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October 07, 1999 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-07

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Thursday, October 7, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - 13A

Big Ten, Seminoles provide top conference games Saturday

By Jeff Phillips
For the Daily
The conference schedules are in full
swing for most of the nation. The Big
and SEC will have a different look
after this week when the weak are weed-
ed out in a brutal natural sel:ction.
Well, that may be excessive, but this
week features key games throughout the
nation. There will surely be some goal-
posts torn down somewhere, and some
wet-eyed faces will be broadcast nation-
The following guide will help shed
some light on the big weekend in college
9o0. 17 PURDUE AT NO. 21 OHIO
The Big Ten will be shaken up again
in Columbus on Saturday afternoon.
Each team has something to prove to the
nation. The stakes are great in this game
as the loser can kiss the Rose Bowl
The Buckeyes will hope to rebound
after being stomped by Ron Dayne and
th Wisconsin Badgers. After giving up
4zonsecutive points, the traditionally
stingy Ohio State defense will have to
pull the turf from its helmets and change
its defensive strategy.
Drew Brees and the Boilermakers are
also look to get back on track. After
completing fewer than 50-percent of his
passes against Michigan, Brees hopes to
pick apart the Ohio State secondary.
After viewing Wisconsin's performance,
Purdue may also look to J. Crabtree to
c the ball. He had some initial suc-
ec last Saturday before the
Boilermakers went airborne.
Buckeye quarterback Steve Bellisari
and wideout Ken-Yon Rambo look to
mbombard a Purdue defense that allowed
nearly 18 yards per pass play last
Saturday. Running back Michael Wiley
will not need the help of any ACME
products in order gain yards on the
ground against the pourous Boilermaker
' the end, it will come down to which
defense can limit the opposing offense.
30th teams have proved they can put up
iglumbers, just not against good com-
>etition. This is a must-win shootout for
wo evenly matched opponents.
After the departure of Iowa legend
Hayden Fry, the Hawkeyes have looked
ro nded, to put it lightly. After being lit
J Spartan Stadium, Iowa will attempt
a regroup at home. The Hawkeyes will
ace a tough Penn State squad for at least
wo quarters, at which time coach Joe
arterno will pull his starters for fear of
nother punter-linebacker incident.
This game will give Penn State an
pportunity to brush the dust off their
niforms and perhaps find some answers
a the quarterback question. Passer
Thompson will share time with
rd Casey, as well as third-stringer
4at Seneca. The Nittany Lions will also
n a struggling Eric McCoo, who is
veraging just 3.3 yards per carry.
Iowa will look to find an offense that
ilb score.. Ranked No. 109 in scoring
ffense with 44 points in four games, the

Hawkeyes have their work cut out for
them. There is hope for Iowa to get out
of their offensive slump when they face
a Lion defense that allowed 24 points to
The biggest fear for Penn State in this
matchup will be limiting injuries. The
Nittany Lions' national title hopes could
be diminished with a key injury to wide
receiver Chafie Fields or to the volatile
linebacker LaVar Arrington.
Penn State will try to avenge their 21-
20 home loss to Iowa in 1996, the last
time the two teams met. This year, the
Nittany Lions have all the weapons,
along with a knack for running up the
score. Iowa will fight, but this one won't
be close.
No. 20 Wisconsin at No. 25
At the beginning of the season, this
matchup would have been viewed as just
another speed bump in the Ron Dayne
Heisman trophy parade. While this still
may be the case, Minnesota has made
some noise in the Big Ten by winning
their first four games of the season.
The winner of this game will take
home the Paul Bunyan Axe, commemo-
rating the longest-running series in
Division I-A history.
Wisconsin will ride the high of rout-
ing Ohio State in Columbus. Ron Dayne
is still on track to beat Ricky Williams'
NCAA rushing record, and sophomore
quarterback Brooks Bollinger looked
solid in his first start.
Minnesota looks to continue its defen-
sive dominance. The Gophers are allow-
ing just 211 yards of offense and 7 points
per game. With that in mind, the most
potent offense the Gophers have faced is
Northern Illinois. Led by linebacker
Sean Hoffman, who was last week's Big
Ten player of the week, the defense will
try and stop Dayne, who rumbled for
four touchdowns against Ohio State.
Against Northwestern, the Gophers
showed they also have a running threat.
Running back Thomas Hamner ran for
I 18 yards on 25 carries and had a 64-
yard touchdown reception. Quarterback
Billy Cockerham will need to improve in
order for the Gophers to be victorious.
Minnesota has sold nearly 60,000
tickets for the game, which will be
played in the Metrodome. The crowd
support will help, but will not be enough
to stop Wisconsin, unless Dayne is side-
lined with his fifth ankle injury of the
The Antwaan Randle El show will be
the feature when Northwestern comes to
Bloomington. The Wildcats are hoping
to stop the Indiana quarterback, who
accounted for 90 percent of the Hoosier
offense against Illinois.
Randle El was honored with the Big
Ten offensive player of the week after
producing 422 yards of total offense
against the Illini. Unfortunately for
Indiana, he doesn't play on both sides of
the ball. I
The Hoosier defense is giving up

nearly 410 yards per game, which is
good enough for tenth in the Big Ten.
The Wildcats will look to take advantage
of this by running Damien Anderson,
who was stifled by the Golden Gophers.
The Wildcats passing defense will
have to come up big if they expect to win
this game. If they can contain Randle El
and running back Levron Williams, they
should be able to come away with a win.
If not, Wildcat fans look out.
Georgia and Tennessee fans should
collectively thank Shaun Alexander.
After his performance in the Swamp,
leading Alabama past Florida, the SEC
East is wide open. Both teams would
like to take advantage of this unexpected
turn of events.
Tennessee is hanging to itshopes of
repeating as national champions by a
thread. The Volunteers have retained
most of their 1998 team yet are off to a
shaky start. After losing a heartbreaker
to Florida, the Vols nearly lost to
Memphis. Last week, Tennessee shut
down a hopeful Auburn team.
Running back Jamal Lewis is running
well, but is being outshined by backup
Travis Henry. Quarterback Tee Martin
has already thrown five interceptions
while making just three touchdown con-
nections. The Volunteers' defense is
strong and has only allowed 14 points
per game.
Georgia is in the best position in the
conference. The Bulldogs control their
own destiny if they can somehow get
past their difficult schedule. If they do, it
will not be due to losing the close games.
The Bulldogs have won their past two
games by a total of two points.
Sophomore quarterback Quincy
Carter has looked solid and running
back Jasper Sanks is averaging six yards
per carry. The question is whether they
will be able to hold it together at the end
of the game.
Both teams have trouble putting
points on the board. This close battle will
come down to key turnovers and defen-
sive miscues.
What is another name for buried trea-
sure? Louisiana State fans think it's
Booty. Quarterback Josh Booty leads the
Tigers against some angry Florida
After finally deciding that they want-
ed to lose last week, the Gators hope to
regain some of their defensive compo-
sure and begin the trek back up the
national ladder. While there is no doubt
that Florida can put up big numbers
offensively, their defense is still giving
up the big play.
Lousiana State will look to bayou
native Booty to get the job done. Still
struggling in the Tiger offense, Booty
has thrown five interceptions and just
two touchdowns. An ill-advised decision
by coach Gerry DiNardo to go for a two-
point conversion prevented Booty from
taking a big step in the right direction.
If the Florida defense can hold back a

Eddie Drummond and the rest of the second-ranked Nittany Lions will probably be able to fine tune their offense this weel
against Iowa this weekend, The Hawkeyes have recorded a dismal 44 points in the last four games combined.

lackluster Tiger offense, Florida should
win this game. Quarterback Doug
Johnson is one of the nation's leading
passers and wide receiver Darrell
Jackson has stepped up his game in'
Travis Taylor's absence.
The Tigers will score often, but it
should not be enough to keep up with
Steve Spurrier's offensive guidance.
After losing a tough game to an up-
and-coming East Carolina team and a
heartbreaker to Penn State, Miami will
look to run Florida State into the ground,
literally. With quarterback Kenny Kelly's
arm still unproven, the Hurricanes will
continue with the running game.
Bobby Bowden has other ideas. After
receiving a large pay raise on Monday,
Bowden will attempt to prove that he is
worth every penny. Expect him to pull
out his bag of tricks for the Hurricane
Florida State uses an innovative strat-
egy to win games: Score more points
than the other team. With Heisman front-
runner Peter Warrick, wide-out
Laveraneus Coles, and experienced

quarterback Chris Weinke, the
Seminoles' offense is difficult to stop.
By scoring nearly 44 points per game,
opposing offenses have trouble keeping
pace - just ask Joe Hamilton and
Georgia Tech.
Miami's James Jackson looks to take
Edgarrin James' place. The Hurricanes
will slow down the pace by running and
playing ball control offense. The inexpe-
rience of Kenny Kelly has caused him to
thrown eight interceptions so far. If
Miami is to win this game, Kelly will
have to get the ball into the hands of the
Hurricane's big-play man, Santana
On defense, Miami will not let
Warrick to beat them. Expect Travis
Minor to come through for the
Seminoles if Warrick cannot finda place
to go.
Miami will win this game if they limit
Peter Warrick and cause turnovers to
compensate for the giveaways their
offense will surely have. This will be a
Florida shootout will test the Florida
State defense and erratic Miami offense.
This match-up is just one of the many

completely unpredictable games in the
wide-open Pac-10. At the beginning of
the season, both teams were Rose Bowl
hopefuls. Now both teams are playing
catch-up to a surprising Stanford team.
After getting one of Chris Fowler's
woodshed beatings at the hands of Penn
State in the first week of the season, the
Wildcats have been trying to make a
They have struggled mightily in their
attempt to climb back into the top 25.
The Wildcats had their wills tested after
losing to Stanford, 50-22. A win against
Southern Cal would be a step in the right
Southern Cal also has hopes of
smelling roses. The Trojans have steadi-
ly won three of four games, but not by
much. Quarterback Mike Van Raaphorst
has filled in well for an injured Cason
Palmer, but the Trojans have yet to find
a solid offensive strategy.
The Southern Cal defense will have its
hands full with Trung Candidate and
Arizona's running attack. The Trojans
have made up for the loss of Chris
Claiborne in the middle and have the No.
1 rushing defense in the Pac-10.
The better defense will win this game
and with Arizona's ability to limit oppos-

insure for
ide receiver Laveranues Coles
tissed Florida State's practice
Vednesday and will not play in the
sp-ranked Seminoles' game against
Coles and Peter Warrick, a top
Icisman Trophy candidate, were
t ioned by police in connection
an alleged theft scheme in
hich police said a clerk sold cloth-
sg to customers for far less than it
vas worth.
Neither player has been charged
with any crime.
Florida State coach Bobby
owden said that he would make a
b cision on Coles' future with the
am tomorrow.
*arrick, also a wide receiver,
tended practice for the second
raight night yesterday.
Bowden has not said whether
Warrick will play Saturday.
The All-American senior from
radenton has 36 catches for 508
Ards and four touchdowns for the
Coles, a senior from
Icksonville, said Tuesday that he
d Warrick answered investigators'
*ons about the purchase of a tan
at and four shirts with a total esti-
gted value of $244, according to a
6lice report.
According to the report, the play-
s bought the merchandise Sept. 29
ir far less money.
Both players were described by
Alice as possible "witnesses or sus-
ets," in the case.


Heisman hopeful Peter Warrick may miss Saturday's game against the Hurricanes
because of a connection to teammate .averanues Coles in a theft scheme.
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