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Lions Beat Cowboys in Overtime

Column by Bo Light
Sports Columnist

Due to overwhelming demand, this is the first Friday edition of "The Week in Football." That's right, now we're on twice a week. The Tuesday edition will continue to provide highlights of all the games I feel like writing about from the previous weekend, while the Friday version will preview the upcoming games and pick the winners so you can take your bookies for all they're worth.

Monday Night Football

The Friday edition also gives me a chance to cover the Monday night games, which due to deadlines can't be covered in the Tuesday paper. This week the Detroit Lions, defending NFC Central Champions, traveled to Dallas to take on America's Team, the two-time defending Super Bowl Champion Cowboys.

Dallas was heavily favored, but the Lions managed to stay in the game thanks to an excellent defensive effort and a superb performance by the best back in the league, Barry Sanders (194 yards on 40 carries). With six seconds left and the score tied at 17, Detroit attempted a game-winning field goal, but Jason Hanson's 57-yard attempt was blocked by Leon Lett, and the game went to overtime.

In overtime the Lions again drove into field goal range, but two false starts and one sack later, Hanson had to kick from 51 yards out, and was again blocked by Lett. However, the Cowboys decided that they really didn't want to win after all, and lost fumbles on both of their possessions in the extra period. Finally, with 27 seconds left, Hanson put a 41-yard attempt just inside the right upright, and Detroit came away with a 2017 victory and a share of the NFC Central lead.

Previews of Coming Attractions

Close to home, the MIT football team hopes to come back from losses to Salve Regina and Assumption in their home opener against Western New England College. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Steinbrenner Stadium tomorrow. Come cheer the Engineers to victory.

Boston College, also 02, plays at Pittsburgh this week. Hopefully Dan Henning will have figured out who his quarterback is by Saturday. Meanwhile, Boston University, 20 and ranked sixth in Division I-AA, is at Villanova.

In top 25 action, number one Florida has the week off, which should give Nebraska a chance to take over the top spot in the polls. The Cornhuskers play Pacific (ahh, a padded schedule at last). Florida State, determined to get its ACC schedule out of the way as quickly as possible, plays North Carolina. Michigan had last week off to savor their victory over Notre Dame, and will play No. 7 Colorado tomorrow. Bad news for the Buffaloes: Tyrone Wheatley's shoulder has healed, and the pre-season Heisman candidate is ready to play.

Penn State, the current leader in the Big Ten/Eleven, faces off against Rutgers. Number six Miami (Florida, not Ohio) goes up against a tough Washington team that includes superfast running back Napoleon Kaufmann. Unbeaten Arizona plays against a disappointing Stanford team in a Pac-10 matchup. Notre Dame, whose 2120 squeaker over Michigan State dropped them further in the polls, hopes to redeem themselves against yet another Big Ten team, this time Purdue.

Last week Auburn ran three interceptions back for touchdowns in the fourth quarter to overcome LSU. This week, the Tigers should extend their 14-game winning streak against East Tennessee State. A few more easy games: Alabama hosts Tulane, and Texas A&M plays Southern Mississippi. Virginia Tech, coming off an upset of BC (an upset in the eyes of the Globe, at any rate), continues their Big East schedule against West Virginia. Number 15 Texas travels to Texas Christian, Wisconsin plays Indiana in Madison, and UCLA hosts Drew Bledsoe's alma mater, Washington State. Southern Cal and Ohio State host Texas teams tomorrow; Baylor will play USC, and Houston heads to Columbus. Tennessee will play Mississippi State, and, last but not least, North Carolina State pads its schedule with Western Carolina.

One more game of note: Division I-AA Alcorn State and Heisman candidate Steve McNair head to Texas to play Sam Houston State.

In the NFL the fourth week of the season means the open dates are finally here; Arizona, Dallas, the Giants, and Philly have the week off. In other news, Air Bledsoe meets the ground attack of Barry Sanders as the Pet Rocks head to the Silverdome for a 4 p.m. game. Washington, the only NFC East team to play, hosts Atlanta. In the latest installment of the Battle of the Bays, Green hosts Tampa. Dan Marino leads the Dolphins against Warren Moon and the Vikings in a matchup of aging but still-good quarterbacks, and Da Bears head off to New York to play the Jets.

Look for San Francisco to continue their winning ways against New Orleans, and Indianapolis to continue their losing ways against Cleveland. In a game I'm sure everyone wants to see, 03 Houston hosts 03 Cincinnati (my prediction: tie). Pittsburgh heads out to Seattle to face former Golden Boy Rick Mirer and the Seahawks. Undefeated Kansas City will look to Joe Montana to continue to dominate NFC West teams, as he's done throughout his career, when the Chiefs host the LA Rams, and the Chargers head to Inglewood to face the Raiders.

Monday night, two of the losingest teams in Super Bowl history go head-to-head, as Denver travels to Buffalo. These two teams have won the AFC championship seven of the last eight years. Their Super Bowl record in that time: 07. Here's hoping they don't go back for a long, long time.

The Predictions

In college games:

MIT 21, WNEC 0: If you're looking for your first win of the season, this is the team to do it against. The Engineers record the shutout in front of a capacity crowd in the home opener.

Pittsburgh 14, BC 13: Dan Henning uses all four of his quarterbacks, including the injured Mark Hartsell, who throws left-handed. Ironically, BC's only touchdown comes on an interception return.

BU 38, Villanova 10: Their basketball team might be good occasionally, but football is just not Nova's game. The Terriers win again.

Nebraska 77, Pacific 0: The Huskers run up the score as their NCAA-leading ground attack gains 650 rushing yards. Nebraska is denied the number one ranking, though, as sportswriters assume Florida could have scored at least 80 points.

Michigan 28, Colorado 22: Wheatley and Biakabutuka in the backfield, combined with a defense that gets better every week, is simply too much for the Buffaloes.

Penn State 42, Rutgers 14: The battle for the Big Ten title is only three weeks away.

Notre Dame 14, Purdue 14: That sucking sound the Irish keep hearing is their ranking going down the tubes. Ron Powlus (3 interceptions) is relieved of his Golden Boy status.

In NFL games:

Detroit 36, New England 35: the Pet Rocks score 5 touchdowns and lose again. The real irony? Jason Hanson kicks 12 field goals to account for all of Detroit's points.

Jets 21, Bears 7: All of a sudden, the Superfans really miss Dit-ka.

Kansas City 42, L.A. Rams 3: Montana's stats: 32 completions in 33 attempts (one pass was dropped) for 400 yards and six touchdowns. The Rams, completely overwhelmed, only control the ball for eight minutes.

Cincinnati 10, Houston 10: Probably not, but these teams stink; they deserve to tie.

Denver 28, Buffalo 27: The Bills go for two on their last touchdown and miss, putting them one loss closer to not going back to the Super Bowl.

Trivia question

The answer to last week's trivia question: Tshimanga Biakabutuka. The lone correct answer came from Kevin Pipe '98, who writes, "I can't let a question about a U of M team, especially one that beat Notre Dame, go unanswered." Kevin also has Ron Powlus' e-mail address if anyone wants to send him letters of sympathy and/or encouragement. That's all till Tuesday.