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December 10, 1993 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-10

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 10, 1993 - 13

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MATCHUPS
By ADAM MILLER

No contest here. Michigan brings junior QB
Todd Collins (with 2,320 aerial yards this
year) and All-Big Ten junior tailback Tyrone
Wheatley (1,005 yards on the ground). The
Pack counters with sophomore QB Terry
Harvey (with 1,837 yards) and senior
tailback Gary Downs (855 yards, 9 TDs.
Wheatley was snubbed by the AP All-
America voters, but no matter.
North Carolina State's Eddie Gones is a
good one. A first-team All-ACC selection, he
finished third in the ACC this season with
929 yards and 10 TD, both N.C. State
records. The Wolverines on the other hand
have an assortment of talented receivers,
senior Derrick Alexander, senior Water
Smith, sophomore Mercury Hayes, and
sophomore Amani Toomer. Four beats one.
After being rightfully criticized much of the
year, Michigan's offensive line grew up in
the 28-0 victory over Ohio State. Anchored
by senior center Marc Milla and sopho-
more tackle Joe Marinaro, the line allowed
no sacks of Collins and opened gaping
holes for Wheatley and Co. N.C. State's
line is an experienced bunch, with two
seniors, two juniors and a sophomore.
The Wolverines' defensive line got shuffled
in the last few games, and the dealt
themselves a winner. All-Big Ten senior
linebacker Buster Stanley has solidified
the group playing at nose guard, and
juniors Trent Zenkewcz and Jason Hom
have played with renewed vigor. Junior Eric
Counts (46 tackles, 5.5 sacks) leads a
solid Wolfpack frontthree.
While the Wolverines have struggled at
linebacker all year with injuries, redshirt
freshman Jaret Irons (91 tackles) went on
a tear to lead the team in tackles. Seniors
Steve Morrison and Matt Dyson should
finally be in good shape Jan. 1. N.C. State
shines at LB, with junior Damien Covington
and senior Gregg Giannamore having
nearly 250 tackles between them.
As Van Earl Wright might say, it could be
tough for either team to go DEEP! Consider:
for N.C. State, sophomore free safety
James Walker (139 tackles, best in ACC)
and senior corner DeWayne Washington
(77 tackles, four interceptions). Michigan:
All-Big Ten sophomore cornerback Ty Law,
senior corner Alfie Burch, and senior strong
safety Shonte Peoples. DEEP? Maybe not.
As the signs say at Busch Gardens, those
with heart-weaknesses are advised not to
rde. For six straight weeks toward the end
of the season, the Wolfpack played games
that weren't decided until less than a
minute remained on the clock, and went 4-
2 in the stretch. It outscored opponents,
11260, in the fourth quarter.
Pray it doesn't come down to a field goal.
NCSU's Steve Videtch set an ACC
accuracy mark for field goals this year.
On the other hand, the last time Michigan
played the morning of Jan. 1 on ESPN, it
thumped Mississippi, 35-3, in the Gator
Bowl. Well, 35 sounds about right ..

FOOTBALL
Continued from page 11
year, the Wolverines are pleased to be
at any bowl. Yet, they are still disap-
pointed with this game, given their
preseason expectations. The Wolfpack
is excited to go to any bowl.
The problems Michigan faced this
season may have subsided in time for
coach Gary Moeller and his. crew.
Motivation and injuries plagued the
team this year. If the team felt unmoti-
vated going into this season, it cer-
tainly cannot feel that way anymore.
The disheartening losses the Wol-
verines suffered left the team with many
critics. Even without the critics, the
losses can only serve to reignite the
emotional drive. Senior pride is certain
to be a factor. The seniors, especially
defensive captain Buster Stanley, keyed
the team turnaround earlier this season.
Injuries, which decimated both sides
of ball, especially the linebacker corps,
are no longer a problem.

"You know, it's funny," Moeller
said. "We have injuries all year, and
then in games 10 and 11, two of our
most physical games all season, we
don't get hurt at all."
Only Ninef Aghakhan and Marcus
Walker will miss the bowl game.
Aghakhan needed to have a tendon
reattached in his arm. Walker had re-
constructive knee surgery.
Conversely, North Carolina State
has not suffered a down year. The
Wolfpack slid into the postseason as
the Wolverines are riding a crest.
While Michigan has played in one
previous Hall of Fame Bowl, it is only
the second appearance for an ACC
team. Hopefully for Michigan fans,
previous Hall of Fame history between
ACC and Big Ten teams will not repeat
itself. Clemson whitewashed Illinois,
30-0, in the 1990 game.
In its previous appearanceinTampa,
Michigan beat Alabama 28-24 in the
1988 game. Current Michigan coach
Gary Moeller filled in for coach Bo
Schembechler for that one.

.#
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DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily
Walter Smith dives for a pass attempt in action earlier this season.

FSU's Ward favored to
win Heisman with ease

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ASSOCIATED PRESS
A TV cameraman once asked
Charlie Ward to strike a Heisman Tro-
phy pose. He said no. His own sense of
humility wouldn't permit it. On Satur-
day, he'll most likely be posing with
the Heisman.
"He's just like a vapor," Florida
State coach Bobby Bowden said. "Just
when you think you see him, and can
reach out and grab him, he's gone."
The senior quarterback is heavily
favored to win the award as the
country's top college player. Only two
others, junior quarterback Heath Shuler
of Tennessee and the versatile David
Palmerof Alabama, were invited to the
announcement at New York's Down-
town Athletic Club.
Last year, even the most ardent
Florida State fans weren't thinking
about the Heisman when Ward started
off his junior season with eight inter-
ceptions in the first two games.
Despite the errant tosses, Florida
State won the games against Duke and
Clemson. Ward engineered alate, win-
ning drive against Clemson in a hint of
what was to come.
Two years later, Ward had led
Florida State to a 21-2 record and will
guide the Seminoles on New Year's
Day in the Orange Bowl against Ne-
braska for the college football champi-
onship.
Last year, Ward replaced 1991
Heisman runner-up Casey Weldon, and
he admits thinking "Oh, no, not again,"
as he got off to the rough start.
"We'd seen him in practice and
everybody thought Charlie would go
out and immediately be perfect," said
Bowden.

"But Charlie hadn't played in four
years," he said. "We coaches had to
remember that."
Ward was the team's punter in 1989,
then redshirted a season and rode the
bench for another year before winning
the starting quarterback assignment.
Florida State's only two losses with
Ward at quarterback were at Miami
and Notre Dame.
Ward threw 17 interceptions as a
junior, but this season he was nearly
flawless, completing almost 70 per-
cent of his passes for 3,032 yards and
27 touchdowns with just four intercep-
tions.
Florida State led the nation in scor-
ing and was second in total offense.
Ward averaged over 300 yards a game
total offense despite playing in the
fourth quarter just four times all sea-
son.
He might even win the Heisman by
a record margin, becoming the first
player from Florida State and the At-
lantic Coast Conference to be honored
as the nation's best football player.
Florida State team chaplain Clint
Purvis claims Ward's humility helped
steer him through the bad times and
now the good.
"Earlier this year, one of the televi-
sion networks tried to talk Charlie into
giving them a Heisman pose," recalled
Purvis. "He wouldn't do it. He told
them, 'sorry, I can't do that.'

3

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