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October 10, 1997 - Image 17

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10-- The Michigan Daily - FootbaN Saturday - October 11, 1997

9

0

THE MATCHUPS-

LAsr WEEK

1ober 11, 1997 - Foc

Questionably clad 'Cats
don't have winnmng look

By AlaniGoldonbach
Daily Sports Editor
The first time, it was the law of aver-
ages manifesting itself. The second time,
it was just a stroke of luck.
Wha.would it be called then, if mighty
Michigan lost to questionably clad
Northwestern for the third year in a row?
Cataclysmic? At least for Ann Arbor
folk.
That label would be even more appro-
priate this season since the talent dispar-
ity between these two teams is greater
than in recent years. Whether people
want to believe it or not, the Wildcats had
the personnel on the field and the coach-
ing that proved that they were one of the
nation's top 10 or 15 teams.
But now all that remains, more or less,
from those back-to-back conference
chamfon teams is the coaching. And
unless Gary Barnett shows he can run the
40 in 4.2 seconds and has eligibility
remaining, Northwestern's suprising
term of domination will come to an end.
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS.
NORTHWESTERN RUSHING DEFENSE: The
Wildcats didn't rise to national promi-

nance behind a strong defense. In fact, if
there has been one aspect of their game
that has prevented them from really step-
ping into the nation's super-elite teams, it
has been their inability to stop the run.
Even with two-time Big Ten Defensive
Player of the Year Pat Fitzgerald anchor-
ing the Northwestern front seven, the
Wildcats still allowed almost 140 yards
per game on the ground.
Now - with the departure of
Fitzgerald, fellow linebacker Tim Scharf
and nose tackle Matt Rice - that num-
ber has jumped to 205 yards per game.
How compatible. Behind Chris
Howard, Anthony Thomas, Clarence
Williams and Chris Floyd, Michigan is
averaging 201 yards rushing per game.
The numbers should play out just fine
for Michigan.
EDGE: Michigan
MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS.
NORTHWESTERN PASSING DEFENSE: If

the Wildcats' defense has a strong suit,
it is its secondary, spearheaded by a
pair of safeties, Eric Collier and Mike
Nelson, who are as good as any in the
Big Ten.
But going over the middle has not
been characteristic of Michigan's pass-
ing attack the past few weeks, especially
against Indiana, when quarterback Brian
Griese turned dump-off passes to his
backs in the flat into 20-yard gains.
There's no reason why Michigan
would turn away from that approach,
considering Nortwestern's defense, like
Indiana's, tends to over-pursue, which
often leaves the backs wide open.
EDGE: Michigan
NORTHWESTERN RUSHING OFFENSE
VS. MICHIGAN RUSHING DEFENSE: Unlike
Michigan's diversified backfield attack,
in which any one of four backs could go
for 100 yards, Northwestern puts all of its
eggs in senior Adrian Autry's basket.
Not related to former Wildcats All-
American Darnell Autry, Adrian has
turned out performances similar to those
of his namesake, rushing past the centu-
ry mark in three of his past four games.
As Colorado's Herchell Troutman and
Notre Dame's Autry Denson will attest, a
good resume is merely a good starting
point against Michigan's front seven and
nothing else. The Wolverines held both
to less than 3.5 yards per carry and
weren't the least bit intimidated by their
usually overpowering offensive lines.
Northwestern's line, contrary to its
nickname, isn't very wild nor very good
for that matter. Indiana's De'Wayne
Hogan will get some company in those
whose confidence has been destroyed by
a Michigan run defense that has proven
its preseason critics wrong.

What is Fool Saturday?
otball Saturday, to those who Know the Michigan athletic tradition, is
an institution unparalleled in excitement and spirit. From the action on
the field to the flying marshmallows in the stands, the Big House
becomes the center of life in Ann Arbor each fall, every time the Wolverines
take the field.
For the first time in its 106-year history, The Michigan Daily will try to cap- K
ture the feeling of Football Saturday at home games in 12-page special edi-
tions. Each issue this season will feature coverage of the previous week's
game, player features, a game-day preview, matchups, staff picks, rosters and
statistics. Reports on Michigan sports other than football will be included, to
provide a spotlight for those Wolverines whose performances aren't witnessed
by more than 100,000 fans on a regular basis. Periodically, Athletic
Department news and other relavent stories also will be reported.
It is the Daily's hope that these issues will be fair, entertaining and informa-
tive. They are not intended to be a forum for cheerleading. Rather, they should
give students, alumni and fans a critical, unbiased look at the team and school
they love, and the institution they revere: Football Saturday.
- Nicholas J Cotsonika, Managing Sports Editor
Football Saturday Staff
Football Writers and Sports Editors: Editor in Chief:
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

Second

11o

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Dhani Jones and the Michigan defense have been ruthless this season, especially
in the second half. They have given up just three points after halftime all year.

m m

tT A URAN V

u V 0 f W
S

EDGE: Michigan
NORTHWESTERN PASSING OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN PASSING DEFENSE:
Northwestern quarterback Tim Hughes
should be seeing a lot of Michigan all-
everything Charles Woodson.
Not because Michigan has some
secret corner blitz attack planned, but
because Hughes is also the Wildcats'
punter and should be sending a bunch of
kicks Woodson's way.
Northwestern's passing game has sur-
prised many in light of the loss of quar-
terback Steve Schnur to graduation and
receiver D'Wayne Bates to a season-end-
ing knee injury in the preseason.
Receiver Brian Musso has picked up
Bates' slack and has proceeded to catch
34 passes, the most in the Big Ten.
But after Musso, Hughes' options are

SPOR T S

BAR

I

SP rtsBar
The Michigan Daily
Readership Poll 1995-1997

limited, meaning that as long as
Michigan sticks Woodson on Musso,
Hughes will either become much more
acquainted with his other receivers or his
long snapper's rear end which he'll see
virtually every fourth down.
EDGE: Michigan
SPECIAL TEAMS: Northwestern kicker
Brian Gowins earned All-Big Ten honors
last season and seems to be on his way to
repeating this year. At a time where reli-
abilty is paramount among kickers,
Gowins has been just that, connecting on
12 of 16 attempts this season.
But let's not forget about where the
Michigan kicking game has come since
the beginning of the season. Kraig Baker
has overcome early-season jitters and has
settled into his role; Jay Feely has been
almost automatic in getting touchbacks
on kickoffs; and Jason Vinson has given
everyone in Ann Arbor reason to believe
that walk-ons are not bottom-of-the-bar-
rel kids just looking to get a cool uniform.
Vinson better get off some good kicks
because Musso, the Wildcats' return
man, is averaging almost 13 yards each
time he brings one back.
EDGE: Even
EVEN
They said it couldn't be done the first
time when the men in purple pants
waltzed into Michigan Stadium with
nothing to lose. They laughed when the
proposal came up again the following
year with Michigan holding a 16-point
fourth-quarter lead. Barnett, though, is
such a great coach that he alters the view
of this game from an automatic
Michigan victory to one Northwestern
could steal.
Start doing those wind sprints, Gary,
because it isn't looking good for you oth-
erwise:
Michigan 30, Northwestern 10

,

-/ 1,- - A rli - --? -V

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EDTRA ST.F Jsh -hit ,Eito ntif
NEWS Jodi S. Cohen, Managing Editor
EDITORS: j,'' E I rg c urie Mayk, Anupama Reddr n Weisrt
STAFF: Jan'r Adamy David Bricker. Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud. Megan Exley. Mara Hackett. Stephanie Hepburn, Heather Kamins. Jeffrey
Kosseff .C.,- W am Nash. Christine M Pa rk at Pona.Susan Port. Alice Robinson Peter Romer-Friedman Ericka 'M
SmithN Mi'e Sii'n. S -Sass. Heather Wiggin. Kristen Vv g~rt.cJennfrYachinr
CALENDAR WA W- :.ert
EDMORIALErin Marsh, Editor
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EDOITORS:A , 0_ ,iu h John Leroi, Jim Rose. Danielle Runomr
STAFF T Br etvanBraunstein. Chris Duprey, Chris Farah. Jordan Field. JOn Fredberg, James Goldstein, Km Hart, Josh Klemntaum,.
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SuamantrroJaci0 mw Peter.

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Adam Pollock, Editor

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Editor
BLOOMINGTON - All it took was
a little patience. And that's been charac-
teristic of slow-starting Michigan this
season, just a little time to warm up
before laying it on its opposition.
After a sluggish first quarter, the
heavily-favored Wolverines proved the
oddsmakers right, dumping 28 points
on Indiana in the game's second 15
minutes en route to a 37-0 blowout and
leaving a sour gift for the Hoosier faith-
ful at their Homecoming last week.
"So many
Michigan 37 times when
y ou'r e
©)Indiana 0 favorite and
you're com-
ing off an emotional win, you have a
letdown' Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said.
For the second time this season,
Michigan avoided such a letdown with
a dominant quarter featuring a play-
calling scheme that continually con-
fused the Hoosiers and a defense that
was stifling from the Wolverines'
starters straight down to the bench
warmers.
Brian Griese, despite playing just a
little more than half the game, contin-
ued his magnificent play, completing
16 of 26 passes for 204 yards and going
a third-straight game without throwing
an interception.
"We wanted to establish some bal-
ance between our running game and
passing game," Griese said. "But we
came out and- threw a lot more in the
first half. That's something we wanted
to do and that will help us down the

road, and we're going to have to
again.
Griese, as well as those who folk
him under center, Tom Brady and J
Kapsner, gave Indiana fits with sii
dump-off passes to Michigan's b
field. The running backs caugh
passes from Michigan quarterb
mainly because the Wolverines
able to exploit Indiana's man-to-
defensive scheme.
"Their defense over-pursues a
Michigan fullback Chris Floyd
"They go with fakes and put pres
on the quarterback and in the proce
putting that pressure on, the back
sneak out and get wide open, and w
that for big plays."
Surprisingly, after Michigan fi
success with that play in the first
Indiana coach Cam Cameron, a fo
Michigan assistant, did not make
halftime adjustments, and
Wolverines proceeded to execute e
tively in the second half.
"I thought in the second half,
run it up the middle because in the
half, we were running around the et
Floyd said. "Our game plan was to
them on the outside and around
ends and when they adjust to that,
we would hit it up the middle. But
never adjusted at all so we stuck tc
game plan."
It took awhile for Michigan tc
that game plan to practice.
Wolverines came away from the
quarter with only a 27-yard field
from Kraig Baker to show for ti
selves. Their opening drive was sto
by a zealous Indiana defense ins]
by the Homecoming crowd.

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