THE BRADY BUNCH
Led by cool-headed senior Tom Brady, Michigan held off Notre Dame
Someday, Drew Henson, a sophomore quarterback at Michigan and a
can't-miss farmhand in the New York Yankees' organization, may
win Super Bowl and World Series rings in the same season.
Someday, Henson will shine at crunch time. But last Saturday the
Wolverines needed more than potential as they trailed Notre Dame
22-19 with 4:08 to play. That's why fifth-year senior
quarterback Tom Brady was on the field for the 58-yard touchdown
drive that gave Michigan a 26-22 win. "When you're in a tough,
tough game," Wolverines quarterbacks coach Stan Parrish said
later, "you have a tendency to line up with the older guys."
After Brady had directed the offense in the first quarter and
Henson had taken his turn in the second, Michigan trailed 14-9.
Then Brady, who started every game last season but found his
starting spot at risk after preseason drills this year, went out
and played the second half as if he had been there before,
which, of course, he had. When he stepped into the huddle to
start Michigan's game-winning drive from its 42, he told his
teammates, "What an opportunity." Four plays later, on
second-and-seven at the Notre Dame 25, he watched Irish free
safety Deke Cooper rotate to his left and fired a 20-yard strike
to split end David Terrell, who had run into the area Cooper had
vacated, for a first-and-goal. "Griese-type stuff," Parrish
said, referring to Brian Griese, who quarterbacked Michigan to
the 1997 co-national championship. "On the fifth step of the
drop, Tom has to turn [the ball] loose. He has to make the
Through it all, Brady remained cool enough to banter with the
officials. Two plays after the pass to Terrell, the officials
ruled that Wolverines tailback Anthony Thomas hadn't scored a
touchdown because his knee had touched the ground at the Notre
Dame one. After watching the replay on one of the Michigan
Stadium screens, Brady said to referee David Witvoet, "Take a
look. I think you missed one."
September 12, 1999
According to Brady, Witvoet replied, "I'm going to have to agree
"Don't worry," Brady said. "We'll take care of it on the next
one." Sure enough, Thomas scored with 1:38 to play, and Michigan
held on to win.
For all of Michigan coach Lloyd Carr's complaints in recent
weeks that Notre Dame would benefit from having opened its
season a week before the Wolverines, Michigan committed fewer
turnovers (zero to the Fighting Irish's three) and received
fewer penalties (four to 10). Thomas, a junior who had been
plagued by injuries in 1997 and '98 and never rushed more than
21 times in a game, had 32 carries for 138 yards and scored
Brady wore a wristband containing a list of plays on his left
arm. Handwritten on the band in black block letters were
DECISIVE and I.H.O. "That means, Is he open?" Brady says. "You
want to be decisive. You want to make good throws. If you're
tentative, you're not successful. I've learned that the hard way."
Henson continues to learn it. He led Michigan to one field goal
in three second-quarter possessions, but he also fumbled a snap.
"When a guy is older, he's connected," Parrish said. "I thought
Drew might be a little fragile emotionally." Two years ago, when
Carr named Griese the starter, Brady thought about transferring.
He hung in at Michigan. Last month, during the battle for the
starting job, Henson often displayed talent that made grown men
gush. He didn't win the job. "Tom wouldn't go away," Parrish
said on Saturday. "There's a lot to be said for not going away."
Mile High Upset
COLORADO STATE RUNS AMOK
After an hour of monastic silence in the Mile High Stadium
locker room last Saturday before his team played archrival
Colorado, Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick could take it no
longer. "Would somebody say something?" he said. "Cough, jump
up, giggle. It's O.K. to do that."
A day after the Rams forced six turnovers and made nine sacks in
a stunning 41-14 upset of the 14th-ranked Buffaloes, Lubick said
he had misread his troops. "I thought they were scared," he
said. "They fooled me."
They fooled everyone, especially the Buffaloes. Lubick watched
the game tape Sunday to see how much of the Rams' rout might
have been a fluke. Not much, he decided. "I think we're a little
better than people gave us credit for," he said. "This is going
to do wonders for us."
Colorado, meanwhile, must pick up the pieces. The word since
coach Gary Barnett arrived eight months ago had been that the
mental lapses that plagued the Buffaloes during the Rick
Neuheisel era were a thing of the past. A PROGRAM OF FINISHERS,
said the headline in the Colorado media guide. Forget finishers.
It's clear that the Buffaloes are shy a few starters. After the
game Barnett described his team as being in shock. "We just
couldn't fight back," he said.
Virginia Kicker Delivers
CAVS GET OFF ON THE LEFT FOOT
Virginia kicker Todd Braverman got tired of hearing that his
left leg was all accuracy and no length. The truth hurt. His
missed field goals figured in two of the Cavaliers' three
defeats last season: Virginia lost to Georgia Tech 41-38 after
Braverman's 54-yard attempt fell short with 27 seconds left, and
the Cavs lost the Peach Bowl to Georgia 35-33 after Braverman's
48-yarder hooked right with 19 seconds to play. "I would swing
my leg hard and turn my shoulder [on long kicks], and everything
would go to the right," the junior says. He spent the summer
lifting weights so that his normal leg swing would be sufficient.
Last Saturday, with 27 seconds to play, Braverman made a 50-yard
field goal to beat ACC rival North Carolina 20-17. "This year,"
he says, "I just wanted to shut everybody up and tell them not
to worry about kicking. Worry about something else."
UCLA Parking Scanda
A QUARTERBACK'S TOUGHEST CALL
Last Saturday, Drew Bennett, a former walk-on who had waited
four years for the opportunity to start, made his debut as
UCLA's quarterback. His parents and three brothers arrived four
hours before the Bruins' season-opening game, against Boise
State, and parked in one of the choicest spots at the Rose Bowl.
After all, they had a blue handicapped parking placard affixed
to their rearview mirror, issued because Drew's brother Richie
has cerebral palsy.
Flash back, now, to January, when news broke that some UCLA
football players had forged doctors' signatures on applications
that claimed they had disabilities--the bogus infirmities
included a broken ankle, a herniated disk and Bell's palsy--to
obtain handicapped parking permits. Nine current and five former
players were eventually charged with misdemeanors, and other
players are reportedly under investigation. All told, 11 current
players, including seven starters, were suspended for the game
against Boise State (which UCLA would win 38-7) and this week's
game against 13th-ranked Ohio State. Seven of them have already
pled no contest and were each sentenced to two years' probation,
a $1,485 fine and 200 hours of community service with the
disabled. Two others were granted a continuance, and the other
two have yet to be charged.
"When I heard what those players did, I was angry," says Richie
Bennett, 19, a second-year student at Cal. "I had met these guys.
I thought, 'How could you guys do that?' They got what they
Had Richie's brother known of the parking scam before January?
"This had been going on since my freshman year," says Drew
Bennett, who completed eight of his 16 passes for 120 yards and
a touchdown against Boise State. "I thought, You know, guys,
this is bulls---. First, it's bad karma. Second, it's
disrespectful." So he said...nothing.
But what if Bennett, as someone with a heightened sensitivity to
the needs of the handicapped, had berated his teammates for
their callous conduct? What if a year or two ago this scrub,
this underclassman, this walk-on had defied the class structure
of Division I-A locker rooms and admonished his teammates to
quit abusing the system? Would anyone have listened? Or would
Bennett have become a pariah? Would those seven starters be on a
flight to Columbus this week for what should be the Bruins'
stiffest road test of the season? Or would Bennett not be on
"Drew wanted to say something because it was wrong," says
Richie, "but he felt bad, because those guys are like his
brothers. He was in a difficult spot."
Some of the players who used the illegal placards still believe
they weren't hurting anyone. "People called us monsters for
taking handicapped spaces," says fullback Durell Price, one of
the 11 who sat out last week. "Nine times out of 10, guys were
just using the [handicapped] placards to park for free in
regular spaces. We're not monsters. It was all about the money."
Drew, however, sees things differently. "People have no clue how
hard it is for handicapped people," he says. "When Richie and I
go to [Oakland] A's games, it's more convenient for him to bring
his walker instead of a wheelchair. Then someone takes the
handicapped spot, so we have to park far away. He's exhausted by
the time we get as close as that illegally parked car. I'm often
tempted to kick a dent in it."
Should a walk-on backup quarterback have blown the whistle on
his teammates? Would you have had the courage to do that?
Georgia's Newest Weapon
THERE'S ANOTHER EDWARDS IN TOWN
All his life, Georgia freshman receiver Terrence Edwards has
been known as Robert Edwards's little brother. Last Saturday,
Terrence made a name for himself by catching 10 passes for 196
yards and two touchdowns in Georgia's 38-7 rout of Utah State.
Robert, who was a running back for the Bulldogs from 1994 to
1996 and who had just completed a stellar rookie season with the
New England Patriots when he suffered a career-ending knee
injury while playing flag football in February at the Pro Bowl,
was on hand for his little brother's eye-opener. "He was giving
me tips as the game was going on," said Terrence, who fell two
yards shy of breaking Georgia's single-game record for receiving
yards. "I'm blessed to have a big brother. I think that he was
injured just so he could be sent here to watch over me."
Louisville's Blazing Start
CARDINALS LIGHT UP KENTUCKY
Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich stood on the sidelines
at Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, soaking up the
Cardinals' 56-28 victory over the Wildcats and singing the
praises of second-year coach John L. Smith. "He's a miracle
worker, there's no question," said Jurich, who hired Smith away
from Utah State. "These are the same kids who went 1-10 two
years ago, the same kids who started 0-2 last year. When John
came here, we were in dire straits. Now look at us: We just beat
an SEC team in its newly expanded stadium on the day they
retired Tim Couch's number. We have a Heisman Trophy candidate
and the best offense in the nation."
The Cardinals, ninth in the nation in total offense, racked up
518 yards against the Wildcats as Heisman candidate quarterback
Chris Redman completed 30 of 40 passes for 324 yards and five
touchdowns. Four Louisville receivers caught at least six
passes, and senior tailback Frank Moreau rushed 20 times for 181
yards and two touchdowns.
This outburst was in stark contrast to the Cardinals'
performance in last year's season opener, in which they had
trouble running the complex variation on the West Coast offense
that Smith favors. Louisville dropped that game, to Kentucky,
and lost its next one, to Utah. But the Cardinals amassed 919
yards total offense in their next two games and won six of their
last eight to finish at 7-4. Redman flourished in the pass-first
attack, throwing for 4,042 yards and 29 touchdowns as Louisville
led the nation in total offense with 559.6 yards per game.
"The scary thing is, we could be much better this year," Redman
said on Saturday. "We really weren't comfortable with the
offense until midseason last year. The first few games we were
just running around, not completely sure where everyone was
supposed to be. Now we feel that we can move up and down the
field at will." --B.J.S.
PONIES, FROGS JUMPING SHIP
SMU and TCU are expected to announce soon that they are leaving
the Western Athletic Conference for Conference USA. South
Florida, a C-USA member in other sports, will move up to
Division I-A in football and become the league's 12th member,
giving the conference enough teams to have a championship
game.... Kansas State tailback David Allen, who returned four
punts for touchdowns last year, needs 562 yards to become the
NCAA alltime leader in career punt-return yardage. Since backup
tailback Frank Murphy broke his foot July 26, Wildcats coach
Bill Snyder says he has had second thoughts about risking an
injury to Allen on special teams and says he probably won't use
him there until Murphy is available.
For complete scores and stats, plus more news from Ivan Maisel,
go to cnnsi.com/football/college.
HOT & COLD
Nebraska quarterback loses his job to Bobby Newcombe in
preseason drills, then relieves him and rushes for three
touchdowns in a 42-7 defeat of Iowa.
An equal-opportunity arsonist. After the Miami wideout (above)
burns Ohio State for 115 receiving yards and a TD, he makes four
catches for 73 yards and one score against Florida A&M.
The senior wideout helps bring Arizona back from a 25-7 deficit
to TCU by making 10 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns.
The Division III Westminster (Mo.) College wideout breaks Jerry
Rice's NCAA all-division record by making his 302nd catch.