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November 19, 1998 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-19

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 19, 1998 - 1
Is that Rivalry Week r
or rivalry weak?

By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Writer
's Rivalry Week in the Big Ten.
njuries heal and confidence balloons, as
many conference teams prepare to inflict pun-
ishment on their most hated rivals.
Other teams are just looking to sneak into a
bowl. The Big Ten is beginning to look like it
won't have enough eligible teams to fill its six
bowl commitments and may have to give one
away to the Big 12.
So grab your remote control, fill up your
beer stein, and enjoy any or all of the follow-
ing cage matches:
No. 16 PENN STATE (4-2 BIG TEN, 7-2
ERALL) AT NO. 13 WISCONSIN (6-1, 9-1)
Two once-undefeateds will battle it out in
Madison, as Wisconsin's chances to go to the
Rose Bowl are on the line.
Focus closely - here's Wisconsin's
Pasadena scenario: Should the Badgers defeat
Penn State and Michigan lose at Ohio State,
Wisconsin would head west for a repeat of its
1994 trip.
As Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez would
b*lad to tell you,
the only thing the
Badgers can control
is- the game they AROUND THE
dtefy running
back Ron Dayne is expected to play for the
Badgers, despite his turbulent bout with a
mammoth ear infection that singlehandedly
sapped his strength, causing a subpar 53-yard
performance against Michigan last week.
As easy as it is to find fault with Dayne's
foss regimen, he will likely have success
against Penn State's defensive line. The

Nittany Lions' stronghold is at linebacker, and
they will be in deep trouble if LaVar
Arrington and Brandon Short are forced to
make a lot of the tackles after Dayne has
picked up steam.
Wisconsin quarterback Mike Samuel and
his pitch-less option will go nowhere against
the speed of Arrington and Short. So the
Badgers would be wise to utilize Dayne as
much as possible - a troublesome proposi-
tion if Wisconsin fails to get a lead and is try-
ing to play catch-up.
Penn State's offense isn't quite the bum-
bling crew that Michigan and Ohio State
made it seem. But if no one steps up to make
the big play, the raucous Camp Randall
Stadium crowd will make it difficult for Penn
371-pound Wisconsin lineman Aaron
Gibson will eat the Nittany Lions alive - lit-
INDIANA (2-5, 4-6) AT PURDUE (5-2, 7-4)
At first glance, this might look like an
open-and-shut case.
Young Purdue quar-
terback Drew Brees
likes to throw lots of
Indiana has no
quality cornerbacks to
defend the Purdue receiving corps.
The Boilermakers throw 70-some passes
right through the Indiana secondary.
Purdue wins the game handily.
But don't forget the rivalry aspect of this
game. The winner of this game has something
to brag about in case its basketball team does-
n't win the most important in-state battle this
The game will be physical. It could get ugly
- and not just because Indiana's playing.
Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El
will do his fair share of damage, whether or
not his team is able to help him out. Randle El
almost beat Michigan State on his own Oct. 3,
and has kept the Hoosiers in many more
games this fall.
Purdue is bowl-eligible already, but could
make much nicer vacation plans if it can close
out its season on a high note.
It should be a Brees.
(3-3, 5-5)
After last week, that scowl on Michigan
State coach Nick Saban's face must've grown
a bit wider.
It's been that kind of season for the
Spartans - huge victories, falsely raising the
hopes of Michigan State fans everywhere, fol-
lowed by huge letdowns.
Originally, Saban thought it would be a
good idea for Michigan State to schedule an
extra home game early in the season. That
way, the Spartans could pick up an easy win,
gain their first-ever taste of respect, and begin
the season on a positive note. After all, how
dangerous is a Western Athletic Conference

Northwestern might not get to play in a bowl game this season, but they will be In Hawaii this weekend.

team like Coloradc State?
Apparently that plan backfired. Since
Michigan State played a 12-game schedule, it
must now go 7-5 to even be eligible to beg for
a bowl bid.
At 5-5, it's all business for Michigan State.
It needs victories in its last two games - this
week and next week at Penn State - or it will
be an un-merry Christmas in East Lansing.
The Spartans must be wary of the little
guys - the Fighting Illini, who have actually
won some games this season. Second-year
Illinois coach Ron Turner has started to see
some results in his program, but until he
recruits a big-name quarterback, he can only
go so far.
The Michigan State crowd will be a menac-
ing intangible in this game. The peculiar-but-
alluring "Saturday Smell" (that's not leaves
burning, is it?) might float the Fighting Illini
away, leaving the Spartans with easy prey.
IOwA (2-5, 3-7) AT MINNESOTA (1-6, 4-6)
With a win Saturday, Minnesota can offi-
cially declare Glen Mason's second season as
coach a successful one. ,

With a loss Saturday, Iowa City citizens can
officially begin a uniform chant to rid them-
selves of entombed coach Hayden Fry.
It could turn into quite the track meet.
Iowa defensive specialist Jared DeVries
will get his wind sprints in chasing flighty
Minnesota quarterback Billy Cockerham in
the backfield.
Minnesota wide receiver Luke Leverson
should get a real workout, exploiting the Iowa
secondary like a tax loophole.
The Golden Gophers will have to be care-
ful, however, of disturbing the several thou-
sand Minnesota students who are preparing
for their final exams.
That, by itself, will be a daunting task. But
if Thomas Hamner and the Minnesota running
game can pick up some momentum, the
Golden Gophers might just sneak this one out.
Northwestern, knowing full well it didn't
have a prayer of earning a bowl berth this sea-
son, decided to schedule itself a fun trip any-

So the Wildcats will play in the "Pre-Aloha
Bowl" against a Hawai'i team that is about as
dangerous as Tupperware.
For the benefit of football fans everywhere
in the continental United States, the game
won't start until most have gone to bed for the
It's not as if Northwestern coach Gary
Barnett hasn't tried to break his team of its
season-long funk.
Barnett used wide receiver D'Wayne Bates
at quarterback in a feeble attempt to run the,
option against Michigan. And after last sea,
son's graduating class, he is out of Autrys.
He has pulled trick plays from deep in his
bag of tricks, used unorthodox strategies, and
racked his brain for every possible way to
squeeze sweet juice out of a lemon of a roster.
But it just hasn't helped. The Wildcats' trip
to Pasadena in 1996 seems further and further
Hawai'i should be therapeutic for
The team, not just the weather.

Mlchigan's past two opponents. Wisconsin and
Penn State get to take out their frustration on
aother this weekend.

I..,I NN


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Fayez Fouad
P0 Box 95, Colorado Springs, CO 80901

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