Boilermakers turn to air attack

Originally Published: October 22, 2003
By Herb Gould | Special to
The Wolverines' 56-14 blowout of Illinois was nice for the 110,000 homecoming fans. But if Michigan, which has won all of its home games this fall by a combined score of 220-41, is going to improve Lloyd Carr's gaudy home record (50-6, .893), its defense will need to be a major player against its remaining Big House opponents, Purdue and Ohio State. That pair will bring a lot more to Michigan Stadium than Central Michigan, Houston, Notre Dame, Indiana and the Illini have shown there.

That means Michigan will need to tighten up defense that was suspect in the losses at Oregon and Iowa, and was porous for a good chunk of the Minnesota game until it dug in in the fourth quarter and enabled the Wolverines to pull out a dramatic victory.

The Boilermakers have a better running game this fall to go with their difficult-to-stop passing attack. And while Ohio State's offense is messy, it takes two stingy defenses to stage an old-fashioned grinding Big Ten game.