In the first two games this season, Michigan’s running backs
went through run defenses like water through a sieve, and that
success has sparked cries of Chris Perry for Heisman. Backup David
Underwood and Michigan’s powerful offensive line have also been
recognized by the media as key parts of the Wolverines’ running
game.

Janna Hutz
Senior quarterback John Navarre and his receiving corps have been working all week to improve their play after a mediocre performance last week against Houston. (TONY DING/Daily)

But Perry said credit also goes to the forgotten backs,
fullbacks Kevin Dudley and Brian Thompson.

“(Dudley is) going to run through the hole hard every time and
take on their linebacker,” Perry said. “Brian Thompson will as
well. To have those guys in front of you willing to sacrifice their
body and any notoriety for you is a great thing.”

Dudley, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound senior, has spent his career
waiting in line behind former back B.J. Askew. Dudley earned the
starting job this year.

“Fullback is one of those positions where you are some sort of
blocker on every play,” coach Lloyd Carr said. “It takes a durable
and tough-minded guy. What we like about Kevin is his
toughness.

“As a coach, you always love the guys who are willing to do
anything to play the role that you ask them to play.”

While Michigan’s running game was cruising last Saturday against
Houston, the Wolverines looked shaky in the air. Quarterback John
Navarre, who threw for just 136 yards, said he and the receivers
are working this week to get the passing game clicking again.

“It was just a matter of execution,” Navarre said. “There was
something there where the receivers and I weren’t on the same page.
We’re executing that in practice, and we’re going to get it done,
and we’ll be on in that area.”

He added that a quarterback and his receivers have an
understanding.

“There’s no pointing fingers,” Navarre said. “I’ve never said a
word to them about dropping passes, and they haven’t said a word to
me about missing passes. We have that common chemistry, and I think
that’s the way it’s been here for years.”

Notes: Michigan’s already-strong running game has more
help on the way. Kevin Grady, a top running back in the 2005
recruiting class and an East Grand Rapids native, committed to play
for the Wolverines. Grady chose Michigan over Michigan State. …
Carr and the 2003 captains – Navarre, Carl Diggs and Grant Bowman –
will attend a pep rally on the Diag at 6 p.m. Friday. Students at
the 34th annual “Run for the Roses” rally will be encouraged to
donate to the Coach Carr Cancer Fund. A DVD player, as well as
autographed memorabilia, will be auctioned off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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