The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - November 25, 1991 - Page 5
T - H - E
seniors save best for last
by Matt Rennie
Daily Football Writer
The Michigan-Ohio State game is
always special for everyone in-
volved. However, every other year,
the game means a little bit more to a
group of Wolverine veterans be-
cause it represents their last game in
The 12 fifth-year Wolverines, as
well as 25 other seniors who have
one more year of eligibility, were
honored before Michigan's 31-3 vic-
tory over Ohio State Saturday. The
group took the field before the rest
of the team, holding hands as they
customarily passed under the "Go
The ceremonial gesture was the
beginning of a sentimental day for
the entire group.
"When all the seniors went out
and hit the banner it was very emo-
tional," left guard Matt Elliott
said. "The whole game was very
Michigan took a lot of suspense
out of the game by building a 24-3
halftime lead. The seniors' efforts
had a lot to do with the Wolverines'
success on the field.
Elliott and tackle Greg
Skrepenak anchored the offensive
line that opened holes for the run-
ning backs and pass protected for
quarterback Elvis Grbac.
"It's like icing on the cake for
me and my fifth-year teammates, be-
cause we've won the last four years
in the Ohio State game" Skrepenak
said. "And to win convincingly to-
day, it makes us just that much more
happy because we did work hard."
Linebacker Erick Anderson
proved why he is a Butkus Award
finalist by making 17 tackles, 16 of
them solos, and leading the
MICH IGAN FOOThA LL
J.D. Carlsvn PK
Dave Diebolt TE
Lanice Dottin CB
Mike Evans OT
Alex Marshall DT
David Ritter SS
Neil Simpson OLE
Greg Skrepejiak OT
Ken Sollom OB
Otis Williams SS
Michigan defense, which held the
Buckeyes to 109 yards rushing.
Anderson also forced and recovered
a fumble and recorded one sack.
"It's a special feeling,"
Anderson said. "You've played your
best game in the Big House and held
Ohio State to three points. There
aren't too many Michigan teams
that can say that."
There aren't too many Michigan
seniors who can say they never lost
to Ohio State. This year's class
earned that honor by beating the
Buckeyes for a fourth consecutive
season. The .group has also never
played on a team that didn't at least
win a share of the Big Ten title.
With an undefeated conference
season now completed, even
Michigan coach Gary Moeller did
not restrain his praises for the grad-
"I've got as fine a group of kids
as any man could want to coach,"
Moeller said. "I don't have any guys
that I have to handle with care and
worry about. They all come to
work, and they all work hard in
practice. They are a beautiful group
To see a career that took five
years to build end in a matter of
hours seems anticlimactic But the
seniors came into the game with the
idea that it would be a culmination,
rather than a letdown.
"We knew it was our last game,
and we didn't want to leave any-
thing on the field," Anderson said.
"We wanted to let it all go."
After the game, Elliott was un-
able to appreciate the full magni-
tude of the situation.
"Some time tonight, it's going
to hit me that this was my very last
game at Michigan Stadium," Elliot,
Defensive end Mike Evans also
had trouble comprehending that this
was his last game in Ann Arbor.
"It still hasn't sunk in yet,"
Evans said. "On the bus ride from
the Campus Inn, I was looking at all
the fans yelling, 'Good luck,' and I
started to realize, 'This is it.'
"All I can say is I'm glad I went
out a champion."
Player C-A Yds TD Int
Herbstreit 8-11 82 0 0
K Graham 5-14 42 0 1
Totals 13-25 124 0 1
Player No Yds La TD
Edwards 1 17 17 0
Galloway 1 11 11 0
Snow 4 33 11 0
By'-not'e 1 -5 0 0
S Graham 1 7 7 0
Stablein 2 24 15 0
Ellis 3 37 14 0
Totals 13 124 17 0
Player Att Yds Ava gL
Herbstreit 4 5 1.3 17
Galloway 1 8 8.0 8
Cothran . 1 3 3.0 3
K Graham 5 -4 -0.8 6
Snow 24 54 2.3 9
By'not'e *"6 11 1.8 6
Harris 4 9 2.3 3
S Graham 7 23 3.3 10
Totals 52 109 2.0 12
Player No Yds Avg Lg
T Williams 4 178 44.5 50
Player No Yds AvgLg
* Michigan defensive lineman Mike Evans forces Ohio State quarterback
Kent Graham to fumble.
Continued from page 1
And while only Howard can take
credit for his unreal heroics,
Moeller certainly should be com-
mended for giving Howard the op-
portunity to shine. Take Howard's
famous fourth-and-one catch against
Notre Dame. With most coaches,
Howard would have been standing
on the sideline, watching the place-
kicker attempt a field goal.
Charting keys to each Michigan
victory this season is usually as easy,
as looking at Howard's stat sheet.
But lurking beneath the statistics is
at least one gutsy call by Moeller.
Often, it's not as glamorous as the
fourth-and-one call. Instead, it's
something simple, like throwing
from his own end zone or going on
fourth down early in the game.
He couldn't do it without the
players who pull it off, but he's not
the only coach with talent.
Saturday's fake field goal was
just the latest edition in Moeller's
Moeller decides his
selections the way
most of us decide
what we want on our
"pizza. And his calls
always seem to work
bravery. Before the play, the score
was still tied between these two
traditional rivals. Conventional
wisdom said kick the field goal -
take the easy points, because who
knows how this game will go.
However, Moeller knew the fake
would work, just like every other
risk he's taken this season.
His unflinching confidence in his
players can lead to nothing but posi-
tive results. If players see a coach
who hesitates when making a tough
call, they start to wonder them-
selves if the play is going to work.
"It's like I tell our offense
sometimes, 'Look, I didn't call this
play with the intention of it not
working,"' Moeller said last week.
Thankfully for Moeller, his
plays have been working more often
than not this season. Now, he has a
trip to California as a reward.
He probably made his reserva-
tions in September.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Spartans find rare
brlght spot vs.
Michigan State upset Illinois, 27-24, Saturday to end its season at 3-8
overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten.
The Spartans turned three of seven Illini turnovers into 17 points
during a 3:46 span of the third quarter to notch the victory. Safety Darrin
Eaton returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown, fullback Tony Rollin
scored from one yard out, and Jim DelVerne booted a 49-yard field goal.
Eaton's fumble return cane after Ty Hallock jarred the ball loose from
Illini Kameno Bell on a punt return. On the next Illinois possession,
Michigan State linebacker Chuck Bullough stopped tight end David Olson
after he caught a 4-yard pass from Jason Verduzco, and defensive end Juan
Hammonds stripped the ball from Olson.
The Spartan drive stalled and DelVerne booted the field goal to give
Michigan State a 20-10 lead. The following Illinois drive ended after two
plays, when defensive end Aaron Jackson batted a Verduzco pass to
defensive end John MacNeill. Five plays later, Rollin dove in to make it
INDIANA 24, PURDUE 22
Trent Green broke Indiana's season record for total offense and the
Hoosiers salvaged a 24-22 victory over Purdue when Joe O'Leary missed a
35-yard field goal with 24 seconds to go. Indiana led, 24-6, at halftime but
turned the ball over on its first four possessions of the second half.
O'Leary, who made a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter, missed
three times in the final period, spoiling the Boilermakers' repeated chances
off turnovers. Green, who passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns, was
intercepted three times, twice in the second half. Indiana needed the victory
to get a chance to play Baylor in the Dec. 31 Copper Bowl in Tucson, Ariz.
IOWA 23, MINNESOTA 8
Matt Rodgers returned from a knee injury to throw three touchdown
passes at Kinnick Stadium to give Hayden Fry his IXWth win as the coach of
the Hawkeyes. Iowa finished alone in second place in the conference and
will face Brigham Young in the Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl.
Minnesota finished with its sixth-worst record ever. It was the last
game for Golden Gopher coach John Gutekunst, who announced his
resignation earlier last week.
WISCONSIN 32, NORTHWESTERN 14
First-year tailback Terrell Fletcher rushed for a career-high 112 yards as
Wisconsin rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Northwestern.
After scoring a pair of touchdowns in the final 1:42 of the first half to
take a 15-14 halftime lead, the Badgers pulled away in the second half.
Wisconsin quarterback Tony Lowery had his best game of the season,
completing 10 of 21 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown.
1 0 0.0 0
Player No Yds Avg Lg
Lee 4 47 11.8 24
Snow 2 32 16.0 20
6 79 13.1 24
T Williams 50-yd field goal,
12:32. Michigan 7, Ohio
Cornerback Lance Dottin runs back'
Continued form page 1
"It was supposed to be,"
Howard confirmed to the media.
Moeller may not have caught
Howard's little impersonation.
And he may not believe that
Howard did it. Or even liked that he
did it. But Moeller knows and ap-
preciates a deserving candidate.
"I feel that if I was voting for
the Heisman I'd give Desmond con-
sideration. No, I'd mark the thing 10
times, 'Desmond Howard,"'
Moeller said. "I mean there isn't
any question. Maybe I should get on
the phone and find out who has the
votes and try to help him. But I'm
really jacked on him today."
After his record-breaking, spec-
tacular season, Howard shouldn't
need much hype from Moeller to
stay in contention for the Heisman.
Howard has hyped himself plenty
with his 23 scores, his knack for the
big play, and his ability to make the
"There shouldn't be any contest
his first-half interception against
for the Heisman," Ohio State coach
John Cooper said.
Many observers think that
Howard's Heisman dance was his
last touchdown celebration in
Michigan Stadium, and that
Saturday marked his final collegiate
game there. But Howard, who ex-
'There shouldn't be
any contest for the
- John Cooper
Ohio State football coach
pects to receive a degree in commu-
nication in May, claims he will re-
turn to use his final year of eligibil-
ity next fall.
"I think I'll definitely be back,"
Howard said. "At this point, I'm
just trying to get my degree in May
and win the Rose Bowl."
Howard's plans for next season
shouldn't be a big worry right now.
His more immediate concern should
be planning his Dec. 14 celebration
in New York.
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First Downs R
Third Downs N
Total Offense P
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