8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 20, 1997
Spoilers and bowl hopefuls battle it out in weekend play*
By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
The Big Ten season is at its peak.
Michigan can reach the top of the
mountain and earn its first champi-
onship in four years, but Ohio State
has other thoughts. Penn State has
two games left and a good bowl on
its agenda, plus a chance to share the
Big Ten crown.
But not all is lost for four other
Big Ten teams - Iowa, Michigan
State, Purdue and Wisconsin. They
can all make a big impact on their
bowl placement - or non-place-
ment - with victories this week-
--t's crunch time, and the trash
heaps of the Big Ten once again have
4n opportunity to play spoilers and
crush bowl hopes.
The spotlight may shine in Ann
Arbor this weekend, but the excite-
ment and importance of the other
games will reverberate throughout
the whole Big Ten.
WISCONSIN (5-2 BIG TEN, 8-3
OVERALL) AT PENN STATE (5-1, 8-
This game is especially interesting
because Wisconsin is the only team
that has never lost in Happy Valley.
But the Nittany Lions are still
angry after being blown-out by
This is Penn State's last home
game of the season, and it will be
particularly special because the team
will say goodbye to 15 seniors,
including wide receiver Joe
Jurevicius and possibly Curtis Enis,
who may leave early for the NFL.
The Badgers sport an excellent
running attack that was able to run
on the No. 1 Michigan defense last
Even if tailback Ron Dayne,
fourth in the nation in rushing, is not
:back from injury, Eddie Faulkner
;and Carl McCullough can pick up
the slack, which they have done in
the past two games.
a But if Wisconsin's running game
is shut down, and quarterback Mike
Samuel is forced to pass, it could be
a long day for the Badgers.
The Badgers' defense kept
Michigan's injured running game at
par, but the Lions have Heisman
candidate Enis, who is all-too
If Penn State can get some great
play out of its offensive line, Enis
would love to have his best game of
the season to increase his chances of
winning the Heisman.
Penn State is also coming off of a
superb performance this past week-
end, thanks to Enis' domination of
the Boilermakers, with 186 yards
rushing and three touchdowns.
Penn State probably still hurts
from the loss to Michigan, and emo-
tions will be running high in Happy
Valley - which could mean the dif-
ference in a close game.
Penn State 24, Wisconsin 20
MINNESOTA (1-6. 3-8) AT IOWA (3-
What happened to Iowa? After
starting the season 4-0 and looking
to sneak in a hand on the Big Ten
championship, the Hawkeyes have
lost four of their past five games.
Their latest debacle was a horren-
dous performance against
Last week, four missed field goals
and a high punt snap leading to a
safety meant five more reasons for
coach Hayden Fry to retire.
Still, Iowa can get a bowl bid if it
can win its last game against
Minnesota. A loss earns the
Hawkeyes a living room seat for the
The Golden Gophers are ready to
spoil Iowa's bowl aspirations. For
the Hawkeyes to beat Minnesota and
capture the golden pig - Floyd of
Rosedale (where do they come up
with these names?) - they will need
better performances on special
Luckily for Iowa, the only thing
that the Gophers can say so far is,
"Well, at least we almost beat Penn
The Iowa defense can and will
stop the run as easily as it did last
week, when it held the Wildcats and
Adrian Autry to only 85 yards on 38
But Minnesota's defense has little
hope in stopping tailback Tavian
Banks, another Heisman candidate,
who would also like to make an
Fry hopes to make sure the game
doesn't come down to field goals,
especially at home. But if it does,
expect the Gophers to be putting a
pig where the Little Brown Jug used
Iowa 31, Minnesota 10
MICHIGAN STATE (2-4, 5-4) AT
ILLINOIS (0-7, 0-10):
Michigan State lost another game
last week due to special teams. It
boggles the mind that college
recruiters don't try to get better
kickers and other special teams play-
Michigan State's Chris Gardner
missed a 43-yard field goal with
three seconds left in a 22-21 loss to
Statistics mean nothing in college
football - a few bad plays can can-
cel out the best performance.
The Spartans dominated every
other aspect of the game and even
came into the fourth quarter with a
21-10 lead, but it wasn't enough to
compensate for their poor special
But all is fine and dandy this
Nick Saban can sit back, relax and
laugh. His team is playing Illinois,
also called the team that could - do
nothing, that is. The Fighting Illini,
who couldn't even beat Indiana,
could possibly lose to a high school
They have the Big Ten's worst
defense, worst offense and worst
turnover ratio at -10.
Winless in 10 tries, Illinois can
earn a spot as one of the worst teams
in NCAA history with a loss
The Spartans, on the other hand,
could make their season worse and
lose any chance at a bowl bid with a
loss in Champaign.
But that's doubtful - it is
The Illini will cruise to six sec-
ond-half touchdowns after Michigan
State's defense is unable to stop
itself from laughing, but that still
won't be enough for the Illini's first
Michigan State 45, Illinois 42
PURDUE (5-2, 7-3) AT INDIANA (1-
Instead of a golden pig, this game
is played for a wooden bucket.
What's next? Playing for a roll of
Iowa started off the season 4-0 but has since lost four of its past five games. The slide began when the Hawkeyes fell to
Michigan, 28-24. The Hawkeyes will try to get back on track and secure a bowl bid when they take on Minnesota this week-
end. The Golden Gophers have just one conference victory, but came close to defeating Penn State last month.
Indiana should have won that for
its impressive win over Illinois three
weeks ago in the Big Ten toilet bowl.
Besides that victory, not much
separates the Hoosiers from the
The Hoosiers are at a loss with a
terribly weak offense that has failed
to score more than seven points in
six out of 10 games.
Their running game has only
amassed 864 total yards rushing and
is struggling without the graduated
Alex Smith. Sophomore quarterback
Jay Rodgers has had a rough season
with 12 interceptions and just five
Indiana is the second-worst team
in the Big Ten - behind Illinois -
in almost every category defensive-
The Boilermakers won't need
another prayer or divine intervention
- the only thing that helped them
beat Michigan State two weeks ago.
Instead, Purdue probably sees 'an
opportunity to rebound after ie
blowout loss to Penn State last week-
With a victory, the Boilermakers
can increase their chance to travel to
a high-quality bowl - or at least
one that's 80 degrees and sunny.
They should have no problem.
Purdue 30, Indiana 6
'M' swimming faces a Lion of a dual meeV
By Una Subranmnhan
Daily Sports Writer
Canham Natatorium will once again be filled with the
splash of Big Ten conference competition. The
Michigan women's swimming and diving team will take
to the water against perennial foe Penn State tomorrow
at 3 p.m.
Since 1994, the Wolverines have won every dual meet
against the Lions and look to continue the streak tomor-
This season, the 11-year defending Big Ten champi-
ons are already on a roll. The Wolverines have won all
four of their meets, including winning every event in
their dual meet against Michigan State.
At the Northwestern Relays on Oct. 26, Michigan
out-distanced all the other teams in every event to win
with a total of 220 points.
"The team in general has really been working togeth-
er and pushing each other to get it done," Michigan cap-
tain Ellen Fraumann said. "People have been stepping
up, and so far we've been getting the job done."
The Wolverines have been riding the waves of Kasey
Harris and former Olympian Shannon Shakespeare.
Though only a sophomore, Shakespeare holds the Big
Ten and Michigan records for the 100 free, 200 free, 200
IM, 400 free relay and 800 free relay. She was also last
year's co-Big Ten Swimmer of the Year.
Although she had several health problems earlier in
the season, she has recovered enough to swim competi-
tively in several events.
"I think this season has been going pretty well,"
Shakespeare said. "I've kind of been mixing it around a
lot and not swimming as much free as I normally do.
The 200 IM has probably been my strongest event so
This season will be one of the most important for
Shakespeare. She will swim for Canada at the World
championships in January. For now, though, she is con-
centrating on the Penn State meet.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun,"Shakespeare said.
"Last year, they gave us a good race, and this one should
be (a good race), too. The Big Ten is always competitive."-
Last year's competition in State College resulted in',.
Michigan victory, 178-118. In this year's four competi-
tions, the Wolverines have shined in various events.
"We're very strong in the middle distance sprints and-
the backstroke" Michigan coach Jim Richardson said.
One-third of the way into the season, Michigan:h
also seen strong performances from its freshmen.
"We have a really good freshman class," said
Fraumann. "But right now, it's time for the whole team
to step up and take charge. We're swimming really well..
This season we're looking to repeat as Big Ten champs
and have a full squad for the NCAAs. These meets are
really good training."
This year the Wolverines are racing more Big .Ten
teams than in years past.
"We've always had very good competitioD,"
Richardson said. "This year will be tough, but we've gq-
some very good swimmers.'
Soccer enjoys success.
for Juniors and Seniors.
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Want to work with a faculty researcher vhose research
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will have a lot to
look forward to
next year. The
team will be able
to build off of a
young squad and
cess during the
By Jacob R. Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
Years down the road, when Debbie
Flaherty's playing career at Michigan is
all over, the native of Sutton, Mass., will
smile when she thinks of her experiences
on the soccer team.
Flaherty's career ended on a series of
positive notes. No. 15 Michigan's suc-
cess during her senior season will always
overshadow the program's growing
pains her first three years.
"It's really hard to leave this team,"the
four-year starter said. "Especially since
we just had a great year. I might have left
with a bitter feeling other years, but this
year, it's tough.
"This was finally the first year we
were able to truly unite as a whole. We
all got along with each other, and that led
us to a successful year."
In just the program's fourth year, the
Wolverines (7-1-1 Big Ten, 18-4-1 over-
all) rose to second place in the Big Ten,
eclipsing almost all team records in the
process. They capped it off with a Big
Ten tournament championship.
"We made great strides this year'
Michigan coach Debbie Belkin said.
"The tournament was big because we
gained a lot more respect with it."
This season will be remembered
the year the Wolverines jumped about
four flights of stairs on their way to
national respectability - four because
that's how many more Big Ten games the
Wolverines won this season than last..
Michigan's only major blemish was a
poor showing in the program's first
appearance in an NCAA tournament
game - a 5-1 loss at Nebraska last
Sunday. But that season-ending loss w
only one step backwards.
The Big Ten tournament may have
been the last hurrah for Flaherty and fel-
low seniors Ruth Poulin and Karen
Montgomery, but Michigan's nucleus
consists of underclassmen. . :
"I think we'll be even better next
year," Belkin said. "We'll have the core
back. We already got a taste of success,
and we'll be hungry for more."
Read SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. Clarify your understanding, stimulate
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