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October 31, 2005 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-31

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 31, 2005 - 5B

The Daily
Dashboard
After every game of the
2005 season, The Michigan
Daily's football writers will
take you for a ride in Lloyd's
ca. 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
-now well the Wolverines
manage to step their oppo-
nents.
The Carr-o-meter is a rough
gauge of head coach Lloyd
Carr's opinion of his team's
play, as judged from his
postgame comments.
The Hypemeter provides
our opinion of how well the
fans supported the Wildcats
compared to the Michigan
fans in Evanston. Volume,
consistency and awareness
are all considered.
Rush Yards is a straightfor-
ward measure of Michigan's
ground yardage total in each
game, Since an effective run-
zning game is crucial to post
season success -epecially
for this year's squad, which is
loaded at running back - this
statistic figures to be a consis-
tently important indicator..

I

i

Defensive Intensity

Carr-o-meter

Hypemeter

Rush Yards

It has been a running theme for the defense all sea-
son. It plays extremely well for part of the game
but also manages to give up chunks of yards and
points. This time, though, despite giving up over
400 yards, the Wolverines' defense played its best
game of the year. The Wildcats' two touchdowns
came on long passing plays, and one of them was
blown coverage by the Michigan secondary. After
giving up 17 points in the first half, the Wolverines
shut out Northwestern in the second half, forcing
five punts and getting two turnovers on downs.
Great job, defense.

It would be an understatement to say that Lloyd
Carr was pleased with the defensive effort on
Saturday. Carr sang the unit's praises through-
out his post-game comments. The coach also
seemed especially satisfied with Michigan's
special teams, calling special attention to
Ross Ryan's kickoffs for touchbacks and Gar-
rett Rivas's solid placekicking performance.
But Carr made sure his defense remained in
the limelight, calling attention to the fact that
Northwestern's high-powered offensive attack
was shut down in the second half.

Granted, Northwestern isn't known for its rau-
cous fans, but that was pathetic. Yeah, the sta-
dium sucks, and the students probably have a lot
of studying to do, but it was a night game against
Michigan. The fans at this institution of higher
learning definitely didn't come to play this week-
end. Wolverine fans get a bad rap for their lack
of noise and enthusiasm, but compared to those
purple sad sacks, we're like SEC fans. At the
end of the game, it looked like a miniature home
game for the Wolverines; the stands had emptied
and Michigan fans were the last ones left.

For the second week in a row, Jerome Jackson
and Kevin Grady shouldered the rushing load in
place of the injured Mike Hart. But this week's
running attack was far more potent than last
week's version against Iowa. Jackson topped
the 100-yard mark, and Grady looked more
mobile with his cuts. The Wolverines' 58 rushing
attempts controlled the clock, giving Michigan
possession for more than 38 minutes. Receivers
Antonio Bass, Mario Manningham and Steve
Breaston also registered a few carries to make a
contribution. Overall, a rock-solid ground game.

a e idhtgatt Baffu
STAFF PICKS
Predictions against the
spread for 10/29/05

i

Honest Gabe Sir Ian
Edelson Herbert

No. 25 Michigan (-3) at No. 21 Northwestern
Washington State (+30) at No. 1 Southern Cal
No. 2 Texas (-37.5) at Oklahoma State
No. 4 Georgia (+4) at No. 16 Florida
Utah State (+34) at No. 5 Alabama
North Carolina (+20.5) at No. 6 Miami
North Texas (+43.5) at No. 7 Louisiana State
No. 8 UCLA (-7.5) at Stanford
Maryland (+17.5) at No. 10 Florida State
Purdue (+15.5) at No. 11 Penn State
No. 12 Ohio State (-4) at Minnesota
No. 15 Wisconsin (-21) at Illinois
No. 17 Texas Tech (-12.5) at Baylor
Mississippi (+20) at No. 19 Auburn
No. 20 Texas Christian (-7) at San Diego State
No. 22 Fresno State (-13) at Hawaii
South Carolina (+14) at No. 23 Tennessee
Indiana (+18) at Michigan State
Best Bet
Record this week:
Record

Michigan
Southern Cal
Oklahoma State
Georgia
Alabama
North Carolina
Louisiana State
UCLA
Florida State
Penn State
Ohio State
Wisconsin
Texas Tech
Mississippi
TCU
Hawaii
South Carolina
Michigan State
UCLA
10-8 (0-1)
6"003 (35)

Northwestern
Southern Cal
Oklahoma State
Florida
Utah State
Miami
North Texas
UCLA
Florida State
Purdue
Ohio State
Wisconsin
Texas Tech
Auburn
TCU
Fresno State
South Carolbna
Michigan State
TCU
10-8 (0-1)
55643 (3.5)

Minnesota Viking on sex cruise
Matt Venegoni
Northwestern
Southern Cal
Oklahoma State
Georgia
Alabama
Miami
North Texas
UCLA
Maryland
Penn State
Ohio State
Wisconsin
Texas Tech
Auburn
TCU
Fresno State
Tennessee
Michigan State
O)o State
10-8 (1-0)
70-593 (44)

Don Vito Stephanie
Wright
Northwestern
Southern Cal
Texas
Georgia
Alabama
Miami
North Texas
UCLA
Florida State
Penn State
Ohio State
Illinois
Texas Tech
Auburn
TCU
Fresno State
Tennessee
Michigan State
TCU
8-10 (0-1)
6S (5a3)

John
Navarre
Michigan
Washington State
Oklahoma State
Florida
Alabama
North Carolina
Louisiana State
UCLA
Florida State
Penn State
Ohio State
Wisconsin
Texas Tech
Auburn
TCU
Fresno State
Tennessee
Indiana
Ohio State
10-8 (1-0)
53463(2.5)

Matt the new overall
leader in picks
Matt played quarterback
in high school; John
Navarre is a quarterback.
It looks like you needed
to be one to get the best
bet correct this week. Matt
and John were on the same
wavelength, picking Ohio
State as their sure thing.
With her subpar effort,
Stephanie lost her lead to
Matt and is now tied for
second place with Gabe,
who continued to climb
in the standings with
another winning week.
Ian stayed close to the
lead pack by matching
John, Gabe and Matt at
10-8. Ian now sits five
games behind first place.
The prognosticators all
head into the season's
final stretch with records
over .500. It's neck and
neck to the finish.

WI LDCATS
Continued from page 1B
six scramble on Michigan's final
scoring drive.
But with more than seven min-
utes left on the clock, the Wolver-
ines' 16-point lead was hardly safe.
Although Northwestern had gained
just 73 yards in the second half, it
had proven how quickly it could
score in the first quarter when it
drove 80 yards in 37 seconds for its
first touchdown.
Plus, Michigan has struggled all
season to stop offenses at the end

of games.
But the Wolverines held the Wild-
cats to 54 yards on their final two
drives, the last of which ended when
Michigan safety Brandon Harrison
broke up a Brett Basanez pass on
fourth-and-6 to give the ball back
to Michigan with just under three
minutes remaining.
"We came into (halftime) and
said, 'Eliminate big plays and we'll
have a chance to shut them out in
the second half,' " defensive tackle
Gabe Watson said. "They have a
good team - a great offense - but
we just pulled it out."

EDELSON Y
Continued from page 11B
for 174 yards, with three picks and
one passing touchdown. Center Adam
Kraus hurt his right knee, adding to
the long list of problems on the offen-
sive line this season.
Taking the above information into )
account, you might have predicted
another devastating loss and a contin-
uation of the tailspin the team found
itself in over the season's first six
weeks. But instead, the Wolverines
return to Ann Arbor with a three-
game winning streak, heightened
confidence and a foundation for suc-
cess in the coming years.
It's hard to deny that Michigan is
laying the groundwork for a bright
future. This team's poise and experi-
ence have been forged in the crucible
of high-pressure, down-to-the-wire
finishes. Its depth has blossomed due
to seemingly unfortunate injuriesal e fse
and illnesses. Its fortunes have been .
boosted by contributions from previ-
ously obscure individuals.
After all the Wolverines have been
through this season, was it really so
surprising that the tag team of Jerome
Jackson and Kevin Grady combined
for 169 yards and a touchdown on 44
carries in place of Hart?
That third-string tight end Mike k
Massey caught a touchdown pass
- instead of primary receiver Jason
Avant or top tight ends Tim Mas-
saquoi or Tyler Ecker - to help the
Wolverines pull away in the second
quarter?
That reserve linebacker Shawn
Crable set the tone to open the second Dav oTUMAN/Daily

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