Football: Carr, Hart hope to run right at ND
Mike Gilloon | Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Lloyd Carr believes in his Michigan squad, but he’s not naive.
The Wolverines ran for 252 yards in Saturday’s 41-17 home win over Central Michigan. That said, a productive ground game against Mid-American Conference (MAC) foe Central Michigan only tells him so much.
Though the Chippewas’ rush defense led the MAC last season, Carr said that a No. 2 Notre Dame squad would pose a tougher challenge.
“We’re confident that we can run the football,” said Carr at a Monday morning teleconference. “Now, whether we’re going to run it that effectively [against Notre Dame], probably not.”
Mike Hart had no problem running effectively against Vanderbilt and Central Michigan. The Wolverines starting halfback scored three times against the Chippewas, on runs of 2, 4 and 18 yards on his way to a 19-carry, 116-yard day. That followed a 146-yard performance on 31 carries in Michigan’s 27-7 season-opening home win over Vanderbilt.
Hart is Michigan’s leading rusher this season, but fellow running back Kevin Grady has produced when given a chance. He ran 12 times for 46 yards and one score against the Chippewas.
“I liked that he really ran with power [against Central Michigan],” Carr said. “He got his pads down, he ran lower.”
No matter who’s carrying the ball, the success of Michigan’s run game against Notre Dame will probably hinge on who controls the trenches.
“We want to see the line of scrimmage move back and we’ve been pretty positive with that outcome,” Michigan offensive lineman Mark Bihl said.
Bihl praised Irish defensive tackles Derek Landri and Trevor Laws – two players who have significant experience against the Wolverines.
“They’re seasoned veterans,” Bihl said. “This is a big week, it’s Notre Dame, so you have to be ready for them.”
– Notre Dame isn’t messing around with potential NCAA violations.
Senior Associate Athletics Director John Heisler said in an e-mail to reporters Monday that if media outlets “use the name, picture, appearance or likeness of a current student-athlete for any promotional or commercial purpose, they will have violated NCAA regulations and could be jeopardizing the eligibility” of Notre Dame student-athletes.
Heisler asked the media to contact the University’s athletic compliance office before doing anything that could be deemed questionable.
The notice comes just two weeks after Irish football player Tom Zbikowski and basketball players Luke Zeller and Kyle McAlarney were briefly declared ineligible for their participation in promotional television spots.