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October 17, 1996 - Image 12

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-17

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 17, 1996
~AROUND THE leial
CONFERENCE
Conference takes week off fro powerhouse duels

By B.J. Luria
For the Daily
'Without a contest to dub "Gaine of
the Year," this week's Big Ten excite-
ment will just have to come from the'
games themselves, rather than from
the usual hype.
As the season moves along, the dis-
parity between the haves and the
have-nots in the Big Ten has become
more apparent. While four conference
teams are nationally ranked in the top
15, the remaining seven appear des-
tined for mediocrity.
However, we cannot completely
ignore the Purdues and Minnesotas of
the college football world, so pay
close attention.
NORTHWESTERN (3-0 BIG TEN, 5-1
OVERALL) AT WISCONSIN (0-2, 3-2):
As strange as it sounds, this game
might actually be the highlight of the
;Big Ten games this week.
Wisconsin is playing its fourth
straight game against a team that went
to a bowl last year and its third
straight against a ranked team. The
Badgers have put up a good fight
against the conference's elite, losing
to Penn State and Ohio State by a
combined six points.
Last week against the Buckeyes,
Wisconsin held the powerful Ohio
State rushing attack to a paltry 78
yards and actually led 14-10 midway
through the fourth quarter.
The defense will get another test
this week, when Darnell Autry and
D'Wayne Bates come to town.
Autry gained 189 yards last week,
his 19th straight 100-yard rushing
performance. Bates had five recep-
tions for 120 yards.
This is a crucial game for both
-teams.
The Badgers can still salvage their
season and go to a bowl if they win
the rest of their games.
Northwestern is looking to repeat
as Big Ten champion (does that sound
weird to anyone else?) and must win
'this game to keep its title hopes alive.
This game will come down to the
final moments.
Northwestern 20, Wisconsin 17
IOwA (2-0, 4-1) AT PENN STATE (2-
1, 6-1):
This game could be called the
Battle of the Titans.
Not because the teams are such
powerhouses, but because the two

coaches, Joe Paterno and Hayden Fry,
are ancient.
In fact, they are the two oldest
active coaches in Division 1-A foot-
ball. Somebody should alert all the
Happy Valley EMS technicians to be
on call Saturday.
Despite being thrashed by Ohio
State two weeks ago, Penn State is
still ranked 10th and can go to a
upper-tier bowl if it wins the rest of its
games. Look for Curtis Enis and
Wally Richardson to have big games.
Iowa does not have a marquee play-
er to lead it, but the Hawkeyes do
have Tavian Banks, who rushed for 80
yards and had three touchdowns
against Indiana last week.
Iowa's record is deceiving, though.
It has yet to face any real competition.
This game will not be close.
Penn State 35, Iowa 13
OHIO STATE (2-0, 5-0) AT PURDUE
(1-1,2-4):
This is Purdue's homecoming
game, and it could get ugly.
The Boilermakers' two victories
were not what you call quality victo-
ries. One victory against N.C. State
and a squeaker against Minnesota is
all Purdue can boast about. Wide
receiver Brian Alford is the Purdue
offense ,and up until last week, he
had caught the last 13 touchdown
passes.
A solid defensive unit usually looks
to linebackers and lineman to make
the majority of the tackles, but
Purdue's defensive front is obviously
not stopping the opposing rushers.
Ohio State's Pepe Pearson, who has
been averaging 118.4 yards per game
for the Buckeyes, should have a field
day in West Lafayette.
The Buckeyes are averaging 45.2
points and 516.2 yards per game and
it will probably improve upon those
totals Saturday.
The Buckeyes will not, I repeat,
will not run up the score.
Ohio State 58, Purdue 6
MICHIGAN STATE (2-1, 3-3) AT
MINNESOTA (0-2, 3-2):
Michigan State has won the last 15
meetings between these two teams.
After beating up on Illinois last week,
the Spartans should bump that win-
ning streak to 16.
Spartans' quarterback Todd Shultz
had a solid game against the Illini,
completing 20 of 25 passes for 281

Darnell Autry leads Northwestern into cheese country and the Wildcats look to continue their momentum with a conference matchup against Wisconsin. Northwestern
won its first three Big Ten games, but barely survived last week against Minnesota. Next up -'the Badgers, who have been a pest to top Big Ten teams all season.

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