Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday - November 25, 1991
Tac Ast Tot
Player C-A Yds TD 1nt
Sollom 1-1 2 0 0
Grbac 8-14 123 0 0
Totals 9-15 125 0 0
R ece ivin g
Player No Yds La TD
Wheatley 1 1 1 0
R Powers 1 -6 0 0
H oward 3 96 50 0
J Johnson 1 8 8 0
VanDyne 2 24 17 0
MeThornas 1 2 2 0
Totals 9 125 50 0
Player Att Yds Avg Lg
Wheatley 12 79 6.6 24
RPowers 8 35 4.4 14
:oward 1 8 8.0 8
JJohnson 11 61 5.5 27
Legette 2 1 0.5 1
MeThomas 5 14 2.8 4
Totals 39 198 5.0 27
Player No Yds Avg La
Cooper gets three-year
by Phil Green
and Matt Rennie
Daily Football Writers
After losing to Michigan for the fourth straigh umuL in our-year
career at the Buckeye helm, Ohio State coach John Coo, ' would seem-
ingly have little to celebrate. However, Ohio State athleL director Jim
Jones gave Cooper something to smile about by extending Cooper's con-
tract for three years.
The extension was somewhat of a surprise. Cooper had been under fire
from Buckeye fans ever since Ohio State tailback Robert Smith quit the
team in August, accusing the Buckeye coaches of not giving players enough
time to study. Expectations were already high for Cooper to have a cham-
pionship season, and the loss of Smith hindered that possibility. Moreover,
Cooper has never beaten Michigan, a feat essential to be popular with Buck-
"I'm obviously very happy," Cooper said. "I've been on pins and needles
all season. I never want to go through another season like this one."
Cooper did not inform his players of his contract extension before the
GOING, GOING GONE: Desmond Howard started breaking records a
long time ago, and he still hasn't stopped; his 93-yard punt return was the
longest in Wolverine history. It was also Howard's third kick return for a
touchdown, tying him with Tom Harmon and Gil Chapman for third
place on the Michigan all-time list. Gene Derricotte and Dave Brown
hold the record with four touchdown returns in their careers. Howard's
other two were kickoff returns, the first last season against Michigan State
and the second this season against Boston College.
YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN: Last week, Glenview, Ill., native Erick
Anderson felt he could easily go home for Thanksgiving after the Wolver-
ines shutout Illinois. Following Saturday's victory over Ohio State, the
Michigan's Ohio players experienced that same feeling.
"Now I can go to Ohio and eat comfortably," Howard said.
For linebacker Brian Townsend, the victory proved especially gratify-
ing. He had the opportunity to defeat his longtime friend Carlos Snow, the
Buckeyes' leading running back.
"I wanted to meet him afterwards and talk with him. But I'm sure I'll
talk to him next Wednesday when we get home because I usually see him at
a couple parties and stuff," Townsend said. "We'll go and hang out. At
least I'm allowed to go home, I don't know about him."
_ _ _ _ .NFIH LLEH/DaIv
Inside linebacker Erick Anderson sacks Ohio State quarterback Kent Graham in the first half. Anderson ended
the day with a season-high 16 solo tackles, while assisting on another.
CORPS KEYS STELLAR DEFENSE
inebackers make impact
by Phil Green
Daily Football Writer
Early in the season, while Michigan's offense piled
up loads of points, the defense received criticism for
giving up loads of points to the opposition. Following
a 51-point outburst by Florida State, the defense really
took its lumps.
Since then, it has tightened, recording shutouts
against both Purdue and Illinois. But the true culmina-
tion came in Saturday's 31-3 victory over Ohio State,
thanks largely to the linebackers.
"Defensively, there's no way we could have played
any better, except maybe to get a shutout," senior
linebacker Erick Anderson said. "You couldn't ask us
to play any better defensively than we have the past
In the final game of his collegiate career, the Butkus
Award finalist played one of his best games, leading
the Wolverines with 17 tackles - including three for
losses - one sack, and one fumble recovery. He
completed the season as the Wolverines' leading
tackler, becoming the only player ever to do so four
times; his 419 career tackles put him second to Ron
Simpkins on the all-time list.
Michigan fans have come to expect such excellence
from the defensive captain. But against the Buckeyes,
Anderson wasn't the only Wolverine linebacker that
frustrated the Ohio State offense.
Senior Brian Townsend played perhaps his finest
game at Michigan. The Cincinnati native totalled 10
tackles, also with three for losses. In addition,
Townsend got in the faces of Ohio State quarterbacks
Kent Graham and Kirk Herbstreit throughout the af-
"Every play I gave it all I had, and it's a great feel-
ing to walk out of the stadium with those results per-
sonally and team-wise," Townsend said.
"Brian Townsend played tremendous," Anderson
said. "I'm so happy for him to play so well against
Ohio State - he can go home proud."
The outstanding linebacking didn't stop with the
two seniors; theyounger players did their job as well.
Steve Morrison and Marcus Walker rotated effectively
next to Anderson at the other inside spot, and were the
Wolverines' next two leading tacklers, contributing
13 between them.
Outside linebacker Matt Dyson also provided neces-
sary defensive support. This was especially critical in
the second half when Michigan lost to injuries starter
Neil Simpson (knee) and reserve Martin Davis (head).
Both were kept out mainly for precautionary reasons
and are expected to be fine.
"I thought our linebackers as a unit played really
well," Michigan coach Gary Moeller said. "With
Simpson and Davis banged up I thought we'd be in
trouble. But they all played real well."
"I think our linebackers played exceptional,"
Anderson said. "They have a good offensive line, and I
think it's the best game we've played."
But while Saturday may have marked the best game
the unit has played this season, it has been making the
plays all year, especially in recent weeks. Led by the
linebackers, the defense has not allowed a rushing
touchdown since the second quarter of the Indiana
game, and has only given up 23 points in the last five
ternoon, frequently causing hurried,
scramble out of bounds.
poor passes or a
Continued from page 1
tween them, six for losses), used
fierce hitting and timely turnovers
to stymie the Buckeye attack. They
held Ohio State's heralded rushing
game to 43 ground yards in the first
half on 25 carries. This forced Ohio
State to go to the air, for which the
Wolverine pass rush and defensive
backs were ready.
"We forced them into a game
they were uncomfortable playing -
passing. Anytime you get a team in
that situation you've got an advan-
tage," Anderson said. "You've got
to give the credit to the defensive
line. They put a lot of pressure on
A Lance Dottin interception set
up another Wolverine score - a
one-yard run by Jesse Johnson. And
on Ohio State's next possession,
Otis Williams recovered a Carlos
Snow fumble to set up a Carlson
field goal, putting the Wolverines
Michigan's defense didn't cause a
turnover on Ohio State's next series,
but it did force the Buckeyes to
punt, which set up Howard. The ju-
nior kick returner fielded Tim
Williams' punt at the Michigan
seven-yard line, followed timely
blocks by Alfie Burch and Dwayne
Ware, and darted up the sideline for
a Michigan record 93-yard punt re-
4 144 36.0 41
lo Yds Avg Lc
1 93 93.0 93
No Yds Avg La
1 16 16.0 16
ton 1 1 1.0 1
2 17 8.5 16
"It happened so fast," Howard
explained. "I wasn't really sup-
posed to catch the ball and I had
thought about fair catching because
they came a little close, but the punt
return team threw some excellent
blocks. It was just excellent execu-
tion by the punt return team."
"I thought it was a pretty good
kick," Ohio State coach John Cooper
said. "We were trying to kick it to-
ward the sideline. Once he got the
ball, it was over. What can you
That play essentially guaranteed
Michigan's fourth consecutive vic-
tory over the Buckeyes, while solid-
ifying Howard's Heisman Trophy
chances even further.
In the second half, Michigan
sandwiched two long passes from
Grbac to Howard around a well-ex-
ecuted running game. Howard spec-
tacularly pulled down the second
pass above double coverage in
Meanwhile, the defense em-
ployed its bend-but-don't-break
schc ne to perfection. The Buckeyes
rai , two long drives, but each
time (ming away empty.
"This one will be well enjoyed,
believe me. It's been a long season
for us with many ups and just one
down. Everything really, really
worked out for us," Michigan of-
fensive tackle Greg Skrepenak said.
"It's kind of like icing on the cake
for me and my fifth-year teammates,
because we've won the last four
years in the Ohio State game. And to
win convincingly today, it makes us
just that much more happy because
we did work hard."
Legette 1-yd run (Carlson
Michigan 7, Ohio State 0
J Johnson 1-yd run (Carlson
Michigan 14, Ohio State 3
Carlson 37-yd field goal, 6:22
Michigan 17, Ohio State 3
Howard 93-yd punt return
(Carlson kick), 4:15.
Michigan 24, Ohio State 3
Wheatley 5-yd run (Carlson.
Michigan 31, Ohio State 3
Michigan quarterback Elvis Grbac completed 8 of 14 passes for 123 yards
against the Buckeyes Saturday.
Anderson was quick to note that when a team goes undefeated in the Big
Ten, 10-1 overall, there aren't many people who would be embarrassed to
"Everyone on the team can go home and be proud ... except maybe J.D.
(Carlson from Tallahassee, Fla.)," Anderson said.
INJURY UPDATE: Starting Wolverine tight end Dave Diebolt did not
dress Saturday because of neck spasms. Tony McGee got the start, and
Marc Burkholder also saw added playing time in Diebolt's absence.
Diebolt is expected back in plenty of time for the Rose Bowl, Jan.1, against
Michigan suffered four injuries during Saturday's contest, though none
were serious and each player should be ready for the Rose Bowl. The
Wolverines' top two tailbacks, Ricky Powers and Jesse Johnson, head the
list of injured players. Powers hurt his ribs, but he did return to action in
the fourth quarter; Johnson bruised his sternum and sat out the remainder
of the game. Defensively, outside linebacker Neil Simpson hurt his knee
and fellow outside linebacker Martin Davis was shaken up, causing them
each to sit out most of the second half.
Defensive lineman Chris Hutchinson, who missed the last three games
with a sprained knee, is also expected to be ready for the New Year's Day
SKREPENAK THE GREEK: Last Monday, Michigan offensive tackle
Greg Skrepenak surprised the media and his teammates when he guaran-
teed a Wolverine victory over Ohio State. While some of his teammates
were upset that he provided extra incentive for the Buckeyes, Michigan
coach Gary Moeller didn't mind.
"He better say were going to win," Moeller said. "If he didn't I'd get a
new tackle in there."
Fellow captain Anderson added: "His comments said to us, 'We have to
go out and play.' It made us concentrate and get ready for this game."
Even after the success of his Ohio State prediction, Skrepenak refrained
from making any New Year's picks.
"I don't have to be put in that position right now to say we will beat
Washington. All they've been saying is they are going to meet Miami half
way," he said. "They've still got to play Michigan and be ready for us. They
are a great team; I really haven't seen a lot of film on them."
Rookie tailback Tyrone Wheatley pulls away from the Ohio State
defense Saturday. Wheatlev led all Wolverine rushers with 79 yards.