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September 19, 1981 - Image 22

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-19
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Page 12-Saturday, September 19, 1981-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily-Saturday, Septeml

Herrmann loss
to hurt Boilers

UP

. . .AND IN THIS
CORNER...
Mark Mihanovic

"Losing Herrmann, Young, and also
(wide receiver Bart) Burrell puts a big
gap in our passing attack," said Young.
"Add that to the fact that we lost two of
our top running backs JBen McCall and
John Macon) also to graduation and
you have a situation where you have to
search for a new combination."
IN ALL, the Boilermakers lost seven
players on offense and five on defense.
Filling Herrmann's big shoes will
probably be sophomore Scott Cam-
pbell. Campbell's name should not be
strange to football fans. As a freshman
last season, he was called to start the
season opener against Notre Dame on
national television at South Bend when
Herrmann- sprained the thumb on his
passing hand. Although in defeat, Cam-
pbell gave a superlative effort by com-
pleting 17 of 26 passes for 178 yards and
one touchdown.
Campbell seemed to be a shoo-in for
the job following spring practice, but
there is plenty of competition for the
starting signal-caller spot.
6-5 JUNIOR Larry Gates, who Young
calls "a physical clone to Herrmann" is
a very good drop-back passer, the kind
of quarterback Young likes. He will
definitely push Campbell, who along
with being a good passer, adds a run-
ning threat to the Purdue attack.
Flanker Steve Bryant had 50 recep-
tions last season, but still finished third
to Young and Burrell in overall catches.
He will be the main man Campbell will
be looking for this season.
Speedy running back Jimmy Smith
got his first start just barely halfway
through the season last year, but wound
up accumulating 657 yards for the
season. He will also be counted on heavily
this season.
The only part of the Boilermaker of-
fense that isn't drawing any ddep con-
cern is the kicking game. Senior Rick
Anderson set the conference single
season record for field goals (15) last
season and also led the conference in
kick scoring (72 points). Anderson, a
junior college All-American at Ellswor-
th, Iowa, also led the team in total poin-
ts (86).
There aren't as many new pieces to
fit into the puzzel on the defensive side
of the ball. In fact, the Boiler defense
figures to be one of the quickest that
Young has ever had. The secondary
should be the best with hard-hitting
safeties Tim Seneff and Marcus
McKinney returning.

A new start ..
... now a bundle of questions
This column was already written. When I left for Madison, Wisconsin last
Friday, I did so content in the knowledge that I had filled this slot in
"Kickoff '81" with copy. I wrote about how much fun the season had already
been, with Michigan ranked Number One and all the corresponding pre-
season hoopla. I wrote about what a classic matchup today's game was, pit-
ting two of the top four teams in the nation in what was reestablishing itself
as a great rivalry after only a few years of competition.
Then last Saturday, "I don't believe it" ... moan ... ri-i-i-ip. Let's start
over.
I find it very difficult to be critical of the team that went down at the hands of
Wisconsin, 21-14, one week ago. It did not ask to be ranked Number One. It
did not ask for three members of its offensive line to be named as preseason
All-Americans, for its flashy receiver to be hailed as "The Second Coming,"
for its defense to be praised as impenetrable. All this team did was succeed
the squad that showed (pardon the corny tone) character and raw guts in
coming back from a 1-2 start to capture the Big Ten and finally won its
beleagured coach his first Rose Bowl. Certainly a football team cannot be
persecuted because of the quality of that which preceded it. Or because a
bunch of sportswriters expected bigger things.
A conversation I had with Bo Schembechler back in June keeps coming
to mind. When I mentioned that his team was certain to be considered a
prime contender to take the national championship, he winced as if the Big
Ten athletic directors had just voted to again send the Buckeyes, rather than
his outfit, to Pasadena.
Bo told us so
Our quarterback has hardly played any college football, he whined.
They can't pick us for Number One, he went on, almost waiting for me to
concur and relieve his misery. Doesn't anybody realize what the loss of (An-
dy) Cannavino, (Mel) Owens, and (Mike) Trgovac does to our defense, he
asked. He then indicated that he knew a little more than he was letting on to.
I have a feeling, in the preseason, we're gonna be a highly overrated
team. We're gonia be highly overrated, and we're gonna have to play with
that."
Not any more, Bo.
Then he said one more thing. "The most improved team in this league
will be Wisconsin-by fur." You might want to start calling him "The
Prophet."
So I cannot criticize the coach, either. He told us. It isn't his fault tht we
didn't believe him.
One Number One on the field.
Now it is time to look ahead. Or to the present, rather. After all, there is
one top-ranked grid outfit performing in Michigan Stadium today. And this
could be another great Michigan-Notre Dame battle. It all depends on which
Wolverine team shows up on the Tartan Turf-the 1980 steamroller or ...
well, I promised not to criticize.
If ever two squads appeared to be entering a contest on different
emotional planes, it is the Wolverines and the Fighting Irish. Whether he
brushed off his team's preseason ranking or not, undoubtedly Schembechler
was confident that his ballclub would be solid, if not spectacular. Now,
everything is a question mark.
Can he go with Steve Smith all year; will he come around? Is Ali Haji-
Sheikh's performance last week (two missed field goals) an omen of things
to come? Is the defensive backfield, as Bo has worried, too small to come to
the line and make the big hit? Or was Wisconsin really that good?
Hopefully, for the sake of an exciting 1981 Michigan football season, the
answers to the above queries are yes, no, no, yes. Maybe it was a case of a
flat Wolverine team, semi-looking ahead to Notre Dame, being stunned by
an extremely well-prepared, emotional Badger unit. I suspect that is the
case.
On the other hand, no questions were raised about the Irish after their 27-
9 thrashing of LSU in Gerry Faust's first game. Tony Hunter is more effec-
tive than ever at his new wingback spot, and on defense, they are their usual
physical selves. Also, don't forget that mystique that blows the wind in at the
back of Harry Oliver as he drills a 51-yarder through the goal posts as time
runs out.
That may be tougher to overcome than the jinx of a Number One
ranking.
Sports Editor........ ........................Mark Mihanovic
Supplement Editors.......................... Buddy Moorehouse
Drew Sharp
Football Staff Writer ...................................... Greg DeGulis
Busines Manager .................................... Randi Cigelnik
Sales Manager ....................Aida Eisenstat
w7 Mir.Covta4ot4:etblrtr sy of Barry Rankip

S51
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