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September 25, 1998 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-25

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16 -7 Thy Michigan Daily - Friday, September 25, 1998

On Saturday,
MATCHUPS
Continued from Page 13
it has'to be Michigan State's.
The Spartans rank 10th among conference teams in
pass defense (just ahead of you-know-who), thanks in
part to the Amp Campbell's season-ending injury.
Brady's got several options, which helps his cause.
Jerame Tuman seems ready for a breakout game, Tai
Streets should be healthy after a mild ankle sprain and
freshman David Terrell emerged last week as a defi-
nite threat. Marcus Knight and Marquise Walker will
line up wide as well. Combine that with Thomas and
Williams catching passes out of the backfield, and
Michigan looks to be in pretty good shape.
And if all else fails, the Wolverines can always turn
to Drew Henson.
MICHIGAN STATE RUSHING GAME VS. MICHIGAN
RUSHING DEFENSE:
This one's easy.
Michigan's linebackers are ailing. Clint
Copenhaver, Sam Sword and Ian Gold have all
missed time in recent weeks. How long will they hold
up against the Spartans'? Nobody knows. Actually,
Lloyd Carr might know, but he's certainly not telling
anyone. Technically, his defense is "banged up."
PHOTO That leaves Michigan's down lineman to contend
en- -with Sedrick Irvin.
Irvin may be overrated, but he's at least comparable
to Autry Denson, who ran all over the Wolverines.

Wolverines have overall edge.

Irvin just might do the same. Look for him to get a
full day's work - probably in the range of 30 carries.
EDGE: MICHIGAN STATE
MICHIGAN STATE PASSING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN
PASSING DEFENSE:
Bill Burke should thank his lucky stars. If there's
one defensive backfield he'd want to start off the Big
Ten season against (other than his own, of course) it
has to be Michigan's. Sound familiar?
The Wolverines rank dead last in this category in
the Big Ten, and that ranking might even be generous.
The biggest surprise of the season has been
Michigan's inability to stop the pass. Even against
middle-of-the-MAC team Eastern Michigan, they
surrendered well more than 300 yards through the air.
Cornerback Andre Weathers, projected as an all-Big
Ten pick before the season, has struggled, to say the
least. At the other corner, James Whitley has done the
same. Safety Marcus Ray, of course, will be watching
the game with Charles Woodson and some buddies.
Now, Bill Burke's struggles have been well-docu-
mented, but he seemed to find a comfort zone against
Notre Dame. The Spartans' version of Drew Henson,
freshman Ryan VanDyke, looked ready to step in
until a shoulder sprain set him back. He still is less
than 100-percent for this weekend's game.
Wide receiver Plaxico Burress, though, could be
State's next big-time game breaking wideout, and if
the past three weeks are any indication, he'll likely

have his way with Michigan's defensive backs.
EDGE: MICHIGAN STATE
SPECIAL TEAMS:
With the addition of superkicker Hayden Epstein,
the Wolverines' kicking game got a shot in the arm
(or leg?). Undoubtedly, the status of this area has
improved since week one's debacle. Punter Jason
Vinson's athleticism has salvaged more than a few
shaky snaps, and if Justin Fargas is really as fast as
he's supposed to be, the Wolverines may be due for
someone to break one on a kick return.
The Spartans, though, have Irvin to return punts.
And with Michigan's potential for disaster in all
aspects of the special teams game (See Notre Dame,
Sept. 12), that's enough to even this one out.
EDGE: EVEN
INTANGIBLES:
If there's one place where the Spartans' inferiority
complex actually helps them, it's on the football field.
History shows that a slight edge in talent can easi-
ly be overcome by a fired-up Michigan State team
with something to prove.
It doesn't, however, trump a fired-up Michigan
team with something to prove.
Both teams are 1-2. Both need this game - a lot.
Michigan's just a little bit better.
EDGE: MICHIGAN
FINAL SCORE: MICHIGAN 28, MICHIGAN STATE 24

FILEF
Michigan tailback Clarence Williams will have to deal with Michigan State deft
sive end Robaire Smith on Saturday. Beyond that, the Michigan running game
should flourish against the Michigan State defensive line.

THE MATCHUPS
MICHIGAN PASSING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN STATE PASSING DEFENSE
Brady's got too many receivers to not exploit a
secondary still reeling from the loss of Amp Campbell.
Look for Jerame Tuman to have a breakout game.
Edge: Michigan
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN STATE RUSHING DEFENSE
Robaire Smith is good, but Michigan is just too deep in
the backfield.
Edge: Michigan
MICHIGAN STATE PASSING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN PASSING DEFENSE
Bill Burke made a statement with his performance
against Notre Dame two weeks ago. And with Marcus
Ray out, Michigan's secondary isn't getting any better.
Edge: Michigan State
MICHIGAN STATE RUSHING OFFENSE VS. MICHIGAN RUSHING DEFENSE
Sedrick Irvin should get around 30 carries against a
hurting Michigan defense.

I

Edge: Michigan State

P,

SPECIAL TEAMS

If someone breaks a long return,
the game could hang in the
balance.
Edge: Even

L4 A
Kj

M

,,'"

INTANGIBLES
In all honesty, the breakdown doesn't matter much for
this game. Once the teams are on the field, anything
can happen.
Edge: Michigan

PREDICTION: MICHIGAN 28, MICHIGAN STATE 24
Graphicsby Alex Hogg

THE 'CITY' MATCHUPS
CITIZENRY

A2

Ann Arbor has intellectuals, writers, engineers, doctors
and Shakey Jake.
Michigan State has sheep.
Edge: Ann Arbor

CAMPUS

A2

Michigan's campus is snug, highly forested and serene.
Michigan State's campus has a river, plenty of land,
sheep excrement and pleasant, soothing couch fires.
Edge: Ann Arbor

PARTY SCENES

Whatever Ann Arbor has, there ain't no party like a
couch-burning party, because a couch-burning party
don't stop.
Edge: East Lansing

East
Lansing,

TAILGATING

A2

Ohhhh, so sorry. No more tailgating at Munn Field.
Edge: Ann Arbor

0

-----------------------------------------------------------
FORMER COACHES

A2

Michigan State has Biggie Munn.
Mir.hidan he Pn C-hmhorhlr whn rennrterIlu ats

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1.

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