WILDCATS, WILD TIMES
Michigan drops a close
match to Northwestern on
Saturday, making this week-
end's contests must wins.
Saturday's game shouldn't have surprised
anyone; it followed a familiar pattern
The SportsMonday Column
'M' HATES WHO?
You know who Michigan's rivals are in
football and basketball, but Blue's rivals
in other sports may surprise you.
November 21, 2005
able0 w donl BiG 2
ho 1 _ MxHIA 21
Blue 1in finale
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
Long after the Ohio State Buckeyes stormed the Michigan Stadium
turf from the visitors' sideline to celebrate their 25-21 come-from-behind
victory over the Wolverines on Saturday, the Michigan student section
remained. Standing silently in shock and disbelief, the blue-clad, blue-
faced fans in the Big House's northwest corner seemed to be standing
vigil over the Wolverines' dead Big Ten championship hopes.
The crowd had gradually deflated as Ohio State quarterback Troy
Smith orchestrated a nearly flawless 12-play, 88-yard drive capped off by
tailback Antonio Pittman's three-yard touchdown run with 24 seconds
left on the clock. After the Wolverines' last-ditch drive stalled near mid-
field, the Michigan faithful descended from their jubilant early fourth-
quarter enthusiasm to a catatonic state.
But the Buckeyes' game-winning drive, executed with surgical preci-
sion, should have come as no surprise. The warning signs were there.
Michigan's opponents had marched down the field and scored to take
the lead or force overtime in the final minute of regulation on four occa-
sions this season prior to Saturday.
In the end, it was simple.
The Michigan defense needed a stop. Instead, as it had so often this
year, it collapsed.
"It's huge disappointment and hurt," fifth-year senior cornerback
Grant Mason said of his emotions. "You never want to go out like
that - with a loss."
Michigan (5-3 Big Ten, 7-4 overall) led, 21-12, with under seven
minutes to play. But the Wolverines' defensive unit, which had held
Ohio State (7-1, 9-2) scoreless since late in the first half, folded in
The Buckeyes overwhelmed Michigan with two big plays - a 27-yard
pass from Smith to wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez and a thrilling 14-
yard third-down scramble by the Ohio State signal-caller - before strik-
ing quickly to close the gap to two points on Santonio Holmes's 26-yard
touchdown catch with 6:40 left.
The Wolverines took over near midfield after a short kickoff by Ohio
State's Josh Huston. Holmes's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for div-
ing into the end zone on his touchdown reception had forced Huston to
kick off from Ohio State's 20-yard line. But during a disastrous series,
tight end Mike Massey dropped a pass from quarterback Chad Henne,
backup running back Kevin Grady lost yardage, Michigan burned a
timeout because of a miscommunication, and left guard Leo Henige
broke his right leg.
Garrett Rivas's pooch punt pinned the Buckeyes on their own 12 with
4:18 left. Ohio State needed to drive all the way down the field for a shot
at a winning field goal.
"We had the mindset, 'Let's get this stop, fellas. It's on us,' " Mason said
of the defense's final series. "Everybody went into it with confidence.... I
JASON COOPER/Daily really felt like we were going to get the stop. We didn't find a way to."
See BUCKEYES, page 5B
o State safety Nate Salley celebrates an incomplete pass intended for Jason Avant during Michigan's 25-21 loss to the Buckeyes on Saturday.
INAL MINUTE BLUES: Michigan allowed go-ahead or game-tying scores in the final minute of five games this year.
Iowa, W 23-20 (OT)
9 plays, 74 yards, 2:42,
Schlicher field goal
Ohio State, L 21-25
12 plays, 88 yards,
3:54, Pittman TD run
Cagers cruise to victory
in regular-season opener
By Jack Herman
Daily Sports Writer
After wingman Lester Abram sat out all but three
games last season with a shoulder injury, no one
would have been shocked if he looked rusty in his
team's season opener against
Central Michigan. But nine
seconds into the game, Abram ;t
proved that he was back.
Guard Daniel Horton gathered the tipoff and soon
In all actuality, Abram did show some signs of RIB
weakness early in the game, and he agreed with
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker's assessment that,
at times, he was too excited. Much like the Wolver-
ines (1-0 overall) struggled to pull away from Cen-
tral Michigan (0-1) early - battling to an 11-11 tie
seven minutes in - Abram had some difficulties
controlling the ball and committed turnovers on two
But Abram soon got a handle on things, bucket-
ing eight more points to end the half. Defensively,
'M' bounces back
from Friday loss
By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
After being held scoreless for six minutes Friday night against
No. 15 Notre Dame, the Wolverines took their frustration out on
yesterday's opponent, Miami (Ohio), holding the RedHawks score-
less from the floor for nine minutes in the sec-
ond half to win the game, 75-58.
Down by one with 13 minutes to play
in the game, freshman center Stephany
Skrba made back-to-back blocks to initi-