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November 14, 1996 - Image 18

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-14

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18A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 14, 1996
AROUND THE Iifi. 1 r
CONFERENCE
Ohio State ready to secure
first Rose Bowl in 11 years

By Evan Braunstein
For the Daily
As the football season draws to a
close, the bowl picture has become
clearer.
Unfortunately for 'fans, most
games take on less meaning. Ohio
State has practically locked up a
Rose Bowl berth, leaving the middle-
of-the-pack teams to battle it out for
the lesser bowls.
Yet for die-hard fans, this week in
Big Ten football 'should provide
some exciting contests.
Even Minnesota fans will be
watching the Golden Gophers try to
pick up their first conference victory
of the season.
Ouio STATE (6-0 BIG TEN, 9-0
OVERALL) AT INDIANA (0-6, 2-7):
If Ohio State can be stopped, the
Hoosiers aren't the team to do it.
The Buckeyes have been rolling all
season and have not shown any signs
of letting up.
Last week, they made Minnesota
their latest casualty, subjecting the
Gophers to a 45-0 romp.
Ohio State is not going to let
Indiana get in the way of its first
Rose Bowl berth in I1I years. The
Buckeyes will clinch the Rose Bowl
with a victory Saturday.
Ohio State has the top-ranked
offense and defense in the Big Ten.
the Buckeyes have scored a com-
bined 93 points in their previous two
games while allowing none. They
racked up 546 yards of total offense

last weekend.
Indiana, meanwhile, has beaten
Toledo and Miami (Ohio).
Second-ranked Ohio State is unde-
feated and has its sights set on a
national championship, while the
Hoosiers, after losing seven straight,
are still searching for their first con-
ference victory. Don't look for it to
happen here.
Ohio State 52, Indiana 3
ILLINOIS (1-5, 2-7) AT MINNESOTA
(0-6, 3-6):
With all the firing and resigning
going on in the Big Ten, it was bound
to happen - a match-up of two
teams without coaches.
Illinois coach Lou Tepper was
fired Monday due to his team's poor
performance, and Minnesota's Jim
Wacker resigned on Tuesday because
of a clause in his contract.
So if the firing of a head coach is
supposed to give a team added emo-
tion, which one has the edge in this
game?
Probably neither, as both coaches
are finishing out the season, and nei-
ther team has much to play for at this
point.
In this battle of cellar-dwellers, the
Golden Gophers should prevail due
to their duo of receivers Ryan
Thelwell and Tutu Atwell.
The "Well" brothers rank third and
fifth in Big Ten receiving yards,
respectively.
Quarterback Cory Sauter should
have no trouble connecting with

them through the Illini's porous
defense.
If the Gophers don't turn the ball
over, they should be able to control
the game.
Illinois does have some semblance
of a running game behind junior tail-
back Robert Holcombe, but he has
struggled in his past two games.
The Illini have attempted only
seven field goals all season and have
missed three of them.
Don't count on this team in a close
match.
Minnesota 24, Illinois 17
WISCONSIN (2-4, 5-4) AT iOwA (4-
2, 6-3):
This could be the most exciting
game of the weekend. Wisconsin has
played conference opponents tough
all season and should give the
Hawkeyes all they can handle.
The Badgers gave Ohio State its
biggest scare of season and would
have beaten Northwestern if not for a
last second fumble.
Wisconsin freshman running back
Ron Dayne is having a stellar year
and is fresh off a game in which he
rushed for three touchdowns and
nearly 300 yards.
The Hawkeyes were recently
blown away by Northwestern and are
simply trying to hang on to third
place in the Big Ten.
They started off the season in
grand style, upsetting Penn State, but
they have been slipping the past two
weeks. They had a tough time dis-

JOE WESTRATE/Daily
Purdue travels to Evanston this weekend to play Northwestern. The Boilermakers, after a stellar defensive effort, defeated
Michigan this past weekend.

posing of Illinois on Nov. 2.
Wisconsin is fighting for fifth
place in the standings and a trip to
the Sun Bowl.
Look for the Badgers to gain some
redemption with a victory in lowa
City.
Wisconsin 17, Iowa 13
PURDUE (2-4, 3-6) AT
NORTHWESTERN (6-1, 8-2):
Although Northwestern's Rose
Bowl chances fizzled with the loss to
Penn State two weeks ago, the.
Wildcats still need to beat Purdue to

secure a second-place finish in the
conference.
They should have no trouble, as it
is unlikely the Boilermakers can pro-
duce back-to-back upsets.
Purdue put forth its best defensive
effort all season last weekend against
Michigan, but it will be difficult for
the Boilermakers to make a repeat
performance.
Northwestern's Darnell Autry
leads the conference in rushing yards
and will give the Wildcats their sev-
enth conference victory of the sea-

son.
Northwestern's high-powered
offense should be too much for
Purdue's 10th ranked defense to han-
die.
A victory for the Wildcats will
place them in Florida for the new
year, locking up a spot in the Citrus
Bowl.
This game has meaning the
Wildcats, and they won't be takinp
any chances after watching wha
happened to Michigan.
Northwestern 35, Purdue 3

Despite rumors to the contrary, Irish's Holtz not going anywhere

SOUTH BEND (AP) - Lou Holtz
is used to people gossiping about his
job and how long he's going to keep
it. This year is no different.
His every comment is scrutinized
for a hint of what's in store next sea-
son. And the Notre Dame coach has
fueled the guessing game by mention-
ing the subject of retirement several
times in the last week alone.
Holtz just laughs when asked what
it all means.
"There have been rumors about me

forever," he said, shaking his head. "I
just want to win the last three football
games. I'll tell you, I still have a
strong desire to coach and I have
more enthusiasm than I've ever had.
I'm really looking forward to the
future."
Holtz is 59 and is fully recovered
from last year's emergency surgery to
relieve pressure on his spinal cord. He
said before the season that he never
felt better.
Last year the university gave him a

"lifetime" contract extension with the
understanding the program continue
to win and he attract quality recruits.
When asked a few weeks ago if he
thought Holtz would be at Notre
Dame next year, the Rev. William
Beauchamp, the university's executive
vice president, said, "Yep, I do."
So why the rumors?
Holtz was deeply disappointed
when his lifeless team lost to Ohio
State and Air Force at home, with the
Ohio State loss one of the toughest

he's ever had. He was mystified by the
defeats, saying at one point he could-
n't get a feel for the team.
Then last week the word retirement
kept popping up. He didn't say any-
thing specific or dramatic, but the
repeated references were unusual.
Talking after practice one night last
week, Holtz used the phrase "throw
the baby out with the bath water,"
then said he had no idea what that
meant, but he'd always wanted to say
it before he retired.

On Sunday, Holtz mentioned that
Memphis coach Rip Scherer, whose
Tigers had upset then-No. 6
Tennessee the day before, had played
for him when Holtz coached at
William & Mary.
"He'll probably retire in a year or
two, that's how old I'm getting," he
said.
And finally. when asked about the
officiating in Notre Dame's win at
Boston College, Holtz said he's been
on the receiving end of plenty of bad

calls during his 1I years at Notre
Dame.
"I'm going to tell you this, the new
coach is really in for some great ben-
efits," he said. "He's going to get
some great calls for the next I1
years."
Then there's Knute Rockne's
record. Rockne won more games
(105) at Notre Dame than anyone
else, and Holtz has said before he
would not want to break that. But with
98 wins, he's closing in fast.

F

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