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January 08, 1981 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-01-08

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Page 10 Thursday, January 8, 1981 -The Michigan Daily
15 STARTERS RETURN
Outlook bright for '81grid s6quad,5 g
* , X . , ..become a Buckeye blowout? tenders; both have great speed but saw will also get a shot at the open spot.

By ALAN FANGER
A Daily Sports Analysis
Just four months ago, the rather low
expectations for the 1980 Michigan
Wolverine gridders prompted the
following questions:
Could the Wolverines finish as high as
second in'the Big Ten?
WAS MICHIGAN headed for a down-
turn on the gridiron?
Would the Michigan-Ohio State game
5dbm
Action SportsWear
FACTORY
CLOSEOUTS
Swimwear,
Footwear,
Bodywear

A Big Ten championship, Rose Bowl
victory and number four national
ranking later, questions concerning the
1981 squad have taken on a sharply dif-
ferent tone.
CAN ANYONE prevent Michigan
from claiming a second consecutive
conference crown?
Will an opposing team ever score a
touchdown against the tenacious Blue
defense?
With the talent Bo Schembechler will
be welcoming back to drills this spring,
it is only natural that such queries
would arise in post-Rose Bowl dialogue.
In contrast to the graduation losses that
were once alleged to weaken the 1980
team, few members of this year's con-
tingent will be missing from the roster
when the Wolverines open their 1981
campaign September 12 in Wisconsin.
Here is how the squad will likely look:
TIGHT END AND WIDE
RECEIVER- Junior Norm Betts may'
graduate early and leave the tight end
spot open for Chuck Christian and Craig
Dunaway, both of whom have logged
considerable playing time as sub-
stitutes. Whatever the case may be, this
position will once again be blocking-
oriented. Alan Mitchell graduates at
split end, leaving a wide open race for
his spot. Kenney Gear and Fred
Brockington are likely to be the top con-

little playing time in 1980. And of cour-
se, there is Anthony Carter.
OFFENSIVE LINE- Center George
Lilja and guard John Powers, two solid
performers, will be missed, but the line
should remain one of the nation's best.
Look for Jeff Felten, a senior-to-be who
was injured most of the past season, to
move in at Lilja's spot, while Tom
Garrity and a pair of freshmen, Tom
Dixon and Jerry DiOrio, battle for the
vacant guard position. Guard Kurt
Becker and tackles Ed Muransky and
Bubba Paris, all of whom were All-Big
Ten selections, return. Fifth-year man
Tony Osbun may also figure into the
picture.
QUARTERBACK- Obviously, the
most difficult position to resolve at this
point. John Wangler's departure will
cut into Michigan's passing attack, but
the occupant of this position will
ultimately determine the degree to
which the Wolverines will use the pass
as a weapon in their offensive arsenal.
Freshman Steve Smith impressed the
coaching staff throughout the fall but
logged very little game time. Smith
runs the option well, but is untested as a
passer. Rich Hewlett slipped to the
third-string spot by midseason; he also
runs the option effectively, but has
proven to be an erratic thrower.
Freshmen Dave Hall and Greg Powell

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