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November 20, 1977 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-11-20

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Dynamite defense destr



... does not break
"gF ALL THE GREAT RIVALRIES in football, I don't think there is
one - on any level - that has the charisma of the Michigan-Ohio
State game." - Bo Schembechler
True, the Michigan-Ohio State game is one of football's classics and
yesterday's game will go down as another one of those "classic" games. It
had all the trademarks of a Michigan-OSU game...
scalping galore outside the stadium ... fans on the field before the
game even started ... an intense, capacity crowd ... Buckeyes running out
underthe M club's "Go Blue" banner ... a hard fought game ... a bitter loss
.. a great win ...
... But most typical, Woody Hayes pulled another in his "classic" stunts
to add to his repertoire ...
But when this classic is remembered in years to come, it will be the
Michigan defense who gets the credit for the game's outstanding per-
Thatis the same defense, remember, that everyone wondered about at
the beginning of the year. Senior linebacker John Anderson, who made the
biggest play of the game, remembered those doubts.
"When I was asked at the beginning of the year if the defense was going
to be the weakest part of the team," he said, "I said, 'Don't tell me that -
you'll have to prove it to me first.' I think we've held our own this year."
Yesterday, the defense did more than "hold their own." Even Wayne'
Woodrow had to agree with that. "Their (the Michigan) defense should
receive great, great credit - they stopped us when we were in scoring
position," he lauded.
"We played most of the game with our offense," he continued. "but we
never scored a touchdown. The Michigan defense should receive great credit
for that."
In fact, the Buckeyes have been unable to get into the end-zone against
the Wolverines in three of the last four games.
"The defense was terrific. They came up with the big plays when we had
to have them," Schembechler agreed.
The defense played like a big rubber band against what Schembechler
called a "very potent offense." Everytime the Buckeyes tried to stretch it
too far, the Blue defense went twanggg!, jarring the OSU offense.
"There is an old saying that sums up this game," Jerry Meter said. " 'It
doesn't matter what a team does in the middle of the field, it's around the ten
(that is important).' Our defense just didn't stop."
In the first half, Ohio State got into Michigan territory three times. It
scored once, and missed two 40-yard-plus field goals. One of those times, the
Buckeyes had second down at the eight, but ended up with fourth down on the
In the second half, Ohio State never punted in six possessions. The
Buckeyes did kick one 44-yard field goal (after they had taken the ball down
to the 11) and tried for a second after recovering a Roosevelt Smith fumble,
but the Michigan defense forced them to cough up the ball twice and held on
two fourth down situations.
In all, Ohio State got inside the Michigan 11 five times, and still could not
score more than six points.
"They were down there (deep in Michigan territory) around six times,"
co-captain Dwight Hicks said, "but someone always came up with the big
One of those players who "rose" to the occasion was tackle Curtis Greer.
"You know it's do or die around there," he said. "I think it was our aggres-
siveness - coming off the line quick - that did it for us.
"We were quick, but they were strong. I don't want to take anything
away from them ... but we felt that as long as we moved quickly, we would
hold them from scoring."
But it took more than quickness for this defensive team who only retur-
ned four starters from last season to perform as it did yesterday.
"We stay together and play together as a unit," Greer felt. "We know
this team is only as strong as its weakest link, so we have to be together. We
feel if we stay together and play with pride, we can be in any ball game."
But sometimes, it takes even more than team play to come out on top in
the scorinig column when it isn't on top in the stats,
Anderson put his faith in something higher. Talking about his punting
in comparison to'last year, he said, "You have a game like last year and you
don't just forget it. So, I went out there with faith in the Lord and asked for
help, and He came through."
Now, if only He does Rose Bowls.

the W
(Continued from Page 1)
"I am not surprised that we won the
game," Schembechler added, "but I
am surprised at how we did it. I thought
we would generate more offense."
Indeed, the Wolverines got off to a
slow start, holding the ball for just 2:08
in the first quarter and running only
five plays from scrimmage for a total of
five yards.
"We had no momentum in the first
quarter," Schembechler said. "We
were out there just hanging in there."
Ohio State, on the other hand, moved
the ball well at the outset but could not
take it into the end zone. After return-
ing the opening kickoff ,o their own 23-
yard line, the Buckeyes, under the di-
rection of quarterback Rod Gerald,
moved 65 yards in 15 plays to the
Michigan 12. Then, Macedonian kicker
Vlade Janakievski booted a 29-yard,
field goal attempt to put OSU ahead, 3-
Moments later, another Buckeye
drive was thwarted when Janakievski's
42-yard attempt sailed wide to the right
with less than a minute remaining in
the quarter.
"We moved the ball very well,
enough to win a lot of games," said
Buckeye coach Woody Hayes. "This is
by far the best game we ever played
and lost.
"THEIR DEFENSE should receive
great, great credit," said Hayes, "for
they stopped us when we were in scor-
ing position."
After the defense held the fort, Rich
Leach and company came to life in a
Michigan-dominated second quarter.
Michigan marched 50 yards in a drive
highlighted by a Leach-to-Ralph Clay-
ton 25-yard pass play. The Buckeyes
then held Michigan to no gain on four
successive plays. A 42-yard field goal
attempt by Michigan's Gregg Willner


was very low and very short.
Moments later, Michigan hit pay dirt.
Taking over on the Buckeye 46-yard
,line, Michigan earned a first down on
short gains by fullback Russell Davis
and tailback Roosevelt Smith, who
replaced Harlan Huckleby. Three plays
later Leach connected with Smith for a
22-yard pass play that put the
Wolverines into scoring position at the
Ohio State eight.
IT WAS SMITH who capped off the
drive three plays later on a one-yard
plunge for the touchdown. A Willner
extra .point put Michigan ahead for
good at 7-3.
Neither team turned the ball over
in the first half, but both fumbled in
the third quarter. The crucial differ-
ence was that Michigan capitalized
on the break with a Leach touch-
down, while Ohio State was forced to
Linebacker Ron Simpkins' fumble

recovery set uF
touchdown. Ohi
Springs was hi
Steve Graves a
air. Simpkins4
Michigan at the
An eleven-yar
Michigan the b
nine. Three play
goal from the
around left en
Ohio State defen
ball across the
was brought dow
Willner's extr
Michigan scori
and moved the b
Michigan 11. T
Curtis Greer c
two-yard loss,
Jeff Logan for
Simpkins sacke


The Michigan Daily-Sunday, November 20, 1977-Page 9 ";f
st kids!
p the final Michigan 13 yards behind the line of scrim":
io State tailback Ron mage. On fourth down and 28
it by middle guard Janakievski kicked a 44-yard field
nd fumbled into the goal, his longest of the' season. Z
caught the ball for Ohio State came close to scorin%, Z
Ohio State20. several times but was stopped by th-
rd Leach keeper gave Michigan defense, keyed by Greer, "
ball on the Buckeye Graves, Simpkins and John Ander- 4w
ys later, on third-and- son. First, they punished fullback
two, Leach rolled Paul Campbell at' fourth and one-.
d, muscled past two inside the Michigan 10-yard line.
nders, and pushed the On its next possession, Ohio State
goal line just as he mounted its longest - and most v
wn. threatening - drive of the day. With p
a point completed the the score 14-6 and less than eight
ng at a 14-3 advan- minutes to go, a Buckeye touchdown:
and two-point conversion would haveI
bounced right back tied the game with little time left for. ,
ball from its 15 to the a Michigan comeback,
hen defensive tackle Gerald took over on the Ohio State f
aught Gerald for a lo.yard line and proved he meant
Mike Jolly stopped business. Largely on the strength of
r another loss and . quick passes to Springs and wing--
d Gerald a whopping back James Harrell, Ohio State
moved to its own 49. Gerald again
Sd dropped back to pass but saw
...... daylight straight ahead and ran for
...... 16 50 3.1 16.

Bucks pre-sweetene

First Downs.........
Passing yards.......
Punts .................
Return yards.........
Penalties-lost .....
Rose Bowl Invitations ..


7 0
3 6

"oga ..............
Logan ...............

Campbell.................. I




Leach.................. 8 t 3/0

MICHIGAN .................0 7 7
Ohio State ...................3 03
OSU-Janakievski, 29-yd. field goal
MICH.-R.Smith, 1-yd. run,wiliner kick
MICH.-Leach, 2-yd. run, wilner kick
OSU-Janakievski, 44-yd. field goal
Att. Yd


Clayton ............... 1
R. Smith ..............1
Springs................ 8
Jones............... i
Jaco ....... .....


A HUSH FELL over the crowd as
yd,. the scoring threat grew. Springs took
ss a pitchout for a nine-yard gain to the
Michigan 26. Two plays later he took
14 a pitch and broke away for what
seemed a sure touchdown, but was
play forced out of bounds at the, eight by
25 substitute .linebacker Mel Owens.
22 On first and goal to go from the
8 eight, Gerald was hit hard by
14 Anderson as he was about to pitch out
32 to Springs. The ensuing fumble was
14 recovered by Michigan's Derek How-
14 ard, and the crowd went wild.





R. Smith.................11
Leach................... 11
Iluckleby .................. 9 '
Springs.................... 14



16 1.8
89 6.4

Doily Photo by ALAN BILINSKY
Good-bye Woody
Woody 'large person' Hayes seen here in pre-game action underneath the M Go
Blue banner. Sorry Woody, we never promised you a Rose Bowl. Hope you
enjoy New Orleans.
- -~a-

By Scott Lewvis
Take this Bckees
L' WOODY HAYES might be a good coach, but he can never win the big
It wasn't too long ago that there was talk about an Ohio State jinx around n
Arbor but that seems ever so far away right now. There's no doubt about it-
Wolverines now control the Michigan-OSU rivalry and all I can say is: it's about
Those tortuous years of the early seventies have given way to utter delight
in the present. Year after year Michigan would outplay Ohio State on paper, only
to be denied by those little things that deny victories.
But it's a different story now. Without a doubt, the Buckeye offense out.
dueled Michigan's. It ran more effectively, passed better and controlled the
ball for most of the game. Had the Ohio State runners not fumbled so often, the
Buckeyes could very well have won this one.
But who cares?
It's so nice to have the breaks go Michigan's way for a change. It gi'
you faith in the old adage that the breaks will even out in the long run.
Now it's the Buckeye fans who must mutter about their team's ugly mis-
fortunes. They'll be the ones to remember that although Ohio State marched into
Wolverine territory five times in the second half, only three points appeared on
the scoreboard.
They can envision In their minds the fourth-and-one-foot play on the Michigan
10 in the fourth quarter, when fullback Paul Campbell met a wall comprised of
John Anderson, Mel Owens and Curtis Greer, and fell for no gain.
They'll never forget when Buckeye tailback Ron Springs stepped out of bounds
a little later inside the Michigan 10, which was followed on the next play by Rod
Gerald's fumble-the play which practically clinched the victory for Michigan.
Yes, just like the Michigan followers before them, the Buckeye fans must rip
their minds to shreds thinking about "what might have happened if.."
But do we really feel sorry for them? No way.
The Michigan fans know that it's "California here we come," and what
happened out there was just part of the game. All that's important is that the final
score was Michigan 14, Ohid State 6.
Say it again. Michigan 14, Ohio State 6.
And isn't it indeed sorrowful that Woody Hayes won't be west of the Mis-
sissippi on New Year's Day? For too many years the Fat Man reaped the bene
of Rose Bowldom, but now he must take his lumps in the Sugar Bowl.
As a Michigan fan who has suffered through Hayes' promposity forma
years, it wasn't difficult to smile inside when he somberly answered the reporte
questions after the game.
Meticulously clad in a blue sport coat juxtaposed against his scarlet t
Woody spoke very low-keyed throughout much of the conference. He answer4
the reporters' delicately-worded questions straightforwardly and sincerely.
Could this be the terror I have looked forward to seeing.for so long? F
a few sacreligious moments I almost felt sorry for the poor man.
But just when my eyes started to water, a reporter asked Hayes about
incident when he punched ABC cameraman Mike Freedman right after Geral
Hayes' face quickly turned scarlet as he approached an innocent newsman
"Someone was going to bring that up. I knew it," he bellowed as he rais4
both his fists up to the reporter's face. "How would you like to have a camzj
stuck in your face like that? Go ahead. Write about that."
Like a five-year-old being sent to his room, he abruptly exited, grunti;
"Oh f-f-f-..."
My life is now complete.
Ironically this is the same Woody Hayes who boisterously posed in frontj
many cameras before the game as he led the Buckeye fans' cheers. Did some


Holy Moses-two years of Roses

For the second consecutive year
Michigan will represent the Big Ten in
the Rose Bowl. Yesterday's 14-6 win
over Ohio State gave Michigan a share
of the conference title for the seventh
time in the last nine years. Michigan
has never made back-to-back trips to
Pasadena in its history and coach Bo
Schembechler couldn't be more
5"I'm just happy to be going again,"
Schembechler said. "I'm tired of
worrying about the psyche of the Rose
Bowl. We'll do everything we can to get
out to the Rose Bowl and represent the
conference well. We will be jacked up.
"No matter how you add it up, we
won the championship again," he ad-
ded. "This team deserves everything
they got. They earned it."
IN ADDITION to praise for his team
Schembechler lauded the performance
of Buckeye quarterback Rod Gerald.
rhe 6-1 junior eluded tackles all after-
noon giving Michigan headaches until a
turnover or the Blue defense shut the
loor. Gerald weaseled out of tight
>queezes much like Cornelius Greene
lid two years ago.
41r,~~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ...11: ... n.ae« ®r~inw

problem, Gerald needled the Blue
defenders, connecting on 13 of 16 passes
for 144 yards.
"I WANTED our ends to corner him
more," Schembechler said. "You can't
give a guy with that much speed that
much rope. If we let him stand back
there he can hit the passes. If we rush
hard and he steps inside the rush he can
run for more yardage than he could
pass for.
"He's got to be one of the quickest
quarterbacks that ever lived," said
outside linebacker John Anderson. "We
tried to force him to pitch the ball-that
was our game plan. The quarterbacks
we had running his position during the
week weren't as quick as he was. So we
just did the best we could and let the
chips fall where they were."
The chips and costly turnovers fell in
Michigan's favor and the Wolverines
capitalized. Also, the Blue offensive
line played a big part in earning the
Wolverines a return trip out west. Rick
Leach was sacked only one time the en-
tire afternoon. In the second quarter
Leach had plenty of time to throw but
the Buckeye pass coverage was ex-
cellent and Byron Cato sacked him.
f41 TITIn IV hie r u oA.. n...:. e .. ....n

great .job leading either Roosevelt
Smith or Harlan Huckleby through the
gaps in the Buckeye defense.
"Our line was good," Leach said.
"We had to make a few adjustments at
the half but then things went
"WE HAD TO get our adjustments
down," said tackle Mike Kenn. "At the
start of the game we had a basic idea of
what they would do from studying the
films. Once the game started we felt out
just what they were doing. We knew we
could move on them."
The Wolverines moved on the
Buckeyes just enough. They only ac-
cumulated ten first downs on the after-
noon but managed to put more points on
the scoreboard. In years past, Michigan
won the statistics game but Ohio State

won the game. Now, the Michigan
players can savor the victory and look
forward to another appearance in the
Rose Bowl.
"No words can describe it," said An-
derson, who had a fine day punting the
ball. "It's just a culmination of a lot of
hard work and effort."
"I thought last year's win at Ohio
State was the best of my career, but
winning in Michigan Stadium against
them in my senior year is the greatest
feeling I've ever had," said Kenn.
"We wanted this game so much,"
said co-captain Walt Downing. "I would
like to see us play UCLA in the Rose
Bowl. They've got some ex-Michigan
coaches out there. We've come a long
way this season. We are such a close
team-we sure don't want to go out
there and lose."

Defeat can turn sweet -
Sugar Bowl grabs OSU

Although the only football game on
the minds of most Ann Arbor residents

Liberty Bowl, Dec. 19 while Pittsburgh
will meet Clemson in the Gator owl.

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