Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on September 10, 1995 · Page 37
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 37

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Detroit, Michigan
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Sunday, September 10, 1995
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The Detroit News Terry Foster f Red Wings Pipe dreams Chris Osgood will get chance to prove he's capable of being Hi - - NS, 'tf'f"". '' ;' J Detroit's No. 1 goaltender. It wasn't a total embarrassment as Spartans showed . signs of bright future under Saban I Section D , Sunday, September io, 1995 1 iMR!" -m i i 1 uLLtiit; r ootball ) r .i v, 1 - Du ramify MM Cornhuskers' Phillips leads romp over MSU as Saban takes beating in head-coaching debut. By Dave Dye The Detroit News . EAST LANSING -It was Nick Saban's debut, but Nebraska tailback Lawrence Phillips stole the show. IWWWIi J -I, I M Phillips made his Heis-man Trophy pitch Saturday via ABC-TV with a 206-yard performance, including four touchdowns, in a 50-10 victory over Michigan State before 73,891 at Spartan Stadium. ' The second-ranked Cornhuskers were simply too powerful and eventually wore down the Spartans in Saban's first game as George Pedes' successor. iTwo of Phillips' touchdowns, including a 50-yarder on a third-and-9, came in the third quarter to turn a 23-10 game into a 36-10 rout. It only got worse as Nebraska's third-string tailback, Ahman Green, broke a 57-yarder early in the fourth quarter for a 43-10 lead. James Sims, the fourth-string tailback, then bolted 80 yards with 8:23 remaining to help make the final score embarrassing for the Spartans. Nebraska played most of the final three quarters without starting quarterback Tommie Frazier, who suffered a thigh injury. The Cornhuskers didn't slow down because No.2 quarterback Brook Berringer Please see MSU, Page 6D "J if . 4"- A .i s, if & i - x -r-'f",; h i I .St.. f V' VLw.r , y . V.... . "'"TTT'fvr.v ' niymm" Nebraska's Jared Tomich pounces on a fumble by Michigan State's Derrick Mason on the opening kickoff. Daniel MearsThe Detroit News Defense delivers U-M past Memphis Despite lackluster offense, Wolverines start season 3-0 for first time since 1986. By Angelique S. Chengelis The Detroit News f 'ANN ARBOR Michigan's weakness the last two seasons has now become its strength. ; The Wolverines' overpowering defense made up for a shaky offensive performance to lead No. 11 Michigan (3-0) over winless Memphis 24-7 Saturday before 100,862 at Michigan Stadium. This is the first time since 1986 the Wolverines have won their first three games. In 1986, quarterback Jim Harbaugh led Michigan to a 9-0 start. Michigan's swarming defense sacked Memphis' Bernard Oden three times for a total loss of 20 yards. The Wolverines held tie Tigers to 19 yards rushing on 36 carries, and Memphis could muster 77 yards pass- li'iEffifflifl ing. Wolverines tailback Tshimanga Biakabu-tuka rushed 25 times for 143 yards and scored two touchdowns. Michigan gained 228 yards rushing on 57 carries. Quarterback Scott m Dreisbach completed 13- " nf.OA for 1fi9 varAa anA Mercury Hayes was the most productive receiv er, with five catches for 98 yards. It was only a matter of time before the Tigers (0-2) would score, considering the Wolverines had three turnovers heading into the final quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Michigan's George Howell fumbled, and Memphis' Jerome Woods ran 28 yards with the fumble recovery for the Tiger's touchdown. Michigan's offense had moments of brilliance, but they were fleeting. Instead, the Wolverines looked tentative and were inconsistent in their execution. They hurt themselves early and often, including Michigan's opening drive. On a reverse on third down, Mercury Hayes ran 67 yards into the end zone, only to have the play called back because of a holding penalty by Amani Toomer. During the second drive, quarterback Scott Dreisbach fumbled, but U-M's Jon Jansen recovered. The Wolverines finally scored on their third drive set up by an interception by freshman Charles Woodson at the Memphis 18. Tshimanga Biakabutuka got his first of two touchdowns on a 3-yard run, giving Michigan a 7-0 lead with just more than five minutes left in the first quarter. With four minutes remaining in the quarter, a Michigan fourth-down try was stopped on the Memphis 13. A turnover in the second quarter halted another Michigan drive. Biakabutuka fum- Please see UM, Page 6D --it Alan LessigfThe Detroit News Tim Biakabutuka, who rushed for 143 yards, scores one of two touchdowns. U.S. Open No.2 Sampras fights off Courier, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, to reach final Associated Press " NEW YORK Pete Sampras ended a slugfest Saturday with a running forehand down the line to defeat Jim Courier, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, and move into the men's final of the U.S. Opea Super Saturday at the National Tennis Center followed the Sampras victory with Steffi Graf and Monica Seles co-ranked No.l in the world competing for the women's title. Then came the second men's semifinal, pitting top-seeded Andre Agassi against No.4 Boris Becker, to determine who will take on Sampras in today's men's cham-. pionship match. Sampras, seeking his second straight Grand Slam tournament title he won Wimbledon in July and his third U.S. Open championship, beat a rejuvenated Courier, whose game had been in decline since he was ranked No.l in the world early in 1993. "I had some chances ... and I didn't capitalize," Courier said. The first set came down to a let cord in the 12th game. At break point, Sampras ripped a forehand down the line that hit the top of the net, bounced high, then came down on Courier's side of the court before he could race Please see OPEN, Page 8D .......... -. ' , ... -.'f- ti f .V "' ' Associated Press Pete Sampras made it to his fourth U.S. Open final in six years by beating Jim Courier. It's his third 1995 Grand Slam final. NFL '95 Fontes pledges more man-to-man defense against Minnesota By Mike O'Hara The Detroit News MINNEAPOLIS It is never too early for the Lions to find themselves facing a mini-crisis even if it doesn't involve a quarterback or a contract holdout. The Lions' pass defense both the players and the system they play is under scrutiny going into today's game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The secondary played too soft as the Steelers drove to the game-winning field goal on the final play of a 23-20 victory Sunday at Three Rivers Stadium. There has been speculation at the Silverdome that those failures will cause Lions Coach Wayne Fontes to take a stronger role in calling defensive signals. Fontes was defensive coordinator of the Lions from 1985 until becoming head coach with five games left in the 1988 season. Although the public perception is that his hobby is juggling quarterbacks, defense is Fontes' priority because of his background. The Lions and Vikings are both 0-1, and neither wants to start the season 0-2 and face the possibility of being two games out of first place in the NFC Central. Fontes already has made one switch. Corey Raymond Please see UONS, Page 8D EAST LANSING - Once you get past the fumbles, missed tackles, bungled snaps, mangled plays and blown assignments, the dawning of the Nick Saban era at Michigan State wasn't all that bad. Now quit snickering, you Wolverines. I will be getting to that soon. The Spartans made enough mistakes to make a new bloopers tape. But once you get past the poisonous clouds that doomed Michigan State against Nebraska, you will find new hope. They ushered in the Nick Saban era with the expected lopsided loss. The 50-10 thumping by Nebraska wasn't anything to be proud of, even if it came against the nation's No.2 team. The biggest problem besides attitude was the Spartans' knack for giving up the big play. The final score is important. It shows just how far MSU is from being an elite program. But you weren't actually looking for a miracle, were you? The Spartans are in bad shape after years of neglect under the George Perles regime. It was a team that had little chance of winning now and in the future. At least the Spartans showed signs of becoming a good team, even though the rest of the 1995 season looks bleak. The Spartans are light years from beating a team such as Nebraska. The Cornhuskers did not play a great game, but they had too much speed and talent to let the Spartans hang around for long. To prepare for next Saturday's game, Saban will huddle with his coaching staff to iron out the problems so painfully obvious for the 73,891 folks who showed up. During his first real recruiting trips during the off-season, he will try to find a player like Nebraska tailback Lawrence Phillips, who glided to a Heisman-like 206 yards and four touchdowns. But his next order of business should be getting into the heads , of his players. After years of decline, this group expects to lose. It is a nagging little nemesis that lies in the backs of their heads. You could see that when the Cornhuskers jumped to a 10-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. They booted a kickoff, dropped easy passes and appeared headed to a loss more humiliating than the 64-21 drubbing Oklahoma State took a week ago. The Spartans played well for a good chunk of the game while the Cornhuskers seemed to fall into a coma. But no matter how hard they tried, the Spartans knew they had no chance against this team. That attitude must change. t And it will. The Spartans finally have an offense they believe in. Quarterback Tony Banks, despite his impressive statistics of a season ago, was hamstrung by an offense from the Flintstone era. The players were very cordial to and respectful of Perles. But they wanted to showcase their talents. Banks came in as a highly regarded quarterback, but his main job was to hand off to a stable of mediocre running backs. Now he gets to pass on first down. He works out of the shotgun and gets an opportunity to stretch defenses. Sure, this game turned ugly. That was to be expected. But the Spartans have an offensive system in place that will allow them to compete fcr the Big Ten title before the turn of the century. Now that wimpy defense is another story. This is what I mean about attitude. MSU players, whether they admit it or not, knew they could hang on only so long. In time, the superior talent would do them in. So what we witnessed was a defense drained of mental and physical energy when this game ended. This was not a great start for Saban by any stretch of the imagination. But if you look really close, this game was not a total loss. i

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