October 7, 2005
Blue readies for Maroney
By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Editor
Lloyd Carr knows a thing or two about top tailbacks.
The likes of Anthony Thomas, Chris Perry and, of course,
Mike Hart have graced his backfield over the years.
So when he says he's impressed by Minnesota's Lau-
said the Nittany Lions' defense was motivated to stop
Maroney by all the attention Maroney has received this
season. Whatever the unit did, it seemed to work.
"I was getting frustrated out there," Maroney said on
That's a rare occurrence for the 5-foot-l junior, who
has recorded 3,215 rushing yards in his career. Through
rence Maroney, it's probably wise to sit up
and take notice.
"I think Laurence Maroney is a great back,"
Carr said. "He has got great speed. He's got
great toughness. He's got great vision. He's
got great size. And when he gets free, as we
learned a year ago, he can hit the home run."
That long ball came at the end of the
first quarter in last season's game when
Maroney burst through a hole in the mid-
dle of the line and ripped off an 80-yard
run for a touchdown. He finished with 157
yards on 19 carries in Michigan's come-
five games this year, Maroney is the Big Ten's
leading rusher with 746 yards on 129 carries.
Even more impressive, those totals rank him
as the nation's second-leading rusher behind
DeAngelo Williams of Memphis. A candi-
date 'for the Doak Walker Award - given
annually to the nation's top running back
- Maroney has been included in much of
the early-season Heisman hype.
But according to Michigan linebacker
Prescott Burgess, the Wolverines are prepared
for Maroney and the rest of Minnesota's rush-
Even though they contained Maroney after he broke
that early score, the Wolverines are still quick to acknowl-
edge his talent.
"Being a former running back (myself) ... he's a great
back," senior cornerback Darnell Hood said. "He is one of
the best running backs that I have seen since I have been in
college. With a guy that is 200-something pounds and very
explosive off a cut and able to take pounding and keep on
coming - that's a back you have to worry about."
That is, unless you're the Penn State defense. In their
44-14 thrashing of the Golden Gophers last Saturday, the
Nittany Lions held Maroney to 16 carries for a season-low
AP PHOTO 48 yards, including just 14 in the first half.
After the game, Penn State defensive tackle Jay Alford
"We practice the type of football that we're going to
see this week every day in practice," Burgess said. "Hard-
nosed football - the way we know how to play."
Even so, Minnesota boasts perhaps the best rushing
offense Michigan will face this season. Heading into last
weekend, the Gophers led the nation in rushing. But even
after their 113-yard showing against Penn State, they are
still ranked second with an average of more than 283
yards per game. Minnesota's ground attack figures to be a
challenge for the Wolverines' run defense, which is ranked
sixth out of 11 Big Ten teams.
And it all starts with Maroney.
"If you are on the ground and he has the ball, then that
scoreboard is about to be lit up," Carr said. "We have got
to stay on our feet."
Minnesota running back Laurence Maroney lit up Michigan for 157 yards last season.
. Icers prepare for season
opener against Bobcats
By Mark Giannotto
Daily Sports Writer
In past years, the Michigan hock-
ey team has opened its regular-sea-
son schedule against either a highly
ranked team or an absolute cream-
whatever it takes," Berenson said.
"And that's really the attitude you are
looking for when you're the coach."
Because of the influx of young
talent, Michigan has no idea if it
really is as good as its No. 8 pre-
season ranking. The current team
But just like every-
thing involving the
Wolverines this sea-
son, things are differ-
Michigan will begin
its regular-season slate
against a Quinnipiac
team that is neither
highly ranked nor a
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has only been practicing
with coaches for about a
"At the start of the
year, everyone is a little
bit like us," Berenson
said. "You think you're
good but you don't
know how good you are.
No one has really lost a
game and nobody's com-
ing in with a slump."
Meanwhile, Michigan has yet to
decide on a permanent netminder.
Freshman Billy Sauer was slated to
be the starter from the outset of the
season, but his poor showing in the
Blue/White Scrimmage last Satur-
day, in which he let in six goals, has
put his status in jeopardy.
"It's either going to be Sauer or
Noah (Ruden)," Berenson said. "But
I want to see Billy Sauer get some
home-ice experience in important
games. They might each start one
game this weekend. We'll have to
wait and see."
This weekend's series against
Quinnipiac should give the Michi-
gan faithful a good indication of
what this team can accomplish. The
core group of freshmen - includ-
ing Jack Johnson, Andrew Coglia-
no, Mark Mitera and Sauer - will
finally be able to prove that they are
"The freshmen all have big roles
on the team this year because there
are so many of them and we don't
have enough upperclassmen to fill
all the roles," Kaleniecki said. "We
expect a lot of them."
The Wolverines know they cannot
overlook Quinnipiac just because
the Bobcats come in with rela-
tively little hype. In fact, Quinni-
piac received two votes in the latest
USCHO/CSTV Division I Men's
"They are a little bit more expe-
rienced than us," senior alternate
captain Brandon Kaleniecki said.
"They are going to be excited to
come in here with the idea that they
are going to knock us off. So we just
have to be ready for that."
After last season, the Wolverines
lost nine seniors to graduation, as
well as two juniors to the NHL. This
forced Michigan to bring in 11 fresh-
men to fill the void. Although the
newcomers don't bring much expe-
rience to the table, Michigan coach
Red Berenson thinks they will help
in other facets of the game.
"They are nervous and excited for
the game, but they are willing to do
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An interesting subplot during this
weekend's series will be the goalten-
ding for both teams.
Senior Josh Siembeda stands
between the pipes for Quinnipiac.
In the second game of the 2002-03
season, Siembeda was the goalten-
der for North Dakota when it defeat-
ed Michigan 5-4 in overtime. He
transferred to Quinnipiac after that
Senior alternate captain Brandon Kaleniecki and the Wolverines begin their season tonight against Quinniplac.
Michigan begins the season ranked No. 8 in the country, despite having an 11-person freshman class.