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November 06, 2006 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 6, 2006 - 5B

MAIZE GAUGE
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.

t
z

DEFENSE-0-METER
214 Twenty-six points against Ball State is straight -up
pathetic. But keep in mind that nine of the points came off
a safety and an interception, and 14 more came against
the second team. But still ... it's frickin' Ball State.

CARR-O-METER
In typical Lloyd Carr fashion, the coach seemed happier
,4t after a disappointing game than after a big win. He insisted
it wasn't a step back for the team and said he was happy
that Michigan played a lot of young kids at key times.

HYPEMETER
314 The student section was still a little thin at the top, but by
game's end, it was much louder. One writer's ears were ring-
/ ing more from being on the sideline on the last drive than
they were from the previous night's Chili Peppers concert.

STAFF PICKS
Predictions against the spread
for Nov. 4
Don't call us lazy for bringing
back our nation's first president.
We tried to get Patrick Stewart,
but he claimed he didn't know
enough about American football.
Ball State(+33) at No.2 Michigan
No.1 Ohio State (-27) at Illinois
No. 5 Louisville(+1)at No. 3 West Virginia
Oklahoma State (+17) at No. 4 Texas
Arkansas State (+31.5) at No. 6 Auburn
No. 7 Florida (-17) at Vanderbilt
No. 13Louisiana State(-3)at No8tTennessee
No.9 SouthernCal(-29)at Stanford
UCLA (+17) at No.10 California
North Carolina(+27) at No.11 Notre Dame
No.12 Arkansas (-2.5) at South Carolina
No.16 Boston Col. (-4) at No.22 Wake Forest
Penn Stater(+7) at No.17 Wsconsin
No.18 Oklahoma (-3) at No. 21 Texas A&M
Maryland (+17) at No.19 Clemson
No. 20 Georgia Tech (-6) at N.C. State
No. 23 Virginia Tech(-2.5) at Miami
Washington (+14) at No. 24 Oregon
Arizona (16.5) at No.25 Washinton State
Northwestern (+20) at lowa
Indiana (+6) at Minnesota
Purdue (+2.5) at Michigan State
Best Bet
Record
Overall record
1 WRIGHT - From page 1B
Left tackle Jake Long denied the
Wolverines lack of focus and then,
in the same breath, went on to talk
about why they struggled to put the
Cardinals away.
"I don't think we lost focus," Long
said. "We just did things in the game
that we usually don't do that could
cause us to lose, and we came very
close to that today."
Usually when you make mistakes
that you normally don't, it stems
from a lack of concentration. Henne
echoed the contradiction.
"I thought our guys were focused,"
Henne said. "At times, (practice) was
an easy going, everyone was having
too much fun instead of going down
to the hardnose and getting out there
and practice."
"Having too much fun" and "being
focused" tend not to go together. It's
hard to focus when you're not paying
attention to the opposing team across
the field, but instead on the national
hype and the showdown in Colum-
bus. ESPN already started the count-
down, and apparently, Michigan did
too.
Mental miscues are a direct prod-
uct of a distracted team, a truth
Henne hinted at after the game.
"We just hurt ourselves," Henne
said. "We couldn't put the ball in the

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Scott
Bell
Michigan
Ohio State
Louisville
Texas
Auburn
Vanderbilt
Tennessee
Stanford
UCLA
Notre Dame
South Carolina
Boston College
Wisconsin
Texas A&M
Maryland

matt
Singer
Michigan
Ohio State
West Virginia
Texas

r
E

Auburn
Vanderbilt
Tennessee
Stanford
UCLA
North Carolina
Arkansas
Boston College
Wisconsin
Texas A&M
Clemson
Georgia Tech
Miami
Washington
Arizona
Northwestern
Minnesota
Purdue
Purdue
12-10 (1-O)
89-91-7 (4-5)

.evin
Wright
Ball State
Illinois
Louisville
Oklahoma State
Auburn
Vanderbilt
Tennessee
Stanford
California
Notre Dame
South Carolina
Boston College
Wisconsin
Texas A&M
Maryland
N.C. State
Virginia Tech
Washington
Arizona
Northwestern
Indiana
Michigan State
California
10-12 (0-1)
85-95-7 (5-4)

-nepname
Wright
Michigan
Ohio State
West Virginia
Texas
Auburn
Vanderbilt
Tennessee
Stanford
UCLA
Notre Dame
Arkansas
Boston College
Wisconsin
Texas A&M
Clemson
Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech
Washington
Washington State
Northwestern
Minnesota
Purdue
Stanford
11-11 (0-1)
86-94-7 (4-5)~

George Washington
Fonner president
Ball State
Ohio State
West Virginia
Texas
Auburn
Vanderbilt
Louisiana State
Stanford
UCLA
North Carolina
Arkansas
Boston College
Penn State
Texas A&M
Maryland
Georgia Tech
Miami
Washington
Washington State
Northwestern
Indiana
Purdue
Penn State
12-10 (0-1)
100-80-7 (4-4-1)

Coin proves that writers
pretty much suck at making
picks, Bell & Singer save face.
Call it fate. Call it bad luck.
Call it lack of prognosticating
prowess. Whatever it is, celebri-
ties continue to crush the football
writers week in and week out.
This week was no different, as
the writers decided to uphold the
Daily tradition of having former
President George Washington -
in the form of a coin flip - make
the picks. Unfortunately for the
writers, nobody could beat the
coin and its slightly-above-aver-
age result. Only Scott Bell and
Matt Singer tied the coin, and Bell
still hasn't fallen below .500 in
the overall standings this year.
Singer was the lone picker to
get his best bet right, and would
also like to let it be known that he
flipped the coin forthe celebrity
picks.
Kevin Wright's insistence on
picking California every week for
his best bet - whether they're
playing or not - is starting to fail
him. The Golden Bears couldn't
beat host UCLA by more than 17
on Saturday.
The writers really wish Patrick
Stewart had agreed tormake the
picks after this presidential beat-
down. He was too busy conduct
ing the band to take two minutes
out of his schedule to make picks.

Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech
Oregon
Washington State
lowa
Minnesota
Purdue
Tennessee
12-10 (0-1)
91-89-7 (3-5-1)
end zone and get first downs. It all
came down to just execution like I
said before, and coach Carr was pret-
ty disappointed in that."
Pretty disappointing doesn't begin
to describe the Michigan effort. Sure,
it showed flashes of that dominant
team that handed it to Notre Dame
(like rushing for more than 200 yards
in the first half), but not enough to
justify its No. 2 ranking. Ball State is
a middle-of-the-pack Mid-American
Conference team at best and beating
the Cardinals by eight points isn't
convincing or reassuring.
For all the faults critics can now
find with the Wolverines, noth-
ing much has changed. Michigan
remained perfect. The first-team
defense, when playing together, sur-
rendered just three points. And Man-
ningham's return sparked a recently
anemic offense.
Still, the players learned more
from eking out a winthanthey would
have from a blowout.
"It's definitely a reality check for
us," Henne said with a chuckle. "If
they don't come out next week fired
up, then we're not the team that
everybody thinks we are."
Can the Wolverines rediscover the
fire from earlier this season?
Sure. But for me, the jury's still
out.
- Wright can be reached
at kpwr@umich.edu

THE MICHIGAN DAILY TOP 10 POLL

T7. California: The Golden Bears rattled off their eighth con-
secutive victory by knocking off UCLA by two touchdowns.
Southern Cal is the only competition remaining between the
Golden Bears and a one-loss regular season.

3. Louisvnle:; v-ow's unac ut r h neph LtcCemn
- the Cardinals beat up West Virginia on national
television Thursday night. Now Louisville has to be
considered a strong contender to run the table. L

9. Notre Dame; Ottensive mastermind Chrliue Weis has
his team back on track followingthe devastating loss to
Michigan in the third week of the season. Brady Quinn is
also finding his way back into Heisman conversations.

Also receivingvotes: West Virginia, Louisiana State, Rutgers.

CARDINALS - From page 1B
English said. "But we're 10-0, and the
goal is to win the next two games, and
that's the deal."
For the first time this season, even
Michigan's top defenders looked vul-
nerable. The Wolverines have won by
closer-than-they-should-have-been
margins before - last weekend's
17-3 victory over Northwestern, for
example.
Saturday was different.
The front seven picked up three
sacks, but the vaunted defensive line
couldn't get pressure on Davis when
it mattered.
Linebacker David Harris recorded
a career-high 14 solo tackles, but many
came after other Michigan defend-
ers let ball carriers slip through their
grasp.
And the big plays almost cost the
Wolverines the game.
"We went out there and gave up
big plays; that's what hurts the most,"
Woodley said. "We gave up a lot of big
plays on both sides of the ball that we
shouldn't have given up. Going into
these last two games, you can't give up
big plays or you'll lose games."
Even Michigan's offense got into
the act. In the end zone, sure-handed
tailback Mike Hart lost his first fum-
ble in 665 carriesgivingBall State two
points. Then quarterback Chad Henne
made a "poor throw" that Cardinal
Erik Keys intercepted and returned
for a touchdown.
Thanks to the Wolverines' surpris-
ing defensive breakdown, the offense's

otherwise strong performance was all
but forgotten - an even bigger deal
considering Saturday marked star
receiver Mario Manningham's return
from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Michigan (6-0 Big Ten, 10-0) put up
507 yards of offense, including a sea-
son-high 352 yards on the ground, and
had two too-yard rushers.
His fumble aside, Hart impressed
as usual, amassing 154 yards on 25
carries. Freshman Brandon Minor
also showed up big, gaining 108 yards
on just 12 rushes.
Even though the offense showed a
spark it had lacked in recent weeks,
the Wolverines' near-meltdown was
virtually the only thing on their minds
after the game.
Woodley said it was a wake-up call.
Sears said Michigan didn't bring its
'A' game.
Left tackle Jake Long called it a
"reality check."
It could have been much worse.
In a sluggish weekend for most
of the nation's top teams, Michigan
wasn't the only squad caught looking
ahead. The top-ranked Buckeyes beat
Big Ten bottom dweller Illinois by just
seven points in their first close win
this year.
Even so, the Wolverines know a
similar performance against Indiana
this weekend could turn out very dif-
ferently.
"Ithinkguyswerereadingtoomany
press clippings about themselves and
about our team, and it got us really
focused in an individual manner,"
Henne said. "I think we just need to
be more focused, and this week take a
step forward."

Co-captain LaMarr Woodley was visibly upset with Michigan's defensive
performance against Ball State during the postgame press conference.

Quarterback Chad Henne threw for 155 yards and one touchdown agains

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