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October 05, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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michigandaiiy.com /sports

OCTOBER 5, 2001






oePa's Penn State not
good enough for Blue

Paterno won't catch
Bryant this weekend

By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Editor
At 0-3, Penn State has equaled its
worst start in the Joe Patemo era. The
Nittany Lions have lost to Miami (Fla.),
Wisconsin and Iowa and the games
haven't really been that close - the
teams were just better than Penn State.
The next five games -- including the
Michigan game this Saturday -- are
against teams equal to or better than Wis-
consin or Iowa. Penn State needs to find
an advantage, but with one of the least
talented teams in a long time, it just may
not have any.
stepped up admirably in tailback Chris
Perry's absence and B.J. Askew contin-
ues to prove that he can be the go-to guy
in the Michigan offense.
Penn State has been sieve-like in
allowing over 200 yards of rushing per
game, including 320 yards to Wisconsin
in its second game of the season. The
Nittany Lions have shown very little
ability to stop any kind of ground attack
and are allowing 4.4 yards per carry.
Edge: Michigan
STATE PASS DEFENSE: Against Illinois,
*wide receiver Ron Bellamy finally
showed the play that was expected of
him as he caught his first touchdown of
the season. He should continue to com-
plement Marquise Walker, who is having
a career season thus far.
Penn State is allowing nearly the same
amount of yards in the air that it is on the

ground, to total over 450 yards of offense
allowed per game. Perhaps the most,
telling statistic is that the opponents are
completing 65 percent of their passes
against the Nittany Lions.
Edge: Michigan
thinks of a recent Penn State rushing
attack, he or she thinks of Ki-Jana Carter,
Curtis Enis or Blair Thomas. Eric
McCoo was expected to join these Penn
State greats, but thus far not lived up to
They are averaging a miniscule 46
yards per game and have been held well
under that in their last two. Penn State
also has yet to score a rushing touch-
Simply put, Michigan has completely
shut down every rushing attack it has
faced. Larry Foote and company are
allowing under 60 yards per game with
their exceptional speed and anticipation.
Edge: Michigan
Penn State's touchdowns have come in
the air. Redshirt freshman Zack Mills has
replaced Matt Senneca as the starter, and
is showing that there is hope for a Penn
State passing game in the future - but
not necessarily in the present.
Wide receiver Bryant Johnson is clear-
ly the number one target in the-"attack,
accounting for nearly half of the yardage.
He's also scored two touchdowns so far
this year.
The Michigan defense is allowing 270

By Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Editor
It's understandable why every-
one's a little agitated in Happy Val-
ley. The Nittany Lions (0-2 Big Ten,
0-3 overall) haven't started 0-4 in the
last 115 years, and with so much
attention on Joe Paterno's quest to to
tie Bear Bryant's Division I-A record
of 323 wins, it appears the team is
After Penn State's 24-18 loss to
Iowa, Paterno was asked if he's see-
ing improvement. He responded, "I
feel better about this one then about
the first two - if you can feel good
about getting licked."
Then when askedabout Bryant's
record, he simply sighed, stood up,
and left. End of press conference.
So what do the Nittany Lions think
about this?
"He's one win away from tying
one of the greatest records in college
football, and we're pretty much just
messing around right now. We want
to go out there and see if we can get
that win for him," lineman Chris
McKelvy said.
And to think, it was only a year
and a half ago that Penn State was
ranked No. 2 in the country and was
talking about the national title.
It was once assumed that Joe
Paterno would own the record, but
with a tough schedule still ahead and
with Florida State's Bobby Bowden
trailing by only four wins, it now
looks like Paterno might never see
the record.
Meanwhile, everything's hunky
dory for Michigan, Penn State's
opponent this week. The Wolverines
handled then-No. 22 Illinois 45-20
last week and are talking about

another Big Ten title and a BCS bid.
"We've got goals ahead of us to
achieve," junior safety Julius Curry
said. "Once the Big Ten starts we
have to take our play to another
level. We have to show everyone
from the start that we're in the race."
Said sophomore quarterback John
Navarre: "You're a team playing
Penn State and this is Michigan.
Penn State is going to play us tough,
they always have. They're gonna
come out and play us hard. That's
what we're expecting and that's what
we're going to prepare for."
That might be what Michigan's
preparing for, but in reality, this is a
game that, on paper, should be
Michigan's easiest game in the Big
Ten. The Lions doesn't have the
team speed that Penn State teams of
the past have had, nor do they appear
to have the senior leadership to carry
it through these tough times.
The offense is averaging only 10
points per game this year, and the
defense is giving up 25. For a school
nicknamed "Linebacker U," that's
not good.
The Nittany Lions have only 138
yards rushing this year - total.
That's an average of only 46 yards
per game.
Michigan's front seven is as good
as any in the country, so this trend
probably will continue.
"The defenses are stacking the line
because they know they have a solid
running game," linebacker Victor
Hobson said. "They're taking away
plays. Penn State hasn't played a
weak schedule at all,.those are good
teams they've played. The best is yet
to come from them."
- The Associated Press
contributed to this report.

A crying shame: Times are bad at Penn State. Joe Paterno feels better about his
team's loss to Iowa this weekend, even though it got "licked."

yards passing per game to such potent
passing attacks as Illinois and Western
Michigan, but has not yet been broken.
Edge: Michigan
INTANGIBLES: If Penn State has an
advantage, it is that the game is being
played in the newly expanded Beaver
Stadium. But it hasn't helped the Nittany
Lions that much, as they have already
lost to Wisconsin and Miami (Fla.) at

Edge: Michigan
PREDICTION: Penn State has yet so
show that it can compete with the top
teams in the Big Ten. Patemo could, of
course, tie Bear Bryant's all-time wins
record this game, but he had the opportu-
nity the past two games against weaker
competition and his team has yet to come
through him.
This Saturday should be no different.
Michigan 35, Penn State 10


Before every football game this sea-
son, Daily football writers Jeff Phillips
and Jon Schwartz will take the week-
end's matchup to the Playstation 2.
For this week's matchup, coach
Phillips led the home Nittany Lions
and coach Schwartz took the helm
for the Wolverines again.
Michigan head coach Jon Schwartz:
That was pitiful. My team couldn't do did-
ley. The players sucked, the team
sucked, the fans sucked -.
Throw it to TE No. 85 one more time ...
You guys just lost the national champi-
At least we tried to play a game of foot-
W all. Coach Phillips thinks that running
1 he same play all game is enough to
make up for losing 76-28 (that's right,
76-28) last weekend..
RB No. 23 was not very good. Neither
was CB No. 3 or No. 21. Nobody on my
team knew how to play except for the
tight ends ...
Coach Phillips tries to bring me down, but
here's what he doesn't understand: I
have a greater sense of responsibility that
he can't possibly fathom. He weeps for
Ilinois and he curses Michigan. He has
that luxury - the luxury of not knowing
what I know, that the loss to Michigan,
while tragic, probably saved lives. And my
existence, while grotesque, and incom-
prehensible to him, saves lives. He does-
n't want the truth because deep down in
places he doesn't talk about on game-
days, he wants me on that field - he
NEEDS me on that field ...
I thought that TE No.81 really estab-
lished -imself today as an offensive force.
Penn State head coach Jeff Phillips:

QB No. 4 isn't the most talented or quick
or'strong but he got the job done. He.
stood up well to the Michigan blitz. He
also was pretty good at finding the same
,receiver on the same play after the no
The two-point conversion we scored when
we were up by 24 really sent a message
to Michigan. That message was, "We can
score a two-point conversion."
Play of the game -- With the score
at 24-7 with two seconds left in the
first half, Michigan TE No. 81
pitched to RB No. 23 who took the
ball all the way to the 3-yard line
before being tackled from behind.
Player of the game - Penn State's
TE No. 85. He was an unstoppable
force in the game, catching 13 pass-
es for 236 yards and 3 touchdown.
Michigan key stats
Passing: QB No. 16- 15-of-31, 327
yards passing, 4 TDs, 1 int
Rushing: RB No. 23 - 12 carries,
56 yards, 2 TDs
Receiving: TE No. 81 -4 recep-
tions, 111 yards, 1 TD
Defense: LB No. 51 - 2 sacks, 8
Penn State key stats
Passing: QB No. 4- 16-of-33, 318
yards passing, 5 TDs
Rushing: RB No. 8 - 15 carries, 47
yards, 2 TDs
Receiving: TE No. 85 - 13 recep-
tions, 236 yards, 3 TDs
Defense: LE No. 96 - 3 sacks, 6
'ii II s LI*

WEE 4 samcn~oNs
HOME TEAMS IN CAPS. Goodstein Gopal Phillips Schwartz
. -. N N..
WISCONSIN (14) vs. Indiana Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin
OHIO STATE (-3) vs. Northwestern Northwestern Ohio State Northwestern Northwestern
TExAS (-3) vs. Oklahoma Texas Oklahoma Oklahoma . Oklahoma
h.: t.. ...
'MIAMI (FLA.) (-50) vs. Troy State Miami (Fla.) Miami (Fla.) Miami (Fla.) Miami (Fla.)
WA~~1r~~T~r~~ i~ ~~ . ~1, ff t lNY uit~ NNN~'
Florida (-13.5) at LouISIANA STATE Florida Louisiana State Louisiana State Florida
NOTRE DAME (-6.5) vs. Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
:.. ... .. .! ..w: ...:::.:.....NNN .NN .. . N 'N.........:.
Oregon (-5) at ARIZONA Oregon.......Arizona Oregon Oregon
Best bet Michigan Purdue Northwestern Notre Dame

Record last week (Best bets)
Record to date (Best bets)

7-8 (0-1)
30-15 (2-1)

5-10 (0-1)
23-22 (2-1)

7-8 (0-1)
25-20 (2-1)

6-9 (1-0)
26-19 (3-0)

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........... .... .... .... ............. ... ... ...... ......... .
.... .......
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.................. ........ .....
........... .........
.......... ... . ..... .. ....
D E N : ::::::.,%W.H M . .............
. .... .... ....... ....

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