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September 11, 2009 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-11

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MICHIGAN DEPTH CHART
VS.
NOTRE DAME

Student section block'M' will return Saturday

OFFENSE
1. Forcier, Tate Freshman
2. Robinson, Denard Freshman

QB

R1.Brown, Carlos Senior
.Shaw, Michael Sophomore
FB 1. Moundros, Marl Redshirt junior
SKevin Senior
W R Mathews, Greg Senior
2.SouDarryl Sophomore.
'v'\ . Stonum, Darryl Sophomore
2.Savoy, LaTerryal Redshirt sophomore
S O 1 . Odoms, Martavious Sophomore
I 2.Grady, Kelvin Redshirt Sophomore
Tj 1. Koger, Kevin Sophomore
IT 2 Webb,Martell Junior
LT Ortmann, Mark Redshirt senior
2Dorrestein, Perry Redshirt junior
LG 1. Schilling, Steve Redshirt junior
2. Mealer, Elliot Redshirt freshman
C 1. Molk, David Redshirt sophomore
2. Khoury, Rocko Redshirt freshman
G 1 Moosman, David Redshirt senior
2 Ferrara, John Redshirt junior
R T 1. Huyge, Mark Redshirt sophomore
2. Omameh, Patrick Sophomore

DEFENSE
rE 1.Graham, Brandon Senior
D L E 2. Heininger, Will Redshirt sophomore
T 1.Van Bergen, Ryan Redshirt sophomore
LD T 2. Banks, Greg Junior
N T 1. Martin, Mike Sophomore
[j 2.SagesseRenaldo Junior
1. Roh, Craig Freshman
0 2. Herron, Brandon Redshirt sophomore
LB 1. Ezeh, Obi Redshirt junior
2. Fitzgerald, J.B. Sophomore
W 1. Mouton, Jonas Redshirt junior
S 2.Leach, Kevin Redshirt sophomore
B 1. Brown, Stevie Senior
2. Simmons, Floyd Redshirt freshman
1. Warren, Donovan Junior
2. Turner, J.T. Freshman
SS iWoolfolk, Troy Junior
S 1. k r2. Van Slyke, Jared Redshirt sophomore
F 1. Williams, Mike Redshirt sophomore
2. Stewart, Charles Fifth-year senior
RC 1. Cissoko, Boubacar Sophomore
RC 2. Floyd, J.T. Redshirt freshman

AP PHC
Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen will try to redeem himself
this year in the Big House after his dismal freshman performance.
Rivalry, hype return
to Michigan Stadium

By ANDY REID
Daily Sports Editor
Over the last two seasons, there
have been a few tweaks to the Mich-
igan Stadium game-day experience,
most of which have been met with
various levels of resistance.
Many Michigan football tradi-
tionalists hated the piped-in music
played during last Saturday's win
over Western Michigan, and we all
know the fiasco surrounding the
construction of the giant luxury
boxes, most of which has subsided
by now.
But there's one up-and-coming
tradition that came without contro-
versy. During last year's epic 27-25
comeback win over Wisconsin, stu-
dents wore T-shirts to create a giant,
blue block 'M' amidst the rolling
maize sea of the student section. No
one had ever seen anything like it in
Michigan Stadiumhistory, and from
the aerial view of the ABC cameras,
it was a strikingsite on national TV.
And if you're in the Big House on
Saturday for the Notre Dame game,
you'll see that 'M' tower over the
playing field during a September
home game for the second straight
year. ,
"I think was a success the first
time, and it was also the second big-
gest comeback in Michigan football
history - so who knows? I guess

Last September, in the weeks
leading up to the Wisconsin game,
you were more likely to see Chin-
sky and his friends sprinting across
the stadium than varsity athletes
using the massive structure for stair
training.
On the tunnel side of the Big
House, there's a giant yellow 'M'
painted in the bleachers. Chinsky
and his Engineering buddies ran
from the student section to the 'M'
to meticulously measure it, scale it
down and use it as ameasuringstick
for their eventual'M.'
The bowl, which steepens as you
get farther from the field, presented
logistical issues as well, and the
whole time, he wanted to make sure
everything was just right.
"We knew we wanted the block
'M,' not just an M," Chinsky said.
"At Michigan, we don't have just an
M."
In the future, the responsibilities
of the stunt will be passed onto the
newly created Athletic Relations
sect of the Michigan Student Assem-
bly, of which Chinsky is currently
the chair. That way, it could become
a big tradition in the Big House.
"So 25 years from now, when I'm
sitting home on my couch one Sat-
urday in September or October, I'll
see a full maize stadium, including
the alumni, and also the Block 'M,"'
Chinsky said.

By COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan-Notre Dame
rivalry goes back to 1887, but look-
ing at only the past two games is
enough to set the scene for Satur-
day.
The hype surrounding this
year's game is comparable to that
in 2007, the last time the Fighting
Irish visited Michigan Stadium.
Both teams were 0-2 and desper-
ately needed a win to avoid disas-
ter. Now, the teams are both 1-0-
and desperate for a win to gain
credibility.
Leading up to both games, the
Wolverines were thinking big and
talking boldly.
"We're going to win next week.
There's nts question in my mind.
I guarantee we win next week,"
Mike Hart said a week before the
2007 game.
"I can't wait - we owe them.
We owe them," said freshman run-
ning back Michael Shaw moments
after the end of last week's West-
ern Michigan game, channeling a
bit of Hart's earnestness .
The key for Notre Dame as it
comes to Michigan Stadium for
Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game will
be shutting down the Michigan
defense and shutting up the home
crowd early, something the Irish
couldn't do when they were shel-
lacked 38-0 two years ago. The
Wolverines dominated, demoral-
izing the Irish by forcing turn-
overs on three of their first five
drives.
"It was one of those situations
where you go in there not know-
ing how things are going to go for
us or go for them, because they
were struggling a little bit at the
time when we went up there ...
and the fans were ready to turn on
them, and the fans had a big party
that day at our expense," said
Weis during his weekly press con-

ference Thursday. "And I didn't
enjoy it very much."
Weis also hasn't enjoyed his
recent on-the-field history with
first-year Michigan defensive
coordinator Greg Robinson. Last
year, days after Robinson had
been fired from his head coach-
ing job at Syracuse, he took his
2-8 team to South Bend and beat
Notre Dame 24-23 on a last-sec-
ond touchdown. That dropped
Notre Dame's record to 6-5, leav-
ing the team panicking with bowl
contention on the line in its last
game.
Notre Dame coach Charlie
Weis said that he's preparing for
the Robinson brand of defense
by watching both Syracuse and
Michigan tape to prepare for Sat-
urday's game. Robinson's game
plan will be centered around con-
taining a much-improved Jimmy
Clausen and star wide receivers
Golden Tate and Michael Floyd.
"You know they're going to take
some shots deep ball if they get
one-on-one matchups,"Rodriguez
said. "They'll throw it deep to the
wide receivers and let them make
a play, so we've got to be prepared
for that. If we play soft, they're
going to take hitches and slants
underneath. We've got to break on
the ball, do some things to create
some pressure and not let (Claus-
en) get comfortable."
But even with both teams on
the upswing this year, Michigan
can't, of course forget last year's
Notre Dame game. The rain, the
fumbles, the sloppiness and the
questions that followed spurred
Rodriguez to say after the game,
"Michigan football will be back.
All the naysayers out there, what-
ever. I'm disappointed but I'm not
discouraged. Michigan football
will be back."
One year later, his words finally
have the potential to possibly ring
true.

FIL EPHOTO
The student section wore free blue T-shirts to create a block 'M'last year at the Wisconsin home game.
we'll find out Saturday," said MSA licate that in Ann Arbor. In the fall time in order to get to do ita second
representative Andrew Chinsky, of his freshman year, Chinsky called time," Chinsky said. "You know,
the mastermind behind the compli- the Michigan Athletic Department Michigan has a very rich tradition,
cated stunt. about the idea. obviously, and if things don't go
Chinsky is from Pennsylvania, But with the season already half right, then people get nervous about
and many of his friends at Penn State over at the time, it would have been what's going to end up."
told him about the Nittany Lion impossible to do. Instead, Chinsky The preparation has been much
Club - if you've ever seen a Penn kept in contact with people in the easier this season, since Chinsky
State home football game, you've Athletic Department and started kept the blueprints they created for
seen the giant block 'S' in the stu- talking with some friends in the the 'M' last season, but they have
dent section during a White Out. He School of Engineering to come up made some changes. Instead of in
said his friends told him the atmo- with some block 'M' schematics. the middle of the student section,
sphere at games increased dramati- "I think everyone involved was where the curve of the bowl warped
cally when they successfully pulled pretty nervous about it, because it's it a little last year, the 'M' will be
off the'S,'so Chinsky wanted to rep- important for it to go right the first moved behind the band.

Clausen and Co. will be too much for Wolverine defense

By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN and
RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Editors
MICHIGAN OFFENSE VS.
NOTRE DAME DEFENSE
If you saw Tate Forcier's touch-
down pass to Junior Hemingway
last Saturday and got a warm, fuzzy
feeling about the rest of the season,
just remember: That was Western
Michigan's defense.
Notre Dame should be a much
bigger challenge for Forcier and
true freshman quarterback Denard
Robinson. And with Hemingway
questionable for Saturday, the pass-
ing game's not looking as good for
the Wolverines.
Last week, the Irish defense gave
head coach Charlie Weis his first
career defensive shutout in South
Bend with an easy 35-0 win over
Nevada.
The Irish are deepest in the sec-
ondary, where they boast a con-
tingent of four returning starters
- cornerbacks Darrin Walls and
Robert Balton and safeties Kyle

McCarthy and Harrison Smith.
Smith moved back to his natural
position this season after spending
last season at outside linebacker.
On the bright side, the Irish
defensive line is underdeveloped.
Despite the shutout, Notre Dame
surrendered 7.3 yards per rush-
ing attempt on first down against
Nevada. If tailback Carlos Brown
can come through with the type of
performance he showed last week,
the Wolverines should pick up
enough offenseonthe ground.
With the weak defensive line and
young linebacker corps, this could
be the breakout game for Robinson.
The Big House just saw a glimpse of
Robinson's blazing speed last Sat-
urday, and if Michigan can't get its
passing game going, expect to see
more of him.
Edge:Push
NOTRE DAME OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN DEFENSE
The two guys to watch and poten-
tially scream four-letter words at
Saturday are Notre Dame receivers

Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. It's all going to come down to how
If Michigan beats the Fighting Weis is able to plan against Wol-
Irish, it will be because junior cor- verine defensive coordinator Greg
nerback Donovan Warren and soph- Robinson's schemes, which will
omore cornerback Boubacar Cissoko continue to become more and more
were able to contain one of the top disguised as the season progresses.
receiving duos in the country. We give the advantage to the
More likely, it will be a difficult Irish, but if Warren and Cissoko
battle with Notre Dame trying to keep all the big-play balls in front
capitalize on its biggest advantage. of them, Michigan will be in good
Warren seemed very excited for shape.
the challenge at Monday's press Edge:Notre Dame
conference, but he and Cissoko each
must overcome height disadvan- INTANGIBLES
tages of two-plus inches against two Somehow on the same week-
receivers that are great at going up end as the Southern Cal-Ohio State
and bringing down any ball nearby. matchup, Michigan and Notre
Coupled with Michigan's depth Dame are hogging the front page of
issues in the secondary and three- ESPN.com.
year starterJimmy Clausen at quar- It's safe to say the age-old rivalry
terback for Notre Dame, this will is back on the national stage.
be a much bigger challenge for the The Wolverines are obviously
physical backs than the one posed looking to avenge their 3-9 season,
by Western Michigan. similar to how the Irish bounced
Irish fullback James Aldridge, a back from a terrible year two sea-
former rivals.com five-star recruit, sons ago to win a bowl game. And
is out for the game, which certainly Notre Dame is being discussed as a
hampers a rush attack that won't be potential BCS bowl contender. It's a
as much of a concern for Michigan. proving ground for both on a huge

stage after each team made a name
for itself in the opening week in
dominant fashion.
Edge:Push
SPECIAL TEAMS
It wasn't spectacular, but the
Wolverines' return game against
Western Michigan had to make
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez
smile.
No fumbles.
It was a refreshing change from
last year's unforced error-ridden
season, with the worst performance
coming in South Bend where the
Wolverines had four fumbles on
returns.
Kickoff and punt coverage boded
well for the Irish last week against
Nevada, holding the Wolf Pack to
just 17.6 yards per kickoff return.
Punter Zoltan Mesko is the dif-
ference maker here, averaging 47.5
yards per punt last week.
Edge: Michigan
SCORE:
NOTRE DAME WINS 31-28

SPECIAL TEAMS
P

K

KR
1. Stonum, Darryl Sophomore
2. Odoms, Martavious Sophomore

2bOlesnavage, Jason Fifth-year senior 1. Mesko, Zoltan Fifth-year senior
2. Gibbons, Brendan Freshman 2. Wright, Bryan Redishirt junior

Note: Depth chart as predicted by Daily football writers.

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