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December 11, 1976 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-12-11

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Page Eighteen

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, December 12, 1976

-a EihenTEMCIGNDIYSna eebr1,17

I

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I' ll run over tackles if I
can't get around them'-Bell

(Continued from Page 17)
overcame a bad set of nerves
to gain 256 yards, a new USC
record. Proving that he was no
flake, he picked up another 215
yards in the next game.
Ricky Bell had arrived.
Just like that, Bell's anony-
imity vanished, and he became
an instant celebrity. Everyone
wanted to know who this power-
ful new running sensation was
and where he came from.
"At the beginning, the sudden
exposure took a little getting
to," commented Bell. "All the
attention was hard to handle at
first. I had never been inter-
viewed by a reporter before
then."
By the end of the year, Bell
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gave plenty more interviews
and gained plenty more yards.
He finished with 1957 yards,
more than any of his great
predecessors. He f ian i s h e d
third in the voting for the
Heisman Trophy, even though
he gained over 500 yards more
than winner Archie Griffin-
from Ohio State.
Picking up this fall right
where he left off last year, Bell
remarkably passed the 1,000
yard mark in only the, fifth
game. Against Washington State
this year, the tireless Bell car-
ried the ball 51 times and rack-
ed up 347 yards, three carries
and three yards shy of both
NCAA marks.
The next week, however, Bell
severely twisted his ankle, and
saw only liimted action for the
next month.
"The ankle would have healed
a lot-faster if I had stayed off
it for awhile," Bell admitted.
"But I just couldn't. That was
the first real injury ever and
it came right at the peak of my
career."
Bell ended the current season
with 1417 yards rushing, giving
him a two-year total of 3384.
But he still came away empty-
handed as far as the Heisman
was concerned, finishing second
in this month's voting to Pitts-
burgh's Tony Dorsett. -
Bell feels no regrets about
never having won the trophy.
"I'm pretty sure that I would
have won it if I didn't get
hurt," he said, "but I did and
that's the way it goes some-
times."
"I can't take anything away
from Dorsett," Bell continued.
"He had a great year and de-
served to win it."
Comparing his style of run-
ning to that of Dorsett's, Bell
said, "he's more of a scatback
than I am, with his super speed
and daling moves. I consider
myself as mare of a power run-
ner. I'll run over tackles if I
can't get around them."
USC's new coach John Robin-
son views his star tailback's

running style in much the same
light.
"Like O. J. Simpson and
Jimmy Brown, Ricky has both
the power and ability to make
a tackler flat out miss," said
Robinson. "You'll see him
take a tackler head on and
run right over, and then two
steps later change direction
and make the next one grab
air."
Even though Bell is such a
punishing runner, he seems to
thrive on work, averaging m6re
than 32 carries a game over a
two year span.
"I just like to carry the bail,
so I don't get tired," explained
Berl.
As the Trojan workhorse, Bell
appears to get stronger as the
game progresses. "I just get
warmed up in the first half," he
said. "Most of my yards usually
come in the third and fourth
quarters."
With the Rose Bowl coming
up for his team, Bell nonethe-
less maintains a relaxed atti-
tude toward the game.
"We've had a nice, month-
long vacation from football out
here," sail Bell. "I spend plenty
of time in the whirlpool and get-
ting treatment to make sure
that I'm 100 percent on Janu-
ary 1."
1977 marks the third Rose
Bowl for Bell, and he hopes
for a repeat of the '75 clash.
That year, the Trojans toppled
a powerful Ohio State squad,
18-17, to win the national cham-
pionship.
Bell anticipates another very
close contest this year, and has
great respect for the Michigan
defensive platoon.
"I imagine that we will be
a slight underdog," he pre-
dicted, "bt I can guarantee
that it swill he close."
Bell termed the Wolverine de-
fense as "the best that we have
faced all year, without a doubt.
Any defense that gives up less
than eight points per game has
got to be good," he said.
See RICKY BELL, Page 22

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