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December 10, 1977 - Image 16

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-12-10
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Page 8-Saturday, December 10, 1977-The Michigan Daily


The Michigan Daily-Soturday, De
award surprise

Davis despite


the nations
Rose Bowl
in rushing

7-1 Big Ten, 10-1 Overall

9/10 MICHIGAN 37, Illinois
9/17 MICHIGAN 21, Duke 9
9/24 MICHIGAN 14, Navy 7
10/1 MICHIGAN 41, Texas A


&M 3

10/8 MICHIGAN 24, Michigan State 14
10/15 MICHIGAN 56, Wisconsin 0
10/22 Minnesota 16, MICHIGAN 0
10/29 MICHIGAN 23, Iowa 6
11/5 MICHIGAN 63, Northwestern 20
11/12 MICHIGAN 40, Purdue 7
11/19 MICHIGAN 14, Ohio State 6


Editor's note: In 1977 junior fullback Russell
Davis became the sixth player in Michigan his-
tory to gain over 1000 yards rushing in a single
season. The powerful fullback from Virginia rushed
for 1013 yards and seven touchdowns. Davis was
voted the Most Valuable Plaerlror the season by
his teammates. Recently. Davis spoke with Man-
aging Sports Editor Scott Lewis.
DAILY: You were named Michigan's
Most Valuable Player, a rarity for a
junior. Did this come as a surprise to
DAVIS: Yes, it was a total shock. I
wasn't even expecting it at all. I was
sitting there eating, and Bo was giving
a little talk, and then he announced it.
When I went up to say something, I was
at a loss for words. I hadn't really
thought about who would win it. I
thought it would be a senior.
DAILY: How has the competitive
situation at tailback this year been a
help or a hindrance to the team?
DAVIS: It doesn't really hurt a team
like us because we have so many
tailbacks that can do the job-all of
themcan do the job. It just matters who
has more experience than the other
guy. So Huck was the man with the ex-
perience, but when he went down,
Roosevelt (Smith) stepped right in and
did the job, too. And when Rose couldn't
go, Stanley (Edwards) stepped in and
did a good job as a freshman.
The competition made each of them
try harder. Competition makes you a
better player.
DAILY: Last year's team set all sor-
ts of running records. What have been
the differences between this year's
team and this year's team?
DAVIS: Basically, we threw the ball
more this year than last year, and it
really opened up our attack. The in-
juries may have hurt our line
somewhat, but then again it's just like
the tailback situation-we have people
"We're out there to win
it (the Rose Bowl) this
year. Not that we weren't
out to iwin it last year but
there's just more drive
having lost" ... "A team
like Washington is going
to be hungry. I don't be-
liere they're going to be
pushovers like everyone
says. I believe we will get
a good battle."
that can step in and do the job. So that's
what they had to do when they were
called upon.1
DAILY: You were shaken up at the
end of the Purdue game. Have you fully
recovered from that?
DAVIS: They were just cramps in
my calf muscle, that's all. I was ready1
to play again in 15 minutes, but we had
a big lead, so they just kept me out.1
DAILY: Is the team going out to
Pasadena this year with last year's t
game fresh in its mind?

DAVIS: You betcha. We're out there
to win it this year. Not that we weren't
out to win it last year, but there's just
more of a drive because of having lost.
DAILY: How difficult is it to concen-
trate on football once you get out there?
DAVIS: It's not that hard, because
you know that you're main purpose out
there is to win the game, and play foot-
ball, so that counts first. Anything else
is secondary. -But you can still manage
to have a good time out there.
DAILY: Does going out there have
any meaning for you other than playing
in a football game?
DAVIS: Not really. It's your reward
for a good season, so you kind of take it
in that respect. There's a lot of other
things that go on out there, though. Like
you can go to Disneyland or something
like that, but actually that's all in the
fun. They don't really take away
because you know your main objective
is to win the game.
DAILY: Do you think the fact that
USC comes from Los Angeles helped it
a lot last year? Was there a home field
advantage for them?
DAVIS: Yes, I do believe so, because
we have to travel all that distance and
stay in a hotel, while they just stayed in
a dorm. It does make things more dif-
ficult for us.
It should make things more even
against Washington though.
DAILY: How do you have to work the
Rose Bowl around finals?
DAVIS: You have to get together
with your professors and work
something out with them. Mostly we try
to do all that before we get out there,
and if there's something that you can't
take care of, then you get it when you
come back. The professors don't really
give you any problem. They realize
about the trip. A lot of them are U of M
fans anyway.
DAILY: How tough does Washington
DAVIS: We haven't really seen any
films of them yet, but one thing I do
know is that they beat USC by 18 points,
and any team that beats USC by 18
points can't be all that bad at all.
DAILY: Are you more optimistic
this year than last year?
DAVIS: Yes, I think so. But I don't
believe that they're going to be a
pushover like everyone says. A team
like Washington is going to be hungry.
They haven't been to the Rose Bowl in
some years now. I believe we'll get a
good battle.
Just like us and Ohio State-even if
we have a losing season, and come into
that last game against Ohio, we still
have a chance to beat them on that
given Saturday.
DAILY: Does the team still entertain
thoughts of winning the national cham-
DAVIS: I myself haven't really
given it much thought. There's a lot of
stuff that would have to happen before
that happens. If it does, then that's
great. It would have been nice to do it
with an undefeated season, but unfor-
tunately we didn't get it.
DAILY: What kind of personal goals
did you set at the beginning of the
season? Have they been achieved?

DAVIS: We set goals every year for
ourselves, and team goals too. My first
goal was to start for Michigan this year,
and the next was to make all-Big Ten,
and then to get a thousand yards,

JUNIOR FULLBACK Russell Davis is on his way
tackle in the Iowa game. Davis turned a short pass i
yard touchdown in the Wolverines' 23-6 victory.- The I
from scrimmage for Michigan in 1977.

4 4k-.f.

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