PASADENA, Calif. — On a day that was supposed to belong to
next year’s Heisman frontrunner — sophomore wide
receiver Mike Williams — it was a senior wideout that did
most of the damage to Michigan’s secondary. Covered primarily
by Markus Curry for much of the Rose Bowl, Southern Cal.’s
Keary Colbert exploded onto the national scene as another big-name
“It’s never a plan to go to an individual player,
you just play the game, and that’s how it worked out
today,” Colbert said.
With six catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, Colbert was
nearly untouchable. Even on his second touchdown grab (a 47-yarder
to put Southern Cal. up 21-0 in the third quarter), when Curry was
draped over the senior, he managed to bring in the lob pass with
one hand and break away at the 20-yard line for the score.
“He’s a big-time player and a big-time
receiver,” Southern Cal. quarterback Matt Leinart said.
“He had a great game, and Mike had a great game.”
Colbert’s success allowed Williams to become primarily a
first-down receiver. As Colbert was covered deep, Williams and the
rest of the Trojans’ receivers were able to set up shop for
several easy first-down catches.
“They hit some plays, but we play some good wide receivers
everyday,” Michigan safety Marlin Jackson said.
“They’re no better than what we face everyday at
practice. We didn’t execute today. That was it. Our guys were
in position, we just have to make the play.”
Not so prime time: Braylon Edwards made ESPN’s
top-10 highlight reel following the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, it
was for the worst plays of the week. Coming in at No. 3 was
Edwards’ wide-open drop on Michigan’s first drive of
the game. John Navarre found the junior wideout streaking down the
left sideline beating coverage. The ball proceeded to go through
his hands and off of Edwards’ right hip.
Despite the drop, Edwards made 10 catches for 107 yards overall.
The junior, who is thinking about leaving a year early for the
pros, lacked the big play that he may have needed to catapult him
above other wide receivers already in the draft.
About time: For the first time since Tom Brady connected
with Shawn Thompson to win the Orange Bowl in 2000, a Michigan
tight end scored in a bowl game. With 5:49 left in the third
quarter, Navarre found tight end Tim Massaquoi over the middle for
the Wolverines’ first score of the Rose Bowl.
Massaquoi finished with just the one catch for five yards to
complete a season in which he was plagued by drops and an inability
to win the starting job over Andy Mignery and Tyler Ecker. The
redshirt sophomore finished with 13 catches for 199 yards for the
Quite a show: Williams wasn’t the only one with
that last name who had an exciting New Year’s Day. Composer
John Williams was the Rose Parade’s Grand Marshal. Known for
his compositions of the themes to “Star Wars,”
“Robin Hood,” “Superman” and
“Jaws,” Williams wrote his own version of the national
anthem that was played by both the Southern Cal. and Michigan bands
as the entire stadium crowd did a card trick to make the Rose Bowl
an American flag.
Another American flag — along with the gameball and
Michigan and Southern Cal. flags — was delivered by Air Force
parachuters from Langley, Va. The Air Force also had a flyover with
three of its stealth bombers, the middle one easily the width of
the entire football field.