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September 11, 1977 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-09-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 10-Sunday, September 11, 1977-The Michigan [aily

Revamped defense

passes test

(Continued from Page 1)
MICHIGAN got the ball back four
plays later at midfield as Mike
Harden fumbled Finzer's punt and
recovered it himself.
Michigan drove down to the 30 with
four running plays. Then on second
and nine, Leach hit streaking Ralph
Clayton on a post pattern for the
touchdown.
The next Wolverine score was set
up when Mike Jolly recovered a
Charlie Weber fumble on the Illinois
41. The Blue took it into the end zone
in five running plays capped by
Huckleby's 15-yard scamper around
right end.
ENTER AN exchange of punts.
The Illini punted out of bounds,
giving Michigan the ball on its own
24. Here the Wolverines began a
14-play drive, eating up most of the
second peripd, that seemed to demor-
alize the Illini. Huckleby ended it
with a three-yard jaunt, once again
around the right side.
Leach received a helmet blow tc
the stomach on the touchdown play
and sat out the rest of the half.
Following the kickoff, Jolly inter-
cepted a first down pass by Steger
and returned it to the Illinois 34.
Michigan could not capitalize on the
opportunity, however, as third string
quarterback John Wangler was inter-
cepted four plays later (second-
stringer Stacy Johnson is injured).
The half ended with the score 20-3.
THE SECOND half was nearly a
repeat of the first. After the Illini
punted the ball to Michigan on its
own 18, the Wolverines ripped off
consecutive runs of 14, 29, 15 and 15

, yards, putting them deep in Illinois
territory.,
The drive stalled there and Gregg
Willner booted a 23-yard field goal.
Michigan got the ball back again on
its 38 on a short Finzer punt. Ten
plays later Leach hit Gene Johnson in
the right flat for a touchdown.
An Illinois fumble set up the final
Michigan score. With their backs to
the wall following a John Anderson
punt to the Illinois four, Jim Coleman
fumbled while trying to take a pitch
around end. Ron Simpkins recov-
ered.
ON THE FIRST play from scrim-
mage, Russell Davis went up the
middle for the touchdown.
Michigan then returned the favor.
After receiving a punt\ on the

Michigan 18, the Wolverines' Roose-
velt Smith fumbled to Illini Bruce
Thornton. Seven plays later, Illinois
crossed Michigan's goal line to make
the score 37-9.
The game ended with Michigan
threatening on the Illinois 11-yard
line. Had Michigan wanted to run up
the score, it could easily have scored.
Schembechler, however, chose to
show mercy toward his old friend.
.Schembechler had a kind word for
his old defensive coordinator: "Mo
(Moeller) is a good coach and his
team will improve a lot as the season
goes on. Illinois has a good funda-
mental team, but the main difference
between the two teams today was
that we were quicker."

Down to

By Don MacLachlan

CHAMPAIGN

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

Be patient ILL-i
MICH ILL Richardson
26 9
63350 38 Coleman
126-2 10-5-i Weber
76 48 Strader
2/46.5 7/39.6 MCray
4/2 4/2 Baker
1/15 1/15 1

M SCORING PLAYS
ILL-Finzer 42 yd field goal
MICH-Clayton 30 yd pass from Leach (Willneriliner
kick)
MICH-Huckleby 1 yd run (kick failed)
MICH-Huckleby 3 yd run (Whiner kick)
MICH-Willner 23 yd field goal
MICH--G.Johnson 11 yd pass from Leach
(Winmer kick)
MICH-R. Davis 4 yd run (Wilner kick)
ILL-Baker 1 yd run (kick failed)
RUSHING
MICHIGAN
att yds avg
Huckle y 24 128 5.3
R. Davis 18 98 5.
Leach 12 78 6.5
King 4 26 6.5
R. Smith 2 19 9.5
Wangler 1 2 2.0
Edwards 1 2 2.0

meger
Leach
Wangler
Steger
McCray
G.Johnson
Davis
Clayton
Huckleby
Schooley
Peach
Rouse
Sherrod
Bulow

ni
1 -3
ILLINOIS
18 64
2 10
3 8
3 6
1 1
11 -31
PASSING
MICHIGAN
att comp
11 6
1 0
ILLINOIS
8 3
2 2
RECEIVING
MICHIGAN
no y
2
2
1 3
1
ILLINOIS
1
11
1I
1I

-3.0
3.6
5.0
2.7
2.0
1.0
-2.8

it
1
1
1
0

yds
76
0
37
11
ip
19
13
30
12

ds
30
4
30
12
9
16
12
6
6

I LLINOIS HEAD coach Gary Moeller was ecstatic.
Barely three minutes into the game, his Illinois team
led second-ranked Michigan 3-0. The rookie coach swirled
his hat and jumped up and down on the sidelines. He really
believed Illinois would upset the Wolverines.
Eleven minutes later, Harlan Huckleby jaunted three
yards for a touchdown and Michigan led 13-3. Bo Schem-
bechler, Moeller's old boss, clapped his hands twice and
waved his troops off the field. For the rest of the game
Schembechler proceeded to pace the sidelines. Hands on
hips and head down, Schembechler watched his team run
over the mistake-ridden Illini.
ON THE OPPOSITE sideline, Moeller adjusted his hat
and clutched his set of headphones. The ex-Michigan
assistant needed a solution but he couldn't find one.
A few busted plays, dropped passes and a key penalty
plagued the Fighting Illini yesterday. Illinois showed its
inexperience and the offense could only generate an aver-
age of 2.2 yards per play.
"We settled down in the second half, and I wanted to
do everything I could to get us back in the, game,"
Moeller said. "We had to get a couple first downs to get it
going but we never accomplished that."
Moeller treats his team like one big- family. Even the
fans around Illinois are convinced that the 36-year-old
coach can produce a winner. The card section flashed up
"Rose Bowl" early in the first quarter. Sorry, Illinois
fans-it's going to take some time.
MOELLER FIELDED a defense that looked exactly
like the one he coached at Michigan last year as defensive
coordinator. The offense basically ran the same plays:
the option, running off tackle and an occasional pass. But
the team he was coaching was Illinois-not Michigan.
The Illinois mentor was under a lot of pressure yester-
day. He had to coach against his old boss and field a team
that couldcontain Michigan's powerful offense. Moeller's
men just didn't have enough talentN to stop the Wol-
verines.

"We faced a tough situation, but you just gotta come
out and play football," Moeller said. "Michigan is a fine
football team, but there is no way they are that much
better than us. This game was a fun challenge to me but
it's damned depressing, too."
Moeller has never been associated with a losing pro-
gram and the disappointment of the 37-9 drubbing was
evident in the solemn Illinois locker room.
"I JUST HAD that feeling we could do it," Moeller
said. "I would never have dreamed the game would end
like that. We had a lot of respect for Michigan yet at the
same time we felt we could beat them.
"I'm not trying to downgrade Michigan," Moeller
added. "Michigan has a good program and other teams
have good programs too. That's how I want this team to
be."
Across the field Schembechler and his squad had noth-
ing but praise for the Illinois coach.
"Illinois fans have to be patient," Schembechler said.
"Moeller is a good coach and this team will improve a lot
as the season goes on."
"COACH MOELLER knows his football," said Mich-
igan co-captain Dwight Hicks. "He .believes in himself
and makes you believe inyourself."
Moeller is a determined man. He sincerely believes
that his program can eventually become a threat in the
Big Ten. It will take some time and patience, but Moeller
is willing to give it all he's got.
"We have to get the negative things straighened out,"
he said. "Everyone here has.to work to win. I want my
kids to play for Illinois, as a team first and them-
selves second.
"I'm really down," Moeller continued. "I hope I look at
the game films and see some fighting people. They better
be fighting. If they aren't, I'll be awfully disappointed.
It's a long road, but we're going to work at it.

9
16
12
6
6

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Bo bothered
By TOM CAMERON
Special to the Daily
CHAMPAIGN-Bo Schembechler could be a very happy
man this morning. He could be, but he won't.
For the ninth straight time in the nine years Schembech-
ler has been at Michigan, his team won the season opener.
The '77 Wolverines did nearly everything a traditional Mich-
igan football team is supposed to do-run the ball down the
field like a bulldozer and play defense like their lives
depended on it.
The offense, while putting 37 points on the board, knocked
up 426 yards (76 passing), had nearly three times as many
first downs as Illinois (five by passing), and put together
plenty of slow punishing drives.
The defense, in addition to giving the offense the ball
three times in Illinois territory, yielded but 59 yards rushing,
set Illinois runners back 41 yards and never let Illinois cross
the 50 yard line but once all day.'
Most important of all, the defense covered receivers and
put pressure on a good passing quarterback-holding Illi-
nois to 48 yards through the air.
But of course, as you would have to expect, Bo was not all
that happy. "For the first game," Schembechler said, "we
didn't play as well as we were capable of.
"We gave them nine and they gave us a few, both teams
made a lot of mistakes.",
Schembechler continued: "We're not good enough right
now . . . offensively we made mistakes-we were not co-

byMistakes
ordinated. When we look at game films, we're not going to be
happy with some of the things we'll see."
Bo did admit, only once mind you, that he was satisfied
"considering we were playing against a team that knew
us."
Illinois Coach Gary Moeller put together the Michigan
defense over the past three years as Michigan's defensive
coordinator. If there was a weakness in the armor many
figured he could exploit it.
The defense, however, stood solid. "We expected them to
work on (our weaknesses)," said safety Dwight Hicks. "But
it's one thing to work on it, and another thing to execute it."
Despite the loss of six starters, Michigan's defense re-
fused to let the new Moeller machine get rolling. "We were
never able to execute our offense," Moeller said. "That was
the big killer to us.
"Michigan has a good defense-I've seen that before,"
Moeller continued. "We just didn't execute well."
With the running game shut down, Illinois had trouble
going to the air. "I wanted to throw the ball more," Moeller
said, "but we really never got anything established."
Michigan's offense on the other hand, executed, at times,
near mid)season form. However, as quarterback*Rick Leach
was quick to point out "we made a few mistakes that we
wouldn't have made at the end of last season."
Gary Moeller is even more optimistic about this year's
Michigan team. "Michigan is a very fine football team.
There's no question about it. I always thought that this
would be their best offensive team."

__

r

s

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TOUGH DA Y FOR BIG EIGHT:

Notre Dame bruises Panthers

By The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Favored
Notre Dame kayoed Pitt quarterback
Matt Cavanaugh on a first-quarter
touchdown pass,, breaking his wrist,
and turned a series of turnovers into
two field goals and a touchdown in the
final period, beating the Panthers 19-9
yesterday and spoiling their first at-
tempt at defending college football's
national championship.
But it was far from an impressive
triumph as third-ranked Notre Dame
managed just those 13 fourth-period
points out of five fumbles and an inter-
ception in the final 22 minutes.
The Fighting Irish, with a whopping
edge in possession of the football, fi-
nally overcame Pitt's gallant defense
on field goals of 35 and 26 yards by Dave
Reeve and a clinching four-yard touch-
-down run by Terry Eurick with 3:10
remaining.
* * *
SCOR ES
MICHIGAN 37, Illinois 9
Michigan St. 19, Purdue 14
. Minnesota 19, Western Michigan 7
Iowa 24. Northwestern 0
Wisconsin 30. Indiana 14
Ohio St. 10, Miami (Fla.) 0
Notre Dame 19, Pitt 9
Texas Tech 17, Baylor 7
Maryland 21, Clemson 14
C'olorado 27, Stanford 21
Mississippi St. 27, Washington 18
Colgate 23, Rutgers 0
Washington St. 19. Nebraska 10

Sooners slip by,. ..
NRMAN, Okla. - Freshman quar-
terback Jay Jimerson came off the
bench in the fourth quarter to lead the
Oklahoma Sooners to a 25-23 come from
behind football victory over Vanderbilt
yesterday.
Trailing 11-9 early in the final quar-
ter, Jimerson directed the Sooners,
scoring the touchdown on a 20-yerd
keeper. Then with Vanderbilt deep in
OU territory, the Commodores tried a
field goal, but it was blocked by Bud
Hebert and defensive end Barry Burget
scooped up the ball and raced 64 yards
for the final Sooner.score.
* * *
Nebraska doesn't
LINCOLN, Neb. - Jack Thompson
threw two touchdown passes and Paul
Watson added a field goal to lead un-
ranked Washington State to a 19-10 up-
set victory over No. 15 Nebraska in a
nonconference college football game
yesterday.

It was something of a home-coming-
style victory for Cougar Coach Warren
Powers, who left Nebraska's coaching
staff last year. His victory over NU
Coach Tom Osborne marked his head
coaching debut.
Big Ten Standings

Conference All

W
MICHIGAN (7-1)....1
Wisconsin (3-5)......1
Michigan State (3-5).1
Iowa (3-5)..........1
Ohio State (7-1)......0
Minnesota (4-4)......0
Illinois (4-4).......0
Indiana (4-4)........0
Purdue (4-4).......0
Northwestern (1-7)..0

L
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1

W
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0

L
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1

Last year's Big Ten records in parentheses
For details, see Page 9

Major Events Office*.
USHERS
Mass Meeting*

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