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November 18, 1991 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Sports Monday Trivia
How many Rose Bowls has
Michigan won?
(For the answer,
turn to the bottom of page 2)

Inside Sports Monday
'M'Sports Calendar 2
AP Top 25 Results 2
'M' Athelete of the Week 2
Q&A 3
Sheran My Thoughts 3
Swimming 3
Football 4-5
Volleyball 6
Cross Country 6
Hockey 7

£ p'"

The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday November 18, 1991




Blue defense
quiets critics
with shutout
CHAMPAIGN - Football lore says offense wins
ballgames, but defense wins championships. Saturday,
the Michigan defense did both.
The vaunted Wolverine offense sputtered through-
out the first half of Michigan's 20-0 shutout of
Illinois. Despite a tenacious running attack and Des-
mond Howard's standard 12-point performance, the
offense played its least effective game of the season.
It was a situation the defense
Jeff wasn't used to. Michigan's offense
/t had provided 40-point margins for
Sherai error in each of the last three
No pressure. But because there
was no pressure, there was no
glory, no opportunity for clutch
performances. Even the 42-0
blanking of Purdue was mitigated
with "it's only Purdue."
But Saturday, the pressure was
there, and the opportunities to
- M shine were abundant: Michigan
* * needed the victory to win the Big
Ten; Illinois featured an explosive
passing offense; the Illini defense would prevent
Michigan from putting the game away early.
The defense handled the pressure and shined
brightly, brighter than the zero that radiated from
Illinois' half of the scoreboard down onto the
Memorial Stadium turf.
"It was a welcome pressure," senior linebacker
Erick Anderson said. "For the past few games, we've
pulled out to big leads - today, it was nice to see the
defense rise to the occasion."
After the victory, Anderson was exultant. But he
See SHERAN, Page 4

title, 2-
by Matt Rennie
Daily Football Writer
CHAMPAIGN - In a city that
sounds like the world's favorite
celebratory beverage, the Michigan
Wolverines had plenty to toast this
weekend - namely, a fourth con-
secutive Big Ten championship.
Michigan clinched at least a
share of the conference title by
shutting out Illinois, 20-0. The vic-
tory also insures that the Wolver-
ines will represent the Big Ten
against Pac 10 champion Washing-
ton in the Rose Bowl New Year's
Day. This will be the Wolverines'
third trip to Pasadena in the last
four years and also the first as
Michigan's head coach for Gary
"I think this is very special for
Coach MollIer," Michigan quarter-
back Elvis Grbac said. "Last year, a
lot of people put him down after we
lost a couple of games. He's the per-
son who drove us to the Rose
The championship did not come
easy for the Wolverines, who were
held to their lowest point total of
the season. However, the Michigan
defense completely stifled the
Illini running attack, holding it to
only 49 yards in 20 attempts. Illi-
nois coach John Mackovic then
looked to quarterback Jason Ver-
duzco to establish the Illini offense
through the air.
"This team is not going to get
beat by passing," Wolverine inside
linebacker Erick Anderson said.
"We've been getting a lot of flak
for not playing well against the
good teams, but we knew the type of
defense we had."
Verduzco had some success mov-
ing the ball with short passes, but
two missed field goals by Illinois
kicker Chris Richardson and an in-
terception by Wolverine linebacker
Marcus Walker kept the Illini off
the scoreboard.
Walker's pickoff ended Illinois'
longest drive of the game. With
See SHUTOUT, Page 4

Wolverine linebacker Erick Anderson celebr
Big Ten titlE
by Jeff Sheran
Daily Football Writer

--. o r -odie n
-ates Michigan's 20-0 victory over Illinois and its fourth consecutive Big Ten title-.

CHAMPAIGN - Desmond Howard
has accumulated many accolades at
Michigan. But perhaps the most impres-
sive is the fact that he has never played on
a Wolverine team that did not win the Big
Ten championship.
Michigan fields a team of experienced
fourth-year players, including Howard,
Elvis Grbac, Steve Everitt, Corwin
Brown. But despite their experience, they
have yet to encounter a season without a
conference title.
The Wolverines earned only a share of
the championship last season, while Iowa
earned the Rose Bowl berth. However,
Michigan won the titles outright in 1988

,s nothing n
and 1989, and can do so again with a vic-
tory against Ohio State next weekend.
In addition, Michigan has clinched the
title against Illinois three of the past
four seasons, a welcome trend for senior
captain Erick Anderson, a Glenview, Ill.,
"People are constantly asking me
when I go home, 'Why didn't you go to
UI?"' Anderson said. "When I look back,
this is why I came to Michigan."
Michigan coach Gary Moeller revealed
similar exhilaration about earning his
first trip to Pasadena.
"I can tell you one thing, you've got
one excited head coach," a beaming
Moeller told the Rose Bowl representa-
tives. "You're going to enjoy this group


ew for Blue
of kids, too. I've never been around a finer
group of young men in my life."
Illinois coach John Mackovic com-
mended Michigan on its season's success.
"I want to congratulate Michigan. They
deserve a pat on the back," he said.
"They'll represent the Big Ten conference
quite well."
Although past Wolverine teams have
captured four straight Big Ten titles, in-
cluding ties, Ohio State and Michigan are
the only programs to have accomplished
this feat. Michigan did so during the peri-
ods of 1971-4, 1947-50, 1930-3, and 1901-
4. Ohio State won six straight titles from
Michigan will play the New Year's
Day contest against No. 2 Washington.

Michigan's Desmond Howard runs through Illinois
tacklers on a reverse during Saturday's game.

'M' icers
end first
by Andy De Korte
Daily Hockey Writer
OXFORD - Midnight struck at
7:30 Friday night for the Cinderella
Miami Redskin hockey team when
the puck dropped against Michigan.
And before you could say 'wicked
stepmother', the Wolverines (4-1-1
in the CCHA, 6-1-1 overall)
followed their 9-1 rout of the
Redskins (4-2, 5-3) with a 7-4
victory Saturday. Michigan ended
Miami's five-game winning streak,
its longest since 1980, and knocked
Miami from its first-ever stay at
the top of the CCHA.
Miami's 5-1 start was the
biggest surprise in the collegiate
hockey world and the attention had
an imnact on Fridav's am.

by Matt Rennie
Daily Football Writer

s lent,


A handful of positions in the world are prominent,
regardless of who fills them. Speaker of the House.
Chairman of General Motors. Tailback at Michigan.
While each has been filled by many different
individuals, their respective importance is rarely
threatened. That is what makes the situation in Ann
Arbor this fall so unusual.
Ricky Powers plays tailback for the Wolverines.
And though Powers does not live in anonymity, he is
far from a household name.
Meanwhile, Wolverine wide receiver Desmond
Howard's knack for highlight-film touchdown catches
has made him the leading candidate for the Heisman
Trophy. Naturally, his quarterback, Elvis Grbac, has
also received his share of attention. And anchoring the
heralded offensive line is mammoth tackle Greg
Skrepenak, a candidate for the Outland and Lombardi
Trophies and a lock for all-American status.
This leaves Powers as the fourth-most heralded
player on his own team, a position quite foreign to
Wolverine tailbacks of the past.
After all, this is Michigan. Quarterbacks are
supposed to hand the ball off to the tailback. Wide
receivers are supposed to block for the tailback.
Linemen are supposed to be the guys to whom the
tailback gives credit in the nost-game nress conference.

Ricky Powers quietly
rushes to prominence

Ten championship. In his second season, Powers ranls
18th on Michigan's all-time career rushing list. Not
bad for someone who's two weeks shy of his 20th
Still, the 6-foot, 205-pound true sophomore stays
out of the limelight in the Wolverines' high-powered
offense, and a large part of it may have to do with
Powers himself. He has never been one to call a lot of
attention to himself, despite ample opportunities to do
Powers played high school football at Akron
Buchtel, in Ohio, where he was a four-year starter in
coach Tim Flossy's backfield. A consensus all-
American, he ran for 2,014 yards and 19 touchdowns his
senior year and received national acclaim from a variety
of sources; The Dallas Morning News named him the
nation's top prep player.
"He'll always be one of my favorite kids," Flossy
said. "His sophomore year, he broke a 72-yarder in the
state championship game to set a record. Then, the next
year, he had a 74-yarder to break the record."
Recruiters from every program in the nation were
writing him letters, unaware that this recruit wasn't
going to be won with a hard-sell approach. Powers is
not a person who is impressed by glossy brochures or
high-tech recruiting films.
One coach recognized this - former Michigan coach
Bo Schembechler. Powers knew he would never play

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