Page 10-Thursday, November 16, 1978-The Michigan Daily
MSU GAME A HAUNTING MEMORY
By RICK MADDOCK
Everything is on the line for the
Michigan defense this week. Purdue is
coming to town with a potent offense, as
a matter of fact, it's the best offense to
face the Wolverines since that gloomy
game against Michigan State.
"Defensively, we've played well, but
we haven't played the offense that we'll
play the next two weeks," said
Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler. "I
think the team that plays the best
defense for the next two weeks will
After Purdue comes Ohio State, of
bourse, but right now the Wolverine
minds and bodies are preparing for
"We haven't even thought about, Ohio
State. This game is too important to
reflect on what might be down the
road," said defensive coordinator Bill
McCartney. "We've put all our efforts
into preparing for Purdue."
There are multiple reasons for this
type of attitude, most of which are self-
explanatory with a glance at the stan-
dings. But there is also one other
motivating factor for the defense, and,
it's not a very pleasant one.
"We're anxious to atone for the
Michigan State game," said McCar-
tney. "There's no victory that's going to
rub it out. We'll always live with that
game. Even playing Michigan State
next yea~r won't ma~ke up for it.
"We know that we're on the spot. We
BO W L know the teams that play the best
defense will be the teams that win it.
t the U N ION We paid a price to get to this game,"
McCartney added. "The memory of the
Where else do they have Michigan State game is still fresh in our
7 fantastic lanes of bowl- minds. It's a bitter taste. We've just got
to make it work for us and not against
NAME ON LY 2! The test starts out at home, which
makes things slightly easier, but the
opponent has a sophomore quarterback
named Mark Herrmann who has
passed for 1584 yards, along with a run-
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ning tandem that has rushed for 1434
yards. That tandem is tailback Russell
Pope (653 yards) and fullback John
Macon (781 yards).
After the Michigan State game,
Schembechler said that his defense
worried about the pass too much, and
that their first concern should be to stop
the run. In Saturday's contest,
Michigan has to make sure that does
not happen again.
"There were time when that was
true. We have to be a better football
team in run-pass situations," McCar-
tney said. "Michigan State mixed their
plays effectively. When you get down,
you try to make the big play. Our lin-
backers were dropping back for the
pass, then they (Michigan State) would
run a draw.
"Each guy has got to do his job and
have the confidence in his teammates.
Go for the big play within your realm of
responsibility. What happens when you
get down is that the guys take it upon
themselves to create a big play. Then
when they do that, they create another
void. We call that a lack of poise under
pressure," McCartney said.
Now, this is not to say that the defen-
se is to play conservatively on Satur-
day. "Our feeling this week is in order
to beat a team like Michigan State or
Purdue, is you have to cause mistakes.
You have to come up with the ball a few
times when it's in the air like that,"
McCartney said. "If a team is going to
throw the ball a lot, you have to force
them. Eddie Smith threw the ball 36
times. We didn't intercept, and we
didn't sack him once. When they do
throw the ball, we've got to pop it free."
That means there's extra pressure on
the secondary. Three out of four of
them are first year starters: halfback
Mark Braman, wolfback Gene Bell and
free safety Michael Harden. Only half-
back Mike Jolly has amply starting ex-
"I think that they really play well,"
McCartney said of his secondary.
"There's no question that they've got to
make some big plays. We're looking for
those guys to do that this week. You've
got to play your responsibility first, but
you've got to play it aggressively and
Off the practice field, the secondary
will be concentrating on their assign-
ments. Knowing what to do in a given
situation is crucial, especially against a
quarterback like Herrmann. On the
practice field, the defense has to work
on camouflaging their various defen-
"I think Herrmann is going to take an
all-out effort," Harden said. "We want
to try tg make the coverage look the
same. We have to keep the ball in front
of the defense. If they go for the short
passes then we have to get a good break
on the ball and keep it to a minimum
gain. If we get a good break on the ball,
then we might pick off a few."
The secondary depends largely upon
the defensive line. A strong rush makes
playing the secondary a whole lot
"The most effective defense against a
pass is a strong pass rush," McCartney
Harden added, "It's very important.
If the secondary intercepts a pass, it's
usually because of the linemen con-
taining the quarterback and making
standing at 6-5. This physical asset has
helped him to become the Big Ten's
second leading passer to the Spartans'
"Not having played Purdue, it's hlir
to compare (to Michigan State). They
are very similar in that they have quar-.
terbacks that have excellent touches,"
McCartney said. "When you need
passes thrown on a line right in there,
they can do it. When you need one lof-
ted, they can do it, too. They have good
receivers. They run their cuts well.''
The defense knows what it has todo
The job is not easy, but it. has to be,.AC-
complished if Michigan is going to get-a
step closer to its third straight Rose
Bowl. There may be times on Saturday
when the defense huddles around 1MC-
Cartney before going out on a crucial
"What we do is remind them of what
the situation is. We try to get them
together and collect our thoughts: It
could be when the (the other team) get
a turnover and we say, 'Hey, this is
when they may go for the big play.' Or
they're on a certain hash mark and they
always run a sweep on first down from
that hash mark. Or the wind is blowing
hard, and we remind them to remem-
ber that as a factor. There is always
something you can tell them," McCar-
One thing they won't have to tell them
is what this game means. They all know
"This is my junior year," Harden
said. "My goal is to goto the Rose Bowl
four years in a row."
him pull up early or because they put
their hands up in his face."
The defense will have to do some
stretching to block Herrmann's view.'
He's tall as far as quarterbacks go,,
LAKERS WIN ELEVENTH STRAIGHT
LA nips Detroit
By PETE BORMUTH
Special to the Daily
PONTIAC-Using their superior
talent, the Los Angeles Lakers beat a
valiant but crippled Detroit Pistons
team last night 133-126. Ben Poquette,
playing center for the Pistons in place
of the injured Bob Lanier, scored a
career high 28 points.
THE PISTONS exploded for an early-
lead and held it throughout the first
quarter only to watch Los Angles come
back at the foul line in the second quar-
ter to take command of the game.
Norm Nixon of the Lakers, frustrated
the full court press of the Pistons all
night and Adrian Dantley dominated on
the inside scoring 33 point for the
Coach Dick Vitale said he was ex-
tremely pleased with the club's per-
formance despite the losing effort. "We
need Bob Lanier to compete in this
league," admonished Vitale.
BEN POQUETTE, Terry Tyler and
Otis Howard did an admirable job con-
taining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar negating
the Lakers as a dominating force on the
floor. Yet Jabbar still scored 26 points.
10,108 fans attended last night's game
at the Pontiac Silverdome. The fans got
their moneys worth.
Erving scored 10 of his game-high 33
points in a five-minute overtime period
as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the
Denver Nuggets 109-103 in a National
Basketball Association game last night.
THE 76ERS SCORED their 10th vic-
tory in the last 11 'games despite a 29-
point performance by Denver's George
McGinnis, who returned to
Philadelphia for the first time since
being traded to the Nuggets last suim-
mer for Bobby Jones. McGinnis fouled
out with 4:17 remaining in the overtime
The 76ers led 78-74 at the end of three
periods and built their lead to 86-78
with 7:29 left in the game. But the
Nuggets rallied ,with McGinnis con-
tributing nine points to tie the score at
Neither team scored in the final 1:20,
sending the game into overtime.
One man 's opinion
By PETE BORMUTH
The rectangular enclosure is pervaded by the stark white illumination
of a florescent light. The air is filled with intricate swirls of smoke and a
pungent odor arrests the room. A man sits silently in one corner, slouching
on the side of his bed.
The scene is located in one of the numerous dormitories that dot the
campus of Michigan State University. The man is Earvin Johnson; a
basketball hero in-East Lansing. His talents are perhaps most accurately.;
described by the nickname he has aquired in his nineteen years upon this
planet; he is magic.
At 6 '8", 210 lbs., Johnson is an imposing physical specimen. Combine
this form with amazing dexterity, an uncanny court sense, speed,
quickness, and deception, and you have the nation's premier ballplayer.
Johnson has received the praise of such eminent basketball minds as
Red Auerbach, general manager of the one time perennial NBA champion.
Boston Celtics. He called Earvin "the best passer I've seen in the last
Most of his critics were silenced last year when Magic led thepreviously
unheralded Spartans to the Big Ten title and into the NCAA tournament.
Those who remain cite his tournament performance, particularly the final
few minutes of the game against eventual NCAA champion Kentucky.
The word is pressure. Late in the Kentucky game, Johnson uncharac-
teristically lost his composure and tossed up several errant shots. It was a
freshman choke, plain and simple, but dwell upon this thought for a moment.
Michigan State was the closest of any team in the tournament of beating
Kentucky, even though their best player had a poor game.
Earvin spent the past summer in foreign lands displaying his talents'
before international audiences. When he returned, Spartan coach Jud
Heathcote gloated, "His shooting has improved and defensively he is now
capable of guarding anyone in the country man on man."
Unfortunately for Heathcote, Johnson will probably turn pro after this
season. With his talent and height, he is destined to become one of the best
guards ever to play the game.
Hopefully, no one is more aware of this than Detroit Piston head coach
Dick Vitale. Vitale watched with agony last year as Michigan State came in-
to U of D's gym and completely demolished his Titans (coached by David
Vitale, an excellent judge of talent, is also a promoter and I'm sure he
realizes the potential draw Earvin could generate at the gate in this area, the
Pistons, blessed with three number one draft choices next year will do-
everything in their power to acquire the "magic man."
As a closure to this column I would like to make a prediction. Scene: the
NCAA tournament finals in Salt Lake City. The opponents: Michigan State
vs. Duke. The result ... well I'll bet you that a 6'8" guard won't choke two.
years in a row.
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