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November 01, 2007 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-01

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10A - Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Ohio State faces another conference test

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Writer
Two recent developments have
changed the very core of Hallow-
een. First, it has transformed from a
one-day trick-or-treating fest into a
week-long event because the actual
holiday falls on Wednesday. Can
anyone say five-night weekend?
Second, cdstumes have gotten
truly ridiculous. Last night, one of
my roommates wore a Michael Vick
jersey, complete with a stuffed dog
hanging from a noose. What hap-
pened to ghosts and vampires?
But the worst thing I've seen over
the past week occurred last Satur-
day. Out and about on the streets of
Ann Arbor was a student dressed as
Jim Tressel, sweater vest and all.
The man gets enough respect
around the country for building a
mini-dynasty in Columbus. The
last thing he needs is an ego boost,
courtesy of his biggest rival. This

particular 'student's admiration
only added to the fact the Buckeyes
had dominated Penn State 37-17 just
hours earlier.
But maybe, just maybe - get
your sweater-vest voodoo dolls out
- Tressel and Ohio State will finally
fall from their pedestal when they
face Wisconsin this weekend.
No. 21 Wisconsin at No. 1 Ohio
State, Noon - Big Ten Network
Heading into last weekend's
beatdown of Penn State, everybody
knew about the Buckeyes' daunt-
ing defense, led by Legion of Doom
spawnJames Laurinitis.
But there were still doubts about
quarterback Todd Boeckman and
the entire offense. Consider those
questions answered after Boeckman
threw three touchdowns against a
Nittany Lion defense littered with
future pros.
Ohio State has a ground game to
match, too. Sophomore Chris Wells

has shown he belongs in any talk
about the Big Ten's best running
backs, rushing for 996 yards on 5.7
yards per carry.
Wisconsin boasts its own elite
back, sophomore P.J. Hill. But
there's concern about whether he
will play this weekend. Hill suffered
a lower leg bruise in last week's 33-3
win over Indiana.
The only chance Wisconsin has to
win this game is by grinding down
the clock with its running game.'
But would you trust a game pick
on a guy with one of the most absurd
last names ever? That's right, Hill's
backup is fellow sophomore Lance
Smith-Williams.
Ijustcan'tgetpasttwo ofthe most
common last names joined together
as one superhuman last name.
Ohio State 31, Wisconsin14
Purdue at Penn State, Noon
- ESPN
The school once known as Line-

backer U has looked like anything
but a defensive juggernaut the past
two weeks. After giving up 31 and
37 points against Indiana and Ohio
.State, respectively, the Nittany
Lions are searching for answers.
The Buckeyes didn't even have to
punt last week. Add in quarterback
Anthony Morelli's inconsistency,
and there is real cause for concern
in not-so-Happy Valley.
Things don'tgetmuch easier with
7-2 Purdue coming to town. The
Boilermakers have quietly won each
time they were favored, losing to
just Ohio State and Michigan - the
two conference undefeateds.
This has the makings of one of
those classic Big Ten slobberknock-
ers where winner takes all. And by
all, I mean an invitation to the Out-
back Bowl.
As for my prediction, I just don't
see Penn State dropping two in a
row at home.
Penn State 27, Purdue 24

e

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has his team poised to arrive in Ann Arbor undefeated

Freshman
returns to
Michigan
From page 9A
weeks ago. Now, Hogan is
working his way back into the
picture of Michigan's season
now. He was expected to com-
pete with junior Billy Sauer for
playing time. But his illness,
coupled with Sauer's solid play
(2.49 goals against average and
a 5-1-0 record), has pretty much
eliminated discussion of Hogan
taking the starting spot.
"I'm pulling for him," Hogan
said. "He's been playing great."
But Sauer's continued excel-
lence could spell an even longer
absence from game situations
than mononucleosis did for
Hogan.
In a group of 12, Hogan and
Hunwick are the only fresh-
man not to play this season. But
at least Hunwick has practiced
over the past five weeks.
"(Hogan has) had the hard-
est start of anyone on our team,
obviously," Berenson said.
"Especially for a freshman."

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The Michigan
men's
basketball
team takes on
Ferris State in
an exhibition
game at Crisler
Arena tonight.
The Wolverine
hockey
team heads
to Omaha,
Neb., to face
Nebraska-
Omaha Friday
and Saturday
nights.
Oh, and there's
a football
game, too.
For live
blogging
from all these
events, go to
michigandaily.
com/thegame.

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