The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, November 20, 1995 - 5B
Pitts proves that it is possible
to run against Michigan's line
By Scott Burton
Daily Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE--Perhaps it's not
so strange that someone finally proved
it's possible to run against Michigan's
defense. After all, the Wolverines play in
a conference with the best running-back
talent in the nation and something, at
sometime, had to give.
What is strange, though, is who that
someone was. Penn State running back
Stephen Pitts, a semi-obscure runner
who had rushed for all of 213 yards
going into the game, busted loose for
164 yards Saturday. Included in his
melee was a 58-yard run late in the
fourth quarter that set up the Nittany
Lions' game-clinching touchdown.
In the process, Pitts did something
Saturday that no other feature runner
has done this season - rush above his
yards per-game average against the
Wolverines' defense. Elite talents such
as Virginia's Tiki Barber and Purdue's
Mike Alstott struggled in their matchups
with Michigan, but Pitts ran for a ca-
reer- best by more than 25 yards.
"You dream of having games like
this," Pitts said.
It wasn't just Pitts who was able to
move the ball against Michigan Satur-
day. Five Nittany Lions carried the ball
hard, but we just
some of the
defenses when we
- Jarrett Irons
at least once, and Penn State ran for 262
rushing yards in the game, the most the
Wolverines have allowed this season.
"We played hard, but we just didn't
execute some of the defenses when we
needed to," Michigan linebacker Jarrett
Penn State had a lot to do with the
Wolverines' lack of execution. The
Nittany Lions threw a number of unique
running formations at Michigan in an
attempt tothrow offthe Wolverine's line.
On two consecutive running plays in
the second quarter that resulted in 27
yards, Penn State tight end Keith
Olsommer shifted on the line, drawing
Michigan's defense to his end. Then
wide receiver Bobby Engram went in
motion away from Olsommer's side and, GAME
after the ball was snapped, Penn State's
running back followed Engram for big
The Nittany Lions also occasionally
utilized a three-back set. Player
"They might have been a little con- Griese
fused, because we had a couple of I-
formations out there and I don't know Totals
whether they lined up right a couple of
times," quarterback Wally Richardson
said. "We were able to get some move- RUSHING
ment at the line of scrimmage and stayed Player A
on some blocks. That gave our backs the
room they needed to get some good yard- B' batu k a
age down field." Howard
But what truly freed up Penn State's
runners was the dominating performance Griese
by its offensive line. The blocking unit. Totals
maligned throughout the year for medio-
cre performances, controlled the line of
Richardson, who has been sacked more
than 20 times this season, had superb Player N
protection in the pocket, getting sacked Hayes
only twice. And the tailbacks had all
sorts of time to find holes in the line. Toomer
"Obviously, they blocked us well,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "There Riemersm
were too many creases. They had too Howard
C-A Yds TD Int
:= ZR= inc. -= =.."W= 3. == = in== ..
to-create a little havoc with the collection of snow under their seats.
urnafter late fal storm
Att Yds Avg Lg TD
26 139 5.3 34, 1
3 4 1.3 5 0
32 122 3.8 34 1
lo. Yds Avg Lg TD
6 132 22.0 38 0
8 128 16.0 23
51 actually showed up.
'That's how our fans are," defensive
i Terry Killens said. "They back us
the way. Rain, sleet, snow-just like
. mailman - they're always there for
The Penn State student section de-
ded to be unruly right from the get go.
ess than a half hour after the stadium
pened, the first all-out snowball fight
The workers had been able to clear all
e seats, aisleways and walkways
-ound the stadium, but a lot of the snow
as packed under the seats.
Everyone had a half foot of freshly-
acked snow at their feet. Some thought
made for excellent ammunition.
Snowballs were hurtled at every offi-
;ial and Michigan player possible.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno made
repeated efforts to stop the snow throw-
ng,,losing his voice in the process, but
:he snowballs persisted.
"F 'was disappointed in the crowd,"
Paterno said. "It was childish-no need
For it. It was not fair to the Michigan
kids Michigan has a good football tra-
dition and a great tradition and for some
>f our kids to act like a bunch of jerks is
Paterno was especially worried that
the officials would call an unsportsman-
likepe'nalty on Penn State, which is a
15-yard infraction. The Nittany Lions'
P.A: announcer warned the Beaver Sta-
diuin crowd of the possibility of such a
punishment should their behavior con-
Those concerns were amplified in the
face of an incident involving Wolverine
receiver Mercury Haye . The senior was
running a fade patternin the corner of
the endzone and unsuccessfully dove
for Brian Griese's pass. When Hayes
was getting up, he was pelted in the face
by a snow ball, which put him back on
the ground for several minutes.
The field conditions neccesitated can-
celing the pregame and halftime shows
of the Penn State Blue and. The band
performed its halftime'selections from
its seats above the south endzone.
BOWLED OVER: Michigan's loss elimi-
nates it from any possibility of going to
the Citrus Bowl, Jan. 1, which is reserved
for the Big Ten's second-place team. The
Wolverines still have shot at a third-
place finish and an invitation to the
Outback Bowl, but would likely have to
beat No.2 Ohio State nett weekend to do
so. More likely, the Pennytate-Michigan
State winner will go to Florida, leaving
Michigan a plane ticket to Texas for
either the Alamo or Sun(Bowl.
WAIT 'TILL WE GET OUR HAYES ON
YOU: Despite a few dropped passes Sat-
urday, Hayes continued his ascent up
Michigan's record books. The senior
caught six catches for 132 yards and
became onlythe fifth Wolverine to reach
2,000 career receiving yards.
In the process, Hayes and fellow
wideout Amani Toomer pecame the first
classmates in Michigan history to each
collect 2,000 career yards. Toomer, who
eclipsed the 2,000 mark earlier in the
season, had 128 receiving yards Satur-
day and has 2,506 for his career.
FUMBLING CHANCE : PENN State
fumbled away two excellent scoring op-
portunities, keeping Michigan within
striking distance. In the.second quarter,
with Penn State looking to pad a 10-0
lead, fullback Jon Whitman turned the
ball over on the Wolverines' 9-yard line.
Even more damaging, tailback Curtis
Enis and Richardson muffed a handoff
at the Wolverines 1-yard line in the
fourth quarter. The ball squirted in the
end zone and Michigan's Clint
Copenhaver recovered for a touchback.
Paterno cited those errors as his rea-
son for attempting the, fake field goal,
rather than running a conventional of-
fensive set on fourth down.
"I just felt that we hid been screwing
around all day out there, putting the ball
on the ground and giving them new
life," Paterno said. "I said let's see if we
can't get rid of this (game), get it over."
BO KNOWS TASTELESiS: Former Michi-
gan coach Bo Schembechler watched
most of Saturday's contest in silence
from his sky box. However, two occur-
rences prompted loud responses - he
groaned after Michigan was flagged for
a personal foul late in the first half and
chuckled at an airplane tagging along an
advertisement forcondoms with the slo-
gan, "Sheik: Get some."
a6 43 7.16 9 0
3 11 3.67 5 0
1 990 9 0
many big plays."
Totals 24 32313.4538 1
No. Yds Avg Lg
6 215 35.8 44
6 215 35.844
Player No. Yds Avg Lg'
Toomer 3 3 1.0 4
Totals 3 3 1.0 4
Player No. Yds
Toomer 2 52
Northwestern coach Gary Barnett celebrates after the Wildcats clinched a share of the Big Ten title.
Buckeyes and Wldcats continue
their quest for Rose Bowl berthi
The Associated Press
Bobby Hoying passed for two
touchdowns before leaving with a con-
cussion and Eddie George rushed for
130 yards and two scores as second-
ranked Ohio State beat Indiana, 42-3.
Ohio State improved to 11-0 for only
the third time in school history and the
first time since 1979. The Buckeyes are
7-0 in Big Ten play heading into
Saturday's game at Michigan.
Hoying, who completed 12 of 17
passes for 203 yards in his final
game at Ohio Stadium, sustained a
mild concussion midway through
the third quarter when hit by Indi-
ana outside linebacker Jabar
Hoying lay motionless on the field
for two minutes but was able to walk off
the field with help. He did not play
Hoying was in long enough to set an
Ohio State record with 2,737 yards pass-
ing this season, breaking Art
Schlichter's 1981 mark of 2,551.
Indiana fell to 2-8 overall and 0-7 in
the Big Ten.
Northwestern 23, Purdue 8
Darnell Autry gained a career-high
226 yards as No. 5 Northwestern beat
Purdue, 23-8, Saturday to keep its
Rose Bowl hopes alive and clinch a
share of its first conference title since
Autry, whose previous high was 190
yards earlier this season against Air
Force, had a 59-yard carry to set up
Northwestern's final touchdown. The
carry brought the ball to the 1-yard line,
where Steve Schnur scored on a quar-
Iowa 33, Wisconsin 20
Junior tailback Sedrick Shaw carried
41 times for 214 yards and three touch-
downs Saturday as Iowa snapped a four-
game losing streak with a 33-204victory
Already Iowa's career rushing leader,
Shaw broke the season rushing mark
Saturday and scored on runs of 7, 1 and
4 yards. His 1,304 yards surpassed
Dennis Mosley's record of 1,267 yards
set in 1979.
The H awkeyes (3-4, 6-4), who
outrushed Wisconsin by 294 yards, can
earn a bowl bid with a victory against
Minnesota next week.
Wisconsin (3-4, 4-5), just two sea-
sons removed from a Rose Bowl vic-
tory, will finish up against Illinois and
Darrell Bevell completed a
school-record 35 passes for Wis-
consin but he also threw four inter-
ceptions, three of them deep in Iowa
Illinois 48, Minnesota 14
Illinois' offense finally erupted from a
season of doldrums while star lineback-
ers Kevin Hardy and Simeon Rice en-
joyed big games as the Illini whipped
Minnesota, 48-14, Saturday.
Illinois (3-4, 5-5) kept its bowl hopes
alive with the victory. It finishes the
regular season at Wisconsin next Satur-
day while Minnesota (1-6, 3-7) is at
Illinois quarterback Johnny Johnson
was inconsistent, with several passes
sailing over receivers' heads. But he also
threw for two touchdowns and ran for
Running back Robert Holcombe ran
for 206 yards and a 29-yard touchdown
in the fourth quarter.
Hardy sacked quarterback Cory
Sauter at the 27-yard line in the fourth
quarter and Rice, a Lombardi Award
finalist, scooped up the ball and ran
into the end zone for his first collegiate
*fans to litter the field with snowballs.
S30 MIAMI (OHIO)
Big Ten Standings
3 4 TOT
3 7 17
0 14 27
Penn State - Conway 49-yard FG (13:15)
Penn State - Archie 15-yard pass from Richardson (7:35)
Michigan - Toomer 18-yard pass from Griese (1:13)
Penn State - Conway 51-yard FG (:12)
.,. -. - .-
N4 Michigan St.