The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, October 23, 2006 - 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.
41 For the second straight game, Michigan's defensive line spent
the majority of its time in the quarterback's face. And the run
4 defense again dominated. Although Drew Tate made some
big plays under pressure, we'll still award four Woodleys.
Carr's smile could have lit up a small city on Saturday. He
4 seemed impressed with his team's performance and regaled
4 the media with tales of Bo Schembechler. Carr also dis-
cussed how much fun he was having this year. Go figure.
It masn't Penn State on a Saturday night, but it was pretty
close for the Big House. The crowd made noise throughout the
matchup, and occasionally brought an extra gearfor big plays.
Overall, a solid performance for a less-than-thrilling game.
Predictions against the spread
for Oct. 21
Former Michigan center and '96
team MVP Rod Payne takes on the
football writers. The Super Bowl
Champion co-wrote a book, "Cen-
tered on a Miracle."
Iowa (+14) at No. 2 Michigan
Indiana (+30.5) at No.1 Ohio State
No. 4 West Virginia (-23) at Connecticut
No.5 Texas (-7) at No.17 Nebraska
No.6 Louisvile (-17) at Syracuse
Alabama (+11) at No. 7 Tennessee
Tulane (+32) vs. No.8 Auburn
UCLA (+14) at No.10 Notre Dame
Washington (+23) at No. 11 California
No.13 Georgia Tech (+7.5) at No.12 Clemson
Fresno State (+33) at No.14 Louisiana State
Mississippi (+19) at No.15 Arkansas
No16Oregon(-4) at WashingtonState
No.18 Boise State (-21)at Idaho
No.19 Rutgers (+6.5) at Pittsburgh
Colorado (+14)at No. 20 Oklahoma
No. 21 Wisconsin (-6.5) at Purdue
No.22 Boston College (E) at Florida State
No. 23 Texas A&M (-3)at Oklahoma State
Kansas State (+16)at No. 24 Missouri
Illinois (+18) at Penn State
Michigan State (-7)at Northwestern
West Virginia West Virginia
West Virginia West Virginia
Writers embarrass them-
selves as Wright wins with
Celebs still hold overall lead.
It wasn't the best appearance
for former Michigan center and
team MVP Rod Payne. He picked
Rod just five games correctly. Scott
Payne Bell nearly matched Payne's
Michigan struggles, nailing just seven
Indiana games on the week. Stephanie
Wright and Matt Singer didn't
do much better, picking eight
Texas games a piece.
Louisville Kevin Wright was the only
Alabama writer who won't have to hang
Auburn his head in shame. He came a
Notre Dame game short of going above .500
california with a respectable 10-11 week.
While he struggled with
Georgia Tech his picks this week, Payne did
Louisiana State enjoy a Super Bowl win with
Mississippi the Baltimore Ravens in 2000
Oregon after three injury-plagued
Boise State seasons with the Cincinnati
Oklahoma After retiring from the NFL
following his Super Bowl run
Wisconsin with the Ravens, Payne now
Florida State coaches a high school team in
Texas A&M Florida.
Missouri The book "Centered on
Penn State a Miracle," which Payne co-
Michigan State authored, focuses on the story
Indiana oformer Daily writer Stephen
Rom's recovery from leukemia
S-lb-i (o-t) and Payne's constant presence
76-61-7 (3-3-1) through the ordeal.
From page 1B
the Wolverines prepared for
Iowa's best shot and successfully
So what if Northwestern, Ball
State and Indiana don't carry the
same prestige as those tradition-
ally solid Big Ten squadsP The
undefeated Wolverines have come
too far to slack off with a poten-
tially golden finish in sight.
"Everyone knows we played
our toughest stretch of games,"
Hart said. "That's not a lie,
everyone knows it. So the fact
is, what are we gonna do these
next three weeks? Are we gonna
fall wayside, so we're not ready
when we get to 0-State? Or are
we gonna get better every week?
That's what we want to do. We
want to get better every week, or
we're not gonna be prepared to
play Ohio State."
All signs point to the Wolver-
ines backing up Hart's words in
the upcoming weeks. For one, the
memory of last season's 7-5 record
remains seared into the psyches
of the returning players. The
Wolverines know all too well the
gut-wrenching feeling of blowing
games they should've won. If that's
not motivation to practice hard,
I'm not sure what is.
Plus, the team still feels as if it
has something to prove after it was
virtually ignored as a preseason
contender. Obviously, things have
changed since the Wolverines
were ranked 14th in the preseason,
and the national media is currently
abuzz about No. 2 Michigan's
return to the big stage. But don't
expect the attention to get into the
Wolverines' heads - they know
that the hype can vanish just as
quickly as it appeared.
"The quicker you get the buzz,
the quicker you're going to lose it,"
senior co-captain LaMarr Woodley
said. "You only get the buzz when
you're winning. As soon as you lose,
somebody's goingto say'Oh, I knew
they were going to lose.' SoI defi-
nitely don't enjoy the buzz, because it
can get taken away like that."
Of course, barring a complete
catastrophe, the Wolverines will
be 11-0 heading into Ohio State
week. But Michigan must prepare
the way it has for the past six
games, treating each opponent as
a serious threat to steal away its
Because the Wolverines still
have plenty to work on before tak-
ing on the Buckeye behemoth.
Against Northwestern, Ball
State and Indiana, Michigan must:
-Learn how to put up points in
the first half.
-Tighten up its pass defense.
-Redevelop a vertical passing
game given Mario Manningham's
-Establish large enough leads to
give backups playing time, keeping
the starters fresh for Ohio State.
Those things can be done - I
wouldn't put anything past this
coaching staff - but only if the
Wolverines continue to treat each
It won't be easy. Hart admitted
that the next three contests would
present a serious psychological
challenge for the Wolverines.
"Of course it's hard," Hart said.
"But that's what makes great
teams, is coming out here and
being prepared to play games like
this, to see where your focus is.
That's when it shows up, that you
have great leadership."
My suspicion is that the Wolver-
ines - their coaches, their captains
and their upperclassmen in par-
ticular - will stay focused against
the next three less-challenging
And if they do, the Buckeye
faithful might end up feeling a
little bit blue when the game of the
century comes to the Horseshoe.
- Singer can be reached
/ nerable. A week after going down to tbe wire with Cincinnati,
Louisville letSyracusebangaround. Thisteam bas somework
to do if it wants to take out West Virginia in two weeks.
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From page 1B
themselves on being big, strong and powerful guys, and they came out
here today and just played well," left tackle Jake Long said. "The offense
got off to a slow start, but once we started getting going, we did well."
The win keeps the national spotlight squarely on the Wolverines.
Yesterday, they moved into second place in the BCS rankings. Michigan
also became the first second-ranked team to win after moving up to the
spot. The Wolverines will now enter a potentially scary stretch of the
schedule. With contests against Northwestern, Ball State and Indiana
already marked as wins in many eyes, talk of the Ohio State game has
taken center stage.
And this team understands that.
"I think the key for us as a football team is try to get better next week,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "If we can do that, then the rest of it
will take care of itself. But you can't get ahead of yourself. When you get
ahead of yourself, that's when you get a problem."
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Adrian Arrington picked up 79 yards on eight catches during Michigan's 20-6 win over lowa.