48 - Monday, September 8, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
48 - Monday, September 8, 2008 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Time of Poss
M I C H I G A N
Entire Michigan defense makes a.
difference against RedHawks
No. Yds Avg S
7 318 45.4 56
7 318 45.4 56
No. Yds Avg Lg TD
3 626 22.0 24 0
3 66 22.0 24 0
N5 26 52 13
5 26 5.2 13 0
By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Editor
Though the Michigan football team's
offense was the center of attention after
last week's two-point
loss to Utah, some of the NOTEBOOK
most lcommon criticisms
from coaches and players concerned the
It couldn't stop plays up the middle. It
allowed sustained drives. And, even with
a line full of veterans, it looked over-
matched and outplayed in the first half.
But against Miami (Ohio), the defense
proved that redshirt sophomore line-
backer Obi Ezeh wasn't its only weapon.
The secondary was particularly
impressive. On a critical third down in
the third quarter, senior safety Brandon
Harrison broke up a potential six-yard
touchdown pass that would have tied
the game at 10. Harrison said he yanked
the ball out of the arms of wide receiver
Chris Givens to force a RedHawk field
"It was man coverage," Harrison said.
"I just couldn't let him catch the ball. It
was third down. I did whatever I could to
get the ball out."
Sophomore cornerback Donovan War-
ren had two near-interceptions in the
second half. Defensive coordinatgr Scott
Shafer said both "probably could have
gone for touchdowns."
Linebackers Jonas Mouton and John
Thompson both made their first start
of the season, helping to take the load
off Ezeh. Mouton started on the weak
side and Thompson on the strong side,
but before the game, it was thought that
Thompson would play in the middle and
Ezeh on the outside if the two played
"That was kind of weird, but I guess
they took a chance and it worked out,"
Ezeh said about the shift.
Thompson finished the game tied with
Harrison with a team-high eight tackles
and Mouton was second with seven.
Though Michigan failed to contain
Utah's inside running game, it stifled
Miami's attempts to run between the
tackles. And midway through the fourth
quarter, Thompson and senior defensive
tackle Will Johnson delivered a bruis-
ing hit to the head of Miami quarterback
Daniel Raudabaugh, forcing him to the
sidelines for the remainder of the game.
"I just remember me squinching
because it was a nice hit by our lineback-
ers," Warren said.
Said Miami coach Shane Montgomery:
"He got a little wheezy. He just stands up
and gives them free shots at the head. He
M I A M I
Fifth-year seniorJohn Thompson made his first Career start at outside linebaCker on Saturday.
can't do that." HARD EDGE: As the Wolverines run The injury list rattled off by Michigan
CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT: If from the Michigan Stadium tunnel onto coach Rich Rodriguez during the post-
only the first and fourth quarters count- the turf, they pass two phrases painted in game press conference included more big
ed, Michigan would easily be 2-0. large, block letters on the concrete ceil- names than usual
Michigan has yet to score a point in ing beams. Junior wide receiver Greg Mathews
the second or third quarter of a game this The last phrase they see before facing said he tried to practice Tuesday after
year but has outscored its opponents 39-6 110,000 fans is, predictably, "GO BLUE." injuring his foot against Utah, but it just
in the first and final quarters. But the two words painted on the pre- made the injury worse. Mathews didn't
"Comparing last week to this week, vious beam are unexpected - "HARD play Saturday, but said after the game
we started faster," defensive coordina- EDGE.' he would "definitely be back next week"
tor Scott Shafer said. "Last week, we gave It's a Rich Rod-ism that emphasizes against Notre Dame.
them a couple plays there in the first half out-hitting every opponent - or, as Sha- Freshman running back Michael Shaw
that made it feel a lot worse than it was." fer said, it's playing "hard-nosed, Michi- pulled his groin in the first quarter Sat-
But the statistics from both games gan-style football." urday. Redshirt junior offensive lineman
show a similar progression. Michigan "We want to get this program to where Mark Ortmann, sporting a block 'M' sling
was outscored 19-0 in the middle half people fear playing at Michigan Stadium on his right arm after the game, suffered
of the game against Utah and 6-0 in the again, and it hasn't been that way for a an elbow injury in the third quarter. Nei-
span against Miami. lot of years," Shafer said. "We want that ther returned to the game.
Part of the discrepancy can be attrib- opponent to walk into the Big House, look Rodriguez also said junior running
uted to the difference in the Wolverines' across the field, see the winged helmets back Carlos Brown was still having some
average starting field position, which was and understand that they're going to get trouble with the wrist injury that has
nearly identical in both games. In the hit for 60 minutes." been an issue since fall camp.
first and fourth quarters, Michigan start- INJURY REPORT: It's almost become "You don't see the coaches and play-
ed drives on its own 44-yard line against common knowledge that with their new ers saying the sky is falling, but when
Utah and its own 43 against Miami. But strength and conditioning regimen, the you step back and look, you already got
in the middle half of both games, the Wolverines are in the best shape of their two linemen out and Mathews and Shaw,
Wolverines got the ball at the Michigan lives. Carlos Brown is dinged up, Ortmann -
21.5 (Utah) and 20.5-yard line (Miami). But doesn't mean they're invincible. what's going on?" Rodriguez said.
Paer I C-A Td TD Int
RDadaaugh 20-33 11 V' U
Belton 3-7 14 0 0
Totals 23-40 205 0 0
PEayer Att Yds Avg Lg TD
Merriweather 21 77 3.7 12 0
Raudabaugh 7 -3 -0.4 5
Rogers 1 -5 -5.0 0 0
Beton 2 -1 105 0 0
Totas 32 47 1.5 12 0
Player No. Yds Avg Lg TD
Rogers 9 78 8.7 25 U
Woods 4 63 15.8 42 0
Harris 3 26 8.7 14 0
Givens 2 19 9.5 10 TD
Poter 10 68 6.023 6US 0
Miller 1 3 3.0 3 0
OWonne 0 1 3 3.0 3 0
Iroa 1 0 10 2 0
Totais 23 205 0.9 42 0
Player No. Yds Avg Lg
Richardson 7 377 53.9 42
Totals 7 377 53.9 42
Player No. Yds Avg Lg T
Rogers o 4 89 223 24 0
Totals 4 89 223 24 0
TlEUso ,s I No. Yds Avg Lg TD
Harris 2 13 6.5 9 0
Total 2 13 6.5 9 0
BIG TiEN STANDINGS
Team Big Ten Overall
Ohio State 0 0 2 0
Wisconsin 0 0 2 0
Indiana 0 0 2 0
Iowa 0 0 2 0
Minnesota 0 0 2 0
Northwestern 0 0 2 0
Penn State 0 0 2 0
Purdue 0 0 1 0
Illinois 0 0 1 1
Michigan 0 0 1 1
Michigan State 0 0 1 1
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS
MICHIGAN 16, Miami (Ohio) 6
MICHIGAN STATE 42, Eastern Michigan 10
OHIO STATE 26, Ohio 14
WISCONSIN 51, Marshall 14
IOWA 42, Florida International o
LLINOs 47, Eastern Illinois 21 -
PENN STATE 45, Oregon State 14
Northwestern 24, DUKE 20
INDIANA 45, Murray St. 3
PURDUE 42,-Northern Colorado 10
Minnesota 42, BOWLING GREEN 17
McGuffie takes first
leap toward living .
up to YouTube hype
By NATE SANDALS for 74 yards on 17 carries and
Daily Sports Editor added 32 yards on three recep-
Sam McGuffie was already one What really wowed the fans
of the best-known players on the was McGuffie's big-play poten-
Michigan football team before he tial. His longest gains of the day
ever arrived on campus. were a 26-yard run and a 27-yard
Thanks to his YouTube.com reception.
highlight reel, which includes "Samis the quickest I've seen,"
footage of him leaping over an Michigan running backs coach
opponent, the true freshman Fred Jackson said. "We didn't
from Cypress, Texas achieved have alot of times where he could
near-legendarystatusbeforeever show his quickness in the first
donning the maize and blue. game, but now that he's hitting
But in his first game, Michi- his reads, he'll be a lot better in
gan's loss to the Notre Dame
Utah, last week, game than he
McGuffie strug- . t was in this
gled toe show- "Sam iS the game."
case his talents, .iAs a team,
gaining just 17 qu i est I've Michigan
yards on eight picked up 206
carries, seen," Jackson yards don the
Well, give ground, a vast
McGuffie a mul- said. improvement
ligan on that from the loss to
one. Utah, in which
He gave the Wolverines
Michigan fans managed just
what they'd been waiting for Sat- 36 yards.
urday against Miami (Ohio). Michigan coach Rich Rodri-
"First game, I was nervous," guez described the offensive
McGuffie said after the win. "I line's play against Utah as "below
had first-game jitters, Big House average," but the young unit
jitters. Now that I had my first showed noticeable improvement
game out of the way, this game in just one week.
I didn't have to think as much, I "They're coming around, play
could just play." by play," Michigan offensive line
Just playing seemed to work coach Greg Frey said. "Every time
well for McGuffie, who rushed they get experience in the sys-
Freshman running back Sam McGuffie was the team's leading r usher Saturday with 74 yards on 17 carries.
tem, it helps them out a little bit.
I think they were getting on their
zone tracks a little better today."
McGuffie was quick to credit
the offensive line for his impres-
sive day. As Frey pointed out,
Michigan's .offensive scheme
requires that all 11 players be on
the same page, but when it clicks,
cial" moments to become more
and more common, as the Michi-
gan offense gains experience,
The improvement from week to
week should be more noticeable
than in past years because of the
new system and the bulk of young three to four deep surrounded
players with playing time. him as soon as he stepped outside
"Each game helps them tre- the barricades. Listed at just five
mendouslybecausetheyfeelmore feet 11 inches, McGuffie almost
comfortable with. what they're got lost in the crowd, but there
doing," Jacksonsaid. "I'm talking was no question who the fans
about on any play, not just a run were circling.
play. In pass protection, Sam was In just two-weeks, fans have
better today. On route technique, already been electrified by
Sam was better today." McGuffie's skill and star poten-
too concerned with McGuffie's "I hope he's a good interview
pass protection skills while they for you guys," one fan remarked
stood outside Michigan Stadium to a reporter as she watched
hunting for autographs. the crowd around McGuffie.
McGuffie was by far the most "Because he's going to be getting
popular player. A pack of fans a lot of your attention."
From Page 1B
Nick Sheridan for the final possession of
the first half.
"I was hoping that one would just play
so well that we just wouldn't have to, but
right now, we are at a point where we are
having some growing pains," Rodriguez
Threet started the second half but was
pulled after two drives - a three-and-out
and one that ended when he overthrew
an open Darryl Stonum on third down.
Threet struggled to hit receivers on inter-
mediate routes all day.
Sheridan finished the game, guiding
Michigan on an 87-yard touchdown drive
in the fourth quarter. Junior running back
Brandon Minor rumbled 15 yards, diving
into the end zone, on his lone carry. The
touchdown carry capped the drive, finally
giving the Wolverines some breathing
Sheridan finished the game 4-for-5
with 40 yards. Threet was 6-for-13 for 63
yards, but 50 of those came on the first
play. Neither threw a touchdown or inter-
"It's still like a Clint Eastwood movie
- 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,''"
Sheridan took a knee twice in the final
minute, allowing the Wolverines to cel-
ebrate their first win of the year.
"Game over, fellas," redshirt freshman.
defensive end Ryan Van Bergen screamed
as the final seconds wound down.
Then redshirt sophomore defensive
end Greg Banks reminded him about a
new tradition. The entire team ran over to
the corner of the field and sang 'The Vic-
tors.' The song was surely sweet, but the
win was just the first step for this team
to prove itself afterits loss in the season
"There ain't no redemption," fifth-year
senior linebacker John Thompson said.
"There's 12 weeks. We've got to win every
From Page lB
quarterback is under pressure, don't
jump on the quarterback for making the
safer, shorter read.
So next Saturday, when the quarter-
back throws a bad pass, a bubble screen
goes nowhere or an option gets stopped
it's not always the quarterback's fault.
- Robinson is looking for his lost
iPod, full of Michigan football press
conference recordings. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.