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The Michigan Daily Friday, November 8, 1991 Page 12
M'tries to tame 'Cats
Northwestern puts two-game streak on line
by Matt Rennie
Daily Football Writer tile Williams. Even though the and become the Wildcats' top
One can hardly tell who is hap- Wolverine defense has been success- threat.
pier about Northwestern's two- ful at containing the running quar- "He's just got a great atitudo
K.game winning streak: Wildcat coach terbacks it has faced in recent weeks, and fantastic work ethic. It's really
Francis Peay or Michigan coach Moeller warns of Williams' explo- gratifying to see a Mark Benson
Gary Moeller. sive potential. progress," Peay said. "Not only is
While Peay can revel in the "He handles the ball a great deal he a very consistent receiver, he's a
Wildcats' first two-game winning for them, both running and throw- clutch receiver. He'd be the closest
streak since 1986, Moeller has ing," Moeller said. "Anytime you thing we have to a big-play player.
found the elusive motivation for his. We're going to try to exploit tha
team as it prepares for Saturday's Thy Red talent that he has.y
clash with Northwestern. Before On the other side of the ball
the Wildcats'arecent roll, Moeller Northwestrnuisreins the bene
had little material to make the :.526 fits of past frustrations. Because of
erne ake th onents e inuries to his defense several years
k. " 7 riously ago, Peay was forced to play a num-
After all, Michigan and North- ber of inexperienced layers, such as
ends of the conference standings - and defensive back Dwight James.
t the Wolverines at the top, the . .Today, both Homco and James are
Wildcats at the bottom. Moreover, T oQrgv veteran seniors leading a solid
the two teams haven't played each "t0 dig 7eltipm Wildcat defense.
g,, K.other for two seasons, and the last However, Peay will have to de-
z. REtime they did, in 1988, Michigan got a guy offensively that can make part from his usual defensive strat-
won in a laugher, 52-7. However, big plays for you, you got a chance." egy, which entails stacking the line
s £given the Wildcats' recent success, Williams' favorite target, Mark of scrimmage to stop the opponents'
Moeler has all the material he Benson, is a former quarterback running game.
needs. himself. Benson was named the Big "People would like to be able to
e"They're a team that scares you. Ten offensive player of the week af- (stack the line) against Michigan,
I've got a lot of respect for them," ter catching 10 passes, including but Desmond Howard really denies
Moeller said. "They're having fun both Northwestern touchdowns, in that," Peay said. "To Gary
y< playing football, and they're play- the Wildcats' 16-13 victory over Moeller's credit, he has a very wel-
ing very hard." Michigan State. balanced offensive system. It is very
t ..,"' Moeller is particularly wary of Peay recruited Benson as a quar- well-conceived, and as a result, it
the Wildcats' offense, engineered by terback, but Benson moved to wide will be very difficult to stack our
BRIAN CANTONi/Daily junior quarterback Len Williams. receiver after severely injuring his defense because you've got to play
Ricky Powers and the Wolverines put their unblemished Big Ten record on the line tomorrow against a Whatever Northwestern does of- rotator cuff. Since making the coverage against Howard. Howard's
Northwestern team that is coming off consecutive victories over Illinois and Michigan State. fensively, it does through the versa- change, he has progressed steadily a gamebreaker."
Marcus Walker plays role of understudy
by Phil Green
Daily Football Writer
It seemed like a simple enough
play - a screen to the outside. But
when Michigan inside linebacker
Steve Morrison remained lying on
the field, most of the Wolverine
faithful felt a sudden rush of fear.
"He's been playing so well
alongside Erick Anderson," Michi-
gan fans screamed. "What are we go-
ing to do? He's helped anchor our
defense. Who will replace him?"
Redshirt frosh Marcus Walker,
Morrison's replacement, was al-
most as worried as the fans.
"I was pretty nervous when he
went down," Walker said. "I knew
I was going to go in, but I didn't
know I could play ina game like
that - against Michigan State.
Practice and a game are a lot differ-
ent - the pressure."
However, after Walker's first
play, everybody's fears began to
"On that first play, I made the
tackle," Walker said. "But I
couldn't believe that I did it until
my teammates came over to con-
gratulate me. I settled down by the
fourth or fifth play."
The Chicago native relaxed well
enough to lead the Wolverines in
tackles - in only one half of play.
"(The Spartans) were trying to
pick on me. They saw a freshman
who really didn't know what he
was doing," Walker explained. "I
just couldn't believe I led the team
in tackles, playing in one half. I
didn't want to let it get to my
The only mental effects
Walker's success have had on him
have been positive. He's more com-
fortable with his playing time, and
he works hard in preparation for his
new starting role.
Earlier in the season, his playing
time prospects were slim at best.
Thus, practice was important, but
getting ready for a game was far
from his mind.
"I've had to study more film and
I've had to learn from my mistakes
in practices," he said. "Before I was
starting, I was practicing, but I
wasn't trying to capitalize on that.
"I thought I wasn't going to
play at all, but (senior defensive
end) Mike Evans told me I was al-
ways one play away from playing."
Walker has ranked among the
Wolverines' tackling leaders since
cracking the starting lineup, and he
led the team again in last week's
contest against Purdue.
"Marcus Walker has done a
much better job than I would have
anticipated. He's getting to the ball
well," Michigan coach Gary
Moeller said. "He's just a tough kid
in there working hard. He's just a
kid who's trying hard and has a good
idea on how to get to the ball."
As a high school senior two
years ago, Walker entertained offers
from a variety of schools, including
Kansas, Virginia, and Illinois, but he
had a special reason to head for Ann
Arbor. His older brother, Derrick,
was a starting tight end at Michigan
before joining the NFL's San Diego
Chargers last season. Choosing the
Wolverines was only natural for
"The family here, I felt I could
become a part of this team," Marcus
said. "'Rick was a part of that. I
could really feel it, especially when
I used to come visit. I'm also much
closer to the older guys because of
my brother. Corwin Brown and
Lance Dottin, if I have any prob-
lems, I can go to them."
Besides receiving guidance from
some of his brother's friends, Mar-
cus has also earned the respect of his
fellow linebackers. Their support
has greatly aided Walker's progress
over the last few games.
Walker lines up alongside
Butkus Award semi-finalist Ander-
son, who helps Walker with posi-
tioning throughout each game. The
injured Morrison also offers con-
stant advice from the sideline.
"Erick Anderson helped me a lot
in the Michigan State game. I re--
member the first play, the offense
was walking up to the ball and I
was asking where my pass drop is,"
Walker said. "Morrison's helped
me a lot, too. I'm playing his posi-
tion now, but I hope he gets back
soon because he's a valuable part of
Morrison began practicing again
this week, and he will likely be back
for the Illinois game next week.
Morrison's return means Walker's
starting days are numbered, but for
now, his focus is onlyson the imm--
diate future and stopping the
"I just want to do my job," he
said. "I'm looking to Northwestern
right now, then to Illinois whether
I'm starting or not, then Ohio State,
and then the Rose Bowl."
Other Bi~g Ten team~s."O
only dream of roses
by Mike Rancilio
Michigan takes on new Big Ten powerhouse Northwestern this
Saturday, but I'm planning my trip to Illinois next weekend to see
Michigan clinch a Rose Bowl bid. Now on to the picks.
Michigan State (1-4 in the Big Ten, 1-7 overall) at Wisconsin (0-5, *
Many people think that after last Saturday's victory over Michigan
State, Northwestern should be taken more seriously. I think that the
Spartans should be taken less seriously.
Wisconsin's marching band does the halftime show and then stays on
the field to rough up the Spartans in the second half. State's demise
continues - what a shame. Wisconsin-some points, Michigan State-not as
Ohio State (3-2, 6-2) at Minnesota (1-4, 2-6)
Due to Ohio State's open admission policy, the requirements for gaining
admittance are owning a pen and paper. The drawback is that most first-year
students did not meet Proposition 48 requirements and are unable to attend
games. Ohio State-under 700, Minnesota 9.
Indiana (4-1, 5-2-1) at Iowa (4-1, 7-1)
This is the battle for the Holiday Bowl bid, but the bigger story is what
Indiana coach Bill Mallory was doing two weeks ago during his weekend
off for criticizing officials. Rumor has it he was grilled on the full-court
press breaker, in anticipation for his second job as interim basketball coach.
Indiana is apparently planning ahead for Bobby Knight's comments about
officiating. Iowa 24, Indiana 21.
Illinois (3-2, 5-3) at Purdue (2-3, 3-5)
Purdue coach Jim Colletto wakes up one morning and is ecstatic about
his team's progress. He says he's going to name his son Eric Hunter
Colletto, and he allows each member of the offensive line to take time off
to be certified SCUBA divers.
Illinois still wins. Illini 34, Boilers 7.
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" Dinners and
--The Michigan Daily