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August 27, 1968 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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Tuesday, August 27, 1968

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, August 27, 1968 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

By FRED LaBOUR
On a sunny Saturday afternoon
in the middle of September, 1967,
Michigan's football team chalked
up its 499th viltry.'
"Ho!" exclaimed many of those
present at the event. "This might
mean we'll do all right this year."
For the Wolverines had just
beaten Duke 10-7. They did not
look like world conquerors you
understand, but then they did win
* in the last two minutes on a field
goal, and that happens in Michi-
gan Stadium about as often as
Robben Fleming purchases Zig
Zag paper.
On a snowy Saturday afternoon
in the middle of November, 1967,
Michigan's football team chalked
up its 500th victory. And how
they suffered in between.
First there was California. Lost,
10-9. Beaten by a 77-yard pass
play completed to a guy who was
nicknamed "Iron hands" because
he was such a lousy receiver. What
should have been a winning 72-
l yard pass from Vidmer to Berline
called back. Sharpe was in motion
illegally.
NAVY STRUGGLE
Next was Navy. Lost, 26-21.
Wolverines controlled ball most of
game. Costly Interceptions. Ron
Johnson carried 270 yards, mostly
off left tackle and was voted Back
of the Week by the Associated
Press. Crowd consensus: "We
'should have won."
But oh avow, they hadn't seen
nothin' yet. Michigan State rolled
into Ann Arbor and utterly de-
0 molished the Maize and Blue, 34-0.
It was a day of dropped passes,
missed assignments, inept play,
and h}eartbreak for the Michigan
eleven And the fans were angry.
"Dump Bump!" some of them
hollered, and the alumni began
plotting ways of removing Elliott
' from his post. "Nice guy," they'd
say, "but he's no coach.'
One bright spot in that debacle
was the emergence of Dennis
Brown as a capable quarterback
replacing Dick Vidmer. And again
the fans screamed, "Give Vidmer
another chance," some' said. "You
shoulda switched to Brown two
months ago," said others. And the
head position on the Michigan
football coaching staff got' to be
a less desirable place to inhabit.
The next week Indiana came to
old Ann Arbor town, and my oh
I ny how Michigan wanted to win
that one. They wanted to show
the world that they weren't as
awful as they'd appeared to be
the week before, and that Bump
could produce a winning team.
AGONY
But Indiana rallied in the fourth
4 quarter to win 27-20, and if ever
a man had a right to feel mis-
erable, that man was Bump El-
liott. It was near agony to watch
him field reporters' questions aft-
er the game, tight-lippe'd and
somber. "That's why this one
hurts so much," he said. "It de-
stroys a great' effort."
FINAL 1967 FOOTBALL STATISTICS
Mich. Opp
FIRST DOWNS 168 167
Rushing 97 109
Passing 66 49
Penalty 5 9
TOTAL NO. RUSHES 488 516
Net Yds.-Rushing 1635 1808
-Passing 132 1153
PoRwARD PAsSES ATT'. 244 174

Few

days

of

ightning

many

TOM STINCIC

Michigan's 1967 version of frus-
tration orgy had yet to peak
though. It took Minnesota to blow
the foam off the beer.
The Gophers came from behind
in the fourth quarter to win 20-15,
and everybody wondered if things
could get any worse. The team's
record was now 1-5, but with a
few breaks, it could easily have
been 5-1.
"The team doesn't know the
fundamentals of good football,"
claimed the alumni, and they
started to organize a group that
advocated Forest Evashevski for
athletic director AND head coach.
Again they sang "Bump's a nice
guy, but he's 'no coach.".
But next week, during a blind-
ing snowstorm, the mighty force
in the universe that discerns win
from loss tippedi the other way
for the Wolverines, and they beat
Northwestern 7-3. It was a pretty
dull game and it was hardly a
crushing victory, but then it was
number 500, and it was the first
conference win for Micnigan.
Things were looking up.
Illinois and Wisconsin were next
and Michigan won both games
and played rather well at that.
The defensive backfield, once
compared to a leaky sieve with
some moral hang-up against
tackling, seemed to be finding it-
self. ,The offensive machine was
rolling along with 48 points in two
games and Elliott's job appeared
to be out of double jeopardy tem-
porarily. Who could tell? Maybe
they would wind up 5-5.
OOZE!
But Ohio State routed the Maize
and Blue in the last gam'e of the
season and it was 4-6 that oozed
into the record books. The battle
was concluded and it was all over
except for the second-guessing.
It became evident in the early
spring that Michigan was going
to be blessed (or stuck, depending
on your point of view) 'with ?Bump
Elliott for at least another year.
Several coaching staff shake-ups
occurred, like a new defensive end

GARVIE CRAW
and linebacker coach and a new
offensive line coach. Also, several
other coaches appear to have been
given new assignments on the
team.
So 1968 could possibly be
summed up, as we all sit here
comfortably on an August after-
noon, knowing the first game is
a month away and that we have
lots of room for predictions, as
the year that Bump Elliott must
produce a winning team. The
alumni have demonstrated clear-
ly that they're tired of Wolverine
football squads that are more
frustrating than rewarding ard
that they want a winner. And fair,

RON JOHNSON
or unfair, the head coach is the
man they point to.
So what kind of material will
Bump have to work with for this
pivotal year.
He's got his offensive and de-
fensive backfields back intact,
and these should form the nucleus
of ithe team. At quarterback is
Dennis Brown backed by a host of
unproven sophomores. Ron John-
son is back at halfback and he
will probably carry the massive -
bulk of the Wolverine running
game again this year. Johnson,
could develop into definite star
material this season and every-
body knows it.1

JOE DAYTON
Johnson will probably be joined'
at halfback by John Gabler, a
strong junior who scored two
touchdowns last year. Garvie Craw
is back at fullback along with
ace-blocker Warren Sipp. Craw
averaged 3.4 yards per play last
year as a sophomore.
The defensive backfield has a
full load of experienced personnel,
and they could develop into the
strongest segment of the team.
Tom Curtis, who led the Big Ten
in interceptions last year 'should
anchor the group, .followed by
Brian Healy, Jerry Hartman,
George Hoey and Barry Pierson,
all returning and experienced.

Hoey was also used last year as a
punt return man and led the Big
Ten in that department.
At the defensive end posts Jon
Kramer and Phil Seymour seem
fairly secure in their assignments.
The linebacking set, featuring
Tom Stincic, Cecil Pryor, and
sophomores Marty Huff and Tim
Killian must fill in for the grad-
uated likes of Rocky Rosena,
Dennis Morgan and Dennis Mon-
thei, and that could be a most dif-
ficult job.
DEFENSIVE LINE
The interior defensive line is
a little shaky at this point with
letter-winners Tom Goss and Jer-
ry Miklos at the tackles and. the
other positions pretty much un-
decided. Jiro Wilhite, Morris Ab-
rahams and Guilio Catello appear
to be prime candidates for guard
positions, although others are in
contention also.
Undoubtedly the biggest ques-
tion mark on a team of question
marks is the offensive line. The
whole strong side of the line grad
uated and It's going to be really
tough to replace 'people like All-
American guard Ray Phillips and
ex-captain Joe Dayton at center,
not to mention Jim Berline at
split end.
Filling in the line wIll be Jim
Mandich at tight end." Mandich
caught 26 passes for 256 yards
last year and proved to be a
rugged blocker. Senior Bob Penk-
sa is back at left tackle and is al-
most assured of a first string
berth at that spot.
CENTER HASSLE
BobE Baumgartner and Stan
Broadnax will be expected to carry
out guard duties for the squad.
Dave Denzin and Fred Sample,
both of whom have seen no game
action, are .expected to fill Day-
ton's certer slot. Dan Dierdorf,
sophomore right tackle, improved
greatly during spring practice and
may capture that starting post-
tion.
Hoey is being tested at Berline's
split end post along with junior
Bill Harris.
In short, the success of Bump's
boys this year will hinge on the
offensive line and the frequency
of injuries. The squad is tremen-
dously hampered by a supreme
lack of depth. If injuries strike
hard, especially to the line, dis-
aster could possibly ensue. There
simply are not enough 'back-up
men to fill in for more than a
very few light Injuries.
Either way, 1968 will be a de-
cisive year for Bump Elliott.

DENNIS BROWN rolls out to his left during last year's drubbing
at the hands of Michigan State, 34-0. Some fans have called that
mnemorable Saturday the lowest ebb of all time for Michigan's
football legions.
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WOLVERINE QUARTERBACK Dennis Brown (22) prepares to hand off to Ron Johnson (40) in
last year's snowy win over Northwestern. Garvie Craw (48) and John Gabler (18) lead the way into
the line. Michigan's 7-3 victory in this contest marked the 500th Wolverine gridiron triumph.

-

T!n

I
I
I
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1
.1

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GUITAR STUDIIO

Completed
Intercepted by
Yds. Int'cpt. Ret'd.
TOTAL PLAYS
PUNTS, NUMBER
Ave. Distance
KICKOFFS, returned by
YDS. KICKS RET.
'Punts
Kickoffs
FUMBLES
Ball Lost by
PENALTIES, Number
Yards penalized

120
14
178
732
55
37.6
32
999
384
615
22
16
40
443

RUSHING
R. Johnson
sipp
Titas
Gabler
Sharpe
D. Brown
Craw
Federico
Vidmer
PASSING
D. Brown
Vidmer
RECEIVING
Berline
R. Johnson
Sharpe
Mandich
Gabler
Craw,
PUNTING
Drehmann
Craw
SCORING
R. Johnson
D. Brown
Berline
Gabler
Hankwitz
sharps
Titas
Sipp
Hoey
Weinmann
Team
TOTALS
Opponents

Tries
220
24
2
16
33
137
29
2
25
At.
156
88

Gains
1932
104
9
39
100
560
'104
3
32
Comp.
82
38
No.
54
13
'5
26
20
1

Loss N
27 1
0 1
0
14
2
202
3
0
100
Int. Y
7
6
Yds.
624
179
58
256
173
5

'et
1005
104
9
25
98
358
101
3
-68
Xds.
913
376

74
13,
80
690
61
35.1
31
849
317
532
28
15
43
388
Ave.
4.6
E4.3
t4.5
i4.5
2.9
2.6
3.4
1.5
t-2.7
,TD
5.
0
TD
3
1
0
0
1
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