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September 08, 1998 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 8, 1998 - 15A

Associated Press Poll
the AP top 25 poll (1st-place votes).
Team Points Previous
1. Ohio State (39) 1,70831
2. Florida State {22) 1,667 2
3. Florida (4) 1,571 3
4. Nebraska (2) 1,546 4
5. Kansas State (2) 1,418 6
6. UCLA (1) 1.394 7
7. LStJ 1,279 9
8. Tennessee 1,274 1o
9. Penn State 1,131 13
10. Notre Dame 1,104 22
11. Washington 1,051 18
12. Virginia 963 16
13. Mkigdan 81.8 5
14. Arizona State 737 8
15. Georgia 716 19
16. Colorado 619 -
17, Wisconsin 534 20
18. Texas A&M 487 14
19. SyracUse 470 17
20. West Virginia 445 11
21. Arizona 361 24
22. Southern Cal 287 -
23. Texas 250 -
24. Oregon 141 -
25. Missouri 123

Victory put shine back into tarnished Dome.

By Jim Rose
Daily Sports Editor
NOTRE DAME - At last, Bob
Davie can sleep easy.
He hasn't been able to, really, since
taking over the head coaching position at
Notre Dame a year ago. His Irish lost
four of their first five games, which, to
hear Notre Dame alumni tell it, was just
(barely) this side of the end of the world.
Then, the South Bend summer was one
of the worst ever, as a pair of front-page
lawsuits splattered the school's golden
image with so much mud. Furthermore,
former Purdue coach Jim Colletto was
back as offensive coordinator. All in all,
Bob Davie's first year in charge of the
Notre Dame program was a rough one.
And even though
Ron Powlus finally
graduated, there
wasn't much rea-
son to believe that
things would get
But the second
year sure started
out all right.
Davie's Irish sur- Davie
prised the country
when they shocked Michigan last week-
end. They ran up and down the field
against the defending champs like
nobody had in more than a year. In
doing so, they vaulted themselves from a
No. 22 ranking (which even Davie
admitted was likely a generous nod to
the program's history) to a top 10 spot,
and bounced Michigan from the nation-
al picture in just the first week of the sea-
For Davie, it was the first really big
win of his tenure, and a welcome relief
from an entire summer of negative press.
But don't try and tell him that his
team's strong showing was in response
to the criticism of recent months.
"This had nothing to do with the sum-
mer; he said. "That's a whole different
Still, it had to be a weight off his
shoulders. First, he had to watch as an

'NCAA probe discovered that Kimberly
Ann Dunbar, a booster, gave former
players free trips and gifts, sometimes
with money she embezzled from her job.
Dunbar was a member of the
University's Quarterback Club, a
donors-only group that has since been
disbanded in the wake of the controver-
Next, Davie was a prominent player in
a summer lawsuit in which Joe Moore, a
former Notre Dame offensive line
coach, sued the school for wrongful ter-
mination. Moore claimed he was fired
for being old. Davie claimed he fired
Moore for other reasons, such as hitting
players in the face. Moore admitted
striking players, which would seem to be
reason enough for the loss of his job.
Nonetheless, Moore was awarded a
hefty amount of money, after some
choice testimony proved awfully embar-
rassing for Davie and the university. The
coach ultimately admitted to some
unethical moves while an assistant at
another school, then admitted suggest-
ing that former coach Lou Holtz had
"mental problems."
After all of that, Davie returned to a
team that was 7-6 a year earlier, and was
opening the season against the defend-
ing co-champs. The alumni were already
calling for his head. And Colletto was
still the offensive coordinator.
Add it all together, and it can safely be
assumed that Davie was walking a rather
thin line.
But if there's one school that seems to
have a knack for rallying when the chips
are down, it's Notre Dame. And some-
how, the Irish were able to muster
enough momentum to derail Michigan's
title defense before it even left the sta-
"That was obviously a big, big win'
Davie said. "I am so excited for the
coaches and I'm so excited for this foot-
ball team, because they sacrificed so
much. They deserve it.
"I am really excited about this football
team. I like the potential of this football

Michigan up close

C. Williams
D. Henson
A. Thomas
J. Fargas
T. Brady
D. Henson
T. Streets
M. Knight
R. Jackson
J. Tuman
K. Bryant
A. Thomas
J. Vinson
K. Baker
J. Feely



Av .

The Notre Dame football program had problems off the field this past summer. But on the field, behind running back Autry
Denson and second-year coach Bob Davie, the Fighting Irish left their troubles in the dust and trounced Michigan last
Saturday in South Bend.

Continued from Page 13A
ter of months and individual awards (i.e the Heisman
Trophy) complicated the Wolverine daily routine.
Last season, despite the off-the-field challenges,
Michigan remembered the task at hand during each
contest. Getting back to the basics proved to be
Saturday's primary foe. And the most basic elements
of the sport proved to be Michigan's undoing.
The bedrock of last season's team was the defense.
Opposing tailbacks were smothered for losses con-
sistently. On Saturday, wrapping up the fleet of foot
proved impossible.

Notre Dame tailback Autry Denson, stuffed by
Michigan a year earlier on the deciding play, stepped
around Michigan tackles - for 163 yards - as if
walking on hot coals. The Wolverines recognized the
problem, but seemed unable to remedy the situation.
"They got us down and we didn't have the edge to
go and say, 'Forget about it,"' Rob Renes said.
On offense, despite new quarterback Tom Brady's
success, the ballcarriers couldn't score. The simple
premise - outscore your opponent - provided a
mental block for these Wolverines as the red zone
became their stop sign. Four trips inside the zone on
their first four possessions resulted in just six points.
Those successful kicks could be chalked up as a

positive - if not for the four misses by Kraig Baker
and Jay Feely. With highly touted freshman Hayden
Epstein waiting in the wings, the heat is on Feely and
Baker to find bionic legs quickly.
So that's what it boils down to: Simple plays and
execution were overcome by the complexity and
memories of the title season.
Right now, Michigan is a good team. But the pos-
sibility for greatness exists. The Wolverines' lack of
effectiveness on Saturday was as much their own
fault as Notre Dame's achievement. The Fighting
Irish are a good team, but nowhere near the world-
beaters they appeared to be on their home field.
An early season loss damages little except expec-

tations, placing Michigan in the polls about where
they began last season's record-setting run.
"There isn't a doubt in my mind that they'll
respond to a tough loss," Lloyd Carr said.
The talent on this Michigan team is as good as lash
season, if not better. This group of Wolverines ju4
needs to find its comfort zone. One game does not
make a season, but the deficiencies are there. The
players and coaches admitted it: The game, the effort
and the execution were pitiful against Notre Dame.
Maybe the possibility of losing needed to return,-
If so, the game plan is working.
- Mark Snyder can be reached via e-ma l
at rnsnyder@umich.edi

I p

Despite taking a sack here, quarterback Tom Brady was calm at the helm in his debut for the Wolverines. The junior signal-
caller passed for 267 yards and completed 23 of his 36 passing attempts.
Brady shows poise in 'M' debut

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Editor
NOTRE DAME - The swagger
absent from the majority of the
Michigan team in its 36-20 loss to
Notre Dame on Saturday remains
secure within the leader of the offense.
From his initial entrance onto the
field, Tom Brady led the Michigan
He led the quarterbacks in their pre-
game running, guided the signal callers
out of the tunnel during pregame intro-
ductions and took the first snap under
That was the moment Michigan fans
everywhere anticipated. How would
Brady - an untested junior who spent
more time healing from an appendix
surgery than on the field last fall - fare

middle of the field.
"That was our game plan, to come
out, move the football and get ahead,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
But trouble inside the 20 yard line
appears to be Michigan's early-season
undoing. Four drives ended with missed
field goals and, despite 472 yards of
total offense, Brady guided the
Wolverines to just one touchdown.
Carr said things have to change for
Michigan to win.
"There isn't any question we need to
score in the red zone" he said, after
reaffirming Brady as the starter this
week against Syracuse.
The start for the San Mateo, Calif.,
native has been a long time coming.
He spent three years riding the bench
behind Brian Griese and Scott

option play for short-yardage situations
- with senior Dreisbach at the helm.
The former starter took just two snaps,
and fumbled on his first option attempt.
Brady, on the other hand, appeared
determined to silence the critics. On a
scramble in the first half, he held onto
the ball, scampering for 17 yards after
being flushed from the pocket.
After the game, though, Brady only
wanted to vent his frustration for the
team's overall performance.
"To practice as hard as we have, for
as long as we had, and to play as we did
- it doesn't feel too good," he said.
While all the Wolverines were disap-
pointed with the game's final result, the
blowout did give Carr an opportunity to
see freshman Drew Henson in live

Urban Outfictters°



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