IDA - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 7, 1996
Wildcats clinging to Rose Bowl life, need Buckeyes to choke
By B.J. Lura
Daily Sports Writer
The "What If" portion of the college
football season has arrived once again,
as Big Ten fans contemplate their team's
chances of going to a bowl.
As the season progresses, each game
takes on greater meaning, unless you're
Illinois, in which case the game means
nothing. But I digress, so allow me to
return to the real games this weekend.
NOrTHWESTERN (5-1 BIG TEN, 7-2
OVERALL) AT IOWA (4-1, 6-2):
Penn State's win over Northwestern
last week ended the Wildcats' 13-game
Big Ten winning streak and effectively
knocked them out of the Rose Bowl
race. Although Northwestern can still
claim a piece of the conference champi-
onship, it can only go to the Rose Bowl
if Ohio State finds a way to lose to
Illinois or Indiana.
Steve Schnur connected with
D'Wayne Bates for their 10th touch-
down of the season last week, setting a
Northwestern record. Darnell Autry
returned last week after missing 1 1/2
games and ran for 107 yards.
In all likelihood, the Wildcats will
spend the holidays representing the Big
Ten in Texas, the location of the Alamo
Bowl and the Sun Bowl.
Iowa is having another Iowa kind of
season. The Hawkeyes are in third place
in the Big Ten but do not have a realistic
shot at a conference championship.
The Hawkeyes' only loss in the Big
Ten came at the hands of Ohio State.
They have given up only one touchdown
in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats' habit of digging a big
hole, then pulling out a late rally finally
came back to haunt them last week. The
fairy tale is over for Northwestern.
Iowa 27, Northwestern 17
OmO STATE (5-0, 8-0) AT ILLINOIS
Last week against Minnesota, Ohio
State scored 45 points despite turning
the ball over four times in the first half.
The Buckeyes' defense held
Minnesota's 25th-ranked passing attack
to 57 yards. Freshman linebacker Andy
Katzenmoyer has lived up to his high
expectations, racking up eight sacks
and 14 tackles already this season.
Illinois has spent the season in the Big
Ten basement. The lone bright spot for
the Illini this season is junior tailback
Robert Holcombe, who is averaging
108.3 yards per game.
Ohio State ranks first in the Big Ten
in scoring defense, total defense, scoring
offense, total offense and rushing
offense. The Illini, on the other hand, are
close to the bottom in virtually all cate-
gories. They are next to last in scoring
and dead last in scoring defense.
This game will be decided long
before big Orlando Pace ever straps on
those massive shoulder pads.
Ohio State 84, Illinois 0
INDIANA (0-5, 2-6) AT MICHIGAN
STATE (4-2, 5-4):
Indiana is terrible. Nothing else can
be said for the Hoosiers. After winning
their first two games against MAC pow-
erhouses Toledo and Miami (Ohio), the
Hoosiers have lost six straight.
Indiana has led four of its five Big Ten
games at halftime. Needless to say, the
Hoosiers have suffered a few second-
The Spartans are coming off a tough
loss to Michigan. The game was sup-
posed to prove that Michigan State had
returned to the upper echelon of the Big
University * , * 665-7777
S- OTRESTAURANT s o A Rs
Ten. Instead, it showed how further the
Spartans have to come to challenge for
the Big Ten championship.
Quarterback Todd Schultz, who has
showed moments of brilliance this sea-
son, threw four interceptions last week
to go along with his two touchdowns.
Derrick Mason continued to terrorize
Big Ten secondaries, catching 10 passes
for 151 yards, his fifth 100-yard receiv-
ing game of the season.
Michigan State needs to win this
game to secure an above .500 record for
the season. The Spartans' defense will
be the story of the game.
Michigan State 24, Indiana 9
MINNESOTA (0-5, 3-5) AT WISCONSIN
Minnesota won its first three games of
the season, giving hope that it might
actually win five games and save Jim
Wacker's job. The Golden Gophers have
played successively worse in each game
since, on their way to losing five in a row.
Last week against Ohio State,
Minnesota amassed a paltry 104 total
yards and dropped from first to fourth in
the conference in passing.
The only sign of life that the Gophers
showed was in forcing four Ohio State
turnovers. Wisconsin has had the worst
luck imaginable. The Badgers lost to
Ohio State, Penn State and
Northwestern by a combined 10 points.
The Badgers finally won a Big Ten
game last week over Purdue. The
Wisconsin fans showed their apprecia-
tion for coach Barry Alvarez by chanti-
ng "take a knee, take a knee" in the final
moments of the close victory, referring
to Wisconsin's last minute loss to
Northwestern three weeks ago.
Freshman running back Ron Dayne
had a great day w against the
Boilermakers, rushing for 244 yards.
Minnesota against Wisconsin is not
exactlythe best matchup the Big Ten has
to offer. But the two teams are playing
for Paul Bunyon's axe. Unfortunately,
this contest between two of the Big Ten's
second-division teams will not look
much like a football game.
Wisconsin 12, Minnesota 5
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Fluke? Northwestern and defensive back Hudhalfa Ismaeli hope to get back ontA e
winning track against Iowa on Saturday after their drubbing by Penn State. The
Wildcats, out to prove that last year's Big Ten title season was no accident, nqed
to win their remaining contests and hope Ohio State stumbles. *.
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