Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 25, 2002 · Page 27
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 27

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Friday, October 25, 2002
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(3)niliana FOOTBALL Lions take aim at Ohio State Friday, October 25, 2002 — Page 27 By RUSTY MILLER AP Sports Writer COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 18 Perm State has lost two games, but not the feeling that it has a date with destiny. "I don't think anyone on the team has forsaken having a special season," Nittany Lions center Joe lorio said. "Beating Ohio State would get us right back up to where we could and should have been." Perm State remains tormented by two overtime losses — a 42-35 loss to Iowa and 27-24 defeat to Michigan — as it heads into Saturday's game with No. 4 Ohio State. "We are playing good football," Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno said. "I don't know how much better we can get, except with development. I could sit here and moan again about a couple of calls and a couple of overtime plays. Then we're fighting for a national championship." Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he wouldn't come into the game trying to gauge himself against the 75- year-old Paterno — although he did take a light jab at Paterno chasing officials after the Iowa game. "I heard he ran fast on TV but I might have more speed at this point," Tressel said with a laugh. "I don't know if my team does." The Buckeyes (8-0, 3-0) have escaped tough situations with wins where the Nittany Lions (5-2, 2-2) have not. Cincinnati receivers dropped two touchdown passes in the final minute of Ohio State's 23-19 win at Paul Brown Stadium. And Northwestern had the Buckeyes on the ropes in Evanston before Ohio State ground out a 27-16 win that was closer than the score indicated. Last week, the Buckeyes needed a fourth- quarter interception by wide receiv- er/cornerback Chris Gamble to preserve a 19-14 win. Asked about the latest close call, Tressel said, "What did we do well? We hung in tl^ere. We kept believing." Up to now, Ohio State's players have been fed a steady diet of focus- on-the-next-opponent and forget- about-the-polls. Tressel says that's the only way that the Buckeyes can win a Big Ten title or keep alive their hopes of moving up from sixth in the first BCS standings. "Every week is a big game, every week is a national championship," defensive lineman Kenny Peterson said. "That's what we're playing for. We can't take a week off." Perm State must find a way to rein in Ohio State freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, who is averaging 140 yards a game. He comes into the game 147 yards away from breaking Robert Smith's school record for rushing yards by a freshman. "The only thing I'm really worried about right now is beating Penn State," Clarett said. "The yards, they're going to be there. If we lose this week, nobody's going to be talk- tarry Johnson is coming off a school-record 257-yard rushing performance against Northwestern. (AP photo) ing about the 147 yards, they'll be talking about the Buckeyes' loss." Clarett's ability to pick up yards opens things up for quarterback Craig Krenzel to look for receivers Michael Jenkins and Gamble. The Buckeyes are averaging 229 rushing yards and 197 through the air. The home team has won eight of the nine meetings between the teams since Penn State joined the Big Ten. That trend held a year ago in Happy Valley as Ohio State led 27-9 in the third quarter only to have the Nittany lions come back to win 2927. "What we're thinking about is what we've got going right now," Ohio State strong safety Mike Doss said. "Last year is gone." Penn State quarterback Zack Mills shredded the Buckeyes with his running and passing in the second half of that game. This time around, running back Larry Johnson is coming off a Penn State-record 257 rushing yards against Northwestern. With two losses already, the Lions know they can't afford another slip. "It's the biggest game we've played so far, the biggest game of my career," Mills said. "Emotions are going to be high." Pitt, BC trying not to look ahead By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH—The biggest problem for Boston ; College and Pittsburgh this week may be next week. Boston College-Pitt games often are high-scoring affairs with plenty of bowl implications, so it wouldn't seem as if either team would look past Saturday's Big East Conference contest at Heinz Field. What the Eagles and Panthers must guard against is looking ahead to a week from now, when Boston College plays at No. 6 Notre Dame and Pittsburgh visits No. 3 Virginia Tech. Boston College coach Tom O'Brien has warned his players Pittsburgh (52, 2-0) won't resemble the team the Eagles (4-2,0-2) beat 45-7 a year ago. "I think they were in a tailspin coming into our game," O'Brien said. "Whatever happened, they righted themselves after our game and they're probably as underrated as any team in the country right now. Any time you win 11 of 13 and have lost the two games by eight points ... I don't think they're getting the respect they deserve for what they've done." Besides not looking ahead to next week, the Panthers must prevent looking ahead to next month. If they can beat Boston College, they would be 3-0 in the Big East for the first time and in position to finish at least third in the conference, if they can beat West Virginia next month. With Miami and Virginia Tech possibly headed to BCS bowls, a third-place finish might rate an invitation to the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1. But while coach Walt Harris ,is happy the Panthers need only one more victory to be eligible for a bowl, he doesn't want them thinking about January when October isn't over. The Panthers, coming off a 14-6 loss to Notre Dame, play No. 1 Miami a couple of weeks after the Virginia Tech game, and also have conference games remaining against Temple and West Virginia. "We love the fact we're one win away," Harris said. "That's great. We're close to having a lot of things happening for us. But we're not worried about bowls right now, other than we want to play in one. There's a real easy formula for playing in one, and that's win." Pitt will show Boston College a much different look than a year ago, when the Panthers still were using the no-huddle spread offense that proved such a flop. It wasn't until they returned to a more conventional pro-style system that their offense began to click. With junior quarterback Rod Rutherford running the offense rather than David Priestley, the Pan- thers don't go deep as often as they did a year ago. Rather, they're content for Rutherford to get the ball to receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Roosevelt Bynes and Lamar Slade and let them get much of their yardage after the catch. Rutherford is the Big East's top passer with 1,664 yards and 11 touchdowns. He will be matched against a Boston College defense that's having injury problems, with defensive linemen Antonio Garay and Doug Goodwin and linebacker Ricky Brown all out of the lineup. Offensively, Boston College is more of a passing team than a running team than last season, when Browns first-round draft choice William Green ran for 182 yards and three touchdowns against Pitt. The Eagles return quarterback Brian St. Pierre, who threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns against Pitt. Waynesburg to visit W&J in key clash By The Associated Press The Presidents' Athletic Conference title will be on the line when Washington & Jefferson (5-1, 4-0) plays host to Waynesburg (4-2, 2-1) Saturday. The Presidents have won the conference 15 of the last 16 years. Washington & Jefferson, No. 14 in the Division III coaches rankings, holds a 27-2 advantage in its series with Waynesburg and has won the last 12 meetings. The Presidents also boast a 19-game conference winning streak that dates to 1998. "We have to play sound, fundamental football," Waynesburg coach Jeff Hand said. "They have an unbelievable amount of talent on offense. We have to prepare for everything." Also in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, Thiel (3-4,2-2) travels to Bethany (1-6, 0-4) and Grove City (25, 1-3) plays host to Westminster (42,2-1). Duquesne (7-0, 4-0), top ranked in the NCAA Division I-AA non-scholarship rankings for the fourth consecutive week, travels to Philadelphia to face La Salle (1-6, 1-4) in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game. Next year, the Dukes visit Philadelphia to play a different opponent: Penn. Athletic director Brian Col- leary announced this week the Dukes have scheduled the game, their first against an Ivy league school. St. Francis (0-6,0-4) is getting closer to ending its long losing streak. The Red Flash lost 7-0 last week to Northeast Conference co-leader Wagner, their 29th straight loss since 1999. This week, St. Francis travels to Albany (4-3,3-1). Also, Allegheny (2-4, 1-2) plays at Denison (1-5,1-2) in the North Coast Athletic Conference and Mercyhurst (2-5,1-5) is at Indianapolis (2-5, 1-5) in the Great Lakes Athletic Conference. Juniata (5-2,4-2) travels to Susque- hanna (3-3, 3-2) in the Middle Atlantic Conference and Geneva (3-4, 1-1) plays at Walsh (6-1, 2-1) in the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League. Robert Morris (5-2) returns to action with a non-conference game at Gannon (3-5). In the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West on Saturday, Slippery Rock (4-3, 1-1) plays host to Edinboro (3-4,0-3) and Clarion (5-2, 1-1) is at home against Shippensburg (4-3,2-1). In other games, California (5-2) plays host to Mansfield (2-4) in a PSAC crossover game and Carnegie Mellon (3-3) visits Rose-Hulman Institute (3-4). Coaches battling in family feud tonight Continued from page 25 he needed to get bigger if he was going to play football at IUP. He worked construction for a year, and after redshirting his freshman season, he became a staple along the offensive line and earned four letters. "Jimmy, coming in at IUP, probably not a whole of lot people gave him a chance," Chakot said, "lie was skinny and slow. But he truly had the work ethic. He didn't have the tools as far as his size, but he was a monster in the weight room, and he made himself into a great player. "And I just know that he and Z are a lot alike. They remind me of each other. Neither one will run around you if he can run through you." Thompson was an upperclassman when Angelo entered lUP's program. "I can remember him coming to summer workouts," he said. "He wasn't very big, and I didn't know if this guy could play anywhere. But then he just made himself into a player. You could see the development, how hard he worked. I remember the first time in a game, somebody went down and he came in. We were in the huddle, and everybody was wondering how this was going to work out, would he be able to get the job done? But we didn't miss a beat when he was in there." Angelo and Pettina worked a summer job at R&P Coal during their college days. "He seriously was a workaholic when it came to working out," Petti- na said. "I didn't work out too often, but he kept me in line during the summer. We'd carry coal around all day, and he always made sure I made it to gym with him afterward." This is the second meeting of the brothers-in-law. The first came in 1993 when both were assistant coaches. Indiana thumped Fox Chapel, 41-7. "We beat them pretty bad," Zilinskas said. "After the game he had to wear an Indiana T-shirt. We haven't said anything about this year, but I'm sure I have an Indiana T-shirt for him to wear." "I had to go to his coaching party and wear an Indiana shirt," Angelo said. "But he never really rubbed it in. It was just one of those games where you just wanted to find a big groundhog hole to crawl into." Late tonight, the two men will cross the field, one with the winners, die other with the losers. One will hold his head high and thrust out his chest; the other will dread having to look the other in the eye, having to congratulate him and admit defeat. "It's one of those things that carries over from our relationship at IUP," Zilinskas said. "We had some good battles against one another, full intensity. There was nobody I wanted to beat more than him, and he felt the same way. Then when practice was over, it was back to being friends. I guarantee it will be that way Friday night, regardless of the outcome of the game." Love them or hate them, Irish a force to be reckoned with By CHARLES ELMORE Cox News Service WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —When Notre Dame is 7-0, the Four Horsemen ride again. And somewhere in Nevada, not far from the Vegas Strip, Rudy's phone rings for speaking engagements. Florida State isn't just getting an undefeated opponent Saturday. The Seminoles also are facing what is, depending on your point of view, either the most storied tradition in college football or the most egregiously overhyped PR creation of the past 115 years. Rudy Reuttiger, the Notre Dame walk-on who labored for 10 years to get a movie made about his story, makes no apologies for putting one's best foot forward. "hi life, you have to take advantage of what you've been given," Reuttiger said. "Look at what Notre Dame did. They marketed Notre Dame football very well. Hooray for them. Now they can take care of the program." Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, no stranger to public relations himself, says bring it on. He has told every camera he can find he's happy that the Irish have not lost a game coining into Saturday's meeting in Tallahassee. "It makes you more excited that they're undefeated," Bowden said. "You look at their season and at first you say, 'Oh, boy, aren't they lucky.' But they are a mature football team with a lot of seniors, and their coach (Tyrone Willingham) has been able to spark them. He's just done a fantastic job. They're for real." For what it's worth, Bowden has gone on record to say he likes die movie "Rudy." "Bobby Bowden loves the movie, actually," Reuttiger said. "He said so on ESPN Classic. He's looking at the movie, not the school. It's more about the lessons of life, die lessons ofsports." One of the off-camera lessons from Rudy is about selling a dream, a vision. These days, Reuttiger says he speaks to audiences less about playing for Notre Dame than the decade he spent getting the movie made. For that matter, the Four Horsemen themselves are an instructive story. The famous nickname for Notre Dame's backfield was the creation of New York Herald-Tribune sportswriter Grantland Rice, on the occasion of a 13-7 victory over Army on Oct. 19,1924, at the Polo Grounds in New York. "Outiined against a blue-gray October sky, die Four Horsemen rode again," Rice wrote. "In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden." Often forgotten is the stroke of marketing brilliance from George Strickler, then coach Knute Rockne's student publicity aide. After the team returned to South Bend, Ind., Strickler took the players to a livery stable, where they posed on the backs of four horses. The wire services quickly picked up what became the most famous football publicity photograph of all time. Whether all this is good or bad may have something to do with whether you happen to love or hate Notre Dame. If you care about college football at all, you are not permitted to abstain. Rockne. The Gipper. Frank Leahy's lads, Touchdown Jesus. Lou Holtz. Rudy. Alumni including taik hosts Regis Philbin and Phil Donahue. Make a list of the most loved and hated aspects of Notre Dame football, and you might find some of the same names on both lists. For those who love Notre Dame, a small Catholic college in South Bend, Rudy was the inspiring story of a walk-on who realizes his dream of playing for the Irish. For those who hate Notre Dame, it's an insipid glorification of a big-money program pampered by networks and given special treatment by the Bowl Championship Series. For more on the Notre Dame mystique, ask Cappy Gagnon. He unlocks the stadium at 5 a.m. on game days in South Bend, and serves as a kind of armchair historian of sports lore. He understands that many things Notre Dame fans love come across like Four-Horse manure to the rest of humanity. "I describe Notre Dame as being like Santa Claus," Gagnon said. "If you believe in Santa Claus, what a wonderful thing it is. If you don't, you may think it's the stupidest thing you've ever heard." Watching an unexpected, undefeated season unfold makes all of this more fun to talk about for Notre Dame alumni such as Sam Budnyk, football coach at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach. "When you have success, you have people wanting to knock you down," Budnyk said. "But this year, you just cannot give coach Tyrone Willingham enough credit for instilling die discipline he has on that sideline. You can see it in the players and the other coaches." While every powerhouse program has its passionate fans and foes, Notre Dame stands apart in sevenil respects. Notre Dame has its own national network TV contract, something no other school has. The joke goes that NBC, now in its 12th season of broadcasting the Irish, stands for Notre Dame Broadcasting Co. "Notre Dame is one of the few institutions that truly has national appeal," NBC spokeswoman Kathy Connors said. "We consider it to be die most powerful brand in college sports." That's a tribute to the school's marquee power. But it comes with a downside, some Golden Domcrs believe. "The truth is, the rest of the media likes us less because of that," Gagnon theorizes. There are dozens of anti-Notre Dame Web sites, including one in Harrisburg, Pa. offering the Cheer Against Old Notre Dame Newsletter. Among its reasons to hate Notre Dame football: "1. The fans 2. The mixing of religion and football 3. Regis likes them." When Georgia Tech beat Notre Dame 35-28 in the 1999 Gator Bowl, Tech linebacker Nate Stimson counted it an especially sweet win. "I hate Notre Dame more than I did before," Stimson said. "They think they're so much better than anyone else." In the 1940s, when the Irish won four of their 11 national championships, a common mantra was: "Never bet against the Yankees, Joe Louis or Notre Dame." But Notre Dame should not worry too much about what others say, Reuttiger advised. Just like he doesn't worry when he is accused of turning an appearance in one game into a business. "I'm not ashamed I took it to the next level," he said. "I evolved it. You bet 1 did. Look at what Knute Rockne did. He told his players about the Gipper and all that. He was moving people to the next level." AIDS Safes & Service Hearing Testing Video Otoscopy Money-Back Guarantee Licensed Audioloqist DONNA J. ZORICH, M.S. 1011 Water St.. Indiana 724-349-6462 Free Parking 2002 Pontiac Grand Am SEI Sdn. 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