4 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, November 15,_1993
Player . A
By ADAM MILLER
DAILY FOOTBALL WRITER
MINNEAPOLIS - Michigan coach Gary Moeller said he wasn't satis-
He liked the result, a 58-7 drubbing of Minnesota Saturday. He said he
thought his defense, which sacked the Golden Gopher quarterbacks five times
and knocked them down or hurried them several others, played well. And his
special teams were key, with their two blocked punts, two field goals and long
But Moeller still said he wasn't satisfied - with his running game.
Traditionally, the Wolverines overpower the defense with their ground
attack. Their offensive line opens gaping holes for speedy tailbacks and
punishing fullbacks to run through.
Most of the season, his complaint has seemed valid. The inexperienced
offensive line struggled early on, forcing the runners to run wide, instead of
through the line. Injuries and defections have depleted his depth at running
But Saturday hardly seemed time to complain. Michigan scored six of its
seven touchdowns on the ground - three by the returned Tyrone Wheatley,
two by Tshimanga Biakabutuka, and one by Ed Davis - and the runners
accumulated 210 net yards.
"I thought we threw the ball well," Moeller said, "but my major concern is
we're not rushing as well as we should. ... I have seen some improvement
You can't please everybody.
CAST OF THOUsANDs: Because the game was a runaway by halftime, Moeller
had the luxury of playing his bench. He certainly took advantage of it.
In all, 58 players saw action Saturday. One rookie made a particularly large
contribution. True freshman linebacker Tyrone Noble came flying through the
Minnesota offensive line untouched in the second quarter to block a Ron Holty
punt, setting up Biakabutuka's first score of the day.
Moeller probably will not have the same opportunity to play his reserves in
Saturday's game against the No. 5,Buckeyes.
WHERE IS EVERYBODY? Saturday was Senior Day, Fan Appreciation Day
and the annual Little Brown Jug battle at the Metrodome. The Gophers had
upset Wisconsin in their last home game, and nearly knocked off Illinois last
week. So you'd think there would be a large crowd.
Wrong. The announced attendance in the,63,669 seat stadium was 43,603.
It didn't look like half of that most of the game - perhaps, at its peak in the
second quarter, there were 30,000 fans there - and by the third quarter, with
Improved running game
doesn't satisfy Moeller
the game decided, the crowd had dwindled to below 20,000.
In fact, only a few hearty souls and some Wolverine fans stayed until the end
of the game.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ...: Michigan fans may have recognized the
conductor of the Minnesota Marching Band, Eric A. Becher. Becher con-
ducted the Michigan Marching Band from 1980-89, and his distinctive style of
high-stepping, dancing and innovative performances became a crowd favorite.
Becher, who earned his Bachelor's and Master's of Music Education
degrees from Michigan, was denied tenure in 1989, (due to the University's
policy of not granting tenure to its own Master's graduates) left for Arizona,
where he served as Marching Band director until 1991.
Now, he leads the Minnesota Marching Band, the Symphonic Band and
Chamber Winds, and teaches courses in conducting.
One other thing: he's tenured. It's Professor Becher now.
TOP TEN: At least they have a sense of humor in Minneapolis.
On the late news cast of Channel 11, the local NBC affiliate, the sports report
featured a "Top Ten List of Good Things from Today's Gopher Blowout."
Among the list: nobody died, everyone was watching the Notre Dame game,
plenty of elbow room in the student section, we didn't want that Jug anyway,
the stadium announcer had plenty of practice in pronouncing "Biakabutuka,"
Hey buddy, can you punt?, big losses are easy on (Minnesota coach Jim)
Wacker's heart ...
And the No. 1 Good Thing from Today's Gopher Blowout - at least we
don't live in Iowa.
TRUE CiASS: Speaking of Becher's band, the pep band distinguished itself
in the second half. Though most Gopher fans had headed to the exits by the time
the band started making its rounds,, the pep band had to perform (as the pep band
at Michigan does). The largest audience it had by the middle of the third quarter
was in the Michigan section.
Never ones to hide their preference in music, the Wolverine faithful, who
were without their own band (which was in Ann Arbor preparing for yesterday's
Crisler concert) called for the Minnesota pepsters to play "Bullwinkle." The
band admitted to the crowd that it did not know the Michigan favorite, but
substituted with "The Victors."
And when the band came to another Michigan gathering, it played it again.
NUTS TO You: Despite several close calls (against Michigan State, Wiscon-
sin and Indiana Saturday), undefeated Ohio State clinched a share of the Big
Ten championship Saturday in its 23-17 victory over the Hoosiers. The No. 5
Buckeyes invade Michigan Stadium
Saturday for a 12 p.m. start and ABC
No. Yds AvgLg
Continued from page 1
of Moeller's favorite plays on the
day was the play-action pass,
something that consistently fooled
the overaggressive Gopher defense
and sprung Derrick Alexander,
Walter Smith and Co. for deep
Or how about the sequence in the
second quarter where Michigan
faced fourth-and-one and decided to
go for it?
Even though the ball rested on its
Earlier in the year - specifically
in the Illinois disaster - the
Wolverines punted in similar
situations when they had the ball on
their opponent's 40.
"I'll be honest with you,"
Moeller said. "We were up by 17 at
the time, and when we had some
more freedom, some room to take
Smith said it wasn't so much
risk-management, as attitude.
"We played with a lot more
Alexander 2 21,
Noble 1 28
King 1 27
Smith 1 16
Hayes 1 0
Toomer 1 0
Totals 7 92
Player No.Yds Avg Lg
Toomer 2 72 36.0 49
Totals 2 72 36.0 49
confidence today," said Smith, who
had Michigan's lone touchdown
catch on the day - the other six
came on the ground. "We came to
the game with that type of attitude."
Make no mistake, Saturday was
great for Michigan. The victory
guaranteed the team would finish
the regular season above .500, gave
the team a badly-needed confidence
boost, and did it all on national
television (even if almost everyone
was watching another network at the
But you had to stop and wonder:
where was this play, this type of
attitude, earlier in the year? Why
didn't the Wolverines demolish
Washington State, Houston or Iowa?
Where was the intensity, the
innovation, the performance against
Notre Dame, Michigan State,
Illinois and Wisconsin?
In the postgame interviews, the
Wolverines talked of there being
"enthusiasm" in the game, which
made "a difference."
It shouldn't take facing a
possible losing season to generate
enthusiasm. And you can't tell me
the Jug did it.
Perhaps that is the answer to the
Michigan Mystery. This year's team
plays great only - and I mean only
- when its backs are "up against
the wall." It happened at Penn State.
It happened Saturday.
But it didn't happen against
Michigan State or Illinois; the
Wolverines were heavy favorites in
both games, remember? And it
didn't happen at Wisconsin - OK,
no one really knows what happened
So consider this. No. 5 Ohio
State comes to Ann Arbor next
week. Unbeaten. Tied once. Potent
on offense and defense. Probably
Rose Bowl-bound. Nobody will
expect Michigan to win.,
Considering this team's history, I
wouldn't sell my ticket.
Continued from page 1
Saturday marked the return of Tyror
did not disappoint the Michigan fail
not keep up for long. Michigan sc
touchdowns on five of its next si
That string of touchdowns san
whatever chance Minnesota had t
"We had too many mistakes earl
to overcome," Minnesota coach Jii
Wacker said. "We had the fumble w
'Give Michigan credit
they whipped us like a
goat tied to a post.'
- Jim Wacke
Minnesota head coact
recovered, the penalties, a sack, an
things got worse from there. Espe
cially coming off the loss last v*t
you could feel the emotions deTa
early. We yelled on the sidelines to gi
the guys going again, but it didn
work well. Give Michigan credit, the
whipped us like a goat tied to a post.
Gopher offensive miscues had-=a
much to do with the scoring as th
defense. Only one of the five touch
down drives started in the Michiga
half of the field. For the gam
Michigan's average possession st#
on its 48 yard-line while Minnesol
With his two reverses, Mercury Hayes gained more yards on the ground (21) than he did receiving (12) in Michigan's
58-7 defeat of the Golden Gophers. The Michigan air attack gained 230 yards on the day.
Ohio State grabs sh
GAMES PLAYED NOV.13,3993 Michigan State, Penn State victoi
Raymont Harris ran for 162 yards
and became the 15th Ohio State player
to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a
season, but the fifth-ranked Buckeyes
st~i ne-d-aastminmit, frst clon to
Penn State 28, ilinois 14
Mike Archie replaced injured Ki-
Jana Carter and ran for 134 yards and
two touchdowns Saturday as Penn
State beat Illinois 28-14, knocking the
i;lini ot of the Rne Bawi rae.
Paul Burmeister passed for one
touchdown and ran for another Satur-
day, leading Iowa to a 23-19 victory
The Big Ten win was the third
straight for the Hawkeves (2-5. 5-5)
another loss as Michigan StatcTe
Ross-Ade Stadium Saturday with
Colletto had Brad Bobich attem
a 49-yard field goal with Purdue fat
inpr a fourth-and-4 and 28 seconds