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October 19, 2005 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-19

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The Michigan Daily - SportsWednesday - October 19, 2005 - 58

The Daily
'After evrty game of the
2()05' son, The Michigan
Dlaily's footbll writers will
taeyou for a ride in Lkoyd's
.ar. The gatuges.all refer to.
different variables that will
*fluctuate from week to week,
depending on how the team
*a nd fans perform.
'Deesive Intensity is a
measure of - you guesse it.
-how well. the Wolverines
manage to stp their oppo-
The Carr~.ieter is a rough'
gauge of head c4>ach Lloyd
.Carr's opinion of his team's
.play, as judged from his
7The Hypemeter provides
our opinion of how well
.you, the fans, sulported the>
Wo4verines. Volune, consis-
tency and awarenss wilI all
be considered.
Rushrds is astraightfor-
.ward measure of Michigan's
grudyardage ttl in each
ge.Since an effective
running game is crucial to
postseason success - espe-
eiaUly for tis year's squad,
which is loaded at running
back ~- this statistic figuires
to be a consistently lmpor' .
tant frndicator.

Defensive Intensity



Rush Yards

For three quarters, the Michigan defense looked
like a top-lO unit. Led again by redshirt junior
David Harris, the linebackers were flying all over
the field. Even with two players making their
first career starts at safety, the Wolverines held
the Nittany Lions to three points and thoroughly
dominated before the final 15 minutes. But then
something happened: The defense softened a bit
when it mattered most. On Penn State's final drive,
Michigan could not stop Michael Robinson's legs.
In the end, the offense bailed the defense out, but
the defense needs to play the whole game.

Carr was very happy with his team's last-sec-
ond win. Shocking -- we know. He called the
defense "sensational," praised his defensive
coaches (including much-maligned coordinator
Jim Herrmann) and marveled at Chad Henne's
poise at the end of the game. It's hard to fault
Carr for his nearly limitless glee. After all,
Mario Manningham will be suiting up in Maize
and Blue for the next few years. Carr did take
some time out to criticize the media for their
treatment of Henne, but overall, it seemed as if
nothing could rain on Carr's parade.

You guys really like the 3:30 starts. Hey, we
don't blame you; you can drink more and then
be louder. Much like the game, the first three
quarters were nothing to get too excited about.
Without much offense, we can't be too hard on
you for not being real vociferious. But once the
game got interesting, the crowd got into it. Sure
there was some dejection after the fumble recov-
ery by Penn State, but on the Nittany Lions'
last drive you gave Michigan a real home-field
advantage. And once Manningham caught the
game-winner, you went wild. Well done.

Michigan's ground game had a decent outing
against Penn State. Mike Hart was his usually
remarkable self. The sophomore carried just 23
times for 108 yards and a score, but his block-
ing was typically excellent and his tough runs
- especially his jaw-dropping, grueling, 11-yard
third-down run on the Wolverines' final drive
- were particularly memorable. Kevin Grady
and Antonio Bass also got involved, combining
for 51 yards and averaging over seven yards per
carry. Bass's runs from the quarterback position
gave Michigan a boost earlier in the game.

Predictions against the
spread for 10/15/05
No. 8 Penn State (+3.5) at Michigan
No. 1 SouteCl (-172)tat No. 9 Notre Dame
No. Flrda State (7)at Virgirbiat
No. 6 Alabama (-13) at Mississippi
No. 11 Florida (+6) at No. 10 Louisiana St ate
No, i2 UC LA (-.5) at Washington State
Kansas State (+14) at No. 13 Texas Tech
Wak. Forst (+I4) at No. 14 Boston College



Forida Stae

Texas Tech
Boston College
Ohio State
Oriegon Sate
8-9 (1-)

Penn State
Forida State

Stephanie Otto the Orange
Wright Syracuse Mascot

Notre Dame
Florida State
Texas Tech
Boston College
Ohio State

Soter Cal
Kansas State
Wake Forest
Mic higan State
Oregon State
Florida State
43-51-2 (1-5)

Matt comes thivugh
with lone winning record
Otto the Orange took some
time off cheering for Syracuse
athletics to make picks opposite
the football writers this week
He needed the distraction,
considering the football team
he's forced to support every
week -the Oageloto
and sits at l-5 on the season.
Otto, who replaced the longtime
mact inte1990s di ary
well - in celebrity teims
-this week with an 8-9 mark.
Matt was the lone picker over
.500, but Ian was the only
one who nailed his best bet.
Stephanie maintained her
tenuous hold on the lead, but
just four games separate her
from fourth-place Gabe.
Overall, it was an unimpressive
week for picking against the
spread, but all the football
writers still have winning
records on the season so far.

No. 16 Michigan State (+6.5) at No. 15 OhIo State Ohio State

Oregon State (+16) at No. 1$ California
No. 19 Louisville (-7) at West Virginia
Washington (+15) at No. 20 Oregon
No. 23 W sconsin (off)Tat No. 22 Minnesota
Best Bet

Oregon State

Continued from page lB
put Michigan on the 10-yard line - the
launching pad for the most important
play of the Wolverines' season.
Michigan's search for a deep-threat
receiver and playmaker came to an end
under the dark sky on Saturday, as Man-
ningham was carried off the field on his
teammate's shoulders.
No, Manningham - at six feet tall
and 183 pounds - doesn't have the
extra three inches and 25 pounds that
Braylon Edwards carried on his gifted
frame last season. And we haven't seen
the first-year stud showcase the leaping
ability that made No. 1 seem automatic
on jump-balls from Henne in 2004. But
when Manningham is one-on-one with
* an unlucky defensive back and the ball
is thrown his way, I just have a gut feel-
ing that he's going to make something
happen. And I can't say I've ever felt the
same way about any receiver - college
or pro - in my lifetime, aside from
* Edwards.
Manningham hails fromn Warren,
Ohio, located in the heart of Buckeye
country. Ironically, it's just about an hour
away from Cleveland, the city Edwards
now calls home with the NFL's Browns.
In 2001, Edwards's freshman season,
he had just three catches for 38 yards.
In six games this season, Manningham
has 16 receptions for 296 yards and five
Manningham isn't better than
Edwards. And he's definitely not the
same type of wideout. I don't even want
to compare the two.
But Manningham fills much of the
void left by Edwards's departure. Red-
shirt junior Steve Breaston has tried hard
to become Michigan's speed receiver, but

Jason Avant remains the Wolverines'
possession expert. The senior co-captain
has performed superbly, with 53 grabs
for 662 yards and five touchdowns. Man-
ningham's style is a perfect complement
to that of Avant, who relishes going over
the middle to make difficult, physical
When Mann ingham gets unleashed,
he tends to make extraordinary plays.
The freshman scored a touchdown on
a 49-yard flea flicker at Wisconsin. His
43-yard score at Michigan State came on
a post route set up by a play-action fake.
Both touchdowns on Saturday followed
typical dropbacks by Henne.
But no matter what the scenario, Man-
ningham has found ways to cross the
goal line. He has scored on nearly a third
of his touches this year. The first catch
of his Wolverine career was a 25-yard
touchdown - Michigan's only score
of the day - in the desperate closing
minutes against Notre Dame. Manning-
ham is credited with three of Michigan's
four longest passing plays in 2005, and
they've all been good for six points.
I'd like to see Manningham get more
playing time, even if that means replac-
ing Breaston in the starting lineup.
Wouldn't you like his chances going
against opposing cornerbacks on an
every-down basis? From what he's
shown us so far, he's earned it. His on-
field production speaks for itself..
Sure, 1 know he's only an inexperi-
enced freshman with one career start.
I'm also aware that start came against
Eastern Michigan. He's never had five
catches in his college career, and he
doesn't always show up yet -- two
catches for 15 yards against Min-
nesota provides an indication of his
inconsistency. .
Still, Mario Manningham is going to

Continued from page 1B
he took off and picked up seven yards. But as
he was going down, Zemaitis stripped the ball
and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.
"It was just a stupid mistake on my part,
thinking I'm bigger than what I am, trying
to run over the corner," Henne said. "You
just got to forget about it and move on to the
next play. And that's exactly what we did.
We marched down the field and scored."
But even after scoring on the bomb to
Manningham, the Wolverines had their
work cut out for them. They had let Penn
State convert a two-point conversion after the
Robinson touchdown run. "Convert" might
be the wrmng word for what Penn State did.
A botched snap forced Kevin Kelly, the Nit-
tany Lions' 5-foot-7, 175-pound freshman
kicker, to run the ball in for two points. So
Michigan gave the ball to Hart for a three-
yard scoring run that tied the game at 18.
"I said to myself, 'You know, this isn't fair.
This is not fair,' " Carr admitted afterwards.

The team has had its fair share of misfor-
tune this year - from losing Hart to injury
before the Notre Dame game to giving up a
61-yard run to Minnesota when the Gophers
were trying to run out the clock.
But against undefeated Penn State, the
breaks went Michigan's way. Place kicker
Garrett Rivas, who was inconsistent in last
week's loss to Minnesota, connected on
two field goals, including a 47 yarder that
put Michigan ahead 21-18 with less than
four minutes left.
In all, the two teams scored 39 points in
the final quarter - a quarter that saw the
lead change hands four times. This time,
the Wolverines (2-2 Big Ten, 4-3 over-
all) left Michigan Stadium just one game
behind the conference leaders - although
six teams are tied atop the Big Ten with one
conference loss.
"We still have a chance to compete
for the Big Ten championship," LaMarr
Woodley said. "It depends on what actually
goes on. We're still in the race; we just have
to finish off strong."

To Henne, the game may have had a
little more significance than others. Henne,
a Wyomissing, Pa., native, was pressured
heavily to go to Penn State, and the quar-
terback had over 100 friends and family

members at the game.
"Just like my (high school) coach and
I said, 'We can go back home,' " Henne
said. "It'd be embarrassing if we went back
home with a loss."

Gain real world, egperence a
The Miehigani DaiAy Po0itons av~Aiable duing p)rng,
Suxmmer, an FalI semsters.


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