Junior Braylon Edwards probably had a different vision for the
season opener after inheriting the Michigan football team’s
cherished No. 1 jersey.
The Wolverines’ star wide receiver saw unexpectedly limited
playing time against Central Michigan on Saturday, and was kept out
of the starting lineup by coach Lloyd Carr.
He did not enter the game until Michigan was faced with a
3rd-andgoal during its first drive, and was the intended receiver
on an incomplete pass in the end zone from quarterback John
From there on, Edwards saw action mainly on third down and
inside the red zone.
He still managed to haul in five catches for 78 yards and two
touchdowns despite the cutback in action, but Carr was clearly
frustrated with the wideout following the 45-7 victory.
“Braylon Edwards and I are not on the same page,” Carr said.
“And Braylon is a very good reader, so what he needs to do is find
what page I’m on and get there.
“That’s all I’m going to say.”
But while Carr talked about the riff between him and his
receiver, Edwards seemed far less concerned about any perceived
“I’m not surprised by the number of snaps,” Edwards said.
“That’s coach Carr’s decision and that’s how the coaches decided to
play this game. It has nothing to do with me, that’s just how they
chose to play it.”
Another issue involving Edwards once again reared its ugly head
during the win, as he struggled to hang on to the football, a
problem that continually surfaced throughout last season.
Edwards dropped one pass and then fumbled during the third
quarter – the ball was recovered by Michigan tight end Tim
“My goal this year was no drops,” Edwards said. “But if I did
have one, I wanted it to be earlier in the season.
“No more drops (the rest of the year).”
Trouble on the run: While the 45-7 victory looked pretty on the
scoreboard, there were still plenty of problems that the Wolverines
need to address before the meat of this season’s schedule.
Without question, the most troublesome issue is the rush
defense, which served up 218 yards to the Chippewas.
Central Michigan running back Terry Jackson rushed for 108 yards
on 21 carries – a hefty five yards per carry average, while Central
Michigan managed 4.8 yards per carry as a team.
“Our wide receivers were blocking on the perimeter,” Jackson
said. “Our lines opened up holes and the backs made good reads. I
was not necessarily (surprised that we could run the ball so
While the Chippewas were thrilled with their ground attack, the
Wolverines’ defenders were far less enthused.
“We were all pretty upset at the fact that they were running the
ball the way they were,” Michigan safety Jon Shaw said. “That
definitely made us tighten it up a little more.”
Just kick it: The kicking problems that plagued Michigan’s
season last year surfaced again against Central Michigan, as senior
Adam Finley went just 1-for-3 on field goal attempts.
The incumbent starting placekicker, Finley shanked a 25-yard
attempt in the first quarter before rebounding with a make from 30
yards. Finley then missed a 47-yarder to end the first half. In the
second half, freshman Garrett Rivas took over on extra points,
leading to speculation that the kicking job will soon fall into his
After Saturday, though, Rivas claimed that Finley was still
going to be the starter at kicker.
On Monday, Carr claimed that Rivas and Finley are neck-and-neck
for the position and will continue to be evaluated as the season
News and notes: Michigan came out of Saturday’s game relatively
healthy. The couple injuries that the Wolverines suffered appear to
Defensive tackle Larry Harrison sprained his right ankle and is
questionable for next week’s game against Houston.
Safety Willis Barringer injured his left ankle but is expected
to return next week, as is freshman linebacker Shawn Crable, who
sat out with an injured shoulder.
Safety Ernest Shazor was benched for undisclosed reasons, but
Carr said that Shazor will return and be in the lineup against
Houston, along with junior Marlin Jackson who served a one-game
suspension for a June altercation off-campus.