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Page 169 text:
Best Classi. - Tver? As seniors Anthony Thomas, Steve Hutchinson and Eric Wilson walked to mid-field for the coin toss of the Florida Citrus Bowl, they had the opportunity to do what no other senior class in the history of the University of Michigan had been able to do: win four consecutive bowl games. The only obstacle left for the senior class to conquer was a surprising but young nine and three Auburn team. While the pundits and logic predicted a Wolverine blowout, the Citrus Bowl was not decided until late in the fourth quarter, when Thomas pounded through the Auburn defensive line on every play. Thomas earned his second career Citrus bowl MVP award by rushing for 1 82 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. Thomas ' first touchdown came on an 1 1 yard run in the second quarter, on the play Thomas became Michigan ' s all- time leading rusher and he finished his career with 4,472 yards and 55 touchdowns on 924 carries. In the post game press conference, Coach Lloyd Carr offered high praise for Thomas saying that he " couldn ' t be prouder of anybody than Anthony Thomas. " Junior quarterback Drew Henson also had an outstanding Citrus Bowl. Henson completed 1 5 of 20 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns. Henson connected with his favorite target, junior David Terrell, four times for 1 36 yards and a touchdown. In the days following the game, Terrell decided to forgo his one remaining year of college eligibility and enter the NFL draft. Both Michigan and Auburn ' s offenses were able to drive down the field seemingly at will. While the Michigan defense was able to contain sensational Auburn running back Rudi Johnson, they were unable to stop untouted Auburn quarterback Ben Leard. Leard threw for 394 yards and three touchdowns on In his last game as a Wolverine, junior David Terrell leaps over an Auburn corner to catch a Drew Henson touchdown pass. Terrell ended his career with four career bowl game touchdowns. photo by Mike Cutri. the Wolverines. While Leard kept Auburn close, the strong play of senior Eric Wilson prevented Auburn ' s offense from dominating the game. Wilson recorded four tackles for a loss and one sack on his way to earning the defensive MVP award. With a 31 -28 victory, the Wolverine ' s graduating seniors made the argument to be known as the best class in the history of the football program. The seniors won three Big Ten Championships, one National Championship and four New Year ' s Day bowl games during their Michigan careers, by Jon Hommer The Wolverine ' s defensive MVP, senior Eric Wilson, drags Auburn ' s Rudi Johnson down from behind. Wilson recorded four tackles for a loss a nd one sack against Auburn. photo by Mike Cutri Sports 165
Page 168 text:
On his way to breaking the all-time Michigan rushing record and securing his second Citrus Bowl MVP, senior Anthony Thomas busts through the Auburn defense. Thomas ended his career with 4,472 yards on 924 carries, photo by Mike Cutri In the fourth quarter, freshman Jeremy LeSueur breaks through the Auburn line untouched and strips the Auburn quaterback. LeSueur ' s play ended Auburn ' s momentum and helped secure a Wolverine victory, photo by Mike Cutri , ' Five yards deep in his own end zone, junior Drew Henson flips a screen pass to junior Marquise Walker. In the Citrus Bowl, Henson completed 15 of 20 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns, photo by Mike Cutri Citrus Bowl
Page 170 text:
Stride fo 92 at Eastern Michigan Open 95 Wolverine Invitational 99 at Miami Invitational 916 at Spiked Shoe Invitational 923 at Sundodger Invitational 923 at William Mary Invitational 929 at Central Collegiate Champ. 106 at Notre Dame Invitational 107 at Murray Keatinge Invitational 1015 Wolverine Interregional 1029 at Big Ten Championships 1111 NCAA Great Lakes Regional 1120 NCAA Championships A runner tries to prevent the pack from leaving him behind. The Maize and Blue ran to a fifth place finish in the Wolver- ine Interregional, photo by Mike Cutri Both the men ' s and women ' s cross country teams finished the season in dramatic fashion. While the women were packing their bags and heading to the NCAA National Championships in Bloomington, Indiana, the men were waiting to learn whether or not they had earned an at large bid to the National Champi- onships. Unfortunately, the men ' s team failed to earn a bid for the first time since 1992. They had not finished lower than 14th at the NCAA Championships since then. While the Wolverine team failed to qualify for the NCAA Championships, the team still sent junior Mark Pilja to represent the Maize and Blue. Pilja hoped to follow in the footsteps of current assistant coach and former national champion Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan won the national title for the Wolverines in 1997 and represented the United States with a fifth place finish at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. While the men ' s season ended in disappointment, it was not a failure. The Wolverines finished no worse than seventh in any meet during the season and spent much of the season in the top 20 of the MONDO Men ' s Cross Country National Rankings. Individual Wolverines also earned respect; Mark Pilja finished fourth at the Big Ten Championship. While the men ' s season was slightly disappointing, the women ' s season was nothing short of phenomenal. The women finished no worse than second in any meet during the season. The Wolverines were led by junior Lisa Ouellet, senior Elizabeth Kampfe, and senior Katie Clifford. Ouellet earned All Big Ten First Team honors while Kampfe and Clifford earned Second Team All Big Ten Team honors. The Women ' s team spent almost the entire season near the top of the FinishLynx Women ' s Cross Country Rankings. While the program has not been a historical power, it did earn respect throughout the course of the season, by Jon Hammer g Men ' s 1st of 9 1st of 25 2nd of 9 1st of 11 4th of 7 2nd of 31 2nd of 7 5th of 12 2nd of 4 7th of 10 2nd of 11 7th of 31 2nd of 31 14th of 31 166 Cross Country
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