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December 11, 1976 - Image 17

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-12-11

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t nday, December 12, 1976

1THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Nine

uridy, Dcembr 12 197 THEMICHGAN AILYPageNin

That '76 offense was tough'

Recalling Michigan's
most powerful team
By ANDY GLAZER
"Gee, Grandpa, was your college good at football like Dad-
dy's is?"
"Well, Ted, I'll tell you, when I was back at Michigan, my
senior year - what was that, 1976? We had us one fine foot-
ball team. A lot of people talked about their defense, but I'll
tell you, they had the finest offense in the whole country.
"Yep, I bet they might have even been one of the best
offensive teams of all time. Sure had one of the fasteft back-
fields."
"Hey, Pop, I heard that. What sort of nonsense you filling
Ted's head with. Those guys you're talking about aren't even
as good as my Michigan team in 2003. We had Don Dufek III
at quarterback and he led the nation in total offense."
"Well, son, I tell you what. I still have all the old stats
put away, and probably some of the old programs. Let me
tell you about that offense and you tell me if D.D. III and
Co. were as good. Here we are ...
"First off, they scored more points than anyone in the coun-
try, 426. That's 38.7 a game. The team averaged 6.0 yards per
rush, by golly.
"Yeah, the team, stats were kinda sorta OK. Michigan led
the nation in rushing offense and total offense - 448.1 yards a
game!
"But you're bragging on Dufek III, so let me give you the
lowdown on the individuals.
"We had two senior All-Americans, Rob Lytle and Jim
Smith. Lytle ran from both tailback and fullback even though
he only weighed 195 pounds. And he ran for 1,402 yards,
6.9 a shot - best average in the whole country. The man
had 9.5 speed, though, so that average wasn't too surprising.
"He came in third in the Heisman voting, behind two guys
whose schools pumped them, up a lot. But Bo - you remem-
ber Bo Schembechler, he has the highest winning percentage
of any college coach ever - alvays said he was the best, that
he did more things - block, lead, catch passes, play two posi-
tions.
"And of course he had those six great years with the Pack-
ers before he quit. Quite a guy. Smith, now, he was something
else. He caught 24 passes and averaged 27.6 yards a catch!
"Thing was about Smith, his average could've been even
higher. Never saw a receiver get more open more often, but
he got so spen that Leach, Rick Leach the quarterback, usu-
ally underthrew him to be safe. I think he was the best per-
former at a position on the whole team.
"Ohio State was so afraid of Smith Uiey overshifted their
whole defense and left a lot of other options open.
"Russell Davis, a sophomore, played fullback when Lytle
didn't, and Russ could lug his 215 pounds in 9.9 for the hun-
dred. Averaged .5.9 a carry and was never stopped for a
loss all year long.
"Of course, there was Harlan Huckleby too, and he got 902
yards, but his big year wasn't 'til two years later.
"Leach was an interesting quarterback. You remember he
played eight years of outfield for the Dodgers,
See LEACH, Page 12
STEvrE'S LUNCH
1313 SO. UNIVERSITY
HOME COOKING IS OUR SPECIALTY

Big 10 Standings
conf. all
W L T W L T
Michigan 7 1 0 10 1 0
Ohio State 7 1 0 8 2 1
Minnesota 4 4 0 6 5 0
Purdue 4 4 '0 5 6 0
Illinois 4 4 0 5 6 0
Iowa 3 5 0 5 6 0
Wisconsin 3 5 0 5 6 0
Michigan St. 3 5 0 5 6 0
Northw'tern 1 7 0 1 10 0
-

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