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September 14, 1979 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-14

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Page 12-Friday, September 14, 1979-The Michigan Daily

FERGUSON PRIME THREAT

-

BStrong ND.
By DAVE JOHNSON later, Notre Dame returns to Ann Ar-
It's been 36 years in the waiting, but .bor, this time in an effort to avenge last
the Irish are back. Thirty-six years. year's regionally-televised 28-14 defeat
Three and one-half decades. in South Bend.
Yep, it was way back in 1943 that Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish. Like
Notre Dame last invaded Michigan the New York Yankees or Muhammad
Stadium. And as my great-grandfather Ali - you either love 'em, or you hate
recalls, the Fighting Irish took that one 'em.
35-12 en route to their first national Notre Dame. Where legends are
ehampionship. made. Knute Rockne. The Gipp.
Thirty-six years. Last season the Irish finished 9-3,
Now, some six NCAA championships winning their second consecutive Cot-

o e nsc
ton Bowl 35-34 over Houston. The final
polls ranked them sixth, one notch
behind Rose Bowl loser Michigan.
This year the "experts" again in-
clude Notre Dame in the top ten; ninth,
in fact, despite the graduation of quar-
terback Joe Montana (Notre Dame's
answer to Rick Leach), All-Americans
Bob Golic (linebacker) and Dave Huf-
fman (center), as well as fullback
Jerome Heavens. Heavens finished his
career as Notre Dame's all-time
leading ground-gainer with 2,682 yards.
Nonetheless, head coach Dan Devine,
seemingly undaunted by the loss* of
these athletes, is surprising more con-
cerned about the fact that the,
Wolverines already have a game under
their belt while tomorrow's contest is
Notre Dame's season opener.
"I've said all along that it's a distinct
disadvantage to go in and play a game
against a team that has already won a
game," said Devine. "I've said it when
the opposite situation has existed as
well."
The Wolverines, of course, are

keys revenge

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coming off last weekend's 49-7 romp
over lowly Northwestern. The game af-
forded Coach Bo Schembechler an op-
portunity to settle on a quarterback
replacement for Leach.
Notre Dame, however, will not have
that luxury. Rusty Lisch, slated to
replace Montana, will be facing what
Devine calls "one of the toughest defen-
ses in the country" in his debut as star-
ter this year.
While the 6-4, 210-lb. Lisch, a fifth-
year player, enters the game with less
game experience than Michigan's B. J.
Dickey, he has seen some action for the
Irish in the past. Though he didn't play
a down ii 1978, he has four starting
assignments under his belt, three of
them coming in Notre Dame's 1977
NCAA championship'season.
Replacing Heavens at fullback will be
freshman John Sweeney, forced into
the starting assignment when
sophomore Pete Buchanan. broke his
ankle last week in a scrimmage.
Buchanan, incidentally, was filling in
for senior Dave Mitchell (Heavens' un-

derstudy) who is out of action in-
definitely with a knee injury.
Fortunately for the Irish, Heisman
Trophy candidate Vagas Ferguson
returns to his familiar halfback position
both physically sound and raring to go.
The 6-1, 194-lb. senior gained a single
season Irish rushing record of 1,192
yards last year, leaving him only 648
yards shy of Heavens' career rushing
mark.
Ferguson, a powerful runner, holds
Notre Dame's top two single game
rushing efforts of 255 and 219 yards,
both attained last season.
Aside from Ferguson's fleet-
footedness, much of Notre Dame's of-
fensive strength is up front where
returning tackles Tim Foley and Rob
Martinovich as well as right guard Tim
Huffman - all in the 6-5, 265-lb.
category, anchor the line.
Explained Devine: "We like the fact
that we have reasonable experience
returning on our offensive line when
you consider we'll probably start four
seniors and a two-year letter-winning

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junior. We've got the kind of size and
proven talent a coach likes to see up
front."
Very much aware of Michigan's
quality defense, Devine added,
"There's not much doubt in my mind
that Michigan's defense will be one of
our biggest tests of the season. Our
execution offensively will have to be
near perfect, because they'll capitalize
on anything we do wrong. We found that
out last fall."
A pair of experienced placekickers,
seniors Chuck Male and Joe Unis leaye .
Notre Dame's kicking duties in good
hands. Male connected on nine of 12
field-goal attempts after midseason,
while Unis knocked through the win-
ning pressure-packed extra point after
time had expired in the 1979 Cotton
Bowl.
"Having two kickers the caliber of
Joe and Chuck adds an extra dimension
to our football team," said Devine. "Of-
fensively they make us a scoring threat
from almost anywhere inside the op-
ponents' 40 while the depth of their
kickoffs gives our defense an advan-
tage in terms of field position."
Defensively, Notre Dame is unexpec-
tedly weak. Due to all the holes left by
the graduation of . six regulars, they
may as well be Swiss, let alone Irish. .
Much of Notre Dame's defensive
distress results directly from an abun-
dance of pre-season injuries. Veteran
tackle Jay Case has been sidelined by a
lower back problem, while fellow
linemen Mark Czaja and Scott Zettek
aren't available for duty either. That.
leaves a trio of sophomores - tackles
Pat Kramer and Kevin Griffith and end;
Joe Gramke - along with junior end
John Hankerd, the only returning;
regular lineman who figures to start.
Sophomore Bob Crable will be:
flanked by seniors Bobby Leopold and:
Mike Whittington at linebacker. The
secondary will include senior tri-
captain Dave Waymer at cornerback,
along with sophomore John Krimm.
Junior Tom Gibbons is at free safety af-
ter serving at cornerback in 1978, while
sophomore Steve Cichy gets the nod at
strong safety.
In all, eight freshmen or sophomores
figure to open for the Irish defensive
unit.
Much is being made of Notre Dame's
schedule this season which includes
games with nationally ranked
Michigan, Purdue and Michigan State
this month, plus games against top-
ranked USC, Tennessee and Clemson i
the second half of the season.
"I know there are a lot of people
talking about us being 0-2, 0-3, or what
have you," said Devine. "But we wan
to play the best teams in the nation, lik
Michiganjecause that's the traditio
at Notre Dame."
In twelve previous meetings betweex(
these two perennial powers, th4
Wolverines hold a 10-2 edge. If all goe4
true to form, Saturday's contest in An
Arbor should be another Meesh-egun
victory.., because that's the traditio
at Michigan.
Expos top
Cubs in
9th, 4-3
By The Associated Press
MONTREAL - Pinch-hitter Rusty
Staub drilled in a pair of ninth-inning
runs with a bad hop single that lifted
Montreal to a 4-3 victory over the
Chicago Cubs Thursday night,
strengthening the Expos' first-place

lead in the National League East.
The Expos have now won six in a row.
AFTER TONY Perez flied out
leading off the ninth against Rick
Reuschel, 17-10, Gary Carter cracked;a
single to left field. Ellis Valentine also
singled to left, sending Carter to thiFd
while Valentine took second on the
throw.
The Cubs summoned reliever Bruce
Sutter, and he issued an intentional
walk to Larry Parrish, filling the bases.
Rodney Scott grounded to shortstop,
forcing Carter at the plate, but Staub,
hitting for pitcher Bill Atkinson, 2,
rapped a bouncer to first baseman
Larry Biittner. Staub's grounder hit a
seam in the infield, allowing the wik-
ning run to score.
'Prez' honors 'Yaz'
BOSTON - Carl Yastrzemski, tle
Boston Red Sox slugger who. became
the first American League player to get
3,000 hits. and 400 home runs in his
career, will meet President Carter at
the White House today.
YASTRZEMSKI and Red S6x
Manager Don Zimmer will be accom-
panied by Rep. Thomas P. O'Neill Jr.,
(D-Mass.), speaker of the House of
Representatives and longtime friend of
the player. Yastrzemski accepted Car-
ter's invitation yesterday.
Yastrzemski, who collected his
3,000th hit Wednesday against the New
York Yakes did not start in' last

1".1.

'-V..
A
S.

'-V.

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