4B - October 17, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
M I C H I G A N
Yds Avg Lg
14 18.4 4s5
1 11 11
1 7 7
1 6 6
22 269 12.2
No. Yds Avg
2 39 195
3 39 13
Junior wide receiver Mario Manningham hauled in two touchdown catches and did his part to rove the Wolverines back into the Associated Press Top 25.
Blue back in the top 25
From page 1B
said. "For us to be up there, we
have to play our bestgame, keep
improving on this game."
And the Purdue beatdown
sure looks like a good start.
Saturday's game wasn't sup-
posed tobe a one-sided affair:
The Michigan defense would
struggle against the Boilermaker
spread offense, and the Wolver-
ine offense needed consistency.
But the unit ran over the
Boilermaker defense with both
senior Mike Hart in the first half
and third-string running back
Carlos Brown in the second.
Most important, Henne went
to the air early and often. The
first play of the game, shockingly,
the Wolverines ran a play-action
off the traditional Hart rush left.
Henne hit wide open tight end
Carson Butler for a first down.
The offense was supposed to
lead the Wolverines this year.
Saturday showed what the
offense was expected to become.
Michigan strayed from its
"complicated" but predictable
offense and threw just as often
as it ran on first down.
"Looking at our tendencies,
we were pretty much a run-on-
first-down kind of team," Henne
said. "We had to switch up our
tendencies a lot."
And Henne could smile after
the game because the offense
may have found its rhythm. It's
taken six weeks longer than
expected, but Saturday put
together all the earlier flashes
the offense showed.
"Today, you saw the capabil-
ity that our offense has, that we
can go out there and score a lot of
points and be balanced," Henne
If the Wolverines want to keep
their current winningstreak,
they'll need similar performanc-
es from Henne and co.
Otherwise, Michigan might
find itself 0-2 in a different cat-
egory - National and Big Ten
- Wright can be reached
No Yds Avg
2 21 10.5 16
:olo Asst Tot
2 4 6
5 0 5
2 3 5
4 0 4
4 0 4
3 1 4
3 1 4
2 2 4
2 2 4
2 2 4
0 4 4
0 4 4
By JACK HERMAN
Daily Sports Editor
After Michigan lost to Appalachian State
to open its season, Associated Press voters
added insult to insultwhen they dropped the
from the top 25 rankings. NOTEBOOK
It marked the first time
since an Oct. 15, 2005 loss to Minnesota that
dropped the Wolverines' record to 3-3 Mich-
igan sat unranked. No team had ever fallen
But one embarrassingloss and five straight
redeeming wins later, and Michigan has
inched its way back into the rankings. The
Wolverines ranked 24th in the poll released
"It's great to be back in the polls, but it's
not good enoughfor us," left tackle Jake
Long said. "We want to keep winning, keep
going up and keep proving to people that we
can be one of those top teams."
If Michigan keeps playing like it did in
Saturday's 48-21 win over Purdue, that's
An upset-filled season has created tur-
moil at the top of the poll. Including No. 1
Ohio State, six differentteams received first-
place votes this week. South Florida - which
didn't even play Division 1-A football until
2001- ranks No. 2.
The experts had just as much trouble
agreeing on Michigan's status. The Wolver-
ines appeared on just 42 of 65 ballots. Voters
ranked Michigan in every position from No.
16 (ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit) to No. 25.
"Ohio State and Michigan, despite its
early meltdowns, are two of the most tal-
ented teams in the country," blogged San
Jose Mercury News writer Jon Wilner, who
ranked the Wolverines 22nd. "But no one
else in the Big Ten is remotely close to being
an elite team."
A THIN OFFENSIVE LINE: With injuries
to three right guards decimating the offen-
sive line, tackle Steve Schilling moved over
one spot from right tackle to fill the hole.
And although the redshirt freshman has
struggled the past two games to adjust to his
new pass-blocking role, Carr says he might
stick with the young Wolverine at the posi-
"It's a very competitive situation," Carr
said. "Eventually, Schilling could end up at
guard. He could be a great guard, or he could
be a great tackle.
"What we're trying to decide here is what
gives us the best chance to win and what is
AS FOR THE REST OF THEM: Although
Lloyd Carr dodged providing a concrete
answer about the status of running back
Mike Hart, the coach did provide some inju-
ry updates in his press conference Monday.
The good: Linebacker John Thompson
should return to full strength by Saturday.
The bad: Guard Alex Mitchell won't.
And the questionable: Runningback Bran-
"We'll have to see where they are (yester-
day)," said Carr, referring to Minor and Hart.
"They made progress (Sunday), certainly,
and (Monday). When you spend as much
time as they do in the training room ..., the
more opportunity you have to heal quicker.
That's a big part of it."
AFTERNOON DELIGHT: Michigan will play
Minnesota at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 in a game
televised on ESPN Classic. It will be the Wol-
verines' fourth 3:30 game this year.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team BigTen Overall
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MIcHIGAN 48, Purdue 21
IowA 10, Illinois 6
Penn State 39, WscoNslN 7
Ohio State 48, KENT STATE 3
MIcHIGAN STATE 52, INANA7
NORTHESTERN 49, MIsstSorA 48 OT
AROUND THE NCAA
NO.1 LOUISIANA FALLS IN 30T
Back in 2002, thousands of Kentucky
fans rushed the field after the Wild-
cats' game against Louisiana State.
Then-Kentucky coach Guy Morriss was
doused with Gatorade. The party was
Not so fast. A 75-yard touchdown catch
by Devery Henderson on the final play
gave the Tigers the win. Five years later,
Kentucky and the Wildcat Faithful could
finally celebrate on the field at Com-
monwealth Stadium as the Wildcats
knocked off No. 1 Louisiana State 43-37
in three overtimes. Les Miles doesn't
seem as great as he did last week.
SOONERS WIN BIG 12 BATTLE
The luster of Missouri's surprise 6-0
start is fading fast. With a 41-31 loss at
Oklahoma Saturday, its 17th straight in
Norman, the Tigers don't seem to be
leaping to the elite level. Add on Illinois,
Missouri's marquee win, losing to Iowa,
and the Tigers are just an above average
team that beat up on a handful of lesser
opponents. Oklahoma, on the other
hand, has rebounded well from being
upset by Colorado with wins over Texas
and Missouri. Sooner quarterback Sam
Bradford, who threw for just 112 yards
and had two interceptions, had 266
yards, two touchdowns and no picks.
BEAVERS FLIP SCRIPT, EAT UP BEARS
Oregon State completed the dropping of
the nation's top two teams with a 31-28
upset win at California.
With the Golden Bears deep in Beaver
territory with 14 seconds left and no
timeouts, Cal quarterback Kevin Riley
tried to run and was tackled in bounds.
Although the Golden Bears' chance of
spiking the ball was slim, the odds of
getting the field goal unit on the field
and a kick up were none. Jeff Tedford
doesn't seem as great as he did last
Running back Carlos Brown filled in for injured backs Mike Hart and Brandon Minor and rushed for 66 yards.
Turnovers turn offensive
tides for the Wolverines
By SCOTT BELL
Daily Sports Editor
After back-to-back slow starts, the Michigan
offense knew it had to strike quickly against Pur-
due. Facing a team with the
ability to put up a lot of points, NOTEBOOK
the Wolverines had to look
to offensive stars Mike Hart, Chad Henne and
Mario Manningham to outscore the high-flying
And though all three of them had great games,
Michigan's best weapon may have come from
outside the trio. The most help came from an
unexpected place - the defense.
Time and again, the Wolverine offense started
in Purdue territory because of turnovers forced
by their defense.
"That's what we've been preaching - we've
been coming out pretty lazy in the first half and
we really wanted to come out and show people
that we could have the excitement in the first
half," nickelback Brandon Harrison said.
A pair of first-half turnovers forced by Tim
Jamison (fumble) and Harrison (interception)
allowed Michigan to extend its lead from three
to 17 points in a matter of a few minutes, thanks
to great field position.
Michigan's defense has forced the second-
most turnovers in the nation, trailing just Cin-
"Those are huge," cornerback Morgan Trent
said. "That's game-changing when you can go
out there and get a turnover on first down and
second down and get a short field for our offense.
That changes the game significantly."
Michigan's first touchdown came just two
plays after Stevie Brown recovered a punt that
went off the back of a Boilermaker blocker.
In all, three of Michigan's first four touch-
downs came after turnovers. The touchdown
drives were all two plays or fewer and took a total
of just 29 seconds.
HIS TIME TO SHINE: If there's such a thing as
a silver lining when your No. 1 and No. 2 running
backs go down with ankle injuries within min-
utes of each other, Saturday may have found it.
Sophomore Carlos Brown, a five-star running
back that seemed immune to good breaks last
season, finally got his time in the limelight Sat-
The Georgia native scored two second-half
touchdowns on a career-high 13 carries and 66
"He's been through some ups and downs,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "Ithought today
he showed some flashes of what he could do."
Brown came to Michigan last season as one of
the most highly touted backs in recent memory
to choose Ann Arbor as his college destination.
But by year's end, he had been relegated to snaps
during practice as a backup quarterback and
seriously considered transferring after trying his
hand at cornerback.
Brown stuck around for his sophomore season
and returned to his natural tailback position. His
decisionto stick around finally appears to be pay-
Running backs coach Fred Jackson said the
performance followed Brown's best week of
practice at Michigan.
"(Carlos) has really been getting better,"
offensive coordinator Mike DeBord said. "So it
was really great to see him get game experience
where he could show it."
IT'S ABOUT TIME: It may have seemed like
ages, but the Michigan kicking game finally had
a flawless afternoon.
For the first time in four weeks and just the
second time in the seven-game season, the Wol-
verines went without either a missed field goal or
SeniorK.C. Lopata was a perfect 2-for-2 on his
field goal attempts (34 and 35 yards) and 6-for-6
on his extra point attempts.
In every other game excluding Michigan's 38-
O victory over Notre Dame, the kicking team had
some sort of placekicking miscue.
Not everything was perfect on special teams,
though. For the second straight week, the Wol-
verines allowed their opponents to recover both
of its onside kick attempts.
FOOTBALL From page 1B
told his teammates that he would
play next week at Illinois, they
relaxed. And when Tim Jamison
and Jake Longessentiallyguaran-
teed at Monday's press conference
that Hart would be in uniform in
Champaign, Wolverine nation
knew it could breathe easy.
"He was still happy," defensive
end Tim Jamison said.."He wasn't
shrieking in pain or anything like
that. He's going to play this week.
That's what I expect. He's going
Said captain Jake Long: "I have
no doubt in my mind he'll play.
I saw him (Monday), he looked
good, so I have no doubt."
With the favorable prognosis,
Michigan fans can reflect on the
complete game they saw from the
Wolverines in their 48-21 blow-
out victory over the Boilermakers
The first-stringdefense allowed
just seven points, and those came
after Purdue recovered a Chad
Henne fumble on the Michigan
5-yard line. The Boilermakers (1-
2 Big Ten, 5-2 overall) entered the
game averaging 39 points and 458
yards per game, but against Mich-
igan, they managed just 170 yards
before garbage time.
The Wolverines (3-0,5-2) want-
ed to take away the run game, and
they did early, allowing Purdue
just 20 yards on the ground in the
first half. After Michigan stuffed
their rushing attack and gained
a lead, the Boilermakers became
one-dimensional. The Wolverines
could attack quarterback Curtis
Painter, sacking him twice and
forcing him to throw two inter-
"That's one thing (defensive
coordinator) Ron (English) talked
to the defense about all week,"
secondary coach Vance Bedford
said. "We wanted to get after
(Painter) early. The first play of
the game we blitzed. We wanted
to set the tempo for the guys - get
them going playing fast, playing
hard, and I think it carried on
throughout the game."
Four Purdue turnovers gave the
Michigan offense a short field to
score, and each time, the Wolver-
ines converted for a touchdown,
thrice withinjusttwo plays. After
Michigan's first drive faltered, the
ensuing punt bounced off Boiler-
maker Terrell Vinson and safety
Stevie Brown recovered the live
ball at Purdue's 32-yard line. Two
plays later, a Henne bomb to wide
receiver Mario Manningham gave
the Wolverines a 7-0 lead.
And after nickel back Brandon
Harrison intercepted Painter late
in the second quarter, Manning-
ham hauled in another long ball
on the very next play for his sec-
"Not to bust on Mario, but he's not
a guy like Braylon Edwards to go
up and grab the ball. It definitely
instilled some confidence in me
and him for (him) going to get the
ball and making that play."
The junior receiver finished
with eight catches for 147 yards
and those two scores, making for
his best game of the season just
one week after he sat out with a
Henne tallied 264 yards and
two touchdowns, completing 21-
of-28 passes in his best game of
the year. And Hart, playing just
one half, gained 102 yards and
extended his streak of consecu-
tive 100-yard games to seven - a
new Michigan record.
With the offense and defense
both finally performing up to
their potential, Michigan pro-
duced its most complete, impres-
sive game Saturday, leading
41-7 when the starters exited.
And going into Champaign to
play Illinois in a night game this
Saturday, the Wolverines could
use a similar performance to con-
tinue their five-game winning
streak and their pursuit of a Big
"We knew when we had those
twonon-league losses that we still
had the Big Ten Championship to
look forward to," Henne said. "For
us to be up there, we have to play
our best game, keep improving on
this game and know what helped
us win this game to continue our