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September 09, 2008 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-09-09

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8 - Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily~o

8 - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 The Mkhiean Daily - michieasdailv.com


Redshirt sophomore Nick Sheridan briefly lived outside of South Bend while his fatherwas a coach at Notre Dame in 2001. He will play in his first road game Saturday.
Sheridan preparedfor first
-eroa game in fam-iiar territory

Bucks, Trojans
game to watch
By ANDY REID Granted, those numbers came
Daily SportsEditor against less-than-stellar compe-
tition, but all signs point to huge
Never has perfection looked so offensive numbers in air and on
unimpressive. Last week, the Big the ground.
Ten went a far-from-spotless 11-0. And while the strength of the
Its poster child, Ohio State, nearly Big Ten continues to come into
succumbed to the biggest upset of question, this game is a huge
the year against Ohio, Wisconsin opportunity for the conference to
spotted.Marshall 14 points before assert itself on a national stage.
deciding to play, Michigan narrow- U$,
ly escaped Mid-American Confer- NO. 10 WISCONSIN AT NO. 21
ence "powerhouse" Miami (Ohio) FRESNO STATE
and Illinois's sluggish start against The Sleeper Award for the best
Eastern Illinois wasn't pretty. game of the week goes here. For
This week poses much stiffer starters, Fresno State is perenni-
competition. In 10 games, the Big ally one of the scariest non-BCS
Ten will play five BCS teams - teams in the country. The Bulldogs
Southern Cal, Oregon, Iowa State, have taken down several big-con-
Syracuse and Notre Dame - and ference teams in the past. They've
one of the biggest giant killers in , beatenWisconsin(already)in2001,
the non-BCS ranks, Fresno State. Oregon State, Virginia, UCLA and
Even the most optimistic Big Ten Georgia Tech, as well as a 24-7
fan can't expect another undefeat- drubbing of Rutgers this year. It's
ed weekend, but no one can deny a night game in California, which
that this weekend is a whole lot means the stadium is going to be
more exciting on paper. rocking when the top-t0 Badgers
These are the best games to come to town.
watch this weekend and why. This has upset written all over.
NO. S OHIO STATE AT NO. 1 it, and maybe it's justme,but those
SOUTHERN CAL are the best games to watch.
Is it just me, or did this match- $ "1
up lose a whole lot of draw after NO.17 PENN STATE AT
the Buckeyes' 54-minute suck- SYRACUSE
fest against THE Ohio University Saying that the Nittany Lions
Bobcats? While it was great to see are playing a BCS team is like buy-
Ohio State almost lose its title as ing a Rolex on the streets of New
The Best Team in Ohio for a year, I York and saying it's real. Sure, it
would be a lot more excited for the says Rolex, but you're really not
Buckeye-Trojan matchup if both fooling anyone. Syracuse is - well,
teams still looked invincible. other than Duke - the worst BCS
Beanie Wells's injury is still a team out there. Let's be honest
major question, freshman wun- - you can't lose to Akron by two
derkind Terrelle Pryor has looked touchdowns and have much digni-
human so far, and it's no stretch ty left. But hey, with the Big Eastas
to say that the Buckeyes need to weak as it is, the Orange may still
play a whole lot less sloppy this be in contention for a conference
weekend. The Trojans, however, crown and BCS berth.
played so well against Virginiatwo After watching Penn State com-
weeks ago that it looks as though pletely dismantle Oregon State
the NCAA is simply holding the last week, it's hard to imagine this
national championship trophy for game being worth three hours of
them until January. your time.


Daily Sports Editor
Nick Sheridan was a Notre Dame
fan for nine months.
That was eight years ago, when
the now-redshirt sophomore quar-
terback lived just over the Michigan
border in Granger,
Indiana, and was NOTEBOOK
taking snaps with
his middle school's eighth grade "B"
Sheridan's father, Bill, now the
linebackers coach for the New York
Giants, was Notre Dame's safeties
and special teams coach in 2001.
Nick went to every home game and
watched the Fighting Irish finish
"It was a pretty bad year for my
family," Sheridan said.
He insists he never cheered for
Notre Dame to beat Michigan - the
teams didn't meet that season. And
though he rooted for every team his
dad coached, he was quick to point
out that his Notre Dame allegiance
"wasn't by choice."
Fighting Irish coach Bob Davie
resigned after the season and for-
mer Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
hired Bill Sheridan as his lineback-
ers coach. Four years later, his son
walked on to Carr's team and, coin-
cidentally, saw his first game action
against Notre Dame.
Surrounded by his family of Irish
Catholics, Sheridan will play in his
first Michigan road game this week-
end in an atmosphere he knows
quite well.

"It's kind of been a Notre Dame
thing for my family, which I'm hesi-
tant to say," Sheridan said. "But I'm
sure everyone in my family will be
rooting for me on Saturday."
Similar situation for quarter-
backs: This weekend, the quarter-
back shuffle will remain the same
as it was against Miami (Ohio). Red-
shirt freshman quarterback Ste-
ven Threet will probably start, but
will also
take snaps k
against the I know w
Irish. playingin th
"It's 'or'
(on the or somethin
depth chart)
because it it, or if you'
really is 'or" S i o
Rodriguez Station, you
said. "Both
of those that reset
guys arestill
there in the Rodrigu
mix. If one
guy would
emerge and
play to the point where it's just him
and he's playing at that level, that
would be good."
Freshman Justin Feagin, who
Rodriguez said last week will red-
shirt, has been working with the
quarterbacks and the slot receivers
during practice. Before signing with
Michigan last February, Feagin was
recruited by Louisiana State as a
wide receiver. Michigan has already
received verbal commitments from


four-star quarterbacks Shavodrick
Beaver and Tate Forcier for the class
of 2009, meaning there may be five
quarterbacks in the mix to start
next season.
Despite the Feagin's versatility,
Rodriguez said redshirt sophomore
David Cone is the team's third quar-
Harrison's pass breakup in the end
zone dur-
ing Satur-
day's third
hen you're quarter pre-
vented the
ie backyard RedHawks
from tying
ig, you redo the game at
re on Play- But if not
for an over-
i can push ruled play,
button," defense
would have
.ez said. been off the
field four
plays ear-
With two yards needed for the
first down, Miami quarterback
Daniel Raudabaugh appeared to
throw an incomplete pass from the
Michigan 16-yard line. The Red-
Hawks called a timeout and chal-
lenged the play.
The officiating crew ruled they
had incorrectly called the play
a forward pass, but on further
review, determined it was a lateral
pass. Miami was allowed to repeat

third down and got a first down on
the next play.
Rodriguez said Monday he was.
looking to learn more about the
reasons behind the referees' deci-
"I didn't know there were do-
overs," he said. "I know when
you're playing in the backyard or
something, you redo it, or if you're
on PlayStation, you can push that
reset button. I didn't know there
was such a thing in Division I-A. I'll
have to get that cleared up."
said redshirt junior left tackle
Mark Ortmann dislocated his right
elbow and will not play this week-
end against Notre Dame. Ortmann
was in a block 'M' sling after Mich-
igan's win last Saturday. Possible
candidates to replace Ortmann on
the leftside are redshirtsophomore
Perry Dorrestein, redshirt sopho-
more Bryant Nowicki or freshman
Patrick Omameh. Nowicki played
in Ortmann's absence Saturday.
Junior running back Carlos
Brown wore a white jersey for the
first time during Sunday's practice,
signifying that he could partici-
pate in practice as normal. Brown
took a snap at quarterback against
Utah but didn'tplay against Miami.
Rodriguez said that Brown, who has
been struggling with a wrist injury
since fall camp, should be "full-go"
against the Fighting Irish.
Wide receiver Greg Mathews
(foot) and running back Michael
Shaw (groin) are also expected to
return tothe field Saturday.

Still, any time two historic
powerhouse programs collide in
an early season game, it's a must-
watch matchup.
Yeah, yeah, Southern Cal and
Ohio State are playing this week.
We know But, in all the time spent
hyping that game, both media pun-
dits and college football fans have
forgot about this intriguing Big
Ten-Pac 10 battle.
To say this game is not for
the defensive-minded fan would
be a grotesque understatement.
Through three games (Oregon has
played two-and Purdue just one),
the Boilermakers and the Ducks
have combined to score 152 points.

This is one of the most mind-
boggling rivalries in college foot-
ball. Anyone who hasn't paid
attention to the battle for the
CyHawk Trophy would expect
it to be lopsided - towards the
Hawkeyes, no doubt. But Iowa is
a head-scratching 3-7 against the
Cyclones in the BCS era, including
a 36-31 loss in the Hawkeyes' 2002
Orange Bowl season.
A rivalry is. a rivalry, so there's
obviously going to be excitement
and collegiate pageantry, but both
teams are rebuilding and far from
the upper echelons of their confer-
ences at the moment.


Ex-Wolverine, NFL MVP out for the season with left knee injury

The New England Patriots have
come back from injuries before,
winning three Super Bowls and
reaching a fourth despite los-
ing Rodney Harrison, Richard
Seymour, Junior Seau and Drew
Now they will try to do it with-
out Tom Brady.
The 2007 NFL Most Valuable
Player will miss the entire '08
season with a left knee injury that
needs surgery, the team said yes-
That leaves the Patriots with-
out one of the game's great quar-
terbacks and severely damages
their hopes of a return trip to the
Super Bowl.
Coach Bill Belichick would not
say what the injury is, but the play,

Brady's reaction and the progno-
sis all point toward a torn anterior
cruciate ligament.
"As a team we all just have to
do our jobs. That really doesn't
change," Belichick said yesterday,
a day after Brady's knee collapsed
under him when he was hit by
Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard in a
17-10 victory over Kansas City.
"He played one position, he
played it very well. We have some-
body else playing that position
The Patriots issued a one-para-
graph statement that the two-
time Super Bowl MVP will have
surgery and be placed on injured
Thatleaves theminthe hands of
a backup who's barely been tested
- in part because of Brady's 128-

game starting streak that was the
third-longest for a quarterback in
NFL history.
Matt Cassel, who guided New
England to its 20th consecu-
tive regular-season victory after
Brady was hurt, will start Sunday
at the New York Jets. It will be the
first meaningful start since high
school for Cassel, who backed up
Heisman Trophy winners Car-
son Palmer and Matt Leinart at
Southern Cal and spent the last
three years holding a clipboard
for Brady.
"I'm not trying to be Tom
Brady. I'm just trying to be Matt
Cassel," he said when subbing for
Brady on his regular weekly radio
show. "I don't know where that's
going to take us."
Brady, who played his college

football at Michigan, took the
Patriots to three NFL titles since
2001 and led them to a perfect
record in the regular season last
year before a loss in the Super
Bowl to the New York Giants
deprived them of a fourth cham-
pionship and an unprecedented
19-0 season.
Theyhadbeen favored to return
- before Brady's injury.
"We're not going to tank it the
rest of the season. That's not going
to happen," defensive lineman
Richard Seymour said in a somber
and nearly empty Patriots locker
room. Seymour was across from
where Brady's locker remained
stocked with equipment and per-
sonal items. "There's always a way
to win. We're not going to have a
lot of excuses about it."

Even without Brady, the Patri-
ots remain a team stocked with
veterans in a mediocre division,
and with ofte of the most success-
ful coaches in NFL history.
"The leadership on this team
will take care of itself," offensive
lineman Matt Light said. "I expect
(Cassel) to do his job, and that's
the same thing he expects from
each one of us. There's nobody on
this team that we don't have con-
fidence in. You can't have a better
mentor than Tom Brady."
The Patriots have just two
quarterbacks on the roster: Cassel
and rookie Kevin O'Connell.
Matt Gutierrez, who signed as
an undrafted free agent before
the 2007 season and has thrown
one career pass, was released in
the final cutdowns before the

But Belichick denied media
reports that out-of-work quarter-
backs Chris Simms and Tim Rat-
tay were headed to Foxborough to
take physicals orto audition.
"In spite of what some people
are putting out there, we haven't
worked out anybody," he said.
"We had a lot of people call us, I
can tell you that."
For now, Cassel is his starter.
"I'm happy for his opportunity
to have a chance to play," said
Leinart, who, ironically, is now a
backup' with the Arizona Cardi-
"I'm bummed for Tom. You just
hope he can heal as well as he can
and get back out there as soon as
he can. But Matt will step up. I
think he'll be all right."

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