4 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSThursday - Thursday, January 5, 1995
Player C-A Yds
Totals 14-24 162
Player Att Yds Avg
Wheatley16 80 5.0
Bi'tuka 9 70 7.8
Davis 1 13 13
Howard 3 9 3.0
Hayes 1 8 8.0
Collins 6 (-)3(-).5
Totals 37 179 4.8 36 1
Daily Fo t
SAN DIEGO - For much of the 19
best impression of Dr. Jekyl and Mi
Wolverines acted more like the sedat
monster. At least until the Holiday 5
Michigan unleashed a relentless atia
in two interceptions, two fumbles (both
for losses. The Wolverines limited the RI
second-leading offense (ninth nationally
The Wolverines did allow the Ram t
came on a drive late in the fourtl q
"Any time we hold them to less th n
to win," Colorado State defensive 0,r
While the Ram defense held up its et
points, its offensive counterpart could 1
The Colorado State players said t al
it was the play of Matt Dyson that I
scramble about the Jack Murphy Stadit
Although he recorded only three tic
game's defensive Most Valuable Playe
Dyson chased any Ram who happ n,
"We played with emotion," Dyson
just making mistakes. It's a high note t3
Michigan switched back and fort(
aggressive, blitzing 4-3 all game, wh c
"We actually like the blitz," said C 4
who caught a 32-yard touchdown pas: i
us out there."
Hill said, "A blitz should be an 01 p
While the all-out rush by the Wolv :i
nities for the Rams' passing game as ,:je
Player No. Yds Avg Lg
Player No. Yds Avg
Hayes 1 44 44.0
Bi'tuka 1 17 17.0
Richards 1 0 0.0
Totals 3 61 20.3
Continued from page 1.
you have to be nervous. Three bad
seasons in a row? That's when you
have to start wondering if this trend
isn't a trend at all; it's the new
Once-mighty programs like
Michigan's swarming aggressive defense helped the Wolverines to limit Colorado State to its lowest point out put of the season - 14 points. The 14 points
also tied a season-low allowed by the Wolverines first set in a 29-14 win over Iowa.
Texas, Ohio State and Southern Cal
fell from the elite level over a
decade ago, and they are still
struggling to climb back up the
Now is the time for the
Wolverines to show they are not
suffering a similar decline.
The 1995 record stands at 0-0.
Dyson overcomes injuries to
win defensive MVP award s
Player No. Yds
Thompson 1 C
Law 1 13
Totals 2 13
Continued from page 1
said, "If I'd had a full season, I'd be
disappointed with the stats."
Dyson also struggled with injuries
this season but rebounded to win the
game's defensive MVP award. He had
a sack and three tackles, two for a net
loss of 17 yards.
Dyson's constant pressure on Hill
set the pace for the defense, which
finished with five sacks and three inter-
ceptions. The performance was espe-
cially sweet to a squad that gave up big
plays against Penn State and Colorado,
leading to last-minute Michigan losses.
"People have doubted us all year,
and this gave us a chance to go out there
and showcase the talent we do have,"
said linebacker Jarrett Irons, who led
the team with 12 tackles.
Michigan solidified its postseason
victory with a third-quarter goal-line
stand. Trailing 24-7, the Rams had the
ball on the Wolverine nine-yard line,
facing a third-and-goal situation.
Hill's throw intended for Paul Turner
was incomplete but Michigan
cornerback Ty Law was called for pass
interference. The ruling gave Colo-
rado State four more chances from the
But one running play and three
passes produced no points for the Rams,
and Michigan took over on its own
"A field goal there would have been
OK; a touchdown would have changed
the momentum," Hill said. "On*third
down we said we were going to go for
On the fourth-down play, Hill's
pass hit wide receiver Paul Turner in,
the shoulder before falling incomplete.
"I tried to catch the ball against my
pads instead of with my hands," Turner
Michigan survived the remaining
18 minutes of the game, despite a
touchdown reception by receiver Jer-
emy Burkett with 1:18 remaining, for
a 24-14 victory.
The Wolverines struck early when
Amani Toomer beat Ram cornerback
Ray Jackson for a four-yard touch-
down reception. Remy Hamilton's
extra point gave Michigan a 7-0 lead
with 8:51 left in the first quarter.
"I did a cardinal sin," Jackson said.
"I looked back, and he just beat me."
Colorado State answered four min-
utes later when Turner hauled in a 32-
yard touchdown pass. Matt
McDougal's kick made it 7-7.
Mercury Hayes's 44-yard kickoff
return started Michigan's next drive at
midfield. Five plays later, Hamilton
hit a 34-yard field goal to give the
Wolverines the lead, 10-7.
With less than two minutes re-
maining in the second quarter, Chris
Howard blocked McDougal's punt,
setting up Michigan 17 yards from
another touchdown. Collins's 16-yard
completion to Hayes and Hamilton's
point after made it 17-7.
Jarrett Irons recovered a fumble at
the Colorado State 17 yard-line less
than 90 seconds into the third quarter.
The turnover led to Wheatley's three-
yard touchdown run three and a half
minutes later. Hamilton's extra point
gave Michigan its final points of the
year and a 24-7 lead.
By BRETT FORREST
Daily Football Writer
SAN DIEGO - There's something to be
said for perseverance.
Matt Dyson, felled by injuries throughout
the year, put in an inspired performance that
earned the Holiday Bowl's Defensive MVP
You had to question why Dyson, a senior
outside linebacker who missed four games
throughout the year, kept coming back to the
lineup. The Holiday Bowl was his redemp-
He said the MVP trophy meant a lot to him;
it was a special reward. As Dyson walked off
the field at Jack Murphy Stadium and headed
up the tunnel toward the lockerroom, his eyes
glimmered in a manner that was rare in 1994.
Dyson finally seemed at peace with himself.
"(The MVP trophy) is a great honor," he
said. "I didn't expect to get it."
This past season was likely Dyson's tough-
est in a Michigan uniform. He broke his foot
against Boston College in the year's first con-
test and never regained his full strength, miss-
ing the next three games. Perhaps most disap-
pointing of all, he sat out Michigan's thrilling
victory over Notre Dame in South Bend.
But he continually made it back to the
field. Against Illinois Dyson lay on the turf
and needed help getting off the field. He re-
turned to action in that contest. He was reinjured
against Wisconsin and missed the game against
Purdue. He came back the next weekend.
Dyson's foot likely never fully heeled and
his shoulder gave him problems the entire
season. Most players probably would have
thrown in the towel early on. He didn't.
But after a month of repose, Dyson served
notice what he could do at full speed. His stats
from the Holiday Bowl - three tackles and
one sack - do not tell the entire tale. He was
in Colorado State quarterback Anthoney Hill's
face all night long and was a master in pursuit
of the ball carrier.
On the second Ram possession of the third
quarter Dyson read the option perfectly, forc-
ing Hill to pitch the ball early to fullback
Leonice Brown, Dyson stripped the ball from
Brown while tackling him for a six-yard loss
and Michigan recovered the ball.
It was a brilliant play that was absent from the
linebacker's repertoire for most of the year. He
was finally healthy in the Holiday Bowl, though,
and was able to make a statement.
"I thought Dyson was going to be MVP,"
Michigan coach Gary Moeller said after the
game. "We'll miss him (next year)."
Dyson's final Michigan performance
clearly made him happy. He overcame his
injuries and proved he could be a player, a top
In talking of Michigan's seniors, Moeller
said their memories from this game would last
for a lifetime. "It's important to remember
how tough you were," he said.
For Wolverine senior Matt Dyson, it was
just that much more important to affirm his
ferocity and he did.
Senior linebacker Matt
Continued from page 3
going all out, he was not the Tyrone of
old. He seldom hit the holes hard,
often tiptoeing to the line picking his
Rarely did we see the Wheatley
who could control entire games.
Against Penn State he single-
handedly brought Michigan to within
striking distance after the Wolverines
were all but buried. Speed propelled
Wheatley to a breathtaking 67-yard
You cannot blame Wheatley for
having a rough campaign. Who knows
what would have happened had he not
separated his shoulder before the
season? And surely, after being the
main man at Michigan for two full
seasons, Wheatley was a well-known
target for Big Ten defenses.
When he announced his decision
after last season, Wheatley cited his
desire for a diploma as paramount in
his reasoning. He will graduate this
Wheatley also noted a Big Ten
championship, a Rose Bowl trophy
man." Nothing more.
You could hear it in the words of
Michigan's offensive linemen. When
asked about the importance of
blocking for the star tailback one more
time, a Wolverine linemen said, "
didn't think about it much."
You could even read it in
Wheatley's face. When asked if he
was disappointed with the season afteo
the loss to Ohio State, Wheatley said
no. He was detached.
He did not want to be there when
the team started losing and his name
dropped out of the headlines.
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