After four games, one against the No. 1
team in the nation, the Wolverines are
,till undefeated. See where they stand
In the USCHO poll.
OCTOBER 17, 2000
DI E' S.
iviicnigan wears muzzle
before rivalry game
By Stephanie Offen
Daily Sports Editor
A Spartan "S" hangs over the door for
each player to see as they leave the
Michigan football lockerroom. It repre-
sents Michigan's 34-31 loss last year in
Each player is made brutally aware
of what happened to last year's then-
No. 3 football squad after they
dropped the big game to arguably their
"You will see on Saturday how much
these two teams hate each other," defen-
sive linebacker Larry Foote said.
It was unspoken hatred at yesterday's
Michigan football luncheon. The rivalry
talk was free-flowing, but coach Lloyd
Carr did everything in his power to elim-
inate the trash talking.
/ Each player was escorted out of the
press conference so that the media
Would not have an opportunity for one-
on-one interviews with the players. In
tie past, quotes have been taken from
the players and posted up in the oppos-
ing team's lockerrooms as incentive for
"I don't read to much into the quotes
but I know that coach Carr talked to
some of the players about what they
said," offensive lineman Jeff Backus
said. "Every week he says be careful of
what we say. I know that last year some
quotes did get mixed up, and that wasn't
good for us."
After last season's loss Carr was
determined to prevent this from happen-
"I told (the players) they had to be
concerned with what they are saying,"
Carr said. "Some people will try to hurt
their chances to win."
As a native of Detroit, Foote said it's
hard to be professional with the instate
rivalry game, but he did his best yester-
day to keep a straight face.
Foote has always been a Michigan
fan, even before he became a Wolverine
and remembers fondly being in the
stands for the 45-29 thrashing of the
Spartans in 1996.
Foote added that he would never wear
green, even on St. Patrick's Day.
The same could not be said for
Backus, who wore a green shirt to the
luncheon yesterday. He said that it was-
n't intentional, just a lack of elean laun-
dry. But he made sure to change imme-
Backus, a fifth year senior, is deter-
mined not to leave Michigan on a loss to
"A lot of my friends were in last year's
graduating class," Backus said. "They
said that wanted to get (the State game)
back. They couldn't believe their final
game to State was a loss."
Backus added that one way to change
things around this year was to establish
See WOLVERINES, Page 12
James Whitley may have fallen victim to Michigan State's trash talk last season, but Lloyd Carr and Bobby Williams have
curbed the outside chatter before this Saturday's game.
Mean bi o
ride in athletics equates to this:
No one dances on your house.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon takes this
motto to heart. Every Homecoming, the
Mud Bowl is held on its home field at
the corner of Washtenaw and South
University. And every year, winning the
Big Game takes on an importance all its
Back when the San Francisco Giants
played in New York, other teams took
the attitude that a team could be in last
place and lose all its games, but if it
beat the Giants at the Polo Grounds, it
could say it had a good season.
For SAE, it's much the same.
Winning the Mud Bowl is all that mat-
ters. That's the way it's been for 69
years since they've been hosting the
The unwritten rules that bind other
organizations don't bother SAE. Let all
the seniors play? What's that ? The SAE
team is selected by a committee of
brothers that evaluate the results of the
team's practices and then announce the
team seventh-grade-basketball style;
The best players play. That's because
winning the Mud Bowl is a matter of
After all the preparations, the big day
finally arrived. The Ann Arbor Fire
Department did a job of watering down
the field that would have made Kevin
Costner proud. The game jerseys were
fresh off the silk screen. The teams were
still.behaving in a civil manner toward
each other. And then things kicked off.
SAE players said before the game
they were hoping to hold Delta Sigma
Phi scoreless in Mud Bowl 2000. It did-
n't start out that way on Saturday. Delta
Sig took the kickoff and marched down
the field for the opening score and a 6-0
That was all SAE would allow.
Twenty-five unanswered points and
three bench-clearing brawls later, the
host fraternity walked away 25-6 win-
ners, their yearlong quest again ful-
SAE's rugged practices proved
worthwhile early in the second half
when flanker Kevin Cordero executed a
perfect reverse pass to Abe Kane, who
rumbled inside the 10-yard line and set
up another SAE score.
Field position was rarely a factor in
the contest. Both teams started almost
every drive around midfield, mostly
because the ball became increasingly
difficult to kick as the game progressed
and the footing became more precari-
See DUPREY, Page 12
Questions, not many answers from State's Williams
By Chris Duprey.
Daily Sports E ditor
EAST LANSING - If anyone was
expecting some good quotes out of
Michigan State coach Bobby Williams
at his weekly press briefing yesterday,
that person was asking for too much.
Not a surprise during a week of this
magnitude, though. With a stoicism
that rival coach Lloyd Carr would
applaud, Williams gave polite but curt
answers to reporters' questions about
this week's Paul Bunyan game at
Specific questions about schemes
were asked, but not answered.
"You want me to tell you what we're
doing?" Williams asked, half-smiling,
after one question about his game plan.
On to what Williams did actually say.
First, he demonstrated his mastery of
"This is a huge week. [ think it comes
at a great time because we're a little
down right now," referring to the
Spartans' three-game losing streak and
this past weekend's blown game against
Wisconsin, a contest Michigan State
Williams also said this week has
caused there to be "a tremendous
:mount of excitement" on both cam-
puses, and in both lockerrooms.
How badly do his players want to
beat the Wolverines?
"They want to win," Williams said.
Next, Williams displayed the art of
caution. Would a victory over Michigan
save the season for his team?
Not at all, Williams said. It would
just "give us a little momentum."
"We need to get a win for a lot of rea-
sons," Williams said. "We need to get
this thing turned around."
In keeping with his theme of caution,
Williams announced to the media that
practices would be closed this week and
that only captains Renaldo Hill, Josh
Thornhill and Shaun Mason would be
made available to speak to the media,
saying he felt "it was best for the pro-
Further demonstrating his skill with
the media, Williams tossed in a few
compliments for the opponents.
Michigan has "two excellent
receivers, Terrell and Walker. Their
offense is very, very talented."
The coach went on to say that the
Wolverines' defensive backfield has
been "playing very well."
To wrap it all up, Williams dished out
a little of his own. personal philosophy.
What's the mood surrounding the
program right now?
"Everybody's down. You've got to
lift everybody's spirit," Williams said,
mentioning not just his players, but his
office staff, students and cheerleaders.
And how can that be accomplished?
"Say 'Good morning.' Ask 'How are
you doing?' and 'How's your family ?'
Keep your chin up. And smile,"
Williams said softly.
The final question is this: Will
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