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September 30, 1999 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-30

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday. September 30, 1999

raem s stingy defense makes
Sf offensive production

After making
bhings difficult for
Michigan two
weeks ago, the
'Syracuse defense
has led the
Orangemen to a
No. 22 ranking.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - After
Syracuse won its third game of the
season, strong safety Ian Metntosh
paused and shared a lament proba-
bly considered by many.
"I wish we had this defense last
year because we had a powerful
offense," McIntosh said Saturday
after Syracuse beat West Virginia
30-7 in the Big East opener for
both teams.
"The defense is the bulwark. But
we knew going into the season that
the defense was the strong point of
the team."
A vear after Donovan McNabb
and the offense set several school
records, scoring 60 or more points
in three games, it is the defense
that is carrying Syracuse (3-1),
which has moved into the national
rankings (No. 19 ESPN/USA
Today, No. 22 AP).
"All we tell the offense to do is
just give us a little cushion to work
with and there really isn't too much
that can happen," McIntosh said.
He notched his second and third
interceptions of the season, return-
ing the last one 48 yards for the
Orangemen's final touchdown in
the waning moments of the game

a 'ainst th Mountaineers (1-3).
We talk al 'thetime about possi-
bIy bei thle best defense in the
Big Eat McIntosh said. "We
want to be the best defense in the
Syracuse still hasn't found a sin-
gle replacement for McNabb and
probably won't this year. It remains
a two-man rotation with redshirt
freshman Troy Nunes and sopho-
more Madei Williams alternating
quarterbacking duties for the
Nunes sparked the Orangemen
against the Mountaineers in the
second quarter, scoring on a 24-
yard option keeper, then hitting Pat
Woodcock with a 22-yard touch-
down pass with 13 seconds remain-
ing in the half after a costly fumble
by West Virginia tailback Avon
The touchdowns gave Syracuse a
17-7 halftime lead.
"What we've learned after four
games is that you've got two
tremendously unselfish men, two
guys that are interested in team
success first and individual honors
second," offensive coordinator
George DeLeone said.

"I think you've got two guys that
can provide us a spark maybe in
different days. The nice thing about
today? Troy came in and gave us a
spark. Last week, Madei came in
and gave us a spark. That's why you
use two quarterbacks - one guy
picks the other guy up. I just like
the way the two guys are handling
Despite Nunes' heroics, the key
play of the game was made by the
defense. It came after a scoreless
third quarter as the Mountaineers,
trailing 17-7, were poised to score.
After an eight-minute drive, West
Virginia had a first-and-goal at the
Syracuse three, and Cobourne got
the call.
But as the freshman seemed
about to atone for his earlier mis-
take, he made another, fumbling at
the goal line when Clifton Smith
stuck his helmet on the ball.
When lineman Duke Pettijohn
scooped up the ball and returned it
to the 39 yard-line, the
Mountaineers wilted.
"That was huge," Pettijohn said.
"They were about to score. They
had a lot of momentum and that
took the air out. After that play, I

think they gave up."
For Smith, it was a banner day
He became the first freshman
start on either offense or defense
coach Paul Pasqualoni's nine year.
as head coach.
"Just to come up with that play,''
felt very good," Smith said. "I ss'
fortunate to have that opportunity"
West Virginia scored all of its
points in the first half - on two
safeties and a 23-yard field goal by
Jay Taylor.
When fifth-year senior quarter-
back Marc Bulger, the key to t
West Virginia offense, was unab
to play in the second half because
of an injury to his throwing hand,
the Mountaineers knew they were
in trouble.
Bulger, 9-of-14 for 85 yards,-was'
replaced by sophomore Bra-
Lewis, who had thrown just two
passes in the first three games.
Lewis finished with 8-of-14 pas-
ing for 64 yards but also had'ts.
"We certainly aren't very lucky,"
West Virginia coach Don Nehl i
said. "We push that touchdown in,
we have the momentum going and
everything. Just unbelievable."

When your plate isfull
butyour soul isn t.

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Texas Tech's Williams
out for rest of season'
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texas he felt the knee give out and ,was,,
Tech star running back Ricky helped off the field.
Williams aggravated his sprained He did not play in Tech's 3-17
left knee during practice this week victory over Louisiana-Lafayette,,. or
and will not return this season, coach the team's stunning 21-14 loss to,
Spike Dykes said yesterday. North Texas last weekend.
Williams had missed the team's Dykes has said that even
last two games after injuring the Williams were to miss several games
knee in the season opener against this season, the running back could
Arizona State and Dykes had listed still stay on track to take the all-ime
the running back as a "maybe" for rushing title from Texas' Rcky
Saturday's contest against Texas Williams.
A&M (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today; No. "He can always be given a medical
5 AP). redshirt if he is out more than afew
But in practice Tuesday, Williams games," Dykes said after Williams
aggravated the injury while running missed his first game. "He'll still
in a no-contact exercise. retain the same amount of eligibility
Tech doctors said surgery would so if he wants to pursue an all-ti
be scheduled for Williams later this rushing title or whatever, he can
week. Team personnel would not say that."
whether the knee sprain will end the Tech was hoping Williams might
junior's career. be able to save the team from what
"It's gut wrenching, no doubt," could be a disastrous season because
Dykes said. "The worst thing about of the Big 12 Conference's many
athletics is injuries, because these ranked teams.
kids put their whole life into it and it Now Tech will have to replace a'
can be taken away in an instant. It crucial part of its offense, which was,
breaks my heart to see something built almost entirely around
like that happen to good people." Williams.
Before the initial injury, Williams "It's probably going to be like
had played every game at Tech (2-1) we've done it in the past," said run-
the past two seasons, rushing for ning back coach Jack Tayrien. "We'll
1,582 yards and 13 touchdowns last play it by committee and go witthe
year. hot hand."
He also was on pace to eclipse the Texas Tech's prospects for this
all-time rushing record held by weekend don't look good, as Texas
Texas' former running back of the A&M is one of the top teams in th
same name. nation.
Williams injured his knee when Texas A&M has the nation's toll
the ASU defense collapsed the Tech raked defense and has allowed just
offensive line on top of him during 68 yards and one touchdown agai*
the Red Raiders' game on Sept. 6. Louisiana Tech, Tulsa and Southeri
He simply bandaged his left knee Mississippi. Tech must also contend
and returned to play minutes later. with Texas and Oklahoma this sea'
In the second half, he told trainers son.
McGwire takes lead
in home run race
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Mark McGwire pitch well over the wall as the ba1
is back on top in the home run derby cleared an area of shrubbery just
for the first time in more than a beneath the backdrop.
month, just in time for a final week- Only a few thousand fans were
end showdown with Sammy Sosa. watching when McGwire toppel
McGwire hit his 62nd and 63rd Roger Maris' record for the second
home runs last night in the St. Louis straight year. It was a huge contrast
Cardinals' 4-3, 6-5 sweep of the San from the electric atmosphere of Sept.
Diego Padres, moving one ahead of 8, 1998, when the Maris family
Sosa. on hand and flashbulbs never stop
McGwire hadn't been ahead since popping as McGwire bashed his way
leading 48-47 on Aug. 18 and trailed into the record book for the first time.
by as many as five homers at one Wednesday's opener had a spars
point but has homered in each of the crowd because it was rescheduled tp
last four games. Last season, he make up for Tuesday night's rainout.
closed with five homers in the final "That part of the atmosphere' was
three games to beat Sosa 70-66. missing, but the rest of it wasn't,"
The Cardinals won the opener on manager Tony La Russa said. "It wss
Thomas Howard's two-run single in a major league game with a goo
the seventh and rallied from a five-run pitcher on the mound trying to get i
deficit in the second game. Fernando out. Enjoy the moment. Why compare
Tatis added a solo shot in the sixth to and try to take something away fro'
tie it and he doubled and scored on it?"
Placido Polanco's bases-loaded field- McGwire hit a three-run homer off
er's choice for a 6-5 victory in the Andy Ashby, who surrendered Nos.
10th. 500 and 501 on Aug. 5 in St. Louis, i
Tony Gwynn was 7-for-8 in the the sixth inning of the secoame. The
doubleheader with two RBIs, raising 467-foot shot also easily cleared the
his average seven points to .339. He center-field wall and landed beyond

left to a standing ovation after singling the shrubbery.
in the eighth inning of the second McGwire also figured in the key hit
game. in the first game. Donne Wall ()
McGwire has 520 homers, one intentionally walked him to load .
behind Ted Williams and Willie bases in the seventh, and Thoms
McCovey for 10th place on the pareer Howard followed with a two-run sirs-
list. McGwire also leads the NL with gle for a 4-3 lead as the Cardinals
145 RBIs, two shy of last's total. ended a five-game losing streak.
He tied Sosa in the fourth inning of Darren Oliver (9-9) allowed three
the opener with a two-run homer off runs and five hits in eight innings, and
Matt Clement to center that traveled Lance Painter finished, for his first
an estimated 462 feet. He sent a 1-0 save of the year.

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