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October 20, 2006 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-20

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6B - Football Saturday - Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday, October 21, 2006 - The Michigan Daily - Football Saturday - 3B

Before every football game
this season, two of the Daily's
football writers will take the
weekend's matchup to the
PlayStation 2 and then let you
know what happened.
* Play of the game - Down
10 with two minutes to go,
Michigan went for two. But WR
#15 couldn't take the dump-off
pass to the goal line, allowing
Iowa to breathe easy.
" Player of the game -
Iowa TE #87 picked on the
Michigan secondary all game.
He started off by catching a
60-yard bomb and finished with
167 yards on eight receptions.

"I admit, I let my guys slack off
a bit after we jumped out to the
29-0 first-quarter lead."
"Of course I was tempted to go for
the 100-spot after that ridiculous
start. But I decided to turn over
a new leaf after the league office
reprimanded me for my classless
behavior a few weeks back."
Michigan coach Kevin Wright:
"Honestly, I don't know what to
say. I didn't bring any emotion to
the game. I played like shit, and
there's no excuse. I don't deserve
to live."
"Someone run over me with a car
like that guy almost did in Happy
Valley. It's only fair to the world."
"It's quite simple, I suck."

Iowa coach Matt Singer:
"Did I really ever lose to coach "Of course we knew who Iowa
Wright? Seems like a lifetime ago." was. That's why I took the field."

Iowa quarterback Drew Tate will try to lead his team to a bounce-back victory against Michigan tomorrow.
I n B renemy lines:
Iowa BDrew Tate

A 2
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Editor
Indiana beat them.
It's as simple as that for the
spiraling Iowa Hawkeyes.
And now the Hawkeyes travel
to Ann Arbor to face a Wolver-
ine team headed in the opposite
Michigan is undefeated and
seems on target to head into Ohio
State weekend with a chance not
only at a Big Ten Championship
but also at a national champion-
ship berth.
But, no matter what's hap-
pened in the past few weeks,
Iowa is still a dangerous team,
and the Wolverines know it.
Michigan rushing offense
vs. Iowa rushing defense
The Wolverine offense is
coming off an impressive per-
formance against a talented Penn
State front seven. Running back
Mike Hart didn't seem like he
rushed for more than 100 yards,
but he did for the sixth time in
seven games this season. And
the offensive line, after a shaky
start to the game, gave Hart just
enough room to reach the cen-
tury mark. Meanwhile, Iowa's
front seven doesn't impose the
same type of fear that last year's
group inspired. Chad Greenway
and Abdul Hodge have depart-
ed for the NFL and have left
too large of a hole to fill. The
banged-up Hawkeyes won't be
able to stop the Michigan run-
ning attack.
Edge: Michigan
Michigan passing offense vs.
Iowa passing defense
The Hawkeyes have some good
news in their secondary. Safety
Marcus Paschal was expected to
practice this past week, which
makes him probable for Satur-
day's game. But the Wolverines'
receivers haven't faltered after
the loss of wide receiver Mario
Manningham. Redshirt sopho-
more Adrian Arrington and
fifth-year senior Steve Breaston

Auburn, Florida, Notre
Dame, Texas.
What do these teams
have in common?
They're all good? They're all
in the top 10 of the BCS stand-
Well, yeah, both of those are
true. But maybe the _
biggest thing that
ties the four schools
together is that
they've all fallen vic-
tim to the curse.
A curse, you say?
This can't be good.
Yes, a curse. And
this isn't just any
curse; it's a curse SC
with dire conse-E
The aforemen-Th
tioned teams all fell
victim to the dreaded No. 2-
ranking curse.
Once it strikes, it ruins nearly
everything - most notably,
national title hopes.
Texas entered the season with
the distinction of being the No.2
team in the nation.
Ohio State had something to
say about that. Sorry Longhorns,
better luck next year.
Then Notre Dame was the
beneficiary of the Associated
Press Poll's No. 2 slot. I recall a
maize-and-blue clad squad put-
ting an end to that hype-fest.


Watch out for the
curse of No. 2

Auburn? Florida? Sorry, you
had the same fate, too. Back of
the line, fellas.
Sunday's announcement of the
new AP Top 25 served notice on
which team would be the next
target: the Michigan Wolverines.
Sure, it's great for Michigan to
be recognized as one
of the nation's elite
- the No. 2 ranking
is the highest rank-
ing the Wolverines
have held since their
national title run in
But come on,
curses are bad. And
)TT they have to be true,
ELL right?
Is it a coincidence
nOon? that this week's
game against Iowa
falls almost directly in between
Friday the 13th and Halloween?
Ewwww. Spooky.
Is it a coincidence that the
top two teams in the AP Top 25
at midseason have both entered
bowl season undefeated less than
20 percent of the time in the past
25 years? Getting more scared.
And come on, this charade is
going way too far. The Wolver-
ines are an impressive 7-0 right
now with very little standing in
between them and a No. 1 vs.
See BELL, page 7B

In August, Daily sports editor Scott Bell satdownwith
a member of each of Michigan's home conference oppo-
nents. This week, we'll look at Iowa quarterback Drew
Tate. Tate is a decorated and intense signal-caller, now
leading the Hawkeyes in his final season in Iowa City.
Scott Bell: You're not the biggest guy, and you've
taken your fair share of hits. What is it that you have that
enables you to take those hits and keep on playing?
Drew Tate: I don't know, it's kind of a combination
of everything I guess. It's not really toughness, maybe
to some people, but that's just the way the game goes.
get up, I understand that. I got a concussion and I got
up, I don't really remember much. There was one time
I couldn't get up when I was dehydrated - I couldn't
move. But the hits don't really bother me.
SB: What was it aboutIowa that lured you away from
Texas and into Iowa City?
DT: I don't really know much about Iowa pre-'03, to
tell you the truth. It was funny because I was coming up
to Iowa, and some guy asked me how big of a city Iowa
was. I was like "Oh man." Then I said "They have run-
ning water and electricity, so we're all right."
SB: Iowa's fans have a reputation for being some of
the best and most loyal ones in the country. What is it
about them thatmakes them so special?
DT: It's passion. They have a passion for Iowa foot-
ball. They love it, they love (Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz).
Our team is a reflection of him. I think he ... could have
taken a lot of things that were said about him, and could
have said "I told you so" after the "02 year. But he didn't
say anything. He just bit his lip and stayed very humble,
and now it's paid off. He could lose the next six seasons

in a row, but he wouldn't be leaving. He won't have six
losing seasons, though, there's no way.... I think they're
going to support us. I've never heard a boo before. Ever.
I don't think they'd ever do it, either.
SB: What Big Ten stadium is the toughest to play in?
DT: There's a common denominator. They're all
kind of are the same. I wouldn't say one is worse than
the other. Wisconsin was pretty bad, they have a lot of
students who say pretty bad things, soI guess probably
SB: You got a hole-in-one last summer. Do you
remember a lot of the details from it?
DT: It was like 188 (yards). I used a six iron. It landed
and just spun back in. It spun like back and to the left....
Don't ask me how it did that. I was supposed to win a car;
theysaid "Hey, ifyougetahole-in-one, youwinthis car."
So I said, "Hey, where's my car?" And I didn't get it.
SB: Why didn't you get it? Because of amateur rules?
DT: I have no idea whyI didn't get this. But I said, if it
wasn't for the University of Iowa and football, I wouldn't
have been there to get the opportunity in the first place,
so it's not the biggest tragedy ever. I still had fun, it was a
good experience. I mean, getting a hole-in-one whether
you get a car or not is stillunbelievable. It was a once-in-
a-lifetime opportunity.
SB: Did you buy drinks for the guys in the club-
DT: I didn't get my car, soI didn't buy people drinks.
SB: Did Iowa's golf coach try and get a hold of you
after he heard the news?
DT: No, I'm not that good.

Tailback Mike Hart should have a big day against Iowa's banged-up
defense. Hart has rushed for 906 yards and five touchdowns this season.

stepped up in Manningham's
absence, and quarterback Chad
Henne remained poised in a
hostile stadium last weekend.
Looking at the coverage Iowa
displayed late in the fourth
quarter against Indiana (leaving
receivers open on simple slant
routes), Michigan's aerial attack
could have a field day if the Wol-
verines even want to pass the
ball after chewing up yardage on
the ground.
Edge: Michigan
Michigan rushing defense
vs. Iowa rushing offense
The Wolverines have been
outstanding in this category this
season. Week in and week out,
the Michigan front seven makes
it a goal to hold the opponent's
rushing total at zero or below.
And it performed that feat last
Saturday against Penn State. The
Nittany Lions racked up minus-
14 yards on the ground. With
Iowa running back Albert Young
still hampered by injuries, look
for the Michigan front four to
wreak more havoc tomorrow.
Edge: Michigan
Michigan passing defense

vs. Iowa passing offense
If there's any spot the Hawk-
eyes could exploit, this may be
it. But quarterback Drew Tate
has to be able to get the ball off
before he can test the Michi-
gan secondary. Last Saturday,
the Wolverines sacked Nittany
Lion quarterbacks seven times,
knocking two of them out
of the game. If Tate can stay
upright, Iowa might be able to
move the ball through the air.
But don't count on the senior
getting enough time to throw
the ball.
Edge: Michigan
Special teams
Michigan's special teams
units have been solid. Kicker
Garrett Rivas is currently in
third place on the all-time lead-
ing scoring list for the Wol-
verines (316), trailing running
backs Tyrone Wheatley (324)
and Anthony Thomas (336). So
far this season, Rivas has con-
verted 14-of-12 tries. But punter
Zoltan Mesko looked rattled in
a rocking Beaver Stadium last
Saturday, and Breaston got lev-
eled on one of his returns. Still,
See BREAKDOWN, page 7B

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