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September 11, 1997 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-11
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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. , ,

6 ---'the Mi higan Daily --- Kickoff "9'1--- ptember 1i-13

. - POtlmON 1EVIEWS

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8 C°a TAN

KickdV

Loss of Bowens, injuries weaken
front seven, but Steele remains

Banks, Sherman lead veteran Hawkeyes

..:. : ..lim e o
JOE WESTRATE/Daily
Sophomore defensive end James Hall has the daunting task of replacing David
Bowens and matching the school-record 12 sacks Bowens made last year.

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Defensive linemen
Michigan was ready to enter the 1997
season with its two sack leaders, fifth-
year senior Glen Steele and junior David
Bowens, lining up at opposing defensive
ends. But before the season began, the
line took more hits than it usually deals.
Bowens, last year's starting left end,
was released from the team for academ-
ic reasons. He set a school record with 12
sacks last season. And last week, the
Wolverines lost defensive tackle Ben
Huff for the season with a torn anterior
cruciate ligament in his left knee.
"Ben was a very, very tough, hard-
nosed competitor," Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr said. "His presence meant a
lot to our team. That creates a real prob-
lem for us up front defensively"
That leaves Steele, the Wolverines'
ironman, as the veteran of the line. Last
season, Steele started all 12 games and
recorded six sacks and 15 tackles-for-
loss for the Wolverines despite suffering
from constant back problems.
But Steele isn't the only defensive
threat remaining In fact, even with
Bowens and Huff out, the Wolverines
should have enough depth to keep the
line packed with punch.
Putting Steele aside, the Wolverines
have the option of using sophomore
James Hall and junior Juaquin Feazell at
the ends. Hall had a sack that caused a
fumble at Purdue and a sack at Ohio
State last season.
Feazell started in parts of the past two
seasons and underwent shoulder surgery
before the start of the 1996 season. He
had 37 tackles and four tackles-for-loss
last year.

Sophomore Rob Renes will replace
William Carr at nose tackle and redshirt
freshman Eric Wilson will filter in to
replace Renes.
Behind Huff on the depth chart is
sophomore tackle Josh Williams. He had
13 tackles in 11 games last season, zero
for loss. Sophomore Pat Kratus backs up
Josh Williams and could see time at tack-
le or middle guard. And true freshmen
Maurice Williams and Bill Seymour
should have a chance to filter in and out.
- Danielle Rumore

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Linebackers
Jarrett Irons spent five years at
Michigan and was an All-American at
middle linebacker last season. Irons was
Michigan's second leading tackler and
will be missed, but experienced players
return to fill his spot as well as the inside
and outside spots. The Wolverines
should once again have a strong sec-
ondary.
"We have a strong linebacking corps
which I feel is one of the best and which

can be one of the best," said senior co-
captain and inside linebacker Eric
Mayes. "We got guys that love to get to
the ball, who love to cover. There are
young guys ... who go from sideline to
sideline."
The least amount of experienced play-
ers will be at the middle spot. The com-
bination of Mayes and sophomore Dhani
Jones will fill in for Irons. Mayes saw a
lot of time on special teams last season
and recorded 10 tackles over 12 games.
Jones had four tackles over 11 games,
and also had a sack and fumble recovery
against UCLA as a freshman last season.
The inside and outside spots retained
the most experienced players and should
be solid again with junior Sam Sword
and sophomore Clint Copenhaver,
respectively. Sword had 109 tackles to
lead the team in 1996 and had 11 tack-
les-for-loss and one sack.
Copenhaver added 64 tackles, includ-
ing nine for loss, and three sacks.
Sophomore Jeff Holtry, who has
returned from a two-year Mormon mis-
sion, can back up Copenhaver.
Fifth-year senior Rob Swett, who has
battled injuries in past seasons, will
backup the inside and middle spots. In
fact, Swett missed spring drills due to
offseason wrist surgery and missed prac-
tice all last week with a head injury that
is not expected to be serious. He had 17
tackles last season.
Redshirt Grady Brooks and junior
Chris Singletary also might see time at
outside linebacker. There is also a slew
of true freshmen, including Eric
Brackins, Jake Frysinger, Bob Fraumann
and Anthony Jordan, who might see time
at all three spots.
- Danielle Ruore
Linebackers
The starters
Pos. No. Name Yr/Eig.
OWB 43 Clint Copenhaver 5r./Jr
ILB 93 Sam Sword Sr./Jr.
ILB <26Eric Mayes Sr./Sr.
The backups;
OLB 45 Jeff Holtry So./So.
#LB 44Ro Swet Sr.Sr.
ILB 55 Dani Jons S.So. '
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If there's one thing coach Hayden Fry
has at Iowa, it's experience. He has
coached more games than any other
active Division I coach (397) in 35
years of coaching.
Plus, the Hawkeyes return 15 starters
from last season's third-place team, all
of whom are either juniors or seniors.
Senior quarterback Matt Sherman
might be the best passer in the Big Ten.
He has started since his freshman year,
amassing 5,200 yards and 32 touch- _
downs in three years.

Sherman's main target is senior wide
receiver Tim Dwight. The speedy
Dwight, who doubles as Iowa's punt
returner, caught 541 balls last season
and ran for three touchdowns, all on
reverses.
But Dwight is Sherman's only legiti-
mate pass-catcher, a problem the
Hawkeyes didn't have last season with
wide receiver Demo Odems.
But Iowa's biggest asset may be run-
ning back Tavian Banks. Overshadowed
by Sedrick Shaw last season, Banks had

just 144 carries but gained 629 yards
and scored nine touchdowns.
The senior looked brilliant in Iowa's
66-0 shellacking of Northern Iowa on
Saturday, running for 203 yards and two
touchdowns and catching one of
Sherman's three scoring passes.
The Hawkeyes biggest weakness is in
the secondary. Gone are safety Damien
Robinson (110 tackles, six intercep-
tions) and cornerback Tom Knight (four
interceptions).
- John Leroi

Football scores aren't the.
only ones that matter...
THE
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Spartans
have lofty
expectations
The last time people in East Lansing
were this excited about their football
team, Lorenzo White was their star run-
ning back, George Perles's job was secure
and Ronald Reagan was president.
Since the Spartans won the Big Ten
title in 1987 and finished eighth in the
nation after beating USC in the Rose
Bowl, Michigan State has fielded
mediocre teams.
But third-year coach Nick Saban has
quite a bit more to work with this season.
The Spartan's schedule couldn't be
better. All of Michigan State's tough
conference games are at home -
Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.
And Saban has some pretty good
weapons on both sides of the ball.
Sophomore running back Sedrick Irvin
is nothing short of spectacular. Irvin ran
for 1,067 yards and 16 touchdowns in his
freshman season.
Irvin has plenty of help on offense,
mostly from the conference's leading
returning passer, Todd Schultz and mas-
sive offensive lineman, Flozell Adams.
Adams was a second-team All-Big
Ten pick a year ago and is being touted
as an All-America candidate this year.
Schultz threw for 1,693 yards last sea-
son. When healthy, he was one of the
most accurate quarterbacks in the Big
Ten. But Schulz suffered three knee
injuries in the fall and missed all of
spring practice.
Even if Schultz does survive the rest
of the season unscathed, it doesn't look
like he has too many targets to throw to.
Irvin is an excellent receiver out of the
backfield and tight end Josh Keur is
solid. But thedSpartans lost both of their
wide receivers from a year ago, Derrick
Mason and Nigea Carter, to graduation.
The Spartans finished 19th in the
nation in total defense, but Saban would
like to see a more aggressive unit this
season. Senior outside linebacker Ike
Reese is a Butkus Award candidate and
Courtney Ledyard, the other outside
backer, is a two-year starter.
Saban says Michigan State's sec-
ondary is one of its biggest strengths. It's
true that the Spartans have experience on
the corners and Sorie Kanu is one of the
best safeties in the conference. Bututhe
Spartans surrendered the most touch-
downs and made the fewest interceptions
of any team in the Big Ten.
- John Lerni

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