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September 08, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-08

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September 8, 2006

SOe RTSgan Baily



hippewas enter Big House for intrastate battle
By Scott Bell and hands or, worse yet, the numbers Michigan rushing offense
Stephanie Wright and ended up falling incom- vs. Central Michigan rushing
Daily Sports Editors plete. Steve Breaston nabbed defense:
four balls for 68 yards in the Mike Hart was spectacular
The Wolverines sent a mes- first half, but he didn't catch any against Vanderbilt last week,-
sage to their critics last week: after halftime. Not that Henne amassing 146 yards on 31 carries.
This year's defense is ready to should escape blame entirely: The junior tailback turned runs
kick some butt. With six sacks, The Wolverines' signal caller that should have been stopped
11 tackles for loss and countless had his share of errant passes en just past the line of scrimmage
punishing hits in the Vanderbilt route to completing just 10-of- into six-yard gains, often carry-
backfield, the Wolverines had 22 passes for 135 yards. ing multiple Commodore defend-
Commodore quarterback Chris Even so, Michigan will torch ers on his back while doing so.
Nickson on the run. the Chippewas through the air But Hart wasn't the lone Michi-
This weeknNo.1 0 Michigan if their pass defense is anything gan running ack to turn in an
(1-0) takes on Central Michi- like it was last week. Central impressive performance. Sophokr,
gan (0-1), which nearly came Michigan gave up 323 passing more Kevin Grady showed off
back to beat Boston College in yards and three touchdowns in his new figure with 31 yards on
its season opener a week ago. its season-opening loss to Bos- five touches and the game's lone
As a result, the Chippewas will ton College, a team that aver- rushing touchdown, and fresh-
probably bring a little extra aged just 243 yards through the man Brandon Minor took his first
confidence with them when air per game last year. Eagles career carry for 24 yards.
they enter Michigan Stadium quarterback Matt Ryan com- The Wolverines' deep back-
tomorrow pleted an impressive 68 percent field is imposing, but Central
Here's a look at how the intrastate of his throws. Michigan's rush defense is brim-
battle shapes up: If the Chippewas hope to con- ming with confidence after its
tamn a Wolverine passing attack standout dehut against Bostoi
Michigan passing offense that is unquestionably itching to College. The Eagles averaged 145 ANGLA CESER/DaoIs
vs. Central Michigan passing break out, they will have to be rushing yards per game a season Mike Hart will lead the Michigan ground attack against Central Michigan on Saturday.
defense: better this time around. ago, but the Chippewas held them
A week ago, Michigan's to just 85 yards on the ground last ing his underdog Chippewas in be wise not to, either. Young circa 2004.
receivers couldn't seem to Edge: Michigan week. Central Michigan's rut- the game with 221 yards pass- When Central Michigan
remember how to fulfill their stopping ability is nothing new. ing and a touchdown pass. Edge: Michigan decides to run out of its typi-
No. I job requirement. About The Chippewas' 'D' led the Mid- But Boston College is no Mich- cal shotgun formation, it will
six of quarterback Chad Henne's American Conference against the igan, and with a week of tape on be Ontario Sneed shouldering
passes hit his receivers in the run last season, allowing just 114 LeFevour, Ron English's aggres- the load. Last week, he picked
yards per game. Still, Michigan's sive defense should be chomp- Central Michigan rush up 47 yards on the ground on
depth at running back and its new ing at the bit to get its hands on defense vs. Michigan rush seven carries.
zone-blocking scheme will likely the young quarterback, who will defense.
be too much for Central Michigan make his first collegiate start on The Chippewas' leading Edge: Michigan
to handle. Saturday. rusher last week was also their



Pilot's license not required.
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Michigan's front four got
Edge: Michigan pressure on Vanderbilt all game
long in its opener, ending the
game with six sacks and 11
tackles for loss. The defensive
Central Michigan pass end tandem of LaMarr Woodley
offense vs. Michigan pass and Rondell Biggs accounted
defense: for four of those sacks and will
Last week marked a very look for more of the same pres-
impressive debut for Central sure Saturday.
Michigan quarterback Dan When LeFevour does get
LeFevour. The redshirt fresh- the ball off, he'll probably be
man made the best of an oppor- looking in just one direction.
tunity that presented itself when Vanderbilt quarterback Chris
then-starter Brian Brunner was Nickson didn't even try chal-
injured in the game's first series lenging cornerback and All-
against Boston College. LeFe- America candidate Leon Hall
your never looked back, keep- last week, and LeFevour would

leading passer. LeFevour had
72 yards rushing on a dozen
carries, with two of them going Special teams:
for scores. Normally, Michigan When Breaston fields a kickoff
fans would cringe at the thought or punt, you expect to see an elec-
of a mobile quarterback enter- trifying return, maybe even atouch-
ing the Big House, but if last down. But last week, the fifth-year
week was any indication, the senior struggled to simply catch the
Wolverines may have finally ball. The Wolverines' kicking game
found the recipe for containing wasn't much better. Kicker Garrett
mobile quarterbacks. Rivas completed a48-yardfieldgoal
Outside linebackers Shawn - the longest of his career - but
Crable, David Harris and Prescott he also had a poorly kicked 42-yard
Burgess did an outstanding job attempt blocked. As for fan favorite
containing the quarterback in Zoltan Mesko, nerves seemed to get
the middle of the field, which the best of redshirt freshman in his
prevents him from breaking big first game as Michigan's punter.
plays a la Troy Smith or Vince See CENTRAL, page 14


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