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November 18, 1979 - Image 10

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-18

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Page 10-Sunday, November 18, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Poor kicking
proves fatal

(Continued fromr age i,
for the visitors.
Meanwhile, Ohio State was piling up
432 total yards on the strength of quar-
terback Art Schlichter's 12 completions
in 22 attempts for 196 yards, several of
them occurring on crucial third down
situations.
Early on, the Wolverines teased the
record-breaking crowd as they drove
to the Buckeye 1'-yard line but failed to
score. The drive followed an intercep-
tion by Mike Harden which the Blue
free safety returned to the Ohio State
31.
Surprise starter Rich Hewlett, a
freshman quarterback whose only
See more sports, pages 8, 9
other appearance came late in the 54-0
humiliation of Wisconsin two weeks
ago, led the drive downfield before;
being sacked by Al Washington for a
two-yard loss on fourth and goal at the
one.
The failure of the team to score from
the one brought back memories of the,
last week's bitter 24-21 loss to Purdue.
In that game, Schembechler called an
option play as he did in similar circum-
stances yesterday. Against the Boiler-
makers, Wangler was dropped eight
yards behind the line and Michigan was
stuck with a disappointing defeat.
Amazingly, Michigan still managed
to leave the field at intermission with a
narrow 7-6 lead.
Ohio State notched the first points- of
the day on the strength of a 23-yard'
Vlade Janakievski field goal. The1
Czechoslovakian-born sidewinder
missed a 46-yard attempt earlier in the
quarter, but he kept the Buckeyes in the

game with 25-yard boot, his second field
goal of the day, with just eight seconds
left in the half..
Meanwhile, freshman sensation An-
thony Carter kept the partisan fans en-
tertained as he raced down the far
sidelines, hauled in a 59-yard Wangler
bomb and zoomed in for a score.
The lead continued to change hands
in the second half as Ohio State jumped
out in front when Schlichter found his
favorite receiver, Doug Donley in the
corner of the end zone.' Wolverine
wideside halfback Mike Jolly got a
hand on the ball, but it fell right into
Donley's waiting arms. Janakievski
missed the extra point but the Buckeyes
had a short-lived 12-7 lead. Taking over
at their own 20, Wangler again found
Carter alone downfield at the Ohio State
40. The freshman sprinter snared the
ball and scrambled down to the 19.
Seven plays later, fullback Roosevelt
Smith leaped into the end zone from the
one to put Michigan back on top. Smith
found another hold in the Buckeye
defense seconds later for the two point
conversion and Michigan was on top 15-
12 with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
The teams then exchanged
possession of the ball with the
Wolverines' stalled drive resulting in.
the fateful blocked punt.
Michigan's third place Big Ten mark
(6-2) is the lowest the Wolverines have
finished since Schembechler arrived in
1969.
Ironically, the Blue gridders have an
excellent opportunity to win their last
game of the season for the first time
under Schembechler, when they face
the Tar Heels in the Gator Bowl next
month.

APOCALYPSE NOW-A slight sure to be ingrained into the memories of
Wolverine supporters for years to come: Bryan Virgil's attempted punt in

AP Photo
the fourth quarter of yesterday's game is blocked by Jim Laughlin and Ben
Lee, resulting in the game-winning touchdown for Ohio State.

IRONY IN OFFENSE

Out of the lue
w r By Geoff arcom
Blue icking woes ...
not the whole story
A PICTURE SNAPPED the instant before it happened expresses things
so well.
There's Bryan Virgil, the personable young kicker who's played such an
important part in the Wolverines' fortunes this season, about to nail the ball
early in the fourth quarter.
And little more than a yard away rushing in is a tide of white, scarlet and
gray, ready to smother Virgil and send the football dancing towards the
Michigan end zone.
The rest is now sad history for the Wolverines.
OHio State linebackers Jim Laughlin and Ben Lee got credit for the
blocked punt, and roverback Todd Bell scooped up the ball on a high bounce
at the 18. With an escort of Buckeye blockers, he waltzed in, carrying intact a
precious undefeated season for Ohio State and Michigan's shattered dreams
along with him.
It's so sadly ironic that the biggest game of the year should be decided,
at least on the surface, by yet another Blue kicking blunder.
But wait, you may say, what about the time Michigan failed to score af-
ter having the ball in the first quarter on the Buckeye two with third down?
Wasn't that just as important?
Or how about Ohio State's lone fumble, one which came deep in
Michigan territory, nipping a probably scoring drive in the bud. Shouldn't
Michigan have capitalized on that?
Pathetic punting
Fine. Those plays were surely crucial. But when yesterday's game is
viewed years from now in retrospect, the blocked punt will come first to
mind. It will be the game the Wolverines lost on a late punting foulup of the
highest order.
And you know that has to grate on Bo Schembechler, as well as this
year's gutsy, yet sporadic, Michigan team.
"Our punting is so bad, it's pathetic. The kicking game beat us all year,"
said Schembechler after the game. "That blocked kick was absolutely
ridiculous.
"We just haven't turned the corner in our kicking game. Unfortunately,
we're also not moving the ball like we should, and that hurts the defense. But
the big thing is the kicking game. It's the first bad one I've had and I don't
know whether it's a bad job of player selection by the coaches or a bad job of
coaching."
Bo bit the words off as he spoke. He was more than dejected, he was
angry and frustrated. He'd lost a game to the Wolverines' most bitter rival
on a play that he could have no control over. You can't call a successful punt
on the sidelines, like you can a long pass based on a weakness in the op-
ponent's defensive alignment.
The name of the kicking game is strictly execution, and very little came
on that play. A severe blocking breakdown, too much time taken to get the
ball off, and presto: an 18-15 Ohio State lead that was for keeps.
But before anyone reserves the goat label strictly for Virgil, think back a
minute.
Michigan's offense produced little yesterday, in the process being badly
outgained by the Buckeyes. The stats read a cold 432 total yards for Ohio
State, and only 298 for Michigan. OSU passed for 196 yards, while rushing for
236. Michigan's totals read 151 on the ground and 147 through the air, .
so you figure, the outcome could have even been worse.
In addition, the two Blue scoring drives, along with a giant chunk of
Michigan's passing total, resulted from Anthony Carter's 59-yard touchdown
reception and his sweet 66-yard catch and run. Even with those two beauties,
Michigan was only five for 14 through the air, while Buckeye ace Art
Schlichter hit on 12 of 22 tosses.
What hurt also was the loss of Lawrence Reid with a shoulder separation
in the second quarter, along with the surprise starter at quarterback, fresh-
man Rich Hewlett, who hurt his ankle.
"We were going to alternate our quarterbacks to help our running. John
Wangler was definitely going to play," said Schembechler. "We felt we
could run the option with Hewlett and then play power football with John in
there. But we lost our game plan early with the injuries to Hewlett and
Reid."%
So that left Michigan with a one-pronged big-play attack, one which
wasn't up to beating Purdue last Saturday, and subsequently failed to turn
the trick yesterday.
And so in the wake of Michigan's three losses this year, its uncharac-
teristic second place finish and drowned Rose Bowl hopes, stands a defense

Passing in playbook, Blue in third

By BILLY NEFF
Irony, as defined in Merriam Webster's dictionary,
is an outcome of events contrary to what was, or
might have been, expected. That word was not in
Michigan's playbook, but it might as well have been.
It describes the Michigan season perfectly.
Before the season, the Wolverines were regarded
as a team who used the forward pass as much as
Xaviers Hollander abstained from sexual forays.
Even with Rick Leach, who almost was the Heisman
Trophy winter, Michigan still would not pass.
In past years, also, Bo's boys would try to shove the
ball down the other team's throats. With bulking
offensive linemen like Walt Downing and Mark
Donahue and grinding runners like Russell Davis and
Rob Lytle, the Wolverines used to bore-football fans
with their offensive attack.
But they always won, or at least they won enough to
go to Pasadena and earn many more pennies for Don
Canham's pocketbook.
This year, there was a stark contrast between the
Michigan team and previous Wolverine squads. One
would have thought Earle Bruce had, in fact, taken
over the reins of Michigan instead of Ohio State.
Bo came out passing from day one. And ffom day
one, this football team was maybe the most exciting
club in Michigan football history. On the Wolverines
centennial anniversary, they tried to add a touch of
Hollywood4o their attack.
The Wolverines came out passing in their opener
with Northwestern. Footballs filled the air 20 times
for Michigan. Twelve completions later and a 49-7
victory in hand, Blue fans were shaking their heads'

thinking that Bo must have'seen a weakness in the
Northwestern secondary. This passing display would
not happen again.
Against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, a
national television audience witnessed 24 aerials
from the right arms of B.J. Dickey and John
Wangler. Keith Jackson, ABC commentator, must
have thought he was viewing a Michigan career
passing film.
When the Wolverines lost, Michigan skeptics
probably muttered gems such as, 'oh, we lost; that's
the end of the forward pass.'
But no, the unbelievable was really happening.
About as impossible as Michigan winning a Rose
Bowl, Bo's charges kept on passing. Fifteen com-
pletions in 23 attempts for 220 yards against Kansas
and then, nine in 21 for 210 against California paved
the way for two Michigan triumphs.
Bo had thrown out the old playbook and was still
garnering W's. This couldn't last, could it? With
Michigan State coming up the following Saturday,
you knew Bo would revert to his old
ways-establishing the ground game and then
reestablishing it time and time again.
And yes, true to form, the Wolverines came out
running and running, and running some more. With
their running firmly established and tied at 7-7, it was
the forward pass that once again broke the game
open for Michigan.
First, it was Dickey, on a play action pass, tickling
Ralph Clayton's fingers with a perfect 66 yard touch-
down pass. Then, to salt the game away, Dickey
found that sensational freshman Anthony Carter with
a six yard TD flip. Once again, Bo had used the pass

for victory and a bit of sweet revenge over his pass-
happy rival Daryl Rogers.
After conquering Minnesota and Illinois, the
Wolverines 'found their backs pinned to the wall
against the underrated Indiana Hoosiers. Look what
happened again.
With the score tied 21-21 and 55 seconds remaining,
the pass gave Michigan an incredible victory, again.
This time, Wangler uncorked a 45 yard prayer to Car-
ter and Michigan was 8-1, as time ran out.
Now Bo's forces were a two-pronged attack with
more emphasis on the passing end. George Patton
was probably turning over in his grave at the thought
of his namesake, Bo, using the forward pass.
Against Purdue, the pass would come back to haunt
Michigan. Bo was probably thinking, 'I told you so' as
Wangler hurled four interceptions and Purdue took a
commanding 24-6 lead before holding on to a 24-21 up-
set.
With a trip to Pasadena that much further away,
Bo resorted to his old tactics. He started green Rich
Hewlett, a freshman from Plymouth, in place of
Wangler because he was a better option runner.
After several unsuccessful scoring attempts,
Wangler entered the game. He proceeded to hurl a
scoring bomb of 59 yards and another 66 yard com-
pletion both to Carter to set up yet another TD.
In the end, as everyone knows, Michigan went
down to defeat in their most exciting season of all
time. It was to be a December spent in Jacksonville,
Florida, rather than Pasadena.
The Wolverines had lost and had passed a lot-what
will that bode for next year? Three words-Hewlett
and running.

COACH BRUCE INSPIRES:
Buckeyes keep

poise, go West

By BILLY SAHN
They are going because they deserve
to go. They are going because they are
11-0, undefeated. They are going
because these champions of the Big Ten
are men composed of strong will and
determination.
They are Ohio State, and Ohio State is
going to the Rose Bowl, the bowl owned
by Michigan the last three years.
IT TOOK FOUR seasons before
Woody Hayes led his Buckeye team to
an undefeated season. Hayes' suc-
cessor, in contrast, has done it in his
rookie season. Earl Bruce, the man-of-
the-hour, beat Michigan on the road
yesterday 18-15, thereby earning the
coveted trip to Pasadena.
Far from dominating the Wolverines
as they have previous opponents, the

Buckeyes won this contest when Bryan
Virgil's fourth-quarter punt wa blocked
by Buckeye linebackers Jim Laughlin
and Ben Lee and scooped up and run in-
to the end zone by teammate Todd Bell.
The Buckeyes capitalized on this big
brek to gain the victory, but a win is a
win any way you can get it.
Effort was the key, effort on the part
of Laughlin and Bell, Bruce and the rest
of the Buckeyes. They were determined
to win this game, and despite the fact
that the game's outcome hinged on a
blocked kick, it was the kind of victory
that every Buckeye can boast about.
"WELL, NUMBER one," remarked
an emotionally drained Bruce after the
game, "we're going to the Rose Bowl in
the right way. It was a great effort out
there by the Buckeyes. This one was for

A surprising element of the Buckeye
attack was their running game. The
passing threat was evident considering
outstanding Buckeye quarterback Art
Schlichter. But in the rushing depar-
tment, Ohio State ran net for 236 yards
while passing for only 196 yards.
Sophomore tailback Jim Gayle was the
major weapon, rushing for' 72 yards
during the afternoon, while main-
taining eight yards per carry.
But without question, the man to wat-
ch was the sophomore passer,
Schlichter. As it turned out, neither
Schlichter's ability to pass nor run was
the decisive factor in the game. But his
intense attitude towards the day cannot
be discounted.
"MY MAIN goal was to be un-
defeated," said the elated sophomore
afterwards, "This is the greatest
feeling of my life so far.
"Our team has tremendous heart,"
Schlichter continued, "the offense has
confidence in the defense and vice ver-
sa. We can come back and win. It's a
tribute to the whole team," he added.
But perhaps most apparent of all is
Schlichter's style of play this year as
compared to last year.. Despite an
abundance of natural talent, Schlichter
attributes his and his team's success to
Bruce's manner. "He just gave us a
fresh attitude and leadership,''
Schlichter said. In the end, all that mat-
ters is the fact that Ohio State beat

Earle Bruce
real - a win up here against a fine

Gator bound

MICH
First downs................ 15
Rushing (att/yds)>......... 46/151
Passing (comp/att/int) .... 5/14/2
Passing yards.............. 147
Fumbles (no/lost)..........2/0
Penalties/yds...............1/5
Punts/avg/blocked ........ 6/31.8/1
SCORING

oSU
18
55/236
12/22/1
196
1/1
5/27
4/40.5/0

OHIO STATE
Gayle ...........................
Campbell.......................
Murray.........................
Spencer......................
Volley............ .........
Schlichter .....,.................
PASSING
MICHIGAN
att
wangler ...................9
Hewlett ...................4
V irgil .................... 1
01110 STATE
Schlichter ................. 22

C

9 72
10 39
9 38
6 37
6 23
15 27
'omp int
4 1
I 1
0 0
12 1

Michigan team.
"We made some mistakes but we
stayed in there and hit," Bruce con-'
8.0 cluded, as he waved a tie a fan had
3.9 given him. That tie was a Rose Bowl tie,
6.1 one filled with numerous insignias of
3.8 red roses.
1.8 "The right way," that's how Bruce
termed his rights to the trip out West. If
Michigan would have mustered a vic-
yds tory yesterday in conjunction with Pur-
133 due's 37-21 win over Indiana, OSU .still
14 would have gone to the Rose Bowl
0 regardless of a loss to the Wolverines.
The latter condition took place, though
196 #,i.., _,« _.,.,._.A_,_ _ mL-

Michigan.....................0 7 8 0-s15
OSU ...................... 0 6 6 6- 18
.SCORING PLAYS
OSU-Janakievski 23 yd field goal
MICH-Carter 59 yd pass from Wangler (virgil
kick)
OSI-Janakievski 25 vd field goal

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