Like several of his 15 senior classmates, one more chance to play Ohio State is why Terrance Taylor returned this season.
TONY DING / AP
ANN ARBOR - If Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells doesn't know what a suplex is, he should ask Northwestern counterpart Stephen Simmons.
Or, he could just wait for Michigan defensive tackle Terrance Taylor to show him.
Taylor, who is listed at 308 pounds, scooped up the ball-carrying, 185-pound Simmons last week and slammed him to the turf. The move is commonly known as a suplex.
Asked on Monday if he had a similar smackdown planned for Wells, Taylor said: "You watch, you might see a little something if I get the opportunity."
Rather than go WWE on Wells, who is much heftier than Simmons anyway at 237 pounds, Taylor would prefer to do something no one currently wearing a Wolverines jersey has ever done - beat the Buckeyes.
Taylor was a freshman when UM lost 25-21 in 2005, had his best game as a sophomore in that 42-39 epic in 2006, and registered four tackles in a 14-3 loss dominated by Wells last year.
Like several of his 15 senior classmates, one more chance to play Ohio State is why Taylor returned this season.
"It's not like we're never in a position to beat them," he said. "It's just that we've never finished. That's one of the reasons I came back - because I want to finish. The way I can finish is by going into that game and playing my heart out and beating them."
At 3-8, there is no hope for a bowl game at UM. What the Wolverines have this year are bad memories of losing to Toledo, dropping five straight games, and letting rivals Michigan State and Notre Dame get the better of them.
The seniors talked last week about this season not going as planned under first-year coach Rich Rodriguez. With their home finale behind them and only this Saturday's game remaining, they echoed those sentiments Monday.
While nothing can totally erase the pain caused by the worst season in UM history, the seniors could extract some satisfaction by settling an old score with Ohio State.
"You don't need any extra motivation," senior tight end Mike Massey said. "I mean, this game is my last opportunity to beat them, bottom line. I think it's the same for all the seniors. There comes a time when you've got to put something to an end. We've got to do everything we can to try to get a 'W' this week."
The Wolverines' seniors have also been talking about their legacy and about being a part of the foundation for the future Rodriguez builds. Defeating Ohio State would allow this class to etch its place in history, regardless of the success UM has down the road.
"This rivalry is going to be here no matter if you leave, if you graduate," Taylor said. "It's still going to be here and people are going to be talking about this. It's bigger than yourself and it goes way back. You don't want to be part of that loss category. You want to be a part of the win."
NO HUDDLE: Rodriguez, speaking before practice yesterday, said right tackle Stephen Schilling suffered a sprained knee Tuesday and is questionable for Saturday's game. Schilling, a sophomore, is UM's only returning starter on the offensive line from last year. "That was the only discouraging part about [Tuesday's] practice, because he's our leader up front," Rodriguez said. "He's been the rock over there, so to speak. It was just bad luck, a freak thing." If Schilling can't play, Perry Dorrestein will take his place. Rodriguez was more optimistic about Steven Threet (separated shoulder) being available at quarterback, but said Nick Sheridan will start and Justin Feagin is working as the backup. Running back Brandon Minor (shoulder, wrist, ribs) should play, and Rodriguez is hopeful running back Sam McGuffie (death in family) can play a limited role. Sophomore receiver Zion Babb was dismissed from the team Sunday night for violating team rules "repeatedly," Rodriguez said. Sophomore defensive tackle Jason Kates is also no longer with the team.
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