The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4B - Monday, November 13, 2006
GAME STATISTICS| Amd
Tea m Stats
Time of Poss
M I C H I G A N
Totals 1216 168 2 1 By STEPHANIE WRIGHT
RUSH ING Daily Sports Editor
Player Att Yds Avg Lg TD
Hart 19 92 438 17 1 BLOOMINGTON - If Steve Breaston didn't silence
Jackson 8 65 8.1 17 1 his critics on Saturday, at least he presented a compelling
Brown 8 25 3.1 7 0 counterargument to ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit's claim
Hood 2 12 6.0 10 0 that he's a "worthless" wide receiver.
r 6 12 4 , The oft-maligned Breaston racked up 231 all-purpose
Bradley 1 2 2.0 2 0 yards on six touches, including a season-high 103 receiving
Henne 2 -6 -30 0 0 yards and a career-long 83-yard punt return for a touch-
Totals 46 20 4.5 2 down. He also found the end zone on a 62-yard reception
RECEIVING 0in the second quarter, his first touchdown of the season.
Player No. Yds Avg Lg TD Breaston's big day came just two weeks after Herbst-
Breaston 3 103 34.3 62 1 reit disparaged the fifth-year senior's value as an offen-
Arrington 3 24 80 12 1 sive weapon. During the analyst's weekly radio show in
Manningham 2 11 55 8 0 Columbus, Herbstreit said Breaston hasn't done anything
utr 2 6 30 20 on offense since his freshman year.
Bradley 1 -5 -5.0 0 After Saturday's game, the North Braddock, Pa., native
savoy 0 7 7.0 o0 had little to say in response to Herbstreit's harsh words.
Totals 12 168 9.9 62 2 "It is what it is," Breaston said. "I don't use that as my
motivation. ... It's said, (but) I'm not really bothered by
Player No. Yds Avg Lg
Ryan 1 32 32.0 32 The same can't be said for his teammates. Breaston first
Mesko 2 76 38.0 39 heard about Herbstreit's criticism from tailback Mike
Totals 3 108 36.0 39 Hart, who Breaston said was veryupset about it.
Breaston didn't see a point to getting angry.
KPCKerEN No. Yds Avg Lg TD "I've heard far worse in my life," Breaston said. "It's just
Breaston 2 45 25 30 t that this was out there. I'm not really mad about it. I'm not
Totals 2 45 225 30 0 mad at him because I know what type of player I am and I
know how much I contribute to this team every week:'
PUNT RETURNS So does Indiana. Saturday marked the second straight
Plaer02, ds Ag L5 TO
83easton N 03Avg T year in which Breaston turned in a monster performance
Mathews 1 5D 0 5 0 against the Hoosiers.
Totals 2 88 44.0 83 1 Last season, he amassed 201 all-purpose yards, high-
lightedby an 11-yard touchdown reception, a 47-yard kick-
DEFENSE off return and 78 yards off three punt returns.
Play Solo Asst Tot Saturday, Breaston notched his first 100-yard receiving
Graham, C. 4 0 4 game of the season, mostly thanks to his 62-yard touch-
Hall 4 0 4 downcatchinthesecond quarter. Onthatplay,quarterback
Branch 2 1 3 Chad Henne looked to awell-covered Mario Manningham
Jamin 1 2 3 first before finding Breaston one step ahead of the Indiana
Egmn 2 0 2 defender down the right sideline for an easy score.
Woodley 1 1 2 Then, in the third quarter, the Big Ten's career punt
Graham, B. 1 1 2 return leader fielded a punt at the 17-yard line and took
0 2 2 it up the right sideline and into the end zone for his first
Fifth-year senior Steve Breaston put together his best performance on the season on Saturday in Michigan's blowout win over Indiana.
The wide receiver finished the day with a season-high 103 receiving yards and a career-long 82-yard punt return for a touchdown.
touchdown return this year. Carr disagrees. In preparation for Indiana, he showed
With the score, Breaston broke a four-way tie to claim the Wolverines a clip of a first-down play Breaston made
Michigan's all-time record for touchdown returns. against Ball State last weekend.
"I told him before the game that I thought this wouldbe On third-and-10, Breaston grabbed the ball about three
his best game of the year," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. yards short of the first-down marker. He jumped over the
"Fourteen points - that's a pretty good day's work when defender and landed on his back, just far enough upfield to
you only touch the ball (a handful of) times." move the chains.
Saturday's breakout game aside, Breaston's final season Carr cites the play as one example of how Breaston's
in Ann Arbor has been widely considered a disappoint- impact as a receiver has been overlooked this season.
ment. In 11 games, the preseason Biletnikoff Award can- "I think he's done a lot of great things that maybe were
didate (given annually to the nation's top receiver) has unappreciated," Carr said. "He's caught a lot of balls in
nabbed 48 passes for 537 yards - better numbers than he front of the defense all year long and made good, tough,
put up last year, but not what was expected from the 2003 hard yardage. SoI like Breaston. I like him a lot."
Freshman All-American. There's certainly value in that.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team Big Ten Overall
Michigan 7 0 11 0
Ohio State 7 0 11 0
Wisconsin 7 1 10 1
Penn State 4 3 7 4
Purdue 4 3 7 4
Indiana 3 3 5 6
Iowa 2 5 6 5
Minnesota 2 5 5 6
Northwestern 1 6 3 83
Illinois 1 6 2 9
Michigan State 1 6 4 7
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
Michigan 34, INDIANA 3
Purdue 42, ILLINOIS 31
Wisconsin 24, IOwA 21
Minnesota 31, MICHIGAN STATE18
Ohio State 54.ENORTHWESTERN10
PtNSnT 47, Temple 0
AROUND THE NCAA
KANSAS STATE HOLDS ON TO GIVE
LONGHORNS THEIR SECOND LOSS:
Texas's National Championship hopes
are all but lost after Kansas State beat
the Longhorns 45-42. The Wildcats
took a 42-21 lead before Texas battled
back to pull within three with one
minute left. Then the Longhorns failed
to recover an onside kick, securing the
Kansas State victory. To make matters
worse, the Longhorns also lost their
No. 1 quarterback Colt McCoy in the
first quarter after he injured his right
GATORS RELY ON BLOCKED KICKS TO
EKE OUT WIN OVER GAMECOCKS:
Florida barely avoided the curse of
the top-ranked one-loss teams with
a 17-16 win over South Carolina. In a
back-and-forth game, the Gamecocks
took a 16-10 lead when running back
Mike Davis found the end zone on a
14-yard run in the fourth quarter. But
the Gators blocked the extra point and
took a 17-16 advantage five minutes
later. Then Florida defensive end Jarvis
Moss blocked a 48-yard field goal as
time expired to keep its national-title
ANOTHER HOME LOSS DERAILS
AUBURN'S NATIONAL TITLE HOPES:
Five weeks after Arkansas came
into Jordan-Hare Stadium and beat
the heavily favored Tigers, Auburn
dropped its second home game of the
season, a 37-15 loss to underdog Geor-
gia. The Bulldogs can thank defensive
back Tra Battle for their big win. Battle
intercepted three passes in the first
half, and returned one 30 yards for a
touchdown. Auburn gained a paltry 171
total yards, including just 35 through
the air, which all but eliminates the
Tigers' chance at a national - or even
an SEC - title.
By KEVIN WRIGHT
Daily Sports Editor
BLOOMINGTON-It didn't seem like a bigplay,
so you may not have noticed its significance.
When IndianaquarterbackKellen Lewis tried to
hit wide receiver James Hardy
along the sideline on a third- NOTEBOOK
and-nine in the second quar-
ter, cornerback Leon Hall stymied the completion.
He stuck a hand between Indiana receiver
James Hardy and the ball to record his 42nd career
pass breakup, moving ahead of former cornerback
Todd Howard as Michigan's all-time leader in that
"I didn't know he broke it, but I'm very proud
of him," defensive end LaMarr Woodley said. "I'm
going to pat him on the back when I get on the
As the quiet leader of the oft-criticized Wolver-
ine secondary, Hall has been a steady contribu-
tyr - when opposing quarterbacks actually risk
throwingto his side. When thathappens, the Vista,
Calif., native usually shows why Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr calls him the most technically sound
cornerback he's ever coached.
Saturday, Hall broke up three Lewis throws on
his way to passing Howard.
Lewis first tested the Jim Thorpe Award semifi-
nalist on Indiana's first play of the game. He tried
to hit his receiver deep along the left sideline, but
Hall beat him to the ball, nearly picking off the
Then, in the second quarter, Hall took sole pos-
session of the record when he broke up Lewis's
pass to Hardy.
The 5-foot-11 cornerback finished off the show-
case with an acrobatic deflection in the back left
corner of the end zone. The next play, Morgan
Trent intercepted Lewisto effectively end Indi-
ana's only real threat of the game.
"Leon's a quiet leader," Woodley said. "He
doesn't say much, but he leads. He's quiet and just
goes out there and does his job on the field."
RESTOCKING THE SHELVES: After weeks of
hearing about how much progress tight end Tyler
Ecker has made in practice, Michigan fans finally
got to see him on the field. And he even caught a
Ecker, who dressed against Ball State but didn't
see any action, had been sidelined with an ankle
injury, suffered in the first play of the Wolverines'
contest against Minnesota.
But with Michigan facing a third-and-13 with
4:18 left in the second quarter, quarterback Chad
Henne hit Ecker over the middle for 22 yards and a
Michigan first down.
"Tyler made a big play there in the second quar-
ter," Carr said. "And it's great to have him back."
Saturday also saw the return of tight end Mike
Massey, who hasn't been on the field since injuring
his shoulder against Penn State. He didn't catch a
pass and saw most of his limited action playing on
With Massey and Ecker back in the lineup and
Carson Butler emerging as a viable passing option,
the Wolverines now boast a complete and talented
tight end corps,just in timefor the Ohio State game
"I got three guys now that are very talented,
that play well," offensive coordinator Mike DeBord
said. "They have a lot to offer, so now it keeps them
a little bit more fresh in the game. And that really
Senior cornerback Leon Hall recorded three pass breakups
in the Wolverines' 34-3 victorp over Indiana on Saturdap.
Hall passed former cornerback Todd Howard in the sec-
ond quarter when he broke up a pass intended for Hoosier
receiver James Hardy.
helps. I think that's a big positive."
BACK IN THE HOOD: Darnell Hood is known for
hitting the opposing team's return man.
But taking a handoff?
The special teams' standout, who has anchored
the coverage teams, got some rare touches in the
backfield late in the fourth quarter as Michigan
was wrapping up its victory.
The fifth-year senior rushed for 12 yards on two
Holding a commanding 34-3 lead with just
under six minutes left in the third quarter, Carr
finally got the chance to rest some of his starters,
especially running back Mike Hart.
"(I was) messing around, watching the other
guys go in and play, like Carlos (Brown) and Alijah
(Bradley), and even D-Hood got in there and had
a couple carries," Hart said. "It was great to win a
game like this."
But, it wasn't until six minutes remained in the
game that Carr brought in backup quarterback
Jason Forcier to rest Henne. Forcier completed his
only pass attempt and rushed for 12 yards on one
"It's great anytime a backup quarterback can get
game reps," DeBord said. "We try to simulate prac-
tice to be as much like games as we can, but you
can't, so games are critical."
INJURY REPORT: Linebacker Prescott Burgess,
who left last week's game with an ankle injury,
didn't suit up on Saturday, but Carr said he would
play next week against Ohio State.
Kunning back Kevin Grady, who didn't dress
against Ball State because of a shoulder injury,
practiced leading up to Saturday, and Carr said he
expects him to be able to play next week.
GOT AN EVENT PLANNED
FOR OSU WEEK?
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This weekend, it almost looked as if Ohio State and Michigan are
the only teams that want to make it to the National Championship
game. The nation's No.1 and No. 2 squads demolished their com-
petition, finalizing the Nov.18 showdown everyone's been dream-
ing about for weeks. But it wasn't pretty for many of the teams
that had just one loss heading into the weekend. Auburn notched
another big loss at home, California dropped a home game to
an average Arizona team, and Kansas State pulled off the upset
against then-No. 4 Texas. Thanks to Rutgers' big win over Louis-
ville, the Scarlet Knights jumped into the top 10 for the first time.
TEAM LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
1. Ohio State beat Northwestern Michigan
2. Michigan beat Indiana 34-3 at Ohio State
3. Florida beatSouthCarolina Western Carolina
4. Southern Cal beat Oregon 35-10 California
5. Arkansas beat Tennessee at Mississippi State
6. Notre Dame beat Air Force 39-17 Army
7. Rutgers beat Louisville Cincinnati
8. West Virginia beat Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
9. Louisiana State beat Alabama 28-14 Mississippi
10. Louisville lost to Rutgers South Florida
11. Texas lostto Kansas Idle
12. Wisconsin beat Iowa 24-21 Buffalo
13. Boise State beat SanJose Utah Slate
14. Wake Forest beat Florida Virginia Tech
15. Auburn losttoGeorgia37-15 at Alabama
16. Oklahoma beat Texas Tech at Baylor
17. California lost to Arizona at Southern Cal
18. Georgia Tech beat North Duke
19. Virginia Tech beat Kent State at Wake Forest
20. Boston College beat Duke 28-7 Maryland
21. Maryland beat Miami (FL) at Boston College
22. Tennessee lost to Arkansas at Vanderbilt
23. Brigham Young beat Wpoming 55-7 New Mexico
24. Nebraska beat Texas Idle
25. Clemson beat North Carolina Idle
Games updated through Nov. 12.