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November 19, 2007 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-19

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4B - November 19, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4

GAME STATISTICS

injuries pain senior stars in loss

Team Sats
Fis Downsw
Rush/Yds
PasingYas
OffensivePlays
Toal Offense
Return Yads
Cmp/Att/In
Punts/Avg
Fmbles/Lost
Penlalties/Yards
Tme of Poss

59/229
50
72
7/13/1
11/37.4
3/0
3/40

MICH
8
24/15
76
61
12/37/0
12/45.9
2/0
4/45
22:10

M I C H I G A N
C-A Yds
11-34 68
Att Yds Avg
18 44 2.4
1 -1 -1.0
3 -20 -6.7
24 is 0.6

TD
0

Int
0

Lg TD
12 0
0 0
0 0
12 0

9er No.' Yds Avg Lg
ninghamn 5 34 6.8 10
er 4 24 6.0 8
ngton 2 13 6.5 8

TD

By DANIEL BROMWICH
Daily Sports Editor
Losingto Ohio State always hurts.
But for a senior quarterback with a sepa-
rated shoulder and a senior running back
with a bad high ankle sprain, the pain had to
be nearly unbearable.
"'Ithinkthey were in alot NOTEBOOK
of discomfort," Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr said. "(Quarterback) Chad
(Henne) got hit and knocked down once, I'm
not exactly sure where it was, but from then
on, he was hurting. The same thing happened
to (runningback) Mike (Hart).
"I wasn't in their shoes, but it was pretty
obvious there was some discomfort there."
Hart and Henne both indicated before the
season that their winless record against the
Buckeyes was a major factor in their return
to Michigan. But Hart hasn't recovered from
an ankle injury he suffered against Purdue
five weeks ago, and Henne's shoulder hasn't
healed in the four weeks since the Illinois
game.
"He wanted to come back, and I didn't
think he threw the ball like I had hoped he
would in the pre-game," Carr said. "We
have no excuses here, but I think it's fair to
acknowledge that Chad was not throwingthe
football like he has. And Mike Hart was not at
full speed - I mean, that's fundamental."
Henne and Hart both attempted to play
Saturday, but both had to remove themselves
from the game at different points.
Hart appeared to aggravate his ankle
on Michigan's second offensive series and
pulled himself out for the rest of the series.
He alternated subbing himself in with sitting
out throughout the rest of the game, never
looking close to full health throughout.
With fewer than four minutes remain-
ing in the third quarter, Henne didn't come
out on offense, instead jogging to the locker
room with the Wolverine trainers. He didn't
appear to be at full strength earlier in the
game, under-throwing deep balls and loop-
ing his passes on out patterns.
Freshman Ryan Mallett came in for
Henne and played one series. He gained a
first down at the 50-yard line before the
drive stalled.
But Henne returned from the locker room
just after the beginning of the fourth quar-
ter and immediately inserted himself back
into the game.
"Chad Henne has led a few comebacks

Yds Avg Lg
551 45.9 68
551 45.9 68

around here," Carr said. "And he wanted to
play, and I listened to him because I think he
deserved that."
Henne couldn't lead a comeback in this
one, even though some of his linemen didn't
notice that he was in pain.
"He's tough," right tackle Steve Schilling
said. "If he was hurt, he didn't show it."
Henne finished 11-of-34 for 68 yards, the
only time he's finished with fewer than 100
yards in a game in his career (excluding last
weekend's two-series game against Wiscon-
sin). Hart wasn't more productive, gaining
just 44 yards on 18 carries - the lowest total
of his career in games where he's attempted
more than nine rushes.
DROPPING THE BALL: Even when Henne
played through the pain (and the weather)
and got the ball to his receivers, it wasn't
always caught.
Juniors Mario Manningham and Adrian
Arrington might have had their worst games
of the season.
Manninghamdroppedfourpasses,includ-
ing several key completions that would have
resulted in first downs and extended Michi-
gan drives. Arrington dropped a key pass on
2nd-and-11 in the fourth quarter that would
have been good for at least 20 yards and put
Michigan in Ohio State territory.
The weather might have been an excuse,
but Carr didn't want to use it.
"I think there were balls that were
dropped," Carr said. "I didn't think the
weather was that negative. We just dropped
some balls that we normally catch, that's all
I can tell you."
WEATHERING THE WEATHER: After
struggling against Michigan State and Wis-
consin, punter Zoltan Mesko returned to
form Saturday, even in terrible weather con-
ditions.
In a game where field position meant
more than usual, Mesko did as much as he
could to help the Wolverines' cause. He
punted a career-high 12 times and averaged
45.9 yards per kick.
Mesko boomed a career-long 68-yarder in
the second quarter that was downed at the
four-yard line. The height of his punts, com-
bined with theweather conditions,bothered
the Buckeye returners. Ohio State muffed
two kicks and scrambled to recover them.
"I thought there was a period there where
he was absolutely unbelievable," Carr said.
"The kick he made at the end of the half real-
ly changed the momentum of the game."

KICKOFF RETURNS
Player
Harrison, B.
Totals
PUNT RETURNS
Player
Mathews

04s Avg Lg TD
36 18.0 22 0
36 18.0 22 0
Yds Avg Lg TD.

Player Solo Ast Tot
Eeh 8 4 12
Adams 5 7 12
Cable 7 3 10
Graham, C. 4 6 10
Illisnois 6 42 9 3
Mihgan 6 2 1 4
Johnson 3 3 6
Talor 1 3 4
Pent 2 1 3
Pollock 2 0 2
towa 4 4 6 6
MW udros 1 0 1
Inanak3 70
iscans 1 0 1
N~lortstern 0 516 1
Minen 0 1 11
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team Big Ten Overall
Ohio State 7 1 11 1
Illinois 6 2 9 3
Michigan 6 2 8 4
Wisconsin 5 3 9 3
Penn State 4 4 8 4
owa 4 4 6 6
Indiana 3 5 7 5
M ichigan State 3 5 7 5
Purdue 3 5 7 5
Northwestern 3 5 6 6
M innesota 0 8 1 11
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
Ohio State14, MIcHIGAN 3
ILLINOIS 41, Northwestern 22
MICHIGAN STATE 35, Penn State 31t
NNDIANA 27, Purdue 24
Wisconsn4,MNNES OA 4
FortOrego ign (6 28, Ai),th
AROUND
THE NCAA
DUCKS CRIPPLED:
Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon
suffered a season-ending knee injury
and Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason
returned both an interception and a punt
for scores as the Wildcats stunned the
No. 2 Ducks 34-24.
For Oregon (8-2, 5-2 Pac-10), the
loss signals the end of both Dixon's
Heisman hopes and the team's National
Title aspirations. For Arizona (5-6, 4-4
Pac-10), the win lends head coach Mike
Stoops some much-needed job security.
SOONER SWOON:
Oregon's loss opened the door for
No. 4 Oklahoma to reassert itself in the
National Championship picture, but an
injury to its own quarterback, freshman
Sam Bradford, prevented the Sooners
from taking advantage against Texas
Tech. After falling behind 7-0 early in
the game, the Red Raiders reeled off 27
consecutive points, spurred by three
Graham Harrell touchdown passes. Okla-
homa made things interesting late with
a pair of fourth-quarter Maunel Johnson
touchdown receptions, but the Sooners
couldn't recover an onside kick with less
than a minute remaining.
Oklahoma (9-2, 5-2 Big-12) drops
into a tie with Texas for the Big-12 North
lead, while Texas Tech (8-4, 4-4 Big-12)
sits 1.5 games back.
WARRIORS WHACK WOLFPACK:
Hawaii's 28-26 victory over Nevada
answered a lot of questions. The No.
14 Warriors (10-0, 7-0 WAC) proved
they can win close games, win on the
road and win without star quarterback
Colt Brennan. Backup quarterback Tyler
Graunke did his best Brennan impres-
sion, tallying 358 passing yards and
3 touchdowns, and Hawaii's defense
forced three Nevada (5-5, 3-3 WAC)
turnovers and a safety.
The win sets up a showdown
between Hawaii and Boise State, which
has been blowing out teams, next week-

end with a WAC championship and pos-
sible BCS bowl bid on the line.

A

Senior running back Mike Hart couldn't perform up to the standard he's set all season. He
failed to come close to 100 yards on the ground. He collected just 44.

4

BUCKEYES: Roses, Big
Ten Title disintegrate

From page 1B
for a touchdown, running back
Chris "Beanie" Wells broke
through for a 62-yard score to
increase the Buckeyes lead to 14-3.
Although Michigan still had
nearly an entire half to close it, it
would get no closer.
"The fact is they beat us these
last four years. That's the measure
of who is better or not," Kraus said.
"That's the way I look at it. And we
didn't win. They were the better
team today."
The loss marks the first time
since 1963 Michigan lost four in a
row to Ohio State. It also brings a
bitter end to the senior's careers
at the Big House, where they all
accomplished so much individu-
ally, but, ultimately, failed ever to
bring it all together.
And it ends what had been an
incredible turnaround by the Wol-

verines. From National Champi-
onship contenders to pretenders
to right back in the Big Ten race,
Michigan saw moments - Henne's
heroics - that made the season
much more special.
But those will be relegated to
footnote status in a season that
will largely be remembered for its
bookends: Traditional powerhouse
falls in one of the greatest college
football upsets ever.
And: Lloyd Carr, in his final reg-
ular-season game as head coach,
loses to the Buckeyes, defeating
them just once in his final seven
years.
With the regular season over,
Michigan still has a bowl game to
play. The seniors have never won
one of those, either, so they'll get
another shot this year.
Where exactly has not been
decided. But one thing is clear:
Pasadena will never have seemed
further away.

4
4

RODRIGO GAYA/Daiy
Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston collected three sacks and acquainted himself with the Wolverine
offensive line as he blew around the edge throughout the gawe
Detroit native sparks
ue's ofensive woes

By KEVIN WRIGHT
Daily Sports Editor
Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston
stood at midfield as the two teams filed off the
field.
He had every right to take a breather after
abusing the Michigan offensive line to the
tune of three sacks, but he had one last sprint
left in him.
After giving a brief postgame interview, the
Detroit native took off to the southwest cor-
ner of Michigan Stadium to celebrate with the
Buckeye band and the rest of his team.
Gholston's performance was just a sample
size of the pressure Wolverine quarterback
Chad Henne faced from the Buckeye defense.
"I'm sure (Chad) Henne will see Vernon in
his sleep," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.
"He's a great football player, and our whole
defense put a lot of pressure, and that's the dif-
ference in the game."
Gholston won't just be roaming around in
Henne's subconscious. Most of the five offen-
sive linemen designated to protect him should
have those nightmares, too.
Michigan could muster just three points on
91 total yards of offense, and at least part of the
problem - if not the majority of it - started
with the offensive line.
"It's tough when things aren't going your
way, and it's frustrating when you can't seem
to get anything going," said right tackle Steve
Schilling, who was replaced by Mark Ortmann
in the fourth quarter. "But we definitely had our
opportunities, we just didn't take advantage."
Those Wolverine opportunities were infre-
quent, but whenever the offense appeared to
have a small spark of momentum, sacks and
penalties stymied drives.
Late in the third quarter, on freshman Ryan
Mallett's only drive of the game, the Wolver-
ines drove the ball to midfield before miscues
doomed the offense.
First, tight end Carson Butler was called for
holding, pushing Michigan back to the 41. On

the next play, Mallett hardly had time to look
downfield before Gholston blew by Schilling
and threw Mallett to the ground for a six-yard
loss.
That possession was just one of two second-
half Wolverine drives that made it into Ohio
State territory. The second ended just as badly
as the first.
After wide receiver Greg Mathews set up
Henne and the offense with a nice punt return
to the Buckeye 46-yard line, the offense lost
three yards in three plays.
In 15 possessions, the Wolverines went
three-and-out 11 times and gained just 38
yards in the second half. The Buckeyes tallied
a touchdown on nearly 200 yards after half-
time.
"Whenever we tried to get something going,
we either got penalties or sacked," running
backs coach Fred Jackson said. "A lot times we
had it, we just shot ourselves in the foot, and
that's the truth."
But it wasn't just the obvious mistakes,
like the drops or penalties. It started with the
offensive line and the run game.
Hart, still hindered by an injured ankle,
hardly got the ball before the Ohio State
defense was in his face. That's the way Tressel
planned it.
"Our defense was not going to let them con-
trol the game with the run, and we did a pret-
ty good job of moving the chains a little bit,"
Tressel said.
And with Henne struggling to move the
Wolverines through the air, the Buckeyes
keyed in on the Michigan ground attack.
Ohio State held the Wolverines to 15 rushing
yards, a part of the game the Michigan offen-
sive line prides itself on dominating.
"They're really good," Schilling said of the
Buckeye front four. "They're big and strong
and they came ready to play."
As Gholston ran to the corner of the south
end zone after the game, it must have felt just
as wide open as his path to Michigan's back-
field.

a

.4

Senior quarterback Chad Henne struggled with his accuracy and didn't look close
to 100 percent healthy. He completed just 11-for-34 passes.
BELL: Defining the seniors

From page 1B
for it.
Nothing to show for it - that's
a fitting distinction for this group
of seniors.
Long could be the best line-
man to ever don the maize and
blue. Hart and Henne are both
their respective position's all-
time leader.
But amid all of the individual
accolades, there are very few
pieces of hardware this group
brought in over the past four
years.
And even though Carr won five

Big Ten Championships during
his time at Michigan, the what-
have-you-done-for-me-lately
nature of fans will remember his
1-6 record against Tressel much
more than him hoisting up the
National Championship trophy
10 long years ago.
Is it fair?
It depends who you're asking.
But the debate could have been
prevented.
All Michigan had to do was
write its own happy ending Sat-
urday.
- Bell can be reached
at scottebumich.edu.

4
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A

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