4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 14, 2005
Michigan 41, Indiana 14
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
The numbers speak for themselves.
After the first half of Saturday's game against
Indiana, receiver Steve Breaston had accumu-
lated 201 all-purpose yards on just eight touches
- an average of over 25 yards per play. The
entire Hoosiers team managed a paltry 167 in
the same span.
The slippery, elusive and fleet-footed return
specialist embarrassed Indiana nearly every
time he touched the pigskin in the game's
opening 30 minutes. After the Hoosiers scored
the game's first touchdown, Breaston took the
ensuing kickoff back 47 yards into Indiana
territory by cutting, faking and outrunning
would-be tacklers. If it weren't for defensive
back Eric McClurg's angle on Breaston near
the sideline, the runback might have gone all
the way for a score.
It appeared Breaston gave away another
excellent chance at a touchdown on the final
play of the first quarter, when the redshirt
junior pulled away from several Hoosiers,
bounced to the right sideline, cut back toward
the middle of the field and then steered him-
self directly into Indiana defenders on the right
side. The left side of the field was devoid of
any opponents, but Breaston's 53-yard return
still got the Wolverines down to the Hoosiers'
"I'm kind of upset if I don't make a big play,"
Breaston said. "It's all about playing your role.
If the ball comes to me, I have to do something
left shoulder and into his hands. It was just
Breaston's second receiving touchdown of
Breaston also contributed to Michigan's run-
ning game. In the second quarter, the receiver
took a reverse from running back Jerome Jack-
son and raced to the right sideline. Quarterback
Chad Henne put a solid block on Troy Grosfield
by taking out his legs. The hit freed Breaston
for a 30-yard gain to set up Jackson's six-yard
scoring run three plays later.
"It was a good block," Henne said. "I felt good
about myself. Coach Carr was busting my butt
all week about, 'Are you ever going to block
somebody?' I was like, 'I'll get my chance.'''
Breaston involved himself in the passing
game, too, when he attempted a pass in the sec-
Breaston even managed to help his team
without running for big yardage. When No.
15 took a hard hit from Hoosiers cornerback
Tracy Porter before fielding the ball on an
Indiana first-quarter punt, the subsequent
kick-catch interference penalty put the Wol-
verines at the Hoosiers' 47-yard line and set
up Michigan's go-ahead touchdown pass from
Henne to receiver Jason Avant. Breaston lay
face-down on the turf for a moment after
being shaken up on the play, but the collision
didn't seem to have any aftereffects, with 154
of Breaston's all-purpose yards coming after
Porter's blatant foul.
"It's football," Breaston said. "It happens. It's
a physical game, and I could have got hit like
that during the play. So everybody has to get
Breaston wasn't involved in the Wolverines'
second-half plans, spending most of the third
and fourth quarters on the bench. But Michi-
gan's return ace had already put his stamp on
"He's got an instinct," coach Lloyd Carr said.
"I think it takes a fearlessness to take the ball
when you know that there's 10 or 11 guys run-
ning right at you. It takes a fearlessness to accel-
erate. I think the human part of it is to try to
pick your way, and Steve has the instinct that is
born into great punt returners. He will hit the
crease, he will accelerate, and certainly he did
Time of Poss
Massey. M. 1
I C H I G A N
Receiver and return specialist Steve Breaston picked up 201 all-purpose yards on Saturday - in the first half.
Even when Breaston dropped a punt in the
second quarter, he scooped the ball up and
squeezed a 25-yard return out of the play. The
sequence moved Breaston into second place
for all-time Big Ten career punt return yard-
age. The electrifying athlete passed Anthony
Carter to become the Wolverine with the
most returns and return yards in school his-
tory, as well.
"It wouldn't be wise to (punt to Breaston),"
linebacker David Harris said. "But if they press
their luck, they get burned."
Said tight end Tim Massaquoi: "(Breaston) is
just a magnificent, dynamic player. You never
know when he's going to do it, but we're always
ready for him to (make big plays)."
Breaston hauled in three catches for 46
yards, including a perfectly executed 11-
yard touchdown catch on a corner route at
the end of the second quarter. He cut to the
left side of the end zone and distanced him-
self from defensive backs Damien Jones and
Chris Phillips before the ball floated over his
Trick plays and new formations abound
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Editor
Yds Avg Lg
47 47.0 47
47 47.0 47
Boring. Conservative. Unimaginative.
Those were just a few complaints heard during the Wol-
verines' first nine games. But against Indiana - of all teams
- Michigan delved deeper into the offensive playbook and
showed some of the tricks up its sleeve.
Although the Hoosiers had been giving up over 200 yards
of rushing per game, the Wolverines didn't pound the ball
as expected. The varied looks came right from the get-go on
Michigan's first possession.
On first-and-10 from the Indiana 34-yard line, Chad Henne
took the snap and play-action faked to running back Kevin
Grady. As Henne rolled to his left, he looked for Tyler Ecker,
but the 6-foot-6 tight end was covered. He tucked the ball and
ran for two yards. It wasn't a huge gain or even a new play,
but Michigan showed that it was willing to do whatever was
necessary to put Indiana away early.
"We just came out and figured we could express our offense a
little bit more," Henne said. "And the plays that we do have that are
just kind of simplified, we complicated them and made them bigger
plays and just added bigger attributes to the play."
Saturday's game also showed what versatile freshman Antonio
Bass means to the offense. Getting his most extensive playing time
this season, the Jackson native lined up both in the backfield and as
a receiver against the Hoosiers. In the backfield as a running back
on Michigan's first offensive series, Bass went in motion. And in
the same formation on the Wolverines' second series, Bass took a
toss from Henne around the right side. The quick receiver slipped
an Indiana defender, then spun forward for a nine-yard gain and a
"I think during the course of the season we've tried to find
ways to get Antonio Bass more involved in the game ... the
same with (freshman) Mario (Manningham) ... so we can
spread the ball so that we're not just a team that relies on
(wide receivers) Jason Avant or Steve Breaston," Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr said. "So I think that really diversifies us
more than we were at the beginning of the season."
Tosses and new formations were just the tip of the iceberg
for Carr and the rest of the Michigan coaching staff. Lead-
ing 20-7 in the second quarter, the Wolverines came out in a
typical formation. At the snap, Henne looked to his left and
threw a pass in the flat to Breaston. But because the pass was
a lateral, Breaston could throw the pigskin back across the
field to a wide open Henne. Unfortunately, Breaston - a for-
mer quarterback in high school - couldn't make the throw.
If completed, Henne had a caravan of blockers to lead him
down the field.
"I just didn't step into it. I threw it flat-footed," Breaston
said. "(The Buckeyes aren't) worried about my arm."
With Michigan chugging away in the second quarter, Carr
BIG TEN STANDINGS
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THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MICHIGAN 41, Indiana 14
MINNESOTA 41, Michigan State 18
OHIO STATE 48, Northwestern 7
Iowa 20, WISCoNSIN 10
PURDUE 37, Illinois 3
Freshman receiver Antonio Bass saw time out wide and in the backfield during Michigan's 41-14 win over Indiana on Saturday.
kept the trick plays coming. Leading 27-7, Michigan ran a in motion to line up in the Wolverines' diamond formation
reverse to Breaston. The receiver gained 30 yards on the and Michigan used Bass as a decoy several times on fake end
play. The Wolverines had complete control of the game in arounds. Whether the coaching meant to or not, the Buckeyes
the first half, but still showed a couple new formations that will have to worry about the new plays since Michigan had
Ohio State will have to prepare for. Mario Manningham went success on most of them.
Northern Illinois W, 33-17
Notre Dame L, 10-17
Eastern Michigan W, 55-0
at Wisconsin L, 20-23
at Michigan State W, 34-31
Minnesota L, 20-23
Penn State W, 27-25
at Iowa W, 23-20
at Northwestern W, 33-17
Indiana W, 41-14
Ohio State 1 P.M.
SO MUCH FOR THAT: In past weeks,
many fans and media personalities have
worried about the possibility of more
than two teams being undefeated. The
main culprit was Alabama - it had
reeled off nine straight wins. But those
victories came despite not having scored
an offensive touchdown for over 14 quar-
ters. The Crimson Tide had been relying
on defense and special teams, but this
week Louisiana State had just enough
offense to beat Rose Bowl-hopeful Ala-
bama. Tigers quarterback JaMarcus Rus-
sell threw an overtime touchdown pass
to cap the victory for Louisiana State.
MORE SEC EXCITEMENT: The Ala-
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HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
Associated Press Poll for the week of Nov. 6
Games updated through Nov. 12
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Southern Cal
5. Louisiana State
6. Penn State
7. Notre Dame
8. Virginia Tech
10. Ohio State
.n - . . _ T- . .
beat California 35-10
beat Kansas 66-14
beat Wake Forest 47-17
lost to LSU 16-13
beat Alabama 16-13
beat Navy 42-21
lost to Auburn 31-30
beat Northwestern 48-7
beat Washington 34-31
lost to South Carolina 30-22
at Michigan State
1. Southern Cal (56)
2. Texas (9)
4. Louisiana State
5. Penn State
6. Notre Dame
7. Virginia Tech
9. Ohio State
13. West Virginia
16. Fresno State