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December 08, 1995 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-12-08

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

No. 14 MCHIGAN vs. No. 1
m - UIIJE S~Trb~n1UI

The Daily previews this weekend's big hockey and
hoops matchups. Turn to Page 8B to find out
about tomorrow's annual clash betweenthe
Michigan men's basketball team and Duke. On
Page 9B check out the Daily's
preview of tonight's
battle between the
Michigan hockey
team and Lake
Superior State.

M ~k

Who: No. 14 Michigan (5-3 Big Tenl
9-3 overall) vs. No. 19 Texas A&M
(5-1Southwest Conference, 8-3)
What: The third annual Alamo Bowl
Where: The Alamodome, San Antonio,
Texas. ? 5
When: Dec. 28, 1995, 8 p.m. EST.
Television: ESPN5-
Tickets: $40.50, $25.50 and $10.50
seats remain. Cal (210) 226-BOWL
for details.
The coaches: Lloyd Carr, 9-3 in his
first year at Michigan, 9-3 overall.
R.C. Slocum. 67-15-2 in his seventh
year at Texas A&M, 67-15-2 overal .
Series: Michigan has won both
meetings between the schools. Both ;
times, the game was played in Ani
Arbor. In 1970, Michigan won 14-10
and seven years later the Wolverinesk
won 41-3.
Michigan players to watch: On '
offense: tailback Tshimanga
Biakabut lka and receivers Amar -
Toomer and Mercury Hayes.'
On defense: linebacker Jarrett Irons, ;
dfensive end Jason Horn and e an
cornerback Charles Woodson. J
Texas A&M players to watch: On
offense: running back Leeland sgs
McElroy, quarterback Corey Pullig .
and receiver Albert Connell. S
On defense: linebacker Nat Nguyen,
defensive end Brandon Mitchell and
cornerback Ray Mickens.tssWJONATHAN
The line: Michigan by three. Jarrett Irons and the Michigan defense will have its work cut out for it against Texas A&M's Leeland McElroy.
C arrnstliinene passion inWoverine s

Mic

Texas

A&M ready to
'btte nAlamo

By Ryan White
Daily Sports Editor
Aside from knowing that it wasn't
going to the Rose Bowl, there is one
thing the Michigan football team has
been sure of the past two postseasons
- it would win.
Two years ago, the Wolverines faced
a North Carolina State team that was
just happy to be in Tampa, Fla. for the
Hall of Fame Bowl. Michigan pounded
the Wolfpack 42-7.
Last season took the Wolverines to
San Diego for a matchup with Colorado
State in the Holiday Bowl. Michigan
won 24-14, but the game wasn't that
close.
The outcome isn't quite as clear this
year, as the No. 14 Wolverines prepare
to face No. 19 Texas A&M in the Alamo
Bowl, Dec. 28, in San Antonio. Texas
at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time onl
ESPN.
The reason'? The Aggies are a good
team.
Texas A&M (5-1 Southwest Confer-
ence, 8-3 overall) began the season
ranked No. I by a number of sports
publications. The Aggies also boasted
one of the top preseason Heisman Tro-
phy candidates in running back Leeland
McElroy.
McElroy missed a game due to in-
jury, which knockedhimoutof Heisman
contention, but he still finished the year
with more than 1,200 yards rushing.
McElroy's team lost games to Colo-
rado. Texas Tech and archrival Texas
that knocked it out of national title
contention. But none of that has taken

the punch out of the Aggieh.
"it's going to be a tough .game,.
Michigan co-captain Jarrett Irons said.
"A&M is going to play us tough. They're
going to try to salvage their season after
losing to Texas."
The Wolverines (5-3 Big Ten, 9-3)
know that one of the biggest keys to the
game will be stopping McElroy.
"He's probably one of the best backs
we've faced all year," Michigan nose
tackle William Carr said. "But we prac-
tice against one of the best backs in the
country, and I don't think he's better
than Tim. (Biakabutuka)."
Biakabutuka, of course, is one of the
biggest reasons Michigan is headed to
San Antonio onl an upswing.
While the Aggies lost their final regu-
lar season g~ame to the Longhorns, the
Wolverines are coming offa 31-23 vic-
tory over then undefeated and No. 2
Ohio State.
Biakabutuka rushed for 313 yards
and scored a touchdown against the
Buckeyes. A similar performance isn't
likely in the Alamo Bowl, though, due
to a very aggressive Aggie defense.
Texas A&M's defense ranks eighth
in the nation against the run (105.8
yards per game). The Aggies are No. 3
in total defense, allowing opponents
just over 257 yards per game.
Inside linebacker Dat Nguyen leads
Texas A&M with 94tackles. Nose guard
Edward Jasper has recorded 14 tackles
for loss.
"They're a quick slashing, really well-
See ALAMO, Page 10B

CURIE fDai y

By Scott Burton
Daily Sports Writer
In the grand scheme of college foot-
ball, Michigan's matchup with Texas
A&M in the Alamo Bowl is probably
not going to capture the nation's due
attention.

N,0
resentative.

Unlike the
Rose Bowl, con-
ference pride is
not on the line.
The Aggies
played in the
now - defunct
Southwest Con-
ference, and the
Wolverines are
but the Big Ten's
fourth-best rep-

Aggies rarely hinted this season that they
were worthy ofsuch praise. No.14 Michi-
gan, after a promising 5-0 start, dropped
three of its final seven games.
And both teams come into the game
having already played their most capti-
vating games of the season - Michi-
gan, when it beat Ohio State, Nov. 25
and Texas A&M, when it lost to Texas,
Dec. 2.
All the game really has going for it is
the presence of two earnest, tradition-
rich teams. And that quite honestly is
not enough to keep numerous Wolver-
ine fans from wondering "Who really
cares?"
But whether throngs of football fans
tune in Dec. 28 or not, there will be at
least one man guaranteed to passion-
ately care about the game - Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr. He knows that the
Alamo Bowl isn't the Rose Bowl or
even the Outback Bowl for that matter.
But, to him, football is football, and it

doesn't matter if his opponent is Austin
Peay or Ohio State - he cares.
And he cares because he has pride.
It's been said that around 1975, Michi-
gan coach Bo Schembechler's blood
turned a fine shade of dark blue, and in
another few years, Carr's blood will
likely turn too. He truly is that emotion-
ally invested in the Wolverines.
It's just as important to Carr for all
the Wolverine football players to care
too - something they really didn't
seem to do much of in their Holiday
Bowl appearance last season. The Wol-
verines produced a 24-14 victory over
Colorado State, but the game was typi-
fied by stale, even apathetic, stretches
of play.
But all indications point to the fact
that Carr has instilled into the Wolver-
ines the same type of pride that drives
him. For each and every game this sea-
son, Michigan came out fired up and
ready to bang heads. You could some-

times question the Wolverines execu-
tion, but never their intensity.
Sure, the Wolverines could be rest-
ing on their laurels after their stunning
defeat of Ohio State two weeks ago.
But Carr is the kind of guy who could
get the NRA to crusade against defec-
tive water pistols, so properly prepping
the Wolverines will be like a walk in
the Arb.
Tweaking the interest of the Wol-
verines' fans for the Texas A&M game
is outside ofCarr's realm though. le's
simply got better things to do than to
make sure everyone tunes in theirtellies
to ESPN, Dec. 28.
And, unfortunately, the inherent in-
terest of the game is limited. Home
games, Big Ten games, games against
the likes of Notre Dame -those game
have built-in marque value. Games
against an opponent Michigan has faced
only twice in its history, however,
stretches the level of intrigue.

The national championship is obvi-
ously not at stake either. Although Texas
A&M was ranked No. 1 in the preseason
by a number of publications, the No. 18

The Matchups:
Michigan should mn away with victory in Texas

By Darren Everson
Daily Sports Editor
It wouldn't be completely accurate to say that in
the Alamo Bowl, you've got a couple of teams
headed in opposite directions. For that to be true,
Texas A&M would have to be going somewhere.
Fact is, there isn't a team in America more stationary
than the Aggies, evidenced by their lackluster offensive
performance in a 16-6 loss to Texas last Saturday. The
Aggies, a disappointing 8-3 this year, have been in a
holding pattern ever since losing to Colorado in Sep-
tember, ending their national title hopes.
Michigan, meanwhile, is holding up its end of that
opposite directions' cliche. The Wolverines' last
game was a 31-23 win over then-No. 2 Ohio State, a
victory that could have propelled them into the Jan.
I Outback Bowl.
That didn't materialize, though, so Michigan will
pack up its all-of-a-sudden rejuvenated offense and
face Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl. Appropriately,
the Alamo is in San Antonio, not too far away from
the A&M campus in College Station.
That's a good thing, because the Aggies couldn't
be expected to go far.
Michigan rushing offense vs. Texas A&M rush-
ing defense:
Here lies the key to the game. If the Wolverines are
able to motor through the Aggies on the ground,
Michigan should have no trouble registeringa double-
digit win.
The Wolverines are capable of running on most
anyone. Not only do they have tailback Tshimanga
Biakabutuka, who was last seen dragging Buckeyes
for 15 yards on occasion, but they also have a line that
consistently opens gaps in the defense. After the
Ohio State game, Biakabutuka said that he had never
seen holes that big.
Hurn' CPP ie,, 0'1;1;1 i th Te a k

which is run.
That's too bad for receivers Mercury Hayes and
Amani Toomer. Michigan's star wideouts have
probably become all too accustomed to playing the
decoy role. But too many passes thrown their way
could result in interceptions being run back the
other way.
The Aggies specialize in this skill -they've done
it three times this season. Perhaps the only reason they
don't have more is because Keith Mitchell is sacking
the opposing quarterback too often. Mitchell is fifth in
the nation with 13 sacks.
The less the Wolverines throw, the better they'll
fare. The pass isn't their strong suit, and stopping it is
Texas A&M's.
Advantage:
Texas A&M rushing offense vs. Michigan rush-
ing defense: Stat-wise, Leeland McElroy rates as the

third-best runner the Wolverines have seen, some-
where behind Ohio State's Eddie George and
Northwestern's Darnell Autry. Still, the. Aggie
tailback will be the best rusher Michigan has faced.
Forget Corey Pullig's passing stats: McElroy has
carried this team offensively. He averages 9.6 points
per game (sixth nationwide) and gets 112.2 yards per
game, 24th in the country. At 5-1 1, 202 pounds, he
combines quickness and agility with strength unlike
any foe that's faced Michigan this year.
Most of those foes, though, haven't run as well as
they're used to. The Wolverines, led by junior line-
backer Jarrett Irons, have been stingy against the run
all year - almost. Penn State did run at will on
Michigan en route to a27-17 victory in State College.
The Wolverines came back strong, though, against
George and the Buckeyes. That means they're ca-
pable of standing to the Aggies.
Advantage:
Even
See MATCHUPS, Page 10B

Texas A&M ranks third in the country in overall defense and No. 8 against the run.
after -seascon o dspi

By Philip Leone
The Texas A&M Battalion
Reggie Brown. Keith Mitchell. Dat
Nguyen.
These current Texas A&M lineback-
ers have tackled, sacked and generally
pounded their names and numbers into
your brain.
But there is another standout Aggie
linebacker that you may not be so fa-
miliar with; his name is Warrick
Holdman and he wears No. 43.
At a university that produces almost
as many All-American linebackers as it

college ball in my first year out of high
school, and the next thing I know I'm
out for the whole season."
Holdman did notjust go away, though
- his pride and talent would not let him.
Armed with blistering 4.6 speed and
more than his share of athletic ability,
Holdman fought his way back up the
defensive depth chart before the 095
season into a backup slot at outside
linebacker behind Butkus Award cafi-
didate Brown.
That simply was not enough to sat-
isfy Holdman, and he soon played his

I '4.~i -- - ' -

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