12 The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 15, 1999
In the Huddle
The contender no one
about? Virgnia Tech
While Ohio State
isn't ranked in
the top five this
have the chance
to screw teams
with BCS aspira-
tions, such as
rginia Tech center Keith Short
may miss Saturday's game
against Syracuse with an injured
But hold on. Rick
That nugget of
which hit the
ing, could have '
Short were any
other overlooked FREEMAN OF
offensive lineman THE PRESS
on any other title
might be bigger news - but face it, he's
Don't underestimate the seriousness
of that news to Short's redshirt freshman
quarterback, Michael Vick, who will be
taking snaps tomorrow against Syracuse
from a third center this season. Steve
Demasi will fill in for Short, who was
himself filling in for starter Tim
Schnecker. And right there, in the mid-
dle of the Virginia Tech offensive line is
the biggest weakness in the fourth-
ranked Hokies' national championship
Some might say it's Syracuse, or
Miami, or even Boston College. But
Virginia Tech faces the Hurricanes in
Blacksburg, B.C. lost to Temple and
Syracuse is the Big East's chronically
overrated team. So the Hokies have the
easiest road to New Orleans, at least
among teams that don't get to play
Wake Forest and Maryland.
Wait a while, see what happens if
Blacksburg - which will host ESPN's
GameDay crew for the first time ever
tomorrow - finds itself near the epi-
center of the college football world. See
.The University of Mic
7' Office of international
. * oip * G-513 Michigan Union
530 South State Street
" * Ann Arbor, Michigan 48
H Academic Yea
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what happens if Vick and tailback
Shyrone Stith make orange and maroon
TV executives would see red. Ultra-
hip Virginia would turn green with envy
at it's dorkier rival's success (the
Cavaliers had their chance and lost, 31-
7). The Hokies would bask in the golden
The rest of the country would say ...
LAw OF INCREASING RETURNS:
Colorado cornerback Ben Kelly -
owner of more than 2,000 career all-pur-
pose yards - will finally see some
snaps on offense this week.
The 5-9 190-pound cornerback has
accumulated all but nine of those yards
by returning punts, kickoffs, intercep-
tions and fumbles. The other nine yards
came on a fake-punt reception.
Kelly has taken practice snaps in
preparation for tomorrow's game against
Kelly - who first approached
Buffaloes' coach Gary Barnett about
playing two ways after spring practice
will not take the place of regular tail-
backs Cortlen Johnson or Dwayne
Chem ngton on the Buffs' roster, but
instead be used in experimental situa-
tions. His status as a kick returner seems
more concrete, since he's the only
returner among the nation's top 50 with
more than one return for a touchdown
Kelly will continue to play defense,
too, where he has seven interceptions -
including the one that ended Saturday's
game in overtime. After picking off the
pass, he stepped out of bounds, saying
he had run out of gas. Which might be
the only thing keeping Barnett from
using him on every play.
STILL HOPE: Quietly, since he plays
for a team that departed the national
consciousness faster than New Coke,
Arizona's Dennis Northcutt has made a
name for himself at the school that was
once a trendy pick for national champi-
He's second in the country in punt
returns, averaging 20 yards per return.
He's fourth in receiving yards, with 125
Last month against Texas Christian,
he got the attention of his teammates
and helped spark a comeback from 16
"He does it with his mouth and with
his play," one of the Wildcats' two quar-
terbacks, Keith Smith told the Arizona
Daily Wildcat. "FHe came in at halftime,
and basically told us what he was going
No word on whether he can help out
the Wildcats' defense.
BUT IS THERE A "GRAVELLY ROAD"
THEORY?: One thing's clear, Oklahoma
State coach Bob Simmons has taken a
beating. Exactly how is another story.
The Dallas Morning News reported the
encounter as happening at halftime. The
paper said Simmons was hit in the eye
while kickers were warming up at half-
"It was like somebody walked up and
sucker-punched me," Simmons told the
paper. "But I'm fine."
But the Denver Post claims the inci-
dent occurred in the first half, and attrib-
uted the attack to an errant pass.
NOTES: Don't like the teams in the top
5? Here are the obstacles for each of the
teams remaining in the top 5. No. N
Florida State -- Florida on Nov. 20. No.
2 Penn State - Ohio State tomorrow, at
Purdue Oct. 23, Michigan Nov. 13, at
Michigan State Nov. 20. Nebraska -
Texas A&M, Nov. 6; Kansas State, Nov.
13; at Colorado, Nov. 27, Virginia Tech
- Syracuse, tomorrow; Miami, Nov. 13.
Michigan State - at Purdue, tomorrow;
Ohio State, Nov. 6; Penn State, Nov. 20.
... Purdue quarterback Drew Brees is in
the College Football Hall of Fame.
Yes, it seems a little quick, but the
phenom's jersey and picture are in the
South Bend museum as part of the
"Race to the Pantheon" exhibit, which
showcases players who could win post-
season awards. His jersey and picture
will be removed after postseason awards
are announced, for now, anyway....
Southern Cal coach Paul Hackett said he
plans to bring extra freshmen on this
weekend's trip to Notre Dame so two
years from now, they will be able to tell
that season's crop what playing in South
Bend is like.
- Rick Freeman can be reached via e-
mail at rickfiee(wumich.edu.
734 764 4311 tel
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