FRIDAY, OCTOBER, 22, 1965
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1965 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
X$ AlCing Blocks Help
Tumble Enemy Rushers
By CHUCK VETZNER formist. You suspect it when you
Tsee his slide rule (he's an engi-
Tor ack. he nae so ndsfeer), and you confirm it when
like a bulldozer crashing into a , d see him.
brick wall. Those two hard, short He is a tackle who doesn't look
syllables just emit violence. The like a tackle. His profile has no
last name even rhymes with protrusio . is t refile.H
smack. !weighs 238 pounds but he spreads
And that's exactly what Tom it out and distributes it every-
Mack does. He smacks people. His where. He could even wear a tap-
job on the Michigan football team ered shirt if the collar size were
is to throw forearms, butt heads, big enough.
and flatten opponents. Fast, Quick, Agile
To put the story simply, you can As for his speed, the heart of
say Mack does it better than most the matter has been hit. "Mack
people. Actually, it's a little more is fast, quick, and agile," says
complicated than that. Mack is Mason, drawing a distinction
not only good; he is excellent. He among the three. Agile means he
could be. an All-American, but can walk on a tight rope unless
that depends on how much pub- his bulk snaps it. Quick means in-
licity he gets. Offensive linemen stant reactions if the wire does
have a knack for being ignored, break. Fast means escaping-fast.
It's sort of like buying an ice He has demonstrated his rapid
cream cone. You might spend ten movement on many occasions. One
minutes deciding whether to of the most memorable almost
choose strawberry ripple or mocha turned out to be the most embar-
fudge, but you don't give a damn rassing. On Mel Anthony's record-
about the cone. breaking 84-yard touchdown in
Well, linemen are the cones. the Rose Bowl, Mack was right
There isn't much without them behind him every step of the way.
but, heck, they all look the same "When he got to the five, Mel
anyway. Pay attention to the more slowed down," Mack explains. "I
exciting stuff. didn't notice and almost tripped
Wolverine coach Tony Mason, and ran into him."
however; is paid to get his charges More recently Mack has been
from the offensive line. He knows racing down to cover punts, leg-
what's going on, and he is con- ging it on wide sweeps, and moon-
vinced of Mack's ability. "Tom is lighting on defense.
one of the best tackles in the Because of his speed, Mack has
country," he says without being been "flipping" at tackle. In lay-
mushy. man's language, this means that
What Makes Him Great? when the situation is ripe for an
The thing you 'want to know end run, Mack switches to that
nowisif they look the same, what side so he can pull out and lead
makes him great. the interference.
First let it be noted that Tom His occasional work at defensive
Mack is a tackle. That's the posi- tackle gives him a special thrill.
tion for the slow guys with round "I enjoy offense but it's fun to
stomachs that have to be squeezed come in there when the other
through the locker room door, team has the ball and try to stop
Mack, however, is not a con- them."
"Last year, I got scared every
time I made a mistake. I had to
learn technique; how to handle
the man opposite me; how to pull
and how to trap him. Coach Mas-
on helped me a lot, but just being
able to play is the big thing."
As far as weight goes, the sta-
tistics make the point clear. Last
season, Mack weighed 220 pounds
and was the lightest tackle in the
Big Ten. Mack was just begin-,
ning to grow. Even now he feelsI
that he will keep expanding from
his present 238. Mack doesn't let
the poundage change his frame or
form. He feels that he is still as
fast as ever because he lifted
weights bewteen milkshakes.
The new Mack still runs into
some mighty big opposition. Last
week he had to put himself into
Purdue's 270-pound Lance Olssen.
But Mack enjoys such occasions
and does not shy away from con-
"This year they have me pull-
ing all the time," he says. "I like
to run so it's fine. But when you
pull, you never get a good crisp,
block. You're only able to fall on'
your man or hit him from the
"Even when you block on pass
plays, it's just sort of screening
him. You don't get to hit him real
, Big Man Easier
"I don't mind playing agalast
a bigger man. Sometimes it's eas- joe that guys like to follow
ier. For one thing, you know you around," said one teammate.
have to really put out, and I play Field Leader
better when there is an urgent He also leads on the field. As
need to play better. a tackle, he is responsible for
"Also, some of the big men screeching out the blocking as-
don't know how to keep you away signments for Carl Ward, Don
from them. They're easy to stay Bailey, and himself. Aside from
with if you hit them low and the weird calls (block it, split it,
keep moving." gap it, stack it, etc.), Mack talks
It might sound gruff and grue- it up on his own. "This year there
some, but it's only football. Mack is a lot of inexperience on the line,
really isn't mean and he is one of and the boys aren't always at ease.
the team leaders. "He's just a good All I try to do is relax them."
Mack seemingly would be a
great pro prospect. If he makes it,
he won't be the first in his family
to make a career of athletics. His
father is Ray Mack. a former ma-
jor league second baseman with
the Cubs, Indians, and Yankees.
This fact could give that gob of
publicity needed for a lineman to
make All-American, but Mack
doesn't want any part of it.
"The thing was," he grumbles,
"they always used to say 'Ray
Mack's kid' did this or 'Ray Mack's
kid' did that. I sure wasn't asham-
ed of my father, but I didn't want
to live on his name."
Maybe that's one of the reasons
;- Mack always preferred football
and swimming (he was a star free-
S E styler) to his dad's occupation. "I
really never was very good at
baseball," he confesses.
He wasn't bad; Tom Mack just
has his own standards of excel-
TOM MACK lence.
-Daily-Thomas R. Copi
MICHIGAN'S TOM MACK (96) hits a Purdue defender as quarterback Wally Gabler (29) drops
back to pass, and Dave Fisher (33) comes up to help. Mack is termed by line coach Tony Mason as
"Fast, quick, and agile, and one of the best tackles in the country." Mack has played both offense
and defense this season, a tribute to his ability and desire, and is noted for his speed pulling out of
the line to lead end runs, a play most tackles won't or can't make.
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
1. MICHIGAN at Minnesota
2. OHIO STATE at Wisconsin
3. Michigan State at PURDUE
4. Duke at ILLINOIS
5. WASHINGTON STATE at
6. IOWA at Northwestern
7. Florida State at ALABAMA
8. UTAH STATE at Colorado
9. MIAMI (FLA) at Pittsburgh
10. Navy at GEORGIA TECH
11. Southern Cal at NOTRE
12. Washington vs. OREGON at
13. Vanderbilt at MISSISSIPPI
14. Army at STANFORD
15. Massachusetts at BOSTON
16. TEXAS CHRISTIAN at
17. West Virginia at PENN
18. Houston at TENNESSEE
19. COLGATE at Brown
20. Carson-Newman at
Coach Bob Holloway thinks it's
fun too. "If Mack played defen-;
sive tackle," he dreams, "Bill,
Yearby and he would be the best
pair in the country."
Coach Hololway loses out and
so does end specialist Jocko Nel-
Started at End-
Mack came to Michigan as an
end and played the position as a
sophomore. More specifically he
watched others play it. That was
the year the Wolverines had more
good ends than highways had
The only letter he got was from
his parents and girl friend.
So Mack did the sensible thing.
He moved to a place where he was
wanted and needed. "Actually, a
lot of people kidded me about
switching to tackle while I was a
freshman,", he explains. "But in
the spring after my sophomore
year, Coach Elliott brought it up
That very spring, a football
future returned for Tom Mack.
He made the change with immod-
est ease, being named the most
improved player on the team. At
the same time the NCAA rules
committee also came alive and
brought back nearly unlimited
substitution rules. This gave Mack
a chance to play on an inexper-
ienced front wall instead of
watching Yearby go both ways.
As a junior, Mack helped make
the line one of the happiest sur-
prises in Michigan football his-
tory', opening large, juicy holes for
the premiere running backs.
This year Mack is playing even
better. He gives two reasons for
the improvement: confidence and
"With a year's experience, I'm
more sure of myself," he explains.
SPORTS NIGHT EDITOR:
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Friday, Oct. 22-AngelIl Hall
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JIM LaSOVAGE (69-31, .690)-Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois,
Washington State, Iowa, Alabama, Utah State, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Notre
Dame, Oregon, Mississippi,.Stanford, Massachusetts, Texas Christian, Penn State,
Tennessee, Colgate, Appalachian State.
CHUCK VETZNER (60-40, 600)-Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois,
Washington State, Iowa, Florida State, Utah State, Miami (Fla), Georgia Tech,
Southern Cal, Oregon, Mississippi, Stanford, Boston University, Clemson, Penn
State, Tennessee, Colgate, Appalchian State.
LLOYD GRAFF (58-42, .580)-Michigan. Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois, Wash-
Ington State, Northwestern, Alabama, Utah State, Miami (Fla), Georgia Tech,
Notre Dame, Oregon, Mississippi, Stanford, Massachusetts, Texas Christian,
Penn State, Tennessee, Colgate, Carson-Newman.
GIL SAMBERG (57-43, .570)-Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Alabama, Utah State, Miami (Fla), Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Washing-
ton, Mississippi, Army, Boston University, Texas Christian, Penn State, Tennes-
see, Colgate, Carson-Newman.
JIM TINDALL (53-47, .530)-Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois,
Washington State, Iowa, Alabama, Utah State, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Notre
Dame, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Boston University, Texas Christian, West
Virginia, Tennessee, Brown, Appalachian State.
GUEST SELECTOR, GEORGE POMEY-Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan
State, Illinois, Washington State, Iowa, Alabama, Colorado State, Miami (Fla),
Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Washington, Mississippi, Army, Massachusetts, Texas
Christian, Penn State, Tennessee, Colgate, Carson-Newman.
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