|Crable's play symbolizes Michigan's never-give-up turnaround|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 05 November 2007 12:17|
Ringer got loose, ran across the field and was headed for a touchdown.
Crable, incredibly, sprinted with a perfect pursuit angle toward the end zone and prevented Ringer from scoring on the 72-yard run.
It was a symbolic play for the 13th-ranked Wolverines' never-give-up turnaround.
``That ranks with the best plays I've ever seen on a football field,'' Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said Monday. ``I didn't realize until later in the game that he had made that tackle. I knew he had Javon Ringer in his grasp and couldn't get him to the ground. I could not believe that he made the play.
``It's certainly one of those plays that in Michigan defense will be there in the future to stand as an example of what great effort is.''
What Michigan's entire team has done since opening with losses to Appalachian State and Oregon will be remembered fondly, too, if it wins the next two games to claim the Big Ten championship.
That won't be easy.
The Wolverines (8-2, 6-0 Big Ten) play Saturday at Wisconsin (7-3, 3-3) before hosting undefeated and top-ranked Ohio State.
Even if Michigan loses to the Badgers, it can share the conference title by beating the Buckeyes for the first time since 2003.
``You never want to tie anything, especially with Ohio State,'' running back Mike Hart said. ``We want to win this game, and then go win the championship outright.''
The Wolverines and Buckeyes are the only Big Ten teams without a conference loss, putting them two games ahead of third-place Illinois.
Even though many have been skipping ahead to the Nov. 17 showdown at Michigan Stadium, the Wolverines insist they're not.
``Wisconsin is going to come out fighting,'' defensive end Tim Jamison said. ``They lost a game last week they shouldn't have lost.''
At Ohio State, the Badgers scored on their first two drives in the second half to take a 7-point lead only to lose 38-17.
Michigan expects quarterback Chad Henne and Hart to play for the second straight week.
Henne separated his right (throwing) shoulder two weeks ago in a win at Illinois and rested it for one game. Hart sat out 2 1/2 games with a right high ankle sprain.
Even with banged-up stars, Michigan has won eight straight. Just Ohio State, Kansas and Hawaii have longer winning streaks among major colleges.
Crable's remarkable play didn't prevent Michigan State from scoring on the drive, but it was a fitting reminder that the winningest team in college football history hasn't crumbled after an embarrassing start.
``It shows a lot of heart that a lot of guys are trying to put out this year,'' Graham said. ``Just to go out there and not give up.
``This is what Michigan has been about for years, it isn't just this year. It has been this way many years before, and we are just trying to keep it going.''