The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 07, 1997, Image 9

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    er 7,
pts the
uesday • October 7, 1997
S The Battalion
Quarterback system
eeping offense down
staff writer
s of the
ow that
you’ve got
ten your
voice back from
the delirious cele
bration following
the Aggies’ 16-10,
that-ball, shut-up-
victory over Col-
do, let’s get back to the here and now.
he Aggies’ gutsy effort confirmed a
things we pretty much already
about our intrepid gladiators,
t, the offensive line is back to being
ood as advertised after a decidedly
fy^lMkluster performance last week
^.^Minst North Texas.
Ctua|ff^ Second £) at Ng U yen is a stud on par
h any defensive player to come
pugh Aggieland including Ray Chil-
|ss, who still can’t say the word “Isuzu”
hout getting the “z” and the “s”
tched. The Wrecking Crew is back in
form, which everybody in Aggieland
ws is more fun to watch than any-
ig our quarterbacks can do, Bucky
3t ven as i d e.
Finally, it seems that harmony reigns in
Aggie backfield, with Sirr Parker and
ite Hall splitting the handoffs. While it
without saying that they’d both
ler be the featured back, both Hall and
ker realize that their dual success de-
ids on the other giving them a breather
the opposing defense nightmares se-
after series.
> a lot of
to find
: loofe'i
)WS wit
iring tb;
J agel
lend a is
as i
Hiding i
The one negative, if one can be gleaned
jm the Aggies’ 4-0 start, is the platooning
(quarterbacks Branndon Stewart and
Ilhe Aggies’ two-headed monster of a
narterback has been less than impres-
e through the first third of the season,
msaidtl and passing for a grand total of 79 yards
pinst the Big 12’s second-worst pass de-
se in Boulder didn’t do much to make
|gie fans optimistic.
The maddening thing to fans and
aches’ alike is that eqch possesses dis-
ict talents and abilities mat are less ob-
us in the other. Stewart’s 41 -yard
mb to Chris Cole against Southwestern
Isiana was as pretty a throw you’ll see
)US, ,
anywhere this year. Yet his “pocket sense’’
leaves something to be desired.
Meanwhile, McCown’s scrambling
ability and awareness in the pocket is a
definite forte. But at times, he’s almost too
anxious to make something happen, and
his arm has yet to be tested. If you could
combine the two, you’d have one heck of a
quarterback, but as it stands, the two
quarterback system just doesn’t work.
No less an authority than former New
York Giants quarterback and Super Bowl
MVP Phil Simms, who knows a little
something about a quarterback tug of
war, believes a team is best run by a field
general, not two colonels.
“The best quarterback situation is
when there’s a clear, distinct border,”
Simms said in a Sports Illustrated inter
view. “If a team says, ‘We’ve got two good
quarterbacks,’ they don’t have any.”
Just take a look at some of the great
teams of the past two decades and you’ll
find that not one of them achieved any
measure of consistency or success with
two QB’s getting near-equal time.
What’s more, even the most decorat
ed quarterbacks of the past decade
weren’t without equally talented suc
cessors, yet not once did Ty Detmer,
Andre Ware, Charlie Ward, and Danny
Wuerffel relinquish the reigns to John
Walsh, David Klingler, Danny Kannell,
or Doug Johnson, respectively.
It says here that R.C. and Offensive Co
ordinator Mike Sherman need to get their
heads together and figure out who’s num
ber one if the Aggies ever hope to be.
With a schedule dotted with what
should be only two tough games, and
both of those at home, the Aggies could
be in for a big year.
OSU’s spanking ofTexas raised some
eyebrows, but one look at the Long
horns’ and Cowboys’ run defenses
should have Parker and Hall licking their
chops. And OSU is still a pretender until
they play a tough road game.
The Aggies continued defensive ex
cellence, running game, and the inde
fatigable 12th man should pave the road
to victory over both orange and white
It’s just a matter of who will be driving
the bus.
Matt Mitchell is a senior
journalism major
A Blast from the Past
Mike Hankwitz brings nostalgia to program
with antique football helmet collection
By Chris Ferrell
Sports editor
I n the 13th-rankedTexas A&M Football
Team’s win over the University of Col
orado this past weekend, A&M fans
couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic while
watching the Wrecking Crew shut down
the Buffaloes.
It was the Wrecking Crew of years past,
there were multiple blitz packages and pres
sure on the quarterback. There were defen
sive backs making big plays when they need
ed to and bodies flying to the ball.
It was defensive football as A&M redefined
it in the mid-to- late eighties and early
Much of that credit goes to first year de
fensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz, someone
who knows a thing or two about nostalgia.
Hankwitz has compiled a collection of
football helmets which traces the games
back to its origins.
His collection began when he received a
nose guard as a gift.
“I always liked antiques,” he said. “My sis
ter gave me a nose protector for Christmas
one year. They wore these before they even
wore helmets. I thought, ‘man, that’s kind of
neat, I’d like to find me a helmet like Red
Grange wore.’”
So he set out, picking up a helmet here
and there at antique shows and garage sales.
The demand for sports memorabilia was not
as great in the late ’80’s as it is today so the
helmets were easier to come by and avail
able much cheaper.
“There weren’t many people looking for
collectibles back then,” Hankwitz said. “I
was able to pick one up here and one there.
Then I thought, I’d kind of like to find one
from each of the different eras.”
Hankwitz was also able to pick up old hel
mets while serving on coaching staffs at oth
er schools, such as one he found up in the
rafters of the equipment room while defen
sive coordinator at Colorado.
Today his 23-helmet collection displayed
in his office is similar to the evolutionary
charts found in an anthropology book.
Beginning with a skimpy leather helmet
from around 1910, the technological ad-
DEREK DEMERE/The Battalion
Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz stands with one of the antique football hel
mets in his office. Hankwitz began collecting old football memorobila in the 1970’s.
vances in the art of football headgear are ev
ident. As technology increased, the helmets
went from leather to plastic.
However, plastic helmets were not met
with open arms at first. With the advances
made during World War II, plastic helmets
became easy to produce and were much
safer. The only problem was that the men
who went to fight in the big one had left a
game with leather helmets and that is what
they wanted when they returned.
By the mid 1950’s, the anti-plastic sentiment
in the sport had left and everyone used them.
At this point, helmets began to progress
more rapidly. This presented Hankwitz with
a problem while trying to date them.
Because there is no clear-cut evolution in
the development of helmets, he had to rely
on old photos and books to try and match
up the helmets he owned.
By using dated photos, he was able to get
a good idea as to the time period and order
of each helmet.
A problem with collecting the helmets in
recent years has stemmed from the rise in
popularity in sports memorabilia as a whole.
“When things become antique or col
lectible, the price tends to go up,” Hankwitz
said. “Sports memorabilia seems to be the fad
right now. Everyone’s looking for old baseball
gear, old football stuff, old golf clubs, tennis
rackets, stuff like that. I haven’t added any
thing recently.
“I found a lot of them cheaper (in the late
’70’s), they were certainly a lot more reason
able than they are now. It’s hard to justify
spending $300 to $400 on one now.”
Due to the prices of the helmets, Hankwitz
said he has not added anything recently.
The helmets displayed in Mike Han-
kwitz’s office paint a more primitive portrait
of football, of a rugged, more brutal sport.
They bring back tradition and history of
the game, much like Hankwitz has done
with the Wrecking Crew.
iggies remain red hot with big wins over Longhorns, Mustangs
i a -/C.
Staff writer
efeat came knocking at the Texas
A&M Soccer Team’s door, but the
third-ranked team in the nation
SizeofI immed it shut and concluded yet an-
ler weekend of perfect soccer.
Where’s the beef?
ursday night the Aggies rolled into
tin and beat the 24th-ranked Long-
ns to chig-a-rig-a-rum.
[Within two minutes of the opening kick-
the Aggies jumped out to a 2-0 lead with
s from freshman Alison Peters. Bryn
Blalack blasted two more balls past the
Texas keeper as A&M dominated their in
terstate rivals for the entire game, giving up
only one goal in the 4-1 pounding.
The victory marked the seventh against
Texas in the five-year history of the A&M
soccer program. The Aggies have never lost
to the Longhorns and have outscored them
19-1 in those contests.
One in a Gilian
It took double overtime, but the Aggies
escaped the tight clutches of 18th-ranked
Southern Methodist University Mustangs
Sunday night.
In the 117th minute freshman Gilian
Gandy, who came into the game question
able with a sprained ankle, took a pass
from Blalack and whipped the winning
goal past the diving Mustang keeper.
The lone goal marked the first of the
season for Gandy and the second assist
for Blalack.
With the win, the Aggies evened the ca
reer series between the two schools at three
wins each and one tie. In 1995 the Mus
tangs beat A&M 3-1 in the regular season, 4-
2 in overtime of the championship game of
the now defunct Southwest Conference
tournament and 2-1 in the “Sweet 16” of the
NCAA championships.
A&M has now claimed the last two
meetings with the former conference foe.
Game of the Week
This coming Sunday the Aggies will
travel north to Waco to tangle with Baylor.
The unranked Bears are currently third in
the Big 12 with an 8-3, 5-2 record.
The Aggies will have to shut down Bay
lor forward Courtney Saunders. The
sophomore ranks fourth in the Big 12 in
points with 7 goals and 3 assists.
The last meeting between the two
teams was at last year’s Big 12 conference
tournament. In that game Saunders
scored a hat trick against the Aggies in a
losing effort.
Player of the week
Senior All-American Bryn Blalack is
strolling up to the podium for a second
time this season to receive the player of
the week award.
Blalack’s two goals against Texas and
game winning assist against Southern
Methodist were consistent with the play
soccer fans have come to expect from her.
Her presence in the game is quite evi
dent in both the play of opponents and in
the Aggies as well. As the team leader,
Blalack gives the team confidence and
motivation to put a greatest possible effort
forth. Offense and the defense both clear
ly run more efficiently when number “6”
is on the field giving the girls direction.
Full house
The 1997 season has marked record-
breaking crowds both at home and away.
On the 14th of September the Aggie Soc
cer complex was filled to the brim with
1,368 Aggie fans who witnessed A&M defeat
then fourth ranked Nebraska 1-0.
Thursday night in Austin, 1,964 fans
jam-packed the Longhorn Soccer Com
plex to set the record for largest away
crowd A&M has faced. Fortunately for the
Aggies, a large percentage of the fans were
rooting for the maroon and white.
When the Aggies faced the No. 1 Tar
heels, 5,400 people filled Meyer Park in
Houston for the lar gest neutral crowd the
Aggies have ever played in front of.
Important notes
■ The Aggies are now a perfect 4-0 on
the road this season, out scoring oppo
nents 15-3. Their lone loss came against
top-ranked North Carolina in the Adidas
Classic in Houston.
■ Sophomore goalkeeper Melanie Wil
son has recorded six shut outs on the sea
son and is ranked 11th in the nation in
goals against average with a 0.52.
■ A&M is 4-2-2 in career overtime
■ This season’s 11-1-0 start matches
last year’s 11-1-0 intro for the best start in
the five-year history of the program.
■ Blalack’s 73 career goals and 33 as
sists put her first and third on the all-time
lists, respectively, in A&M soccer history.
She also leads in total points with 179 and
shots with 331.
■ The team will be on the road until Oct.
24th when they play host to Wisconsin.
A&M still has three road games left with
games at Texas Tech, Baylor and the St.
Mary’s Tourney in Maraga, California.
Stephen Boudreau is a sophomore
business major
Texas looking for answers to poor start
Defending Big 12 champions worried after bad games against UCLA, Rice and OSU
ach John Mackovick’s Texas Longhorns have not lived up to their
preseason expectations.
AUSTIN (AP) — What’s wrong
with the University ofTexas?
Just about everything.
The defending Big 12 champion
Longhorns are not just losing, they
are losing badly. First, there was the
66-3 loss to UCLA. Now, a 42-16 loss
to Oklahoma State.
A team that had all but expected
to be 6-0 heading into an Oct. 25
home game against Colorado is
fighting for its life and probably
won’t be much of a favorite in its
next two games against Oklahoma
and Missouri.
“We’re fumbling, we’re jumping
offsides, we’re not moving the ball,
the defense isn’t stopping anything,
the list goes on and on,” said Texas
tight end Steve Bradley.
“Guys are just trying to figure out
what’s going on, and we’re a little bit
worried about the rest of the season.”
On Saturday, Oklahoma State
avenged a 71-14 loss to Texas in
Austin last year with its wipeout of
the Longhorns in Stillwater, Okla.
The Cowboys (5-0,2-0) raced to a 22-
0 lead after the first quarter and
Texas (2-2, 0-1) never threatened.
The Longhorns have yet to score in
the first quarter this season. They are
106th nationally (of 112) in rushing
defense, 69th nationally in total of
fense and have lost their two games by
a combined score of 108-19.
“Clearly, from a confidence
standpoint, we have a lot of work to
do,” Texas coach John Mackovic
said Monday.
“Last year, the games we lost were
close and we could still get some
thing positive from them,” said cen
ter Ryan Fiebiger. “But when you’re
losing by 30 or 40 points, it doesn’t
help you at all.”
The UCLA loss rattled the foun
dation of the Longhorns’ program —
it was the worst loss by Texas in 93
years — and sent UT faithful, full of
high hopes after last year’s Big 12
championship, into a panic.
The Oklahoma State loss has left
fans simply disgusted. Letters to the
editor of the Austin American-States-
man and calls to sports radio talk
shows are demanding Mackovic’s job.
“Coaches coach and players play,”
Mackovic said. “The coaches can’t
play, and the players shouldn’t try to
coach. The players have to do what
you set out for them to do. As much as
the coaches would like to get out there
and show them, they can’t.”
Players are at a loss to explain
what’s gone wrong.
Running back Ricky Williams said
the team came into the season over
confident and went into shock after
the UCLA loss.
Most expected Texas to struggle in
the secondary and at receiver, where
there have been wholesale changes.
But even the strengths of the team —
the offensive line and defensive front
seven, have performed poorly.
“I’m not going to publicly criticize
them, but I think we need to get
down and get a little hungrier in the
trenches, on both sides of the ball,”
Mackovic said.
The luster from the Longhorns’
37-27 victory over then-two time de
fending champion Nebraska for the
Big 12 title has all but disappeared.
This year’s Texas squad, who
ranked as high as No. 11, once were
viewed as a longshot national title
contender with two potential Heis-
man Trophy candidates —Williams
and quarterback James Brown.
“I don’t read a lot of things during
the season,” Mackovic said. “I learned
a long time ago you are never as bad
as they say you are and you’re never as
good as they say you are.
“All of us would like to ride the
crest of the highest waves. No one
wants to ride in the valleys,” Mack
ovic said. “It would be different if we
were throwing up our hands and not
trying, but we are working hard.
Does anyone think that I enjoy what
we’re going through?”
Injuries have stung the Longhorns.
They were without Brown against
UCLA and lost two starting defensive
tackles (Chris Akins and Casey Hamp
ton) and the team’s top wideout
(Wane McGarity) in an already-thin
receiving corps to knee injuries prior
to the Oklahoma State game.