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November 02, 1967 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-11-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1967

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

THURDAY NOVMBE 2,967 HE ICHIAN AIL

PAGE SEVEN

~NNeu
By BILL LEVIS
What a difference two games
can make in the life of a football
team and a player.
Two weeks ago, Michigan State
pasted Michigan with a 34-0 set-
back, the -worst defeat the Wolver-
ines had suffered at the hands o:
the Spartans in their 70 year
rivalry.
Last week though, Michigan
came back strong and just misseC
upsetting Rosebowl-minded Min-
nesota, who surprised Michigan
State 21-0 the Saturday before,
The Wolverines just couldn't hang
on to a 15-0 lead and dropped a
heartbreaker to the Gophers 20-15
when Minnesota scored a lati
fourth quarter touchdown to keep
the Little Brown Jug in Min-
neapolis for still another year.
The player, George Hoey, had
trouble all day long against Mich.
igan State and was beaten badly
on a touchdown pass late in th(
first half. The fleet-footed corner.
back didn't start the next weel
against Indiana but was back it
the starting lineup against Min.
nesota because Doug Nelson was
slowed down by the sore knee
which has bothered him all season.
Before the Minnesota game, Hoe:
switched from left to right cor-
nerback and the change seemed
to make all the difference in the
world. Not only did Hoey start,
but, according to defensive back-
field coach Don James, 'he graded
out the best among the backs.
The switch helped him work
harder.
"George also received the kick-
ing star award last weekend for
running back four punts for a total
of 140 yards," James noted.
One 53-yard runback set up a
field goal by Mike Hankwitz late
in the first half and another of
54 yards, with less than a minute
remaining in the game, gave the
Wolverines one last opportunity to
score against the tough Gopher
defense. Unfortunately for the
Maize and Blue, the clock ran out
as quarterback Dennis Brown was
thrown for his second straight loss.
James said, "We have been rea
close all year in running punts
back like that but either our block
ing wall was too shallow or the
opponent's punter would kick the
ball to the wrong side. Still, we
weren't catching the ball and we
had to work on that in practice.
And last weekend everything
just went right. The blocking wal
was in the right location and the
punts were long and to the righ
side. "Those longer punts make i
easier to run the ball back an

Spot

the

Answer

for

Hoey

GEORGE HOEY (12) tackles Spartan halfback Dwight Lee (34)
in Michigan's 34-0 loss to Michigan State on October 14. On the
whole however, it was a disappointing afternoon for Hoey who
was beaten by Al Brenner for a decisive 70 yard touchdown pass.

school but never under the corner-
back system," he said.
While his greatest asset is speed,
Hoey also feels that quickness
helps. Quickness is especially im-
portant for Hoey who is only 5'
10" because he must guard against
receivers who sometimes tower
over him.
Still, James does not see Hoey's
lack of height as a detriment.
"Three of the four All-Pro defen-
sive backs three years ago were
5' 10". The important thing is
the timing of the ball and getting
up high," he stated.
The cornerback spot has been
called the loneliest spot on the
football field yet Hoey .likes the
position. "I really love it. Still,
whenever I catch a punt, it's like
offense again and I still like that."
Of all the plays, Hoey finds
special coverage the hardest to
defend against. "On these one-on-
one deep routes, the good receiver
has the advantage in knowing
where he is going," James added.
When the football season is over,
Hoey trades in his football cleats
for track shoes. "This winter, I'll
be running the 60-yard dash and
maybe the 300 indoors. Outside,
I'll run the 100-yard dash and the
440 relay," Hoey said.
If he had his choice between
the two sports though, football
would win out, hands down. "I
!have a love for the game. I ran
track because it was there and I
had natural talent for it. But
football requires more skill and
I like working for precision. Foot-;
ball may be a glory sport but I
just play it for the fun of the
game."
When the subject swings around
to coach James, Hoey bubbles with
enthusiasm. "He's helped me a
lot. The players like him too. He
is a straight forward fellow. And
he's helped me more than anyone
else."

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WOLVERINE DEFENSIVE BACK George Hoey is congradulated
by fellow teammate, Gerry Hartman, after making another spar-
kling return with a Minnesota kick in last Saturday's loss to the
Gophers. Hoey, a junior, had a spectacular day returning four
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we got them against Minnesota,"
James said.
Then what was the importance
of the shift to right cornerback?
"I was more cautious on the right
side because it felt awkward to
me and I had to play it for what it
was rather than being a natural at
it. I thought playing left corner-
back was much easier because it
was natural for me to run out
of the left into the right," Hoey
asserted.
"I also had not played for a
couple of weeks and I was kind
of anxious to get back in the line-
up. When I got a chance to get
back in, I wanted to make the
most of it."
James felt that one of Hoey's
problems early in the season had
been lack of experience. "The
whole secondary was green and we
had to scrimmage after the Mich-
igan State game to get ourselves
tougher."

The backfield coach also ex-
pressed the feeling that Hoey was
hampered last spring when he
ran track while working out with
the football team. "Football hurt
his track and the track hurt his
football."
Hoey agreed, "Adjusting to the
cornerback system was difficult!
when I was running track. Sure
I got the feel of the position dur-
ing spring ball and during the fall,
it really came around."
The speedy back also felt that
the absence of any returning de-
fensive backs made it hard to
learn the position. Hoey played in
the offensive backfield in high
school but was switched to the de-
fense when he came to Michigan.
"I did play some defense in high

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