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2B - Football Saturday - Saturday, September 23, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006 - Football Saturday - 7B
2006 Depth Chart
2006 Michigan Schedule
Vanderbilt (Sept. 2), W 27-7: "Bend, don't break" can't be
used to describe the defense after this impressive performance.
j jE Michigan only gave up 171 yards of total offense and sacked the
quarterback six times. Somewhere Jim Herrmann is crying.
Central Michigan (Sept. 9), W 41-17: Thunder and lightning
didn't stop the Wolverines from trouncingthe Chippewas atthe Big
House. Mike Hart ran all over Central's D for three touchdowns, and
LaMarr Woodley picked up two sacks for the second straight week.
WILL MIKE SAM
P. Burgess D. Harris S. Crable
C. Graham J. Thompson B. Logan
DE DT DT DE
R. Biggs T. Taylor A. Branch L. Woodley
T. Jamison M. Walton W. Johnson J. Van Alstyne
TE LT LG C RG RT
T. Ecker J. Long A. Kraus M. Bihl A. Mitchell R. Riley
M. Massey M. Ortmann J. Ciulla D. Moosman J. Schifano C. Zirbel
Notre Dame (Sept. 16), W 47-21: The Fighting Irish came
into this one withthe national media singing their praises, but it was
Michigan who emerged victorious. The Wolverines dominated every
facet ofthe game, but Mario Manningham's three scores stole the show.
Wisconsin (Sept. 23): It's time to play role reversal:
The Badgers open up their Big Ten season on the road
against Michigan. The situation couldn't be sweeter for the
Wolverines to seek revenge for last year's loss in Madison.
Hopefully, Chad Henne can stay on his own two feet.
Minnesota (Sept. 30): The last time Michigan was in Golden
Gopher country, the Wolverines trailed 21-7 going into the
fourth quarter before scoring 31 points in the final frame to
win 38-35. The player who booted kicked winning field goal?
Garrett Rivas. Let's hope it doesn't come to that again.
Michigan State (Oct. 7): The last two years of this rivalry have
been incredible. Expect the same thing this year when the Spartans
come into town. Ron English will make sure that this year's
defense will punish Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton and
keep the Spartans down in the standings - where they belong.
Continued from page 3B
"When we go out there for warm-ups, it's not full," said Hall,
who finished that season as a freshman All-American. "Then
you go back into the locker room for 20 minutes and come back
out and it's just filled. For the first time, you're sitting back like,
'Dang, this is for real.' It grounds you and excites you a little bit."
It was a special occasion on more than one level.
During Hall's freshman year, Michigan made it to the Rose
Bowl after an impressive victory over Ohio State. That win gave
the Wolverines their first outright Big Ten championship since
1997. The game even provided his family the chance to watch
him play in person again.
Hall remembers the game, the outcome and matching up one-
on-one with Southern Cal receiver Mike Williams - which he
said didn't go too well.For Hall,having his family in the stadium
was the best part of the day.,
"I got a lot of tickets to go to the game so that my
family got to go there," Hall said. "They don't come
out to the games out here that much. It was real special
to me to get to have them here, get the feeling of them
watching me play again like back in high school. It was
And that's how Hall's always been: family first.
Whenever Hall goes back to California, Green loans him a
car so he can get out and see all his family in the area.
Even when Hall is back in Ann Arbor, he makes sure
to talk to his sisters and uncle on a regular basis. Some-
times he calls just to check on his nieces and nephews.
But don't try to ask about how he did in a game. With
Hall's humility and perfectionist traits, that can be a
"You don't realize that Leon had a good game because some-
times I couldn't make it to his games (when Hall was in high
school), and he doesn't really talk about it until you read it in the
paper" Green said.
His sisters feel a sense of words-cannot-describe-it pride
when they see their little brother sprint onto the field and into
their television every week.
"That's the only kind of college football we watch," Keicha
said. "We don't watch any othergames; we just watch him play.
I don't watch any other kind of football."
THE FINAL CHAPTER
The polished 5-foot-ll senior usually has an answer for every
question, but this stumped him.
Try as he might, he can't think of a single pass that Vanderbilt
threw to his side during Michigan's season opener.
Ever the humble one, Hall finally mustered a mumbled "I
don't thinkthey threw to my side."
Vanderbilt was well served not to throw to Hall's side. When
Notre Dame tried to a week ago, Hall had three pass breakups
and a spectacular interception.
The four years at Michigan have come and gone in a flash. The
reality first sunk in at training camp when he got his own room.
Durig his time as a Wolverine, Hall's collected an impressive
resume. He's helped Michigan win two Big Ten championships
and has been to two Rose Bowls, though the Wolverines lost
The stage is set for his grand finale.
So far this season, Hall and the Wolverines have acted out a
dream beginning. They enter Big Ten play with an undefeated
3-0 record, and Hall anchors the secondary of a dominating
Michigan defense. The Wolverines have returned to the spot-
light, and the pressure will only continue to grow if Michigan
continues to win.
That's a challenge the quiet, confident Hall is ready to
Three weeks into the 2006
season, it's hard to imagine the
Wolverines looking any better.
Michigan tuned up against its
first two cupcake opponents,
and then demolished Notre
Dame in South Bend.
Now, as the chilly breezes of
autumn begin to blow into
Ann Arbor, Michigan prepares
for its next test - the always-
difficult Big Ten season. The
journey starts on Saturday,
when the Wolverines square
off against Wisconsin for
a rematch of last season's
heartwrenching defeat. The
Badgers cruised through their
nonconference schedule, but
it's anyone's guess how they'll
perform against a hot Michigan'
team in the Big House.
Penn State (Oct. 14): Maybe Joe Paterno should place the
number "one" all over the team's locker room. Not to remind the
players they're No. 1, but to remind them they were just one second
away from victory and a possible undefeated regular season. Happy
Valley wilt be Happier Valley with this 8 p.m. kickoff time.
Iowa (Oct. 22): Thanks to Iowa's recent success, the Big Ten is
now the Big Three and Little Eight. This year should be no different.
Michigan has won the last two meetings, so Iowa will feel it's due
for a win. Will Drew Tate be the second mobile quarterback in
three weeks that the defense effectively stops? Only time will tell.
Northwestern (Oct. 28): Northwestern loves to be Big Ten
giant killers, and the Wolverines are no strangers to losing
an "easy" game against the Wildcats. This will be the final
Big Ten game played at the Big House this season, and you
can expect the outgoing seniors will want to go outon top.
Senior Leon Hall, the most experienced starter on defense,
has limited opposing offenses with his shutdown coverage.
M' has edge over Badgers
Ball State (Nov. 4):hAlthough Ball State is David Letterman's
claimed alma mater, there won't he anything funny about this
game. Michigan should continue its dominance of the Mid-
American Conference in this late-season nonconference game.
Indiana (Nov. 11): Coach Terry Hoeppner claims the new team
motto is "If you can run, you can play," emphasizing team speed.
What he really means is that if you can functionally run, you can play
because this team is awful. At least basketball season will have begun.
Ohio State (Nov. 18): The Horseshoowill te rocking us this
game will most likely have BigTen championship implications and
possible national title implications. If Lloyd Carr can win this one
on the road, he may considerdropping the extra "I" in his name.
FOOTBALL SATURDAY PRODUCTION CREW
Stephanie Wright Football Writers
Donn M. Fresard Editor in Chief
Jack Herman Managing Sports Editor
Jeffrey Bloomer Managing Editor
Mike Hulsebus Managing Photo Editors
Mike Hulsebus CoverlDesign
Alexis Floyd Business Manager
Robert Chin DisplaySales Manager
Ben Schrotenboer Assoc. Display Sales Manager
David Dai Special Project Manager
Special thanks to: John Lowe, Brady Quinn, Lisa Gentile, Bridget O'Donnell
Michigan passing offense vs. Wisconsin pass offense v. Michi- ley - which he doe
Wisconsin passing defense: gan pass defense: to be a long, painfu
After Michigan's first two games, Wisconsin plays a power game, the redshirt freshma
pundits everywhere wondered if the so don't expect the Badgers to try to
Wolverines would ever find their aer- light up Michigan through the air.But Edge: Michigan
ial attack. Then last week's win over quarterback John Stocco has plenty
Notre Dame proved that Michigan's of experience and a decent arm. If Special teams:
deep ball had just been hibernating. the Badgers run early on, Stocco MichigancoachL
Quarterback Chad Henne connected could burn the Wolverines with play- Garrett Rivas's peri
with receiver Mario Manningham for action. Notre Dame, despite
three touchdowns in the first half. Michigan's defense has been rela- blocked extra poin
The Badgers' pass defense has tively airtight, but it has had some than that mishap, M
been impressive so far this season. trouble defending intermediate routes teams looked solid I
Wisconsin has given up just 350 in the passing game. But without any The Badgers hav
yards through the air in its first three major playmakers, Wisconsin isn't their kicking game
games combined. But of the Badgers' the team to exploit that. In three games, p1
three nonconference opponents, only Mehlhaff has atter
San Diego State even attempted to Edge: Michigan field goals and madi
get its passing gae going.
Wisconsin run offense v. Michi- Edge: Michigan
Edge: Michigan gan run defense:
Against three weak opponents, Intangibles:
Michigan rushing offense vs. jumbo-sized running back P.J. Hill Wisconsin prob
Wisconsin rushing defense: made Wisconsin fans forget all about about itself after bi
Although the Wolverines' back- departed tailback Brian Calhoun. mid-major opponen
field took a backseat to Henne and Hill, who tips the scale at 242 pounds, truly has the mome
Manningham against Notre Dame, picked up 415 yards and five touch- verines have plent
tailback Mike Hart still put together downs during Wisconsin's three big after destroying Ni
a solid performance. He carried the wins. motivation shouldn
ball 31 times for 124 yards. But Hill hasn't yet seen anything - Wisconsin br
The Badgers haven't looked sharp like Michigan's defense. Wolverine heart at Camp Rani
against the run so far this season. opponents have picked up an mfini- year.
Wisconsin ranks seventh in the Big tesimal 62 yards on the ground in
Ten in rush defense, giving up 104 three contests. Unless Hill has the Edge: Michigan
yards per game on the ground. power to run over Prescott Burgess,
Edge: Michigan or the speed to get by LaMarr Wood- Michigan 31, Wis
esn't - it's going
l day at work for
it attempt. Other
en't really tested
yet this season.
mpted just three
ably feels good
lowing out three
its. But Michigan
ntum. The Wol-
y of confidence
otre Dame. And
't be a problem
dall Stadium last