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August 24, 1965 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-08-24

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Wolverines- Champions of the

West in


No team has won two consecu-
tive Big Ten football titles since
Only a mystic or some kind of
nut would suggest that a jinx is
involved. Most people know better.
The Big Ten is just not a
spawning ground for superstitions,
curses, and black magic.
However, it does produce foot-
ball players. 'In abundance. And
they're the beefy, strong, swift
variety who make it awfully tough
for any team to dominate the
conference for very long.
No Black Cats
So when Chalmers W. Elliott
sends his Michigan Wolverines in
search of their second champion-
ship in a row, he won't be afraid
of black cats crossing the field or
broken mirrors in the locker room.
He might, however, be inclined to
try a little voodoo on the nine
other teams in the conference.
If Elliott is worried about any
type of Jinx, it would have to be
the injury problem. Last year, the
Michigan Rose Bowl route wasj
nearly detoured by the loss of four
first stringers. But Elliott, who
goes by the appropriate monicker
of 'Bump, calmly philosophies on
the costly bruises. "We always
hope that we won't have any in-
juries, but there's no way to avoid
Elliott can remain calm because
the Wolverines once again have
depth-a factor that is not always
considered before the season be-
gins, but becomes increasingly

important as the rough play be-
gins to take its toll.
Another consideration is that
elusive intangible known as in-
centive, which has been kicked
around more than most footballs.
Due to' the ruling that no Big Ten
team can play in. the Rose Bowl
two years in a row, some authori-

Elliott's fear is that the team1
will have that good old will to1
win, but won't find a way. He
makes it clear that he won't be
happy with a team equal in ability
to last year's squad-he doesn't
think it will be good enough to
get the same results.
50 Per Cent Better
"In order to have a chance to
repeat our title performance, we'll
have to be 50 per cent better than
last year," wails Elliott. "All the
teams appear very strong, and
since we're defending champs,
they're all aiming at us."
The obvious question is, Will
the Wolverines improve to El-
liott's satisfaction? "Right now,
it remains to be seen whether
we'll be better than the '64 team,"
the head coach says with his cus-
tomary cautiousness. "Last year
we needed top performances from
many unproven players, and so
many things had to happen just
right for us to win. We're in about
the same position this year; a
large part of our success will de-
pend on the inexperienced per-
sonnel, and I don't think we're
as far advanced as a year ago."
Elliott is a worry-wart, but the
team does have problems, especial-
ly on the defensive line. Even
though 11 out of the 22 starters
(both offense and defense) are
returning, the defensive wall can
welcome back only two regulars.
The only ones left are Bill
Yearby and Bob Mielke. This pair
alone, however, will keep foes
from thinking that the Wolverines
are vulnerable.
Yearby, who carries 228 pounds
and still looks trim, was a pre-
season, post-season, and more im-
portant, a during the season All-
America last year. Minnesota
head coach Murray Warmath, a
man who has tutored a flock of
all-everything lineman, says Year-
by is probably the best in the
country this season.
Blocked Punt
Mielke is the man who blocked
the punt in the Rose Bowl, turn-
ing the romp into a 34-6 rout of
Oregon State. He never played


tackle before last year, and didn't
become a regular until mid-sea-
son. If he's still improving, Mielke
might leave his mark on Michigan
football and opposing runners.
The other four spots on the line
have not yet been assigned. Don
Bailey, who was expected to take
over a guard spot, and Bill Keat-
ing, the logical choice for tackle,
were eliminated during the spring
when both were shifted to offen-
sive guard.
Elliott says they won't return to
the defense unless he can't find
adequate replacements. He also
makes it clear that Michigan is
playing platoon football, i.e. no
one will start on both offense and
As of now, Chuck Ruzicka and
sophomores Dave Porter and Dave
Byers are competing for the tackle
opening while full-blooded Indian
Paul Johnson is aiming for guard.
But defensive end is the place
where the trouble really is. Bill
Lasky and Jim Conley resided
there last year and both have
graduated. Jeff Hoyne was a sec-
ond stringer last year and is a
likely choice to start. Hoyne, how
ever, missed spring ball with an
injury and is still an unknown
Clay Wilhite and Stan Kemp
held the positions during the,
spring drills. Both men are juniors
but last season Wilhite only play-
ed some offensive end and helped
out as the reserve place kicker,
Kemp was the team punter and
had as much contact action as
Brigitte Bardot's stand-in.
Another possibility is Jack
Clancy, who was the top fresh-
man quarterback, the top sopho-
more halfback, and missed all last
season with an injury. The 190-
pound Clancy has not played any
collegiate ball at end, but with
halfback the team's deepest posi-
tion, rumor has it that if other
prospects fail, Clancy will get the
Should things really get too bad
on the line, Elliott might almost
be tempted to use three lineback-
ers instead of the usual two, be-
cause he has a trio of excellent

Should Vidmer not make the
grade, the quarterback will be
Wally Gabler, who has a strong
arm and went to the-same junior
college as Roger Staubach and
broke the midshipman's school
The rest of the backfield ex-
plains why Elliott says the team
will be basically a running team
just as it was last year. Holding
down the halves will be returning
starters Carl Ward and Jim Det-
wiler. At fullback, Dave Fisher, a
junior, like Ward and Detwiler,
will replace Rose Bowl hero Mel
To allies of aliteration, Ward
was the sophomore speedster last
year and will now probably be the
junior jackrabbit. He runs the
100-yard dash in :9.6 and is Mich-
igan's top breakaway threat. Ward
stands only 5'9" and weighs 178
but is the best blocker in the
Detwiler weighs a hefty 210
and runs like a fast fullback. He
is also a fine pass receiver and
was second in total receptions for
the Wolverines.
Had it not been for the plethora
of injuries to halfbacks last sea-
son, Jim would probably still be
without his letter sweater. Early
in the fall, he was third string,
and he didn't win regular status
until the day of the first game. He
immediately went to work, gain-
ing an average of 6.5 yards a carry
in his debut. Since then he's been
immovable - literally and figu-
Fisher is a real crowd-pleaser
because of his ability and, his
shape. The 210-pounder resembles
a bowling ball with football shoes.
Nevertheless, he has surprising
speed and is expected to be An-
thony's peer as a runner and even
better at the option pitchback, a
play that has been, a key offensive
maneuver for the Wolverines.
Fisher's only weakness is block-
ing, which is still lagging behind
his rushing ability.
Any back, however, is supposed
to be only as good as the line can
make him, and once again the
Michigan line appears capable of
opening enough holes for the team
(Continued on Page 3)

Bob Tiinberlake Spearheads a Michigan Drive

ties say that the defending champ
doesn't have enough motivation to
win the crown the second time
Elliott, however, won't buy any
of that talk as an influ nce on.
Michigan's chances. In his most
businesslike tone of voice, he an-
nounces, "I haven't seen any evi-
dence of incentive problems on
this team and I don't expect any."

1) Tom Cecchini, the team cap-
tain, is an all-Big Ten selection
and led the team in tackles. A
puny 195 pounds, Cecchini is one
of those linebackers with that
sixth sense for always being where
the ball is.
2) Barry Dehlin was a starter
last season until he was shelved
with an injury. He is also the
second-string fullback.
3) Frank Nunley took over for
Dehlin and didn't let him get his
job back when Barry recovered.
One Rose Bowl preview show
might have gone overboard in
calling him the key to the de-
fense, a title most feel belongs to
either Cecchini or Yearby. Nunley,
however, combines good speed
w i t h fumble - inducing tackling
power and might yet make the
TV program correct in its an-
The Michigan secondary is
equipped with two splendid hold-
overs in Rick Volk and Rick Sy-
gar. The third Richard, Dick Rind-

fuss, has graduated. His spot will
probably be assumed by John
Rowser, a starter two years ago
when he won a reputation as a
fierce tackler and an expert fum-
ble recoverer. Rowser missed all
action last year with a leg opera-
On offense, the Wolverines will
be without their fine extra point
kicker, their kickoff man, their
top scorer, their best passer, their
second-best rusher, their field
general, their leader in total of-
fense yardage, and the most valu-
able player in the Big Ten. His
name is Bob Timberlake.
Anybody who says Timberlake
wasn't the key to the offense
watched the games in Silat,
Borneo, without the benefit of a
television set.
Elliott trying to fill Timber-
lake's shoes with a green sopho-
more is like TWA replacing its
turbojet constellations with heli-
copters on the New York to Los
Angeles run.

That's what the head, coach
plans to do, but the sophomore,
Dick Vidmer, has big feet and is
more black and blue than green.
Actually he'll be making his sec-
ond appearance as a rookie. Last
fall, he was billed as the great
new find who might take away
Timberlake's job. No sooner was
the publicity out than Vidmer
joined the cripple corps by break-
ing his leg.
He wore plaster of paris instead
of a uniform and was given an
extra year of eligibility. In the
spring, Elliott said his quarter-
back was still rusty. Vidmer, a
hard worker, who was throwing
a football even before the cast
was removed, said he anticipated
a tough spring, but vowed to be
ready this autumn.
Outstanding Passer
The socuting report on Vidmer
lists him as an outstanding passer
with fair speed but fine scrambl-
ing ability. He is considered a
good ball handler and an expert
play caller.


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