The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, November 12, 2009 -SA
Walk-on linebacker Kevin Leach led the Wolverines in tackles (11) in the Wolverines' 38-13 loss to the Fighting Illini. Leach started the last two games at middle linebacker.
by huge Wsosn0ln
By ANDY REID Ezeh was burned on a 60-yard
Daily Sports Editor touchdown pass from Penn State
quarterback Daryll Clark to tight
Besides the uniforms and the end Andrew Quarless.
pregame entrance, there are very And Rodriguez has been
few similarities between today's impressed with the redshirt soph-
Michigan football team and the omore. Leach even graded out
one run under legendary coach Bo higher than any other defensive
Schembechler. player when the coaches broke
But there are a few ways in down the film of the Illinois game.
which the old coach's voice is still But the Wisconsin offense,
heard through the football build- which Michigan will square off
ing that is named after him. against this weekend, is a different
In the book "Bo's Lasting Les- monster altogether.
sons," Schembechler said, "I didn't "Wisconsin's style is a little
care if you were a sophomore or a different than a lot of teams,"
senior, a walk-on or an All-Amer- Rodriguez said in his Tuesday
can ... if you played your position teleconference. "But they make no
the way I wanted you to play it, bones about it: They've got a huge
you'd start. That simple." offensive line and tight ends and
Current coach Rich Rodriguez, backs, and they're going to come
a former walk-on at West Virginia, right down and impose their will
has started two walk-ons - safe- on you and try to control the game
ty Jordan Kovacs and linebacker withtheirrungame and doenough
Revin Leach - over scholarship in the passing game with bootlegs
players this season. And the simi- and stuff to keep you honest."
larities don't end there. A more traditional smashmouth
Schembechler often kept a team, the Badgers' starting offen-
fluid depth chart, moving players sive line is enormous, weighing
up based on the week's practice. in at an average of more than 321
Rodriguez has done the same with pounds -55 pounds more than the
Kovacs and Leach this season, giv- average starter on the Michigan
ing the two nine combined starts. defensive line.
Due to a decimated secondary In addition, Wisconsin's John
and junior Troy Woolfolk's return Clay, a bruising downhill running
to cornerback fromsafety, Kovacs's back, is one of the Big Ten's larg-
starting job may be secure for the est backs at 248 pounds. He leads
rest of the season. But Leach, who the Big Ten in rushing and is one of
has started the last two games in just 25 players in the country who
place of the team's active leader is averaging more than 100 yards
in career tackles, Obi Ezeh, the per game on the ground.
future is a lot less certain. "He doesn't lose yards," Rodri-
Leach was brought in at middle guez said. "You've got to tackle
linebacker for the Illinois and Pur- him. He's not going to fall down.
due games because his quickness You'd better get a lot of people
and athleticism were a good match around him. It's hard for one guy,
against the spread-based offens- as big as he is, strong, fast. You
es. The switch came a week after know, the 0-line, tight ends, are
monsters. They're huge. We're a
small team anyway, defensively
particularly. So that's a lot of con-
cerns for us."
The smallish Leach, at six-foot,
200 pounds, may not be effective
against the Badgers potent ground
game, and Ezeh's strengths may
play more into the Wisconsin
"Kevin's about 200 pounds,
where Obi is 230, so there's a natu-
ral difference in speed and those
things, there," Rodriguez said yes-
terday. "Kevin's a physical guy, and
Obi can run pretty well. For us, I
don't think our scheme has been
finalized yet. I would expect both
of those guys playing quite a bit.
"We don't know yet (who will
start). We won't know yet defen-
sively at a couple positions until
With their sheer size, the Bad-
gers have dominated and. worn
down teams all season. They cur-
rently rank fifth nationally - and
first in the Big Ten - in time of
possession, controlling the clock
for more than 30 minutes a game.
For the Wolverines, who rank
118th out of 120 Football Bowl Sub-
division teams in that category,
finding the right scheme and the
right personnel to slow down Clay
is the key to whether they can find
that elusive, bowl-clinching sixth
win this weekend.
"They're going to try to con-
trol the game," Rodriguez said.
"And we're not a very big team and
right now, we've struggled defen-
sively with teams that come right
at us. So we've got to try to find an
Of course, Michigan has been
trying to find that answer all sea-
son, especially in the second half.
The Wolverines have given up
more than 70 combined points
after the break in the last three
games. Rodriguez thinks cycling
in more players may slow the Bad-
gers' attack, but with such a young
team, even that will be trouble-
"This game, we're going to have
to play more guys, because we
know they're going to pound us,"
"The defensive staff hasn't felt
comfortable that the younger guys
behind (the starters) are ready to
play. I don't think it's fair to put
them in there just for the sake of
putting them in there. You could
destroy their confidence if they go
in and they're not quite ready."
By RYAN KARTJE for this story, is believed to be one
Daily Sports Writer of the reasons for implementing a
new credential system soon after
It was a night full of images that that required a special clearance
the Michigan hockey team would to be in certain areas of Yost Ice
like to forget. Arena.
Defenseman Steve Kampfer "I can't coach the parents,"
lying motionless on the ice after Berenson said of the breach at the
an illegal slash. His father, Bruce, time. "I called (Michigan State)
charging into the visitor's locker coach (Rick) Comley and I apolo-
room to confront Michigan State gized for the security around
forward Corey Tropp, one of the the bench and around the locker
perpetrators of the on-ice assault room.... We've had no incidents up
against his son. And all of Yost Ice until now in the back locker room.
Arena watching Kampfer stunned That's why we put the locker room
as the events slowly unfolded. there, so there'd be no crossover of
But with the incident of last players and fans, and no skirmish-
year's Jan. 24 game against the es at the end of games or between
Spartans nearly 10 months behind periods. So it's been fine. But obvi-
them, the Michigan coaches are ously ... they're dealing with it."
confident that their team has Today, with newer safety mea-
moved on from the emotional hap- sures in place, Berenson says he
penings of that night. can understand the emotional
"The incident last year was outburst of a father seeing his son
unfortunate, it was uncalled for, assaulted on the ice.
and it was dealt with well on the "Parents are emotionally
other end," Michigan coach Red charged, and they don't have the
Berenson said. "As far as we were same rules we do on the ice,"
concerned, it's over. It never car- Berenson said.
ried over after that, and it won't CCHA Associate Commissioner
carry over this year." Fred Pletsch called Michigan's
So with the emotional charge approach to handling the security
of an in-state rivalry, coupled with situation "proactive" and noted
last year's events, Berenson made that the CCHA did notchave to step
it a point to emphasize that this intoimplementanyadditionalpen-
year's matchup against the Spar- alties or suspensions after Comley
tans will be a testament to playing suspended Tropp and accomplice
clean and focused hockey. Andrew Conboy for the remainder
"(Last year's incident) happened of the season.
when a team was losing, and they But with Tropp now the leading
got frustrated,"Berenson said. "You scorer in the CCHA, reminders of
saw a little bit of that from us last last year's incident will be abound
weekend (against Miami), and if I as the Spartans return to Yost Ice
have anything to say about it, and I Arena, even with the team's assur-
do, there won't be any more of it." ance that it is behind them.
And the CCHA assumes the "That's behind everybody,"
same thing, especially after mea- assistant coach Mel Pearson said.
sures have been taken to limit "The two players, Tropp and
repercussions off the ice, like what Kampfer, they've put that behind
happened last season. them as well. The most important
The confrontation with Bruce thing is getting the three points in
Kampfer, who declined comment the hockey game."
When your boss is after your fiancee,
some scheming is in store!
. The Marriage of
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte
Sung in Italian with projected English translations
University Opera Theatre directed by Robert Swedberg
University Symphony Orch. conducted by Kenneth Kiesler
Nov. 12 at 7:30 PM - Nov. 13 & 14 at PM -Nov. 15 at 2 PM
Power Center - Tickets $24 and $18 - Students $g with ID
League Ticket Office - 734-764-2538
nIvi-ai IlY F'NIIIIAN*
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