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November 20, 1975 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-11-20

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Thursday, November 20, 1975

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Nine

Thursday, November 20, 1975 THE MICHGAN DAILY
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Some must be r
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OVERCOME SKEPTICISM:

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By JEFF SCHILLER

IIMU. in I t7 -' 41/6!1L. 5

MICHIGAN WILL take the B
straight season by dumpin
the Wolvernes will win it outri
to deny Michigan a Rose Bowl.
Yes, I've often heard the
Buckeyes-the fabulous Archie
Glorious adjectives spring eter
Take their terrific offense
Michigan may just be superior.
If the Buckeyes are bett
ing to do.

When asked how he attacked
Ohio State's defense, Penn State
. sorry O U coach Joe Paterno responded,
* 0 '-'---"-' We prayed."
If the result of that game is a
reliable indicator, the Michigan
Big Ten Championship for the fifth offense better turn to another
ng Ohio State Saturday. This time source on Saturday - Paterno's
ght; no co-championship this year Nittany Lions failed to score a
touchdown in suffering a 17-9
defeat.
praises sung about the mighty Defense w a s a pre-season
Grifin, songebius Grene, ety question mark for the Buckeyes.
Griffin, Cornelius Greene, et al. Ohio State lost eight starters
nal from the lips of W. W. Hayes. from last year's unit, and there
were doubts about the talent
for example. Watch out Woody, and experience of the replace-
ments. But the first ten games
seem to mark the Buckeye de-
ter they still have a lot of prov-fense as LESS vulnerable than
last year, and a great deal more
consistent.

broken up, having batted down
nine enemy aerials before they
reached the line of scrimmage.
And no discussion of Ohio'
State's defensive strengths would
be complete without mentioning
the Buckeyes' wide-side pass
defenders, cornerback C.r a i g
Cassidy and safety Tim Fox.
Cassidy, the son of former
Heisman Trophy winner Howard
"Hopalong" Cassidy, has al-
ready intercepted six passes this
year including three against
Michigan State. Fox is a genu-
ine All-America candidate who
leads the nationin punt return-
ing in addition to his defensive
chores.
LEST THE Buckeye defense
sound more invulnerable than
Superman, it must be remem-

t stingyIf
bered that lowly Indiana was probable that they are the play-
able to move the ball quite well ers that will be worked on in
against it. Indiana coach Lee Michigan's offensive game plan.
Corso explained that, "We tried Pdt
to pit our strengths against their Prayers didn't beat the Ohio
weaknesses," adding that by State defense. Neither did its
weaknesses, he meant areas of first ten opponents. But then,
inexperience. none of those games was played
Where Ohio State is most ex- against Michigan.
ploitable this year is at both de-
fensive ends, and on the short
tside of the secondary. SCO RES
Not that these players lack
talent. But none of them played -- ---
a lot prior to this year, and none NBA
have demonstrated the outstand- Detroit 120, Portland 114
ing talents that some of their Atlanta 104, Golden stateC 98; o
Philadelphia 113, Kansas city 103
counterparts have. Los Angeles 118, Houston 110
Though ends Bob Brudzinski NHL
and Pat Curto, and backs Bruce Detroit 3, Boston 3
Ruhl and Ray Griffin (Archie's Kansas City 6, New York Rangers 4
Rh ) a I Vancouver 5, Washington
brother) are good players, it is;z-

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Michigan's backfield quartet of Jim Smith, Rick Leach, Rob
Lytle and Gordon Bell certainly have not been overshadowed
by Buckeye backs. Lytle, Leach and Smith have carried for more
yards per run than each of their Buckeye counterparts-Lytle
5.4 compared to Pete Johnson's 4.9, Rick Leach's 5.6 compared
to Cornelius Greene's 3.9, Jim Smith's 8.7 compared to Brian
Baschnagel's 8.2.
Even Archie Griffin's incomparable record seems not so
incomparable. Though Archie has rushed for 100 yards more
than Michigan's Gordon Bell this season, in Big Ten play
the two tailbacks are just about even, rushing for about five
each carry.
Michigan also comes out ahead of Ohio State in both rushingI
offense and total offense in the Big Ten.
The only concession Michigan might make offensively is in
the passing department where Greene has more yards and a
better passing percentage than Leach. But even here Leach has
improved considerably from the early weeks of the season and
has completed seven of his last ten passes for 245 yards.
Overcame costly injuries
Defensively, Michigan has shown itself superior leading the
Big Ten against the run and in total defense.
People skeptical of the Wolverines' chances in this classic
will cite the scores the Buckeyes have rolled up over opponents
all year while Michigan has struggled and tied twice.
But the Wolverines have overcome the two factors most
responsible for Michigan's ties with Stanford and Baylor-
injuries and inexperience. A healthy offensive line and a
more experienced defensive backfield have made Michigan
tough to stop on the ground and less vulnerable defending
against the pass.
It seems like every year Ohio State breezes through the
schedule while Michigan just hangs on against lesser teams. But
in spite of this Ohio State has outscored Michigan in the last
four years, 43-41.
In 1969 the Buckeyes rolled past opposition before the Mich-
igan game with an average score of 46-10. An 8-2 Michigan team
was not intimidated and handed the Buckeyes a 24-12 loss.
Incentive, home field important
Besides being at least evenly matched physically with the
Buckeyes, Michigan has two big advantages going for it-
incentive and Michigan Stadium.
The Ohio State team, with a record for four years of 39-4-1,
has gone to three Rose Bowls. No one on the Michigan team,
meanwhile, with a record over four years of 38-2-3, has yet to
go to a Rose Bowl. The frustrations built up from denials will
give Michigan an additional boost. The Orange Bowl is all right
for the Buckeyes, but not for Michigan.
At Michigan Stadium, Bo Schembechler has not lost to a
Big Ten team. The home town fans make a difference, as
Ohio State has discovered going 0-2-1 against Bo and his
Wolverines in Ann Arbor. Home field advantage has worked
both ways in this series as neither team has been victorious
as guests since 1967.
Sorry Woody, Michigan has the edge in this one. If Michigan
and Ohio State can be considered equal physically-which is
about the case, Michigan has the decided edge because of in-
centive and the home field.j
People in Ann Arbor are anxious to find out what Pasadena
is like around New Year's Day. It has to be better than Ann
Arbor or Miami.

WOODY HAYES' defenders
differ from their Michigan
counterparts in one obvious re-
spect. Physically, their front
five outweighs the Wolverine
front five by about 15 pounds
per man. The result is that Ohio
State's defense relies more heav-
ily on physical superiority than
does the smaller, quicker Mich-
igan line.
Perhaps the Bucks greatest
strength lies at the linebacking
position. Junior Ed Thompson
and senior Ken Kuhn rank first
and fourth in number oftackles!
by OSU defenders, and between
them they h a v e intercepted
three passes and recovered a(
fumble.
Paterno said simply, "They
have great linebackers, especial-
ly Kuhn. He's a real leader."
ALMOST AS powerful, and
maybe equally so in terms of
front line quality, is the middle
of the Ohio State defensive line.
Tackles Nick Buonamici and
Eddie B e a m o n, and middle
guard Aaron Brown have been
chiefly responsible for the lim-
iting of opponents rushing at-;
tacks to an average of 142.9
yards per game this season.
In addition, the trio has ter-
rorized enemy quarterbacks who!
attempt to throw against Ohio
State. Maybe the most interest-
ing statistic of all those bandied
about this week is that Buona-
mici leads the team in passes
&k
zFR E-
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NOV. 22
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introductions for all songs

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