Th is season's
COLUMBUS - After the final horn of the season
sounds and the crowds have emptied their stadiums
for the last time until leaves and grass re-emerge, the
details of most of the football games are forgotten.
Outcomes are recollected in terms of who won or who
lost. How a team lost often becomes foggy. Only after a lit-
tle deliberation can one remember the 'how.'
But rivalries are different in that way. Rivalry games take
on a moniker, a nickname to which fans, coaches, players and
writers refer. By mentioning just that nickname or phrase, the
feeling, the drama, the key ingredients and - of course -
the outcome each return in brilliant detail to one's mind.
The 1995 edition of Michigan versus Ohio State was
simply 'The Biakabutuka Game.' Just
by saying it, one recalls watching
Tshimanga Biakabutuka running,
darting, high-stepping to the tune of
more than 300 yards during
In 1996, it was 'The Shawn Springs
Game.'You can just recollect, vividly,
Springs peeking up from the ground SHARAT
as Tai Streets sprinted away from him RAJU
and directly to victory.
'The Woodson Punt Return Game' Sharat
was last season's version, with Charles i tedark
'Heisman' Woodson pushing aside a
couple of defenders and strutting into the end zone. The
rose in his teeth, the hit on David Boston by Marcus Ray -
all of it is easily recollected with that phrase.
Once the dust has settled on this season, a name will be
given to this one, too. Most likely, people will refer to this
as 'The Boston Game'- as they should. Boston, like
Biakabutuka and Woodson before him, took over the game.
The Ohio State wide receiver showed everyone that he
was clearly the best player on the field, only dropping one
pass to mercifully show the Wolverines that he was, in fact,
human. And guardable - although the Michigan defense
Boston and the passing attack were probably the biggest
stories of the game. But the biggest story of the decade '
between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes has been coach
Cooper - annually considered Michigan's MVP - was
probably in danger of losing his house in a burst of flames
if he would have lost this game - with what Lloyd Carr
and others called the best Ohio State team in a decade.
This game reeked of redemption, of Cooper's payback for
being 1-8-1 against Michigan before Saturday's game. In
those games of the past, everything would go right for the
Wolverines against the Buckeyes. Players played their best
games; bounces and calls went Michigan's way.
Not this time. This time, everything worked out for the
Buckeyes. Special teams, with the blocked punts, Michael
Wiley and the running game, the defense, the passing game
- absolutely everything went right for Ohio State.
It was as if Saturday's dismantling of the Wolverines had
been building up inside Cooper and the Buckeyes forever.
Or at least a decade.
Finally, all of that pent-up frustration poured out onto the
field like so many fans after the final horn sounded. So
maybe this game should be remembered as 'Cooper's
Revenge.' It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
- Sharat Raju can be reached via
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ohio State wide receiver David Boston finally lived up to all his talk Saturday. The Junior caught 10 passes for 217 yards, and two touchdowns as the Buckeyes beat Michigan for the first
time since 1994.
NxTR DAME~xii 0
Victories vault icers into first-place tie
Dy MaI rancoscutti
Daily Sports Writer
At one point earlier in the season,
chigan coach Red Berenson called his
average.' He also believed that this
year's squad needed to find itself, stop
living in last year's Cinderella season and
And then No. 4 Michigan State and
No. 5 Notre Dame came to Yost Ice
The Wolverines proved this weekend
that they could again be a reigning force
in the country after battling to two key
g ference victories, beating Michigan
tate, 2-I, on Friday night and Notre
Dame, 1-0, di Saturday.
Michigan now shares the CCHA lead
with the Fighting Irish.
"We didn't exactly run away with
them," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "Our kids are learning to play with
ing on the bench when kids are going
right through the wall to not let the other
team score when the game is on the line.'
Both the Irish and the Wolverines
started off a little flat as neither team
passed crisply, often having trouble con-
trolling the puck.
But the continuing trend throughout
Michigan's weekend was being in the
right place at the right time.
Michigan's Sean Ritchlin can attest to
that. The right winger scored his seventh
goal of the season halfway through the
second period just by crashing the net.
With Ritchlin near the Notre Dame goal,
sophomore Scott Matzka slapped a puck
his way that ricocheted off two players
and into the net.
"Matzka threw it out in front, it came
out, hit my shin pad, and I think it hit
maybe a Notre Dame guy's shin pad,"
Ritchlin said. "It was a great play by
things happen when you go to the net."
While on a five-minute power play 25
seconds into the third period, Michigan
tried to increase its 1-0 advantage when
Josh Langfeld received a pass from
pointman Dave Huntzicker and batted
the flying puck into the net.
But the 2-0 lead didn't become a reali-
ty, as linesman John Nowostka called the
goal off, ruling that Langfeld's stick
swung above the crossbar, nullifying the
"That was a judgment call, and the
linesman called the high-stick,'Berenson
said. "We could see it clearly from the net
and I don't think it was above the cross-
bar at all"
Hanging on to a slim one-goal lead, the
Wolverines rose to the challenge, halting
Notre Dame's third-period attack. Much
of the thanks went to freshman goal-
tender Josh Blackburn, who froze two
and Ben Simon to seal the victory.
"That's what it takes to play at
Michigan, to be able to make the big save
in a tight game" Berenson said. "He
made a couple of huge saves when
Simon and Urick walked in alone, and
those are the chances that I should be
lamenting the fact that we lost the game.'
The ability to shut down the opposing
teams' stars was key to Michigan success
against the Irish, an element that carried
over from its 2-1 emotional victory over
rival Michigan State on Friday night.
A post-renovation record crowd of
6,694 watched the Wolverines halt
Michigan State's top duo of Mike York
and Bryan Adams and finally exact
revenge against Michigan State after
four losses to the Spartans last season.
With the crowd at its loudest this sea-
son, Michigan strangled the Spartans
early, not giving up a shot in the first
Geoff Koch and the Michigan hockey team regained CCHA supremacy this week-