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September 07, 1978 - Image 29

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-07

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 7; 1978--Page 29


at first you don

't succeed



o and Co.
a defense


In this post-Watergate era, a rather
iteresting, if not distant comparison
as been made by some sports obser-
ers between Richard Nixon and Bo
chembechler. Vowing complete
riousness, they point out not only the
milarity of errors (b6th have eroded
blic confidence) but the similarity in
They depict the post-Rose Bowl Bo as
secluded man, intent on licking his
ounds while vehemently denying
llegations that his team lost the big
fowl because it couldn't defend against
Well, if Bo were to likewise write a
ook, he would mostlikely explain that
is team's failure to stop the RUN
aused the loss. And while the title of
e book might be B.S. the explanation
urely would not.
Four times the Huskies of
ashington were faced with third and
our situations, and four times the west
oast kids elected to run the-ball. Each
'me they picked up the first down en
oute to a 27-20 upset. In fact the mid-
est, 'four-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust
olverines' attempted more passes,
ompleted more passes and gained
ore yardage through the air than did
But the Rose Bowl disaster is ancient
istory and with a clean slate facing
hem, the Michigan coaches are now
oncerned with fielding a defense which
ill certainly prove instrumental in the
urrent run for the roses.
But don't look for any surprises. The
aize and blue will again concentrate
eir efforts against the run.
Last year the defense allowed an
verage of only 2.6 yards per rush. And
f the three starting linemen from that
quad, only middle guard Steve Graves
i lost to graduation.
His counterparts at the tackles, Dale
Mietz and Curtis Greer are both retur-
jung for their senior year. Greer was
hird on the team in tackles last season
ith 88 and Kietz was solid at the other
The vacant middle guard position will
obably be filled by sophomore Mike

Trgovac who got the early nod for his
strong spring football performance.
"We expect to be much stronger up
the middle," said Defensive Coor-
dinator Bill McCartney. "We have good,
depth and experience at both the
tackles and the inside linebackers."
The linebackers he referred to, Ron
Simpkins and Jerry Meter, are indeed
the cornerstones of the defensive unit.
This duo was one and two respectively
in tackles, accounting for over 250 bet-
ween them. While Rick Leach was
rolling and Russel Davis was running,
it was Ron Simpkins who was breaking
virtually every individual defensive
record in the school's books. The man
was named ABC's Defensive Player of
the Game for his performance against
Texas A&M - an award to be proud of.
He was credited with 113 solo tackles,
almost twice as many as the next man
on the list - an accomplishment to be
heralded. But the truly amazing thing
about Simpkins is that he did all this as
a sophomore.
What's more, he is the first
sophomore to break into the starting
front seven since 1969. Can a coach ask
for more?
"We're looking for him to improve
this year," answered McCartney. "We
look for him to be stronger and to im-
prove overall. We hope that he gains
some leadership."
The Wolverine up front defense also
employs a pair of outside linebackers
which double for defensive ends. Here
lies the biggest replacement problem.
Gone is Green Bay's first round draft
pick John Anderson and his counterpart
Dom Tedesco, both instrumental in
preventing the big ground gains last
year. And at the end of spring drills
nobody had taken hold of either
The two candidates for the field-side
slot are Tom Seabron and Mark DeSan-
tis. ,Both saw considerable action in
their junior years and the possibility of
platooning the two is certainly
At the other end of the line Bob
Holloway and Jeffrey Jackson are in
contention for the starting bill. Neither

have proven themselves in game
The Schembechler philosophy of Big
Ten football places a good deal of em-
phasis on the front seven. The strategy
used to gain the annual trip out west
was best put by McCartney. "To win
the Big Ten, you have to beat OSU, and
to beat OSU, you have to be able to stop
the run. The day you will see a weak
Michigan 'defense is the day they're
weak against the run."
The Schembechler philosophy of Big
Ten. football places a good deal of em-
phasis on the front seven. The strategy
used to gain the annual trip out west
was best put by McCartney. "To win
the Big Ten, you have to beat OSU, and
to beat OSU you have to be able to stop
the run. The day you will see a weak
Michigan defense is the day they're
weak against the run."
But when a team is very effective
against the run, the opponent has little
See DEFENSE, Page 36

Backfield keys
potent attack

The counselor you had at orientation
probably told you how important it was
to get those academic requirements out
of the way early. Spend your first four
months at Michigan buried in the
questionable joys of freshman comp,
foreign language, and inorganic
But after you've slept through your
first class, after you've spent endless
distracted hours trying to memorize
verb forms, or after you've tried in vain
to find a real seat in your Chem lecture,

you may-realize there are more impor-
tant things to be learned.
The intricacies of the triple option,
for instance. Or the part the
wingback plays in a fullback dive. Or
Rick 'Leach's career stats. When you
and 99,999 other curious fans show up in
the big blue bowl on Saturday, Sept. 16
for the gme between Michigan and
Illinois, an education in the basics of
Wolverine football will be considerably
more useful than the latest buzz on the
Let's start with the triple option. It's

an offensive system, one that puts a
premium on running. The quarterback
moves laterally from center, and can
choose to hand the ball to his fullback,
pitch it to his trailing tailback, or run
forward himself.
Quarterback Rick Leach, who has
played 36 straight games for Michigan
since he came here from Flint three
years ago, knows the triple option bet-
ter than any college player in the coun-
try. He runs it with precision, guts, and
intelligence. His coach thinks that's
enough to make him a leading candi-
date for the Heisman trophy, the high-
est award available to a college football
"In my mind, he's the best quarter-
back in the country," is how head coach
Bo Schembechler puts it. "He works
hard all the time, he's a good all-around
athlete, and he loves football."
He must love football to resist the
nnetie i ntna n tn h rh l


Doily Photo by JOHN KNOX
Defense is a trademark of Bo Schembechler's teams during his first decade as coach of the Wolverines. Even when the
offense stumbles a bit, the defensive corps come up with the big plays time and again. Above, John Anderson, now with the
Green Bay Packers, stops Duke fullback Ned Gonet in a game won by Michigan, 21-9.

agers optimistic with healthy Hu

,Our program can compete with any program in
iperica. We can win the Big Ten and go as high
sa National Championship."
- -Michigan basketball coach Johnny Orr
OThis year we're looking to take all the marbles."
-Basketball co-captain Tom Staton
Like westerly winds, optimism prevails in the
ichigan basketball department.
BOTH THE COACHES and players believe they
rtow what it takes, and more important, they
elieve they got what it takes, to bring a National
hampionship to Ann Arbor next March.
this bullish basketball attitude comes after a
ampaign filled with frustration, moments of
rilliance, inconsistency and hope for the future.
The '77-'78 season was the first of the last five in
which the NCAA playoffs did not involve Michigan.
The team finished with a 16-11 mark, 11-7 in the Big
Ten, good enough to tie for fourth.
Great hopes for last season were actually greatly
diminished quite a time before the first ball was of-
ficially tipped. In April of '77 Earvin 'Magic' John-
son chose to sign a tender with Michigan State,
leaving Michigan as his number two pick.
THEN AT THE INITIAL Wolverine practice, in
mid-October, Phil Hubbard, the 6-7, multi-talented
center, reinjured his left knee. He was operated on
shortly thereafter and spent the entire season in
street clothes.
Hubbard, who won a gold medal in Montreal on
:0 2 ':'; x :r ". :!:::? :::>:<.;;.:>::rr<<::r:<: : ;r:>:;:: .:.:>:::..:;<.

the U.S. basketball team, had hurt his knee playing
for his country at the World Games in Bulgaria
during summer of '77. The co-captain underwent
treatment upon his return and was pronounced fit
for Michigan's first practice. Midway through the
session he went up for a rebound and came down on
his left leg. He did not go up for another rebound un-
til last May.
And now the good news. Hub is back.
He has worked very hard getting back into shape.
Time was not a factor and Phil took plenty of it.
"He's worked every day to get his knee ready,"
says Orr. "I'm sure it'll be okay."
HUB HIMSELF SAYS there is "no pain. It's
coming along real good." He has scrimmaged
against Joel Thompson, who says: "Hubs strong.
Very strong. There's nothing he can't do."
Ironically it was Thompson who stepped into the
Michigan pivot due to Hubbard's absence and
played, to what many consider, beyond his poten-
Thompson averaged over 15 points a game, hit-
ting 54 percent of his shots from the field. He also
led the team in rebounding, with over eight a game.
His teammates voted him the squad's Most
Valuable Player award at the season's end.
upstaged however, by a freshman from Omaha,
Nebraska, Mike McGee, a lightning quick, 6-5 for-
ward led the team in scoring with almost 20 points a
game. He finished second in the Big Ten scoring
race to Minnesota's Mychal Thompson. In fact, he
set a record for most points ever scored by a fresh-
man in the Big Ten.
McGee used his leaping ability to work the
baseline and grab many an offensive rebound. He
also possesses a great, albeit sometimes incon-
sistent, outside shot. He took a good deal of his
team-high 439 shots from this area. (In comparison,
Thompson took the second most shots-344.)
Perhaps McGee's greatest attribute is his poten-
tial, though he has said on a few occasions that this
upcoming season will be his last before he turns pro.
THERE ARE TWO other main reasons, besides
Hubbard and McGee, for the smiles and "podners"
emanating from the basketball offices:
First is the recruiting season completed last
April. Orr envisions John Garris, 6-9 from
Bridgeport, Ct., to play a good deal of center,
moving Hubbard to his natural forward position.
Garris is a great leaper, runner and short-range
A second forecourt recruit is Thad Garner, 6-6

tering his eleventh season. "And the teams that win
national finals are very deep."
Co-captain Tom Staton returns for his senior
season. Staton feels last year could have'been bet-
ter, both for the team and himself, and he's looking
to changethings this year.\
"I'D LIKE TO score a little more," Staton says,
after averaging just under eight points a game last
season. "I'm going to put forth 150 percent if I can."
Alan Hardy, who will be hard pressed to hold onto
the starting forward position he won last year, also
returns for his final year. Hardy was second on the
team in rebounds and scored almost 12 points a
game, but he is still known for his potential rather
than his production.
Mark Lozier, a junior, will be fighting for a star-
ting berth at guard.
LOZIER IS BEST known for hitting the shot that
beat Michigan State last season in East Lansing.
His 22-footer was in the air as the buzzer sounded,
and when it went through the cords it gave Michigan
a most thrilling 65-63 victory.
Other returning guards are the twins from Bar-
berton, Oh., Mark and Marty Bodnar and Johnny
Johnson, from Buffalo, NY. Only one forward
returns and that is 6-7 Paul Heuerman, who looked
impressive upon occasions last season.
Joining Johnson on the departed list are Dave
Baxter, Tom Bergen, and Mike Robinson.
Baxter was known as "super-sub" for his first
three seasons before moving into a starting role last
year. He set a new one-season assist record, witb
178, shattering the old record by 40 assists. He had a
few outstanding games, including a 33 point per-
formance in a last minute loss to Louisville.
Both Bergen and Robinson were backup centers
last year. Bergen completed his eligibility and
Robinson, a prize recruit of a year ago, transferred
to Central Michigan.
TENTATIVELY, STUDENT ticket sales will
work as follows: in late September or early October
students will pay for tickets and receive a coupon. A
few weeks later students will go in and redeem their
coupon for tickets. Seating is based on class stan-
ding. Last year $14 bought 13 tickets, but it is expec-
ted to cost more this year.
Ticket manager Al Renfrew explained that if
more than 5,500 students request tickets, split
tickets may be the result. This would give students
tickets to half the games.
The schedule includes a number of interesting
match-ups, including Notre Dame in the season
finale at the Pontiac Silverdome. The home slate
features Alabama as well as Central. Eastern and

staying in sch(
years of his eli
he explains, he
Olympics in M(
medals in bask(
But for now]
ready for this
should be really

;rsuasive powers of the aseall
outs, who almost drool visibly when
ey talk about Leach's .404 batting
erage last season or his accurate
innon arm from center field. The
hiladelphia Phillies were impressed
ough to offer 100 grand to sign him
it of high school. He chose the triple
tion instead.
Maybe Leach was thinking about the
nning backs that were recruited with
s class when he made his decision.
ho could blame him for wanting to
nd the ball to Russell Davis, one of
e best high school players in Virginia
story? Or Harlan Huckleby, the
eedster from Cass Tech in.Detroit
ho runs a 9.5 100-yard dash?
Davis has certainly fulfilled every in-
of his promise. Operating out of the
llback position last year, he gained
92 yards on 225 carries (that's 4.9
rds per, in case you're not taking
lculus). He scored eight times, and
as named-the MVP in the Big Ten.
Huckleby, on the other hand, has
en somewhat of a puzzle. After
ining 958 yards as a freshman, he has
en his playing time cut into the past
'o seasons by nagging injuries and his
eming reluctance to challenge a
fender helmet-to-helmet. Still, he
ined 769 yards last season, and would
ve to be at the top of any list of poten-
l starters at tailback.
But he wouldn't be the only name on
e list. Stanley Edwards (48 carries,
6 yards, 4.7 per), who started in the
se Bowl loss to Washington, will see
ot of time in the backfield. Lawrence
,id (8, 57, 7.1) and Roosevelt Smith
0, 300, 5.0), are also vying for playing
ots. These are all quality backs -
See TRIPLE, Page 36
ool a fifth year and using all four
gibility before going pro. This way,
'll be ble to participate in the 1980
)scow. "Nobody's ever won two gold
etball," he says.
Hubbard is concentrating on getting
season, and he says: "The team
V good."
.4 y
s '

E 4x

Dec. 2
Dec. 6
Dec. 9
Dec. 13
Dec. 28-29
Dec. 31
Jan. 4
Jan. 13
Jan. 18
Jan. 25

1978-79 SCHEDULE
WINDSOR (exhibition)
Central Michigan
at Louisville
At Dayton
at Sun Carnival
(vs. Clemson, Texas-El Paso,
Texas Tech)
at Purdue
at Wisconsin
at Northwestern
at Illinois
at Indiana

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