MIchigan’s Perry makes early case for Heisman selection

Philip Consuegra

I’ll admit it. I thought it could happen. I actually thought Notre Dame could beat Michigan in the Big House and have yet another miracle season with one of the hardest schedules in college football. I was expecting a good game, with Notre Dame putting up 17, maybe even 20 points and winning it by three. I’m a Notre Dame fan, and I will always cheer for the Irish, but what happened this past Saturday was just unreal. Not only did Notre Dame get shut out by Michigan for the first time in a century, but a new sensation burst onto the scene for good.It wasn’t just the fact that Michigan slaughtered Notre Dame 38-0, it’s how they did it. The Wolverines steam rolled the Irish with just one player, Chris Perry, the Wolverines running back.Perry scored four touchdowns, rushing for three and catching one. He also ran for 133 yards, and caught for 44, bringing his total to 177. That’s more than Notre Dame’s total net yards as a team. Granted, the Irish’s lackluster offensive line and inept quarterback Carlyle Holiday could be blamed, but it’s not often that you see a single player out play an entire offense.I had my doubts that Perry was the best player in college football. After running up and down the field against the powerhouses of Houston and Central Michigan, Perry accumulated 456 total yards, 416 of them rushing. But I thought that Notre Dame would prevent Perry from hitting the 500 yard mark this weekend. I was wrong. I was very wrong. Perry’s play on Saturday catapulted him to 549 yards rushing and 84 yards receiving, making him a double threat: in the backfield and on either side of the line as a receiver.But one can’t measure success against teams who have no credibility against big schools like Michigan. That’s why I couldn’t wait to see Notre Dame stop Perry. What I saw, however, was a whole different story. Perry battered the Notre Dame defense, keeping them guessing and then burning their linebackers and even their secondary. What was supposed to be a hard-fought win for either team turned into the Chris Perry show right from his first touchdown. He accounted for John Navarre’s only passing touchdown, putting his grand total of touchdowns for the year at eight this season. Expect more. Many, many more.Perry’s nickname on and off the field is one word: “Loud.” But this nickname doesn’t mean what you think it means. While many people contend that it’s because he’s an egotistical player like Warren Sapp or Terrell Owens, his nickname is “Loud” because he strives to get the team on its feet. He wants to get the crowd pumped up. He jumps up and down in celebration so that he gets all of Wolverine Nation into high gear, not so he can go over to the sidelines and sign a ball with a Sharpie he hid in his sock.Perry will continue to solidify his case for the Heisman Trophy. The only players still in his way include quarterbacks David Greene of Georgia (who gets tested this week by an intimidating LSU team in Baton Rouge), Philip Rivers of N.C. State and the now injured running back Anthony Davis of the Wisconsin. Even though it is way too early to tell exactly who will end up with that coveted trophy in their hands, be sure of one thing: Chris Perry will be amongst the top vote-getters. When the Wolverines face Oregon in what should be a competitive game, Perry should work well against the untested Oregon rushing defense. With the meat of the season looming, it is up to Michigan as a team to make it to the National Championship game; to get there, the team will be sure to rely heavily on Perry to lead them.