The women's basketball
team opens its season
with a loss ... and a win.
Dear Chad, it's time to step up.
The SportsMonday Column
A SEASON ENDS
Only Mike Woods will compete for the men's
cross country team at the NCAA Championships.
MICHIGAN 41, Indiana 14
Blue for big game
ver since the final second ticked
off the clock in Michigan's win
over Northwestern two weeks
ago, the Wolverines have
tried to convince us that
they weren't looking
ahead to Ohio State. One
after the other, from the
start of the bye week,
they claimed Indiana
had a solid defense and
talented players at the
skill positions - in other
words, they said exactly
what they had to say. But STEP
how many of us actually WR
believed them? Lloyd
Carr confessed on Sat- Wright
urday that he never stops
thinking about the Buckeyes, and I'm
sure the players would admit a similar
fixation if they could.
Not that they have to - the Wol-
verines' 41-14 drubbing of Indiana
said it for them.
Unless you sported cream and
crimson on Saturday (and even if you
did), I'm sure there was no doubt in
your mind that Michigan would beat
the Hoosiers, and beat them handily.
More than likely, even the Indiana
faithful expected to leave the Big
House with a loss. So the major story-
line from Saturday's game wasn't the
41 points Michigan put up in the first
half or the single touchdown allowed
by its starting defense. It was how
prepared the Wolverines looked for
As Michigan dusted off its play-
book and showed off a string of rarely
used formations, the other football
writers and I debated Carr's motiva-
tion for shaking things up. I think
it's pretty clear that those plays were
designed to send a message to the
Buckeyes. Carr proved his offense can
move the ball through the air and on
the ground, with or without tailback
Mike Hart - even if it was playing
lowly Indiana. But Michigan's prepa-
ration for Ohio State goes deeper than
With the exception of their 55-0
thrashing of Eastern Michigan, the
Wolverines hadn't scored more than
34 points in a game this
season. In most years,
their average of 28.3
points per contest would
be enough to keep up
with the conservative,
run-oriented offenses in
the Big Ten.
But Michigan is the
team in the conference
IANIE this season, and Ohio
:GHT State has put up at least
HTe 40 points in four straight
ni Target games. The Wolverines
scored in a hurry on Sat-
urday, and even though those points
came against an average Indiana
defense, six touchdowns in a single
half is still impressive.
Then again, Ohio State's defense
has dominated all season. The Buck-
eyes currently rank third in the nation
in total defense, allowing fewer than
300 yards per game and fewer than 80
on the ground. Even the Wolverines'
rejuvenated offense can't expect to
move the ball at will against Ohio
State. Freshman tailback Kevin Grady
played his best game in a Michigan
uniform with 94 yards and two touch-
downs on 14 carries, and he displayed
far more patience and vision than
he has in the past. But the Buckeyes
possess one of the best linebacking
corps in the country - topped off
by the dominating A.J. Hawk and
Michigan will struggle to establish
its running game this weekend. The
offense's trickery and Steve Breaston's
electrifying all-around performance
on Saturday gave Ohio State some-
thing to chew on this week.
Even so, it doesn't matter how
many points Michigan can score if
it can't contain the Buckeyes, which
was its biggest problem last season.
At the same time, of Ohio State's four
40-plus point performances, only one
See WRIGHT, page 5B
Linebacker Prescott Burgess (6) returns an interception during Saturday's blowout win over Indiana.
crushes Indiana with first-half burst
By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Editor
The critics said that, coming off a bye week, Michi-
gan would be flat against Indiana. The doubters said the
Wolverines would be peeking ahead, thinking about next
week's showdown with Ohio State. And it looked as if they
might be right - for a little more than three minutes.
The Hoosiers made football look easy on their first
possession, driving 77 yards on seven plays to go up
by seven early on a deep pass to wide receiver Jahkeen
Gilmore. But they needed a lot more than that.
By the time Michigan left the field with a 41-14 vic-
tory, the majority of Michigan Stadium's 110,580 fans
were long gone, and the majority of the starters were off
the field as well. What started as a possibly challeng-
ing Big Ten football game - with Indiana needing a
win to become bowl eligible - ended in a romp and a
showcase of talent for the Wolverines (4-3 Big Ten, 7-3
overall), who now need a win against Ohio State and a
Penn State loss to Michigan State next week for a share
of the Big Ten title and trip to a BCS game.
"We still need a few balls to bounce our way," defen-
sive lineman Gabe Watson said. "And hopefully, that
will still happen. But it's nice after starting off slow and
being on a roller coaster to win one and lose one and in
the final stretch start to win."
The star of the talent show was wide receiver Steve
Breaston, who returned to Rose Bowl form. The redshirt
See HOOSIERS, page 5B
By David VandeVusse
* Daily Sports Writer
In a sport of individuals, it was the team that got it done.
On Saturday in Bloomington, the No. 3 Michigan wom-
en's cross country team successfully defended its 2004
regional crown and beat out second-place Notre Dame by
* the narrow margin of 52-68. With a first-place finish in the
32-team field, the Wolverines earned an automatic trip to
next week's NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.
"Our team ran really great," sophomore Alyson Kohl-
meier said. "It was a total team effort."
The Wolverines ran in packs throughout the six kilo-
meter race, placing three runners in the top-10 and five in
"(It's motivating) to run as a team," Kohlmeier said.
"You don't want to let your teammates down because you
know they're working just as hard as you are."
Michigan has been a model of consistency all season,
winning each of its nine meets. But on Saturday, taking
first wasn't the ultimate goal.
"It was a qualifying meet," coach Mike McGuire said.
"We just wanted to focus on what we needed to do to get
to next week.
"We were really trying to match up well with Notre
Dame and run the meet as a team."
T +tnn-twn m .n nA, in the, reinn - Michigan ani
Wolverines go up north, get
series sweep of Wildcats
By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
MARQUETTE - Michigan freshman Brandon
Naurato's teammates say he has the
hardest shot on the team. Ironically,
he notched his first career two-goal
game on Saturday night with two
weaker shots that found their ways
through Northern Michigan goalten-
der Bill Zaniboni and into the back of
the net. Naurato's second goal gave
No. 2 Michigan a 4-3 overtime victory against the Wild-
cats, completing a sweep that began with Friday night's
"Oddly enough, I think if you ranked the shots on our
team, Brandon Naurato has the best shot on the team,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "But, these weren't his
two best shots. Maybe (Zaniboni) knew him and expected
a better shot and for that reason missed them. They were
timely goals that show one thing - get your shots on the
net, and you never know what will happen."
Naurato lofted in the game-winner from just inside the
blue line with 3:39 remaining. After the puck bounced
through several Wildcats into the open ice, Naurato reacted
to the cry of freshman teammate Andrew Cogliano, who
quickly urged Naurato to throw the puck toward the net.
"I heard Cogliano yelling when I got the puck," Naurato
said. "So I was just trying to shoot it to the far side, hoping
to get a rebound."
Much to Naurato's surprise, the shot found its way into
the short side of the net.
"(My first reaction was) 'How'd that go in?"' Naurato
said. "I just tried getting that last one on net, and it was just
one of those fluke things that goes in."
Naurato's first goal of the evening was just as surpris-
ing. After serving a five-minute major penalty for forward
TravisTurnbull, who, along with forward Jason Bailey was
one of two Wolverines given a game misconduct during
the second period on Saturday, Naurato picked up an open
puck at the Northern Michigan blue line that slid through
with the aid of junior Jason Dest and freshman Tim Mill-
er. After he crossed the blue line, Naurato wristed a shot
See WILDCATS, page 8B
Freshman Brandon Naurato scored a pair of goals against Northern
Michigan on Saturday, including the game-winner in overtime.
By David Spielman
Daily Sports Writer
season over after NCAA loss
behind 3-1, and the team could not put enough
pressure on its opponent to make up the dif-
ference. Junior Goalkeener Beth Riley kept the
shot when we had a point-blank opportunity.
Those are the type of things we need to take
away from this match in order to make the
captain Lori Hillman's acclaimed career. The
defenseman, who was awarded her second
consecutive Big Ten Tournament MVP last