The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - October 13, 1997 -58
1n on 3rd down
By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Editor
Brian Griese calls it the "money
down." Lloyd Carr has stressed its
importance after every game.
It's third-down conversions, and
Michigan toyed with Northwestern all
game Saturday, moving the ball hesitant-
ly on the first two downs and then break-
ing the Wildcats' backs on third down
just when they seem pinned.
"Third downs are what enable you to
maintain possession," Carr said.
"Anytime you're around 33-34 percent,
you're very good. If you're over 40 per-
cent, it's excellent."
So what would Michigan's 11-for-20
performance Saturday constitute?
On Michigan's final drive of the first
half, the Wolverines converted four
straight third-down situations, all with
six or more yards to go.
The first play came on a third and
seven at the Michigan 24, when Griese
hit Clarence Williams in the flat, three
yards shy of the first-down marker. But
Williams bullied his way over
Northwestern cornerback Gerald
Conway's tackle for the extra yardage,
keeping the drive alive.
If the Wolverines don't convert there,
it's fourth down from deep in their zone
and unless Jason Vinson can get off a
whopper of a punt, Northwestern is look-
ing at some pretty good field position.
Money down, money play.
Four plays later, on a third and seven,
Griese hit Charles Woodson streaking
over the middle. Woodson caught the ball
plenty deep enough for a first down but
instead, fought off a few would-be tack-
lers and stretched the play into a 30-yard
gain, bringing it all the way down to the
Northwestern 34-yard line.
Money play from a money player.
"It's one thing we stress as one of the
key aspects of a good football team,"
right tackle Jon Jansen said. "It's a
tremendous lift for a team to put together
a string of those plays."
A 12-yard completion to Russell Shaw
on a third-and-eight brought the ball
down to the 11 and set up Griese's first
touchdown pass to Jerame Tuman three
plays later with less than two minutes
remaining. And of course, that play hap-
pened on ... third down.
That touchdown, that drive turned out
to be the game's turning point as
Michigan went into the lockerroom up
13-3 rather than just three.
It isn't the first time this season
Michigan worked wonders on third
downs. Against Indiana last week, the
Wolverines were 10-for-19, and an
amazing eight for 14 versus Baylor, a 57-
percent success rate.
On the season, Michigan is 38-for-79
on third downs. That's 48 percent of the
time the Wolverines have converted. To
put it in a defensive perspective, that's
cutting the number of punts down nearly
But Michigan's defense on third
downs has been almost equally as
impressive. The last two weeks com-
bined, the Wolverines' opponents have
converted only five times on 27 third
downs. For the season, the opposition is
successful less than 30 percent of the
time in 77 opportunities.
Those are your money downs.
Player No. Yds
Burrell 3 76
Gooch 2 32
thwestem's Tim Hughes for one of his two quarterback sacks. The Wolverines sacked Hughes four times.
LSU stuns Florida; Volunteers take Dogs for a walk
Player lnt Yds
Wilkerson 0 0
Collier 0 0
Totals 0 0
Tennessee beat No. 13 Georgia 38-13 on
The Volunteers (2-1 SEC, 4-1) won
their seventh straight over Georgia (2-1,
4-1) by shredding what had been the
SEC's leading defense for 628 yards,
nearly triple what the Bulldogs allowed
on average through their first four games.
The Georgia offense wasn't far behind
with 430 yards. Robert Edwards gained
131 yards on 17 carries and Mike Bobo
completed 20-of-31 passes for 267 yards.
Tennessee put together touchdown dri-
ves of 79, 80, 99, 80 and 75 yards before
106,656 fans, the third-largest crowd in
Neyland Stadium history.
The last Tennessee score came against
Georgia reserves with 1:44 remaining to
play on 15-yard pass from Manning to
Derrick Edmonds, and it left Georgia
coach Jim Donnan pointing his finger
and yelling at the Tennessee sidelines.
NEBRASKA 49, BAYLOR 21 '
Ahman Green scored four touchdowns
and rushed for 158 yards Saturday night
as No. 3 Nebraska overwhelmed Baylor
49-21 in a rain-drenched Big 12 game.
Green, unfazed by the occasional rain
and slick artificial turf, scored on runs of
3, 58, 2, and 30 yards as the nation's top-
ranked offense had its way with the
NCAA's 94th-rated defense.
Nebraska (2-0 Big 12, 5-0) got a brief
early scare from the 39-point underdog
Bears after Green's first touchdown run.
Baylor (0-2, 1-4) came right back on
the next play from scrimmage when
Jerod Douglas dashed 80 yards for a
touchdown around right end.
Quarterback Scott Frost, who passed
for 103 yards and rushed for 71, scored
Nebraska's seventh touchdown on a 1-
yard run in the third quarter.
FLOmDA STATE 51, DUKE 27
Thad Busby ran for two touchdowns
and threw for a score as No. 4 Florida
State took advantage of second-half
turnovers in a 51-27 victory over Duke on
Florida State (3-0 ACC, 5-0) entered
the game with the nation's top-ranked
defense (186.5 yards per game) but gave
up 246 yards to the ACC's third-worst
But the Seminoles' defense smashed
any hopes of a Duke comeback early in
the second half with Florida State already
With 12:24 left in the third quarter,
Florida State's Tony Bryant ripped the
ball away from Duke quarterback Kevin
Thompson, linebacker Sam Cowart
scooped it up and went 24 yards for a
Two minutes later, Dexter Jackson
blocked a punt by Brian Morton and
Derrick Gibson recovered the loose ball
in the end zone.
Duke dropped to 0-3 in the ACC and
Aug. 23 Oklahoma*
Sept. 6 Wake Forest
Sept. 13 DUKE
Sept. 20 RICE
Sept. 27 Purdue
HOME GAMES IN CAPS
* Pigskin Classic at Soldier Field
At a gance
For Michigan, Brian Griese complet-
ed 23 of 36 passes for 244 yards
and two touchdowns, both to tight
end Jerame Tuman, who caught five
passes for 79 yards. Charles
Woodson picked off his third pass of
the season, the 13th of his career,
and recorded his first quarterback
For Northwestern, Brian Musso
caught five passes for 60 yards and
linebacker Barry Gardner made 19
tackles, 15 unassisted.
On it's first drive, Northwestern
drove to the Michigan seven yard-line
before two Michigan sacks knocked
the Wildcats back 28 yards, forcing
a 52-yard field goal attempt that
Brian Gowins nailed. Northwestern
went up 3-0, but Michigan.kept the
Wildcats out of the end zone.
Big Ten Standlng
Team Cof. Ovmai
Wisconsin 3-0 6-1
Micigean 20 so
Michigan State 2-0 5-0
Penn State 2-0 5-0
Purdue 2-0 4-1
Ohio State 1-1 5-1
Iowa 1-1 4-1
Minnesota 0-2 2-4
Northwestern 0-3 2-5
Indiana 0-3 1-5
Illinois 0-3 0.6
Continued from Page 1B
to negative rushing yards at halftime. The Wildcats had
-2 rushing yards at the half, courtesy of three first-quar-
ter sacks, which more than negated tailback Adrian
Autry's 27 yards on the ground heading into the locker-
room. Northwestern quarterback Tim Hughes was taken
the Wildcats their only lead of the game, 3-0.
"Their game plan was to use the clock and possess the
ball," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "Hughes did
quite a job to draw us offsides. There were 11 minutes
gone (after the first drive), and that's not how we want to
On the drive following the Wildcats' field goal, the
Wolverines dove down to the Northwestern 28-yard line
The Wildcats fumbled on the kickoff return, setting
Michigan up on Northwestern's 36-yard line, but the
Wolverines, once again were stymied and had to settle
for a field goal.
Things changed on the Wolverines' next possession.
Michigan capped off a 16-play, 90-yard drive with a
touchdown to give them a 10-point lead at the half.
On second and nine from the Northwestern 10-yard