THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Thursday, September 19, 1968
THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, September 19, 1968
By BILL CUSUMANO
The brutal Southeastern Con-
ference, which transforms football
from a game to a way of life, will
once again provide the nation with
several highly ranked teams.
Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, and
Georgia are as strong as ever and
could all challenge for the con-
None, however, of the tradition-
al powers should win the cham-
pionship as Florida has a team
ready to take over the conference.
The Gators are led by 220 pound
fullback Larry Smith. Smith is
undoubtedly the best running back
in the South.
Clearing the way for Smith is
a fine offensive line led by All;
SEC guard Guy Dennis, and tight}
end Jim Yarbrough.
Florida's strongest w e a p o n,
though, is its defense. Coach Ray
Graves claims that the defense
might just be his best ever. The
platoon is big and fast, a trade-
mark of SEC teams.
Florida has one more asset, and
it isa the Gators' best one. That is
they only play one tough confer-
ence opponent, Georgia. The re-
mainder of the schedule is a cake-
walk and only a letdown against
the Bulldogs could keep Florida
from its first SEC crown.
Florida will have to be at its
best to beat Georgia because they
are not about to play patsy for
anyone. Tennessee was lucky to
escape with a tie in their opener
with the Bulldogs.
The Bulldog offense is entirely
ground oriented. Quarterbacks
Paul Gilbert and Mike Cavan are
both untested but the aerial game
won't usually be needed because
the running is so strong. Bruce
Kemp and Brad Johnson are both
power runners, while Kent Law-
rence, conference 100-yard dash
champ, constantly threatens to
break away on the outside.
The defense strongly supports
the offense by forcing mistakes
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Newcomers and experienced
players both are welcome.
and punts, and punting to Geor-
gia can turn into disaster with
Jake Scott doing the returning.
There are more than two tough
teams in the SEC and nobody is
disregarding Tennessee and Ala-
bama. Tennessee's Bubba Wyche
lived up to his reputation as a
clutch quarterback last week when
he passed for a touchdown against
Georgia as the final gun sounded
and then hit Ien DeLong for a
two point conversion to pull out
DeLong and Terry Dalton are
Wyche's main receivers and they
are good ones.
The defense hits hard, and any
team coming into Knoxville will
come out hurting. Linebacker
Steve Kiner and "monster man"
Nick Showalter lead the Volunteer,
Tennessee's biggest hope now is
that Richmond Flowers will re-
join the team since his attempt
to make the Olympic team failed.
One man who would not like
to see Flowers return is Bear Bry-
ant, the legendary coach at Ala-
bama. Flowers is the one that got
away and came back to haunt
the Bear last year.
But this is another year and'
Alabama could have the stuff to
take Tennessee. Bryant will rely
on his lean and hungry defense
more than ever but they should be
good enough to do the job. Seven
starters return from last year's
unit, led by end Mike Ford.-
The passing game could, how-
ever, be the downfall of the Crim-
son Tide, both on defense and of-I
fense. For the first time in yearsI
Bryant does not have at Pat Tram-
mel,? Joe Namath or Ken Stabler
as quarterback. Senior Joe Kelley
is known for his running and not
The Alabama runners will have
to make up for the poor aerial
attack. Eddie Morgan, leading
rushrer last year, Tommy Wade
Larry Helm, Phil Chaffin and
Purdue transfer Pete Jilleba could
give 'Bama a set of backs as good
as any in 'the. South.
One other name of note is that
of George Ranger a sophomore
flanker. If Bryant can ever find
someone to throw the ball near
him, Alabama could go all the
LSU is faced with the same
problem as Alabama, quarterback.
The Bayou Bengals must replace
Nelson Stokely, a great clutch per-
former for the past two seasons.
Fred Haynes steps into the
breach left by Stokely, but only
with less than impressive creden-
tials. For this reason LSU will
probably rely on the overland
route to score points.
Fullback Eddie Ray is a power-
ful runner and is joined by two
speedy tailbacks, Tommy Allen
and Glenn Smith, who was the
star of the 1968 Sugar Box(l.
Defense is usually the, strong
point for the Tigers, but this year
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could be different. John Garling-
ton and Sammy Grezaffi have
graduated and.Jerry Kober flunk-
ed out of school. The substitutes
are good, but opponents might
find the going easier than in pre-
The rest of the conference can
only look forward to a long season.
Mississippi looks to be the best
of the lot but they must use soph-
omore quarterback Archie Man-
ning, which means deep trouble
in a conference this tough.
Auburn doesn't have quarter-
back problems because Loran
Carter led the SEC in total offense
last year. The rest of the team
is weak and the schedule is mur-
Kentucky can be called the best
of the worst, but only because
they have Dicky Lyons the most
versatile player in the conference.
Vanderbilt is rebuilding and is
not even fortunate enough to pos-
sess anyone of the stature of
However, Vanderbilt can take
solace in the fact that they ~hould
finish ahead of Mississippi State,
a team with nothing but hope
I and prayer.
Complete secondary returns
to pin hopes on experience
IM ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Junior Robert Filler (center) accepts the annual Intramural
Athlete of the Year from Daily Sports Editor Dave Weir (right)
and Intramural Director Rod Grambeau. Last year Miller, repre-
senting Sigma Alpha Epsidon, took part in twelve sports, hid
favorites being basketball and tennis.
CITY HALL-Huron and Fifth Ave.
for information on eligibility call
By BILL DINNER
Starting shakily last season,
with minimal experience on the
field and little training as a team,
the defensive backfield hid their
potential with unfortunate suc-
But by the middle of the season
their talent was emerging. Team
work, however, was still around
By the end of the season the
backfield was working as a well
oiled machine, and they were a
prominent factor when the Wol-
verines won three of their last
The defensive backfield, togeth-
er with their offensive counter-
parts are the only squads return-
Hank Fonde, defensive back-
field coach, feels that the backs
should be a strong section of
the team, "The squad worked very
well last year, and I expect them
to pick up where they left off."
However, there already is an
injury problem with the starting
squad of Gborge Hoey, Brian
Healy, Gerry Hartman, and Tom
In practice Hartman, a two time
letterman and a solid preformer,.
injured one of his ankles and then
proceded to hurt his other one.
Coach Fonde has high
for Wedge, "he has very
speed and I think he willc
Hartman is still hampered by his
leg injuries and will not start
Replacing Hartman is senior
Bob Wedge. He was injured in the
spring and consequently missed
the spring drills. Last year Wedge
played as a linebacker but was
switched to right safety this sea-
The other safety position will be'
patroled by Curtis. As a safety
Curtis is concerned with the run-
ning, game as well as an airborn
attack. Curtisdid a good job with
both and managed to snag seven
opponents passes, equalling a Big
Curtis, the biggest of the small
backs (6'1", 192 lb.) proved to be
a very adept tackler, ranking sixth
among the Wolverines'
At right corner back will be
Hoey. Though small (5'10", 170
lb.), Hoey more than adequately
makes it up with speed and ag-
gressiveness. Many of the men he
faces tower over him but his size
has not been a detriment.
Splitting his time between track
(a 9.6 sprinter) and football Hoey
showed his versatility last season
when he led. the Big Ten in punt
returns and placed very well na-
tionally. Coach Fonde called him
"the fastest man on the team."
Rounding out the quartet is
Brian Healy, a junidr from San-
dusky, Ohio. Healy is a good tack-
ler and also nabbed twointercep-
tions last year. With no playing
experience at the beginning of last
season Healy has progressed into
a solid cornerback.
Backing up Hoey and Healy at
the corners will be Barry Pierson
and, Mark Werner. Coach Fonde
was pleased with them, "In early
practices both Mark I and Barry
showed excellent improvement
and should add good support to
Helpingat the safeties are
sophomore Tim Killian and Bob
White. Killian showed promise as
a freshman and in addition to his
safety chores he may also do some
placekicking. Last year he kicked
four field goals in two freshman
In all coach Fonde has been
generally pleased with the back-
field. "The team did progress bet
ter than last year, but they had
little experience then and it's
much harder to improve as much
when you are good already."
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