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November 13, 1995 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-13

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, November 13, 1995



Players agree: The weather
made conditions unbearable

By Scott Burton
GAME STATISTICS Daily Sports Writer
It really wasn't that long ago that Michigan was playing in
front of a searing late-summer sun, with the mere thought of
PASSING movement inducing gallons of sweat. But it must have been
hard for the Wolverines to remember that their season began
Player C-A Yds TD Int in August after what they went through in Saturday's contest
Gries 11-4 10 0 1with Purdue.
Griese 11-24 101 0 1 Michigan Stadium did its best imitation of Soldier Field
Toomer 0-1 0 0 1 after subfreezing temperatures and a pregame shower/snow-
storm made game-time conditions downright nasty. The
Totals 11-25 101 0 2 perimeter of the playing field was surrounded by a moat of
water while the field itself was a sod-pit.
Throw in a game-long hail storm and you can begin to
RUSHING understand why forward progress was such a tricky task in the
Wolverines' 5-0 victory. The two teams combined for only
Player Aft Yds Avg Lg TD 396 total yards, and players from both teams complained that
the weather had as much to do with the offensive struggles as
B'batuka 14 84 6.0 37 0 either of the defenses.
Davis 14 37 2.6 6 0 "(That was) without a doubt the worst, as far as weather
conditions, that I've ever played in," quarterback Brian Griese
Hayes 2 26 13.0 14 0 said. "It was just hard to stand up out there, for the offensive
lineman to get blocks and push off, for me to take drops, for
C. Williams 9 24 2.7 7 0 the backs to make cuts."
Howard 4 12 3.0 11 0 The conditions created particular problems for the two
quarterbacks - Michigan's Griese and Purdue's Rick
Floyd 2 3 1.5 3 0 Trefzger. The football collected mud and water on its surface,
making it a challenge to throw with any sort of accuracy.
W. Carr 3 2 0.7 1 0 Gusts of wind also played havoc with passes.
Griese 6 (-)6(-)1.0 8 0 Griese completed only 11 of 24 passes for 101 yards while
Trefzger was 11 of 19 for 84 yards and one interception.
Totals 54 182 3.3 37 0 "What you try to do is try to make good plays, safe plays and
get first downs," Griese said. "That game was definitely a

"It was just hard to stand
- Brian Griese,
Michigan quarterback
on Saturday's weather and field conditions
game of field position."
As a result, the two teams ran the ball more frequently than
they probably would have. Not that a ground attack was a safer
venture - the broken field made traction precarious and
sharp cuts nearly impossible. That's part of the reason that
Boilermaker Mike Alstott - who had averaged 135.2 yards
per game - could only muster 20 yards on 11 carries.
What made scoring evenharder was that the tarp covering the
field prior to the game did not extend past the 20-yard line on
either side of the field. That meant that the red zone was
especially roughed up, even before the players stepped on the
And it also meant that the lack of traction and the difficulty
in moving the ball was doubly amplified. On four separate
occasions, Michigan had the ball within Purdue's 15-yard line
and failed to score.
"I am not concerned about our offensive production in the
red zone," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "We knew before
the game that it was hazardous from the 20-yard line in."
There was some fun to be had on the day, though. Michigan
wide receiver Mercury Hayes took a spill onto his belly as he
burst towards the sideline and slid 10 yards towards the stands.
That prompted a few Boilermakers to give him the "safe" call.



No. Yds Avg Lg TD

4 42 10.5 22


3 25 .8.3 9 0
2 23 11.5 18 0
2 11 5.5 8 0
11 101 9.2 22 0
No. Yds Avg Lg
4 117 29.3 47
1 29 29.0 29
5 146 29.2 47


No. Yds Avg
1 10 10.0


Michigan defensive back Clarence Thompson pressures Purdue quarterback Rick




1 10 10.0 10 0

Player No. Yds

Michigan tallback Ed Davis had to wade through both a pile of bodies and a few inches of mud on this play. Temperatures
dropped to around minus-8 with the windchill Saturday.

Avg Lg TD

Hayes 1
Totals 1
W. Carr

F; S;n 5 A

s s.o s o PURDUE
Continued from Page 1B
run wide, we couldn't run up the
middle, we couldn't throw."
Michigan quarterback Brian Griese,
Solo Ast Tot who was able to connect on only 1 1 of
6 1 7 24 passes for 101 yards, tried to not let
the weather conditions affect his play.
5 3 8 "You can't really think about it at
all," Griese said. "You go back and
4 1 5throw the way you've been throwing
4 0 4 the whole game. You can't try to fac-
tor in the wind, the snow or the rain
4 0 4 because then you'll overcompensate,
3 1 4 undercompensate."
The Wolverines racked up 182 yards
3 1 4 on the ground - 84 of which came
from Biakabutuka before he left the
3 0 3 game in the first half with a pulled
3 0calf muscle.
Purdue had a chance to get on the
1 2 3 board just before the half. Aaron Hall
intercepted a Griese pass at the Michi-
1 1 2 gan 43. The Boilermakers moved to
the 34 but had to attempt a long field
1 0 1 goal as their drive stalled.
1 0 1 Brad Bobich slipped as he kicked
the ball and it fell short despite the
0 1 1 wind.
0 1 1 "I tried to slow down a little bit and
get my footing," Bobich said. "It still

didn't help, though."
In the second half Michigan con-
trolled field position once again. The
ball did not leave Purdue territory until
three minutes into the fourth quarter.
That possession came only as a result
of a free kick after Michigan scored a
The Wolverines drove deep into
Purdue territory looking for a touch-
down. They could not convert on fourth
and one from the five and turned the
ball over on downs.
On the next play Michigan's de-
fense provided some points.
Trefzger went back to throw but
was hit in the end zone by Clarence
Thompson for a safety to make it 5-0.
"The biggest play of the game was
when we got stopped down there and
(defensive coordinator) Greg Mattison
made a tremendous call," Carr said.
"lie brought Clarence Thompson off
the corner and got the sack that gave
us a safety. I thought that play changed
the entire complexion of the game
because from then on Purdue would
have been forced to get a touchdown
to win."
After keeping control of the ball for
so much of the game - Michigan had
possession for 37:22 to Purdue's 22:38
- the Wolverines needed to get some

points on the board somehow.
"It gave us a lot of momentum of-
fensively and defensively," Thomp-
son said. "The offensive team held the
ball a lot so they gave us the field
position to go out there."
Purdue couldn't muster much of-
fense on the day. The Boilermakers
were held to just 29 yards on the
ground. Alstott, who could have be-
came Purdue's all-time leading rusher
with 35 yards, gained just 19 yards.
"I think it made them run the ball
more than they really wanted to." line-
backer Jarrett Irons said. "It gave us
the ability to stack up on the run.
"Anytime you have to go against a
great player like Mike Alstott you have
to have some emphasis on him. We
call the defense, the coaches call the
defense, we executed and we stopped
him today."
The win was certainly welcome re-
lief to the Michigan players following
last week's loss at Michigan State.
"We were hurt after the Michigan
State loss - it was a tough loss," Irons
said. "The only way to get that feeling
out of your system is to go back and
win. The score really doesn't tell how
the game really was. It was a tough
and a hard-fought win."

Late in the first quarter, with no score, Michigan had a fourth-
and-8 from its own 42. Punter Paul Peristeris came in and
booted the ball high and deep toward Purdue's Craig Allen, who
was back near the Boilermaker 10-yard line.
Allen mishandled the punt, and Michigan's Sam Sword
pounced on his fumble at the 2-yard line. Although the
Wolverines lost five yards over the next three pays, the fumble
recovery led to a 25-yard Remy Hamilton field goal, which gave

. m stillidn'thelp
though,. F'

George runs wild o0
Ohio State tailback rushes for school-rec

Player No.
Woodson 1
Totals 1

Yds TD Continued from Page 18


0 5-0 just isn't a football score.
A baseball score, yes.
Hockey, sure. Curling, well, no
one really knows how that's scored
so maybe, but definitely not foot-

This one was going to come down
to the running games - Purdue's
power fullback Mike Alstott against
Michigan's slick and speedy
Tshimanga Biakabutuka.
That, like any other resemblance
of offense never developed.
Alstott rushed for only 19 yards
on 11 carries and Biakabutuka,
while rushing for 84 yards, did it all
by the halfway mark of the second

mance it put up Saturday. The
Wolverines needed it for the win
and they needed it for the rest of
the season.
"It was tough to think that as well
as we had played, we could still be
8-4," Michigan nose guard and
utility fullback William Carr said
after the game.
The Wolverines could still finish
8-4, but it is not as likely as it was a


I 8-17

Actually, the only thing funnier

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