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September 10, 2007 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-10

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The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com Monday, September 10, 2007

a little too
eriously, Mike.
You guarantee victory next week.
I know you're injured and ran for 127 yards
on Saturday. And you played just a little more
than two quarters on your
way to 188 yards last week.
And, yes, the block you
threw at the defensive line-
man in the third quarter
was impressive, too.
But really, this might be
your most outrageous feat.
"We're going to win next
week. There's not a ques-
tion in my mind. I guar- JACK
antee we win next week. HERMAN
I'm going to get this team
ready." On Tap
Um, this Michigan team?
The team that just
allowed 624 yards to Oregon on Saturday
- the second-highest total a Michigan defense
has ever given up?
The team that just dropped its fourth game
in a row - marking Michigan's longest losing
streak since 1967?
The team that just lost by 32 points - the
largest margin of defeat since Woody Hayes's
Ohio State squad drubbed Michigan 50-14 in
1968 - the year before Bo became head coach?
OK, Mike, I know, I know. Numbers never
tell the whole story. So let me grab my notes
to find the anecdotal evidence that must have
convinced you.
Now, let's see. I remember Ducks quarter-
back Dennis Dixon slicing and slashing and
slipping through the Michigan defense again
and again ... and again. And then there was
the one ... no wait, two ... oops, sorry, three
times, a Duck wide receiver blew past the
Michigan secondary for a longtouchdown
pass. And how about running backs Jonathan
Stewart and Jeremiah Jackson continually
pounding into, over, through, in between,
on top of and all around the Michigan front
Hmm, let me keep looking.
Ah yes! Here it is: Fielding Yost impressed.
Never mind. That note marked the not
one, but two times Dixon successfully tricked
the defense with the Statue of Liberty play, a
move that Yost forefathered with his "Old 83"
Unfortunately, I doubt he'd have the same
nice things to say about the Wolverines' point-
every-eight-and-a-half-minutes offense.
Yes, the offense that scored seven points
on Saturday, its lowest output since 1996.
The offense that killed two early drives with
turnovers - although at least the interception
showed us Chad Henne could hit somebody's
Um, and you do know Ryan Mallett is start-
ing, right?
"That's a different gameplan," Hart said.
"We're going to win though. I think Ryan can
get the job done."
Heck, even your coach seems skeptical.
See HERMAN, Page 4B

Oregon sp reads
cM; wins big

Daily Sports Editor
One hundred fifteen points allowed, 1,514 total
yards allowed. Three heart-wrenching losses.
Those are statistics from the past three games
Michigan has played against the spread offense.
Both Oregon and Appalachian State operated out
of the spread as Ohio State did last year. And those
three squads combined to average 38.3 points and
505 yards against the Wolverine defense.
"The problem is on a week-to-week basis and
your preparation," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "For example, when we get ready for a
spread team, it's very difficult for us to simulate
that offense. So your defense is never as prepared
as, for example, if Oregon played another spread
team, they'd be in great shape."
But while Carr blamed an inability to prepare
adequately for the spread offense, defensive coor-
dinator Ron English said it just comes down to
simple execution.
"The main thing I want to do is get us to a point
where we can be solid," English said. "I don't

think it matters who we're playing right now, to
be honest, I don't think the style of offense is the
real big issue. I think the issue is tackling, lever-
aging the ball, keeping the ball in front of you, so
that you're not giving up big plays."
The Ducks tallied 624 total yards against the
Wolverines yesterday - the second-most ever
rung up by a Michigan opponent. Oregon aver-
aged more than eight yards per offensive play and
had three players gain more than 90 yards rush-
Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon rushed
for 95 yards and a touchdown, but those statis-
tics don't appropriately explain the damage he
was able to do with his legs. Numerous times it
appeared Michigan defenders had Dixon and
were ready to drop him for a loss of yardage.
Dixon eluded them each time, usually gaining an
improbable first down in the process.
For Michigan fans, it brought back terrible
memories of Ohio State's Troy Smith last year and
Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards last week.
Both those quarterbacks are mobile leaders who
See SPREAD, Page 4B

TOP: Freshman cornerback Donovan Warren hangs his head after a
devastating loss. ABOVE: A disgruntled fan shows his displeasure.

kills deficit

Blue falls short

DailySports Writer
When Beth Karpiak smacked
down a monster kill that sent the
fans in Cliff Keen Arena into a
frenzy and was the biggest play in
Michigan's 32-30 game three vic-
tory, it became official.
The No. 14 Michigan women's
volleyball is for real
After dropping the first two
sets of Friday's match against
Xavier (8-3), the Wolverines (8-0)
found themselves down 25-18 in
the third set with little hope.
Cue senior Katie Bruzdzinski.
"Ihad the chance togoback and
serve when we were down," Bru-
zdzinski said, "I was just thinking
rip this ball, make them give us
balls that we can defend."
Bruzdzinski's service was the
driving force behind a comeback
that could define this season, as
Michigan beat Xavier in five sets

32-34, 28-30, 32-30, 30-19 and 15-
By the time the co-captain was
finished serving, Michigantrailed
by one, 26-25. A couple oflong ral-
lies that ended in the Wolverines'
favor slowly sucked the life out of
the Musketeers and a net violation
that ended the game.
"You have to give credit to
Katie," Michigan coach Mark
Rosen said. "She was the spark-
plug, she was the one who got it
going. Then all of a sudden we get
a couple points and people start
Any momentum Xavier had
from winning two straight was
gone - this was Michigan's match
to win.
Game four wasn't even close.
Bruzdzinski tallied nine kills
and senior Lyndsay Miller added
five as Michigan destroyed the
Musketeers 30-19. Those two
spearheaded Michigan's most

Daily Sports Writer
Shot for shot and corner for cor-
ner, the Michigan field hockey team
was neck
and neck CONNECTICUT 3
with No.3 [MICHIGAN 1
cut. The 15th-ranked Wolverines
(2-4) had 16 shots to Connecticut's
15 and seven corners to the Hus-
kies' eight.
Michigan was closer to pulling
off the upset than the pancake-flat
turf is to the ground.
But the 3-1 loss is just one in a
string of "We were-this-close" loss-
es for the Wolverines.
"We're right there with the best
teams in the country," Michigan
coach Nancy Cox said. "We're see-
ing tremendous growth, but now
we've got to quickly get through the
growth period and we got to finish
Cox referred to the team's recent
defeats against No. 1 Maryland,

then-No. 2 Wake Forest and No. 2
North Carolina - and Michigan's
inability to close on scoring chanc-
es against top competition.
The only top-10 competition
the Wolverines have beaten is No.
9 Old Dominion, who also lost to
Connecticut this weekend. Michi-
gan defeated the Monarchs 4-3 on
Friday, out-shooting them by five
goals, out-cornering them 8-4 and
most important, putting the ball on
goal when they should.
"It's the little details that mat-
ter," senior co-captain Lucia Belassi
said. "I believe if we actually finish
and put the ball on the net in the
next couple games, we'll get it going
for the next games, and especially
at the end when it matters."
In particular, the Wolverines are
struggling with breakaway oppor-
tunities and moving the ball up
"Right now, our forwards and
our midfielders are struggling with
getting their eyes off the ball and
See SPLIT, Page 6B

Senior Katie Bruzdzinski recorded 45 kills in Michigan's two matches this
weekend. The outside hitter has led the Wolverines to an 8-0 start.
impressive statistic - their attack centage went from .200 in game
percentage. The team got better one to.450 in game four.
as the match went on, as their per- See VOLLEYBALL, Page 3B

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