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October 16, 1997 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-16

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 16, 1997
AROUND THE CREN>F
Another round of Big Ten battles begins

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports NVrter
Last weekend, the war began in
earnest. The battle between two Big Ten
powerhouses resulted in one team limp-
ing home and the other striding to an
impressive victory, which could eventu-
ally affect the Rose Bowl race. Penn
State won a decisive victory over Ohio
State.
The Big Ten picture cleared up at
least a little bit. We now know that No.
1 erin State is probably the strongest
tem - in the conference. Ohio State,
however, still is in the race; the
Buckeyes did give the Lions a run for
their money. Other games - while not
on such a grand scale - also affected
the standings.
There are six Big Ten teams in the
Top 25. Therefore, every conference
win or loss affects not only conference
standings, but the prominence of the Big
Ten on a national level.
While Penn State is the nation's top-
xariked team, Wisconsin is on top local-
ly Eie Badgers have quietly taken over
the top position in the conference with-
out the hullabaloo surrounding the other
teams. They also annihilated Big Ten
cellar-dweller Illinois last weekend.
With the exception of Ohio State and
Iowa, the other five top 25 Big Ten
teams are still undefeated. The war will
wage' on until there is eventually one

clear winner.
This week another round will be
waged.'
No. 12 MICHIGAN STATE (2-0 BIG
TEN, 5-0 OVERALL) AT NORTHWESTERN
(0-3, 2-5):
The way this season has been going
so far, this game should prove to be no
real contest. Michigan State looks solid,
but the Wildcats look a little bit more
like kittens after several weak outings:
Michigan State is playing a well-
rounded game. Last week's Big Ten spe-
cial teams player of the week, Sedrick
Irvin, is running circles around oppos-
ing defenses.
If all goes according to plan, and the
Wildcat's don't let out a surprising roar,
then Michigan State should roll on with-
out even hitting a bump in the road.
Michigan State 21, Northwestern 7
MINNESOTA (0-2, 2-4) AT No. 1 PENN
STATE (2-0, 5-0):
Unfortunately for the Golden
Gophers, the Nittany Lions are coming.
off an emotionally thrilling victory over
Ohio State. The Lions, following in the
footsteps of superstar running back
Curtis Enis, do not look like they will be
tripped up soon.
Last weekend, Enis ran for 211 yards
against a mighty Ohio State defense,
which had long been feared throughout
the nation. So, if Enis can poke holes in

that brick wall, what will he do to a
Minnesota defense that allowed 158
yards rushing to Purdue?
The Gophers are consequently huge
underdogs, Can they upset the Lions?
Probably not.
Penn State 45, Minnesota 7
No. 24 WiscONSIN (3-0, 6-1) AT
PURDUE (2-0, 4-1):
This year the Boilermakers are not
quite the underdogs they once were.
Maybe they're not quite one of the top,
six teams in the Big Ten, but they're off
to a flying start after beating Notre
Dame, Minnesota and Northwestern.
That's already as good as last season's
measly 3-8 overall and 2-6 conference
records. After Purdue quarterback Billy.
Dicken's five-touchdown performance
last week, Purdue looks somewhat
impressive. This current four-game win-
ning streak is its longest since 1980.
The Badgers are also a team on the
rebound. Once again, on top of the Big
Ten, the Badgers are 3-0 in the confer-
ence having won six straight.
This should be an interesting game.
Once again, two undefeated teams will
face off, and of course, someone will
fall.
Wisconsin 35, Purdue 27
INDIANA (0-3, 1-5) AT No. OHIO
STATE (1-1, 4-1):
If any game can serve to rebuild a

team's confidence, it will be this one.
Ohio State suffered a close and emo-
tional defeat at the hands of mighty
Penn State.
Those kind of victories can scar a
team for a season. Just look at what hap-
pened to Michigan in 1994 after a loss
to Colorado. Perhaps a tough loss can be
redeemed with the annihilation of
another team.
But all things considered, that's prob-
ably what will happen. In their last two
games, the Hoosiers have scored a total
of only nine points. Indiana still ranks at
the bottom of most offensive and defen-
sive categories.
The stats aren't good. In fact, they are
pretty awful. Indiana's first-year coach
Cameron is still trying to find his niche
and, unfortunately for Hoosier fans, so
is his team.
Even though they have been defeated,
the Buckeyes still are sitting pretty
behind the defensive wall they have cre-
ated. They have only lost to the top-
ranked team in the country, and not by
much. A pretty impressive statistic.
The game is a huge mismatch. One of
the best teams in the country taking on
one of the worst. And, unless the gods
are really smiling on Indiana, they've
got an insurmountable task ahead of
them.
Ohio State 56, Indiana 3

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Fall Deadline: October 31 sk 1997

AP PHOTO
Michigan State running back Sedrick Irvin ran wild last week with 308 all-purpose
yardage. The Spartans shouldn't have trouble improving their Big Ten record to 3-0
against indiana, who has yet to win in the conference.

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