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Monday, October 15, 1990
Good morning. And while you
sit and read this, the Michigan
Wolverines are no longer the No. 1
team in the country.
And they don't deserve to be.
Here is what this game comes
down to: Desmond Howard drops a
pass in the endzone which was
marked "Victory or Defeat." The de-
feat side came up, and the Wolver-
ines lost, 28-27.
* Then, all the Mike
crying came con-
cerning the ref- Gill
eree. (A) There
(B) He held the
ball long enough.
(C) Where is the
local lynch mob?
The truth of
the whole matter
*is that Desmond 'c
Howard had rea-
son to drop that A
ball. He beat his
man, and his man did what it takes
to stop him. When you are illegally
tripped, you have a "right" to not
make a catch.
The problem is that Michigan
never played like a No. 1 team Sat-
urday. Don't forget all the errors this
seemingly flawless team strung to-
gether just because some zebra made
an obnoxious mistake.
Start with Derrick Alexander.
While Alexander caught the ball that
allowed Michigan a chance to go for
the win, he had an embarrassing per-
formance. See Derrick run. See Der-
rick open. See Derrick with his
hands screaming for the ball. See
Derrick drop the ball.
While everyone is entitled to
their mistakes, Alexander's perfor-
See GILL AGAIN, Page 13
No. 1 no more
by Eric Lemont
Daily Football Writer
Call it churning. Call it gut-wrenching. Described in
any fashion, last Saturday provided Michigan with
something few Wolverines could have imagined - a de-
feat harder to swallow than an opening-game loss to
Notre Dame a month ago.
Several missed opportunities culminated in a 28-27
loss to Michigan State when Elvis Grbac's two-point
conversion pass to Desmond Howard was called incom-
plete on the game's last play.
While Michigan fans waited for a reversed decision
or a pass interference call, Michigan State fans sponta-
neously littered the field in a mass of Green and White.
"This is a big victory," Spartans' coach George
Perles said. "We've had some big wins... like the Rose
Bowl, but this is really a big one."
Safety Tripp Welborne said he asked Howard in the
locker room what happened on the deciding play.
"He said 'Everything.' So whatever everything is,
that's what happened," Welborne said.
For Michigan, 'Everything' includes being knocked
off as the top-ranked team in the country and finding it-
self a step behind in the race for the Big Ten
"By far, this has to be the toughest loss I've been
associated with since I've been at Michigan," Grbac
said. "It really rips your guts out."
Said Michigan coach Gary Moeller: "I'm very disap-
pointed. I think we can play better than that, but we
didn't. Give Michigan State credit, they held us out...
every time we scored they answered the bell."
A 14-14 game going into the fourth quarter exploded
into a thriller as each team exchanged long touchdown
drives. Down, 21-14, with five minutes and 50 seconds
to play, Howard received John Langeloh's kick,
screamed down the left sideline and cut back across an
open field to tie the game.
Before Michigan had a chance to celebrate, State
drove 70 yards in two minutes to go up again, 28-21.
Michigan pulled within one with six seconds left
when Grbac found Derrick Alexander in the end zone.
Even after the failed conversion, Grbac was able to
launch one more pass into the end zone after the
Wolverines recovered an onside kick.
"I had my heart in my throat a dozen times today,"
In reality, the Wolverines were fortunate to be in a
situation at the end to win the game.
A failed conversion on 4th and 1 from the Spartans'
one yard line in the second quarter, a missed J.D.
See SPARTANS, Page 13
Michigan tailback Jon Vaughn sheds Spartan tacklers for first-half yardage. His efforts were in vain, however, as the
Wolverines' comeback attempt fell short after flanker Desmond Howard was unable to hold on to a two-point conversion pass.
Howard: 'I felt as if I caught the ball'
by Eric Lemont
Daily Football Writer
Michigan's last ditch, stop-gap effort to
hold on to its No. 1 ranking fell through
the arms of receiver Desmond Howard.
Or did it?
After the Wolverines had driven 71 yards
in the final minute and 51 seconds to pull
within one point of the Spartans, Michigan
coach Gary Moeller decided to try for two
points, the win and the opportunity to hold
on to No. 1 for another week.
Howard faked to the outside, cut in front
of MSU cornerback Eddie Brown and fell to
Howard said he was tripped, but, even
with the contact, Howard managed to turn
back to catch Elvis Grbac's toss as he was
falling. When he hit the ground, the ball
bounced off his shoulder pad.
"He did the only thing a defensive back
could do - try and grab me because it was
do or die," Howard said. "The referee made
the no-call and I can't question that. I felt
as if I caught the ball.
"I felt myself being tackled throughout
the route. I was looking for him (the offi-
cial) to raise his arms (to signal two
points) but he didn't."
No penalty flags were thrown and the
Spartans held on for the victory, 28-27.
The no-call left Michigan players and
coaching staff asking two questions: Did
Howard have possession, and was there
Said referee John Nealon: "As far as I
could detect from where I was sitting, it
looked to me like he never really had pos-
session of the thing. He hits the ground and
it's coming out. So what we are saying is
that he didn't have possession.
"The covering official just didn't see it
as an interference-type situation."
However, any explanation would not
suffice for a distraught Moeller.
"You don't need any comments from
me," Moeller said. "You see it every week.
If there's a tough call, they (the officials)
think just don't throw it (a penalty flag).
Don't throw it."
Just as controversial as the officials' in-
decisiveness was Moeller's decision to go
for broke. A tie would have left Michigan
in better position for their third straight Big
Ten title, something the coach has stressed
as the team's primary goal.
"It's a hard decision," Moeller said. "In
our opinion we had a good play. We've
been working on that play for six or eight
"I pulled the kids over and told them the
ramifications and quite honestly they
wanted to do what I wanted to do."
Said Michigan State coach George Per-
les: "If you go for the two and you make it,
that's the best call. If you go for the tie and
you win the conference, that's the best call.
It's nothing you can criticize, but there's
definitely two choices there."
Blue icers sweep Redskins
Former cager Mark Hughe
struggles to make the Pistons
by Theodore Cox
Daily Basketball Writer
Mark Hughes stood in the corners
of the Windsor gym. He patiently
waited for Isiah Thomas to get his.
picture taken, then Bill Laimbeer.
He watched all the veterans go, until
finally, 45 minutes later, it was his
He eventually got his picturep
taken, but he still waits to make the7
NBA. Hughes learned early that
playing time equals hard work.
When Hughes, a Muskegon4
native, came to Michigan in 1986,
he played behind stars Roy Tarpley
and Richard Rellford. A year later, <
Tarpley moved on to the NBA,
leaving a void at center. Hughes,
only 6-foot-8, won the spot and
averaged six rebounds and six points
But by 1989, the talented Loy
Vaught and Terry Mills required
more playing time. After starting for
two years, Hughes was forced to
come off the bench again his senior
year. He didn't complain. He became
by Jeni Durst
Daily Hockey Writer
OXFORD, Ohio - Things
couldn't have been much worse last
weekend - for the opposing team,
The Michigan hockey team made
its annual visit to Oxford, Ohio, a
memorable one and answered the
questions surrounding its youth by
thrashing Miami of Ohio, 11-1 and
9-3, in its CCHA opening series.
The Wolverines outscored the
Redskins, 20 to 4, over the two
In both games, the Redskins
couldn't combat the intensity that
Michigan displayed; they couldn't
penetrate Michigan's defense; and
they couldn't muster any shots on
Miami was plagued by penalties
and unable to tally their lone goal of
Friday evening until five minutes
and five seconds into the third
"We're not as bad as we played,"
Miami coach George Gwozdecky
said. "Our players weren't ready to
play; the freshman made a lot of in-
experienced mistakes. I was very dis-
appointed with our upperclassman
- I thought at this point they did
zero. I certainly don't want that (the
team's play) ever to happen to a
Redskin hockey team again."
Most of Miami's mistakes came
in the form of penalties. The
Redskins recorded 10 in both games
and were unable to stop Michigan
from capitalizing on the power play
opportunities. Eleven of Michigan's
20 goals came with a man
"I think in the first part of the
game, penalties played a big factor,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"Our power play gave us the lead.
As the game went on, we gained
confidence. We've got a lot of guys
who can score goals and they were
making those chances count."
The Redskins posted one signifi-
cant surge in the series during the
initial minutes of the second game.
13ut, after getting off two quick
goals, their outburst was snuffed by
a Michigan offensive attack.>
The high point of this attack, and
turning point of the game, came at
18:02 of the first period. Miami had
a rare scoring opportunity after
penalties against Michigan's Mark
See ICERS, Page 16
Improved spikers still can't find win
by David Schechter
Daily Sports Writer better than we did," she said. "We "I think that we improvedI
Records were set this weekend in
But not by Michigan.
Iowa bruised the Wolverines
Friday in three straight games (15-
13, 15-11, 15-4), while Hawkeye
Barb Willis became Iowa's all-time
leading blocker. Willis sent four
blocks in Michigan's direction, send-
definitely should have. I don't know
what happened and why we didn't.
Just a mental lapse or something."
Although she played well, Sturm
said she can do better. "I'm still not
100 percent pleased," she said.
"There's a lot of things I still need to
Erica Badran-Grycan, who sat
tween the two games," - Lorenzen
said. "We worked a lot on doing
what the coaches say, and I think
we're beginning to act on that. It's
just a case of acknowledging what
they say and not processing it."
The players carried that message
into Sunday's game and used it to
their advantage, bringing them to