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September 13, 2006 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-13

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September 13, 2006

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Woodley chases QBs, records

By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Editor
Every time LaMarr Woodley sacks a quar-
terback this year, Rondell Biggs cringes.
At the end of last season, the two defen-
sive ends, along with position mate Tim
Jamison, started a competition to see which
player could get the most sacks and make
the most tackles in 2006. Two games into
the season, Woodley and Biggs have each
recorded eight tackles, including five for
loss. But Woodley holds the advantage in
sacks, leading Biggs four sacks to three.
It's a gap Woodley plans on widening.
"If Rondell beats me, he's going to be
talking a little trash, and I can't have that'
Woodley said.
The way Woodley has played in the
Wolverines' first two games, it doesn't look
like he'll have to listen to Biggs talk smack
anytime soon. The Saginaw native's four
sacks rank first in the nation, as do his 55
sack yards. Woodley's five tackles for loss
have cost opposing offenses a whopping
59 yards, by far the highest total in the Big
In last Saturday's 41-17 win over Cen-

tral Michigan alone, Woodley notched two
sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recov-
ery, in addition to four tackles. But a single
play in the first quarter highlighted how
dominant Woodley has been.
With the Chippewas deep in Michigan
territory, Woodley broke loose and sacked
Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFe-
your, popping the ball out of the signal call-
er's hands as he brought him to the ground.
"We knew where he was, believe me"
Central Michigan coach Brian Kelly said.
"If you let him go without blocking him, he
is going to kill somebody."
The senior co-captain credits his fast
start to the talent around him. In past
years, opponents double-teamed Wood-
ley because he was the only dangerous
pass rusher on Michigan's defensive
line. But due to the emergence of players
like Biggs, Alan Branch and Terrance
Taylor, teams can no longer afford to
double Woodley on every snap, which
has given him room to wreak havoc in
the backfield. In his first three seasons,
Woodley never recorded more than five
sacks in a given year. After two games,
he needs just one sack to match that

But Woodley has his eyes on an even
loftier goal - breaking Michigan's single-
season sack record. With 10 games to go,
he needs eight sacks to eclipse the current
mark of 11, shared by defensive linemen
James Hall and Jason Horn and linebacker
David Bowens.
"I was just in there looking at it," Wood-
ley said at Monday's press conference. "It
would be nice to be one of those guys that
are remembered in the great tradition of
Michigan. It's definitely a goal for me."
And likely one that Woodley decided
on several months ago. When the ris-
ing senior sat down with coach Lloyd
Carr before the start of spring practice
last April, Woodley listed specific
goals he wanted to achieve in the final
season of his college career. Carr said
those ambitions, along with Woodley's
desire to lead by example, provide a
lot of the motivation behind his fero-
cious play this year.
With the Wolverines traveling to
South Bend to take on No.2 Notre Dame
this weekend, Woodley might want to
focus on that record a little more than


Senior defensive captain LaMarr Woodley leads the Wolverines with four sacks.

usual. Irish quarterback Brady Quinn
is this year's Heisman frontrunner, and
Woodley knows that he and the rest of
Michigan's defense are going to have to
chase Quinn out of the pocket if they
hope to slow him down.
The chance to sack one of the

nation's top quarterbacks seems like it
would be just the thing to get Wood-
ley's competitive juices flowing, but
he said it would be "just another sack"
if he brings down Quinn on Saturday.
Another sack closer to history - and
another sack Biggs won't get.

Club alumnus fits right in
with 'M' varsity squad

Irish, Blue miss chances,
end game in deadlock

By Alex Prosperi
For the Daily
As a rule, people from Columbus - the home of Ohio
State - aren't looked upon very highly in Ann Arbor. But
there is an exception to every rule, and sophomore Katie
Miller might be it.
A year ago, Miller was dominating the Midwest club
soccer circuit. Now she's scoring game-winning goals for
the women's soccer team.
"It's totally a dream to play," Miller said.
Miller ended her illustrious high school career with
numerous accolades. She was part of three Ohio Capital
Conference Champions, a member of the Ohio Capital
Conference first team in 2004 and a Wendy's High School
Heisman Nominee.
She decided to come to Michigan and join the club soc-
cer team, with no idea if varsity soccer was even a pos-
sibility. But after talking with Michigan coach Debbie
Rademacher and befriending some players on the team,
Miller attended a February tryout.
"I was terrified," Miller said. "I was trying to get in
shape all of January"
All the hard work paid off.
Miller's speed, quickness and great passing touch
impressed Rademacher, and the coach made Miller the
newest member of the women's soccer team this past
spring. It didn't take long for Miller's teammates to appre-
ciate her presence.
"Katie is the one of the hardest working players on our
team," senior captain Judy Coffman said. "Any passers-by
wouldnotice she is working hard on the field. Coming from
club soccer to varsity soccer takes a lot of confidence"
Miller gained instant respect from her teammates by

participating in the same conditioning drills as the rest of
the team and doing so without complaint.
Off the field, Miller's presence has been part of the rea-
son the team has become more positive and has had better
chemistry, Coffman said.
"(Miller) gets along so well;' she said. "And to come in
and fit in this well doesn't come easy."
Rademacher added: "She fits right into the team, she
jokes around, she is able to make fun of herself, and just
has a great sense of humor."
Miller's presence has also been felt in games.
In the fifth game of the season, against Dayton, Miller's
first-half goal put Michigan up 1-0, and ended up as the
"I was shocked,' Miller said. "It was really exciting,just
amazing. I was happy to be able to put one up for the team.
I love doing whatever Ican for the team"
That attitude foreshadows what could be a very bright
"Her work ethic is admired by the rest of the team,'
Coffman said. "If she continues, a leadership role is in her
future. She leads by example and is constantly working
Miller is the first player Rademacher has coached that
has come up from the club team and scored a goal. After
Miller's early success, Rademacher expects Miller to
contribute to the offensive attack and to help score more
"She wants that role and now can be a regular con-
tributor," Rademacher said.
And just in case you were wondering if Miller has
a soft spot for Ohio State, she describes her feelings
"Not even a little bit of loyalty," she said.

By Josh Dubow
September 14, 1992
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The
last two times Michigan went to
Notre Dame, it tossed chances to
win out the window.
Yesterday, Wolverine quarter-
back Elvis Grbac threw his team's
chances for victory straight into
the hands of Irish free safety Jeff
To be sure, Michigan (0-0-1
overall) did have chances to beat
Notre Dame (1-0-1). Plenty of
them. But the Wolverines settled
for a 17-17 tie in their season
"I had very high expectations
coming into today," Michigan
coach Gary Moeller said. "In no
way did I expect to lose, and in no
way am I happy with the tie."
The biggest chance the Wolver-
ines blew came in the game's final
minutes. Michigan took over pos-
session with 5:28 remaining at its
own 20-yard line with the score tied
at 17.
Michigan moved the ball behind
a Jesse Johnson eight-yard run, an
Elvis Grbac 16-yard pass to Derrick
Alexander and a Tyrone Wheatley
16-yard run up the middle. Wheat-
ley's run set the Wolverines up with
a first down from the Irish 30 with
1:23 remaining.
On the next play, Grbac faked to
Johnson and made a half roll to his
"We ran the play action, but they
didn't bite," Grbac said. "Their safe-
ty stayed back. They were playing
screen and draw defense allgame."
Notre Dame cornerback Greg
Lane rushed at Grbac and forced
him to throw early. Grbac's pass
sailed well past tight end Tony
McGee and into Burris's waiting
hands at the Irish 11.
"I saw the tight end was cov-
ered, and I wanted to throw the
ball away" Grbac said. "After I
threw the ball I saw their defensive
back, and I was hoping 'Come on,
die. Hit the ground.' But it stayed
up for him."
Notre Dame ran out the remain-
ing 1:05 in four plays to end the
game deadlocked.
The Irish were not without their
own opportunities earlier in the
game. Fumbles killed three drives,
and a blocked field goal thwarted
another. The third fumble almost
ended Notre Dame's chances.
With the Irish down 10-7 late
in the third quarter, they mounted
a drive from their 23 into Michi-

All week long, Daily Sports will The series continues today with
run its original coverage of one coverage from the 1992 season
of the 33 games in the historical opener. After this game ended in
series between the NCAA's two a tie, Michigan went on to a 9-0-3
winningest programs. year and a Rose Bowl victory.

gan territory. Then quarterback
Rick Mirer handed off to fullback
Jerome Bettis who burst through
the middle. Free safety Corwin
Brown stepped into the hole and
hit Bettis, forcing the ball loose,
and Michigan linebacker Steve
Morrison caught the ball in the air
and returned it to the Wolverines'
49-yard line.
"Both teams hit very hard and
there were a lot of great individual
efforts, and typical of an early-sea-
son game, there were some mis-
takes," Notre Dame coach Lou
Holtz said. "We lost three fumbles,
which were critical. They threw
(three) interceptions, which were
After Morrison's recovery,
Michigan moved the ball to Notre
Dame's 30 as the third quarter
ended. On the first play of the
fourth, Grbac faked to Wheatley
and lofted a pass to the left corner
of the end zone, where Derrick
Alexander cradled the ball for the
touchdown, giving the Wolverines
a 17-7 lead.
But Notre Dame responded
quickly. The Irish took the
kickoff and marched down to
Michigan's 26. But the drive
appeared to stall there, as the
Irish were faced with a fourth
and 10 from the 26. Holtz opted
to go for the first down in lieu
of attempting a field goal, most
likely swayed by Nate Holdren's
block of a Craig Hentrich field
goal attempt earlier in the half.
The Notre Dame line gave
Mirer time to throw, and he
found Lake Dawson open for 11
yards and the first down.
"We've gotta get pressure on
him on fourth down," Moeller
said. "We had to get a pass
rush. You just can't let the guy
go back and sit."
Four plays later, a Bettis
touchdown run brought Notre
Dame within three points. The
Irish had a chance to take the
lead later in the fourth after
intercepting Grbac at the Mich-

igan 20. But Notre Dame could
not take advantage of the field
position and settled for a 28-
yard field goal.
The Michigan defense
stopped that Irish possession
on three plays, but was unable
to perform the feat at all during
the first half. The Irish rolled
up 232 total yards and 16 first
downs in the first half before
being limited to 166 yards and
nine first downs in the second.
"We played a lot better in the
second half, but we knew we
would coming in," Moeller said.
"One reason, we tackled bet-
ter. We fronted people up and
tackled like Michigan. The first
half wasn't Michigan. We didn't
tackle, we didn't front."
The epitome of Michigan's
tackling blunders came on
Notre Dame's second drive
of the game. With the ball at
Michigan's 20, Mirer ran the
option to his right and flipped
to tailback Reggie Brooks.
Brown read the play and came
up to hit Brooks at the line. But
Brooks spun out of that tackle
and went on to break five more
before collapsing at the end of a
20-yard touchdown run.
"We were a little over-anxious
in the first half," Brown said.
"We were flying around, and we
weren't making the plays. But
we came back in the second half
and played like we have to."
While the Wolverines final-
ly contained the Irish ground
attack in the second half, Notre
Dame controlled Michigan's
talented trio of tailbacks -
Wheatley, Johnson and Ricky
Powers - all game long.
"Our only breakdown offen-
sively was run blocking,"
McGee said. "Notre Dame
ran stacked defense, and we
wanted to block down on the
linemen before releasing to the
linebackers. But sometimes
guys released before blocking
the linemen."






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