The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - October 20, 1997 - 5B
terrible 1st half
By John Leroi
Daily Sports Editor
Two months ago, people groaned
when he was named Michigan's starting
quarterback. Last week, he was a hero.
Last year, after leading the
Wolverines' to a 13-9 win over Ohio
State, everybody loved him. In 1995, lots
of people hated him.
After throwing for two second-half
touchdowns and running for another in
Michigan's 28-24 come-from-behind
win over Iowa, Brian Griese was
Michigan's savior. But, in the first half,
Griese's three interceptions had at least
one person wishing he was dead.
That's right - three interceptions after
throwing just one in the Wolverines' first
five games. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
must have had thoughts of yanking
Griese after such a poor performance.
"Are you crazy?" Carr snapped at the
question. "But, I was going to kill him."
Death threats and all, it was just anoth-
er day at work for Griese. He's pretty
much seen it all in his five years at
Michigan. He's played well and he's
played poorly. The first half certainly was
not Griese's best performance.
Two of his three interceptions turned
into Iowa touchdowns. At least two other
passes were poorly thrown. Michigan
was moving the ball on the Hawkeyes,
but could muster just seven points thanks
to stupid penalties, a fumble and Griese's
Nothing was going really well for the
Wolverines and they found themselves
down, 21-7, at halftime. Forget an unde-
feated season. Forget a Big Ten title.
Forget the Griese for president cam-
"Absolutely my worst half of football
since I've been here,' Griese said.
But with the fans on his back and his
coach planning his funeral, he didn't
fold. A younger Griese may have. Three
interceptions and a devastating first half
make even the steadiest of quarterbacks
lose their confidence.
But Griese has been around the
proverbial block, and much to Carr's
delight - but not surprise - Griese
showed the poise that made him Carr's
choice as the Wolverines' starter.
Griese orchestrated two third-quarter
touchdown drives to even the score at 21.
He tossed a nifty 10-yard pass to
Russell Shaw on third down to cap the
first drive, then dove into the end zone
himself from a yard out on fourth down
after his running backs couldn't quite
Then, he lead the Wolverines on a 77-
yard clock-eating drive capped by a two-
yard touchdown toss to tight end Jerame
Tuman. No matter how dazzling Griese
was in the third, the game-winning
touchdown drive was most impressive.
"That's why Brian Griese returned to
school," Carr said, "to lead us on drives
Griese looked like a leader, shaking
off a terrible first half and playing a phe-
nomenal second. Not many quarterbacks
could have pulled that off, and they are
No. Yds Avg
8 346 43.3
Player No. Yds
Dwight 2 82
Carter 1 26
Gibson 1 10
Total 4 118
Michigan quarterback Brian Griese saw only one way into the end zone on this
fourth-quarter drive - and that was over the top of the defense. Griese's touch-
down tied the game at 21 and sparked Michigan to the 28-24 triumph.
the ones who are able to usually end their
seasons on New Year's Day.
"That was the toughest game that I've
ever had to play," Griese said. "But I
knew sooner or later I was going to have
to play in one of those games.
Everything wasn't going to always go
right for me."
Forget playing like a good quarter-
back, Griese proved he was much more:
an effective leader. He accepts blame
when he messes up. He learns from his
mistakes and for the first time in his
career, nothing is rattling him, not even
the worst half of his life.
"I knew at that point it was up to me,"
Griese said. "We were down because of
me and I knew I had to lead us back.
Nobody else was going to do it but me.
"I was tested and anytime somebody's
in that situation, you learn something
about their character. But I said to myself
that I was I was never going to get down.
I know I can play this game"
Player Int Yds
Atkins 1 13
Gibson 1 64
Cooks 1 15
',falling 19-17 to Northwestern in
igan vs. 6-0 Michigan State matchup.
4r. "It's the state championship,"
No matter what their record is,
ie a good team." The Wolverines won
' prevailed on Michigan's last trip to
s were ranked, No. 5 Michigan edged
ng. Starting today, No. 15 Michigan
blocked punt. There was a fumble by.
C Howard, who sustained a rib injury
ofue play and was taken to the hospital
as a precaution. And there were problems
with the offense line, which allowed five
sacks for the game.
And after Dwight, the nation's leading
punt-returner last season, snaked through
a-field of blue for his touchdown, the
Wolverines left the field to a hearty round
"Coach Carr asked us, Is there any
man here who doesn't think we can
4"' Ray said. "Nobody said a word."
j The formula for a comeback was sim-
ple, said Tuman, who had seven recep-
tions for 85 yards. "We know what we're
apable of doing when we execute," he
said. "No matter what the score, we're
tll in the game."
So after halftime, Carr grabbed Griese
n the sideline. Tuman said no one was
iown on Griese, who had thrown one
n rception all season previously,
'tause you can't expect perfection
very time out.' But Carr made it simpler
"This is why you are here," Carr told
3riese. "This is your time. Bring us back.
Fave fun,.but bring us back."
Griese then hit wide receiver Russell
Thaw froni 10 yards out for a touchdown
HOME GAMES IN CAPS
Much to Michigan's
chagrin, Iowa wide
er Tim Dwight proved
the entire game.
Dwight returned a
punt for a touchdown
at the end of the
first half and
returned a second-
half kickoff for a 72-
Hawkeyes 'teabroken' ater tough loss
At a glance
For Michigan, Anthony Thomas car-
ried 21 times for 129 yards to lead
the Wolverines. Tight end Jerame
Tuman caught seven passes, includ-
ing two for touchdowns and safety
Marcus Ray intercepted two passes.
For Iowa, wide receiver Tim Dwight
totaled 162 yards in punt and kickoff
returns, including a 61-yard return for
a touchdown as the first half expired.
With Iowa up, 24-21, in the fourth
quarter, Michigan drove from its own
30-yard line to the Iowa two-yard line.
On third-and-goal, Brian Griese faked a
hand-off and rolled right, connecting
with Jerame Tuman in the end zone.
Kraig Baker's kick put the Wolverines
up by four with 2:55 remaining in the
Big Ten Standings
Team Conf. Overa
Michigan 3-0 6-0
Penn State 3-0 6-0
Purdue 3-0 5-1
Wisconsin 3-1 6-2
Ohio State 2-1 6.1
Michigan State 2-1 5-1
Iowa 1-2 4-2
Northwestern 1-3 3-5
Minnesota 0-3 2-5
By John Leroi
Daily Sports Editor
So what if Michigan buried the Hawkeyes statistical-
ly? So what if Michigan's defense played better than
Iowa's? The Hawkeyes still felt they should have won.
They capitalized on Michigan turnovers and had a 24-
21 lead in the fourth quarter. After blowing a 14-point
lead, Iowa was devastated.
"Frankly, I don't know what to say to my players
because they're just heart-broken right now," Iowa coach
Hayden Fry said. "Its just a shame to lose like that. I
guess it just wasn't meant to be."
Michigan shut down the Hawkeyes, holding them to
101 yards rushing - with 53 coming on one play -
and 86 yards passing. But the Hawkeyes converted two
Michigan turnovers into touchdowns and Tim Dwight
returned a punt for a score and setup Iowa's go-ahead
field goal with a 72-yard kickoff return.
Iowa's special teams outgained their offense, amass-
ing 220 yards in punt and kick returns and 92 more on
interceptions returns. The Hawkeyes' offense could
muster just 187 --53 which came on one run by Tavian
Banks and 47 on Iowa's last drive.
Dwight set up two and Iowa field goal and scored a
touchdown on the last play of the first half with a 61-
yard punt return. Both times, Michigan blew its kick
coverage, a fact that doesn't please Carr.
"Obviously we have some things
to work on from that standpoint,"
Bic TEN'S BEST?: The final
score would indicate the Michigan
defense didn't play as well in its
first five games., but that wouldn't
paint an accurate picture.
The Wolverines defense may
"The offensive line didn't execute," Banks explained.
"The tight ends were jumping offsides. Its tough, but
guys got to show up to play on Saturday.
"You can talk the talk in practice, but you have to be
ready to play on Saturday."
No DICE: Michigan held up its end of the bargain, but
Michigan State ruined the chance for two undefeated
teams meeting in East Lansing next weekend.
Anwawn Jones blocked Chris Gardner's 28-yard field
goal attempt with five seconds left, earning
Northwestern a 19-17 upset of the No. 12 Spartans.
So the intra-state matchup of undefeateds is history,
along with all the excitement, but don't think that means
the next week's game is now meaningless.
"I don't know what Michigan State is doing right
now," Griese said after Michigan's win at about halftime
of the Michigan State game. "But its going to be a great
game no matter what their record is"