NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    Oct. 11, 1997

    Northwestern Falls to Michigan

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Brian Griese hit tight end Jerame Tuman with a pair of scoring passes and Kraig Baker kicked three field goals as sixth-ranked Michigan extracted a measure of revenge from Northwestern with a 23-6 victory over the Wildcats in a Big Ten game.

    Northwestern dashed the Rose Bowl hopes of Michigan each of the last two years. The Wolverines were shocked at home, 19-13, by Northwestern in 1995 and squandered a 16-point fourth-quarter lead in a 17-16 loss to the Wildcats last season.

    "Against these guys, I'm just happy to win," said Griese. "Every guy who's been on this team last year and two years ago wanted to turn things around. I think what happened in the fourth quarter of those games was something every guy on this team remembered."

    "We didn't say anything about it, but we knew we owed this team for the last two years," said Michigan linebacker Sam Sword.

    Michigan's defense has not allowed any points in the fourth quarter this year and the streak continued as Northwestern managed only a pair of field goals by Brian Gowins.

    "Our defense again rose to the occasion," said Michigan coach Lloyd Carr. "Our offense did some good things, too. But the defense continued to get us the ball in good field position."

    Griese connected with Tuman on a 10-yard touchdown with 1:02 left in the first half and hit the tight end on a two-yard scoring play in the fourth quarter to help Michigan build a 20-6 lead.

    Michigan (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) will host 16th-ranked Iowa next Saturday.

    The loss was the fourth in a row for Northwestern (2-5, 0-3), including previous conference defeats to Purdue and Wisconsin. The Wildcats host Michigan State next weekend.

    Gowins kicked a career-best 52-yard field goal 8:39 into the game to give Northwestern a 3-0 lead.

    Michigan then took control with a 13-point second quarter. Baker kicked field goals of 19 and 23 yards less than three-and-a-half minutes apart early in the quarter to give Michigan the lead.

    Griese then hit Tuman on a 3rd-and-9 play with a 10-yard touchdown with 1:02 left in the half to give the Wolverines a 13-3 lead.

    Northwestern scored the only points of the third quarter on a 42-yard field goal by Gowins to pull within 13-6. But Gowins missed a 47-yard field goal attempt to close the third quarter and Michigan proceeded to dominate the fourth quarter.

    "I didn't hit it well and from that range, you have to hit it," said Gowins of the missed field goal. "I have to take the blame, because when I hit them, I get the credit."

    Michigan started the quarter with a 12-play, 70-yard scoring drive that lasted 5:31. With 3rd-and-goal at the 2, Griese faded back, escaped the grasp of safety Mike Nelson while retreating, rolled right at the 15-yard line and threw a pass to a wide-open Tuman in the middle of the end zone to give Michigan a 20-6 lead.

    "I just wanted to get away from him (Nelson)," said Griese. "When I did, I saw Tuman open. I think everybody thought I was down, including the guy who was tackling me."

    "One of the key plays was breaking the sack," said Northwestern coach Gary Barnett. "I guess we'll have to spend next week on drills to throw the guy back."

    Griese completed 5-of-6 passes for 51 yards in the drive. The key plays were a 22-yard pass to Tai Streets to the Northwestern 34 and a 16-yard pass to tailback Clarence Williams on a 3rd-and-6 to the Wildcat 14.

    After the ensuing kickoff, Michigan All-American cornerback Charles Woodson intercepted a pass by Tim Hughes and returned it two yards to the Northwestern 30. Michigan reached the Wildcat 8-yard line before settling for a 26-yard field goal by Baker with 7:28 remaining.

    This was the 60th meeting between the schools, with Michigan holding a 45-13-2 edge all-time.

    Former Michigan hockey players Mike Knuble and Aaron Ward of the Detroit Red Wings brought the Stanley Cup to Ann Arbor and received a huge ovation before the game.