vs. Michigan State
Today, 7:30 p.m.
Today, 7 p.m.
Improved running game, offensive
line have Illini fighting once again
By CHAD A. SAFRAN
Daily Football Writer
Passing has always been a tradition
at Illinois. In the last decade Jack
Trudeau and Jeff George have had to
fill the air with footballs because of a
mercurial running attack.
Things did not change much in
1993, as the running game ranked
eighth in the conference. Under new
offensive coordinator Greg Landry, Il-
linois' total offense was no better. The
Fighting Illini finished eighth in the
Big Ten in total offense and ninth in
scoring last season.
But now, the Illini currently sit
among the top 20 scoring teams in
ollege football, posting an average of
O28.7 points per game.
Much of Illinois' improvement
comes as a result of the recharged run-
ning game. Illini coach Lou Tepper can
no longer solely rely on Ty Douthard
- his "A" running back in 1993 - to
log most of the carries. Now he has
RobertHolcombe as his "A" back to go
along with Douthard (his "B" back),
giving the Illini their best running game
"Ty is at where wethoughthe would
be (this season)," Tepper said.
"Holcombe has exceeded our expecta-
tions. Now as adefensive coach you've
got to say, 'What happened to the fi-
nesse running game?"'
What happened was that the Illini
coaching staff realized it needed to
establish the run better than in years
past. This season runners have totalled
981 yards in six games - an average
of 163.5 yards per game, a thirty-three
yard improvement over last year.
Much of the credit for the ground
attack has to go to the Illinois offensive
line, considered the team's weakest
link entering the 1994 campaign. The
quintet ofKen Blackman, Derek Allen,
Chris Koerwitz, Jonathan Kerr and
Mike Suarez has helped open the lanes
fortheIllini to score ninerushing touch-
downs through six games (compared
with 12 for all of 1993).
But the Illini running attack could
be weakened against the Wolverines.
Left tackle Blackman, the largest of
Illinois' offensive linemen (6 feet 6,
297 pounds), a two-time letter winner
at his position and the most consistent
performer in the trenches, sprained his
ankle in the team's 47-7 win over Iowa
"We're very thin especially with-
out Blackman," Tepper said. "We only
have five (offensive linemen) ready to
play in the Big Ten."
But the coach does have the two
running backs who have combined
for 797 yards. Douthard gained 599
yards as a freshman in 1993 and his
experience has helped the Illini im-
"We talk about Douthard like he's
a veteran," Tepper said. "He's really
helped Robert Holcombe."
Holcombe, a freshman from Mesa,
Ariz., chose a Big Ten school over a
Pac-10 trio of Arizona State, Arizona
and UCLA. He was the state's top prep
prospect and one of the top four run-
ning backs in the region according to
SuperPrep after gaining over 3,000
yards as a junior and senior at Mesa
"Robert Holcombe has been a real
surprise," Tepper said. "He plays be-
yond his years. He's an extremely ag-
gressive blocker and running back."
A meeting of the minds between
Tepper and Landry resulted in the re-
emphasis on the running game as well
as plenty of confrontations with the
crazy weather in the Midwest.
"We had some ofthose games where
we couldn't throw the ball because of
the weather,"'Tepper said. "Wecouldn't
run the ball either."
With an improved Johnny Johnson
at quarterback, the Illini can now get
some kind of offense going at any time.
No matter what the weather.
Running back Ty Douthard leads a much improved Illinois offense. Michigan
will face the lilini Saturday in Champaign.
.Robinson, Milwaukee still millions apart
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Mil-
waukee Bucks took the unusual step
Tuesday of going public with their
contract offer - $60 million guaran-
teed over nine years --to top draft pick
They went even further by con-
firming exactly what Robinson's ask-
pg for: $100 million over 13 years.
at's four years and $40 million more
than the Bucks want to pay, coach and
general manager Mike Dunleavy said
in a news conference billed as a chance
to set the record straight for fans.
"I hope at some point sanity will
come into play," Dunleavy said.
Robinson, the nation's leading
scorer with Purdue last season, has
missed the first two weeks of training
Dunleavy made the club's latest
offer to Robinson last week. Robinson
and his agent, Charles Tucker, coun-
tered with aproposal for "an inflexible
13years"and$100million, Bucks vice
president John Steinmiller said.
"We feel it is unreasonable," said
Steinmiller, who added the Bucks
weren't trying to pressure Robinson by
Iisclosing contract details.
Tucker didn't immediately return a
telephone message left at his East Lan-
sing office. He has never confirmed
that Robinson wants $100 million, but
has said he's seeking a lifetime deal.
Steinmiller called the club's offer
the highest ever made to an NBA rookie.
While the proposal isn't as lucrative as
second-year guard Anfernee
Hardaway's nine-year, $70 million
contract with the Orlando Magic or as
long-term as veteran forward Larry
Johnson's 12-year pact with the Char-
lotteHornets, Steinmiller said theBucks
are guaranteeing a record amount of
years and dollars.
"It is aggressive. We feel it reflects
how we feel about Glenn Robinson and
his importance to this organization,"
Steinmiller said. "Glenn Robinson de-
serves such an offer."
The contract offer calls for a first-
year salary of $2.9 million and in-
creases each year by the maximum 30
percent that the NBA allows.
Steinmiller stressed the pact is guaran-
teed, with no incentive clauses or per-
Theproposal includes aclub option
for a 10th year that would bring the
value to $68.1 million.
Steinmiller called the offer "sig-
nificantly above market value." He said
the team has come up from its original
offer but is at its upper limits finan-
"As we know, there is a limit to the
risk we could take for our franchise,"
U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., who
owns the franchise, has said he won't
agree to a $100 million contract.
Steinmiller said the Bucks are con-
tinuing negotiations and aren't going
to trade their rights to Robinson.
"There's a greater chance of Ma-
Glenn Robinson shakes hands with Commissioner David Stern on draft day.
donna starting at point guard opening
night than of a trade for Glenn
Robinson," he said.
Center for Overseas
Year and Semester Programs in Paris
Wednesday, October 19
Rm. 9, International Ctr.
603 East Madison
Applications are now being accepted for the Spring 1995
semester and for the 1995-96 academic year.
As a COUP student you will be able to:
*Design a course of studies matching your academic
*Choose from offerings at the University of Paris, at
specialized institutes, or from our own courses
*Have the option of staying with a French family or
making your own housing arrangements
For further information come to Rm. 9, International Ctr. at
5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19
'Stickers look to 'Nova for quick fix
Wolverines need late-season surge to get to .500
We are your
By MARC DILLER
Daily Sports Writer
When a tem needs a confidence
boost to get back on the winning track
before the postseason begins, there's
o better cure than facing ateam which
Villanova may bethe Michigan field
hockey team's panacea. The Wolver-
ines (3-4, Big Ten, 7-8 overall) embark
on their final home stand of the season
today when they hostastruggling Wild-
cat squad (3-9) at Oosterbaan
Michigan has struggled to eclipse
he .500 mark this season. With only
our games remaining in the regular
season, the Wolverines need to win
three of their last four games in order to
finish with a winning record.
"We just have to get back in the
swing of things," Wolverine sopho-
more Michelle Smulders said. "We
need to play hard and crush a team to
prove our ability."
Michigancoach Patti Smith doesn't
want her players to look past the Wild-
"Theirrecord is weak, but they have
played their games close," Smith said.
The Wildcats have only lost one
game this season by more than two
goals. Junior forward Teri Galanti leads
credit. Geisthardt allowed all three
Buckeye shots on net to get past her and
didn't have a single save in the game.
Sunday, she saved five of Penn
State's ten shots on goal but the team
fell to the Nittany Lions, 5-1.
"I was disappointed with my play
this weekend," Geisthardt said. "I was
ready to play, but my sharpness in the
cage needs to be better."
Her teammates were also disap-
pointed with Sunday's match.
"We need to work on our individual
play and make sure the pass goes well,"
Smulders said. "The good individual
play will turn into good team play, and
that's v'hat we didn't do against Penn
State this weekend."
STOP IN AND ENTER OUR DRAWING
FOR 2 FREE TICKETS TO THE
MICHIGAN AT ILLINOIS FOOTBALL
GAME SAT., OCT.22 IN CHAMPAIGN.
No purchase necessary. Register at 711 N. University store only Tues. morning,
Oct. 18 through Friday noon, Oct. 21. 1 entry per person. ( Drawing at 1:00