The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 10, 2005 - 5B
After every game of the
2005 season, The Michigan
Daily's football writers will
take you fora ride in Lloyd's
car. The gauges all refer to
different variables that will
fluctuate from week to week,
depending on how the team
and fans perform.
Defensive Intensity is a
measure of - you guessed it
-how well the Wolverines
manage to stop their oppo-
The Carr-ometer is a rough
gauge of head coach Lloyd
Carr's opinion of his team's
play, as judged from his
The Hypemeter provides
out opinion of how well
you, the fans, supported the
Wolverines. Volume, consis-
tency and awareness will all
Rush Yards is a straightfor,-
ward measure of Michigan's
ground yardage total in each
game. Since an effective.
running game is crucial to
postseason success - espe-
cially for this year's squad,
which is loaded at running
back - this statistic figures
to be a consistently impor,
It's hard to put all the blame for this loss on the
defense. Sure, the unit let Minnesota's Gary Rus-
sell get outside and run for 61 yards on the final
drive, but the defense did some things right, too.
David Harris continued his tear with 18 tackles,
and nine Michigan defenders finished with at least
five. But the most intense moment of the game
might have taken place after time expired. Harris,
Alan Branch, LaMarr Woodley and Prescott Bur-
gess sat on the bench and looked as if they wanted
to kill someone or cry - or maybe both. If only
their outside containment was better ...
It was clear from the moment Carr walked into
the press conference that this loss hurt him sig-
nificantly. He obviously didn't want to be the
coach that had a hand in the Gophers getting the
Little Brown Jug back. But it was also evident
that he was extremely disappointed in the Wol-
verines' play. He reiterated throughout the press-
er that he thought there were too many mistakes
- dropped passes, misreads, poor pass protec-
tion and missed assignments. Despite Garret
Rivas missing two kicks, Carr let everyone know
he still had confidence in the junior kicker.
Maybe you were all a little tired from cheering
for the hockey team on Friday night. Maybe not.
Either way, it was an up-and-down day for the
Michigan faithful. When the Wolverines threw
their arms in the air and implored you to cheer,
you willingly obliged. But about 50 percent of
the time, those cheers didn't last long enough to
make a real difference. Still, those pom-poms
were waving at the start, and you basically went
nuts when Steve Breaston returned that kickoff
95 yards for a touchdown. All in all, not your
best effort, but not too bad, either.
Really, this stat says as much about the Wolver-
ines' pass protection as it does about the running
game. Mike Hart finished with 109 yards on 28
carries - not as electrifying as last week, but
still respectable. His 20-yard scamper in the first
quarter was particularly impressive. The sopho-
more took the ball up the middle, stopped on a
dime and ran to the right sideline before heading
out of bounds. But the Gophers' defense sacked
Chad Henne three times for a loss of 19 yards.
Michigan will be hard-pressed to win a Big Ten
game with 94 yards on the ground.
I* rthtgan OWNU
Predictions against the
spread for 10/8/05
Minnesota (+7.5) at No. 21 Michigan
Arizona (+37.5) at No. 1 Southern Cal
Oklahoma (+14) vs. No. 2 Texas
Marshall (+35) at No. 3 Virginia Tech
Wake Forest (+21) at No. 4 Florida State
No. 5 Georgia (+3) at No. 8 Tennessee
No. 6 Ohio State (-3.5) at No..16 Penn State
Duke (+35) at No. 9 Miami
No. 10 California (+1) at No. 20 UCLA
No. 11 Louisiana State (-15.5) at Vanderbilt
Mississippi State (+27.5) at No. 13 Florida
No. 14 Wisconsin (-7) at Northwestern
No. 15 Texas Tech (-4.5) at Nebraska
No. 20 Oregon (+10) at No. 17 Arizona State
Virginia (+7) at No. 38 Boston College
North Carolina (+13) at No. 23 Louisville
Illinois (+6) at Indiana
Record this week
Best bets aren't so
great after all; no one
gets the pick right
Ian looked pretty stupid last
week when he was the only
one to pick against Michigan.
But he got the last laugh this
week with his Minnesota pick.
Maybe now the rest of the beat
will ditch its hometown bias.
Stephanie was bummed that
she ruined her perfect record
on best bets, but winning the
week made her feel a little
better. Now she's in the lead for
best bets and overall record.
Gabe and Matt had solid
weeks, each finishing one
game above .500. But Matt
feels pretty dumb about picking
Michigan as his best bet. (He
is from Minnesota, after all.)
For a celebrity, Stanford had an
average week, tying Ian with a
7-10 record. Most impressive,
Stanford was the only one
to pick Oregon, which beat
Arizona State by 14. Well done.
Continued from page 1B
Glen Mason would only let him put the ball in
someone else's hands. But somehow, that worked
for the Gophers.
With less than three minutes remaining, and
with its starting quarterback out, Minnesota
looked content to take it to overtime and see
what happened. Instead, the Gophers won a game
that they'd been waiting 19 years for.
After the loss, no Michigan player or coach hid
the fact that he knew Minnesota was going to run
on that fateful third-and-10. But even with that
knowledge, the defense let sophomore Gary Rus-
sell scamper 61 yards for a first down to take the
No one really could explain what was going on.
"We were in what we call 'backer support,'
where that ball should be turned in by our out-
side linebacker," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "I think he got blocked. From my van-
tage point, it looked like the ball got outside of
him. Then we didn't get the rotation we needed
because we knew they were going to run the foot-
ball. That's the frustrating, discouraging thing
about that play."
Said senior co-captain Pat Massey: "We didn't
play well. That's for sure. Especially when we
have the game in our hands like that and we don't
come up with a stop. It's a poor performance."
Frustration is probably the perfect word for
what most Michigan fans are feeling right now.
Many were probably asking, "How the hell can
they give up a play like that when they knew
Minnesota was going to run the ball?!"
That's difficult to answer, and I don't have the
solution. But this game is just an example of how
the Wolverines' season has gone this year - a
few highs and way too many lows.
Early on, the game looked like it was Michigan's
for the taking. The Wolverines marched down the
field and kicked a field goal. I'm pretty sure most
Michigan fans were thinking that this was going to
be just like many of the last 16 games.
Luck and good fortune were on the Wolver-
ines' side. On Michigan's first drive. Mark Losli
Penn State heads into its first matchup with the Wolverines since 2002 as the
only undefeated team left in the Big Ten. While the Nittany Lions are riding high,
Michigan has suffered its worst start in 1i years. But that doesn't mean Penn State
will cruise to an easy victory. If the recent history between these two storied pro-
grams shows anything, it's that nothing is predictable when Michigan and Penn
State face off. Michigan has won the last five games despite the fact that Penn
State was ranked higher in two of the contests.
Here's a look back at the last five games in the series.
2002 - No. 13 Michigan 27, No. 15 Penn State 24 (OT)
Quarterback John Navarre connected with Braylon Edwards for a touchdown to
tie the score at 21 late in the fourth quarter and send the game into overtime.
Michigan won the toss and chose to begin overtime on defense. On the Nittany
Lion's thirddown play, Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson broke up a pass to
force Penn State to kick a field for a 24-21 lead. The Wolverines took posses-
sion, and, on third-and-one, tailback Chris Perry scored a touchdown to give
Michigan a 27-24 win,
2001 - No. 15 Michigan 20, Penn State 0
Michigan handed Joe Paterno his first home shutout in 36 years of coaching.
In a display of defensive dominance, the Wolverines held Penn State to just
25 rushing yards on 26 carries. Michigan's defense recorded four sacks and
two interceptions and recovered a fumble. Linebacker Victor Hobson notched
nine tackles to lead all Michigan defenders. On the offensive side of the ball,
Navarre finished with 246 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-31 passing.
2000 - No. 20 Michigan 33, Penn State 11
Tailback Anthony Thomas amassed 171 yards on 35 carries in the Wolver-
ines' win - the 21st time he topped 100 yards rushing in his Michigan career
- and moved into second place on the all time rushing list. The Nittany
Lions started the scoring with a field goal late in the first quarter but didn't
score again until the middle of the fourth. Michigan quarterback Drew Henson
finished with 212 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-29 passing.
1999 - No. 16 Michigan 31, No. 6 Penn State 27
With 1:46 remaining in the second half, quarterback Tom Brady threw an
11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marcus Knight to give Michigan
the victory. The Wolverines came back from a 27-17 deficit to upset the