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September 03, 1996 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-03

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18A - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSTuesday - Tuesday, September 3, 1996

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Illini encouraged despite loss.a

By Ryan White
Daily Sports Writer
Believe it or not,. Illinois was encouraged by its perfor-
mance against Michigan on Saturday.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the Fighting llini were
happy.
"ft's tough," said Illinois nose tackle Paul Marshall after his
team's 20-8 season-opening loss to Michigan. "We placed a
lot of emphasis on Michigan.
"We played hard, but we came up short."
Where the Illini came up the shortest was the third quarter,
when they had the ball first-and-goal on the Wolverines' two-
yard line.
Michigan stuffed Illinois on three straight plays forcing a
Bret Scheuplein 20-yard field goal.
In the second quarter, the Illini drove the ball to Michigan's
21-yard line on one drive, and to the Michigan 20 on the final
series of the half. a
Both drives ended in field goal attempts, with Scheuplein
hitting from 38 yards and missing to the right from 37.
Still, Illinois finished the game with 267 yards in total
offense against what, on paper, should be the top defense in
the Big Ten.
"Our special teams and our offense showed enough that we
feel we can move the ball against a good defense like
(Michigan's)," Illinois coach Lou Tepper said.

Tepper, however, wasn't happy with a penalty in the second
quarter which brought back a 21-yard gain that had taken
Illinois deep into Michigan territory.
"We had a screen to the four-yard line that was called back
because of a hold," Tepper said. "On a screen, there shouldn't
be a hold. You're trying to release, not hold up."
Just as Illinois was encouraged by the performance of the
offense, the same was true for the defense - a defense
which was left with two gaping holes at linebacker whO
NFL first-round draft picks Kevin Hardy and Simeon Rc
used to be.
With the exception of Michigan quarterback Scott
Dreisbach's 72-yard touchdown run, and cornerbackaturned-
receiver Charles Woodson's 57-yard run off a reverse, the
Illini held the Wolverines to just 26 yards rushing in the first
half.
"Defensively, I think we got worn down in the second
half," Tepper said. "We needed to get some stops, three and
out, and we didn't do that:'
As a result, the Wolverines finished the day with 247 ya*
on the ground.
Despite feeling good about the way they played, the Illini
still weren't happy about the outcome.
"I feel like we could have won the game, we should have
won the game," Illinois linebacker Cyron Brown said. "They
executed and we didn't:

Howard academically ineligible;
Stadium no longer biggest housi!

MA RGA RET MYERS/Daily
fin~ois quarterback Scott Weaver spent much of Saturday running around Michigan Stadium, chased by Sam Sword (93) and
comnpany. Sophomore David Bowens sacked Weaver three times, and senior Jarrett Irons sacked him once.

IVIichigan's Big Ten-opener winning streak
After Michigan's 20-8 victory over Illinois on Saturday, the Wolverines have won their last 15 Big Ten openers, dating back
to 1982, when they beat \yisconsin, 20-9. Here are the scores:

K-

1990: Michigan 41,
1989: Michigan 24,
1988: Michigan 62,
1987: Michigan 49,
1986 Mcia34
1985: Michigan 33,
1984: Michigan 20,
1983: Michigan 38,

Wisconsin 3
Wisconsin 0
Wisconsin 14
Wisconsin 0
Wisconsin 147
Wisconsin 21
Wisconsin 14

1994: Michigan 29, Iowa 14
1993: Michigan 24, Iowa 7
1992: Michigan 52, Iowa 28
1991: Michigan 43, iowa 24

1996: Michigan 20. Ilinois 8
1.995: Michigan 38, illinois 14

J

By Barry Sollenborger
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan is one of the most chal-
lenging public universities in the
nation.
Many of its students experience aca-
demic trouble each semester. Th~e
Michigan football team can relate.
Three weeks after losing star defen-
sive back Clarence Thompson for the
season because of academic difficul-
ties, the Wolverines lost starting tail-
back Chris Howard for the Illinois
game because of inicomplete course-
work.
Howard had been slated to start
against the Fighting llini after rushing
for 175 yards on 48 carries last season.
There was no immediate word on
when he would return to the lineup.
"Chris Howard's situation is related
to academics, which makes it confi-
diential" Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "That's all I'm going to com-
ment."
Howard's replacement in the starting
lineup, Clarence Williams, rushed for
95 yards on 27. carries in the
Wolverines' 20-8 wig1
THE BIGGEST NO MORE: Saturday
marked the 130th straight home game
in which Michigan drew 100,000 fans.
Noticeably absent, from the contest,
however, was the public address
announcer's word gf thanks to the
crowd for being "pirt of the largest
crowd in America to~ watch a football
game."1
That's because sih an announce-
ment would have been a lie.
At Tennessee's p newly expanded
Neylon Stadium onrd$aturday, 106,212
watched the Vohinteers pummel
UN LV, 62-3. Neylonfis now the biggest
on-campus, footbalP-only stadium in
the nation. For consecutive crowds
over 100,000, however, Michigan still
has the longest streak. The Wolverines
lead Tennessee, 1 30-;1.
LOST JOBS?: A Nyear ago, Brian
Griese and Chucki Winters were
starters for MichigIn at quarterback
and free safety, respgetively. Since last
fall, they have lost t1eir jobs to others.
Scott Dreisbach , is now the
Wolverines' head si gnal-caller and
Daydrion Taylor is the starter at free
safety.
But that hardly ineans that Griese
and Winters now fetch towels for their
teammates. Saturday against Illinois,
Griese was Michigan's pooch punter
and Winters returned punts and kick-
offs, in addition to his defensive
duties.
Griese kicked twice on the after-
noon, pinning the Illini inside their 10-
yard line on one, occasion. Winters
returned three punts for 15 yards and
one kickoff for I 1 yards.
SPECIAL (PROB .EM) TEAMS: Last
season, the Wolverdnes lost four games
for the third consecutive year. Special

team errors played a major part in a
number of their losses.
Michigan punter Paul Peristeris had
trouble with his kicking all season and
finished with an average of 35.2 yards
per kick. Placekicker Remy Hamilton
struggled with his consistency after
garnering All-American status in 1994.
"The area I'm most concerned with
is special teams," said Carr before the
Illinois game. "Because those are the
plays that are toughest to simulate in
practice."
So how did they look Saturday?
So-so.
Giriese handled the pooch punting
duties well and Peristeris boomed one
punt 47 yards, but Hamilton was just
2-for-4 on field goals, having two
attempts blocked.
TRICK PLAYS: The Michigan coach-

ing staff will never be mistaken for a
band of magicians. But against
Illinois, the normally conservative
Wolverines broke with 'tradition
Midway through the first quarter,
Dreisbach lateralled to wide receiver
Tyrone Butterfield in the left f1
Butterfield then threw backW
Dreisbach on the Michigan sideline.
The Wolverines had blockers set up,
but the quarterback couldn't catch the
ball.
Woodson saw action at wide receiv-
er and surprised the Illini on a reverse
late in the first half. The sophomore
covered 57 yards down the Michigan
sideline before being forced out at the
Illinois seven.
"If we use all of~the weapons
used today, we're going to be tough to
prepare for," Dreisbach said.

Gea F RE E AM/FM / cassette
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EVAN PETRiE/Special to the Daill
Brian Griese, who started at quarterback for Michigan much of last season, han-
died the pooch punting duties for the Wolverines on Saturday.

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