8 - The Michigan Daily - Kickoff '99 - Thursday, September 9, 1999
Thursday, September 9, 1999 - Kidd
Wildcats back in familiar position
So,Joe, what do you re
By T.J. Berka
Daily Sports Editor
The irony of Northwestern football
coach Randy Walker's first game was
all too apparent.
Walker, who was hired away from
Miami (Ohio) when former
Northwestern coach Gary Barnett
went to Colorado, started his first sea-
son with the Wildcats September 4
But it doesn't end there.
When Northwestern went to the
Rose Bowl after the 1995 season, it
had 10 wins and only one loss. That
To Walker and the RedHawks (then
named the Redskins).
So when Walker and the Wildcats
set foot on the Ryan Field grass in the
off on a bad
'' . mow.
opener, they tried to avenge the only
loss of the magical 1995 season.
But the Wildcats were-n't successful.
Not even close. Miami spanked
Northwestern 28-3, an embarrassing
loss for a Big Ten team.
Needless to say, a lot has changed
since the 1995 meeting - besides the
The Wildcats, who had averaged
eight wins a year between '95 and '97,
fell back to previous Northwestern
form, going 3-9. The Wildcats also
finished last place in the Big Ten, los-
ing all eight conference games.
So when Walker and his troops take
the field, images of the Northwestern
team that lost 34 consecutive games
from 1979-82 will be more vibrant
than the dream season of 1995.
And Walker seems to realize the
severity in which the tables have
turned for his new program.
"We are going to have our hands
full," Walker said.
Compared to the Wildcats, almost
every team has a great offense.
Offense was the downfall of
Northwestern last season, as the
Wildcats could only muster 11.6
points per game during the Big Ten
And with all-Big Ten wideout
D'Wayne Bates taking his talents to
the NFL, the Wildcats are back to
"We need to make a lot of big
strides offensively," Walker said. "We
did a lot of things on offense last year,
but not many of them were executed
One position that needs grave help
is perhaps the most important - quar-
terback. The Wildcats lacked consis-
tency last year behind center, and
spring practice did little to solidify the
Junior Nick Kreinbrink was the
starter in the opener, but Kreinbrink's
status isn't set in stone, especially
after the licking the Wildcat offense
received from Miami.
"Quarterback is definitely the least
settled position on our team," Walker
said before the season started.
"Kreinbrink seems to be the starter
right now, but I'm not sure if I saw a
competent player at that position in
While offense may leave a little to
be desired in his eyes, Walker has to
be pleased with the defense.
Northwestern, although it lost leading
tackler Barry Gardner to the
Philadelphia Eagles, has the potential
to keep the Wildcats involved in many
contests this season.
"I think we have a chance to be real-
ly solid on defense," Walker said.
"Conrad Emmerich is a good line-
backer, and we have five or six other
linebackers who could play a lot of
The Wildcats also return all four
starters on their defensive line. With
Jeff Dyra, Dwayne Missouri, Darryl
Hodge and Salem Simon joining the
deep group of linebackers,
Northwestern has a front seven that
compares favorably with that of its
Big Ten counterparts.
And the Wildcats will need spectac-
ular play from the front seven if they
want to avoid being a resident in the
conference cellar for the second
and Penn State
impressive in zip-
ping by Akron
and Arizona in its
first two games
of the season.
By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Editor
OK, Joe. Whatever. So the Nittany
Lions are about as tough as Britney
Spears this year?
No one's buying it. Everyone knows
you're the grandfather of college foot-
ball. And no one's suggesting that you're
losing it. But talent like Penn State's is
tough to hide. It's frighteningly clear that
this is a very good football team this
year. But those kinds of teams do not
neccessarily win titles.
Their tests so far this year have been
surviving the opening game (which they
did) and avoiding a letdown against the
mighty Akron Zips.
"I think we were a little nonchalant,"
said Penn State linebacker LaVar
Arrington after the game.
You will remember, in Michigan's
1997 national-championship season, the
Wolverines' second game was against
Baylor. The Wolverines pounded Baylor,
as well as the other cupcakes they saw
that year (Indiana).
If Penn State is serious about all of this
national championship stuff, they'll have
to polish off bad teams, too. They have
more than enough talent.
Arrington and Brandon Short deal
pain behind the defensive line. Stats real-
ly can't do them justice - you need to
see them play. A rushing attack can wilt
when these two are on the field.
Teams will spend the week before
they play Penn State fretting about these
two. Worrying about how to get a body
(or two or three) on these guys has the
chance to consume offensive coordina-
But Linebacker 'U' has a secret
weapon - offense.
While other teams sweat Arrington,
Short and crew, Penn State may be in an
interesting situation this year. Offense
could win them the national title.
Sophmore quarterback Rashard
Casey has looked good ever since spring
practice. And he looked even better run-
ning a bootleg touchdown against Akron
- his first collegeiate touchdown.
N I T T A N Y
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defeated Kentucky, 26-14, in
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I -ovmb 3,sae olegenonABC
QB Kevin Thompson
T Kareem McKenzie
G Gabe Tincher
C Rich Stankewicz
G Eric Cole
T John Blick
TE Tony Stewart
TB Eric McCoo
FB Mike Cerimele
SE Corey Jones
FL Chafie Fields
. SPECIAL TEAMS
K Travis Forney
P Pat Pidgeon
DE Courtney Brown
DT David Fleischhauer
DT Imani Bell
DE Justin Kurpeikis
OLB LaVar Arrington
ILB Brandon Short
OLB Mac Morrison
SS Derek Fox
FS Askari Adams
CB David Mackin
CB Anthony King
KR Eddie Drummond
PR Bruce Branch
LS Rich Stankewicz
Wi f41 Wn ^'
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06 ,4 m Z6O
4 can si
b'y The Michigan
W I L D C A T S
0-8 Big Ten, 3-9 overall
DAILY SPECIAL: Rashard Casey, QB. He didn't even get
the nod as the starter, but his mobility provides a nice
contrast to Kevin Thompson's drop-and-pass style. Like
Michigan's Drew Henson, the so phom ore could be the
starter by season's end.
GRADE: Their defense will shut down pretty much every-
body. If the offense gets in gear, they'll betou gh to beat.
0I Sovmbr , nnarbr00pm.AB
QB Nick Kreinbrink
LT Leon Brockmeier
LG Wayne Lucier
C Mark Perry
RG Brian Hemmerle
RT Mike Souza
TE Jay Tant
RB Damien Anderson
FB Ian Miller
WR Sam Simmons
WR Teddy Johnson
DE Dwayne Missouri
DT Jeff Dyra
DT Darryl Hodge
DE Salem Simon
OLB Kevin Bentley
MLB Conrad Emmerich
OLB Napolean Harris
SS Mycal Jones
FS Rashad Morton
CB Harold Blackmon
CB Shegun Cummings-John
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DAILY SPECIAL: Tight ends. Tant and fellow tight end
John Cerasini are a couple of bright spots on an anemic
offense. If Kreinbrink or some other quarterback can get
them the ball, the Wildcats might have a chance.
GRADE: The defense is decent, the offense stinks. They
will battle Iowa for the conference cellar. The Hawkeyes
will battle the Wildcats Oct. 16. Please don't watch. Find
something else to do. Please? D-
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