The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 4, 2000 - 3B
Oh my! Oklahoma, option,
and now, the Orange Bowl
Big 12 championship: Oklahoma 27, Kansas State 24
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Oklahoma reached
into its past to get where the Sooners of old used
to be - in the Orange Bowl playing for a nation-
A surprise option pitch on fourth-and-inches
turned into a 22-yard gain by Quentin Griffin and
set up Josh Heupel's 17-yard go-ahead touch-
down pass in No. I Oklahoma's 27-24 victory
over No. 8Kansas State in the Big 12 title game
"That was just some Oklahoma football of
old," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "We
haven't forgotten totally about the option."
In the glory days of Barry Switzer's wishbone
offense, the Sooners won three national titles
with their option attack. Now, under Stoops'
passing game, Hieupel helped put Oklahoma back
in the Orange Bowl for the first time in 13 years.
"We have a great history with the Orange
Bowl," Stoops said, referring to the Sooners' 12-
4 record in their favorite bowl. "And I hope that
excellent history continues."
The Sooners (12-0), the nation's only major
unbeaten team, will get a chance for their first
national title since 1985 when they play defend-
ing champion Florida State (I1-1) on Jan. 3.
Oklahoma and Florida State were first and see-
ond in last week's Bowl Championship Series
standings and, based on computer projections,
seemed certain to remain that way yesterday
when the final rankings are released and the BCS
officially announces its bowl matchups.
"For us to talk about a national championship,
we had to win this game," Stoops said. "So this
was more like a regular-season game and that's
the way we embraced it. "I' m proud of our guys.
This win defines our season."
Heupel, in his final Heisman Trophy push,
overcame a season-high three interceptions, com-
pleting 24 of 44 passes for 220 yards. The
Sooners' defense held the Wildcats to just 239.
yards - 185 yards below their average.
"I think our defense may have been the story of
the game," Stoops said. "It was pretty special.
You hold them to 239 yards for the day? That's
Heupel threw a one-yard touchdown pass to
Trent Smith in the first half, ran seven yards for
a score in the third quarter and hit Andre
Woolfolk with a 17-yard scoring pass 36 seconds
into the final period to put the Sooners ahead 24-
Kicker Tim Duncan and holder Moses Washington celebrate Duncan's game-winning kick
in the Big 12 title game. The win guaranteed the Sooners a spot in the Orange Bowl.
Florida 28, Auburn 6
ATLANTA (AP) -_ Florida is back on top in the
Southeastern Conference. The Gators pumimeled Auburn for the
second time in seven weeks with a 28-6 victory Saturday in the
SEC championship game.
Ernest Graham gave Florida (10-2) a lethal ground-air attack,
rushing for a career-hi(h 169 yards, and the Gators' ball-hungry
defense came up with three critical turmovers in the first half.
Florida won its sixth conference title in 10 years but the first
since 1996, when it also claimed the national championship.
No. 18 Auburn (9-3) had a successful vearjust by winning the
SEC West after two straight losing seasons. The Tigers were
denied their first conference championship since 1989.
Florida, which earned a spot in the Sugar Bowl, didn't quite
match the efficiency of its 38-7 victory over Auburn on Oct. 14.
That day, the Gators reached the end zone on their first five pos-
sessions to quickly turn the game into a laugher.
But Auburn never seriously threatened in the rematch, doom-
Ptig itself with two fumbles and an interception before halftime.
The Tigers will settle for a spot in the Citrus Bowl, their first
New Year's Day appearance since 1995.
arshall 19, Western Michigan 14
H UNTINGTON. W. Va. (AP) -_ This vear, it was Byron
Leftwich's turn to lead Marshall to a comeback victory over
Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference champi-
Leftwich's 29-yard touchdown pass to John Cooper midway
through the fourth quarter Saturday lifted the Thundering Herd
to a 19-14 victory and its fourth straight berth in the Motor City
Marshall (7-5) will play Conference USA runner-up
Wincinnati (7-4) on Dec. 27 in Pontiac.
The win was even sweeter for Lefiwich, the league's passing
and total-offense leader who failed to make any of the all-con-
"I consider myselfa championship quarterback. The opportu-
nity was there for us to pull it out, and I was glad I was able to
help out," Leftwich said.
The Thundering Herd's victory means the MAC teams with
the two best records -Western Michigan (9-3) and-Toledo (10-
I) - likely will be shut out of a bowl game.
"These losses are devastating as far as what we wanted to get
done this season, but certainly not as far as what direction our
iograml is going," said Western Michigan coach Gary Danell.
Continued from Page 1B
said. "We competed the whole time, and we did put our best
effort out there."
The Wildcats began the first game with a six-point scoring
streak that set the tone for the entire match. After Behnke put
the only point on the Michigan side ofthe scoreboard with an
ace, the teams exchanged side-outs as Arizona went on to score
nine points for the win.
Continuing with strong offensive pressure. Arizona took the
second game, hittinu .571. The Wolverines' one successful
attack tied the score at 1-1 on a kill by Joanna Fielder. Fourteen
consecutive Arizona points later, Michigan was one game's
loss away from ending its bumpy season.
After a brief pep talk from coach Mark Rosen, the
Wolverines didn't give up in their third attempt to hold off
"We came out of the lockerroom ready to hold our own."
Behnke said. "Coach gave some words that made us focus
more for that last game."
Those words pushed the players to work off their passing.
and take the lead after catching up at 5-5. But the Wolverines
dropped their 8-6 lead, losing 15-8 and completing their sea-
son 8-12 in the Big Ten and 19-14 overall.
The Wolverines began the season with a top-25 ranking, but
its success slowly faded after facing its fierce conference foes.
An NCAA bid seemed unlikely for the Wolverines until their
late-season winning streak, where they defeated both No. 25
Michigan State and No. 13 Ohio State.
But the team made it to Tucson, and it passed some land-
marks as well.
For freshmen Reedus and Erin Moore, this was a season to
establish their talents and begin what is bouid to be a Success-
ful collegiate career. Both earned starting positions midseason,
and each achieved over 140 kills.
For the team's seniors - Behnke, Fielder, Alija Pittenger
and Shawna Olson - this was the end. Some would leave with
goals left unreached, but some would leave would leave with
their names etched in Michigan's history books.
"My career at Michigan has been great2 said Behnke, who
finished her career listed second on the Wolverines' all-time
kills list with 1,142. "We made the NCAAs three out of four of
the years I have been here, and I couldn't ask for more than
that. I accomplished everything I wanted to and made some
great, lifelong friendships."
ASHINGTON - All the silly posters, all the
crazy outfits -- all these fanatics cheering
and chanting, one side taunting the other but
both helpless to do anything but watch.
It was a typical Saturday of basketball at
Washington's MCI Center this weekend. And an extra-
ordinarily atypical Friday on Capitol Hill.
In fact, if you could clear from your mind the near-
freezing temperatures and overall surreality of the
scene here Friday afternoon, you could pick up phrases
like "constitutional crisis" and "democratic debacle"
And standing at the base of the Supreme Court -
staring up at giant marble pillars that seem more at
home on an IMAX movie screen than right before yoi
eyes -- those phrases can be a little discomforting.
That is until, at the end of the day, Juwan Howard
asks for a Wizards final boxscore. Then you realize
everything will be alright after all.
No, this country does not have a president-elect
three weeks after the election. Not an undisputed one,
anyway. Citizens are demonstrating in the streets of the
capital and the high court is hearing arguments from
rival political parties.
How could anybody care about a game at a time like
I can't say. But people do. The first game of the
BB&T drew 16,681 - more than the protest. That
probably means a lot of people do. a
I certainly do. Enough to spend my entire Saturday
watching Michigan, Maryland, St. John's, George
Washington, the Miami Heat and the Washington
Wizards hoop it up.
To think that two stops away (via the Red Line) my
fellow Americans were protesting the electoral process
-- the very core of our democracy. Yet inside this
arena it was business as usual.
That says a great deal about the current state of the
union. Because as long as there are fun and games
as long as we're still playing -- things must be okay:"
It hasn't always been this way. Certainly, our nation
has seen crisis - faced peril, and persevered. But -
when times are truly tumultuous, the games go by th
As far back as 1918, the professional baseball season
was cut short because of the US's involvement in
World War . The World Series was played in early'
September that year.
But examples can be taken from much more recent
times. On Nov. 23, 1963, Michigan and Ohio State
were scheduled to continue their long-standing rivalry:
But the day before the game - Nov. 22 -- President
John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Michigan and Ohio State postponed the game,
choosing to instead play over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Many other events were cancelled altogether.
From the Nov. 24, 1963 Dailv:
Sports activity throughout the distraught ination was
at i virtual standstill vesterclav as the saddened citi-
-ens, still in a state of shock/ inourned the death of
Everything from college football to thoroughbred
racing to track meets were cancelled or postponed.
The only league to conduct business was the NFL -
a decision the late commissioner Pete Rozelle said he
regretted every day of his life.
It had been a long weekend in Washington by the
time I was mulling around the Wizards lockerroom
It had been an even longer evening for Howard, who
got in foul trouble early and saw his team fall in the
final seconds to Miami. The Wizards are a dismal 4-14
But after an extra-long shower and and an otherwise
empty clubhouse, Howard could have asked the sole,
reporter plenty - "What has happened? What's the lat-
est? Has the Supreme Court made a ruling?"
But he didn't. Seeing the wad of papers in my hard
he politely asked if I had the final boxscore.
But as for "the latest'?" I didn't know that. either.
- David Den Herder can he reached V
d d " n ( u " ic h. ih
, rim -
Marshall receiver John Cooper celebrates as he scores a
touchdown in Marshall's 19-14 win in the MAC title game.
Navy 30, Army 28
BALT IMORE (A P) - When lie looks back on a season
that began with 10 straight losses, Navy senior Chris
Lepore will tap his selective memory to focus on the
game that counted most.
"All I'm going to remember is we beat Army," said
Lepore, who had an interception and a fumble recovery.
"We wanted to go out on top."
Navy found the ideal way to end its perfectly awful sea-
son. taking advantage of five turnovers and getting a solid
performance from Brian Broadwater in a dramatic 30-28
Looking for their first win since last year's Army-Navy
game, the Midshipmen (1-10) built a 20-point lead late in
the third quarter and held on to beat the bumbling Black
Navy lost the ball twice and had a field goal and a punt
blocked. But the Midshipmen nevertheless won a second
straight game in the series for the first time since 1982-
"It was almost like momentum got caught in the middle
a couple of times and didn't know which way to go," Navy
coach Charlie Weatherbie said.-
Michigan volleyball season stats
The Michigan volleyball team's season came to an end in
the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday
when the Wolverines lost to fifth-ranked Arizona 3-0.
Here are the season stats at a glance.
Despite injuries, 'M'
The last time the Michigan men's swimming and div-
ing team encountered the Longhorns, Texas graced Ann
Arbor with its Olympic presence and narrowly won the
meet. That was Nov. 18, and, this time, the Wolverines
would meet Texas in Austin -- along with 11 other
teams, seven of the nation's top 25 -- for the 2000 Texas
With the water holding some of the nation's finest
acquatic talent in a total of 10 Olympians returning from
Sydney, including Michigan's Chris Thompson, it was
no question that this would be the collegiate season's
single-most important meet outside of the NCAA.
According to Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek, most
teams planned to use their times for NCAA considera-
tion. But for the injury-depleted Wolverines, the finish-
ing times in the upcoming Big Ten championship meet
:would be Michigan's fate for the national title.
Despite strained its disadvantage, Michigan was able
to hold its own this past weekend in Austin.
Coming off the preliminaries, captain Scott Werner
had an impressive showing in both the 200-yard and
100-yard breaststroke rases, finishing second in both
with times of'2:00.97 and 55.74.
Racing in the 200 medley relay, Werner, Ryan
Earhart, Jordan Watland and Matt Raines finished ninth
with a time of 2:00.08 after improving their starts during
GAMES PLAYED KILLS
Melka 119 Pittenger
Pittenger 119 Behnke
Lehman 115 Lehman
Behnke 93 Kacor
leads women tankers
After missing the last dual meet against Texas and
Michigan State because of shoulder soreness, freshmaii
freestyle swimmer Samantha Arsenault returned to the line-
up to lead the Michigan women's swimniing team into
Austin this weekend for the Texas Invitational.
But despite Arsenault's amazing efforts, along with the
etiorts of several other swNimiers, the Wolverines managed
to place just seventh out of 14 with a total of 362 points- -
191.5 points behind the leader, UCLA.
After day one. Arsenault had a hand in 49 of Michigan's
1 l points. In the 200 freestyle, Arsenault finished second,
recording an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:42.91.
The Wolverines received a strong effort f'rom their 200-
yard freestyle relay team of Jennifer Crisman, Jennifer
Andt, Laura Kaznecki, and Arsenault who finished third
with a time of 1:33.34.
On day two, Arsenault, Crisman, Jenay Carlson, and
Lori Eberwein finished third in the 800-yard freestyle relay,
earning 32 points. Arsenault again performed well individ-
ually, finishing sixth in the 200-yard freestyle.
Yesterday, Arsenault was not a major factor, fiiishing
10th in the 100-yard freestyle, but junior Lindsay Carlberg
and sophomore Erin Abbey finished fourth and fifth in the
200-yard backstroke, respectively, to fill in.
Scoring balance was an obvious problem for the
Wolveinnes this weekend. A'ter two days of competition,
,iio lit o ;f 'm 1rm '7 roam"noints ame f romm events
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tue dec 7:00-9:00 pm lydia mendelssohn theater
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