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September 08, 1979 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-08
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Page 4-Saturday, September 8, 1979-The Achigan Daily

SCHEMBECHLER TRADITION:
Quick, swarming defens

(Continued from Page 2)
And if that isn't convincing enough,
Michigan holds down the top spot
nationally in rushing defense, scoring
defense and total defense for the period
of 1973-1978.
Can this year's unit better that pace?
Bo, for one, thinks so.
"WE'LL BE better this year for a
couple of reasons," explained the for-
mer Miami (Ohio) head coach. "First
of all, the successful moves of Owens
and Needham. Secondly, I've got to feel
the defense is ready to be more
dominant. And thirdly, we have veteran

guys back, like Simpkins and career,'
guys that want to have a good year."
As Schembechler pointed out, the
Wolverines have numerous players
with experience bolstering the Blue
defense this year. The two standouts
Schembechler mentioned, inside
linebacker Ron Simpkins and defensive
tackle Curtis Greer, comprise a key
part of the eight returning starters on
defense.
Both were named to the All-Big Ten
first team last season, Simpkins for the
second time in his career. But reaping
awards is nothing new for Simpkins, a
6-1%, 220-pound senior out of Detroit

Western High School. Last year, he was
voted Defensive Player of the Week
three times-by UPI after the Illinois
game and by AP following the Iowa and
Purdue contests.
"SIMP" MOVED into a starting role
his sophomore year and proceeded to set
-a school record for most tackles in a
season with 174. That same year he was
voted ABC and AP Player of the Game
against Texas A&M and AP and UPI-
Player of the Game in the Ohio State
win.
Last season, the three-year letterman
continued his torrid pace, racking up
168 tackles to run his career total to 362.

e ontap
Simpkins also was named Defensive
Player of the Week three times for the
Wolverines in 1978.
Greer, at 6-5, 236, is the most for-
midable of the Blue down linemen and
returns this season'as a fourth year
man, eligible due to the freshman rule
now in effect. One of the quickest tackles
in college football, the Detroit Cass
Tech graduate led the Wolverines with
11 tackles for 62 yards in losses last
year. Greer, who bench presses 425
pounds, also earned a spot on the All-
American strength squad.
JOINING GREER and Simpkins on
last year's all-conference team were a
pair of Detroit-area seniors in the
secondary, free safety Mike Harden
(Detroit Central H.S.), and wideside
halfback Mike Jolly from Southgate

Van Boven Sweaters
FROM ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND

Temporary
In-Sahn-ityBy Shn
A century later...
.Michigan still striving
E IGHT-HUNDRED and thirty-six games ago, the seeds of a great
tradition were planted in White Stocking Park, Chicago. The crowd
of about 500 which gathered on May 30, 1879 saw a group of students
representing the University of Michigan defeat Racine College.
A century later, Michigan opens the 1979 football season against another
Chicago team, Northwestern.
The game of football both nation-wide and on this campus has undergone
rapid change over the years. Looking at the crowds that fill Michigan
Stadium today, it's hard to believe that in the late 1800's, University ad-
ministrators and faculty objected to the idea of sending a group of
athletically inclined students long distances to play such a "ridiculous"
game. Such objection to the sport was so strong that in 1882, no outside
games were scheduled. Yet the students' desire for the game persisted so
that the following year, Michigan returned to the girdiron with a five-game
schedule including successive-day games with Harvard and Yale.
But the fruits of that very first victory in Chicago have blossomed into an
incredible institution, Michigana football. Over the past 100 years, the
Wolverines have notched 29 Big Ten titles, eight National titles, and have
managed a total of 605 wins against 200 losses.
Impressive as those statistics sound, the names associated with them all
form a special class in Michigan's long celebrated history: Fielding H. Yost,
Bennie Oosterbaan, Tom Harmon, Fritz Crisler, and the current head coach
Bo Schembechler.
In fact, today's game marks another sort of commemoration. It's the
start of Schembechler's second decade as the Wolverine mentor.
In spite of Bo's label as a "choke artist" when it comes to post-season
play, the man has some noted accomplishments. Through ten years, he has
compiled a record of 136 wins, 32 losses, and 6 ties. In all ten seasons, his
teams have finished in the top ten of both the AP and UPI football polls. Yet
Michigan fans are waiting for the day that they can claim the spoils of
"Number One." The last National title came in 1948 under Coach Ooster-
baan. But it was Yost who made his place in Maize and Blue history secure
by leading his teams to four straight National titles from 1901 to 1904.
Once again, Michigan enters another season highly ranked with the
chance of grabbing the top honors. But this year's quest brings on new
challenges for a coach who's been up until recently, very secure.
The days of the Rick Leach Dynasty are over. Not only does Michigan
begin its second century today, but even more important, this date brings to
bare the start of a new era in Michigan football.
For the past seven years, Schembechler has had the luxury of a steady
man calling the signals to operate this highly technical option-offense. Leach
the past four years and Dennis Franklin before that for three years led
Michigan as they consumed six Big Ten titles.
See TEMPORARY, Page 19
1 .!

Year
*109
1970
**1971
*1972
*1973
*1974
1975
*1976
*1977
*1978

The Michigan Daily-Saturday, Sep
Schembechler's record al

w 'i
8

11
10
10
10
8
10
10
10

Total ....................................... 96
Career Total ................................ 136
*Cochampionship
**Outright Championship

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Curtis Greer

Aqyinas. These four players, according
to Schembechler, make up the core of
the 1979 Michigan defense.
"We have four outstanding guys on
defense-Greer, Simpkins, Harden and
Jolly," observed the head coach.
Harden, 61/2, 183, runs the 40-yard
dash in 4.5 seconds and led the defen-
sive backs in interceptions with four for
55 yards in 1978. Jolly, who plays at a
lean 6-3%, 181 pounds, played baseball
as well as football for Michigan and
ranked just behind Harden with three
steals and 41 tackles last season. Both
speedsters will return punts for the
Wolvrines.
ROUNDING OUT the highly touted
group of Michigan defenders are a duo
of juniors, middle guard Mike Trgovac
and inside linebacker Andy Cannavino,
and two more fifth year men, tackle
Dale Keitz and shortside halfback Mark
Braman.
While the Maize and Blue defense is
solid upfront, it remains to be seen how
well the second and third stringers fare
in their bid to form a dependable relief
squad.
As Schembechler noted, "The defen-
se is pretty well established. What we
need to do is get 11 tough back-up guys.
"The depth at tackle is all right,"
continued Bo. "We have to get depth in
the secondary and at linebacker. I
wouldn't be surprised if two or three
freshmen step in at second string
there.'"

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