10.- The Michigan Daily Footbal S- November 22, 1997
Nimber 22, 1997 -
What should be a close game
won't be: Blue wil wm big
By John Level
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan vs. Ohio State.
Bo vs. Woody.
Good vs. Evil.
There is no overstating the importance
and the hatred of this rivalry. And with
the Rose Bowl on the line, to say this
game means everything wouldn't be
stretching the truth.
On paper the two squads are almost
mirror images of each other: terrific
defenses, solid offenses and veteran quar-
terbacks (of course, Ohio State has two of
The Wolverines' defense has been
good enough to win ballgames all by
itself for much of the season, but
Michigan's offense has sprung to life in
its last two games, rolling up 400-plus
yards against Wisconsin and Penn State.
Michigan's defense looked vulnerable
against the Badgers and with starting free
safety Tommy Hendricks and his backup
Daydrion Taylor both probably out, the
Wolverines might have a weak spot.
Still, as Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said, "If you need something to get fired
up for this game, you've got a problem"
And with Michigan's Charles Woodson
and Ohio State's David Boston exchang-
ing pleasantries this week, this game
should be as heated as any in the history
of the rivalry.
Breaking down a game this emotional
,position by position, is often a futile
effort, but here's a glance.
OHIO STATE PASSING OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN PASSING DEFENSE: With Brent
Washington likely to start for the injured
Hendricks and Michigan looking suscep-
tible against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes
will probably try to exploit Michigan's
Ohio State coach John Cooper rotates
quarterbacks Joe Germaine and Stanley
Jackson more often than Dennis Rodman
changes his hair color. Germaine played
most of last years game against the
Wolverines and is the Big ten's leading
passer this season. But Jackson has start-
ed all of the Buckeyes' games this season
and Cooper said it will stay that way.
While Germaine possesses the better
arm, Jackson may be more dangerous
against Michigan because of his mobility.
Wisconsin's Mike Samuel picked apart
the Wolverines' defense running the
option, a play Michigan hasn't stopped
Germaine has a strong and accurate
arm and he has two great receivers to
throw to - Boston, the conference's
leading receiver, and Dee Miller. Boston
ripped Woodson in the newspapers this
week, much like former-Buckeye receiv-
er Terry Glenn did two years ago, so look
for Woodson to take it personally and
cover Boston like a wet blanket.
And even with a depleted secondary,
Michigan's front seven should be able to
get enough pressure on Germaine (or
Jackson). After all, the Wolverines' are
the nation's No. 1 pass defense.
OHIO STATE RUSHING OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN RUSHING DEFENSE:
Wisconsin ran for 154 yards against the
Wolverines last week. While that's a great
figure for most defenses, it is not accept-
able in Ann Arbor. The Badgers ran an
inside trap with a lot of success, but Ohio
State doesn't utilize the play so much.
Pepe Pearson is the Buckeyes' best
running back with 724 yards on the
ground this season, but that's a far cry
from the 1,484 he ran for last season. In
fact, Ohio State's most dangerous
weapon could be Jackson, who runs the
But that's about it for the Buckeyes,
and against a phenomenal run defense
led by linebackers Sam Sword and Dhani
Jones, the Wolverines should be able to
bottle up the Buckeyes.
MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS. OHIO
Ohlo State wide rceier David Boston was al mouth this wee, claiming the Buckeyes
would beat Michigan by "two or three touchdowns," today.
STATE PASSING DEFENSE: Ohio State
boasts the nation's No. 2 passing defense
behind - you guessed it - Michigan.
Boston called Ohio State cornerback
Antoine Winfield "better than Woodson
and certainly faster." While that might be
a stretch, Winfield is a phenomenal play-
er, much in the mold of the Buckeyes'
star corner a year ago; Shawn Springs.
Add safety Damon Moore into that mix,
and the Buckeyes secondary is almost as
intimidating as Michigan's.
While Michigan's offense isn't a jug-
gernaut, it has played surprisingly well
the last two weeks, thanks to quarterback
Brian Griese and blocking by the line.
The Wolverines receivers haven't been
impressive, but Tai Streets had his best
game of the season against Wisconsin'
and everyone remembers how he burned
Springs for a 69-yard score last year.
But even though Griese does a good
job getting the ball to tight end Jerame
Tuman and his runningbacks, Ohio State
is too good to give up another long score.
The Michigan Daily
Realership Poll 1995-191
-3 Big Screen TV's
-8 additional large TV's
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS.
OHIO STATE RUSHING DEFENSE: Ohio
State's Andy Katzenmoyer might be the°
best player in the Big Ten. The sopho-
more has been a starter since his first day
on campus and has lived up to his top
billing. But after the Big Kat and defen-
sive tackle Winfield Garnett, the
Buckeyes are thin against the run.
With Michigan's Clarence Williams out
of the lineup, fellow tailbacks Chris
Howard and Anthony Thomas have.
looked ste llar, especially Howard, who's
rushed for more than 100-yards in two
straight games. Michigan's young line has
finally gelled, according to center Zach
Adami, and the Wolverines have been
dominating the line of scrimmage all year.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Never a bright spot
for Michigan, the Wolverines have been
pathetic recently. Lick and punt returners
have been average, and although punter
Jason Vinson hasn't been awful, he hasn't
kicked as well as he did at the beginning
of the season.
The Wolverines' biggest liability, how-
ever, is its field goal unit. Placekicker
Kraig Baker botched a field goal and an
extra point against Wisconsin prompting
Carr to replace him with Jay Feely, who's
been handling the kickoff duties.
Ohio State, on the other hand, has a trio
of explosive returners in Boston, Gary
Berry and Michael Wiley. Woodson can
hold is own for Michigan, but he hasn't
broken one yet this year.
This game should be close ... but it
won't be. Ohio State has looked great
since dropping a close game in Happy
Valley to Penn State, but against weak
competition. Dreams of the Rose Bowl
are enough for Michigan to take this
game over in the second half. Pack your
bags Wolverines, you're heading to
Ohio State 7.
Football Saturday Staff
Football t and SportsEditors: Editor In
Nicholas J. Cotsonika Josh White
Alan Goldenbach Photography
John Leroi Sara Stillman
Danielle Rumore Warren Zinn
Production editor: Special sections Manager:
John Friedberg Jamie Kribs
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By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Sports Editor
C OLUMBUS - Revenge fuels
most good rivalries, but at
Ohio State, the bitterness bor-
ders on obsession. It has hung over
coach John Cooper's head for years
now in the form of a sign, which
stares down at him and his players as
they train each day in the Woody
Hayes Center: "WHAT HAVE YOU
DONE TO BEAT MICHIGAN
The Buckeyes were unbeaten and
ranked No. 2 under Cooper the past
two years before their annual season
finale with the Wolverines, only to
lose, ruining their national champi-
onship hopes. Their situation mirrors
the one they enjoyed from 1971-75,
when they sullied an undefeated
Michigan team's record five times.
But that is no consolation here now,
not with No. 4 Ohio State traveling to
Ann Arbor this week with the Rose
Bowl on the line again.
Cooper wasn't coach in the '70s.
The legendary Woody Hayes was, and
Cooper's players said he will never
creep from underneath Hayes's shad-
ow in the eyes of Ohio State faithful
until he can accomplish his mission
- beating Michigan - which he has
done just once in nine seasons.
Nothing else matters. Cooper has
been a finalist for the Coach of the
Year Award each of the past three
years, has finished first or second in
the Big Ten each of the past five
years, and has sent 12 first-round
draft picks to the NFL since 1991.
"But the fans would be happier if we
went 1-11 - if that 1 was a win over
Michigan," right tackle Eric Gohlston
And Cooper has to live with that.
"I'm 1-7-1 against Michigan - in
case you guys don't know - in case
it hasn't been in your paper yet this
week," Cooper joked with the media
Tuesday, before he turned serious. "I
feel bad. Gosh, I ask myself what it's
going to take to win that game. I
know we're not the only school to go
through something like this and that
the cycle will turn.
"But will it turn while I'm here? I
can't answer that."
Ohio State officials had planned it
would. Cooper, ironically, was hired
because of his demonstrated ability to
Ohio State coach John Cooper h
luck change this year or will Mh
beat Michigan in big games. A
at Arizona State in 1985, Coop
his Sun Devils to a 22-15 victc
the Wolverines in the 1986 Roy
Bowl. So when Earle Bruce wa
by Ohio State in 1988, Cooper
seemed a logical choice.
As it turned out, his selectio
off handsomely. Cooper is amo
nation's top recruiters. He bols
the Buckeyes' prestige. He has
been investigated by the NCA/
has taken his team to a bowl gE
every season but his first, and
earned hundreds of thousands
lars for Ohio State by playing
season games three of the past
years. Buckeyes merchandise i
top-five in the nation in sales,
up there with Michigan.
No wonder, then, that Ohio
soon will have the finest athlet
facilities in the world. A $150
renovation is planned for Ohio
Stadium, and a new state-of-th
arena is being built for hockey
"It's really not fair what he's
go through, when you look at %
he's done," linebacker Kevin J
said. "We -lose as a team. The 1
shouldn't go to one person, eve
Still, questions curse Cooper
can do all that he does, why ca
beat Michigan? Why is he 3-1.
his final two games of the seas
Cooper is left to defend himsel
alone, denying any sort of mer
block or jinx.
"There's been a play made h
play made there, that's determi
outcome of the game," Cooper
"I'm not one of these guys tha
home every night with a heada
I'm one of these guys who like
feel like we've had a good yea
We've won 10 football games,
don't think many thought we'd
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