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September 14, 1974 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-09-14

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, September 14, 1974

Offense: the runners

By ROGER ROSSITER
"The fastest backfield in
Michigan history," claims Mich-
igan head coach Bo Schembech-
ler of his 1974 offensive quar-
tet. Dennis Franklin, C h u c k
Heater, Gil Chapman and Gord-
on Bell combined for 2,097 yards
rushing in '73, and if that does
not give you an idea what is
emphasized in the Wolverines'
offense, keep reading.
Schembechler faced a major
roadblock last spring w h e n
fullbacks Ed Shuttlesworth and
Bob Thornbladh as well as wing-
back Clint Haslerig graduated.
Bo knew he had to find a full-
back and a wingback. He also
knew he had the finest trio of
returning tailbacks in the Big
Ten.
The solution was obvious.
Heater, the second leading
ground gainer with 666 yards
(Shuttlesworth had 745) took
two steps forward and became
the fullback. Chapman, who
played split end as a sopho-
more, switched positions again
to wingback, and Bell stayed
right where he was, assuming
the number one tailback job.
SPRINKLE in a dash of
Franklin's magic and Michigan
should have its most explosive
offense since the '71 crew, may-
be.
Why the pessimism? Because,
experience-wise the Wolverines'
offensive line has to be the
weakest since Schembechler
took over the head coaching
reigns from Bump Elliott in
1969.
Only at center where Dennis
Franks, Tom Jensen and Jim
Czirr, all lettermen in '73, re-
turn can the Wolverines be
termed "deep." The remainder
of the line boasts experienced
people, but how talented they
are remains to be seen.
Guards Dave Metz and Krk
Lewis each started a number
of games last sea n when they
were healthy. Jim Armour pro-
vides the only experienced re-
serve help. An injury or two
here could grind the Michigan
ground game to a stunning
halt.
The tackles and ends a r e
Schembechler's major offensive
concern. Split end Keith John-
son is the only returning start-
er at any of these four slots,
although tight end Greg Den-
Boer saw a lot of action when
Bo went to his favorite double
tight end attack.
PAT Tumpane appears to
have the best shot at the quick
tackle position, but the strong
tackle assignment is up for
grabs. Steve King, Jim Hall,
Gary Zolcink, Al n Wheeler and
even freshman Bill Difek (bro-
ther of wolfman Don will all get
a chance to prove their nettle.
Who will eventually take com-
mand is anybody's guess.
In the past the word "pass"

has always brought a cringe
from Schembechler, however, if
the line does not jell Bo may
have to let "'Dennis the Men-
ace" go to the airways more
often. Franklin, twice named
all Big Ten quarterback, has
connected on 95 of 190 aerials
in two seasons, good for 1352
yards and nine touchdowns.
However, his two favorite tar-
gets from last season, tight end
Paul Seal (14 catches) a n d
wingback Haslerig (13) are
gone. Johnson grabbed n i n e
passes last year as did Chap-
man two years ago when he
played split end, and it is a
reasonable assumption t h a t
this pair will get the call on
most Wolverine aerial adven-
tures.
DenBoer has primarily been
a blocker and in two seasons
has recorded one catch e a c h s
year. Should DenBoer develop
his talents like his predecessors
Seal and Paul Seymour, he
would surely add a needed di-
mension to the passing game.
BACKFIELD reserves areWS
plentiful everywhere except
at wingback. Redshirt quarter-
backs Kevin Casey and M a r k
Elzinga both could step in and
direct the Michigan attack if
needed. Casey started the 1971
campaign as Michigan's num-
ber one signal-caller before an
injury cut his season short. El-
zinga is being groomed to take
over Franklin's job when the F;fr
Massillon marvel matriculates -A
next spring.
Sophs Jerry Vogele and Phil
Andrews possess the kind of
piledriving power that made
See 'M' OFFENSE, Page 12 New Wolverine wingback Gil Chapman eludes pursuer
HOW MANY SHUTOUTS?
Defese: devasttin

By GEORGE HASTINGS
For several years now, a ter-
rible specter has haunted of-
fensive coaches all over the Big
Ten. Eleven giants dressed in
dark blue uniforms would come
out every year and wreak havoc
on their best-laid plans of at-
tack.
That specter, of course, has
been the Michigan defense.
THIS SEASON should be no
exception, as head coach Bo
Schembechler has never been
one to allow his defense to de-
teriorate. Last year, some cri-
tics warned that with Jim
Young, Bo's defensive coordi-
nator of the previous three
years, gone to Arizona, that
area of the Michigan system
could slip.
But Gary Moeller stepped up
to fill that coaching role, and

HEADQUARTERS FOR
ilchi gan Campus Wear.
T-SHIRTS SWEATSHIRTS JACKETS
ADIDAS SHOES.
MORE THAN 60 MODELS
Athletic Equipment
for All Sports
Bud Van De Weg
711 North Univ.-Ph. NO 8-6915
902 S. State-Ph. NO 8-7269 ;

the 1973 Wolverines were as
stingy as ever, giving up no
more than 13 points in any
game.
Moeller's 1974 crew could be
just as good or better. Behind
the front line, in the linebacker
and defensive back slots, Mich-
igan has one of the greatest as-
semblages of talent and experi-
ence ever in any college defen-
sive backfield.
THE ONLY problem could be
the forward wall itself, where
the amount of experience of the
returning lettermen is limited,
and some untried performers
will have to step in and take
over.
It's fitting that the last line of
the Michigan defense is its
strongest link -- namely the
Wolverine safetyman, Dave
Brown. An all-Big Ten selection
his sophomore season, last year
Brown became a national star,
named as nearly everyone's All-
American safety.
The 6-1, 188 senior is another
in a long line of great Michigan
safetymen-including Tom Cur-
tis, Jim Betts, and Tom Darden
-and he could just bemthe best.
Combining exceptional speed
and sure tackling ability, Brown
is also a superb punt returner.
THE WOLVERINES have
plenty of saavy at the corner-
back slots, too, in the persons
of Dave Elliot and Tom Drake.
Both are seniors who have been
hampered by injury in their
Michigan careers, but have
proved themselves as capable
pass defenders in starting roles.
Depth at,.the three deep spots.
could be the only.,weakness, ,as
Wolverines .at hoge positions
seem to have a,'history of fre-,
quent injury, and no returning,

lettermen at those positions are
available for reserve.
However, senior Harry Banks
has been converted from tail-
back to back up Elliot, and a
pair of promising sophs, Jim
Bolden and Jerry Zuver, are set
behind Drake and Brown.
RESERVES are no problem
at the fourth deep spot, though.
At the wolf slot, a sort of cross
between a safety and a line-
backer, Schembechler has a
pair of strong players in Don
Dufek and Geoff Steger.
Steger, a hard-nosed senior,
has been a tough-luck player,
missing out on starting roles for
two straight seasons because of
injuries. He is more than cap-
able, however, and if healthy
will provide Schembechler sup-
er depth at this crucial posi-
tion.
Dufek, who doubles as a Wol-
verine varsity hockey player,
stepped in when Steger got hurt
again last year and did literal-
ly" a bang-up job. At 6-0, 195, he
is well known to fans as an es-
pecially vicious hitter,
COMPLETING the defensive
backfield are the two lineback-
er posts, and the Wolverines
are no less strong in this de-

partment. Both starters return,
and after a year playing togeth-
er they ought to do even better
than in 1973.
In the middle will be a play-
er who already established him-
self as an All-Big Ten choice
last season, and could be shoot-
ing for All-American honors in
1974. Steve Strinko is a 6-3, 235
bruiser who, Schembechler
says, "is one of the strongest
men I know against the rush."
Last year, the senior from
Middletown, Ohio, led the team
and set a Wolverine record with
137 tackles.
Playing next to him for the
second year will be another
hard - hitting senior, Carl Russ,
the club's second-top tackler
last season. Russ is unusual in
that he is a "walk-on", a play-
er who came to Michigan with-
out a scholarship, but worked
his way up into a starting role.
THE SITUATION on the de-
fensive line is not quite so rosy.
None.of the five regular starters
from last season return, so
some new faces will have to
prove themselves.
But actually, things are not
as bad as they sound: A pair of
part-time starters from 1973
See BLUE, Page 12

I Table ofContents I
Don Canham interviewp. 3
Libels, "M' Stats and standings. . ..p 4
Ohio State ...... ..p. 5
Opponents: Iowa thru Purdue ........ . . 465
National P view. 6
Supplement Editor: Roger Rossiter
Staff: Daily Spo ts
Cuzer Photu Stee KRagan

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