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Michigan Stuns Notre Dame This Week in Football

Column by Bo Light
Sports Columnist

Welcome to the first Tuesday edition of "The Week in Football." This week's edition may be a bit short, as yours truly is wanted by the Boston Police for starting the "riot" at the Green Day concert - and I can only stop to write a few words at a time as I move through the steam tunnels. Anyway, with the baseball season all but officially canceled (and it's about time), it's time for the national attention to turn completely to football. Let's move on to the games.

College football

The second week of college football had its share of big games, but there were also some leftover Slaughterhouse-vs.-the-lambs blowouts. In the biggest game of the week, MIT started its season on a down note, losing 267 to Salve Regina in an obviously fixed game. The Newporters (can that really be their team name?) held MIT to minus eight yards rushing while rolling up 270 yards themselves. The Engineers' only touchdown came in the second quarter, when Alix Sgouros '95 connected with Dave Estrada '98 on a 47-yard scoring pass.

In the other biggest game of the week, Ron Powlus nearly wrote himself into the Notre Dame legend, as the redshirt freshman passed for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and engineered a fourth-quarter scoring drive that gave the Irish a 2423 lead over Michigan with 52 seconds to play. However, just like the BC game last season, the Irish scored too soon, as Michigan quarterback Todd Collins took just 45 seconds to drive the ball 58 yards and set up a 42-yard field goal to give the Wolverines a stunning 2624 victory.

Michigan tailback Tim Biakabutuka rushed 25 times for 100 yards, proving that (a) he is a threat to Tyrone Wheatley's starting job, and (b) current starter Ed Davis should be moved to the practice squad.

Florida actually had an excuse for playing another team not worthy of its JV squad. This week's victim, Kentucky, is an SEC opponent of Florida, and the Gators had to score in the last minute to beat the Wildcats last year. Not so this season, as Terry Dean threw four touchdown passes in a 737 rout that should move Florida back into the number one ranking. Hey, how can you argue with a team that averages over 71 points a game?

If Florida doesn't make it back to No. 1, it will only be because Nebraska has been scoring convincing victories over better opponents. The Cornhuskers beat Texas Tech (well, they're not exactly a powerhouse, but they're better than Kentucky) 4216 Thursday night behind a three touchdown performance by quarterback Tommie Frazier. Frazier, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for one, only passed for 88 yards, but picked up 84 of Nebraska's 524 rushing yards.

Perhaps Texas Tech should work on its defense against the run ...

For half of a game, Maryland Terrapin fans thought they were seeing one of the great upsets of all time. The Terps, who were coming off a 4916 loss to Duke, went into halftime leading Florida State 2017. Unfortunately, it turned out that the Seminoles had allowed the band to play the first half and when the football team came out for the second half, things turned ugly as the Seminoles eventually won 5220.

Boston University extended its regular-season winning streak to 14 games with an easy 457 victory over Colgate. The Terriers, who are currently ranked tenth in Division I-AA, picked up 494 yards of offense, including 321 passing yards by Robert Dougherty, to completely dominate the only team in the country named after a toothpaste.

In perhaps the most surprising Saturday blowout, Penn State jumped out to a 280 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, as they beat No. 14 USC 3814. Happy Valley was a sad place for the Trojans, as their only scores came on an interception return in the third quarter and a drive against Penn State's backups late in the game.

Now on Fox League

Let's try this again.

Ladies and gentlemen, your New England Patriots!

(laughter)

An appropriate reaction. The Pet Rocks, true to my prediction, are well on their way to becoming the first team in history to score 35 points a game and have a losing record. They went to 02 by dropping a 3835 decision to the Bills in stupefying fashion. New England came back from a two touchdown deficit, only to see their hopes dashed when Buffalo kicked a field goal with 52 seconds left.

Drew Bledsoe attempted his best impression of Todd Collins, but killed the Patsies' chances when, on third down and 30 seconds left, he (a) threw a completion - over the middle - for less than first-down yardage, then (b) ran the ball up through the middle for the first down. Apparently Bledsoe forgot that the pros don't stop the clock to move the chains. The clock ran out and the Bills won their first game of the season.

Maybe the Redskins aren't the league's second-worst team after all. They pulled off one of the larger upsets (if there is such a thing in the NFL) of the week by beating the heavily favored Saints 3824. The hogs were helped by veteran quarterback John Friesz's four touchdown passes and a punt return for a touchdown by Brian Mitchell.

In the Game of the Week, Joe Montana finally played against his old team, and completely outplayed counterpart Steve Young, as the Chiefs beat the Forty-Niners 2417 in a showdown between two of the league's best quarterbacks.

Montana racked up 203 yards for the Chiefs on 19-of-31 passing, and threw two touchdown passes, one on the opening drive of the game. Young did not have such a good day; he completed 24 of 34 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice, lost a fumble, and was sacked four times, once for a safety.

The Jets won their second game of the season in overtime, 2522 over the Denver Broncos. Receiver Rob Moore had a spectacular game for the Jets with 147 yards receiving, including a fourth-quarter touchdown and two-point conversion which gave New York a 2219 lead.

The Giants, determined not to be the first New York team to lose, scored all 20 of their points in the first half, then held on to beat the Arizona Cardinals 2017. Two interceptions by Phillippi Sparks and key pass interference calls against the Cardinals helped the Giants keep Buddy Ryan where he belongs - in the basement.

Vinny Testaverde was intercepted four times and the Browns had an apparent game-tying touchdown called back by a penalty in a 1710 loss to the Pittsburgh. In a matchup of two AFC teams who try to play like NFC teams, the Steelers overcame a poor performance in the first quarter to win their first game in Cleveland in the last five years. The hero of the game was Darren Perry, who claimed three of Pittsburgh's four interceptions.

Remember last week when I said the Lions never lose indoors? Well, they do now. Detroit was beaten 103 by Minnesota in one of the ugliest games of the week. Ugly for the Lions, that is. The Vikings got a brilliant game from Warren Moon, who passed for 221 yards and hit Qadry Ismail for a touchdown in the second quarter. The Minnesota defense was the real key, though, as they recorded six sacks and held super back Barry Sanders to a pathetic 16 yards on 12 carries. At least Wayne Fontes isn't looking to change quarterbacks yet.

Trivia question

We're moving up in difficulty this week. What is Michigan running back Tim Biakabutuka's real first name? Send answers to sports@the-tech.mit.edu.

Answer to last week's question: Walter Payton, with 125 career touchdowns, is third on the all-time list behind Jim Brown and Jerry Rice. Correct answers were given by Joshua Allen G, Henning Colsman-Freyberger '96, Mark Hytros G, and Nick Bollweg '95, who don't win anything but do get to see their names in print, and have my thanks for letting me know that people actually read this column.