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November 14, 2006 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-14

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8 - Tuesday, November 14, 2006 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Schembechier muses
on 'greatest rivalry'

Junior Mike Hart and the Wolverines are barely behind Ohio State in the BCS standings, assuring the winner of Saturday's con-
test a spot in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz.
Buckeyes Wolverines
nearly knotted in BCS

The following are excerpts from
former Michigan coach Bo Schem-
bechler's Monday press conference.
Just a few weeks removed from
a cardiac-related hospital stay,
Schembechler energetically regaled
the media with tales from what he
called "college football's greatest
rivalry." The conclusion of the tran-
script will be reprinted in tomor-
row's paper.
"I've hung around here for 15
years since I retired, and I watched
every Michigan game. I know
something about the Michigan-
Ohio State series, because I spent
six years at Ohio State. I escaped
from Columbus when I got the
head coaching job at Miami (Ohio).
But I had a wonderful experience
there because I coached for Woody
(Hayes) when Woody was really
Woody. He was the most irascible
guy that ever lived, and the worst
guy in the world to work for. But
I wouldn't change that experience
for anything in the world because
... I learned a lot. And we won a few
games here and there.
"This is something special. ...
That's pretty clear-cut that every-
body feels that these are the two
best teams in the nation. And I
would say that I don't think there
will be a football game played this
year with so many gifted athletes,
so many good football players on
the field.
"And so, when you ask, 'What's
it going to look like?' I'll tell you,
anything can happen. But the
great players that are in the game
have got to make great plays, and
if they make great plays, then
the other guys in there have got
to play the best they can play.
Even though they may not be the
superstars that you all are going
to write about, there will be some
nondescript right guard down
here who will have to make a lot of

great plays in there for that team
to win.
"But I see this game as being a
great classic and I hope the weath-
er's nice. And I hope the people
behave on both sides, because
sometimes we get too emotional
about this game and we should not
do that. And may the best team
"I think that (a rematch for a
National Championship is) unlike-
ly. I think that's very unlikely. I
think if it's a great classic game,
and everybody looks at it and said,
'Wow, those two teams are really
good.' Well, one of them's going to
go to the winner is going to go to
Arizona to play for the National
Championship, and obviously,
knowingthe Rose Bowl people as I
do, they would choose the loser to
play in the Rose Bowl. And if that
happens, there's great reward for
both teams for a great season.
"That's hogwash (that the
game means more to current
coach Lloyd Carr because of Jim
Tressel's 4-1 record in the series).
Go back through the history of
the Michigan-Ohio State series.
There's always been series where
one would win two, three. I don't
know whether it ever went to four,
but they would win two, three in a
row. That's just the way it is.
"I think we should go back and
look at Lloyd's record. I don't care
whether he beats (Jim) Tressel
or not. He's done a marvelous job
here, and here we are at 11-0. Our
team from this year to last year
is night and day. I mean, this is a
proud, confident team. Of course,
the thing that I like about it is they
can play defense. You get up front
and you want to go nose to nose
there, there are not many guys that
are going to knock them around, I
can tell you that right now.

"(We prepared for Ohio State)
every day. It was our strategy
here at Michigan to do something
to beat Ohio State every day, and
even if it's in the first meeting to
talk about it. But we're going to
do something every day. So that's
nothing new.
"I don't anticipate (speaking with
the team this week). You have to
understand, these kids that are play-
ing were 3 years old when I coached,
so I don't think they remember
much about what I did, although
they practice in a building with my
name on it, and I hang around there.
I get to know some of these guys.
I know a lot of players, but I don't
think that will happen. They can
handle that themselves.
"(Not making the Rose Bowl in
1973) was the greatest disappoint-
ment of my career. We were both
undefeated. We came in undefeated
and we were playing here, and we
missed a field goal at the end and
we end up tied. It was a 10-10 tie.
Everybody including Woody Hayes
congratulated me after the game
and said, 'Oh, you'll do a great job
in the Rose Bowl and all that.' And
everybody expected Michigan to
go to the Rose Bowl; because if
you look at the game, we outplayed
them. If you look at tradition, Ohio
State had played in the Rose Bowl
the year before, and we used to have
a no repeat rule where you couldn't
repeat. So everything indicated
that we were going to go to the Rose
Bowl. And it was strictly a politi-
cal thing. And I assume the fact
that our great quarterback, Dennis
Franklin, broke his collarbone in
the fourth quarter of that game on
a blitz, that they might have used
that as an excuse. And so that whole
thing upset me to no end. After that,
I think that team, that 1973 team is
the reason that we're playing in
other bowls (than the Rose Bowl)

Daily Sports Editor
That's all. that separates No. 1
Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan
in the Bowl
Champion- NOTEBOOK
ship Series
For the fourth consecutive week,
the Buckeyes and Wolverines are
1-2 in the standings, the latest of
which were released on Sunday.
On Oct. 22, Michigan first
climbed up to the second spot- the
highest the Wolverines have ever
been in the BCS rankings, which
were implemented in 1998.
Michigan also received a single
first-place vote in both the USA
Today Coaches Poll and the AP
Because barely more than a 10th
of a point separates Michigan from
No. 3 Southern Cal, analysts have
hypothesized a scenario where the
loser of the rivalry game between
Michigan-Ohio State could still
receive an invitation to the National
Championship game for a rematch.
But former Michigan coach Bo
Schembechler doesn't believe that
would ever happen.
"I swear to you, I don't even
think of that," Schembechler said.
'I don't think of it as a possibility at
all. They are not going to do that. Of
course it's not fair. Once you beat a

team, it's over. If you're a loser, of
course you want to play those guys
again. ButI would not be in favor of
that under any circumstances."
The Michigan players took a
much more nonchalant approach
to the possibility.
"You know, the thing with that
is, you have those numbers and all
that type of stuff that you have to
add up and subtract and I'm not
sure what they do," right tackle
Rueben Riley said. "But the most
important thing for me is to go out
there and get this victory now."
BAD NEWS BASS: What began
as an already catastrophic injury
just keeps getting worse.
Wide receiverAntonio Bass orig-
inally hurt his knee during winter
workouts this offseason. He didn't
participate in spring practice, and
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr didn't
reveal a lot of information on the
situation when he addressed the
media after spring practice.
At Big Ten Media Day, Carr said
Bass would be out for the season
and didn't sound optimistic about
Bass's future in football.
And yesterday the news got
"Antonio Bass had a second sur-
gery eight or 10 days ago, and it was
a lengthy procedure," Carr said.
"It will be a lengthy rehabilitation.
I don't know what his status will
be for next season, but it will be a

Last season, Bass played spar-
ingly at wide receiver and took
occasional snaps at quarterback.
He had been expected to play
both receiver and backup quarter-
back for the Wolverines this sea-
ES AWAY: Last Sunday night, Tom
Slade, the quarterback for the 1971-
73 Michigan football teams, passed
away. A dentist in Ypsilanti, he had
been battling leukemia since his
diagnosis in April 2005.
Slade led an 11-1 team in 1971 that
defeated Ohio State in the season
finale but lost in the Rose Bowl to
what Schembechler called "a great
Stanford team." He quarterbacked
three Big Ten championship teams
during his career.
"He was a flawless guy person-
ally," Schembechler said. "Good,
honest Christian man. He was a
good leader."
Even though Schembechler
admitted Slade didn't have the
greatest arm, he pointed to Slade's
blocking on the power sweep and
ability to call the right play consis-
tently as a key component to those
Michigan teams.
"We'll miss him because he's a
good guy," Schembechler said. "He
was my dentist. He was a dentist
here in the area, and of course, I
wouldn't go to any other dentist
other than one who played for


All week long, coverage from 1950
Daily Sports will run when Michigan
its original cover- topped Ohio State 9-
age of one of the 101 3 on a snow-covered
Michigan installments of The field in Columbus to
.OGame. earn an upset victory
The series begins and a surprising trip
State week today with unedited to the Rose Bowl.
Varsity knocks off Bucks
on the frozen gridiron

Fierce OSU defense gets
the nod against Blue's '

Daily Sports Editor
It's been described as the big-
gest game in the biggest rivalry in
It's No.1 vs. No. 2.
It's Ohio State-Michigan.
Now, in the first of a three-part
series breaking down the two
teams, we'll look at the Michigan
offense facing off against the Ohio
State defense.
Michigan's offense: This has
been a roller-coaster season for the
Wolverines' offense. Starting the
year against Vanderbilt, quarter-
back Chad Henne and his receivers
didn't seem to click. And while the
cunning game looked bounds better
than last season, critics were quick
to cite the aerial attack as this team's

But give the Wolverines credit.
Michigan impressed with an excit-
ing vertical game when it dominat-
ed Notre Dame in South Bend.
In the 47-21 rout, wide receiver
Mario Manningham broke out with
his ability to stretch the field. Mean-
while, Henne bounced back from
an early interception to finish the
day 13-of-22 for 220 yards and three
Even though the passing game
has been inconsistent for this year's
squad - partially due to injuries to
Manningham and tight ends Tyler
Ecker and Mike Massey - the run-
ning game has been offensive coor-
dinator Mike DeBord's bread and
butter. Anyone who follows Michi-
gan knows the first play of the game
will be a Mike Hart run, probably
off the left side.
Hart - who has been mentioned

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as a potential Heisman Trophy
candidate - always paces the Wol-
verines. And with Michigan's new
zone-blocking scheme, he's had
more room to run. This season, Hart
has racked up 1,373 yards on the
ground, failing to top the century
mark in just two games.
Ohio State defense: With just
two returning starters, this unit was
supposed to be the Buckeyes' weak
link. But that hasn't been the case.
Ranked first in the Big Ten in scor-
ing defense (7.8 points per game), sec-
ond in rushing defense (90.2 yards
on the ground per game) and third in
overall defense (231.5 total yards per
game), Ohio State has performed far
better than expected.
In close games against Penn State
and Ilinois, the Buckeyes' defense
came through late in the contests to
maintain Ohio State's leads and seal
the victories.
Sophomore linebacker James
Laurinaitis - a finalist for the But-
kus Award - has anchored the
Buckeyes' defense. He leads the
team with five interceptions and 91
tackles on the season.
While Laurinaitis holds down
the linebacking corps, defensive
tackle Quinn Pitcock leads a front
four that has improved against the
run. After Northern Illinois run-
ning back Garret Wolfe gashed the
Ohio State defense for more than
200 yards on the ground in the sea-
son opener, the defense has allowed
only Penn State's Tony Hunt to rush
for more than 100 yards.
Though the defensive front seven
has improved dramatically against
the rush, the secondary has been the
biggest surprise. This unit is stingy
against the pass, allowing just 171.5
yards through the air.
Eventhough therun defensecould
be exploited by Michigan's determi-
nation to gain yards on the ground,
the Ohio State defense is too fast and
too strong for Michigan's offense to
consistently move the ball.
Edge: Ohio State

Daily Sports Editor
COLUMBUS - Michigan's relent-
less Wolverines saved the space
for another chapter in the rags-to-
riches tale that records the activities
of the 1950 Maize and Blue gridiron
squad by beating Ohio State's Buck-
eyes in a blizzard here yesterday.
By plowing through the foot of
snow which blanketed the playing
field to upset the Buckeyes, 9-3, the
Wolverines earned the right to rep-
resent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl
next January first. An assist on the
play was credited to the wonder-
ous Wildcats of Northwestern who
forced an over-confident Illinois
team to cancel westward travel res-
ervations by beating the Illini 14-7 in
While the Conference Cham-
pionship does not itself insure the
Wolverines a trip to the Rose Bowl,
the official Big Ten poll Monday
which will pickthe Western Confer-
ence's Pasadena representative was
regarded as a mere formality.
Michigan's big break came in the
waning moments of the first half
with the snow-covered scoreboard
reading: time to play: 47 seconds:
and the Bucks' one-man team, Vic
Janowicz, back on his one two-yard
line for a third down punt. At that
point, Wolverine line-backer Tony
Momsen crashed through the mid-
dle of the OSU line, blocked Janow-
icz' efforts and fell on the ball in the
end zone to score the game's only
With 20 seconds remaining in the
first half, Harry Allis converted suc-
cessfully, making 9 to 3, and ending
the scoring for the afternoon.
Earlier, Michigan had scored two
points on a similar blocked punt
which resulted in a safety.
In tallying the safety it was Mich-
igan's captain Al Wahl, who crashed
in Janowicz' well-exercized kicking
leg. The ball bounced erratically to
the right of the onrushing Maize
and Blue lineman and was flounder-
ing less than a foot outside the end
zone border when speedy Al Jack-
son caught up with it. Six inches
closer and the Wolverines could
have added six more points.
TheBucksopened and closedtheir
part of the scoring when Janowicz

sent a 40-yard field goal through the handling was kept to a minimum.
uprights with 4:08 clocked out of the On most occasions, both Janow-
first period to give his team a short- icz' and Ortmann'skicks came torest
lived 3-0 lead. in a foot of snow without bouncinga
The Wolverines earned their nine bit. They landed like horseshoes ina
points without the aid of a single bed of soft clay, making punt returns
first down and by gaining only 27 virtually impossible.
net yards, all of them on the ground. One of the Buckeye junior's
Ohio registered only three downs numerous quick-kicks came to rest
and 41 net yards, 25 of which were on the goal line, after giving appear-
due to Janowicz' passing. ances of heading for the end zone.
It was a game of football in the on the play, the pigskin hita mound
literal sense, Michigan's Chuck Ort- of snow, which had been collected
mann booting the ball 24 times for a by the broomtenders - who were
30-yard average. The versatile Jano- delegated to keep the goallines vis-
wicz' handled all the punting chores ible and brought frozen spectators
for Ohio, his 21 kicks averaging 32 to their numb feet as it tottered on
yards in the ceiling zero blizzard. the brink of the end zone.
WesternConference records were Ortmann forced punt from
shattered by the total of 45 punts, beneath his own goal-post on the
with Michigan tying the previous next play, got off a game saving boot
record of most punts by a single team that put the Buckeyes back on the
-14 - in the first half alone. mid-field stripe.
Exceptional line play was dem- The big moment of the game
onstrated by the Wolverines on came with just 2:17 left in the ball
defense as the Maize and Blue game when the public address sys-
defenders repeatedly refused to be tem announced the results of the
moved, thwarting several touch- Illinois-Northwestern tussle. Mich-
down threats by the Buckeyes. igan fans all but held their breath for
Especially brilliant were the the remainder of the contest hoping
efforts of defensive ends Ozzie Clark their team could preserve its 6 point
and Allis, who consistently crashed lead for the final minutes.
through the Ohio blockers to bottle The team did, and the fans hoist-
up Janowicz' running and passing. ed Al Wahl on their shoulders in vic-
Center Carl Kreager effectively torious salute to the team.
handled the difficult assignment of
handing the ley
ball to the
backfield. _ 1
six fum-
bles being i r 1
much less (a-- 5 1(02
than might PETS BUWI'LLS
be expected M VU
under such
difficult T GM N B IG T --_,
playing con- e ca
ditions. 9o ilese ROw
The Wol- a
I ( t i eG9. j NI,' ti \verines
only two
of the Ohio
punts, regis- t c n F
tering a scant
eight yards on
the two plays.
The pigskin
was slippery
as an ice-cube
and the ball-


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