Henne to sit with injury; Wolverines shorthanded against Notre Dame

Both Michigan and Notre Dame will start freshmen quarterbacks.

by Brian Deutsch

After beginning the season with his worst start since 1998, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has even more to worry about this weekend when the Wolverines host Notre Dame.

Senior quarterback Chad Henne will sit out the game with an unconfirmed leg injury.

The injury will force Henne to miss his first start since joining the Wolverines in 2004 – ending his streak of consecutive games started at 39.

Wolverines freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett will replace Henne under center.

Henne’s injury will put a further damper on this weekend’s game against the Irish, which is usually one of the most-anticipated matchups of the college football season.

For the first time in the rivalry’s history, both teams will come into the game with losing records.

Michigan (0-2 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) dropped the now-infamous Appalachian State game to open the season before adding another loss to Oregon last weekend.

“There have been a number of times since I have been at Michigan Ö where we started slowly and were able to fight our way back and win the Big Ten championship,” Carr said. “Those are all things that I’ve tried to look back on and see if there are any parallels or messages from that part of our tradition.”

Notre Dame (0-2, 0-2 Independent) has also struggled, losing to Georgia Tech and No. 14 Penn State by a combined score of 64-13.

Like Michigan, the Irish will start a freshman at the quarterback position. Jimmy Clausen, who went 17-for-32 with 144 yards in his first collegiate game last weekend, will try to lead Notre Dame to its first win of the season.

Painter leads Purdue “O”

If the Minnesota secondary struggles as much as it has against non-conference opponents, just think what will happen when the Gophers take on Purdue in two weeks.

Boilermakers senior quarterback Curtis Painter has been tearing up defenses this season – throwing for 592 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Painter was named Co-Offensive Big Ten Player of the Week alongside Gophers’ quarterback Adam Weber after Purdue blew out Eastern Illinois 52-6 last weekend.

The Boilermakers’ signal caller hit 12 different receivers and completed 38-of-49 passes before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter.

His six touchdown tosses last Saturday tied the school record held by Drew Brees and Kyle Orton.

“(Painter) threw the ball extremely well Saturday. He had a couple guys make a couple of circus catches, which helped of course,” Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. “Overall, his improvement from week one to week two was dramatic to say the least.”

Purdue (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) takes on non-conference opponent Central Michigan this weekend at home.

Wisc. wins 11th straight

No. 7 Wisconsin extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 11 games last Saturday after squeezing out a 20-13 win over UNLV.

Senior quarterback Tyler Donovan ran the ball in from 29 yards and then added a two-point conversion pass to give the Badgers the lead with just under two minutes to play.

“Anytime you can leave (Las Vegas) saying that you are a winner I’ve been told is a good thing,” Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. “We were able to do that, and we’re excited to be back in Camp Randall.”

Wisconsin hasn’t lost since Sept. 23, 2006, when the Badgers were handed a 27-13 loss by Michigan.

The game was Wisconsin’s only loss of the season, and the 2006 season would end up being the most successful in Badgers history with a 12-1 record.

Wisconsin (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) will host The Citadel next weekend at Camp Randall Stadium.