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December 09, 1997 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-09

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10 -The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 9, 1997
Marshall's controversial Moss is Heisman dark horse.

hUNTINGTON, WVa. (AP) - - When Randy Moss
showed up at Florida State, coach Bobby Bowden was almost
giddy over his new wide receiver.
"He can run, he can jump, but what he does best is run like
a scalded dog," Bowden said before Moss ran afoul of the law
and was kicked off the team.
A year and another school later, Moss hasn't stop running.
:And no one can catch him.
"Nobody in America can cover him," Ball State coach Bill
' Lynch said after Moss caught five touchdown passes in
Marshall's 42-16 victory against the Cardinals.
The only sophomore among this year's Heisman Trophy
candidates, Moss set the Division {-A single-season mark
with 25 receiving touchdowns - five covering 70 yards or
more - and has caught 90 passes for 1,647 yards to set a
Mid-American Conference record.
In two seasons, he has scored 53 touchdowns for Marshall.
"He's doing this with people putting triple coverage on
him;' Marshall coach Bob Pruett said. "They doubled and
triple-teamed Randy, but he always seems to find a way to
make big plays."
At 6-foot-S, Moss is taller than most defensive backs and
he's faster,-with 4.25 speed in the 40-yard-dash. He's also got
an impressive 39-inch vertical leap and huge hands with ten-
taclelike fingers that rarely drop passes.
The 1997 Randy Moss highlight film begins with a 90-

yard touchdown against Army.
Cradling a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage on his
own 5, Moss took off across the field, faking two linemen off
their feet, stiff-arming another defender, hurdling yet another
and, without losing a step,-accelerating dow n the left sideline
while the rest of the field seemed to be in slow motion.
Already named the MAC player of the year and a finalist
for the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation's best receiver,
Moss is setting new standards for receivers, having scored at
least one touchdown in each of his 27 college games.
But Moss says he would rather watch the Heisman Trophy
ceremony Dec. 13 on his living room television than in per-
son. He is one of four players invited to New York for the cer-
"I think just for the fact that I'm coming out of a small
school here in Huntington, it would be very difficult for me
to win it," Moss said.
"Hopefully it's not that big of a factor, but deep down
inside, I think it is."
Moss' college career was almost over before it began.
One of West Virginia's most celebrated high school ath-
letes, Moss was headed to Notre Dame but the Irish revoked
the scholarship after he was charged with attacking another
student at DuPont High School.
Moss pleaded guilty to battery and was sentenced to 30
days in jail. He was allowed to defer most of the sentence

until after his freshman year in college.
Florida State was quick to roll out the welcome mat, but a
year later rolled it back up when Moss violated his probation
by smoking marijuana. A one-year jail sentence was reduced
a month later to time served after he completed algebra and
speech communications classes in a worudy program.
Although Moss never played at Florida State. Bowden was
well aware of his talent.
"He's just got so many tools, limitless tools;' Bowden said
after watching Moss practice.
After his release from jail, Moss walked on at Marshall and
scored 28 touchdowns, leading the Thundering Herd to the
Division I-AA championship and a 15-0 record. This season,
Marshall (10-2) returned to Division I-A after a 28-year
absence and faces Mississippi in the Motor City Bowl.
But can a wide receiver in the MAC win the IHeisman? For
that matter, can a wide receiver from any school win it? The last
receiver to win it was Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991.
"If the Heisman Trophy is for the best college player who
does the most for his team, I think Randy deserves a shot,' said
Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington. "When the offense
needs a big play, he's going to make one almost every time."
Nonetheless, the award is expected to go to players at high-
er-profile programs such as Tennessee's Peyton Manning,
Michigan's Charles Woodson or Ryan Leaf at Washington

But one-by-one, Moss has made believers out of each of
his opponents.
"I don't know about the Ileisman Trophy because I'm not
into that. But anyone who can run that fast is special:'' said
West Virginia coach Don Nehlen, whose team defeated
1arshall, 42-31. despite \1oss' tw\o touchdowns.
Moss has tried to deflect some of the attention toward his
teammates. But he may also be trying to avoid the kind of
negative publicity that came with his arrests and frankne
lie w as sharply criticized in West Virginia after he to d
Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times that he did not
like the state and wanted to leave as quickly as possible..,
Moss also drew heavy criticism when he said he didn't
know much about the 1970 plane crash that wiped out
Marshall's team in 1970, and while calling it a tragedy, he
said it "wasn't nothing big."
Pruett says he and Moss have not discussed the HReisman or
Moss' future. But he thinks Moss will go to the NFL rather
than return for his junior season.
Moss says he has set no timetable and has enrolled
spring semester classes. The Heisman. Moss says wit a
shrug, would be nice, but losing won't break his heart.
In fact, he's weary of answering questions about it.
"This Heisman thing is not so big to me. If the trophy comes,
great. I mean, if it wouldn't hurt anybody's feelings, I'd watch
it on TV I never really did set any individual goals for myself."

Kansas tops Penn, 89-71; Blue Devils
hold on to top spot in AP poll

WASHINGTON (AP) - That losing
feeling doesn't come around very often
for the Kansas Jayhawks. This time, they
were able to get rid of it in a hurry.
Raef LaFrentz had 25 points and 11
rebounds as No. 3 Kansas rebounded
from its first loss of the season by rolling
past Penn, 89-71, last night to take third
place in the Franklin National Bank
"The good thing about basketball is
that you can come back quickly and play
again the next day sometimes and make
yourself feel better," Kansas coach Roy
Williams said. "l'd hate to be a football
coach and have to wait seven days before
playing again."
Paul Pierce added 14 points and T.J.
Pugh had 13 as Kansas' formidable front-
court trio was simply too tall and too
strong for Penn (3-4). The Jayhawks (9-
1), able to punch the ball inside early and
often, shot 57 percent and outrebounded
the Quakers, 35-28.
Kansas, which dropped one spot in the
top 25 after Sunday's 86-83 loss to No.
19 Maryland, failed to win a regular sea-
son tournament for the first time since
1992. Yesterday's game was its fourth in
seven days - with just one practice
squeezed in.
"We've just got to get to Christmas
break," said Williams, whose team next
plays Massachusetts at home tomorrow,
"when we can have a lot of practices, and
that will help us."
Riding LaFrentz's inside game,
Kansas led 16-7 with 12:45 left in the
first half. Three consecutive inside bas-
kets -two by LaFrentz and one by Pugh
- combined with three turnovers by
Penn made it 28-17 with 8:51 left.
"Their size overwhelmed us;' Penn
coach Fran Dunphy said. "LaFrentz,
Pierce and (point guard Ryan) Robertson

- great team, with an inside-outside
it was 37-29 at halftime, and the lead
hit double digits for good when Billy
Thomas hit a 3-pointer early in the sec-
ond half. Thomas was 5-of-8 from 3-
point range, including 4-for-4 in the sec-
ond half, and finished with 15 points.
Against Maryland, he was 1-of-9 from 3-
point range.
"I'll never stop slhooting," said
Thomas, who needs seven more threes to
become Kansas' career leader. "(Coach)
gave me permission to shoot 50 in a row
as long as I play strong defense."
Penn is a team that relies on its guards,
but Garett Kreitz and Michael Jordan
were unable to penetrate consistently
against Kansas' man-to-man defense.
Kreitz, a solid 3-point shooter, was shad-
owed by Pierce most of the first half and
was unable to get off his shot. He was
open more often in the second half, and
finished S-for-10 from behind the arc and
scored 17 points. Jordan had 12 points.
Kansas has never lost to an Ivy League
school in six games.
"We just wanted to play as well as we
can, and represent the university,' junior
forward Paul Romanczuk said. "I think
we did that."
Duke held on the No. I spot in the AP
college basketball poll yesterday, while
North Carolina moved up to No. 2 in a
week that saw nine top 25 teams lose and.
none fall out of the rankings.
In addition to the top two places, the
Atlantic Coast Conference kept five
other spots in the top 25, its second
straight week with seven ranked teams.
The only other time it happened, January
1993, the Big Ten lost one of its seven
teams the next week.
Duke (8-0), which won its three games

last week by an average of 52 points$ had
49 first-place votes and 1,728 points
from the national media panel, 34 points
more than the Tar Heels (9-0), who got
19 first-place votes.
Kansas (8-1), which beat Arizona'ear-
lier in the week but lost to Maryland on
Sunday, dropped one spot to third, receiv-
ing one first-place vote.
Kentucky, which beat Purdue and
Indiana last week, jumped three spots to
fourth and was followed by South
Carolina, Arizona and Xavier, the only
other team to get a first-place vote.
Purdue, Utah and Iowa rounded out
the Top Ten.
Stanford moved up one spot to lead the
Second Ten, and was followed by UCLA,
Connecticut, New Mexico, Arkansa .
Florida State, Clemson, Fresno St
Maryland and Temple.
The last five teams in the rankings
were Mississippi, Princeton, Georgia,
Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.
Besides the top two teams, the other
ACC teams are Florida State, Clemson,
Maryland, Georgia Tech and Wake
Of the nine ranked teams that lost last
week, seven lost another member of the
Top 25. The only ones that didn't .g
Mississippi, which lost to host Ball state
in the championship game of }the
Cardinal Varsity Classic, and Georgia
Tech, which lost to North Carolina State
in overtime in the ACC opener for both'.
Mississippi's loss was cause fbr tthe
week's biggest drop as the Rebels (44 -)
fell from 14th to 21st. New Mexico (54),
which lost to UCLA in the Woodein
Classic, dropped six spots to No. 14.
The biggest jump was Maryland's 4
from 23rd to 19th after beating Kansasin
the opening round of the Frankhin
National Bank Classic.

Nq. 3 Kansas rebounded from its loss to No. 19 Maryland Sunday with a 89-71 victory over Pennsylvania last night in the
Franklin National Bank Classic.
,.O "
Pont W!it
Capture our undefeated Michigan football team
and its journey to the Rose Bowl in the 1998.

Men's basketball falls to Bradley

Continued from Page 9
field was exemplified in their 34 per-
cent performance from the field in
the stanza.
Neither team was able to generate a
sustained run at any point during the
Asselin provided one of the few
bright spots in the half for Michigan.
After extending his 6-foot-I1l
frame to block a shot with less than a
minute to play, the freshman raced
downcourt ahead of the pack. Bullock
picked up the loose ball and fed
Asselin for a tomahawk dunk.
With the Braves converting two
baskets amidst an array of steals and
hustle late in the first half, Michigan
may have encountered a flashback.
The groundswell of vocal support
reached a feverish pitch near the end
of the period, so much like Crisler
sounded in support of Michigan just
two days before against the Rebels.
The atmosphere surrounding the
game had all the elements of a circus
Before the tipoff, all the lights were
shut off for the national anthem, high-
lighted by a fireworks and spotlight
show. T-shirts were launched into the
stands by the cheerleaders.
In addition to the abundance of red
in the audience, open seats were
scarce. Behind the Michigan net in

the first half were more than 50 stu-
dents packed together like sardines -
all in black Bradley t-shirts. They
stood the entire game and maintained
their intensity.
The public address announcer was
also in on the act, encouraging the
fans to "remain standing at the begin-
ning of the half - until Michigan
Baston 24 2-4 2-3 2-6 0 4 6
Ward 33 3-14 2-2 5-11 3 2 9
Traylor 36 8-13 0-4 810 2 4 16
Reid 24 3.5 0-0 0.3 5 0 8
Bullock 36 3-15 2-2 1-5 1 1 10
Conlan 24 2-6 0-0 0-3 2 1 5
Oliver 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Asselin 19 2-3 0-0 3-5 0 1 4
Smith 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 23.0 6-1. 194313 14 58
FG%: .383 FT%:.545. 3-point FG: 6-15, .400
Bullock 2-6, Reid 2-4, Ward 1-3, Conlan 1.2).
Blocks: 4 (aston 2, Asselin 2). Steals: 5
(Conlan, Reid, Ward). Technical Fouls: 1.
Schairer 12 0-1 0-0 0 1 2 2 0
Cage 32 4-8 2-2 1-4 1 0 10
Akinkunle 37 9-15 1-1 2-7 3 3 19
Dye 38 7-18 1-3 O-1 2 2 16
Roberson 32 3-5 2-2 3-6 4 4 8
Lee 11 1-2 0.0 2.4 1 1 2
Koita 7 0-0 0-0 0.1 0 0 0
Collins 19 2-4 24 02 2 1 6
Atkins 12 1-4 0.0 0-1 0 0 2
Team 0 0-0 0-0 01000
Totals 200 27-57 &12 828 1513 63
FG%: .,474. 1=1%:.-.667. 3-poit FG: 1-12, .083
{Dye) Blocks:6 (Akinkunle, Cage, Roberson,
Lee). Steals: 11 (Roberson 4, Cage 2, Dye 2,
Akinkunle 1, Lee 1, Atkins 1). Technical Fouls:
Michigan-........24 34 - 58
Athletes.........-28 35 -63
At: Carver Arena

Continued from Page 9
marquee team on the Tigers' schedule.
Compounded by the fact that
Michigan served as bait to sell ouitthe
Towson Center for the Tigers' first
game on a newly installed hardvwood
floor, the Wolverines ran into another
energized crowd and team, and were
barely able to eke out a 75-72 victory.
PRECIOuS TICKS: The Wolverines
tried to turn back the clock for the-s-
ond time this season in the final
onds of yesterday's game.
This time, however, Michigan's
wish was not granted. The Wolverines,
trailing Bradley, 61-58, with approxi-
mately 17 seconds left, fouled the
Braves to stop the clock. But. the
scoreboard operator did not stop. the
clock until it read 14.8.-
Ellerbe protested to no avail while
the raucous crowd watched Rob. D
miss the front end of the one-andao t
While the crowd was loud, the refer-
ee's failure to acknowledge Ellerbd's
plea may have been a reaction to his
protest of an.earlier call that earned
him a technical foul.
Against Detroit earlier in the sea-
son, Ellerbe persuaded the officials-to
add three-tenths of a second to.he
clock in the waning moments of the
game. - . a
The clock read 0.1 when.:t.
Wolverines scored the winning basket.

--a --- m m m m ma m minm minmer s a


/At 0 UU




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