Navarre On Fire, and Recruits are Regaled

John Navarre is Scorching in Overtime Thriller. And Top Recruits are There to See it!

Tom's Post-Game Column
Player and Recruit Spottings

For two and a half quarters the Wolverines and Nittany Lions circled each other warily, like the US and the USSR during the Cold war. Both kept their offensive arsenals under wrap -- not once did Michigan throw the call down field. Yours truly was squirming in my seat at the Big House: squirming from the tension-filled game and, I admit, also thinking, "There goes our pre-game prediction of a shootout!"

But when Penn State took a 13-7 lead with three minutes left in the third quarter, this 'war' suddenly went 'hot'. And John Navarre was scorching -- stepping up in the pocket and launching pinpoint missiles short and deep, including two touchdown strikes to Braylon Edwards -- in leading the Wolverines to a thrilling 27-24 overtime victory

For his part, Edwards must've also 'caught something' from Anthony "AC" Carter, who was attending the game to be honored for his recent induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Because Edwards, quite simply, gave the best sophomore Wolverine wideout performance since AC. Add in a solid 80-yard, no-fumble performance by Chris Perry, including the game-winning run, and another acrobatic performance by tight end Bennie Joppru, and this 'war to end all U-M/PSU wars' (for two years) ended with Michigan stretching it's total dominance over the Nits to six straight games.

After the game, John Navarre (who was 27 for 41 passing for 244 yards) just couldn't help himself from walking around with a face-splitting grin, the first time yours truly has EVER seen him smile. Braylon Edwards (who finished with seven receptions for two touchdowns) was carrying himself like he'd suddenly metamorphosed from a teen into a MAN. And Braylon's dad, former Wolverine Stan Edwards, was bursting with pride. And we also ran into Dave Pearson at Damons (a popular Ann Arbor sports-restaurant), walking from table to table shaking hands with Wolverine-fan-customers, celebrating the offensive line's best-yet performance. Mark Bihl was there too, basking in Pearson's glow. As was even the shy Pierre Rembert, who couldn't keep from being noticed.

Back at the Big House -- recruits were everywhere as well. From here on out we will be putting our main recruiting reports into 'Premium Content', but I can't resist dropping the name of one top recruit in attendance: Saginaw's Super-linebacker Lamarr Woodley.

The Wolverine's 2002 war isn't over of course. Far from it. Purdue is dangerous at home next week. And Iowa and Ohio State loom large. But for today, yours truly just can't resist thinking of John Navarre's 4th quarter performance and letting my mind drift back to Tom Brady throwing to David Terrell and Shawn Thompson in the 2000 Orange Bowl! Brady was Brilliant, but Navarre was On-Fire!

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