The Michigan Daily-Saturday, September 10, 1977-Page 11
attack against Illini
By DON MacLACHLAN
Special to The Daily
CHAMPAIGN - It's been another
summer of anticipation and specula-
Michigan football followers are
faced with one question after another
concerning the season opener against
Illinois this afternoon. Will Illinois
coach Gary Moeller, an ex-Michigan
assistant, construct a defense that
can stop the explosive Michigan
Will Moeller pass often against a
Wolverine defense that he put togeth-
er for the past four seasons as
Michigan's defensive co-ordinator?
Since he knows the strengths and
weaknesses of the Michigan players,
just what type of offensive and
defensive strategy does he have in
All of the speculation ends today
with' the opening kickoff in Cham-
paign at 2:30 Ann Arbor tiile, before
a partisan crowd of nearly 61,000 in
"We're anxious to play down
here," Schembechler said. "I'm
looking forward to playing Gary's
team. It's going to be a great game.
"We expect them to throw the ball
- maybe even a little more than
Gary wants to," Schembechler con-
tinued. "We feel he's worked hard on
their option attack too. We anticipate
they can do most anything they want
to offensively on the basis of their
Senior Kurt Steger will call the
signals for the Illini this afternoon.
The two-year letterman completed 46
per cent of his passes last fall and ten
went for touchdowns. Senior Mike
McCray serves as Steger's back-up.
Steger has a fine target in junior
Eric Rouse, who snared 20 aerials for
326 yards last season. Michigan
counts on a veteran backfield of
seniors Jim Pickens, Derek Howard
and co-captain Dwight Hicks to shut
down the Illinois air attack.
The main ground thread is Illini
junior James Coleman. The speedy
tailback galloped for 726 yards last
Schembechler insists that the
Michigan defense, which lost six
starters from a year ago, should be
solid. Curtis Greer and Dale Keitz
are the new starting tackles and
linebackers. Jerry Meter and Ron
Simpkins provide plenty of size up
the middle for Michigan.
The one thing that bothers Moeller
about his squad is its inexperience.
He molded a defense in Champaign
that resembles the Michigan contin-
gent. However, other than linebacker
John Sullivan and two defensive
backs, safety Dale Hardy and wolf-
man Rickie Mitchem, the Illinois
defense lacks game experience.
The Michigan offense enters the
game without the services of All-Big
Ten tackle Bill Dufek, sidelined with
a cracked fibula in his left ankle.
Sophomore John Powers replaces
Dufek at the strong tackle spot.
Both coaches have promised a few
surprises this afternoon as Moeller
searches for his first victory as a
head coach, and his former boss
Schembechler, guns for his ninth
straight opening day victory at
AND BUTr FOUR~
A IO-Z-O TEAMv
_.; ..- .J l
Gene Johnson (227)
John Powers (261)
Greg Bartnick (233)
Walt Downing (254)
Mark Donahue (245)
Mike Kenn (244)
Rick White (200)
Max Richardson (187)"
Russell Davis (230)
Harlan Huckleby (199)
Rick Leach (192)
Dom Tedesco (212)
John Anderson (219)
Dale Keitz (240)
Curtis Greer (237)
Steve Graves (218)
Ron Simpkins (221)
Jerry Meter (206)
Derek Howard (193)
Mike Harden (179)
Jim Pickens (182)
Dwight Hicks (180)
Mike Sherrod (220)
Dan Selsek (241)
Kevin Pancratz (251)
Randy Taylor (235)
Gary Jurczyk (234)
Dennis Ashlock (235)
Eric Rouse (180)
Tom Schooley (205)
Charlie Weber (198)
James Coleman (181)
Kurt Steger (207)
Jerry Ramshaw (207)
Scott Scholz (200)
Jim Kogut (227)
Bruce Thornton (262)
Brian Kingsbury (204)
John Meyer (204)
John Sullivan (222)
Richie Mitchem (205)
Derwin Tucker (185)
David Blakely (193)
Dale Hardy (177)
LEADS AN IMPRESSIVE
The Intramural Sports Dept. of the
University of Michigan is looking for.
STUDENT SPORTS OFFICIALS for:
q Softball " Ice Hockey
" Soccer * Football
" Waterpolo * Basketball
Experience is not necessary-training provided
If interested, please contact:
l.M. Bldg., 606 E. Huron
DE FENStV E
CONFERENCE A CTION OPENS
By CUB SCHWARTZ
Big Ten football is kind of like
"Beat the Champ." Each week a
couple of relatively obscure challeng-
ers jump into the spotlight for a shot
at the champ. The rest of the bowlers
are content with the Tuesday night
factory leagues while they patiently
await their chance at fame and
Of course few challengers ever win
and the champ rolls on week after
.But there is something to be said
for- the Tuesday night factory
leagues, not to mention 'Little Eight'
football. You don't have to win to be
exciting (and we all know you don't
have to be exciting to win).
THUS, WHILE Illinois takes its try
against Michigan and Ohio State
entertains non-conference foe Miami
of Florida, the rest of the Big Ten
teams swing into action.
Perhaps the best. battle is in
Bloomington where Wisconsin takes
on the Hoosiers. The Big Ten
Skywriters picked the Badgers third
in a pre-season poll with Indiana
right behind. Q
The Hoosiers, sporting the confer-
ence's longest win streak (two), will
play at less than full strength how-
ever, as top running back Mike
Harkrader will not see action due to
ligament damage in his knee.
Last year Harkrader became the
first freshman in Big Ten history to
gain one thousand yards.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, will
be at full strength, returning eight
starters on offense. Leading the
attack is running back Ira Matthews,
who last year averaged over five
yards per carry.
NICKNAMED "Mr. Excitement"
by Badger loyalists, Matthews will
undoubtedly carry the ball often
against the Hoosiers since the loss of
Mike Caroll leaves the Wisconsin
aerial attack weak.
Juniors Anthony Dudley and Tim
Halbran will fill the shoes vacated by
the graduation of Caroll and running
back Larry Canada.
Up in East Lansing, Spartan coach
Darryl Rogers will try out his
passing attack against Purdue. With
the return of the conference's top
passer Eddie Smith and top receiver
Kirk Gibson, Michigan State will be
strong in the passing department.
Smith completed 132 passes last year
for 1749 yards in leading the Spar-
Along with Gibson, who snared 39
passes in '76, Smith threw to Gene
Byrd and Mike Bramier. The trio
last year accounted for 94 receptions'
totalling 1559 yards. Byrd, however,
_ " -"
is out with an injury and will be
replaced by Edgar Wilson, who
played basketball for the Spartans
for four years.
THE BOILERMAKERS, led by
former Michigan defensive coordin-
ator Jim Young, are expected to pass
a lot this year under their new
Young, in grand Michigan tradi-
tion, will field a strong defense. Nine
of last years' starters will be
returning., Leading the squad is
All-Big Ten safety Paul Berry.
Berry gobbled up five errant
passes last year before an injury
against Michigan sidelined him.
With the Eddie Smith Show"
providing the threat, Berry's per-
formance will be crucial to the
Michigan State will need better
defense than last year if it expects to
please the home town crowd. Last
year the Spartans were dead last in
defending the rush.
THE remaining conference match-
up pits Iowa and Northwestern.
With the Wildcats boasting an
improved offense and the Hawkeyes
returning the conference's number
three defense, this game should
again provide fun for those specta-
tors with enough foresight to bring
along a bottle of booze and a
Minnesota will host a tough Mid-
American confeence foe in Western
Michigan. While the Gopher defense
will be strong returning eight start-
ers from a year ago, it will still have
a difficult time.
The Broncos are led by running
back Jerome Persell, who finished
second only to Tony Dorsett last year
in both rushing and scoring.
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