e 2-D-Thursday, Seotember 10, 1981-The Mic-h
Few holes for gridders to fill
By MARK MIHANOVIC
If ever a team ended a football season
in impressive fashion, the 1980
Michigan Wolverines did. After a pair
of heart-wrenching losses in the second
and third games of the campaign to
Notre Dame (29-27) and South Carolina
(17-14), they began turning themselves.
around with a 38-13 trouncing of
And by November, Michigan was in-
vincible. It destroyed Indiana, Wiscon-
sin, Purdue, and Ohio State by a com-
bined score of 94-3, while playing only
the Boilermaker contest in friendly
Michigan Stadium. Then came perhaps
the most significant accomnplishment of
all-a 23-6 thrashing of Washington to
end the Maize and Blue's bowl game
losing streak at seven games.
THUS, THE WOLVERINES enter the
1981 season with Bo Schembechler's
post-season monkey off their backs. As
if last fall's strong finish is not enough
reason to be optimistic about the up-
coming year, consider who returns
from that ballclub:
* Eight of 11 starters of the stingiest
defensive unit in the Big Ten, including
the complete secondary contingent
which bottled up highly-touted quarter-
backs Rich Campbell, Tim Clifford,
Mark Herrmann, and Art Schlichter.
* All-Big Ten offensive linemen Kurt
Becker, Ed Muransky, and Bubba
* The backfield trio of Butch Woolfolk,
Stanley Edwards, and Lawrence Ricks
which ground out 2,793 yards.
. Punter Don Bracken, second in the
conference in '80 with a 40.9 yard
average, and kicker Ali Haji-Shiekh,
third among Big Ten kickers in scoring
* Anthony Carter.
What it all adds up to is the kind of*
team preseason pollsters drool over,
and if Schembechler has any worries
about his squad, it is the effect that a
possible Number One ranking might
have on his squad.
"I hope we have confidence, but I
hope we're not overconfident," Schem-
bechier said. "I have a feeling, in the
preseason, we're gonna be a highly
overrated team. We're in the same
situation Ohio State was a year ago.
"THEY (THE POLLSTERS) are
gonna pick us on the basis of having
eight of our.11 defense(men) back, but
it's not the same defense. (The
graduation of Andy) Cannavino and
(Mel) Owens are astronomical losses.
Cannavino was the absolute leader of
the defense. That's number one.
"And number two," he continued,
"you shouldn't be picked as a potential
national champion, or great football
team, when you don't have an ex-
But while Michigan does not have an
experienced signal-caller to replace
John Wangler, who finished third in the
Big Ten in passing efficiency behind
Herrmann and Schlichter, it certainly
does have a talented one. Sophomore
Steve Smith emerged from spring prac-
tice as the first-stringer, and Schem-
bechler has high hopes for the 6-0, 186-
pounder out of Grand Blanc, who saw
very limited action in his freshman
"DURING THE COURSE of the
spring, Smith established himself as an
excellent prospect because he can run,
he can pass, he's a strong kid, he's very.
competitive, and he's smart," the
Not far behind Smith, however, in the
annual quarterback derby is junior
Rich Hewlett, who started the first two
contests last fall before Wangler took
over. With either Hewlett or Smith
calling the signals, Schembechler can
feel free to go to the option, a pleasure
he wasn't afforded last fall because of
Wangler's immobility. Hewlett,
however, with limited passing ability,
does not provide the kind of versatility
that Smith does.
Sophomores David Hall and Greg
Powell and senior B. J. Dickey, who
returns after being suspended by
Schembechler for the 1980 season, wait
in the wings.
A KEY CONSIDERATION for Bo as
he chooses among his quarterbacks is
certainly their relative abilities to
deliver the ball into the hands of Carter.
The 5-11, 161-pound Florida native
became the first Michigan sophomore
since 1925 to gain All-American honors,
... awesome potential
Michigan s 1981 Football Schedule
at Michigan State
after a 1980 season in which he caught
51 passes for 818 yards (16 yards per
catch) and a season-record 14 touch-
Kenny Gear, a 6-1, 185-pound junior,
is the front-runner for the opening at
the other wide receiver created by the
graduation of Alan Mitchell, with
sophomore Vince Bean and senior Fred
Brockington challenging. Incoming
freshman Brad Cochran has the size (6-
3, 197) and speed (4.4 in the 40) to make
his presence felt, also.
At tight end, Norm Betts (Michigan's
second-leading receiver last year with
17 catches) and Craig Dunaway should
share the chores.
IT IS NOT likely that any new faces
will break into the backfield. Edwards
(6-1, 210) made the adjustment from
tailback to fullback in seemingly fine
fashion last fall, gaining 901 yards with
a 4.7 yards per carry average. Schem-
bechler, however, is looking for more
"He's not the kind of fullback that we
want yet," the coach said. "He's got to
do a better job of blocking for us. If he
does that, then he can be an outstanding
Gerald Ingram's knee injury makes
him a question mark behind Edwards;
thus depth could be a problem there.
Schembechler is considering the option
of trying recruit Greg Washington, a 6-
3, 220-pounder named by one
publication as the nation's best high
school athlete last year, at fullback.
Woolfolk (6-2, 207) and Ricks (5-10,
195) shared playing time at tailback in
'80, as each was hampered by injury at
various times. Woolfolk, who led the
Blue with 1,042 yards on the year, saved
his best performances for last, with 141
yards versus the Buckeyes and 182 in
the Rose Bowl.
MOST OFFENSIVE LINES would be
considered decimated by the loss of an
All-American center (George Lilja)
and All-Big Ten guard (John Powers).
But when the likes of guard Becker (6-6,
255) and tackles Muransky (6-7, 275)
and Paris (6-7, 270) are returning, that
is anything but the case.
Sophomore Tom Dixon, (6-2, 235),
who started the Minnesota game at
guard last year, is the leading can-
didate to try to fill Lilja's large shoes.
Junior Jeff Felten (6-2, 230) and
sophomore Larry Sweeney (63, 235)
were both injured much of the spring,
but could challenge in the fall.
Junior Rich Strenger (6-7, 245) and
sophomore Stefan Humphries (6-4, 234)
are the two front-runners for Powers'
left guard spot. Junior Tom Garrity (6-
4, 245) and sophomores Jerry Diorio (6-
4, 235) and Dan Yarano (6-3, 238)
provide depth up front.
FOR THE MICHIGAN defense, the
magic number stands at 22. That's how
many 15-minute quarters of football it
has been since an opponent has
penetrated the Wolverine end zone with
The Blue defenders finished first in
the Big Ten against the run, second
versus the pass, and first in both total
and scoring defense. The major
problem confronting Bo is the
replacement of three of his five leading
tacklers (Cannavino, Owens, and
defensive tackle Mike Trgovac).
Juniors Winfred Carraway (6-3, 230),
who started five of the last six games
last season, and Cedric Coles (6-2, 241),
who started three games, are likely to
man the tackle spots, at one of which
Trgovac was a second team All-
American last fall. Schembechler
moved offensive lineman Tony Osbun
(6-5, 258) to defense and he, along with
sophomores Doug James (6-2, 240) and
Dave Meredith (6-4, 233) and recruit
Clay Miller, out of Norman, Oklahoma,
will push for playing time.
AT MIDDLE GUARD, Jeff Shaw (6-
1, 250), who last year started as a
freshman over the last half of the cam-
paign and finished second to Trgovac
among down linemen with 46 tackles, is
the frontrunner. But Bo said that he is
also going to take a close look at Nate
Rodgers (a 6-0, 231-pound sophomore)
and a few incoming freshmen.
The linebacking posts are where
graduation took its biggest bite,
however. On the outside, Owens'
opening could be filled by any of a num-
ber of athletes, including 6-5, 219-pound
junior Mike Lemirande and
sophomores Carlton Rose (6-1, 205) and
Rodney Lyles (6-3, 210). On the other
side, the blitzing Robert Thompson (a 6-
3, 215-pound senior), who led the team
in tackles behind the line of scrimmage
with 15 in '80, returns.
Only a debilitating injury could force
junior Paul Girgash (6-1, 205) from one
of the inside linebacking posts.
"GIRGASH IS A quiet leader,"
Schembechler said of the Wolverines'
second-leading tackler last season. "No
man-no man puts more into football
than Paul Girgash. His heart and soul is
in the game always, anytime you wan-
At the other inside position, those bat-
tling to assume the unenviable task of
replacing Cannavino (in second place
among all-time Michigan tacklers), are
6-2, 219-pound junior Jim Herrmann
and 6-2, 210-pound sophomore Mike
Senior Ben Needham (6-4, 215), who
started two years ago at outside
linebacker but, like Dickey, was
Sports Information Photo
POSSIBLY THE MOST explosive player in college football, Anthony Carter
draws the attention of every eye in the crowd anytime he gets near the ball.
Hold on, though, says Bo. "He isn't as good as he can be yet. He's still got a
ways to go there."
suspended last season, fits into the pic-
ture, also, but Bo is not sure where.
"NEEDHAM HAD A good spring,"
the coach said. "We moved him from
outside to inside to see if he could help
us there 'cause we're not deep
there. He's tall, and he's got great
range as a pass defender. He'll be a key
guy in our defense."
There is less uncertainty when it
comes to the Blue defensive backfield,
which relented only a single touchdown
through the air in conference com-
petition. And the foursome of corner-
backs Brian Carpenter and Marion
Body and safeties Tony Jackson and
Keith Bostic is a year more experien-
The only one likely to face a challenge
for a starting spot is Body, who was
hurt much of the spring and will have. to
fend off sophomore Evan Cooper and
junior Jerry Burgei. Schembechler is
high on his secondary but remains wary
of its lack of size-of the starting four,
only Bostic, (at 6-1), is at least six feet
tall, and Jackson is the only back whose
weight, 217, reaches the 200-pound
"IF YOU WANNA play into their
hands, they can gobble you up," he ex-
plained. "They're very fast, they're
very quick, they cover well, they'r
good. ...but they're not big."
Depth should not be a problem in the
defensive backfield, with senior Stu
Harris (6-2, 196), who started at strong
safety in 1979 and returns after a knee
injury knocked-him out of action in '80,
senior Jeff Reaves (6-1, 192), out much
of the spring with a bad back, and
junior John Lott (6-0, 176) ready to go.
Thus, the tools are there, on both
sides of the ball. Last season Schem-
bechler cast aside the bowl jink-he
has now won everything a coach*
possibly can, with the exception of a
national title. If he can adequately fill a
few holes (a couple of them big, a
couple not-so-big), if Steve Smith even
approaches his awesome potential, if
his squad avoids that dreaded cbm-
placency, and, of course, if Anthony
Carter remains able-bodied, the coach
may make that final addition to his
illustrious record. Then again, as Bo
knows so well, "if" is such a big word.
1980 Football Statistics
Total First Downs ...............260
Total Offensive Plays.... .........911
Total Offensive Yards...........4707
Rushing Attempts ..............674
Rushing Yards ................3023
Passing Yards ................1684
Average Yards per Game...........392
Average Yards per Play.............5.2
Average per Rush.................4.5
Average per Completed Pass .....13.3
Total Number of Punts...............56
Total Yards ..................2389
Average per Punt.............42.7
K. Smith..... ...
8 46 5.8
6 17 2.8
9 8 0.9
0 7 7.0
32 -122 -3.8
Wracken ................... 56
Haji-Sheikh ............... 17
*(Asterisk denotes those players
not returning in
Daily Photo by JOHN HAGEN
IN ITS LAST five games, the swarming Michigan defense blanked three opponents, held Ohio State to a field goal, and
yielded a pair of three-pointers to Washington in the Rose Bowl. Mel Owens (53) has graduated, but Paul Girgash (No.
50 and inset), second to Andy Cannavino with 114 stops, returns at inside linebacker for his junior year.
"Full line of backp
& camping equip
We stock a full line of clothing.
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Big Ten Standings
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