Page 6-The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - September 21, 1992
Lions fall short against
Washington held Detroit's run-and-shoot
to only three first downs for three quarters
and limited Barry Sanders to 23 yards before
the Lions rallied to make it close.
The Lions finally showed some spark
when Rodney Peete connected with Willie
Green for a touchdown on a 67-yard play
that made it 13-10 with 9:45 left.
Melvin Jenkins then picked off Mark
Rypien's pass - Rypen's third interception
of the day - at the Detroit 40 with 4:37 re-
The Lions moved to the Washington 32
before Peete threw three straight incomple-
tions. Jason Hanson then missed a 49-yard
field goal attempt with 1:46 remaining that
would have tied it.
Browns 28, Raiders 16
Eric Metcalf scored four touchdowns -
three on passes from first-time starter Todd
Philcox - as Cleveland won its first game
and kept the Raiders winless.
Metcalf scored his first two touchdowns
on the Browns' first two possessions follow-
ing recovered fumbles deep in Los Angeles
territory, and the Raiders (0-3) never fully
recovered although Todd Marinovich passed
for 395 yards in his first start of the season.
Philcox, who moved into Cleveland's
starting lineup because Bernie Kosar broke
his right ankle, passed for 200 yards without
being sacked and guided an offense which
didn't commit a turnover. Before Sunday,
Philcox had attempted only 10 passes in his
Cowboys 31, Cardinals 20
Michael Irvin caught three touchdown
passes and had a career-high 210 yards re-
ceiving for undefeated Dallas against win-
Troy Aikman was the triggerman for
Irvin's big day as the Cowboys got off to a
3-0 start for the first time since 1983 with
their eighth consecutive regular-season vic-
tory. Phoenix lost its 11th straight.
Emmitt Smith scored one touchdown and
rushed for 112 yards on 26 carries for
Dallas. Irvin's TDs covered 87, 41 and 4
Dolphins 26, Rams 10
Miami scored on its first three posses-
sions and held on to beat Los Angeles.
The Rams (1-2), which snapped an 11-
game losing streak last week, seemed on the
verge of a comeback when it closed to 20-10
early in the fourth quarter, but Miami domi-
nated the rest of the way. A 15-play drive set
up Pete Stoyanovich's 27-yard field goal,
and he added a clinching 20-yarder - his
fourth of the day -- after Jarvis Williams in-
tercepted a pass from Jim Everett.
Mark Higgs led the Dolphins with 111
yards rushing in 23 carries. Dan Marino
threw two touchdown passes.
Steelers 23, Chargers 6
Bill Cowher, the successor to Chuck
Noll, became the first rookie head coach in
Pittsburgh history to win his first three
Neil O'Donnell threw two touchdown
passes and ran for another for the Steelers,
who forced three turnovers to keep the
Chargers winless in three games.
O'Donnell completed 17 of 24 passes for
215 yards, with one interception. Barry
Foster, who had 297 yards in his first two
games, was held to 31 yards on 22 carries.
49ers 31, Jets 14
San Francisco won for the second time in
three weeks at Giants Stadium, taking a 31-0
lead over the winless Jets and beating them
by the same score it beat the Giants in the
Steve Young threw for two touchdowns
and ran for another in the first half when the
49ers (2-1) built a 24-0 lead.
The San Francisco victory was costly -
receiver John Taylor broke his left leg in the
Oilers 23, Chiefs 20 (OT)
Al Del Greco kicked a 39-yard field goal
1:55 into overtime, giving Houston the vic-
The Oilers (2-1) took their first lead at
20-13 late in regulation, then won in over-
time after Kansas City (2-1) had tied the
game in regulation and won the toss only to
have receiver J.J. Birden catch a third-down
pass and then fumble.
Cornerback Cris Dishman caused the
fumble, and defensive tackle Doug Smith
recovered for the Oilers at the Kansas City
After a 2-yard gain by Lorenzo White,
Del Greco kicked his third field goal of the
game. One was a 54-yarder.
Saints 10, Falcons 7
Morten Andersen's 47-yard field with
1:51 remaining enabled New Orleans to
hand Atlanta its first regular-season loss in
their new home. 4
Packers 24, Bengals 23
Brett Favre, forced into the game by a,
first-quarter injury to Don Majkowski, threw.
a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor ,
with 13 seconds left, boosting Green Bay
Vikings 26, Buccaneers 20
Sean Salisbury, playing his first NFL,.
game in five years, replaced injured Rich
Gannon and led Minnesota over Tampa Bay.
Cris Carter caught two touchdown
passes, one each from Gannon anfJ,
Salisbury, as Dennis Green won his homp:
coaching debut with the Vikings (2-1).
Seahawks 10, Patriots 6
Seattle won a struggle of toothless qo-
fenses, scoring on the game's first series and
sacking New England's Hugh Millen six
The Seahawks needed almost every sec-
and to finish the job, finally sealing the win
when Patrick Hunter intercepted Millen's
pass in the end zone with 35 seconds left.
Chris Warren, who ran for a career-high
122 yards, scored for the Seahawks on a 2-
yard run 5:42 into the game.
Continued from page 1
decided that we were gonna come
out this year and because we were
comfortable, we were gonna step up
he intensity, step up the
domination. That's part of being a
great defensive backfield.
"So we started a little nickname.
Instead of DBs, we're D-Beasties.
We're trying to bring that back to
the Michigan secondary and play
like little beasties."
The biggest of Michigan's
beasties are Burch, Corwin Brown,
Dwayne Ware, Coleman Wallace
and Shonte Peoples. These five,
along with the reserves, play a little,
game within the game. They want to
see who lays out the first big hit. Or
the big wood, as they call it.
Against Notre Dame, Ware scored
first on the opening kickoff. This
weekend it was Burch.
However, no matter who is first,
the others all follow close in line.
Burch, Brown, Peoples and Wallace
combined for 41 tackles against the
Off the field, Alfie is not the
loud, emotional person he is once he
enters the tunnel before kickoff.
Before Saturday's kickoff, Burch
was jumping off the walls and into
his teammates. When the team
sprinted onto the field, Burch led
the charge continuing his emotional
peak. That emotion holds through
until the final gun sounds.
"Alfie's the type of guy who
wants to come out and make the big
play," Brown said. "If he has the
chance to make an interception or
get a big hit, he's gonna take it.
Every week he wants to come out
and make the big hits.
'For me, I'm still
learning every day.
Take the Notre Dame
game last week. I was
waiting for overtime.
I'm still young. I'm still
learning the game.'
- Alfie Burch
"I'm comfortable with him out
there. We work well together. He's
a lot like myself I guess. He'll let
out a big scream whenever someone
makes a big play. But off the field
he's a totally different person. He
doesn't really show his emotions."
But on the field, Alfie plays hard
and creates excitement. Saturday,
despite making only three tackles,
Burch made a lasting impression on
the Oklahoma State offense.
Cowboy quarterback Gary Porter
won't quickly forget Burch flying
in on a blitz from his cornerback
spot for a sack and a forced fumble
which the Cowboys recovered.
Burch nearly had a second sack as
"The coaches feel that with our
speed this year we can blitz a lot
more," Burch said. "I'm enjoying it
a lot. I can fly around. If you catch
just a glimpse of the game, I hope
you'll see No. 7 flying past
somebody to make a hit.
"I enjoy the corner blitzes. I
should have had two sacks, but there
was an improper angle by myself. I
should have killed the guy but I
didn't think he saw me. So I took a
knockout angle when I should have
taken a tackle angle. You've got to
tackle sometimes. Your mouth can't
water all the time. Sometimes you
just have to take the appetizers."
In the past, the Michigan defense
has feasted on shrimp cocktail while
ignoring the prime rib. But Burch
and this year's defensive backs are
going for a lot of each.
"This is Michigan. It's not some
other school where you go out and
showboat," Burch said. "We try to
let the impacts and collisions that
we initiate speak for what we want
to do. But there's still a lot of
talking out there. Most of the time,
it's just people telling each other to
shut their mouth. I'll say, 'Zip it up.
We'll talk about it after the game is
over. After I've put you on your
butt a couple of times."'
Alfie wasn't always a football
player. He didn't play his first game
until halfway through his junior
year at Warren Reserve High School
in Warren, Ohio. Alfie was a star
basketball player, playing both
shooting and point guard. In fact, he
received scholarship offers to play
in college. He likens himself as a
basketball player to Sherman
Douglas of the Boston Celtics.
He'd beat you off the dribble
with his speed and shake-and-bake
moves, but he wasn't a pure shooter.
But there was one thing he always
was. A solid man-to-man defender.
Burch credits these basketball skills
as the reason for his skill as a
"I view being a good defensive
player in basketball and being a
defensive back as being relative," he
said. "I line up at corner and it's like
I'm playing basketball. But instead
of getting a steal, I'll go for the
"The man-to-man position is the
same. In basketball, you watch the
belly, because the belly can only go
where the guy is gonna go. It's the
same in football. You can't go
without your belly. One sport
complements the other."
But one of those sports is a
family tradition. Alfie's father
Alvin played cornerback in college.
Alfie's 15-year old brother Todd is
playing his first year of football
this season and he, too, is a corner.
Alvin kept both Alfie and Todd
away from football early in their
childhoods. Alfie played a lot of
basketball and even ran a little track
before settling into his role as a
football player. Alfie credits this
for keeping him mentally and
physically fresh. His body has not
taken the number of hits other
people have and football is still
new to him.
Alvin pushed his son toward
football before his junior year in
high school. He gave Alfie two
reasons why he should try football
- one, he may like it; two, it would
help make him stronger for
basketball. Alfie bought the second
"That was a great way to get me
started playing football," Alfie
joked. "He knew I wanted to play
basketball so he gave me that reason.
That's the wisdom of a father."
Burch started his football career
as a wide receiver as well as a corner.
But Burch is still learning the
position. Because he is only in his
second year as a full-time corner, he
needs to work on the techniques of
the position. While he realizes lie
has learned a lot, he knows he has a
lot to learn if he eventually wants
to take his game to the next level.
For one thing, the rules of the game.
"For me, I'm still learning every
day. Take the Notre Dame game last
week. I was waiting for overtime,"
Alfie said, unable to hold in his
laughter. "I'm still young. I'm still
learning the game. I guess most
people knew that. I play the game,
but I don't know all the rules. I was
like, 'Alright, let me get ready for
overtime.' I was strapping up,
getting some water. I was like,
where did everybody go. I just saw
everybody running to the tunnel.
"I was waiting for sudden death.
I was waiting to make the big play.
Maybe three or five minutes into
OT, Rick Mirer was gonna throw
me the ball and I was gonna take it
in (the end zone). But we all retired
to the tunnel. I'm still learning. I
just try to be a better student each
day. I'm still learning."
One of the people Alfie learned
the most from is former Michigan
safety Tripp Welborne. Burch and
is in the School of Education and
hopes to become a teacher someday
Hopefully after a successful
professional football career.
Michigan has five freshmen
defensive backs who have been
named the Young Guns - Ty Law
Jean Agnus-Charles, Deollo
Anderson, Steven King, and Earl 3
Little. The veterans have taken theid
under their wing, looking forward
to the day when the Young Guns
will be patrolling the secondary for
Burch especially has taken Law
under his wing. Both Law and Burch
play the wide cornerback, which is
generally considered the more
difficult of the two corner
"Our position is kind of
strenuous," Burch said. "Like
Shonte and Corwin - they play
straight ahead or drop deep. Dwayne
and Coleman, they're into the
boundary. It's confined. But me and
Ty , we're out there and the next
person to us is like 15 yards away.
The sideline is another 12 yards
away. You have a receiver who is
quick and running a 4.4 (40-yard
dash) like you, and the only thing ,
that gets you by is technique. You're
out in no man's land. Ain't nobody
out there. You have to handle your
business. The only person who can
make you make a big play out there;
on that island is you."
One of the most commonly asked
questions of Alfie is how he got thq
name. His parents named him after a
Dionne Warwick song from the
1960s. While many middle-aged
people remember the song, Alfie
only knows five words - 'What's::
it all about, Alfie.'
"When I was younger, I used to
wonder what was on my mother ant
father's mind," he said. "My
mother told me it came from a song
but I've yet to hear it. I don't know:
what it's about. I'm not gonna go
out and purchase a Dionne Warwick
WRI T rHE MIC H IGA N Ds $ aILY
The CDs Listed Surrounding This Ad Are lust $9.99 Each!!!
'We want to make it exciting for the fans.
We want people to feel they got their
money's worth. What better way to create
excitement than to snap somebody's neck
back or take the ball away.'
- Alfie Burch
In fact, when Bo Schembechler
brought him to Michigan, he came as
a wide receiver. Burch switched to
corner after his freshman year.
However, he did make a little
impact as a receiver before
switching. He had two receptions
that year, including a 12-yard catch
in the Gator Bowl.
While Burch still has fond
memories of that catch, the biggest
thing he took with him across the
line of scrimmage was the
knowledge of the receiving position.
"I think the one thing that
helped me out was I was a receiver,"
he said. "I know how receivers run
their routes and that helps me a lot.
When I line up on a receiver, the
first thing that goes through my
mind is what would I think if I
were the receiver. What would I do
to get off of the defensive back.
What route could I run. I take these
things into account just like what
down and distance it is."
Welborne were close from the
outset of Alfie's career at Michigan.
Welborne gave Burch a lot of help
in his switch from receiver, as Tripp
had had to make the same switch in
his career at Michigan.
Welborne and Burch still talk
frequently, as Tripp called Alfie
just last week after the Notre Dame
game. The Michigan football team
is becoming the Michigan football
family. An extended family.
Many of the departed defensive
stars from the past two seasons
still keep up with the current
Wolverine defenders. This sort of
continued connection to an alma
mater has been helpful to other
college football programs as well.
For instance, at Miami (Fla.)
former Hurricanes help out the
current staff in recruiting,
motivation and in teaching
While Alfie is learning from
former teammates, he is teaching
new ones. Teaching on the football
field comes naturally to Alfie, who
But Alfie does like one quality
of the name - its uniqueness. When
he introduces himself to people, he:
sometimes needs to take out his
driver's license to prove that Alfie
is his real name.
"Now I kind of like the name,
because it's not the kind of name
people forget," he said. "People
don't forget it. It helps me leave a
lasting impression on people. If I
don't have anything else, I have myx
But for now, Alfie does has
something else, and while
opposition players might forget his
name, they won't forget the picture,
of No. 7 in a Michigan jersey flying
in and making another big hit.
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