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November 09, 2000 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-09

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ters egn play
inst No.23 Pen State

Big Ten
race down
to just two
candidates

4

41

By Nathan Linsley
Dailv Sports Writer
Weeks have passed, and little to noth-
ing has been resolved. Just when one of
them pulls ahead, momentum builds in
the other corner.
They are constantly compared, rarely
contrasted, and yet they themselves
insist that
great differ- Across the
enees lie
within their
styles. Gore
and Bush? No -- something far less
confusing and ar more exciting.
Purdue and Northwestern.
PtRUE (5-1 B; TFN, 7-2 O ERAL)
aT MNicWHICAN Sirr (1-5, 4-5)
Sure, they claim to pass first and run
second, but without the emergence of
running back Montrell Lowe, there is lit-
ti doubt that the Boilermakers would
not be leading the Big Ten
Michigan State has struggled mighti-
lv against pretty much ever conference
foe it has encountered. Without an ugly
victory- but a victory nonetheless -
against Illinois, the Spartans would find
themselves winless in the Big Ten.
Michigan State wants tailback T.
Duckett to pound out three to five yards
every play in an attempt to keep Brees
and the Purdue offense off the field.
While they may succeed in making
this a low-scoring game, the Spartans
will fiil in holding Drewo Brees and the
Boilermakers low enough.
One more game before Purdue can
book a trip to Pasadena.
Purdue 24, Michigan State 13
NORTHFiwsTERN (5-1, 7-2) A, low.
(2-4, 2-8)
The Wildcats deny the similarities
between their attack and Purdue's spread
offense, saying that, unlike Purdue, their
run sets up the pass. But Northwestern's
passing attack is just as important as
Damien Anderson on the ground.
Like Brees, Northwestern quarter-
back Zak KUstok loves to use his legs as
well as his arm - he has 120 carries
through nine games. Anderson is con-
testing Michigan's Anthony Thomas a.
the best tailback in the Big Ten, with 7.2
yards per rush and 18 touchdowns.
lowa is young and improving, as evi-
denced by a strong showing in a loss to
Wisconsin two weeks ago and an over-
time win at Penn State this past
Saturday.
But Iowa has not faced Purdue or any
other team that runs the spread this sea-
son. Further adding to the Hawkeyes
problems is Northwestern's no-huddle
attack.
It may not be a video-game score, but
the Wildcats will stay in contention for
the conference title with a win.
Northwestern 34, Iowa 20
Oto StrArF (4-2, 7-2) Ar ILLINOIs
(2-4, 5-4)
At one point, the Fighting Illini were
ranked No. 17 in the nation and
appeared to be a force to be reckone
with in the Big Ten for the first time i
sears.
But, losses in their first two confer-
ence games - at home against
Michigan and then at Minnesota -
derailed Illinois.
After an unconvincing win at home
against Indiana, Illinois must be ready to
play against Ohio State, which is hoping
for a Northwestern loss to move into
Citrus Bowl contention.
Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner has
tossed 18 touchdowns this season, but
will face a stingy Ohio State pass
defense led by cornerback Nate
Clements.
An Ohio State win, coupled with a

Michigan win over Penn State, would
set up a showdown next week for the
Outback Bowl bid, which goes to the
Big Ten third-place finisher.
Ohio State will be tough, and with the
way lllinois has been playing, a big fir
quarter may be all the Buckeyes need.
Ohio State 34, Illinois 24
WiscoNsiN (3-4, 6-4)Ar INDIANA (2-
4,3-6)
In the one game that probably will not
have conference-wide implications, the
Badgers will finish their Big Ten season
this week before packing for a Nov. 25
date at Hawaii.
Indiana quarterback Antwaan Rand
El, who would be a Heisman frontrun-
ner if he did not play for the Hoosiers,
needs just 50 total yards to become the
first player in Division I-A history to
eclipse 2500 yards in each of his first
three seasons.
The Hoosiers have scored more than
30 points in seven of their nine games
this season and hve only been held
under 24 once, by Michigan.
If Wisconsin can get out to an ear
lead, Indiana may crumble -- witn
the Hoosiers' 58-0 loss against the
Wolverines on Oct. 14, where early
Indiana turnovers and quick scores by
Michigan deflated the Hoosiers.
Wisconsin needs the victory to
improve its bowl position, and the
Badgers are usually reliable in must-win
situations.
Wisconsin 48, Indiana 39

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