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October 03, 1996 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-03

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 3, 1996 - 9A

AROUND THE BHITH.
CONFERENCE
Penn State tries to cool hot Buckeyes

By Jason Katz
For the Daily
The Big Ten season hits full swing this
weekend, and the games could not be
more evenly matched. Or at least that's
how it looked on paper before the season
started.
Looking at teams on paper is not the
smartest thing to do, however, and while
it is unlikely that any game will get out
of hand, the potential is always there.
Let's start with this week's edition of
the "Game of the Year."
PENN STATE (1-0 BIG TEN, 5-0
OVERALL) AT OHIO STATE (0-0, 3-0):
First it was Florida-Tennessee. Last
week it was Ohio State-Notre Dame.
And this week, two Big Ten powerhous-
es try to hurt each other's Rose Bowl and
national title chances.
The Buckeyes are coming off a huge
win at Notre Dame - not only because
they beat the nation's fifth-ranked squad
on the road, but mainly because the vic-
tory proved to Ohio State head coach
John Cooper and his players that the
Buckeyes are as good as they thought
they were.
Ohio State had beaten up on Rice and
Pittsburgh in its first two games, and
many people thought the Irish would
knock the Buckeyes off their pedestal.
They didn't. The game was never really
in doubt, and Ohio State won, 29-16.
The fabulous Ohio State defense held
the usually powerful Notre Dame run-

ning game to 126 yards on 44 carries and
pressured Irish quarterback Ron Powlus,
who completed only 13 of 30 passes and
threw two interceptions.
On offense, Ohio State tailback Pepe
Pearson is running like the second com-
ing of Eddie George, racking up 173
yards. The Buckeyes offensive line dom-
inated the Notre Dame defensive front,
something not easily done. What's that
noise? It's just all the people jumping on
the Orlando Pace Heisman bandwagon.
Penn State is coming off a big scare at
Wisconsin last week, in which it hung on
for a 23-20 victory. Nittany Lions head
coach Joe Paterno took the blame for the
near disaster, saying that he did a terrible
job of coaching. That may be true, but
could it be that he is just making excus-
es for his team's lackluster play?
The opinion here is that quarterback
Wally Richardson is one of the most
overrated players in the country. He did
throw for 246 yards last week, but he did
for no touchdowns and one interception.
Running back Curtis Enis, however, con-
tinues to look like a future Heisman
Trophy winner. Enis carried the ball 28
times for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
The truth is if Penn State goes into
Columbus and plays like it did last week,
things could get ugly. But it is unlikely
that Paterno and his boys from Happy
Valley will let that happen. Ohio State's
defense versus Enis is the key that will
decide if Penn State has a shot at win-

ning. While Enis will likely get his share
of yards, it will not be enough.
Ohio State 27, Penn State 16.
MICHIGAN STATE (1-0, 2-2) AT IOwA
(0-0, 2-1):
Iowa was off last weekend, which is
probably a bad thing. The Hawkeyes
were coming off a 27-20 loss to lowly
Tulsa, which was only brightened a bit
by the fact that the loss did not hurt their
Rose Bowl chances. Iowa got a big day
out of its all-time leading rusher, Sedrick
Shaw, who gained 123 yards on the
ground. The key to the Hawkeyes' loss
was that usually reliable quarterback
Matt Sherman had a subpar day. This
week, however, Iowa must focus on
Michigan State.
The Spartans will try for their first
two-game winning streak of the year,
coming off a 47-0 thrashing of Eastern
Michigan. The fact that Michigan State
has one of the conference's best wide
receivers in Derrick Mason is partly nul-
lified by the fact that Mason has Gus
Ornstein or Bill Burke trying to get him
the ball.
Look for Sherman to have a strong
game as Shaw continues to be the best
running back nobody knows about.
Iowa 24, Michigan State 13.
INDIANA (0-1, 2-2) AT ILLINOIS (0-1,
1-3):
Illinois, the offensive juggernaut
which had not scored a touchdown in its
first three games this season, erupted for

five two weeks ago in its 38-7 defeat of
Akron. Problem is, it was Akron.
Indiana wasted a 17-14 halftime lead
in its 35-17 loss last weekend against
Northwestern. The fact that the Hoosiers
played well enough to lead at the half
showed something. But their one star,
running back Alex Smith, pulled a sec
ond-half disappearing act. Smith might
run for 150 yards against the likes of
Toledo and Miami (Ohio), but he did not
get it done against a tough team. The
Illinois defense, however, is not as goad
as Northwestern's.
Indiana 23, Illinois 16.
MINNESOTA (0-0, 3-0) AT PURDUE (0-
2, 1-3):
Nobody could have predicted that
Purdue would win handily against North
Carolina State, 42-21. Sounds kind of
funny - it's hard to remember the last
time Purdue won handily. Edwin Watson
rushed for a career-high 227 yards and
three touchdowns. He got some help
from John Reeves, who began the season
as the third-string quarterback but start-
ed last week when it was realized that
Rick Trefzger and Billy Dicken were
playing like Purdue quarterbacks.
All this about Boilermakers and
they're at home. That means they will
beat Minnesota, right? Probably not. The
Gophers have Cory Sauter, who is one of
the two best quarterbacks in the Big Ten
and will lead the them to victory.
Minnesota 24, Purdue 16.

AP PHOTO
Penn State defensive tackle Brandon Noble may want to spread his wings and fly
away after visiting Ohio State on Saturday.

Yarriers
expect a
fight from
r-ish
By Jacob Wheeler
For the Daily
The Michigan men's cross country
team will face its biggest challenge of
the season, thus far, when the
Wolverines travel to Notre Dame for a
meet Friday.
Duke, West Virginia and 14 other
Waller schools will also be there.
"Knocking off (Notre Dame) would
be tough, but we're up to the chal-
lenge," Michigan coach Ron Warhurst
s144.
The ninth-ranked Fighting Irish are
thc, first ranked opponents that
Michigan has faced this season. The
l5th-ranked Wolverines are the
underdogs, but they won't be carrying
that attitude with them to South Bend.
* "Regardless of our ranking, we're
feeling really good right now,"
Michigan runner Ryan Swan said.
"We don't feel like underdogs going
in"
All seven runners need to have
good races for that to happen. Notre
Dame runners are expected to take the
top spots in the meet, putting more
ptessure on Warhurst's four through
seven runners.
"I expect our top seven to run like
W I,' Warhurst said. "The field (of
runners) is going to be large so if they
all place in the top 25 (or) 30, I think
we'll be in good shape."
That group of seven consists of
John Mortimer, Scott McDonald,
Steve Lawrence, David Barnett, Todd
Snyder, Swan and Nic Watson.
"If we don't all race well, we might
be in trouble," Warhurst said. "We're
ply as strong as our weakest link."
Mortimer and McDonald,
Michigan's top two runners all sea-
I son, probably won't finish first and
second, like they did in the first two
races.
"They need to place in the top four
or five for us to have any kind of
chance,' Warhurst said. "But I do
think both of them have a shot at No.
1."
The Wolverines will get a big lift
*riday from Canadian freshman Steve
Lawrence, who will be making his
collegiate debut.
"Lawrence should be the third or
fourth best runner on our team,"
Warhurst said. "He could make a real
big difference."
The freshman was ineligible for the
first two meets, because his high
school didn't send all the necessary
aperwork to the NCAA clearing
ouse.
"It's great to have (Lawrence) back
aad.healthy," Swan said. "He's really
come on strong the last couple of
weeks."
Michigan is coming off two weeks

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