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October 02, 1979 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-02

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, October 2, 1979-Page 9
THE EPITOME OF RIVALR Y

ii

SLAMMIN'
IT

Wolverines await State

By DAN PERRIN

HOME

Blue kicking .. .
. . .lights Bo's fuse
IT WAS NOT, I repeat NOT my intention to embarrass or infuriate Bo
Schembechler yesterday at the weekly football luncheon. I simply
asked him a question about recruiting kickers and he proceded to explode in
a fit of rage. After a string of harsh words, Schembechler poked me in the
chest and shoved me out of the way.
Now, every major newspaper, wire service, radio and television station
in the state has broken the news and I'm quickly becoming famous, or in-
famous, as the case may be. Something like this was the last thing I expected
to happen to me on my 21st birthday, or on any day for that matter.
But the incident is history and I feel it's only right that I explain the
situation from my perspective.
There I was, tape recorder in hand, questioning Schembechler with four
other journalists in a post-luncheon interview. The quartet of radio reporters
departed and I remained to interrogate Schembechler further on the kicking
game.
I had planned to write a column on the Michigan kickers this week, so I
asked the head coach if he would answer a few more questions. Michigan
assistant sports information director Bruce Madej intervened shortly
thereafter and told me Schembechler was in a hurry.
I responded that I had just one more question and proceeded with the in-
terview. As it ended up, I asked one question too many. ┬░
The big question
"Would you emphasize kicking more when recruiting from now on, after
what's happened so far this season?," I asked.
Schembechler began to answer before changing his train of thought.
"We emphasize. . . you guys are way out of base asking me that damn
question, anyway," Schembechler screamed at me. "What the hell did you
ask me for when you know damn well it's not true? Hey look..."
At this point, Schembechler grabbed the microphone out of my hand and
threw it on the table next to us. He then poked me in the chest and bellowed,
"If you want to make an ass out of me ... (he then grabbed my throat and
shoved me backwards) don't try to make me look bad, you understand, son.
Or I'll throw you the hell out of Michigan football."
As Schembechler stormed away, I mumbled that it was not my intention
to make him look bad. I was shaken and confused, wondering what I had
done wrong.
But it is not me who is in the wrong. I did not instigate the action. I was
just doing my job as a football writer for The Michigan Daily.
My job is to ask questions and get the facts, to gather the information
and compose a story in the best way I know how. Apparently my approach is
not good enough for Schembechler. Then again, maybe it's too good. Maybe I
tried to dig too deep.
Kickers frustrate Bo
My personal theory is that Schembechler lashed out, not because he was
upset with me, but because he was extremely frustrated with the kicking
game.
All you have to do is glance at the Wolverine kickers performance after
the first four games of the season to see why Schembechler has reason to be
perturbed.
Senior Bryan Virgil has hit just one of four field goal tries and freshman
Ali Haji-Sheikh has been shut out in six attempts this year. That adds up to a
dismal 1 for 10, including an 0 for performance in Michigan's 14-10 victory
at California last Saturday.
The lone success gave the Blue gridders a 3-0 lead early in the Notre
Dame game, which the Wolverines eventually lost 12-10. Haji-Sheikh failed
one and Virgil had a last second desperation boot blocked against the Irish.
The not-so-dynamic duo has missed seven more consecutive tries since then.
"The "kicking game is bad," conceded Schembechler. "They (the
kickers) know that ... you know, when you miss that many field goals.
"(But) there are some things that can be corrected that are the fault of
all of us, not necessarily just the kickers," continued Schembechler. "B ut,
we'll hang in there and keep working. I don't think we will break their
spirit."
And how does Schembechler plan to improve the inept kicking game?
"I think practice is the answer to it and a positive mental approach,"
% said Schembechler. "And I think we'll do that. I think I told you that last
week."
Yes, Bowdid tell us that last week and the week before that. This week he
also insisted, "They're not missing 'em by much, if that's any consolation.
It's not a game of horseshoes, thpugh is it?"
At least Schembechler realizes 'almost only counts in hand granades
and horseshoes,' but he still won't admit he has a serious problem to contend
*with.
"They're not choke kickers ," said Schembechler."Those balls have been
kicked well. They've just been out of direction. We've had a lack of ac-
curacy. There's nothing choking about it."
If Virgil and Haji-Sheikh aren't choking, what are they doing, missing
for the hell of it?; Bo noted the pair splits the uprights consistently in prac-
tice, yet they're nowhere near the goal posts when they're in a game
situation. I call that choking.
Recruiting changes needed
Although it's true both of his kickers are inexperienced, I believe

Schembechler should spend more time recruiting top-notch kickers and less
time defending the slumping kickers currently on the squad.
I feel that is the key. Bo has never offered a scholarship to a kicker right
out of high school. He has always demanded the prospect-make the team and
prove his worth first. This is where he goes wrong. This is where Schem-
bechler is, in his own words, "way out of base."
Whether Bo wants to admit it or not, the kicker can win or lose a game
for you more often than any other player on the team. Without a steady
kicker to depend on, there would be no one to win the game with three secon-
ds left, clinching the confernce championship.
But Bo Schembechler is a guy who practically refuses to admit he's
wrong. He's a major college coach who's under a lot of pressure to produce a
winner year after year. He doesn't like to give away a lot of information and
he's forever protecting his players from a prowling press.
A personality of this type is bound to clash with a prying sportswriter at
one time or another. I just happened to be a victim of circumstance.
I wasn't out to make Schembechler look bad. I just wanted to do my job
the best way I knew how.

By BILLY SAHN
A Daily Sports Analysis
This is it. There are no more non-
conference games which the Michigan
football team can afford to lose. The
race for the Big Ten crown and a trip to
the coveted Rose Bowl is on.
The bragging rights for the state of
Michigan are at stake this Saturday
when the Wolverines travel to the un-
friendly confines of Spartan Stadium.
However, this decisive Big Ten battle
also pits two top teams against each
other. The team that loses may well be
out of any contention for the champion-
ship.
Last year, the Spartans humiliated
the Wolverines in front of a Michigan
Stadium crowd. That loss put tremen-
dous pressure on the Wolverines, as
they had to win five games straight, in-
cluding victories over Purdue and Ohio
State for the championship.

instrumental to the Wolverine victory.
They also maintained their season goal
of not allowing the opposition more than
one touchdown per game.
SENIOR MIKE Harden, Defensive
Champion of the Week, typified clutch
play. He recovered two fumbles, one of
which resulted in Michigan's first TD.
It came on the opening kickoff of the
second half, when the Cal kickoff retur-
ner fumbled deep in his own territory.
Harden picked the ball up on Cal's nine-
yard line thereby setting up the first
touchdown.
Later in the game, when Cal was
marching on the Wolverines, Harden
recovered the ball stripped out of run-
ning back Paul Jones' hand on
Michigan's 28-yard line.
"Our defense is a tight knit group,
remarked Bo Schembechler at his
weekly Monday afternoon press lun-
cheon. "They don't want to crack. (Cur-

AGAINST CAL, five key o
players encountered a flu prio
game and suffered through ti
with the virus. Guards John A
and Kurt Becker, center Georg
tight end Norm Betts and Dick
all afflicted. In Dickey's case,1
down with a very high tempera
other ailments Friday night, gi
starting role to Wangler.
"We were trailing, we were
were hurting," said Scheml
"We came out the second half
that game," he concluded.
A lot of the credit for mo
Wolverines downfield is
Wangler. Alongside Wangler, t
Doug Marsh and running ba
Woolfolk were key to the yard

showdowin
ffensive sumed by the offense.
)r to the MARSH HAULED in only three┬░
he game passes, but for a total of 121 yards. And
Arbeznik Woolfolk led the Michigan rushers with
ge Lilja, 76 yards and an average of 5.1 yards per
ey were carry.
he came The rushing-passing game, in par-
ture and ticular passing, looked much improved s
iving the against California. But it's Schem- ,
bechler's words about not playing well
sick, we enough to beat MSU which is bother--
bechler. some. The Wolverines have only a few P
and won days left to prepare for State.
State's defense is good. Perhaps too
ving the good if the Wolverines must worry
due to about "still developing" at this point in,
tight end the season. It will be an achievement, .'
k Butch one to be treasured, if Michigan can
age con- pull it out.
E YOU PICK UP
UR DEGREE
)UR INTERVIEW.

Blue on national V
EAST LANSING (UPI)-Michigan State's contest Saturday with Michigan is
set for national television, but kickoff will be delayed by a sports fan-Pope John
Paul II.
The telecast is the first for Michigan State since it was put on three years
probation by the NCAA for recruiting violations in 1975.
MSU Athletic Director Joseph Kearney said the school has agreed to push
back its kickoff to as late as 2:10 p.m. EDT from the usual 1:30 p.m. to allow the
ABC's coverage of the pontiff's arrival in Washington.
If the pope-who is an avid sports enthusiast-is set to arrive after 2:10 p.m.,
the network will go ahead with the game, Kearney said.
The athletic director said ABC would then tape-delay John Paul II's arrival to
show during half-time.

BEFOR
YO1
PICK (
Contact
for

your placement office
interview dates.

- ------- -----

HUGHES

4
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L_ - --- - --------
Creating a new world with electronics

THAT DEFEAT went right to the
hearts of the Wolverines. This year,
there's no doubt that Michigan wants
revenge. And how sweet it would be to
decimate the Spartans on their home
grounds.
This rather difficult task may prove
too much for the Wolverines.
Michigan's defense has been more than
100 per cent in stopping the opposition
thus far this season. They are playing
like a pack of hungry wolves.
Against California, the defense shut
out the much-heralded passing Bear of-
fense cold drive after drive. Each
defender, outstanding in his own right,
has put out a helluva lot. The
cohesiveness of the defensive unit is
something to marvel at.
Last Saturday, they came up with the
big plays late in the game which were
California

tis) Greer told me, 'Our defense has to
be great every time we play', and they
have been," he continued.
GREER AND Ben Needham toyed
with the Cal backfield as they made ten
and eight tackles respectively to lead
the defensive team.
This awesome unit will easily carry
the momentum into the State game,
and probably a whole lot more. In the
meantime, question-marks surround
the offensive unit.
The offense under the leadership of
two quarterbacks, B. J. Dickey and
John Wangler, are having their up and
down moments on the playing field.
"We haven't played well enough yet
to beat MSU," said a candid Schem-
bechler. "We've been a mistake team
offensively and we have to eliminate
that," he continued.
kids KO'd
CALIFORNIA

AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER M/F

TUESDAY AIIGHr
i S,
SHOT NIGHT
o, Rick's

First downs.........
Rushing (att/yds) ........
Passing (att/com/int).
Passing yds................
Punts (no/yds)>............
Fumbles (no/lost).......
Penalties (no/yds) ........

MI(CIiI
16
19,
21/9!
210
7/2
2/
7/7

GAN CALIF. Jones. ..................16 48
15 Tuggle........................I 9
44 74 Anderson...........4 16
/0 34/20/0 Campbell................. 9. 1
0 238 PASSING
:39 8/318 MICHIGAN
0 5/3 att comp it
9 4/42 Wangler .................. 21 9 0
CALIFORNIA
Campbell................. 26 14 0
0 14 0-14 Anderson..................8 6 0
3 0 0-M10 RECEIVING
MICHIGAN

SCARING
MICHIGAN............... 0
CALIFORNIA ............7

SCORING PLAYS
CALIF Tuggle 17 pass from Campbell (Luckhurst
kick)
CALIF Field goal. Luckhurst,.47
MICH Edwards 3run (Virgil kick)
MICH Reid 3 run (Virgil kick)
RUSHING
MICHIGAN

Marsh ...........................
Edwards...................
Reid.........................
Mitchell........ ....-........
Betts......................
CALIFORNIA
Tuggle .........................
Bouza ...........................
Jones........................
Buggs .......................
Sprague .........................
Portee ..........................
Rose ........................

no yds
3 121
3 37
1 20
I 18
1 14

2.7
9.0
0.:3
yds
210
164
74
lp
58
22
20
18
14
17
21
20
25
13
IS
11

Woolfolk.....................
Edwards.....................
Reid.......................
Wangler...... ..............
Ingram .........................

A

att
15
23

yds
77
67

avg
5.1
2.9
3.2
0.2
1.0

6
3
2
2
2

61
57
:12
:39
20
18
11

5 16
IS 33:
1 1

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Daily reporter shoved by
Bo after ress conference
p (Continued from Page 1)
threw Perrin's microphbne down, viewed by the broadcast media
poked him in the chest, and then put his following his weekly luncheon with the
hand on Perrin's throat and pushed him working press.
backwards. Perrin was somewhat shaken after
"Don't try to make me look bad, you the incident.
understand, son, or I'll throw you the "I was confused," he said. "At first, I
hell out of Michigan football," Schem- didn't understand why he lost his tem-
bechler could{still be heard saying on per. In retrospect, I think Bo was just
the tape. frustrated with his kicking game, not
Later, when asked what it was Perrin necessarily angry with me as an in-
had said to anger him, Schembechler dividual. "I'd already asked a few
laughed and said, "I don't even questions and the question which upset
remember, you know these kids." him was my last one of the day," Perrin
THE SHOVING took place at around said.
1:30 in a hallway outside the press lun- Michigan's place kickers have con-
cheon room at Weber's Inn on Jackson verted on one of ten field goal attempts
Rd., where Schembechler is inter- this season.
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