The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 30, 1997 - 11A
Rose Bowl picture will be clearer after this weekend
By David DenHerder and
Daily Sports Writers
The dust is finally starting to settle on
a rambunctious Big Ten conference.
In a season that began with boundless
potential, Rose Bowl hopes now only
dance in the hearts of four teams.
tional title dreams enchant two.
east weekend the eyes of the nation
were focused on East Lansing, where
No. 4 Michigan once again broke the
hearts of the Spartan faithful to remain
one of the conference's two remaining
unbeaten teams. With its second loss in
as many weeks, Michigan State was all
but eliminated from the Rose Bowl pic-
The ninth-ranked Buckeyes are still
,nging to a ray of hope this week after
. posing of Northwestern in
Columbus. A surprising No. 18 Purdue
has a.share of the conference lead with
an impressive victory over Illinois last
This weekend features all four of the
Rose Bowl hopefuls in what should
help condense the post-season picture.
No. 18 PURDUE (4-0 BIG TEN, 6-1
OVERALL) AT No. 16 IowA (2-2, 5-2):
Do not be deceived by Iowa's .500
nference record. The Hawkeyes have-
had the misfortune of playing Ohio
State and Michigan back-to-back. In the
game against the Wolverines, Iowa took
the fourth quarter loss personally, and
proceeded to take 62 points of anger out
on lowly Indiana last weekend,
Purdue is undefeated in conference
play and humbled Illinois last week, 48-
3. The key to that game was Kendall
Continued from Page 8A
Although the Wolverines are the
favorite this year, the race will not be a
cake-walk. Wisconsin, the three-time
defending champ, is tough again this year.
The sixth-ranked Badgers will be
looking to add to their winning streak
and to their league-leading total of 32
Ranked just behind the Badgers is No.
7 Michigan State. The Spartans finished
third last year behind Michigan at the
Big Tens. Minnesota is the fourth Big
Ten team ranked in the top 25. The
Golden Gophers are ranked 24th.
Although the Wolverines have not fin-
ished first as a team since 1993, the indi-
vidual Big Ten champion has come from
Michigan the past four seasons.
Sullivan contributed to the last
chigan Big Ten championship, finish-
ing first in 1993.
Mathews and his 177 yards rushing. The
key to this game will be his absence -
Mathews will be sidelined 2-4 weeks
with a leg injury.
That puts the spotlight on Iowa's
Tavian Banks, who averages 160.7 yards
rushing per game. Quarterback Matt
Sherman also will be returning after sus-
taining a sprained thumb last week,
offering little consolation to the
Purdue is allowing 20.3 points per
game already. To put things in perspec-
tive, Michigan has allowed 37 points in
all its conference games, and 24 of those
came from Iowa. Prepare for a high-
scoring affair this Saturday.
Purdue will have its first winning sea-
son since 1984, but Iowa will try to
make sure the Boilermakers won't have
a shot at Pasadena.
Iowa 35, Purdue 17
No. 9 OHIo STATE (3-1, 7-1) AT No.
20 MICHIGAN STATE (2-2,5-2):
Michigan State is another team with a
deceiving 2-2 conference mark. One
fluke loss to Northwestern and a crush-
ing defeat to Michigan has the Spartans
on the outside looking in.
Ohio State, on the other hand, still
has a glimmer of hope for the Big Ten
title, but now must run the table and
get some help from Penn State's oppo-
As far as this week's game goes, the
Buckeyes match up fairly well with
Michigan State. Ohio State beat a very
similar Iowa team earlier in the season
by shutting down Banks and will try to
do the same with tailback Sedrick
And he didn't let down after that, win-
ning in '94 and '95, as well.
But last year, Sullivan was not able to
compete in the event because of an injury
that kept him out the entire season.
In Sullivan's place, Mortimer picked
up the slack and picked up a victory as he
became champion, keeping the streak
alive. Now, both are back and healthy,
posing an interesting situation this week.
Although both Sullivan and Mortimer
have been trading victories this season,
they have crossed the finish line together.
Both have finished the race coasting
to their respective victories, but will that
happen this weekend?
"I'm definitely looking to retain my
title this year, and I'm sure Kevin wants
to win it as much as I do," Mortimer said.
Although Sullivan and Mortimer are
competing for the individual title, they
both want to win for the team.
"This is the best team I've ever been
on," Mortimer said. "I'd really like to
win the Big Ten championship."
The Buckeyes will also have to deal
with quarterback Todd Schultz who,
except for last week's debacle, has been
leading a methodical and impressive
It's do or die for Ohio State's Rose
Bowl hopes, but it's do or die for
Michigan State's respectable bowl
hopes. Michigan State coach Nick
Saban will have his team back on top of
its mental game, so don't expect deject-
ed Spartans, and don't expect Michigan
State to drop two straight at home. This
will be a good one.
Michigan State 17, Ohio State 14
No. 2 PENN STATE (3-0, 6-0) AT
NORTHWESTERN (1-4, 3-6):
After the Wildcats beat Michigan
State in all-too-familiar fashion, some
people were calling for another upset in
Columbus. But the Buckeyes prevailed
over the Cats, 49-6. Which
Northwestern team will show up against
the second-best team in the nation? It
might not matter - the Nittany Lions
have won 11-straight and are coming off
a bye week. They will be well-rested and
hard to stop.
Northwestern running back Adrian
Autry will need to have an even bigger
game than he did against Michigan State
to offset Penn State offensive threats
Curtis Enis and Joe Jurevicius.
No upset here. Penn State coach Joe
Paterno wants his 400th win, and the
Nittany Lions will give it to him.
Penn State 35, Northwestern 14
ILLINOIS (0-4, 0-6) AT INDIANA (0-4,
Get the family together and prepare
for the all-American toilet bowl. Illinois
Micihlgan held Iowa's Tavian Banks at bay two weeks ago, but this week he will use his 160.7 yards on the ground to tryto
hand Purdue its first loss of the season.
and its 12-game losing streak square off
for a David versus David battle in
The Big Ten will finally have the
answer to a question it has been ponder-
ing for five weeks: Which team is the
worst of the worst?
Illinois coach Ron Turner has run out
of options and is again starting redshirt
freshman quarterback Tim Lavery, who
also started in games against Iowa, Penn
State and Wisconsin.
Indiana has suffered four consecutive
losses against top 25 teams and has also
dropped four straight to the Illini.
But in the end, there cannot be two
worst teams. After 60 minutes with 30
punts, Bobby Knight comes in to throw
a chair at the Illini offense, leading to
Indiana's dramatic game-winning safety.
Indiana 2, Illinois 0 (OT)
Continued from Page 9A
they won just one game in the Big Ten and eight
games overall. Under former coach Trish Roberts,
Michigan posted a lowly 5-63 record in the Big
Guevara injected new life into the program, and
the Wolverines finished with a 15-1l record last
"We wanted to be 8-8 in the Big Ten," Guevara
said. "We were 7-9, and we can be better than 7-
Guevara is not the only person with confidence
in the Wolverines. The Sporting News picked
Michigan to finish fourth in the conference. Part
of that confidence results from the return of the
top seven players from last year's team.
Senior Polyannna Johns was named to the pre-
season All-Big Ten team and will be a key con-
tributor for the '97-98 team.
"She is a stronger, leaner, meaner Polyanna
Johns with more range on her shot," Guevara said.
"She wants to go to the next level, and she worked
very hard over the summer."
Handling the ball this year for the Wolverines is
Stacey Thomas, last year's Big Ten Freshman of
the Year. In her first season, Thomas averaged 12.9
points a game and made 71 steals, good for fourth
on Michigan's all-time steals list. .
"I have to work on my defense," Thomas said.
"They call me the hugger because I like to hug a
lot. I need to work on my weakside defense."
There is energy and excitement surrounding this
year's basketball team.
Last year, attendance at Michigan's games
tripled. The Wolverines now walk with a little
swagger in their step and have confidence that was
absent in years past.
"I think there is lot of baggage that is gone,"
Guevara said. "This team is mentally stronger than
last year. Is it as strong as I think it can be? Not by
Michigan will need increased mental toughness
if it wants to contend for the conference champi-
Illinois returns everyone from its Big Ten co-
championship team last year.
The Fighting Illini have been picked by The
Sporting News and the Big Ten media poll to win
the conference again this year.
"People that contend make layups and make free
throws," Guevara said. "They need to have a men-
tal edge even on the road."
Right behind Illinois is Iowa, another of the reg-
ular season Big Ten co-champions and the winner
of last year's Big Ten Tournament. Iowa returns all
five starters as well, including two members of the
preseason All-Big Ten teams, Tangela Smith and
The Wolverines will be without the services of
several of its 1996 contributors. Anne Poglits
focused her attention on volleyball while Jennifer
Kiefer was forced to retire due to injury.
But several newcomers will be stepping in to
help replace them.
Guevara recruited three freshmen and one trans-
fer from Bowling Green.
Anne Thorius, a native of Horsholm, Denmark,
will also be expected to step in and contribute
Guevara is excited;
"I hope we can put
year," Guevara said.
about her freshmen and the
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