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September 11, 1997 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-11

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 11, 1997 - 17A
Big Ten teams feast on appetizing non-conference
opponents before hearty conference slate is served

Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
Ohio State versus Nebraska. Penn
State versus Florida. Iowa versus
Teiinessee. All in one day.
It's games like these that make col-
lege football great.
Unfortunately, none of these games
are actually going to happen.
Nebraska, Florida and Tennessee will
never play Ohio State, Penn State and
va. Instead, they are replaced by
traditional powerhouses Bowling
Green, Temple and Tulsa.
It's still the non-conference season
for Big Ten teams, meaning that with
the ekception of Michigan and
Purdue, teams have to find the worst
non-conference foes they can to
inflate their stats and impress the
ATE (1-0): Buckeyes head coach
JohnCooper had the chance to
schedule a game at Nebraska this
year, but turned it down when the
Cornhuskers refused to make a return
engagement in Columbus next sea-
son. ,
So Ohio State will play in yet
another lopsided affair.
The Buckeyes are coming off a 24-
10 victory over Wyoming. While a
is a win, that couldn't have been
tie blowout Cooper was looking for.
Ohio State will be bloodthirsty for a
big victory, and they've had three
weeks to prepare for this one. Look
out, Falcons.
.Keep your eye on Ohio State senior
tailback Pepe Pearson. If he wants to
have any shot at Peyton Manning's
trophy,, he'll have start putting up
some. huge numbers, and this is his
*nce to do it.
As if the Buckeyes needed any
more help, it's Alumni Band Day in
Columbus, so Ohio State will have
not one but two bands cheering them
Ohio State 72, Bowling Green 3
,.TULSA (0-1)AT IOwA (1-0): At first
glance, this game looks like a mas-
sacre waiting to happen. But there is
some intrigue to this matchup.
yar ago, the Golden Hurricane
nned Iowa, pulling a 27-20 upset.
it was a humiliating loss for the
Hawkeyes, and you know Iowa coach
Hayden Fry has had Saturday circled
on his.calendar for a long time.
It's payback time.
Hawkeyes senior quarterback Matt
Sherman looks to make a statement
to the Hurricane.
Voted second team All-Big Ten by
i coaches a year ago, Sherman has
gained valuable experience. Add a
solid running back in Tavian Banks,
and the Hawkeyes have a potent
The Hurricane did it once, but
don't expect it to do it twice. Iowa
will take this game going away.
lowa 38, Tulsa 17
1): At least one Big Ten team has
some guts. But when this one is over,
st's about all they'll have left.
The Boilermakers, still celebrating
their victory over Michigan a year
ago; forgot to show up a week ago at
Toledo, suffering a loss to their Mid-
American Conference foe. This
week, showing up won't help them all
that nueh.
Touchdown Jesus watched over the
Fighting Irish last week, helping
mr avoid a scare at the hands of
'orgia Tech in coach Bob Davie's
This week, they. won't need
Tcjchdown Jesus. In fact, they'll
prbaly only need a touchdown.,

Don't worry, though, they'll get more
tia one.
The Boilermakers lost over half
their defense to graduation from last
yelar, =statistic that must have Irish
jnrterback Ron Powlus drooling.
nwith all their starters, the
Pardue defense ranked only seventh
in the Big Ten.
Look for Davie to learn how to
play the impress-the-pollsters game
in this one.
Notre Dame 45, Purdue 7

STATE (1-0): Don't look now, but yet
another Big Ten team is playing yet
another patsy.
If No. 23 Michigan State was look-
ing for a challenge, well, it looked in
the wrong place.
This is more of a tune-up than a
game for the Spartans. Next week-
end, they travel to South Bend to play
Notre Dame in part two of the
Fighting Irish versus Big Ten trilogy,
so Michigan State can't afford to lose
this one.
The Spartans are returning 17
starters from a year ago, 10 of those
on defense, making them the most
experienced team in the conference.
Michigan State will rely heavily on
sophomore running back Sedrick
Irvin, who ranked fourth among
freshmen in the NCAA a year ago.
Irvin came on strong the second half
of the year and looks to stay on that
pace this season.
Michigan State 24, Memphis 10
2): Set your VCRs now, because this
one's going to be a dandy. Well,
maybe not.
This game gets a share of the
"avoid-watch ing-me-at-alI-costs"
Not too long ago, the Fighting
Illini were known for having one of
the best defensive lines in the nation,
stopping the best of backs at the line
of scrimmage. Not anymore.
A year ago the famed rushing
defense ranked 10th in the Big Ten,
allowing a whopping 212.9 yards per
Last week, Illinois showed just
what kind of team they are when los-
ing to Southern Mississippi. Maybe
the Illini ate a little too much at the
Illinois Band & Pork BBQ Fest
before the game, but that probably
wasn't the problem.
Illinois and Louisville have only
met once before, with the lilini
pulling out the victory. But that was
in 1986.
Louisville 17, Illinois 13
1): This game gets the other half of
the "avoid-watching-me-at-al I-costs"
Indiana, picked by most people to
finish dead last in the Big Ten, versus
Ball State, who, er, is Ball State.
What can you say about a matchup
like this?
Hoosiers rookie coach Cam
Cameron should have learned a les-
son last week when Indiana lost to
No. 8 North Carolina.
The Tar Heels are a team that the
Hoosiers can model themselves after.
North Carolina is a basketball-cen-
tered school building a solid football
team, mainly on defense and funda-
Much like the Tar Heels, the
Hoosiers will have to look to their
defense if they want to win - seven
starters from their offense graduated.
A year ago their defense let up more
than 350 yards per game. That's noth-
ing to write home about, but it's not
And this year they should just be
stronger. They return eight starters
from that squad, including most of
their secondary.
With the grueling Big Ten schedule
only two weeks away, the Hoosiers
need to win this one. It'll be tight, but
they will,
Indiana 14, Ball State 10
(1-0): The last time these two teams
were in the same stadium, the
Minnesota advanced to the Final Four
and Iowa State saw their Cinderella
dream die.

Oops, wrong sport.
Well, if it was basketball, this game
would probably be a little more excit-
ing, but it's football, and neither of
these teams are very good.
Minnesota should lose the title of
Big Ten doormat which it has been
fighting to lose for several years now,
but it's not because the Gophers are
all that much better. It's just that
Indiana is worse. '
Minnesota will rely heavily on
senior quarterback Cory Sauter, an

All-Big Ten honorable mention selec-
tion a year ago. Sauter is one of the
few bright spots on an otherwise
bleak team.
The Gophers do have something
going for them in that they return 16
starters from last year's team. They
also have a near-perfect record
against the Cyclones, going 21-2-1 in
24 games.
Adding to intrigue, little though it
may be, is that this is one of the old-
est rivalries in the game, dating back
to 1895. Maybe it's not Michigan-
Notre Dame, but hey, it's got history.
Minnesota 28, Iowa State 17.
1): It's starting to become a tradition
in Evanston: lose an early season
game to a terrible team then go on to
win the Big Ten. Two years ago it was
Miami (Ohio). Last year, Wake
Forest. Last week, Wake Forest again.
The story line does not bode well
for the Blue Devils.
For the second straight year, the
Wildcats will get to use Duke as a
punching bag to take out pent-up
Last year, they cruised to a 25-
point victory.
But this time Northwestern will
have to do it without running back
extraordinaire Darnell Autry, who
now plays on Sundays instead of
Adrian Autry, who shares the same
name, but not blood, will try to take
his place.
Against Duke, he should do a more
than ample job.
Don't look for the Wildcats to
repeat as Big 'Ten champions, but
look for them to handily beat Duke.
Northwestern 27, Duke 17
0): Five words will sum up this game:
a lot to a little. That's right - Penn
State will score a lot, Temple will
score a little.
Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno's
heart must have pounded a little
when he saw this week's polls. No. 2
Florida gained ground on the top-
ranked Nittany Lions in the
Associated Press poll, and the gap
widened between the two in the USA
Today/ESPN poll, which has Penn
State at No. 2.
And that means one thing -
Temple will suffer on Saturday.
While Temple focuses on Penn
State running back and Heisman
hopeful Curtis Enis, look for senior
wide receiver Joe Jurevicius to have a
huge day.
The Owls most distinguished alum
Bill Cosby will have a long day
Penn State a lot, Temple a little.
STATE (0-1): The Badgers continue
their tour of insignificant western
schools this week when they travel to
San Jose.
Last week, without the services of
preseason All-America candidate
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin almost fell to
Boise State, a team that plays on blue
While San Jose State plays on nor-
mal colored grass, the Spartans do
not have a normal team, unless win-
ning two games a year is normal.
After being drubbed by Syracuse
and almost choking to the blue
Broncos of Boise, it could be debated
that the Badgers would be hard-
pressed to equal San Jose State's nor-
mal win total this year.
Thankfully for the cheeseheads,
Dayne is back, after suffering a neck
injury a few weeks ago. While
Dayne's neck is not exactly 100 per-
cent healthy, it will not matter it this

Not only will Dayne run over the
outmanned Spartans, his ginger neck
will not even be breathed on. In fact,
the San Jose State defenders will be
too busy pulling grass out of their
facemasks after coming in contact
with the Dayne train.
It looks as if the Badgers will get
their two wins on the year. Stay
tuned to see if they -get their third
Wisconsin 35, San Jose State 6

With Penn State's Curtis Enis leading the ground attack, the Temple Owls might have their hands full. The Heisman candidate
could also open things up for Penn State's passing game.


Afl0 E. Willinm St. Ann Arbr

669-6973 o 669-NdYPDl

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