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January 03, 2008 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

January 3, 2008 - 3C

The Michigan Daily football writers break down the weekend's stats that don't show up in the box-
score. The defense-o-meter measures the intensity of the defense, the Carr-o-meter judges Lloyd Carr's
demeanor following the game and the hypemeter measures the fans' game performance.

Yes, they the defense allowed 35 points. Yes, it didn't man-
age to stop Heisman-Trophy winner Tim Tebow or wide
receiver Percy Harvin, who had more than 200 total yards.
Crables But the Wolverines introduced just enough new wrinkles
into their defensive gameplan to slow the Gators when
it mattered and made stops when they needed to.

Carr was clearly emotional in the press conference, coming
straight after his final postgame speech to his football team. He
4 discussed how much he will miss thejob and his close relation-
Lloyd ship with the Wolverine players. Most oftthe questions didn't
Carrs concern the game, and Carr seemed ready to finally look back
on his career and allow some nostalgic moments. For everybody
in the room, Tuesday's press conference was one to remember.

The Capital One Bowl, played in Orlando just more than
100 miles from Gainesville, functioned as a home game
for Florida. But the Wolverine fans still represented
Big Houses strongly and most appeared to stick around even through
the postgame celebration and trophy presentation.

Wide receiver Adrian Arrington said he has not yet decided whether or not he will
return to the wolverines or enter the NFL next season.
Rodriguez wants
to woo Wolverines

ORLANDO, Fla. - With the
nation's top recruit still consider-
ing Michigan, incoming coach Rich
Rodriguez is no doubt excited to hit
the recruiting trail and solidify his
first class at the helm of the Wolver-
But ouer thenext week, he'llactu-
ally spend some time selling himself
to players already in Ann Arbor.
Preferring to stay out of the spot-
light during Lloyd Carr's final days
as coach, Rodriguez has not. had
much of a chance to chat with the
current Wolverines. To make up
for it, he plans to talk to many of
them one-on-one next week, he said
before the Capital One Bowl.
"I think there's alot of anxiety any
time there's transition, and that's
understandable," Rodriguez said. "
I've been through this before."
But Rodriguez has made an excep-
tion for some players by already mak-
ing a pitch to some individually.
With the deadline to declare for
the NFL Draft less than two weeks
away, Rodriguez said he has talked
to wide receivers Adrian Arrington
and Mario Manningham. Both have
asked for an NFL evaluation of their
draft prospects.
In addition, Rodriguez has met
twice with freshman quarterback
Ryan Mallett, who is considering a
Rodriguez assured the five-star
quarterback recruit the coach's

spread-style offense can be adjusted
to fit whoever leads it. Although it
has recently featured a dual-threat
in West Virginia's Pat White, the
offense also can be geared to a drop-
back quarterback such as Mallett,
Rodriguez said.
"He's got to trust us, and if he
doesn't, that's his decision," Rodri-
guez said. "We certainly hope he'll
stay around. He's a talented young
man who has got alot of ability, and
we can fit our system to the best
"But again, the best guys will play.
He's got to make the decision himself
whether he thinks he's the best."
Carr told reporters yesterday
morning that Mallett had already
orate, according to The Wolverine.
Mallett said after the bowl game that
he would discuss his decision publicly
once he got back to AnnArbor.
. Rodriguez will be happy to know,
though, that there are some players
whose arms he won't have to twist.
For instance, both defensive line-
man Tim Jamison and cornerback
Morgan Trent said they would be
back for a final year.
Still, Rodriguez said he under-
stands why others - such as junior
Terrance Taylor, who said after the
game he still might declare for the
draft - might not be as certain.
"It's the unknown, particularly if
you bring a lot of new coaches in,"
Rodriguez said. "They think, 'Do
we have to prove ourselves all over

After win, coaches move on
Daily Sports Editor
ORLANDO, Fla. - Once the
final seconds ticked off the clock
on arguably the biggest upset of
the college bowl season so far, the
Michigan sideline erupted. '-t "''-'f
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was
immediately swarmed by media.
The Wolverine players sprinted_*
over to the Michigan band. Lost
among the mayhem were the
assistant coaches, many of whom 5'
were coaching their last game at
There was quarterbacks coach
Scot Loeffler, who jumped into
the arms of one of his colleagues
following the win.
Teary-eyed defensive coordina-
tor Ron English, who announced
he would take the same position
at Louisville next season, took a
second to share an embrace with
offensive line coach Andy Moeller
on his way to the locker room.
English said he decided to take
the Louisville job late Monday
night. He added he never likes to
wait around and is excited for the
opportunity to turn around the
Cardinals' defense.
English was in his second sea-
son as the Wolverines defensive
coordinator, having served as -
Michigan's secondary coach the
previous three years.
"I've never been that kind of
guy that's looking for a job," Eng-
lish said. "It was a good opportu- 5'' "
nity, and I'm excited about it."
Many wondered about the
future of Carr's staff after Rich
Rodriguez was hired as the next
Michigan coach on Dec. 17.
Rodriguez said in his intro-
ductory press conference that
he would bring several of his
assistants with him from West
Virginia, including offensive
coordinator Calvin Magee and
secondary coach/recruiting coor-
dinator Tony Gibson. Rodriguez
also added he would consider
rehiring some of the current assis- PETER SCHOTENFtS/Daily
tants to smooth the transition. Former Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English is one of many current Wolverine coaches who will not be on the Michi-
Two days later, Rodriguez gan sidelines next season. He accepted a job as Louisville's defensive coordinator.
fired all nine assistant coaches
after, meeting with each of them I'm going to miss coaching at at some point in his coaching he could take in the moment.
briefly. Michigan," Loeffler said. "This career. "Nobody knows the future,"
Since then, Rodriguez has only place is special." "I want to come back to Michi- Campbell said. "We're just going
rehired running backs coach Fred Loeffler has been Carr's quar- gan someday," Loeffler said. "It's to sitnback and enjoy this moment.
Jackson, the longest-tenured assis- terback coach for the past six my home, it's what I know." We'll worry about the future later
tant (16 years). The futures of most seasons and helped establish a Campbell, who has served on."
others have yet tobe determined. pipeline of Michigan quarter- under Carr for 13 seasons and also As for Stripling secondary
Some speculated Rodriguez backs into the NFL. played for the Wolverines, seems coach Vance Bedford and line-
would also retain wide receivers But with Rodriguez bringing the most likely to return to the backers coach Steve Szabo, they
coach Erik Campbell, defensive in a spread offense that usually Wolverines. The former Michi- all said they don't know what
line coach Steve Stripling and relies on a mobile quarterback, gan cornerback and wide receiver they'll be doing next year.
Loeffler, but Loeffler's comments Loeffler's tutelage of dropback has developed All-Americans like Prior to this season, Carr had
after the game seemed to sug- passers would not have been a Braylon Edwards, David Terrell his assistants' contracts extended
gest his immediate future won't good fit. and Marquise Walker. to two-year agreements, ensuring
include staying in Ann Arbor. Still, the Michigan graduate But Campbell's only concern they would be paid through Feb-
"I love coaching football, and would like to return to his roots after the game was making sure ruary 2009.

From page 1C
ond time, also put together one
of his finest gameplans. Between
a season-high 40-plus plays
in spread formations, numer-
ous handoffs to wideout Mario
Manningham and even a pass to
All-American tackle Jake Long,
DeBord proved he actually knew
there was life beyond the zone
left run.
"They put in all this hard work
game planning, and they could
have been at Disney World hav-
ing fun with their kids knowing
that they didn't have a job here,"
senior Jamar Adams said. "This is
the character that Michigan has.
This is the part of the program
that's character-built. It's respect.
It's loyalty. That's what they
Character, respect, loyalty?
Sounds like someone we know.

The outgoing senior class, some
of the most highly decorated indi-
viduals in the history of the sto-
ried program, finally put together
a memorable team accomplish-
ment in its last chance to do so.
It was a great ending for some
soon-to-be NFL stars who were
0-7 against Ohio State and in bowl
games before Tuesday's win.
But in the end, the day was
Carr's. And rightfully so.
Lloyd Carr was always going
to be remembered fondly by most
unbiased observers. His most
valuable contributions to the pro-
gram - running a clean program,
running it with class and molding
good football players into good
people - were already solidified,
no matter which team ran a ball
into a little painted area more
But Michigan's on-field perfor-

mance Tuesday afternoon gave
Carr the moment he deserved,
whether he wanted it or not.
After his team doused him with
water as the seconds ticked down
in Michigan's win, Carr quickly
found himself on the shoulders of
the players who tried so hard to
send him out on top.
Though his smile showed he
thoroughly enjoyed the moment,
Carr demanded his team put him
down so he could shake hands
with opposing coach Urban
Meyer, the same man who vehe-
mently argued that Michigan
didn't deserve to play in last year's
National Championship.
About a half hour later, after
giving a rousing final speech
to his players where he pushed
every player to stress academics
and finish their degrees like they
finished the game against Florida,
Carr remained classic Lloyd in the
post-game press conference, put-
ting his players first.

"I told them I loved them,"
Carr said of his locker room mes-
sage. "And, most importantly I
thanked them. Because that's
what a leader does, the last thing
you need to do is say thank you."
But despite Carr's best efforts
to put everyone in the spotlight
but himself, it was no secret who
this day belonged to.
on the 10th anniversary of
Michigan's split-decision National
Championship, Lloyd Carr was
declared a unanimous winner,
both on and off the field.
"I couldn't ask for anything
better for this man and his career
and what he's meant to Michigan
football, what he's meant to the
whole sport of college football,"
Athletic Director Bill Martin said.
"He's been a great ambassador for
us, and I'm so happy he went out
this way."
- Bell can be reached at

From page 1C
play, a Michigan player celebrated
with a gator chomp or some sort of
taunt, and the contest grew testier
as it went along.
"It was definitely getting intense,
but it's all in fun," Arrington said
with a smile after the game.
The members of the Michigan
defense especially took offense to
the national pundits, particularly
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit,
discrediting their unit before the
Michigan defensive coordina-
tor Ron English said he didn't need
to use any bulletin-board mate-
rial because his players had already
heard it all.
The Gators were supposed to run
over and around the Wolverines
with the 235-pound Tebow. Flor-
ida had the sub 4.4 speed in Percy
Harvin to run around the "slow"

Michigan defense. And Urban Mey-
er's squad had the spread scheme
to create the mismatches that had
haunted the Wolverine defense
against Appalachian State, Oregon
and numerous other teams.
But none of that mattered to the
group of seniors looking to reestab-
lish some respect for the Michigan
football program.
"We see the TV, we see the paper,
we see conversations, and they
doubt us," senior Chris Graham
said. "It's about time now that we
can show that we canplay and stand
up to the credentials that Michigan
football has had over the years."
The Wolverines had plenty of
motivating factors heading into the
Capital One Bowl, but who could
have guessed trash talk seeping
through a wall would push them
over the edge?
"Everybody doubted us, and we
liked it that way," senior Jake Long
said. "And we shocked them, baby,
we shocked them."


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