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November 14, 1997 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-14

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 14, 1997 - 11

The Matchups:
iadgers on a roll,
but 'M' is butter

By Danielle Rurmore
jily Sports Editor
Wisconsin has come a long way
since its season-opener debacle
against Syracuse in the Kickoff
Classic at Giants Stadium.
After Syracuse's Kevin Johnson
ran back an 89-yard kickoff for a
touchdown on the game's opening
drive, the Orangemen went on to roll
to a 34-0 victory.
Barry Alvarez said after the game
l at, "we're a young team. We have
ne to improve."
,Pow clairvoyant.
Since the game, the 23rd-third-
ranked Badgers have gone 8-1 over-
all and 5-1 in the Big Ten to sit in a
three-way tie for second place in the
conference.
The Badgers' Rose Bowl hopes are
still alive, but they will have to get
by their biggest test to date when
Sy tackle No. 1 Michigan (6-0, 9-0)
morrow at Camp Randall Stadium.
The Badgers have won two-
straight against the Wolverines, but
they have won three straight games
against Michigan just once in their
history (1959, '60, '62),
Whether the Badgers can do it for
the second time against a Michigan
team that dominated Penn State last
week in State College remains to be
seen.
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS.
WISCONSIN RUSHING DEFENSE:
Michigan turned in its best offen-
sive effort last week at Penn State,
gaining 265 yards on the ground.
Running backs Chris Howard and
Anthony Thomas and fullback Chris
Floyd carried the bulk of the load,
rushing for 195 yards and two touch-
downs. Howard led the Wolverines'
rushing attack for the third straight
ek gaining 120 yards.
Tailback Clarence Williams
missed last week's game with a ham-
string pull suffered against
Minnesota two weeks ago. It has not
been determined whether he will
play tomorrow.
The Badgers are ranked sixth in
the Big Ten in rush defense, surren-
dering 143.8 rushing yards a game
and 12 touchdowns on the season.
Wisconsin padded its stats with a
Sellar defensive effort against Iowa's
vaunted offense last week, but it
shouldn't make much of a difference.
If Michigan's offensive line can
mirror last week's performance and
continue to cut down on turnovers
and penalties, and if the three backs
can maintain Michigan's 201.6 rush-
ing average, the Wolverines should
be fine - even without Williams.
ADVANTAGE: Michigan

MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS.
WISCONSIN PASSING DEFENSE:
Michigan quarterback Brian
Griese has been the picture of con-
sistencv this season.
H[is favorite target - and most
reliable-has been tight end Ierame
Tuman. Look for Tuman to be used
regularly in the last two regular sea-
son games and the bowl game, since
Michigan's other receivers have been
inconsistent.
Tai Streets seems to be playing a
game of hot potato more often than
football, and he hasn't had a recep-
tion in either of the last two games.
Russell Shaw has played sporadical-
ly, so the bulk of the load has fallen
on Tuman, Cornerback Charles
Woodson has been used more on
offense as of late, but only on a few
plays per game.
The Badgers have only given up
129.6 yards in the air, and last week
they held high-flying Iowa to just
one passing touchdown.
ADVANAGE: Wisconsin

Staff
jPicks
-- all picks made
against the
spread.
Game (HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
Michigan (-15) vs. WISCONSIN
Penn State (-6) vs. PURDUE
OHIO STATE (-39 1/2) VS. Illinois
MINNESOTA (.7) vs. Indiana
Iowa (-9) vs. NORTHWESTERN
GEORGIA (-6) vs. Auburn
UCLA (-2) VS. Washington
NGTON STATE (-16) vs. Stanford
LOUISIANA STATE (-11) vs. Notre Dame
Carolina (-6 1/2) vs. CLEMSON
Best Bet
Last week
Overall
Overall best bet

1

NICHOLAS J.
COTSONIKA

Michigan
Penn State
Illinois
Minnesota
Iowa
Auburn
UCLA
Washington State
Louisiana State
North Carolina
Penn State
7-2-1
64-43-1
5-5

ALAN
GOLDENBACH
Wisconsin
Penn State
Ohio State
Minnesota
Northwestern
Georgia
Washington
Washington State
Louisiana State
North Carolina
Penn' State
6.3-1
52-55-1
4-6

JOHN
LEROI

Wisconsin
Purdue
Illinois
Minnesota
Iowa
Auburn
UCLA
Washington State'
Louisiana State
Clemson
Auburn
5-4-1
54-53-1
4-6

DANIELLE
RUMORE

Michigan
Penn State
Illinois
Minnesota
Northwestern
Georgia
Washington
Washington State
Louisiana State
North Carolina
Washington
5-4-1
56-51-1
3-7

WISCONSIN PASSING OFFENSE VS.
MICHIGAN PASSING DEFENSE:
The Badgers are ranked near the
bottom of the pile in passing offense,
averaging just 164.7 yards per game.
It doesn't need to be said again, but
Michigan's defense is the Wolverines'
backbone --- especially its passing
defense. Charles Woodson and safety
Marcus Ray each have five intercep-
tions on the season.
If Wisconsin quarterback Mike
Samuel isn't rattled by the likes of
linebackers Sam Sword and Dhani
Jones and defensive end Glen Steele,
he may have trouble throwing into
the secondary.
If that's the case, the Badgers may
have to rely on the rushing game,
which could encounter problems of
its own.
ADVANTAGE: Michigan

ter punt averages than Michigan's
Jason Vinson.
Stemke and Skrzypchak are averag-
ing 38.7 yards per game, third in the
conference, while Vinson is averaging
35.2. Wisconsin leads the conference
in field goal percentage (.857), while
Michigan is third (.750).
It's all pretty close, but Michigan
does utilize Woodson on punt
returns. He's bound to return one
sometime.
ADVANTAGE: Michigan
The Badgers need this game to
stay alive in the Rose Bowl hunt, and

BADGERS
Continued from Page 9
ence's second-rated passer. "We haven't
beaten them in four years, and there is
still a bad taste in our mouths."
Alvarez has the Badgers on a mission
to regain the respect they earned after
winning the 1994 Rose Bowl, then
slowly lost as they vanished from
national attention. Wisconsin was
trounced, 34-0, in the Kickoff Classic
by Syracuse, but then won seven of its
next eight games.
Yet, Wisconsin hasn't looked that
dominant this season.
Three of the Badgers' wins have
come by one point, and they are
outscoring their conference opponents
by a margin of only 139-134.
Wisconsin's win over Iowa was its first
victory over a Big Ten opponent with a

winning record since 1995. But that
was enough for the Badgers to climb
into the AP top 25.
"I think a lot of people in the state of
Wisconsin and around the country still
think we're a joke," senior linebacker
and team captain David Lysek said. "I
hope that this week we can shut up peo-
ple who thought we were pretenders."
That should be a tough task. But
remember - though most of us don't
- the last time the Wolverines
marched into Madison with a No. 1
ranking, they were upset 21-14. And
while Michigan coach Lloyd Carr isn't
using that as a motivational tool, don't
be surprised if Alvarez whips some-
thing like that out of the closet.
"I don't think that letter thing is
going to work again, so I've got to try
something else," Alvarez said. "Only
problem is, I'm all out of tricks."'

WIsCONsIN RI SHING OFFENsE VS.
MICuItGAN RISHING DEFENSE;
Wisconsin's All-America and
Heisman Trophy candidate, running
back Ron Dayne, missed most of last
week's game with an ankle sprain,
but he is expected to play tomorrow.
Dayne is second in the conference
and third in the nation in rushing,
averaging 143.9 yards per game. He
is tied for first in the Big Ten with
Iowa's Tavian Banks in rushing
touchdowns (15).
The Badgers tend to run their offense
around Dayne, but when he went down
last Saturday, Eddie Faulkner took over,
rushing for 1 19 yards.
Dayne and his backfield mates will
have to deal with Michigan's rushing
defense, which is ranked first in the
conference. The Wolverines are allow-
ing just 80.9 yards a game and are the
only Big Ten team allowing an average
under 100 yards per game.
ADVANTAGE: Michigan

the Wolverines need it to continue
leading the race, while keeping their
national title hopes alive.
Wisconsin has improved tremen-
dously since its loss to Syracuse at
the start of the season, but its victory
over Iowa last week was its first vic-
tory over a Big Ten opponent with a
winning record since 1995.
And facing a very focused and
determined Michigan team with the
nation's best defense should prove
too much to handle.
Michigan 35, Wisconsin 13

U U

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SPECIAL TEAMS:
Wisconsin and Michigan are not
exactly special teams powers. Both
rank near the middle to the bottom of
the Big Ten in kickoff and punt returns.
Wisconsin punters Kevin Stenke
and E. Skrzypchak have slightly bet-

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