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November 21, 2005 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-11-21

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 21, 2005 - 56

The Daily
..After every gane of the
2005 season., The Michigan
D)aily's football writers will
take you for a idein Uoyd's
c~ar. The.gauges all refer to
......diffret..bles that will
...fluctuate froin week towek
d......g.± hothe team
Dfensive Intensity is a
measure of - you guessed it
- how welh he Wolverines
...manage to stop their oppo-.
The Carr-o-meter is a rough
gauge of headcoac LlOyd
Cart's opinion of his team's
....y, as judged from his
ptgame comments.
The Hypemeter provides.
..our opinion of how well
you,~ the fans, s~pported the
...Wolverines. Volume, con-
..sistency and awareness will.
all be considered.
Rush Yards is a straightfor-
ward measure of Michigan's
grud yardaige total in each
game. Since an effective run-
ning game is crucial to post-
Season success - especially
for this year's squad, which is
boadedarung back - this
statistic figures to be a consis-
tently important indicator'


Defensive Intensity



Rush Yards

Following a pattern set early in the season, the
Wolverines gave up points when they couldn't
afford to. Michigan's defense yielded an 88-yard
drive to clinch the game for the Buckeyes. Unlike
the Penn State contest, there wasn't enough time
for the offense to bail out the defense. But the
unit wasn't bad all afternoon. In the latter part
of the second quarter and all of the third, the
defense actually held Ohio State without points
and looked solid. But with the game on the line,
the front seven couldn't get any pressure on Troy
Smith and gave up the fateful drive.

Lloyd Carr appeared to have tears in his eyes
as he faced the media to discuss his team's dis-
appointing loss. Even though he was frustrated
that Michigan couldn't get the run game going
and gave up yet another game-winning drive
at the last minute, Carr had nothing but love
for his players. He's made it clear throughout
the season that he really enjoys coaching this
group of Wolverines, and their late-season
turnaround surely made the ride more exciting.
But it would have been nice if Carr could've
turned that love into a couple more wins.

This is the game we had been waiting for all season
long, and you guys come up with your best per-
formance of the year. But it could've been better.
You were there on time and cheered for most of the
game, but the last two Ohio State possessions didn't
have nearly enough noise. Not terrible, though. Peo-
ple in the Maize Rage were boners, coming up with
the brilliant idea of organizing a Blue Out instead
of a Maize Out. The color blue is nice. It's great,
in fact. But maize actually stands out. It's bold, it's
loud and it's better. A lot of people participated, but
it wasn't that intimidating.

Straight up depressing. Running on fumes. That's
the only way to describe the Wolverines' rushing
attack. Mike Hart was not playing at even close
to 100 percent, and the offensive line was also
banged up. Those two elements played a huge role
in the offense coming up way short in the rush-
ing department. But let's give credit where credit
is due: The Ohio State defense is the best unit
Michigan has faced this season. The Buckeyes'
linebackers plugged holes and flew to the ball, sti-
fling the ground game despite the fact that Bobby
Carpenter got hurt on the first series of the game.

able odtgun Dalg
Predictions against the
spread for 11/19/05
N OhIo State (-3) at No. 17 Michigan

Southern Ca


No. 1.6 Fresno State (+23.5) at No. 1Southern Cal Southern Cal

ergia Tech(+17:5) at No. 3 Miami
No. 4 Louisiana State (-17) at Mississippi
No. 5 Penn State (-7) at Michigan State
Syracuse (+34.5) at No. 6 Notre Dame
No. 7 VirgInia Tech (-7) at Virginia
No. 8 Alabama (+7) at No.11 Auburn
Oregon State (+13) at No.10 Oregon
Kentucky (+27) at No. 14 Georgia
Oklahoma (+7.5) at No. 21 Texas Tech
Clemson (-2.5) at No. 19 South Carolina
UAB+7.5) at No. 24 UTEP
Minnesota (+5) at Iowa
Northwestern (44,5) at Illinois
Best Bet
Record this week (Best bet)
Record (Best bet)


Louisiana State
Penn State
Virginia Tech
South Carolina
South Carolina
9-6 (0-1)

Ohio State
Southern Cal
Michigan State
Notre Dame
Virginia Tech
Texas Tech
South Carolina
South Carolina
85-93-3 (4-7)

Southern Cal
Georgia Tech
Louisiana State
Penn State
Notre Dame
Virginia Tech
South Carolina

Southern Cal
Louisiana State
Penn State
Virginia Tech
South Carolina
&7 (1-0)

Gabe and Matt
maintain top-two spots;
Bob still terrible at picks
Gabe and Matt matched
each other with 9-6
records to pace the field.
Stephanie fell to one
game behind Matt, and
Ian continued to serve
as the caboose on the
football writers' train.
The real story is the set
of picks made by former
football writer and "On
the Road" enthusiast
Bob Hunt, who posted
a pitiful 5-10 record.
Last year, as a writer,
Bob finished the picking
season with a .500 record.

Michigan State
Virginia Tech
Oregon State
Texas Tech
South Carolina

During his time at The
Michigan Daily, Bob
was known, at least
according to him, as
a campus celebrity for
his antics on road trips.
Going to the bars was
always fun for Bob.
Unfortunately, his picking
still isn't that good.

Continued from page 1B
The Buckeyes strung together six
first downs - without facing a single
third down - on the pivotal series,
combining short- and medium-range
passes to Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr. with
Smith's highlight-reel maneuvers and
another back-breaking completion to
Gonzalez. The receiver snagged a 26-
yard reception by leaping over Mason.
Ohio State moved the ball inside Mich-
igan's five-yard line on the play, and
Pittman plunged in from three yards
out two snaps later.
"Obviously, we talk about (closing
opponents out) all the time," defensive
line coach Steve Stripling said. "The
big word is 'finish,' and we knew we
were going to be in that situation. We
knew it was going to be a close game
today, one way or the other. We felt,
if the defense had a chance to be on
the field, that would be great with us
and we'd go out there and get the job
done. But we just didn't. The atti-
tude is right. We're just not making
enough plays."
But Michigan didn't just falter
on defense. Despite a solid perfor-
mance by Henne, the Wolverines
mustered a paltry 32 yards rushing
for the entire game. Ohio State accu-
mulated 118 yards on the ground.
Star running back Mike Hart carried
nine times for 15 yards before he left
the game for good with an injury. As
Hart's replacement, Grady picked up
11 yards on six carries against the
Buckeyes' aggressive front seven.
"You can't win if you can't run,"
running backs coach Fred Jackson
said. "You talk about how great Trov

Hart explained Michigan's lack of
a running attack with a laundry list
of faults.
"We were just getting beat at the line
of scrimmage, missing blocks, mak-
ing wrong cuts," Hart said. "Overall,
they just had a great defensive scheme
against us today, and they stopped our
run game. That hurt us a lot."
Smith threw for a career-high 300
yards. He carried the ball 11 times for
37 yards, including a four-yard touch-
down scamper that put the Buckeyes
ahead 6-0 - Huston missed the extra
point attempt - in the first quarter.
"Troy Smith obviously made some
unbelievable plays that enabled them
to pull that game out," Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr said. "In the end, Troy
Smith was the difference in the game.
... I think he threw the football awfully
well, for the most part, all day long. He
made some big throws."
In the second quarter, defensive tackle
Gabe Watson recovered a fumble by
Ohio State backup running back Mau-
rice Wells to give Michigan possession.
Henne orchestrated a 36-yard drive
that ended with senior co-captain Jason
Avant catching a two-yard touchdown
pass. The score was sandwiched between
two Huston field goals, and the Wolver-
ines entered halftime trailing 12-7.
Following a three-and-out by the
Wolverines' offense to start the second
half, Ohio State turned the ball over
again when rush linebacker LaMarr
Woodley knocked the ball from Smith's
grasp. Defensive lineman Alan Branch
fell on the football. Still, Michigan
managed to move the ball just 10 yards
and settled for a Rivas field goal to nar-
row the margin to two.
Grady punched a two-yard run into

Continued from page 4B
ers A.J. Hawk and Anthony Schlegel
stopped Michigan's tailbacks almost
immediately. But even when the Wolver-
ines started to switch it up and run to the
outside, the Buckeyes were there to bring
them down. And Ohio State did all this
without senior Bobby Carpenter, who was
injured on the first play of the game and
did not return.
"(The Buckeyes) have three lineback-
ers that are going to stuff the hole so it's
tough to run," quarterback Chad Henne
said. "If we have to pass, we have to pass.
We passed the ball a lot; we should have
been a little more balanced."
Hart gained just 15 yards on nine car-
ries before he limped off the field at the
start of the third quarter. Coach Lloyd
Carr said after the game that Hart was not
100 percent.
Without Hart for the remainder of the
contest, Michigan turned to Grady, who
managed just 11 yards on six carries. The
longest run of the day actually belonged to
Alijah Bradley, who gained seven yards on
a single carry early in the fourth quarter.
Carr did not provide details about
Hart's injury but did leave it up in the air
as to whether the sophomore will be ready
for the bowl game.
INJURY UPDATE: Right tackle Jake Long
missed the first seven games of the season
after he injured his left leg at the end of
August. Now it looks as if he will have to
sit out of the bowl game - only this time

he hurt his right foot.
Long suffered the injury in Michigan's
win over Indiana last week when another
player rolled over his foot. Michigan's
doctors decided the injury required sur-
gery before Saturday's contest, but they
cleared Long to play because they felt he
couldn't make the injury worse. Carr said
that Long will have surgery on his foot
this week. The redshirt sophomore said
the surgery is similar to the one he had on
his left leg before the season.
After the game on Saturday, Long said
it was "tough" to play through the injury,
but he's "got the offseason to worry about
"He's as courageous a guy as you'll
ever see," Carr said of Long. "I don't
know how he played."
But the rash of injuries to Michigan's
offensive line didn't end with Long. Fifth-
year senior Leo Henige was carted off the
field after he broke his right leg late in the
fourth quarter. Carr said Henige will also
miss the bowl game.
NoTEs: Wide receiver Steve Breaston
surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards
with his 11-yard grab in the third quarter.
The redshirt junior finished the game with
a career-high seven receptions.... Senior
co-captain Jason Avant moved into a tie
with Anthony Carter for third place on
Michigan's career receptions list with 161.
Avant also ranks seventh on the career
receiving yards list.... With 223 passing
yards on Saturday, sophomore quarter-
back Chad Henne passed Steve Smith for
sixth all-time with 4,999 yards.

Quarterback Chad Henne was 25of-36 for 223 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's loss.

us," Woodley said. "We didn't get enough
pressure, and that hurt. When you have
a nine-point lead, it's the defense's job to
make sure the other team doesn't score.
We didn't hold up our end."

who has coached in some capacity at
Michigan for 26 years. "We've not had
the continuity you need to develop as
a team. If you ask me, 'Could we have
been a more productive offense?' Yes, we

Continued from page 4B
and Texas in which Smith and Texas

than a minute left in the game - a
throw that Smith had to scramble to
"It's just knowing and understand-

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