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September 15, 1999 - Image 22

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-15

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22

Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 15, 1999

an State looking to avoid 1998 repeat

STATE COLLEGE (AP) - A sea-
son-opening victory against an overrat-
ed top25 team, a blowout and a close
call'-against Pittsburgh. What is this,
199;I1 over again for No. 3 Penn
State?, The Nittany Lions had better

No
Bo
Pit
No.

year, they started 3-0 by beating
Southern Mississippi, routing
ig Green and sneaking past
rgh. Then they got clobbered at
)hio State, dropped two more big
ames and ended up in the
k Bowl.
Saturday, most of the same cast
to No. 8 Miami - Hurricane
ermitting - and tries to end the
ink it's very important that we go
here this week and come away
W, especially coming out of last
,ming out of those losses at
an, Wisconin asnd Ohio State,"
k Mike Cerimele said. "Three
res and we didn't come out with
losing trend goes back further

than last year: Penn State has not beaten
a Top 10 team on the road since beating
No. 5 Michigan 31-24 on Oct. 15, 1994.
Penn State thought it had put last sea-
son's demons behind it with a 41-7 dis-
mantling of then-No. 4 Arizona in this
year's opener and with a 70-point show-
ing against Akron.
But the next week, Arizona had to
come from behind in the fourth-quarter
to nip Texas Christian - a team that
went on to lose to Northwestern. And on
Saturday, Penn State nearly lost to Pitt.
Suddenly, beating the 'Canes seems
more uncertain - and more important.
Over the course of this 38-year-old
rivalry,.it has always seemed to be that
way:
N Paterno went 5-5 in his first season
as coach and lost to Navy in the 1967
season opener. Then, he brought Penn
State down to Miami and beat the
Hurricanes 17-8 with a bunch of untest-
ed sophomores. It was the start of his
most successful run, 31-1-1 from 1967
through 1970.
In 1981, Miami beat No. 1 Penn

State I7-14, staving off a fourth-quarter
rally. The next day, the Miami Herald
called it the Hurricanes' "Biggest
Victory Ever."
Six years later, Paterno won his
second national title with a 14-10 victo-
ry over No. 1 Miami in the 1987 Fiesta
Bowl. Pete Giftopoulos' interception at
the Lions' 1-yard line with 9 seconds
left remains one of Penn State's most
dramatic moments.
With Miami under coach Butch Davis
looking more like the touted teams of
the 1980s, Paterno has his team sensing
that this could be another great one.
"Miami is a great team," said Eric
McCoo. "Everybody can see that they're
coming back to be one of the great teams
again? This is one of those games, you
make little mistakes, you lose."
Penn State made plenty of little mis-
takes against Pittsburgh, and were espe-
cially inconsistent on offense. The
Panthers confused Penn State into just
65 yards rushing, and but for a few big
passing plays, held their offense in
check.

The offensive linemen said they were
confused by Pitt's stunts. Miami, which
held Ohio State to 116 yards on the
ground, should be even tougher.
If that's not troubling enough, coach
Joe Patemo expects to be without tail-
back Cordell Mitchell, a fast, reliable
senior who can't seem to stay healthy.
Last week, he was out with a deep thigh
bruise.
"Watching him yesterday, he couldn't
even jog, so I would be doubtful if he's
going to be ready," he said.
McCoo, who started the end of 1998
when Mitchell was out with a shoulder
injury, will probably start again.
Also on Tuesday, Paterno said he has
not seen tape of the play that got LaVar
Arrington two personal fouls Saturday.
Paterno said he does not plan to look
at it, and he did not discipline his star
linebacker over the dust-up.
"He is just going to have to be very,
very careful. He can't retaliate. I would-
n't expect him to get involved in a skir-
mish like that," he said.

2

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AP PHOTO
Penn State has started this season much like it did 1998's disappointing campaign -
a win over an overrated top-25 team, a blowout and a close call against Pittsburgh.

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Nebraska's Evans quits, Badgers warm up

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -
Nebraska's football team has a new
look, with running back DeAngelo
Evans quitting the squad and coach
Frank Solich going with a new quar-
terback.
Evans, the starting 1-back, was off
to a slow start in his junior season.
He missed practice and a team meet-
ing Monday.
Sophomore Eric Crouch will start
at quarterback against Southern
Mississippi on Saturday, and junior
Bobby Newcombe will play as a
receiver and return punts.
Solich said Tuesday he wants both
quarterbacks, who have vied for the
starting job, to be on the field.
Solich said Evans was frustrated
by his inability to fully recover from
injuries. The coach said Evans wants
to remain in school.
Last week, Evans was shut down
with five yards on six carries as
California stacked its defensive line
and kept Nebraska's running backs
out of the game, which the

Cornhuskers won 45-0.
Evans' decision comes amid
grumbling by players about playing
time.
Two weeks ago, Solich visited
Crouch in Omaha after the sopho-
more reportedly became upset when
junior Bobby Newcombe was named
the starter.
Last week, backup I-back Correll
Buckhalter, the team's leading rush-
er last season, left practice for three
days, apparently upset over the lack
of playing time.
He carried 148 times and gained
776 yards as a freshman in 1996, but
he missed 1997 with a pelvic injury.
His 1998 season also was cut
short. He missed the first three
games with a knee injury. When he
returned, he carried 38 times for 218
yards and four touchdowns in three
games. But he sat out the rest of the
year with an injured big toe and
bruised tailbone.
Evans had knee surgery after the
1998 season and had hoped to return

to full speed this fall.
WISCONSIN AWAITS:Nick Davis
likes a challenge, which is why he
wants Wisconsin to begin its Big Ten
Conference schedule.
Davis and the ninth-ranked
Badgers (2-0) have to wait another
week: it's Cincinnati on Saturday
before their two biggest games of
the season - No. 6 Michigan at
home on Sept. 25; at No. 13 Ohio
State the following week.
"We have some momen-
tum, but I think the, next game we
can get even more momentum,"
Davis, the Badgers' kick and punt
return Whiz, said. "Playing the Big.
Ten teams, that's our conference,
and we want to get rolling. We are
really on a roll."
While the Badgers' Ron
Dayne chases Ricky Williams' year-
old career rushing record, Davis was
on a roll of his own last week in a
50-10 rout of Ball State. He ran up
227 all-purpose yards, including a
77-yard TD run on a free kick fol-

lowing a safety. He also had four
catches for 91 yards subbing at wide
receiver for the injured Chris
Chambers.
QUICK HITS: QB Antwaan Randle
El ran for 62 yards in Indiana's loss
to North Carolina last week, giving
him 1,053 for his career. He's the
only Hoosiers QB with five 100-
yard rushing games. Randle El
needs 31 yards rushing to set the
Indiana career record for a quarter-
back (1,083, Harry Gonso, 1967-
69). ... Ohio State (42-20 winner
over UCLA) won its 21st straight
home opener, dating back to Art
Schlichter's freshman debut in 1978..
... The Buckeyes move into the sec-
ond week of an unprecedented five-
game homestand. The Bucks have
never played more than four in a row
at home. Next up is Ohio, followed
by Cincinnati. Ohio State hasn't
played in-state opponents on consec-
utive weeks since meeting
Wittenberg and Ohio Wesleyan to
open the 1926 season.

AP PHOTO
{sh start to his junior year, Nebraska running back DeAngelo Evans
team, reportedly frustrated by an inability to recover from injuries.

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