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Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Michigan Football

Alums visit, inspire Blue

BY JACK HERMAN

With his brother and former Michigan football captain Pat standing outside the Michigan Stadium tunnel, tight end Mike Massey had a family affair awaiting him when he stepped off the bus before Saturday's game.
But with about 100 former players also waiting, the rest of the team joined the reunion.
Looking to lift the spirits of the bruised and battered Wolverines, a group of alumni ranging from Rick Leach to Tyrone Wheatley greeted the Michigan team and offered words of encouragement as it entered the stadium before its 38-0 romp of Notre Dame.

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Slimmer Graham plays big for Blue

Jessica Boullion

BY SCOTT BELL

Many scouts thought Brandon Graham would be a household name by the end of last season.
Instead, it took a couple trips to Michigan coach Lloyd Carr's doghouse and a breakout performance against Notre Dame for the Detroit native to become a mainstay in Michigan's starting lineup.
One man definitely now knows Graham's name - Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Graham met Clausen time and time again last weekend to the tune of 3.5 sacks in Saturday's 38-0 win over the Irish.

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SEC clashes headline weekend action

Jessica Boullion

BY H. JOSE BOSCH

After flying out of the gate, I took a tumble last week. My Louisville-Kentucky pick was wrong, but at least I don't actually play for the Cardinals, because that would be embarrassing. Remember, this week's picks are correct 60 percent of the time, every time.
No. 20 Texas A&M at Miami (Fla.), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. - ESPN/ESPN 360

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Nate Sandals: Fans' blind faith won't always spell sorrow

BY NATE SANDALS

I didn't know it when I came to Michigan, but I doubled my sports misery.
As a lifelong Philly sports fan, I've seen teams fall short on the field, court, rink and diamond. And the fact is, Michigan fans and Philly fans are pretty much the same.
Before you ask how I could compare Michigan fans to the horror stories you hear about Philly fans, let me explain.

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Henne has sprain, slight chance to play Saturday

Chris Herring

BY JACK HERMAN

On the face of it, not much has changed. The depth chart still lists freshman Ryan Mallett as starter, and Michigan coach Lloyd Carr still says senior Chad Henne's status is day-to-day.
But judging from the tone of Carr's comments during his weekly press conference yesterday, there seems to be an ever-so-slight possibility Henne could return from injury for Saturday's game against Penn State.
"Chad Henne has got enough experience that he could play without practice," said Carr, although Henne was not listed on the two-deep depth chart.

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"Machete" ready to cut down opposition

Chris Herring

BY KEVIN WRIGHT

Redshirt junior John Thompson's stoic face broke into a slight smile as he recounted the best hit he has delivered during his three years at Michigan.
The middle linebacker collided facemask-to-facemask with Iowa running back Albert Young two years ago in Iowa City, and the hit has stuck with him to this day.
"All my life, that's what I bank on: being a hard hitter," Thompson said. "It's just adrenaline. It feels good to punish somebody."

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Carr-o-meter

CARR-O-METER
4/4 Lloyd Carrs
Really just amazing. Carr walked in smiling because he brought good friend and movie star Russell Crowe with him. He joked with reporters about asking the same question multiple times, and when he got tired of answering questions, he had Crowe come to the podium and hold court. Carr seemed completely at ease, much different than the angry and edgy coach we saw last Monday.

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Around the NCAA

Utah undoes UCLA

Salt Lake City provided the week's biggest headscratcher as the Utes demolished the 11th-ranked Bruins 44-6. UCLA mistakes, including 10 penalties for 66 yards and five turnovers, attributed to a Utah 30-0 second half. The Bruins were denied the red zone the entire game, a feat that hasn't occurred since UCLA coach Karl Dorrell's first win in 2003. Utah's Tommy Grady threw 246 yards for 3 touchdowns in just his second start to produce the Utes's highest-ranked upset since 1994.

Reviving a rivalry

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Hypemeter

HYPEMETER
3/4 Big Houses
With both teams 0-2 , it seemed to damped the pre-game aura a bit - it sure didn't feel like a Michigan-Notre Dame game. But the crowd showed up in full force. And other than an ill-timed attempt at "The Wave," it gave an otherwise solid performance.

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Notre tamed: Team rallies behind Hart's guarantee

Angela Cesere

BY KEVIN WRIGHT

Mike Hart showed exactly how you back up a guarantee.
Thirty-five carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns came to play, but his guarantee stretched deeper than self-motivation. He used it to reach out to his teammates.
When Hart went up to the podium after a horrific loss to Oregon and predicted victory over Notre Dame, the senior captain drew a fair share of criticism.
What prompted Hart to put so much faith in a team that opened the season with two bad losses? Why would he put even more pressure on a group of guys already hanging their heads over a heartbreaker and a blowout?

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