After his three touchdown, 178-all-purpose yard performance against Western Michigan, junior running back B.J. Askew is beginning to realize that he might have to carry the offense game in and game out.
He carried the ball just 15 times, but ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns, catching five passes for 66 yards and another touchdown.
The performance was made all the more important because of Chris Perry”s knee injury.
“Last year I got a lot of experience and that helped me out a lot this year,” Askew said. “Now I can run the ball, block, catch ”
And throw the ball?
“We”ll see,” he said.
Perry”s injury means that Askew is Michigan”s only running back that has seen a significant amount of playing time, which becomes all the more important with the Big Ten season opening this weekend.
“You still have to run at 100 percent,” Askew said. “If you do, you probably won”t get hurt as long as it”s not a freak injury or something.”
And at 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, he”s more likely to do the injuring than get injured.
“I learned from (Anthony Thomas) that you gotta give them a pounding,” he said.
Coach Lloyd Carr doesn”t know yet if Chris Perry will play or at least if he does know, he wouldn”t say but did say that he”s day-to-day.
The graduate: After being selected in the second round of the NFL draft last April, offensive tackle Maurice Williams came back to Michigan to finish his degree.
“I just found out this morning and it”s something that makes me extremely proud and happy about” Carr said.
“He was an hour short when the draft ended. He finished a course and he”s a graduate.”
Williams is also the Jacksonville Jaguars starting right tackle.
Big Elvis: At 6-foot-6, 299 pounds, sophomore offensive lineman Tony Pape has never had a problem standing out.
Now, that he”s surrounded by other players his size, he once again has found a way to stand out in the crowd.
Pape has wide, lambchop sideburns that almost cover his entire face.
“You know, every year its something,” Carr said. “Anthony Thomas after the Miami (Ohio) game said “coach,” as he was shaking his head, and I thought he was going to be critical of the running game, he said “we couldn”t wear those wide sideburns.” “
Because of the sideburns, Pape”s teammates gave him the nickname “Fat Elvis.”
“I like it and everyone else likes it. They think it”s original.”
Being punctual: Carr is placing extra emphasis on details this week, noting that little things often cause major problems in games.
“For want of a nail, a shoe was lost,” Carr said. “Because of a shoe, a horse was lost. Because of a horse, the battle was lost.
“They say Robert E. Lee was late for the first day at the battle of Gettysburg. So it”s the little things.”