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September 13, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 13, 1996

the site of
for Blue
8y Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
Practice makes perfect, as the old
eaying goes. For the Michigan women's
volleyball team, the trite adage is prov-
jng true. Although the Wolverines are
not perfect yet, they sure are working
qn it.
The Wolverines (2-4) have been
showing signs of steady improvement
throughout the early part of this season.
They've won their last two matches,
iicluding an upset of No. 27 Georgia.
"I'm expecting us to start getting in
the groove and settle in to a comfort-
a6le lineup," Michigan coach Greg
iovanazzi said. "We've been doing a
lot of lineup changes and trying to see
chat's the best combination."
So far, the Wolverines have only
jayed against non-conference oppo-
rents, so Giovanazzi has been able to
expe rim ent
kith several This
lineups. There
are still two Weekend
non-conference Who: MIchigan
e e k e n d s women's voleyball
e maining ,What:Spikeoff
ihcluding this Spokane Tourney
teekend when When Tonight, vs.
t e team travels Gonzaga, 7 pm.;
to Washington tomorrow, vs.
for the Spikeoff George Mason, 10
P o k a n e a.rn. and vs.
tournamenc Wyoming, 4:30
Moraet .m.,
ichigan plays here: Spokane,
g a i n s t Wash.
ronzaga today
Nlefore facing George Mason and
tyoming tomorrow.
George Mason (4-1) is the strongest
$the three teams, having defeated top
ams such as Washington and
eorgia. The Lady Razorbacks are cur-
Stly on a three-game winning streak.
cGonzaga (4-5) has lost its last two
mes but has had strong individual
erformances from its players. Six
ulldogs improved their personal bests
at least one category in their last
Wyoming (3-5) is also a tough oppo-
ent, having won three of its last four.
Still, more lineup shuffling will be
xpected from the Wolverines.
"It's a little tough on the players,
ecause we have played such tough
ams that we might have done better if
ve had the same lineup," diovanazzi
bespite the many musical chairs
eig played by the coaching staff, out-
ide hitter Shareen Luze has been the
nost consistent Wolverine, coming off
season-best 19 kills and team-leading
5 digs against Toledo.
f Setter Linnea Mendoza has also
teen a solid part of the team and is cur-
rently in pursuit of Michigan's career
assist record. She is 337 short of the
x,619 record.
Giovanazzi hopes that the rest of
Team can improve further. He would
like to see outside hitters Colleen
t iniuk, Kristen Ruschiensky and
(aren Chase solidify the left side.

The matchups:
Talented Buffaloes stampede too fast for Blue

By Barry Sollenberger
Daily Sports Editor
Win or lose, Lloyd Carr can't wait to get this one
behind him.
The Michigan football coach has spent the past
two weeks answering Hail Mary questions, more
Hail Mary questions and even more Hail Mary
And when he wasn't doing that, he was getting
angry at the media for asking Hail Mary questions.
He's probably wondering if it will ever end.
It will. Provided Michigan doesn't lose on a last-
second pass Saturday.
Through two games, the Buffaloes are the
eighth-ranked team in the nation against the run
(43 yards per game). Those stats were built against
Washington State and Colorado State, however,
teams that throw more than they run. And besides,
who can name a running back from either of those
schools that is in the pros today?
Michigan's running game will test Colorado's
front seven. A couple of capable backs, Clarence
Williams and Chris Howard, will split time in the
backfield. Williams gained 95 yards on 27 carries
against Illinois, and Howard will take the field for
the first time, having missed the Illinois game for
academic reasons.
The Wolverines rushed for 247 yards against the
Illini, but a good portion of that total came on two
plays - Scott Dreisbach's 72-yard run on a quar-
terback keeper and Charles Woodson's 57-yard
scamper on a reverse.
In the first half against Illinois, Michigan's start-
ing backfield combined for 17 yards on the
ground. If that happens again tomorrow, the
Wolverines might as well quit at the half and catch,
an early flight back to Ann Arbor.
EDGE: even

Colorado's secondary is a speedy bunch that
gambles a lot, making it susceptible to the big play.
But can the Wolverines go deep?
Against Illinois, Dreisbach did not complete a
pass for over 20 yards. Colorado's defensive backs
are likely to come out fired up and confident in
front of their raucous crowd. Dreisbach must
match their confidence from the start. The sopho-
more has a tendency to be ineffective on the first
couple of series. If he isn't clicking right away, the
Wolverines are in trouble.
EDGE: Colorado
The Wolverines will have their hands full with
the backfield tandem of Herchell Troutman and
Lendon Henry. Troutman is averaging 133.5 yards
a game and the Buffaloes, as a team, roll up over
200 yards on the ground each Saturday.
But rushing defense is Michigan's strength.
Linebacker Jarrett Irons dominated Illinois with
a game-high 15 tackles, and then said afterwards
that he didn't tackle very well.
And Irons, like the rest of the Wolverines, is still
upset over the outcome of the last Colorado-
Michigan affair.
An angry Jarrett Irons?
That doesn't bode well for Troutman and com-
EDGE: Michigan
If you are a Michigan fan, don't hold your
breath. You'll end up in ER before halftime.
Sure the Wolverines' Charles Woodson is a bud-
ding star at cornerback, but the Buffaloes' passing
game has too much firepower.
Many think Colorado can challenge for the
national championship because of quarterback
Koy Detmer and wide receiver Rae Carruth.
Detmer is a feisty signal-caller who can make the
big play and hurt you with his quickness. Carruth
teams with Detmer to form one of the most potent
quarterback-receiver combinations in the nation.
Colorado is currently averaging 321 yards passing
and 557.5 yards in total offense per game.

Michigan linebacker Steve Morrison, a senior on the Wolverines' 1994 team, stares into the crowd,
dejected, just seconds after the infamous Hail Mary pass was completed. Colorado may complete quit:
a few passes Saturday when Michigan rolls Into Boulder, because of Colorado quarterback Koy Detmer.

The winner of this

battle probably wins the

After a big score, Detmer likes to pump his fist
at the crowd.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, his fist will be
pumping a lot Saturday.
EDGE: Colorado
Colorado's punting unit rates second in the
nation at 46.3 yards per punt. The Buffaloes, how-
ever, do not enjoy the same success in their return
game. Colorado ranks 57th and 105th nationally in
punt and kickoff returns, respectively.
Michigan placekicker Remy Hamilton hit a cou-
ple of field goals against Illinois, but also had two
attempts blocked. Paul Peristeris showed signs of
improvement from a poor 1995 when he boomed a
punt for 47 yards against Illinois. But that was his
only punt of the game. The jury is still out.
EDGE: even

The odds makers have installed Michigan as _t
least a touchdown underdog. The last timer the
Wolverines were supposedly this outmatched w'
against Ohio State last November. In that game,
Michigan stunned the second-ranked Buckeyes
Will the Wolverines pull off another shocker
tomorrow ?
It's not likely.
Michigan's best chance for an upset ended when
the star of the Ohio State game - Tshinianga
Biakabutuka - left school early for the pros last
With Biakabutuka, tomorrow's game wou
have been an even affair. Without him, the
Wolverines are overmatched.
The Buffaloes have way too much talent.
PREDICTION: Colorado 27, Michigan 17

E 9

Despite the Wolverines' solid defensive unit, the
Buffaloes will put points on the board. This means
that Michigan quarterback Scott Dreisbach must
be better than he was against Illinois (I I-of-23 for
117 yards and a touchdown).

.* ..

--- - -- ---- - ---

- all picks made
against the.
COLORADO -81/2 vs.'Michigan
ARIZONA -8 vs. Illinois
INDIANA -7 vs. Miami (Ohio)
IOWA -17 vs. Iowa State
MINNESOTA -14 vs. Ball State
DUKE +9 1/2 vs. Northwestern N
NOTRE DAME -21 vs. Purdue
PENN STATE -44 vs. N. Illinois1
UNLV +34 vs. Wisconsin
BOSTON COLLEGE +3 vs. Virginia Tech
Best Bet
Last Week
Overall Best Bet

Iowa State
Notre Dame
Penn State

sL' II

Iowa State
Notre Dame
Northern Illinois
Virginia Tech
Iowa State

Iowa State
Notre Dame
N. Illinois
Virginia Tech

Continued from Page 10
onship. They play what is arguably the
toughest schedule in the nation this
year, facing teams such as Texas
A&M, Texas and Nebraska week after
week in the anything-but-weak Big
One loss hurts a lot.
That makes the Michigan game
almost a must-win.
"I know this, from a national pic-
ture, it's a college football Saturday
where the nation's attention is going to
be focused on Boulder," Neuheisel
said. "We're excited about that, and
we're going to have to play well.
"This is a (Michigan) team that I
haven't found any weaknesses in. It
comes down to execution for us."
At stake for Michigan is the fans'
pride and the team's confidence. The
play that happened a couple of years
ago that no one wants to discuss - the
one where a certain Buffalo launched a
certain 64-yard pass to a certain
receiver to win a certain game - it's a
big deal to Michigan fans.
To the Wolverines themselves, the
big deal is national ranking and victo-
ries. If the Wolverines can upset the
Buffaloes, they will likely jump into
the top 10 and surely gain some
momentum for their Rose Bowl run.
"We're Michigan, and we have to
win games against the best," Michigan
linebacker Jarrett Irons said.
To win, Irons said, the formula is
relatively simple.
"It starts with (Colorado quarter-
back) Koy Detmer," he said. "He's the
fire that keeps that offense together.
He's a great quarterback, and he has
the enthusiasm that keeps them going.
He's got good, speedy receivers, and
they have a lot of threats."
Detmer completed 31 of 42 passes
for 364 yards and two touchdowns last
week against Colorado State, hitting a
vast array of receivers.
If Detmer, who is coming back from
a nasty knee injury, can destroy

Colorado State, chances are lie ca
make things tough on Michigan's sic-
"He's got a gift in this game, and he
understands that," Neuheisel said. F,
Thus, the hope for the Wolverinfi
lies in allowing Detmer to inflict lms-
than-fatal damage and in execuirng
well on offense. With all of Detnrrstr
heroics throwing the ball, he ca't
intercept it or stop the run.
The Buffaloes gave up a whopping
34 points to Colorado State, Ad
Michigan quarterback Scott Dreisbach
has got to be warming up his arm
"They've been trying to take t
running game away, and that just leads
to big pass plays," Dreisbach said.
"We've been struggling with big paiss
plays, but we've had two weeksto
work on it."
Two weeks to work out the kintt,
and two weeks to work with persistent
media questions about the thing hio
one wants to talk about.
Sorry, but The Play can't be avoid
for long.
Dreisbach said he can recall exactly
where he was when it happened. Irons
said he doesn't think about it, but tfat
he's asked about it every day.
Neuheisel admits it may be a factor,
and he also admits he doesn't mind
Even though he was just a quarter-
backs coach at Colorado in 1994' lie
cherishes the moment.
After all, it was his quarterback wlv
threw the pass - against, ironicallya
Michigan defense coordinated by none
other than Carr.
Neuheisel had a little tape machine
made up of the game's broadcast. All
he has to do is press a button, and lie
hears the play-by-play of The Play
"It's something that Colorado hit-
ry will remember,' Neuheisel said; .I
still get goose bumps when I heart."
But Neuheisel, like Carr, is quick
dismiss its relevence.
"I'm glad it's part of Colorado lore,"
he said. "But I know this: That play
has nothing to do with this game."

Colorado quick facts
Since 1988, the Buffaloes are 6-2 against teams that were idle the week
before. That includes a 3-0 record against the Big Ten. Michigan was idle last
week after beating Illinois, 20-8, two weeks ago. And the Wolverines were idle
the week before their 27-26 loss to the Buffaloes in 1994.
The Buffaloes have the nation's second-longest streak of consecutive weeks
ranked in The Associated Press Top 25. They have been ranked for the past
121 weeks and trail only Nebraska, which has been ranked for the past 244
9 The Buffaloes have won their last nine games in the month of September and
are 15-2 in September since 1992.
U The Buffaloes have allowed just three sacks in two games, or one sack in
every 23 pass attempts.
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