4B - Monday, November 6, 2006
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
TmTe of Pos
ESTATISTICS Balanced backfield bowls over BSU
250 155 By MATT SINGER
56 71 Daily Sports Editor
18/34/1 17/2G/1 At the end of Saturday's game, the scoreboard at the
7/305 4/146 Big House displayed a disturbingly close 34-26 Michi-
1/U 1/U gan victory.
3/25 8/71 But on the ground, it was a much different story.
2:28 34:32 The Wolverines' running game completely dominated
Ball State's defense, racking up a season-high 352 yards
M I C H I G A N on 46 carries.
"Whenever you can put 300- NOTEBOOK
C-A Yds TD Int plus yards rushing on the ground,
1725 155 1 1 you smile as an offensive lineman," fifth-year senior
11-25 115 1 1 offensive lineman Rueben Riley said. "You just wish the
scoreboard could be a little prettier."
Att Yds Avg Lg TD Michigan tailbacks Mike Hart, Jerome Jackson
25 154 6.2 42 1 and Brandon Minor took advantage of massive holes
TA 108 970 4G 1 punched by the offensive line and pumped out big gain
A 11 1 U3 o after big gain againstthe Cardinals' overmatched defen-
1 1111 U 11 sive front. Each back scored a touchdown.
46 352 7.7 42 3 "We go out there with the mindset that every week
we're gonna have to run the ball," guard Adam Kraus
said. "It's good that we got to give Mike a little bit of a
Y so Ag 12 o break. And the (other) guys came in and did an excel-
4 49 12.1 28 1 lent job."
2 25 125 17 U In the nine games prior to the Ball State contest, the
2 8 4.0 s 0 Wolverines had amassed just three rushing plays of
IA14 l4G0 A4 Uo more than 30 yards. Michigan surpassed that total on
1 155 91 28 1 Saturday, rushing for 30-plus yards on four separate
occasions against the Cardinals.
With the Nov. 18 matchup against No. 1 Ohio State
No. Yds Avg Lg looming, the coaching staff tried not to lean on Hart as
3 1630 38.7 HG much. But the game was tighter than expected, so Hart
4 146 365 52 carried the ball 25 times and picked up 154 yards - his
eighth 100-yard performance int10 games.
Still, the other backs had opportunities to shine. Jack-
No. Yds Avg Lg TD son, a senior, played a key role in his final game at the Big
133 26.6 45House. He picked up 68 yards on six carries - including
scampers of 23 and 30 yards - all in the first half.
But Minor stole the show. The big freshman looked
No. Yds Avg Lg TD extremely comfortable in the most extensive action of
2 22 110 11 his Michigan career. Hitting the holes with abandon,
11111.0 110 Minor finished with 108 yards on 12 carries, more than
4 42 17 11 o doubling his previous-best rushing total.
Minor's most impressive moment came late in the
second quarter, when he exploded outside of the right
Solo Asst Tot tackle, chugged down the sideline and leapt to the pylon
1A S IA for a 40-yard touchdown run.
2 2 A "He's got some speed, he's a big guy, and I thought
3 0 3 the touchdown run he showed a burst," Michigan coach
3 0 3 Lloyd Carr said. "I think that gives him confidence, that
3 U 3 gives us confidence as we go to Indiana (next week)."
Out on top: Even though it wasn't a blowout, Mich-
2 0 2 igan's victory was still a sweet send-off for this year's
2 S0 2 senior class. The Wolverines finished their home sched-
1 1 ule undefeated for the third time in the past four sea-
l 0 1 sons. Over that stretch, Michigan has owned the Big
House, amassing a 22-3 record in Michigan Stadium.
1 0 1 The seniors - along with their parents - were hon-
1 0 1 ored in an on-field ceremony prior to the game.
1 0 1 "(Senior Day is) a big deal," fifth-year senior Dar-
1 0 1 nell Hood said. "It's emotional. You really want to win,
1 0 1 more than anything. That's one thing I'm really satisfied
about. I haven't lost this year, my last year in this sta-
dium. It's a wonderful place that I'm going to miss."
The Devil's Work?: Michigan's running game was
dominant, but there was one glaring mistake: Hart's
N STANDINGS With the Wolverines pinned at their own two-yard
line, Carr called Hart's number. But Ball State's Cortlan
Big Ten Overall Booker punched the ball out of Hart's hand and out of
the side of the end zone for a safety.
MIKE HULSEBUS AND FOREST CASEY/Daily
TOP: Senior running back Jerome Jackson trots into the end zone during his first-quarter touchdown. He gained 68 yards on the day.
BOTTOM: True freshman running back Brandon Minor finds a hole in the Ball State defense. He picked up 108 yards with a touchdown.
Hart had gone 665 carries since his last lost fumble.
His streak ended on what would have been his 666th
consecutive fumble-less rush.
Move over A-Train: With a 23-yard field goal in the n
fourth quarter, senior kicker Garrett Rivas moved ahead
of former Wolverine running back Anthony Thomas for
first place on Michigan's all-time career scoring list.
Rivas now has scored 339 points in his Michigan career,
compared to Thomas's 336 points.
"It's a great honor," Rivas said. "I didn't even know
till a little bit ago, when somebody told me I had done it.
I'm excited, but it's really not one of the goals I wanted
to achieve this year. The main thing I wanted to achieve
this year was to end the season undefeated."
Injury update: Tight ends Tyler Ecker and Mike
Massey both dressed on Saturday, but didn't play. Carr
said they could have played, but he decided to give them
an extra week of rest.
Senior linebacker Prescott Burgess went down early
in the game with an ankle injury. He was seen on the
sideline in street clothes during the second half. Carr
indicated that the injury wasn't serious.
Sophomore running back Kevin Grady sat out the
game with a shoulder injury, but said he'd be ready to
return next week against Indiana.
Redshirt junior offensive lineman Jake Long came
out of the game momentarily after he was kicked in the
head. He returned to action soon after.
Michigan 6 0 10 0
Ohio State 6 0 10 0
Wisconsin 6 1 9 1
Penn State 4 3 6 4
Purdoe 3 3 6 4
Indiana 3 3 5 5
towa 2 4 6 4
Michigan State 1 5 4 6
ttinois 1 5 2 8
Minnesota 1 5 4 6
Northwestern 1 5 3 7
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MIcHIGAN 34, Ball State 26
Ohio State 17,1LLINOS1 0
WIScoNslN 13, Penn State 3
Purdue 17, MIcHIGAN STATE 15
Northwestern 21, lowA 7
MINNEsoTA 63, Indiana 26
AROUND THE NCAA
LOUISVILLE OUTLASTS WEST VIRGINIA
IN MATCHUPOF UNDEFEATEDS:
No. 5 Louisville put itself in the driver's
seat for the Big East conference's BCS
berth and possibly a title-game appear-
ance with a 44-34 victory over previ-
ously undefeated West Virginia. The
Thursday night game was an offensive
shootout, as the Big East powerhouses
combined for 1,008 total yards. The
host Cardinals broke the game open
early in the third quarter with fumble
and punt returns for touchdowns three
minutes apart. Quarterback Brian
Brohm led Louisville with 354 yards
passing and a touchdown, while his
counterpart, Pat White, rushed for 125
yards and four scores for No. 3 West
LOUISIANA STATE STUNS HOST TEN-
NESSEE WITH TOUCHDOWN IN FINAL
Trailing 24-21 in the final minute,
Louisiana State quarterback JaMarcus
Russell found Early Doucet for a 4-yard
touchdown pass with 9 seconds left
that held up in this SEC showdown. On
the play, half of the Tennessee second-
ary bit on the fake to the running back
in the flat, leaving Doucet wide open
in the back of the end zone. No. 8 Ten-
nessee lost a 17-7 third-quarter lead
before going ahead in the middle of the
fourth quarter on a 54-yard connection
from Jonathan Crompton to Robert
Meachem. But Russell marched No.
13 LSU down the field late including a
4th-and-10 conversion before the dra-
matic touchdown reception.
OKLAHOMA HANGS ONOVER TEXAS
With a 4th-and-1 on its own 29-yard-
line and just under two minutes left in
the game, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops
played it risky and went for it. The con-
version sealed the victory for the visiting
Sooners. Both teams gained over 200
rushing yards while failing to muster tri-
ple digits in passing yards. After an Aggie
field goal with 328 remainingmade it 17-
16, No. 18 Oklahoma ran out the clock for
a crucial Big12 victory. This result all but
assures a Nebraska-Texas matchup in the
Big XII Title Game.
makes Blue optimistic
In a week where the top two teams in the polls, Ohio State and 4
Michigan, had shaky performances, Louisville proved the most
impressive. The Cardinals knocked West Virginia from the ranks
of the unbeaten. Louisville will have another chance to defeat an
undefeated team when it squares off against Rutgers this Thurs-
day. Meanwhile, California continues to roll through the Pacific
10. The Golden Bears have recovered nicely from the season-
opening loss to Tennessee, who lost in heartbreaking fashion
Saturday to Louisiana State. Brigham Young and Maryland found
their way into the Top 25 for the first time this year.
By SCOTT BELL
That uneasy feeling in fans'
stomachs with Michigan's defen-
sive struggles late in the game
wasn't the only stimulus making
its comeback on Saturday.
Three weeks after undergoing
successful knee surgery to replace
a torn meniscus, crowd favorite
Mario Manningham returned to
action against Ball State.
energized the crowd and motivat-
ed an offense that had sputtered
during his hiatus.
"It was pretty cool to see every-
body has that much respect for
him," captain Jake Long said. "He
deserves it because he's a great
player. It was cool because all of us
came out really fired up, too."
With 2:29 remaining in the first
quarter, the sophomore trotted
onto the field for the first time since
injuring his knee against Michigan
State in early October. The Michi-
gan faithful greeted Manningham
- the nation's leader in touchdown
receptions at the time of his injury
- with a standing ovation.
"I'm sure it made Mario feel
great," Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr said. "I can tell you when he
came back to practice on Tuesday
his teammates felt the same way.
... Tuesday was really fun to see.
Every time he ran downthe field, it
brought a smile to everybody's face
- especially Chad Henne."
Maybe the biggest smiles should
have belonged to the running
He didn't catch a pass, but Man-
ningham still left his stamp on the
offense thanks to his impact on the
On two consecutive drives in
the second quarter, backup run-
ning back Brandon Minor broke
30-plus yard runs the play after
Manningham entered the game -
including his 40-yard touchdown
Manningham's mere presence
forced Bali State to drop an extra
person into coverage, someone
who otherwise would've concen-
trated on stopping the run.
"I think he makes a big differ-
ence in the way that we're going to
be defended," Carr said. "I think
there's no doubt about that. We
had a lot of success running the
football today, and I'm sure that
TEAM LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
1. Ohio State beat Illinois at Northwester
2. Michigan beat Ball State 34-26 at Indiana
3. Looisvitle heat West Virginia at Rtgers
4. Texas beat Oklahoma State at Kansas Stat
5. Auburn beat Arkansas State Georgia
6. Florida beat Vanderbilt South Caroling
7. Southern Cal heat Stanford 42-0 Oregon
8. California beat UCLA 38-24 at Arizona
9. Notre Dame heat North Caro- at Air Forte
10. West Virginia lost to Louisville Cincinnati
11. Arkansas beat Tennessee
South Carolina 26-20
12. Louisiana State beat Tennessee 28-24 Alabama
13. Tennessee lost to Louisiana at Arkansas
14. Boise State beat Fresno at San Jose Sta
15. Rutgers beat Louisville
16. Wisconsin beat Penn State13-3 at Iowa
17. Oklahoma beat Texas A&M 17-16 Texas Tech
18. Wake Forest beat at Florida Stat
Boston College 21-14
19. Georgia Tech beat North at North Caroli
Carolina State 31-23
20. Virginia Tech beat Kent State
Miami (FL) 17-10
21. Oregon heat at Southern CQ
22. Boston College lost to Wake Forest Duke
23. Maryland eat Clemson 13-12 Miami (FL)
24. Teoas A&M lost to Oklahoma 17-16 Nebraska
25. Brigham Young heat Colorado Wyoming
Sophomore wide receiver Mario Manningham returned to action after missing
three games with a knee injury. He played 13 snaps in his return.
In all, the Warren, Ohio, native eluded reporters who sought com-
participated in 13 plays, 11 of which ment multiple times.
occurred in the middle two quar- He didn't answer any questions,
ters. Carr said the team intended but assured reporters that he was
to get him eight-to-10 snaps for the fine.
game. Just getting Manningham back
In terms of the passing game, on the field serves as a confidence
Henne looked Manningham's way booster for the Michigan offense,
during his progression multiple which had struggled without its
times when the sophomore was on top wide receiver.
the field. But Manningham drew After undergoing surgery on
Ball State's full attention with mul- Oct. 10, Manningham missed the
tiple double teams. Penn State, Iowa and Northwest-
The one passsHenne did throw erngames - Michigan's three low-
Manningham's way - on the est-scoring games of the year.
receiver's 10th snap of the game And though Manningham was
- was a fly pattern down the right held without a catch for the first
sideline. The long ball ended up time in 16 games, Carr was happy
sailing over Manningham's head with the progress he displayed on
and falling incomplete. Saturday. After Carr eased Man-
"It was a good shot because ningham back into the lineup
they gave us single-high coverage, against the Cardinals, Manning-
which would be one-on-one, but ham should be back to normal for
the guy was playing too for off," the rest oftheyeor.
Henne said. "It was kind of o no- "I think right now he's right
win situation right there." where he needs to be, and I think
Manningham's stealth contin- he'll be ready to start the game this
ued following the game, when he week (against Indiana)," Carr said.
Games updated through Nov. 5.