M card, and you're good to go. An additional
bonus is that sometimes they give away free stuff via raffles and
cheerleaders throwing things into the audience. Case-in-point: you
can win an Xbox at softball games when a grand slam is hit in a
designated inning.
5. Unlimited opportunities for procrastination: Sports are, as
everyone knows, the ultimate way to avoid doing whatever it is
you're supposed to be doing. No sport offers more opportunity for
procrastination than college baseball - and Michigan's team is
no exception. With four games in every weekend series, a fan can
spend upwards of 12 hours at The Fish. Twelve hours in one week-
end. This, of course, is only feasible if you can stand sitting on
metal bleachers for that long. Otherwise, bring a cushion. Remain-
ing outside for this extended period of time could also help you get
a tan or force you to go to the hospital with hypothermia, depending
on which Michigan April weekend you're talking about.
6. The athletes actually want you there: As a member of a giant
Big House crowd, your voice disappears into the masses. Stop
by a soccer game, however, and it's a different story. You can be
that Super Fan you've admired from afar. So paint up and write a
couple of cheers - you're guaranteed to be heard.
7. Be the leader/founder of a group: Recently, it's been the
trend to start a fan organization for the less prominent sports (M-
Zone, M-Pire etc...). But there are still plenty of squads that don't
have one. That's where you come in. Start the Maize-this or the
'M'-that. Or you could breath some life into the Bluenatics, the
women's basketball fan club that, after two seasons, has largely
dissipated.
As you can see, there is a multitude of perks to supporting some
of the less popular sports at Michigan. Although you may not
make it to all of them in your time at the University, you'll still
make the stadium a little bit louder and make the crowd estima-
tions a little bit higher. Then again, maybe you won't - it's a
commonly held theory that they use random-number generators to
come up with those.
- If you would like to attend a volleyball, rowing, ice hockey,
wrestling, gymnastics, golf, water polo or tennis event with Megan
Kolodgy, just let her know. She can be reached at megkolo@umich.edu.

0

I'm here to do whatever it takes."
That includes having a bigger role in the return
game. In his career, Tabb has returned eight kickoffs
for 151 yards, including a career-long of 39 yards
against Eastern Michigan. In the first quarter of the
Wolverines' win last Saturday, Tabb brought Michi-
gan State's first kickoff back 23 yards.
Carr said he appreciates how Tabb has found a
way to contribute in spite of his limited snaps at
wide receiver.
"He is a guy that's so consistent, and yet he has
been in a position where there is a lot of competi-
tion," Carr said. "Carl Tabb has never complained.
He has just continued to work hard and be the best
he can be."
That attitude has started to pay off for

Tabb. Coming into this season, he had record-
ed 10 receptions for 103 receiving yards in 25
games. But in just five contests this year, Tabb has
almost doubled those career totals with eight catch-
es for 69 yards.
Tabb no doubt relishes his expanded role in the
offense after starting so many games on the bench.
But if he never catches another pass at Michigan,
he won't care - as long as the Wolverines continue
to win.
"I would much rather do 90 to 100 percent blocking and
us win than catch every single pass that (Henne)dishes out
and us lose," Tabb said. "Doing what the team needs to be
successful - whether that be blocking, whether that be
catching, whether that be playing special teams (or) what-
ever - is more important to me than accolades or stats."

I

0

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