14F - The Michigan Daily - Football Saturday - November 6, 1999
November 6, 1999 -
It's not Ali vs. Foreman,
but rivalry is intense
- Shannon Poole
and the rest of
will likely add to
Penn State in the
finals of the Big
By Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer
In 1994, Penn State and Michigan
split two extremely close games in both
schools' inaugural seasons of varsity
soccer. Since then, the two programs
have grown into the most talented in the
Big Ten and a rivalry has developed.
In the premier battle of the ongoing
war, Penn State nipped the Wolverines
in the regular season 1-0 last year.
Michigan quickly gained revenge in the
Big Ten Tournament, upsetting the
Nittany Lions in a game decided by
The rivalry has reached a new level
recently, as the two teams have risen
above the rest of the Big Ten competi-
tion. This year, they played to a score-
less tie in the regular season. After that
game, Penn State went unbeaten, and
Michigan finished one game behind the
Nittany Lions in the Big Ten.
"They're the team to beat, and we
want to beat them, and they would like
to get back at us because their only
blemish two years in a row has been
from (Michigan)," senior Emily
Unless a major upset occurs, the
rivalry will be renewed Sunday in the
finals of the Big Ten tournament. While
both teams assert that getting to the
finals takes preference, neither team
will deny that they crave another shot at
"When you go through the confer-
ence undefeated except for one team,
you'd like another chance at them,
Penn State coach Patrick Farmer.
Penn State holds a 4-2-3 advantage in
the head-to-head series. Only three
games have been decided by more than
one goal. This year, the numbers of
weapons each team possesses, makes
Michigan and the Nittany Lions the
favorites to win the tournament.
The teams have an answer for each
Scoring? Michigan brings superfrosh
Abby Crumpton, who leads the team in
points with 23. Penn State counters
with all-world freshman Christie
Welsh, who leads the Big Ten with 18
Goaltending? Penn State boasts
sophomore Emily Oleksiuk, who
allowed just 14 goals in 19 games.
Michigan replies with junior Carrisa
Stewart, the team's all-time leader in
victories with 29.
Experience? Michigan seniors
Shannon Poole and Emily Schmidt
have played in all 84 games during their
careers at Michigan. Penn State senior
Courtney Lawson is second on the team
in points, and the current Big Ten play-
er of the week.
Still, despite the apparent similarities
in personnel, the team's play very dif-
ferent styles of soccer.
"Their ability to control the pace of
the game makes them dangerous,"
Farmer said of the Wolverines. "They're
possessive without being boring."
Penn State relies more on the physi-
cal advantages of their offense.
"They play directly to their forwards
and run down balls," Michigan coach
Debbie Belkin said. "They have a cou-
ple of real special players like Christie
Welsh who can take over a game."
When they played earlier in the year,
both teams saw opportunities to win
fall by the wayside. A great save by
Oleksiuk on Michigan senior Mari
Hoff's header prevented the Wolverines
"We had our opportunities," Schmidt
said. "To beat them, we'd have to shut
down their offensive threats and capi-
talize on our chances this time."
Farmer said, the rivalry hasn't turned
bitter despite the fact that the programs
are competing for recruits as well as
titles. A mutual respect exists, but the
teams are still looking for a rematch.
"Neither team had their best game
the first time," Farmer said. "We defi-
nitely hope to meet them this weekend."
Continued from Page 4F
In the last three games, the bottom
has fallen out.
The Michigan defense has lost its
swagger. The confident and brash
bunch has been unusually quiet,
words mumbling out of their
The Wolverines won't tell you
they've lost their confidence, but it's
in their eyes. They're frustrated and
confused. They're bad, and they
don't know why.
Much of blame belongs to
Michigan's secondary,. 'The
Suspects.' They've been more than
suspect; they've been flat-out bad.
On Indiana's five scoring drives
- four touchdowns and one field
goal, but the field goal was because
of the clock, not Michigan's defense
- the Hoosiers killed Michigan in
On those five drives, Randle El
completed 12 of 16 passes for 246
yards, 74 percent of Indiana's
Of the suspects, Todd Howard car-
ries much of the guilt. Earlier this
season, Howard said if an opponent
wants to touch the ball, that's their
problem, implying that he'd lay a
load of hurt on them. One problem:
If you can't catch 'em, you can't hurt
Howard's had a problem catching
anyone lately. Late in the fourth
quarter Saturday, he was running 15
yards behind Indiana receiver Jerry
Dorsey as Dorsey waltzed into the
end zone for a 70-yard touchdown.
When Dorsey caught the ball,
Michigan safety Tommy Hendricks
was much closer to Dorsey than
Howard was, even though Howard
was supposed to be covering the
While Michigan jumped out to a
5-0 start, its opponents were looking
for a weakness. There's little in a
defense as easily exploitable as a
weak cornerback, which is exactly
what Howard is.
Both Randle El and Illinois quar-
terback Kittner, who beat Michigan
last week, saw that and exploited the
sophomore, throwing to his man in
key situations. Last week, Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr yanked Howard
after he drew a pass interference
There's little for Carr to do. He
has almost no depth at corner. The
two backups are a freshman,
Brandon Williams, who's seen more
playing time over the past few weeks
but still has little experience, and
wide receiver David Terrell, who
sees spot time at corner and was
Michigan's nickel back against
But Carr has to find a solution
fast, with No. 2 Penn State and No.
21 Ohio State looming in the next
Unlike the 1991 Michigan team
that allowed 104 points in a three-
game stretch, these Wolverines
aren't going to win the Big Ten title,
If the defense doesn't regroup,
they'll have trouble winning any-
- Josh Kleinbawn can be reached
via e-mail email@example.com.
With Penn State on deck, 'M'tries t
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Editor
A glance at the Northwestern section of the all-
time series scores in Michigan's media guide tells
you all you need to know about today's game
between Michigan and Northwestern. It's right
there with white lettering in a black box: 46-13-
Since the two teams first met in 1892 - a 10-
8 Wildcats victory - Michigan has dominated
Northwestern. Oh, there have been some peaks
- 19 straight Michigan wins from 1966 to 1992
- and some valleys - an 0-3-1 record in a five-
year span in the '40s, and two-straight Michigan
lasses earlier this decade amidst the 'Purple
Still, Michigan has owned this series, and
today's game should be no different, at least as
far as the W-L column is concerned.
But it will be different than Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr thought it would be a few months
ago. The third leg on the supposedly 'soft' stretch
of Michigan's schedule, the game against the
Wildcats was supposed to be Carr's last chance to
work out the kinks in his offense and keep his
defense aggressive and intimidating, but doing
all that while still saving some plays for the next
two weeks, when the Wolverines get to tango
with Big Ten bigwigs Penn State and Ohio State.
But then something funny happened on the
way to the fiesta. In the soft stretch, it was only
Michigan's defense that looked soft, giving up
more than 30 points to both Illinois and Indiana.
Illinois actually beat Michigan, and Indiana came
within a dropped Hail Mary. Instead of strutting
back to Ann Arbor with a two-game win streak,
the Wolverines are slumping into Michigan
Stadium today, beaten and battle-weary.
If the Wolverines lose today, a bad season
Lloyd Carr said earlier this week that Drew Henson won't rotate with Tom Brady anymore.
Blue's ata No purple
By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Editor
If today's game could be decided on
style points, Michigan would win.
Easily. Just so long as points weren't
awarded to teams for having a good
rushing game, a good pass defense or a
clear-cut quarterback situation. Yes,
Lloyd Carr said he's no longer commit-
ted to playing Henson in the second
half, but it's not as if he plans of reveal-
ing all his moves to anyone besides his
But two things are apparently clear.
Northwestern has a more potent rush-
ing game than Michigan does. But they
wear purple. On their pants.
Tweet! That's the fashion police
throwing the flag.
MICHIGAN RUSHING OFFENSE VS.
NORTHWESTERN RUSHING DEFENSE:
Change that to Anthony Thomas vs. I1
guys in flower colors. True, Thomas
missed part of the Illinois game with a
hurt pinky. But who's going to tell him
that to his face. Somehow, Thomas
seems to have endless reserves of ener-
gy, even in the relative heat of a 70-
degree day. Saturday's forecast isn't as
rosy. But neither is the outlook of
defensive lineman Dwayne Missouri.
The man with the same name as the
"Show Me" state will know soon what
he's up against. The A-Train. Again and
again and again.
Easy. Michigan. Exc
lem. It's tough to use y
when Anthony Thoma
42 times. Northweste
nearly 200 yards a gam
- though that's good
Big Ten. Michigan Sta
ing similar numbers
torched them on
Northwestern has ne
with a passing attack
player like David Teri
Knight. Or DiAllo
Marquise Walker. A
they'll probably be gla
to again. Or they'll be
G OFFENSE VS.
ept for one prob-
your best weapon
s touches the ball
rn is giving up
ne through the air
I for third in the
te was surrender-
Michigan's defense has been downright
offensive the past few weeks. Which
may put them on the defensive.
Confused? Join the line of people who
said this year's unit resembled the
stingy unit from 1997.
That unit took points on the board as
a personal affront. This year, points are
just an accepted part of doing business.
The last offense not to score 30 points
on Michigan was Purdue's. Which was
more than a month ago. At first glance,
Northwestern might seem hard-pressed
to match that total. But so would have
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