The Michigan defense has struggled to slow conventional running attacks each of the past two weeks.…
Adams Reflects on Michigan Career
Now, in his final season in Ann Arbor, Adams, who was a reserve on that 2003 team, has his sights set on bringing Michigan back to the conference. A place that most of these haven't been with the exception of veterans Chad Henne and Mike Hart.
"It's extremely important. Excluding the last three years, this is for all the marbles in the Big Ten. We haven't had a Big Ten championship ring since my freshman year," Adams said. "The majority of our freshman didn't play a huge role in that, Mike and Chad did, but some of the other guys, the personnel team guys get in there a little bit on offense and defense. But this is our time to go out there and play a huge part, and a huge role in winning a championship."
Add the fact that this is Adams final chance to beat the Buckeyes, this weekend is a big weekend for Adams, who leads the team with three interceptions 10 pass break ups and sits just three tackles short of Shawn Crable for the lead in tackles.
"Our goal at hand is to win this game, to prepare all week, to be ready for this game. It's a huge game. It's at home. It's our last home game. That's our focus right now," Adams continued.
"On campus a lot of people are talking to you about the games in class, and everybody's wishing you luck. People are excited around campus. You see more T-shirts. For me, it's a week of extreme focus."
This week, after struggling over the past six quarters, what the Wolverines need to focus on is stopping the Ohio State running game. Against the Badgers last week, the Badgers ran the ball for 232 yards in the Wolverines first Big 10 loss of the season. Against Ohio State's Chris Wells, the nations No. 1 recruit just two years back, the defense will have to be better as the Wolverines take aim at a second straight Rose Bowl appearance.
"The running play is not magic. Nobody has a magic running play. It is the same running play. You just have to execute better. You have to say I'm tougher than you. I'm going to control this gap. And that is the bottom line about the running game. There are no X's and O's, problems. Hey, you've got to say, 'I'm tougher than you, I'm going to control this gap and execute.' That is the bottom line," Adams said.
"They had a lot of big plays last year. The key is to go out there and execute your assignment. You can't worry about not giving up big plays, you have to go out there and execute your assignment. We just know if you don't give up big plays, it kind of keeps the momentum in your favor the majority of the time. And it allows you and forces them to drive the ball down the field. It forces them to execute properly and sustain drives. That is very difficult for any offense to execute properly, play after play for a 10, 11-play drive."
Michigan and Ohio State are scheduled Saturday for a noon kickoff on ABC. With conference bragging rights on the line, expect Adams and the defense to leave it all on the field.
"It's just a joy and a pleasure to be on the field and compete for a Big Ten Championship. We definitely want to play hard and win the ball game."
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