Another game, another poor kicking performance by Michigan. In the Wolverines’ 10-7 victory over Utah on Saturday, kicker Philip Brabbs went 1-for-3, making a 37-yard field goal and missing two fourth quarter attempts, one from 27 yards out and the other from 42 yards.

Paul Wong
Michigan defensive end Shantee Orr grimaces in pain after injuring his right knee at the end of the second quarter.

The Wolverines are now 3-of-11 on field goal attempts this season.

“I’m very concerned,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. “I don’t know what else to do. We’ve been excellent in practice, but we have not been able to take that to the games.”

Brabbs is responsible for six of those eight field goal misses.

“It is kind of tough. I had a lot of confidence going into the game and after hitting on the first one I felt really, really confident,” Brabbs said. “I just have to focus on coming straight through the ball.”

Carr told the media last Monday that punter Adam Finley may get a chance to kick in an emergency situation. After Saturday, that situation may be now.

“Adam has only worked the past couple weeks and that may be a possibility – we’ve got to do something,” Carr said.

While Brabbs was unsuccessful kicking the ball, he nearly scored a touchdown on a fake field goal.

After taking the snap, Navarre handed the ball off to Brabbs, who ran the ball seven yards for a first down on the two-yard line.

“I wish I would’ve had more practice running the ball. I almost had it. It was a blur,” Brabbs said.

Boo-birds: Michigan fans were not pleased with Brabbs’ and quarterback John Navarre’s performances on Saturday – and Carr was not pleased with the fans’ reaction.

Fans booed the Wolverines twice: Once after an errant Navarre pass on third down and again after Brabbs missed a chip-shot, 27-yard field goal.

While players said they don’t pay attention to the boos, Carr was well aware.

“I don’t think they’re booing John Navarre, I think they’re booing me, and if they’re booing a college athlete, then shame on them,” Carr said. “Shame on them. I’ve got a theory about that, but I won’t go into it at this time.”

Navarre’s performance against Utah comes on the heels of Michigan’s 25-23 loss to Notre Dame, in which many Wolverines’ fans believed that Navarre was at fault.

“I read (and) I hear people say John Navarre cost us the Notre Dame game – let me tell you something, anybody who says that, they don’t know a damn thing about football,” Carr said. “They don’t know a damn thing about the game.”

Against Utah, Navarre was 19-of-36 for 186 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked twice, but ran 18 yards for a first down on 2nd and 15 in the second quarter.

Injuries and absences: In the first half, defensive lineman Shantee Orr was helped off the field after injuring what appeared to be his right knee in Michigan’s effort to get the ball back with time winding down. Orr did not return to the game.

Carr did not discuss the extent of Orr’s injury, but indicated that Orr wouldn’t return quickly.

“I would think he’s going to be out a little while,” Carr said. “We’re going to have to see.”

Defensive linemen Alain Kashama and Pierre Woods are expected to see more time while Orr is out.

Cornerback Markus Curry also did not play, but Carr said that his absence was not caused by health or disciplinary problems. Cornerback Zia Combs played the majority of the time opposite Marlin Jackson, with Jeremy LeSueur and Brandon Williams also seeing the field.

Markus’ brother, Julius, did not know why Markus did not play, but thought it might be a performance issue.

“I’m not really sure,” Julius Curry said. “Last week, we allowed some big plays and you have to make some changes sometimes when big plays happen.”

Fullback Sean Sanderson also missed the Utah game after having surgery on his hand.

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