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November 12, 2007 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-12

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4B - November 12, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com



Traditional attacks run over

Passing Yards
Ttal Offense
Time of Poss

M ' C H I G A N
C-A Yds
11-36 245
3-5 28
14-41 273

TD Int
3 2
0 1
3 3






Daily Sports Editor
MADISON - With its seventh win of
the year - a thrashing of Minnesota three
weeks ago - Michigan had finally com-
pleted an almost season-long test against
its supposed nemesis: the spread offense.
And although the defense improved
significantly during that time, some
Wolverines said they were relieved they
would finally play traditional offenses in
the season's final three weeks. Get back to
some "good, red-blooded American foot-
ball" as linebackers coach Steve Szabo
called it.
Now the Wolverines might be longing
for the good'ol days of four-wide-receiver
For the second straight week, the
defense failed to stop - to put it lightly
- a traditional offense, with the Badgers
beating the Wolverines on the ground, in
the air and even on the clock. In its win,
Wisconsin scored more points (37) and
recorded more yards (477) against Michi-
gan than any opponent but Oregon this
With just one more game left in the
regular season (perhaps you've heard
of Ohio State), the defense will have one
more chance to prove itself. That is if it
can figure out what's wrong first.
"I don't know exactly what's happen-
ing," defensive lineman Will Johnson
said. "They're just making plays and
we're not"
If they're looking for help, the Wolver-
ines probably want to start with the run-
ning game.,
Much like Michigan State running back
Jehuu Caulcrick pounded through the
Michigan line in the second half, Wiscon-
sin rushed right through the Wolverines
the whole game - even with star running
back P.J. Hill sitting out most of it.
The Badgers tandem of true freshman
Zach Brown and, until injury, sophomore

7 261 37,3 45

Safety Brandent Englemon and the Michigan defense struggled to stop the Wisconsin ground game, allowing 232 rushing yards.

No. Yds
3 48

Avg Lg TD
16.0 18 0

No. Yds Avg
2 16 8.0
1 1 1.0
1 16 16.0
4 33 8.25
Solo Asst
5 5
4 5
4 5
3 5
3 4
4 2
3 3
3 2
1 4
0 4
1 2
0 3
2 0
1 0
1 0
1 0



Lance Smith-Williams carried the load.
With college football's all-time leading
rusher Ron Dayne looking on, the Badgers
put on a 232-yard rushing performance
- one of their best all year.
"That pisses us off as a defense,"
linebacker Shawn Crable said. "Teams
shouldn't be able to run the ball like that,
so this week in practice we need to tone
it up. It's just a mentality. It's a mentality.
Teams think they can run the ball on you,
so everyone can think they can run the
ball on you."
And Michigan's troubles extended to
the passing game, too.
Unlike many of the quarterbacks Mich-
igan faced this season, Wisconsin senior
Tyler Donovan wasn't rattled by the Wol-

verines' pressure, he eluded a number of
backfield tackles with ease. For the first
time this season, Michigan didn't record
a sack, allowing Donovan to throw down-
field after escaping, or - yes, they still
can't stop it - scramble for key yards.
Combined with great catches by wide
receiver Phil Hubbard and the match-up
problems posed by tight end Travis Beck-
um, Wisconsin beatthe Michigan defense
for 245 passing yards. Donovan finished
14-for-27 and recorded 49 yards on the
Michigan's inability to stop Wiscon-
sin kept the defense on the field for more
than 38 minutes. The Badgers marched
79 yards for a field goal on their longest
drive, eating up more than eight minutes

of game time during the third quarter.
And Wisconsin made nearly every sec-
ond count. Following their first scoring
drive (extended by two Crable personal
fouls), the Badgers scored on their next
four possessions. They finished 7-for-7 in
the red zone.
Wisconsin's 37 points was its highest
output in the series' 61-game history.
"Some of the things they did I'm
sure Ohio State is going to try and do,"
defensive tackle Terrance Taylor said.
"We just need to put this game behind
us and move forward to our next game
and be focused for that game and start
out fast."
And Michigan is sure hoping "try" is
the best the Buckeyes can do.

5 10
5 9
5 9
5 8
4 7
2 6
3 6
2 5
4 5
4 4
2 3
3 3
0 2
0 1
0 1
0 1

Team Big Ten Overall
Ohio State 6 1 10 1
Michigan 6 1 8 3
Illinois 5 2 8 3
Penn State 4 3 8 3
Wisconsin 4 3 8 3
Iowa 4 4 6 5
Purdue 3 4 7 4
Northwestern 3 4 6 5
Indiana 2 5 6 5
Michigan State 2 5 6 5
Minnesota 0 7 1 10
WISCoNsIN 37, Michigan 21
IOWA 21, Minnesota 16
Penn State 31, TEMPLE
NORTHWESTERN 31, Indiana 28
Illinois 28,04HIO STAT 21
Michigan State 48, PRUE 31
After lining up to punt on a fourth
and inches on their own 34 with 6:53
left, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel
called a timeout. After thinking it over
on the sideline, Illinois coach Ron Zook
decided to go for it. Quarterback Juice
Williams snuck up the middle for a
first down, allowing Illinois to run out
the clock and upset the No. 1 team in
the country 28-21.
The loss ends Ohio State's 20-
game Big Ten winning streak. This is
also the first time since 1959 that both
Michigan and Ohio State have losses
heading into their rivalry game.
Despite its No. 4 national ranking,
many critics have questioned Kansas'
lack of a signature win. Saturday's 43-
28 victory won't silence these critics.
Jayhawks receiver Marcus Henry had
199 yard receiving and three touchdown
receptions to lead the under-appreciat-
ed Jayhawks. Quarterback Todd Reesing
finished the game with 308 yards pass-
ing and three touchdowns.
Kansas (10-0, 6-0) will face its
toughest matchup of the season in
two weeks when it plays against No. 7
Missouri for a chance to play in the Big
12 title game.
Mississippi State's Anthony John-
son returned a touchdown 100 yards
for a touchdown just seconds before
the half, when the Alabama offense
was looking to extend its lead. Mis-
sissippi State running back Anthony
Dixon added another score on the
ground to put Mississippi State (6-
4,3-3) into bowl eligibility.
The loss continues the Crimson
Tide's (6-4, 4-3) disappointing sea-
son under first-year head coach Nick
Saban. Alabama quarterback John
Parker Wilson threw two interceptions
in the loss which led to the both of the
Bulldog's touchdowns.

From page 1B
But the Michigan coaches dis-
puted that the stars sat because of
the game's insignificance. .
"You play every game to win,"
offensivecoordinatorMike DeBord
If that's the case, the Wolverines
might have done better to leave
Mallett in Ann Arbor.
A Michigan opponent owned
the founding pillars of Michigan
football - running the ball and
secutive week. Wisconsin rushed
for 232 yards and held Michigan to
just 47 rushing yards. The Badgers
stacked the box, daring Mallett to
beat them, and with the quarter-
back unable to lead Michigan on
extended drives, the Wolverine
defense wore down quickly.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
limited his criticism of his quar-
terback to "he made some bad
plays," but it's fair to say the coach
was understating it. Mallett barely
completed 30 percent of his passes,
overthrowing wide open receivers
on simple out routes. He clashed
with the offensive line and also
with receiver Mario Manningham
- cameras even caught one heated
exchange between the two on the
And on a day when Mallett
and Manningham connected on
the longest play from scrimmage
in Michigan history - a 97-yard
touchdown- Malletthandicapped
the Wolverine offense with two
interceptions that mighthave been
three except for a great play by
receiver Greg Mathews.
"He's a young guy, and there's
a lot to learn in terms of progres-
sions, where you're going with
the ball," Carr said. "He made
some mistakes, but (playing from

behind) is not an easy situation to
be in there today."
The freshman's first half was
ugly, and the beginning of the sec-
ond half wasn't much better.
Mallett and Michigan (7-1 Big
Ten, 8-3 overall) opened the third
quarter with.consecutive three-
and-outs. After a 16-play, 79-yard
Badger drive that took more than
eight minutes off the clock and
ended with a field goal, the 23-7
deficit looked insurmountable.
Manningham's record-breaking
score and a defensive stop offered
a chance for a Michigan comeback,
but Mallett immediately killed
those hopes. On the first play of the
ensuing drive, Mallett saw pres-
sure, looked downfield and lofted
the ball high-in the air off his back
foot, nowhere near a Michigan
receiver. Defensive back Shane
Carter settled under the ball for an
easy interception, taking momen-
tum back for Wisconsin (4-3, 8-3).
"Ryan is young and learn-
ing, and he missed some throws
there where he had guys, and
I'm sure he wishes he could get
them back," DeBord said. "He'll
learn from this, and he'll continue
to get better."
Trailing by just two points
after another defensive stop, Mal-
lett took a 20-yard sack instead
of throwing the ball away. His
next pass was intercepted deep in
Michigan territory, and Wiscon-
sin's ensuing four-play touchdown
drive effectively ended the game.
Defensive tackle Terrance Tay-
lor said he's not worried about a
lingering depression from this loss
carrying over to Saturday's game
against Ohio State.
But it was based on two qualifi-
"We'llbounce back," Taylor said.
"Hopefully Chad and, uh, Mike
Hart are back next week. That'll
make it a little easier."

Wide receiver Mario Manningham managed just two catches for 16 yards against man coverage Saturday.
Streak continues, but
Super Mario struggles

Daily Sports Editor
MADISON - Wide receiver Mario Man-
ningham extended his 100-yard-receiving
game streak to six contests Sat-
urday, racking up 113 yards on NOTEBOOK
three catches for two scores.
But aside from a 97-yard
touchdown reception against zone coverage,
Manningham was shut down by cornerback
Jake Ikegwuonu and the Badger defense.
Wisconsin threw a variety of schemes at
the explosive wide receiver. After making a
couple of mistakes in zone coverage, the Bad-
gers switched back to man coverage and had
great success against one of the nation's most
explosive players. Manningham had just two
catches for 16 yards against man coverage.
"He's a hell of a player," said Ikegwuonu,
whose blanket coverage and interception did
nothing to hurt his All-American chances.
"He made me work on every play. We knew
they wanted to get him the ball, he's their big
play guy."
Part of the problem might not have been
Wisconsin-specific, though. Manningham
and Mallett verbally sparred on a few sepa-
rate occasions. The two were caught bickering
on the sidelines by ESPN cameras, and both
appeared annoyed when the other would make
in-game mistakes.
Ikegwuonu admitted he saw some dissen-
sion on the Michigan side of the ball, but also
said it's a more common occurrence than most
"When you're down, the frustration builds,
but you just gotta move on," Ikegwuonu said.
"I'm sure they're fine. Things just got a little
heated on the field."
ITSELF: Senior captain Shawn Crable - who
picked up a costly helmet-to-helmet hit late in
Michigan's game against Ohio State last sea-
son - collected a pair of early personal fouls in
Saturday's contest.
On the Badgers' third drive, Crable hit
Wisconsin quarterback Tyler Donovan after
Donovan released a pass safety Jamar Adams

picked off. The penalty negated the intercep-
tion and kept the drive alive. Two plays later,
the linebacker was flagged again for roughing
the quarterback.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr had to be
restrained on the sideline following the second
call, since Crable's hit on Donovan came after
a pitch during an option play, not on a pass.
Wisconsin went on to score a touchdown later
in the drive, picking up a lead it would never
A frustrated Crable didn't agree with the
calls, especially the second one.
"That was some bullshit," Crable said. "They
just tried to take the aggression from us right
away, but it was cool. They cheated a little bit,
but it's all right."
A calmer Carr had a more reserved response
when asked about the personal fouls following
the game.
"I thought the second penalty is the wrong
interpretation of the rule, because it is not
intended for option football," Carr said.
NO. 7 BECOMES NO. 1: Chad Henne may
have only been on the field for two drives Sat-
urday, but he played long enough to put him-
self atop a pretty impressive list.
The fourth-year starting quarterback
became Michigan's all-time passing yardage
leader when he connectet on a seven-yard
pass to wide receiver Adrian Arrington in the
first quarter.
Henne passed John Navarre to become No. 1
on the list - one that includes players like Tom
Brady, Jim Harbaugh and Elvis Grbac, among
Henne tied the record on his first comple-
tion of the game, an eight-yard connection to
Greg Mathews.
The Wyomissing, Penn., native didn't talk to
reporters following the game, he talked about
the prospect of breaking the record earlier in
the week.
"Having played four years and definitely
having been around a lot of great players
when you get to this point, it's a team game,"
Henne said. "I'm doing a lot to help myself,
but there are a lot of other guys making plays
for me."

From page 1B
and Oregon were still in the back
of the players' minds, but a perfect
Big-Ten season could eclipse it.
True, that Big Ten Champion-
ship goal is still intact, but it's slip-
ping away.
The Wolverines were outplayed
in every statistical category Satur-
day by Wisconsin. These were the
Badgers who couldn't hold a lead
against the same Ohio State team
Michigan will face next weekend.
Beating Wisconsin clearly
didn't matter to the Wolverines.
} Their eyes were already geared
for Nov. 17. Just look at the way
Michigan approached its warmup
to the storied rivalry.
It sat senior captain Mike Hart,
likely resting him for the big one
next week rather than risking
further injuryto take of business
against Wisconsin. Senior quar-
terback Chad Henne lasted all of
two Wolverine possessions with a
slightly separated throwing shoul-
der that slides in and out when he
throws the ball.
With two stars missing from
the field, Michigan couldn't come
back against a Badger teambent
on avenging its lone loss last sea-
So the stage is set, even if it
doesn't have the national implica-
tions many imagined two weeks
ago, let alone heading into the
Michiganwas the preseason
Big Ten darling, the teamwith
an offense powerful enough to

carry a weak defense. But that was
based on a healthyHenne at the
helm. Saturday, with freshman
Ryan Mallettunder center, the
Wolverines miraculously con-
verted several third-and-long con-
versions to make the game close
for a while.
Yes, the Wolverines could
afford to lose to Wisconsin, but
it will cost them if they follow it
upwith a season-ending loss to
the Buckeyes. If Michigan had
defeated the Badgers, next week
would've guaranteed at least a
share of the Big Ten Champion-
ship win or lose.
But if this coming Saturday
ends poorly for the Wolverines,
will they look back at what could
have been at Camp Randall Sta-
The eight-game winningstreak,
the narrowed focus on the Big
Ten Championship and the com-
ing together of a team will all be
for naught without a win next
One game will decide if this
season inthe Michigan football
annals will be remembered as a
success or a failure. Beating Ohio
State won't erase the historic loss
to Appalachian State, but it could
cement another BCS bowlbid for a
Wolverine team left for team after
dropping their first two games.
Apparently, the Wolverines are
confident nextSaturday won't
end in the disappointment of the
lead-in contest in Camp Randall
- Wright can be reached
at kpwr@umich.edu.


tR 4


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