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September 09, 1994 - Image 39

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-09
Note:
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22 -he Michigan Daily -- Ki if '94 - Friday, Septemb b.,1994

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'he Michigan Da

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More experienced Nittany Lions ready for second year,
Joe Paterno, whose accomplish- 5-foot-10 and 212 pounds, strong two touchdowns in the 31-13 victory Gelzheiser, the latest product from theIArbor,
ments as Penn State's football coach enough to bull up the middle. When he over the Volunteers.That was asignifi- Penn State linebacker factory. O .Ar
are almost as large as his glasses, needs gets tired, he'll be replaced by Mike cant improvement over the regular sea- Gelzheiserwasadominating all-around
one bowl game victory to break Paul Archie, another dangerous runner. son when Collins completed just 50.8 presencelastseason, accumulating 113
"Bear" Bryant's record of 15 postsea- Quarterback Kerry Collins will try percent of his passes. tackles, two sacks, two fumble recov- I
son wins. Paterno, who enters his 29th to take some of the pressure off Carter. Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, eries, and one interception. 2

King of the mountain
Wheatley spelled by
hard-working backs

season at the helm, would like nothing
more than to break the record with a
Rose Bowl win before riding a Nittany
Lion into the sunset.
The legend may just have the talent
this year to make his first trip to Pasa-
dena. Led by junior tailback Ki-Jana
Carter, Penn State has a solid, balanced
offense to complement the always
intimidating defense.
Carter, who rushed for 1,026 yards
in only nine games as a sophomore, is
one of the best backs in the nation. He's
fast enough to make the big play and, at

Collins started for most of last season
ahead of John Sacca, who clashed with
Paterno and has since transferred to
Eastern Kentucky.
"Collins is a good college
quartarback," Paterno said. "This is a
solid offensive team. We have a lot of
good skill kids but we haven't been
consistent."
The Lions are hoping that Collins
can build on his impressive perfor-
mance in Penn State's Citrus Bowl rout
of Tennessee. The quarterback com-
pleted15of 24passes for 162 yards and

Collins has two solid targets in wide
receiver Bobby Engram and all-con-
ference tight end Kyle Brady.
Ball control will be crucial for Penn
State, especially early in the season,
because the defense features only two
returning starters.
"I am concerned about the defense,"
Paterno said. "But if you don't have
good athletes on defense, then you
have a problem. We have good athletes
on defense. Our job is to get them to
play as a unit."
The strength of the defense is Brian

The unproven secondary faces an
early test in the second week of the
season against Rob Johnson and USC.
Penn State has experience this year
one place it lacked a year ago - the
experience of playing a Big Ten sched-
ule. An independent until 1993, the
Nittany Lions played a conference slate
for the first time last season.
"We learned a lot," says Collins.
"I'm more mature. There's someting
special about being in a conference."
Paterno certainly hopes so in 1994.
- Michael Rosenberg

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Michigan's corps ofrunning backs
took a minor hit a few weeks ago
when the Wolverines' starting tailback
separated his shoulder. You may have
heard of him. Tyrone something. Big
guy. Track star. Poster boy for the
national "Stay in School campaign."
And, incidentally, the best player in
the country.
Tyrone Wheatley entered the year
as the odds-on favorite for the
Heisman Trophy after he elected to
stay for his senior season instead of
jumping to the NFL. But after sepa-
rating his shoulder prior to Saturday's
game, his chances at the award
dwindled considerably. He will be
back soon but maybe too late to real-
ize his personal goals.
"I'm the type of person that once I
make a decision, I'm not going to
look back on it," Wheatley says. "Be-
cause I thought about it and made the
decision."
But despite the loss of Wheatley,
Michigan still has one of the stron-
gest, deepest backfields in the confer-
ence. Ed Davis has heard the phrase
"he could start at almost any other
school" used to describe him so many
times he could just maim small ani-
mals, but it's true.
He could start at almost any other
school. Davis is smaller than Wheatley
(by five inches) and slower (who
isn't?) but, at 5-feet-9 and 202 pounds,
he is built like the Lombardi Award,
and he can grind out the tough yards
with the best of them.
Playing "Mr. Outside" to Davis'
"Mr. Inside" is another Michigan
tailback, (inhale) Tshimanga
Biakabutuka (exhale). Biakabutuka,
a sophomore, is probably the most
talented Wolverine tailback - after
Wheatley, of course-and in only his
fifth year of competitive football, he
is still learning the nuances of the
game.
He has shown flashes of brilliance,
such as his 128 yards on 12 carries
against Boston College Saturday. By
the time he's a senior, he'll be hell in
cleats for opposing teams.
Wheatley, Davis and Biakabutuka
are the top tailback trifecta - try
saying that after you have had a few
beers - in the nation. But Gary
Moeller's tailback cupboard is not
empty after those three.
Freshmen Chris Floyd and Chris
Howard were so impressive in fall
camp that the coaching staff, which
wanted toredshirt them, had no choice
but to let them play this season. If
Davis and Howard work hard, people
will soon begin paying them great
compliments, like "You know, they
could start at any other school."
The honor of blocking for all this
talent goes to fullback Ch Foster.
Foster is only an average runner, but, as

all butthemostcomatosereaders should
have figured out by now, Michigan
doesn't need another guy who can run
the football. Foster is a tough player, a
strong blocker, and he can pound out
the tough yards inside when necessary.
Fostereven scored two key touchdown's
in Michigan's wins over Ohio State and
Penn State in 1993.
Sophomore Jon Ritchie provides
backup for Foster after gaining confi-
dence late last season.
Running back is the Wolverines'
strongest position. In fact, Michigan's
backfield may be the best in the coun-
try. So when you see all those other..<.,
Big Ten coaches drooling over Gary
Moeller, it isn't because they like his
sweaters.
- Michael Rosenberg Wheatley's decision to return to school means more punishme

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