4B - The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 5, 2006
HE BLITZ Football
MICHIGAN 27 - VANDERBILT 7
New faces shine 1n season debut
Time of Poss
M I C H I G A N
No. Yds Avg Lg
3 125 41.7 45
St. Od aA TSO
1 Y 7 A 37g s SD
4 162 . 40.5 45
No. Yds Avg Lg TD
3 7 2.3 9 0
3 7 2.3 9 0
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team Big Ten Overall
Illinois 0 0 1 0
Indiana 0 0 1. 0
Iowa 0 0 1 0
Michigan 0 0 1 0
Michigan State 0 0 1 0
Minnesota 0 0 1 0
Northwestern 0 0 1 0
Ohio State 0 0 1 0
Penn State 0 0 1 0
Purdue 0 0 1 0
Wisconsin 0 0 1 0
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MICHIGAN 27, Vanderbilt 7
Northwestern 21, MIAMI (OH) 3
Minnesota 44, KENT STATE 0
MICHIGAN STATE 27, Idaho State 17
IOWA 41, Montana 7
PURDUE 60, Indiana State 35
OHIO STATE 35, Northern Illinois 12
INDIANA 39, Western Michigan 20
PENN STATE 34, Akron 1e
Wisconsin 35, BOWLING GREEN 14
ILLINOIS 42, Eastern Illinois 17
AROUND THE NCAA
IRISH EKE IT OUT: The second-ranked
Fighting Irish battled back from an early
10-0 deficit on the road to edge Georgia
Tech 14-10 ina defensive struggle. Notre
Dame quarterback Brady Quinn's John
Stocco-esque five-yard touchdown run
with 11 seconds left in the first half gave
the Irish momentum heading into the
locker room. Notre Dame ronning back
and Atlanta native Darius Walker picked
up 13 of his 99 yards on a touchdown run
midway through the third quarter to put
the Irish on top. A stifling Irish defense
and key penalties doomed the Yellow
Jacket comeback effort.
STILL IN HIBERNATION?: Coming
off their first sub-.500 season under Phil
Fulmer, the Volunteers picked up a 35-18
statement win against ninth-ranked, chic
national championship pick California.
The score doesn't even tell the story.
The Vols held a 35-0 advantage midway
through the third quarter before the Bears
finally got on the board. Tennessee quar-
terback Erik Ainge threw for 291 yards
and four touchdowns, including an 80
yarder to Robert Meachem in the opening
minute of the third quarter to put the Vols
up 21 points.
DOWNGRADED TO TROPICAL
STORM: The Hurricanes' offense
stalled against intra-state rival Florida
Slate, gaining eight total yards in the
final 40 minutes. In a rivalry game that
is frequently decided by a last-second
field goal, Seminole kicker Gary Cis-
mesia nailed a 33-yarder with less than
seven minutes left to give Florida State
a 13-10 victory.
By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Editor
You get just one chance to make a
first impression. Luckily for a handful
of Wolverines, Saturday's game against
Vanderbilt proved to be NOTEBOOK
a positive beginning.
True freshman Bran-
don Minor jogged onto the field for the
first time at the start of the second quar-
ter. For those who missed his entrance,
Minor quickly made his presence
The Virginia native took his firstcareer
carry 24 yards after bursting through a
hole behind the left side of the line.
Because of teammate Mike Hart's
strong performance, Minor had just
three carries for 30 yards for the game,
but Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said fans
should expect to see more of Minor in
"Minor is a guy who's going to play
an important role on this football team,"
Carr said. "He earned the opportunity to
play a little bit more next week."
Another freshman back got in the
books with his first rush, albeit in an
unconventional manner. True freshman
Carlos Brown lined up at the quarterback
position in shotgun late in the first quar-
ter. Though he gained just four yards on
the run, he gave Michigan fans a glimpse
at his possible role in the future. Many
look at Brown as an option to fill the
void left by sophomore Antonio Bass,
who frequently lined up under center last
season, but will likely miss the year due
to a knee injury.
In all, five true freshmen saw time,
with safety Stevie Brown, defensive end
Brandon Graham and wide receiver Greg
Mathews joining Brown and Minor.
For sophomore running back Kevin
Grady, it wasn't a career debut, but he did
use his first touch of the year to show off
his new and improved self.
Grady, who lost 11 pounds in the off-
season, capped off Michigan's opening
drive with a 19-yard touchdown run. The
Grand Rapids native took the third-and-
three run to the right, then shifted left to
find a hole and an open path to the goal-
line for the team's first touchdown of the
"The offensive line did a good job
upfront pushing people, and our full-.
back, Obi Oluigbo, had a great block,"
said Grady, who also finished the game
with 30 yards. "I mean, the hole Was
huge.... All I had to do was cutback and
head to the endzone."
NomoDY's PERFECT: The lone blemish
on an otherwise stellar defensive perfor-
mance came in the second quarter.
Sitting on the Michigan 30-yard line,
Vanderbilt opened up its bag of tricks,
By Stephanie Wrgt
Daily Sports Editor
If Vanderbilt quarterback Chris
Nickson has nightmares about
Michigan co-cap in LaMarr
Woodley, no one would blme him.
In f ac, you might even expect it.
On the Cosmodorec o' second
driveofthe secondqusi er,Wd caey js
made the pocket a dangerous place deensi
for Nickson to be. On first-and-15,
Woodley pulled Nickson down for ited Nir
his first sack of the game. The next ground
play, Woodley caught Vanderbilt's "Tbe
signal caller in the backfield for a job," li
four-yard loss. "Thost
On Vanderbilt's next offensive ping t
seriesthe seniordefensiverendame just mwa
back for more. Woodley dropped easier.
Nicksonyet again on the firstplay of and rat
the drive, notching his second sack Wox
in four snaps. qu ter
Michigan's aggressive pursuit of the Wol
Nickdan repmpented a shift from recordo
last season. In 11 regular-season loss at
games, the Wolverines notchedjust Alan I
19 sacks, the fourth-lowest total absorb
in the Big Ten last year. Opposing up the r
quarterbacks - most notoriously fellow
Ohio State's Troy Smith - weren't free to
pressured in the pocket, often lead- Bigg
ing to big gaius. last se,
This season, first-year defensive takedo'
coordinator Ron English imple- thirdiqu
mooted a simplified defense with stlits ova
an emphasis on getting to the quar- "It
terback. After one game, Michigan in sore
site at the top of the conference with wrinle
six sacks, and the Wolverines lim- said. "I
using a wide receiver throwback pass to
catch the Wolverines off guard.
But even though Earl Bennett's pass to
a wide-open Marlon White following a
lateral from quarterback Chris Nickson
worked to perfection, junior cornerback
Charles Stewart said the play didn't come
out of nowhere.
"(Defensive coordinator Ron English)
coached us up all week on the trick play,"
Stewart said. "I just made a bad play. I'll
just have to rebound and come back next
. Junior cornerback Morgan Trent start-
ed the next two series following Stewart's
mishap on the touchdown pass, but after
a couple series on the bench and a few
earfuls from English, Stewart was back
in the game.
"He had every right to (yell) because
I was coached up on it," Stewart said of
English. "I guess I just fell asleep for a
second and made a bad play."
Stewart, who made his first career
start at the cornerback spot opposite
senior Leon Hall, ended the game with
four solo tackles.
IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM, JOIN 'EM: The
Achilles heel for the Michigan defense
the last two seasons has been the mobile
quarterback. The Wolverines couldn't
stop quick quarterbacks on defense, but
they also didn't have one of their own.
On Saturday, the defense stopped
Nickson in his tracks, and Michigan's
own quarterback, junior Chad Henne,
made a few fleet of foot moves himself.
Henne had three runs of.six or more
yards, and ended up totaling 20 yards on
eight carries - a number that includes a
nine-yard loss when he was sacked in the
While he hasn't quite reached mobile
quarterback status yet, Henne's new-
found scrambling ability did catch the
eye of his coach.
"Henne did a great job scrambling
away from what a year ago would have
been some sacks," Carr said. "He did a
great job of getting out of trouble when
things broke down"
INJURY REPORT: Three Wolverines
did not see action because of ankle
sprains. Defensive end Tim Jamison
was dressed, but didn't play. Carr said
following the game that he expects
Jamison to play next week against
Central Michigan. Senior running
back Jerome Jackson and true fresh-
man offensive lineman Justin Boren
did not dress because of their respec-
tive, ankle injuries. ......v
Steve Schilling, another true freshman
offensive lineman, also didn't play. Carr
said Schilling would have seen time, but
he found out Friday that the freshman
had come down with mononucleosis.
Starting linebacker Chris Graham
watched the second half in street clothes
after pulling a muscle in the first half.
Prescott Burgess replaced Graham, who
hopes to be ready for next week.
Sophomore running back Kevin Grady dropped 31 pounds in the offseason and showed off his weight loss in Michigan's 27-7 win over
Vanderbilt. The Grand Rapids native finished the game with 30 yards on five carries and one touchdown.
PRESEASON ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL
Most of the teams in the Top 25 took it easy in week one,
taking on lower-ranked opponents. No. 9 California and No.
12 Miami (FL) might be wishing they had done the same.
TEAM LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
1. Ohio State eat Northern at Texas
2. Notre Dame beat Georgia Penn State
3, Texas Stale beat North Ohio.Stat.
4. Auburn State beat Washington at Mississippi State
5. West Virginia beat Marshall 42-10 Eastern Washington
6. Southern Cal beat Arkansas 50-14 Idle
7. Florida beat Southern UCF
8. Louisiana State beat Louisiana- Arizona
9. Californal . lost toTenes- Minsesoa
10. Oklahoma beat UAB 24-17 Washington
11. Florida Slate beat Miami Troy
12. Miami (FL) lost to Florida Fsrida A&M
13. Louisville beat Kentucky 59-28 at Temple
14. Michigan beat Vanderbilt 27-7 Central Michigan
15. Georgia beat Western at South Carolina
16. Iowa beat Montana 41-7 at Syracuse
17. Virginia Tech beat Northeastern at North Carolina
18. Clemson beat Florida at Boston College
19. Penn State beat Akron 34-16 at Notre Dame
20. Nebraska beat Louisiana Nicholls State
21. Oregon bea Stasford 46-10 at Fresso State
22. TCU beat Baylor 17-7 UC-Davis
23. Tennessee beat California 35-18 Air Forte
24. Arizona State beat Northern Nevada
25.GTexassTch beat Southern at UTEP
Games updated through Sept. 4
ckson to just 22 yards on the
e front four did a heck of a
nebacker David Harris said.
guys ... had (Nickson) step-
round, running for his life. It
ade the back seven's job a lot
We got to the quarterback
tled him a little bit"
odley's dominant second
was part of a banner day for
Iverines' defensive linewhich
ed four sacks, eight tackles for
nd a forced fumble. Tackles
Branch and Terrance Taylor
red double teams and plugged
middle, leaving Woodley and
defensive end Rondell Biggs
go after Nickson.
s doubled his sack total from
sson with two quarterback
wns. The first came in the
uarter with Vanderbilt pinned
wn 13-yard line.
was the game plan to throw
ae new schemes g some new
ts, to confuse them," Biggs
'verybody likes to get some
quarterback sacks out there."
That includes defensive backs.
The Wolverines didn't use much
blitzing during most of the game,
mostly relying on its four-man rush.
But in the fourth quarter, English
wanted to put a little extra pressure
on Nickson and started sending cor-
ners and safeties in on the blitz, with
Five minutes into the quarter,
safety Jamar Adams pulled Nickson
down for his first career sack.
Then cornerback Leon Hall
recorded the fourth sack of his
career when he was sent blitzing
on the Commodores' next offensive
series. Hall was tripped up at first;
he was blocked and lying onsthe
turf when he noticed Nickson was
still on his feet. Hall got up,grabbed
Nickson and brought him down.
"I don't know how many times
we blitzed, but right there at the end
we brought some pressure," Michi-
gan coach Lloyd Carr. "I thought
we got a lot of pressure without