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October 02, 2006 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-02

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SportsMonday, October 2, 2006 - The Michigan Daily - 5B
The Michigan Daily football writers break down the weekend's stats that don't show up in the box-
score. The defense-o-meter measures the intensity of the defense, the Carr-o-meter judges Lloyd
Carr's demeanor following the game and the hypemeter measures the fans' game performance.




Consider it a wake-up call for Michigan's previously
inpenetrable defense. Up 21 in the fourth, the Wolver-
ines' defense relaxed and nearly got burned. Overall,
the Gophers finished with 323 yards of total offense.


Carr didn't seem elated after the game, but that might
have been sheer grumpiness thanks to the 8 p.m. kick-
off. His comments were more upbeat, and he seemed
genuinely happy to bring the Brown Jug back.

1/4 What a waste ofta dome. On the two or three plays that
Minnesota's fans got up for, the building shook. But the
4 rest of the game was played in virtual silence. And Min-
Student nesota's students all left the stadium early in the fourth.

Predictions against the
spread for Sept. 30 -
Scott Matt Kevin Stephanie Nick
Bell Singer Wright Wright Cheolas
No. 6 Michigan (-10) at Minnesota Michigan Minnesota Michigan Michigan Michigan
No. 1Ohio State (-7) at No. 13 Iowa Ohio State Iowa Iowa Iowa Iowa
No. 3 Southern Cal (-17) at Washington St. Southern Cal Washington St. Southern Cal Washington St. Washington St.
Alabama (+14) at No. 5 Florida Florida Alabama Florida Alabama Alabama
Mississippi St. (+34) at No. 9 Louisiana State Mississippi St. Mississippi St. Louisiana State Mississippi St. Mississippi St.
No. 10 Georgia (-18) at Mississippi Georgia Georgia Georgia Georgia Mississippi
No. 24 Georgia Tech (+9) at No. 11 Virginia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Purdue (+14) at No. 12 Notre Dame Notre Dame Purdue Notre Dame Purdue Notre Dame
No. 14 Oregon (-1.5) at Arizona State Arizona State Arizona State Oregon Oregon Oregon
No. 15 Tennessee (-13.5) at Memphis Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
Louisiana Tech (+34.5) at No. 18 Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson Louisiana Tech
No. 20 California (-10) at Oregon State California California California California California
Kansas (+22.5) at No. 21 Nebraska Kansas Kansas Kansas Nebraska Kansas
No. 22 Boise State (+4) at Utah Boise State Boise State Boise State Boise State Boise State
No. 23 Rutgers (4.5) at South Florida Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers
Colorado (+15) at No. 25 Missouri Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado
Wisconsin (-11.5) at Indiana Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin
Illinois (+26) at Michigan State Michigan State Michigan State Michigan State Michigan State Michigan State
Northwestern (+18) at Penn State Penn State Northwestern Northwestern Northwestern Northwestern
Brigham Young (+6) at No. 17 TCU TCU TCU TCU TCU TCU
No.2 Auburn (+14) at South Carolina South Carolina Auburn South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina
Best Bet Michigan State Wisconsin Califomia Tennessee Oregon
Record 13-6-2 (0-1) 9-10-2(1-0) 11-2(10) 10-9-2(10) 11-8-2(10)
Overall 42-31-5 (2-2) 37-36-5(1-3) 39-34-5(3-1) 35-38-5 (3-1) 45-28-5 (2-1-1)
Bell wins week but celebs still hold overall lead
After a dismal 6-14-1 showing last week, Scott Bell won the week in picking for the third time of the four-week season thus far. But close behind him was celebrity picker Nick
Cheolas (Michigan Review EIC), who put up a very respectable 11-8-2 week to keep the celebrities on top overall. Kevin Wright was right there with Cheolas with the same record,
and looks to be putting pressure on Bell for the lead among the football writers. If Bell starts to choose games like he does his best bet, his lead will probably be short-lived.

Continued from page 1B
the rest. The junior had 11 carries and
67 yards rushing in the first quarter
The Wolverine coaching staff knew
coming into the game that it could
exploit the Minnesota front seven with
the outside run, and after Hart forced
the Gophers (0-2, 2-3) to stack the box,
Henne and his receivers went to the
First, Henne hit redshirt sophomore
Adrian Arrington for a 16-yard score.
Then, the junior quarterback sand-
wiched two well-placed touchdown
throws around a Minnesota tally cour-
tesy of a Bryan Cupito pass to Logan
Henne found Arrington on a post
route down the left side of the field
for the second Wolverine score of the
game. In the second quarter, sopho-
more Mario Manningham, who caught
five passes for 131 yards (his third con-
secutive game registering over 100
yards receiving), got into the action.
Henne hit him on a 41-yard touchdown
strike to send the Wolverines into half-
time up 21-7.
"Yeah, I was real wide open (on
the first touchdown)," said Arrington,
who notched his first two career touch-
downs. "I read it well."
The Wolverines were poised to run
away with the game when sophomore
running back Kevin Grady rumbled
into the end zone from a yard out to
extend the lead to28-7,but the Gophers
weren't ready to surrender the trophy
so easily.
Cupito led Minnesota down the field
and cut the Michigan lead to 14 when
he hit Payne on an out route. Payne
broke Michigan cornerback Charles
Stewart's tackle and waltzed into the
end zone for the 21-yard touchdown.
After Minnesota recovered the
ensuing onside kick and moved the
ball 49 yards in four plays down to the
eight-yard line, it looked like the Mich-
igan defense hadn't left behind its 2005
collapses quite yet.
"That was probably one of the big-
gest things that hurt us last year, and
we just knew we couldn't do it again
this year," linebacker David Harris
said. "They got one on us, and luckily

we got a stop on them in the end."
But luck didn't have as much to do
with it as the defense's ability to buckle
With four downs, three timeouts
and just over four minutes left on the
clock, Minnesota had thoughts of
repeating last season's heroics. With
its back against the wall, the Wolver-
ine defense, which held Minnesota to
a season-low 108 rushing yards, made
its stand.
Three plays later, the Wolverine
defense hadn't budged, and Cupito had
just one last chance to put six on the
board. The senior took the snap, rolled
right and, finding no one open, lofted
a ball that sailed well away from any
Minnesota player.
"We wanted to make a statement
that we are a good defense in crunch
time situations like that," defensive
tackle Terrence Taylor said. "Last year,
we had a lot of fourth-quarter game
stop (chances) ... and we wanted to
prove that still being down in the red-
zone (we could) hold them off"
Once Cupito's desperation heave
bounced off the turf, Hart and the
Michigan offense took the field with
one goal: gaina first down.
And Hart reached and exceeded
it. Facing a third-and-three from the
Michigan 14, the junior took the ball
off the left end and found daylight.
Hart, who ran for 195 yards on 31
carries, mustered one last burst across
the field. His 54-yard scamper ended
any chance of a Gopher comeback,
and Michigan ran the clock out.
"I think Mike (DeBord) found a
good call, and our guys executed,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "We
broke a long run. Because that game
was not over, I can tell you that."
But for all the running Hart did dur-
ing the game, it was the unified and
dignified walk across the field that sat-
isfied Carr most about the win.
"I just told our captains, I said,
'Look, this is something I suggest we
do,' " Carr said. "If we win the game,
then we'll send our captains and our
seniors over to the sideline to Jon Falk
and their equipment guy can give us
the trophy and maybe, you know, we
can do it in a way because I didn't want
any issue after the game. I don't think
any of us did."


1. Ohio State (10): For anyone who may have questioned the 7. Texas: The Longhorns are the class of the one-loss teams in col-
Buckeyes as the nation's top team, Saturday should put those lege football. Their lone blemish is a loss to Ohio State, but a 17-point
details to rest. Troy Smith and company marched into a hostile falter athome is stilla 17-point loss, and until Texas hits some big guns
Kinnick Stadium and straight-up whooped a ranked Iowa team. in the Big XII,it will have to settle for being middle-of-the-pack here.

3. Southern Cal: Tue urojans are anotner team tnat
received a bit of a scare this weekend. Mediocre-at-
best Washington State had the ball late with a chance
to win the game. But the experienced Trojans hung on
to the game and staved unbeaten as the game closed.

one-loss team. Their four-point defeat to Auburnis their
only loss of the year. Louisiana State's defense may be the
toughest in the nation, and Bayounation will have plenty
of time toprove itself as SEC season kicks into gear.

Continued from page 1B
behind the Wolverines' offensive
That would be a young man
from Syracuse, N.Y.
Hart may not have the size or
40-yard dash time of other run-
ning backs. But that doesn't mat-
ter, because he has it.
He has the ability to juke a
defender out of his pants.
He has the ability to push a
pile of ten bodies three extra
yards after the first contact has
been made.
He has the ability to turn on
an extra gear and beat a defender
around the corner for a big gain.
And most of all, Hart has the
ability to squeeze every last
inch out of every single play.
His legs never stop churning;
his eyes never stop looking for
a seam or cutback lane. He'll
turn a three-yard loss into
a two-yard gain, a two-yard

gain into a ten-yard scamper,
or, as we saw on Saturday, a
four-yard pickup into a 54-yard
exclamation point for his dark-
horse Heisman campaign.
"You look at the guy, he's not
the biggest guy, he's not the fast-
est guy," offensive tackle Rueben
Riley said of Hart. "Why is he
so good? It's a question mark.
But he's on my team, so I'm not
even going to ask. He has that
If you want real proof of what
makes Hart special, look no fur-
ther than - I kid you not - his
worst run of the game.
On third-and-goal from
the Gophers' two-yard line,
DeBord made one of his few
bad play calls of the contest,
sending Hart headlong into
the right side of the line, an
area overflowing with Gopher
defenders. Three Minnesota
defenders penetrated, and Hart
was wrestled immediately to
the turf three yards behind the

line of scrimmage.
But to Hart, the play wasn't
over. The ball had trickled
loose - a rarity for the nearly
fumble-proof Hart - so he
instinctively picked it up and
continued running, absorb-
ing more punishment from
Minnesota's defense before the
referees mercifully blew the
play dead.
Most of the time, Hart's
never-give-up-on-a-play attitude
has better results - just ask
Michigan's first five opponents,
four of which have let Hart run
for 100 yards or more. In the
run-happy Big Ten, Hart's 672
yards lead the pack, making
him the sixth-leading rusher in
the nation.
But statistics can't possibly
capture what Hart means to this
5-0 Wolverine squad. He makes
the passing game look better
by forcing opposing defenses
to step up against the run. He
makes the offensive line look

better by taking advantage of
holes that exist, and creating
holes where there are none.
Heck, Hart even makes the
defense look better. Thanks to his
efforts,Michigan has been eating
up clock the way Charlie Weis eats
donutsaveraging nearly 35 minutes
of possession per game. Asa result,
the Wolverine defenders have been
well-rested late in games.
When it comes down to it,
Hart makes this team tick. Sure,
Manningham has been drop-
ping jaws ever since the Notre
Dame game. Sure, Henne's been
developing into a top-flight quar-
terback. Sure, linebacker David
Harris has been striking fear
into opposing offenses.
But in the end, I suspect this
team will go as far as little No.
20 will take them. And just like
his final run on Saturday, that
could be a long, long way.
- Singer can be reached
at mattsing@umich.edu.

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