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September 04, 1980 - Image 123

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 4, 1980-Page F-3

The age of redemption

bBut QB, defense
still question marks.
for title-hungry Blue

By MARK MIHANOVIC
'The 17-15 upset Gator Bowl loss to
forth Carolina last December was a
fitting conclusion to a decade of
michigan football in which the
Wplverines compiled the finest regular
season record in college football, 96-10-
(3 only to lose all six post-season bowl
games.
,t was also a fitting conclusion to an 8-
4 :season which would be considered
sccessful at most universities, but
which qualified as the worst and most
rustrating of Coach Bo Schembechler's
1-year reign at Michigan.
ONE MAJOR cause of frustration for
'the Wolverine gridders, whose four
,defeats came by a total of 10 points (12-
{ to Notre Dame, 24-21 to Purdue, 18-15
SOhio State), was an inept kicking
Mme. Bryan Virgil's 4=3 field goal per-
trnmance and four blocked punts made
J1im a household name in Ann Arbor, if
int a popular one. He is gone now, via
-Schembechler's indefinite suspension
for team ;rule .violations, and
sophomore Ali Haji-Sheikh (0-6 in field
goals) finished spring drills as the
snpmber one candidate to succeed
,Virgil. Schembechler plans to look at a
few other candidates (whom he won't
name or number for fear of excessive
'media attention) before making a final
decision.
Another, area of concern for
Wolverine followers is the quarterback
,spot, where they were left very thin by
John Wangler's Gator Bowl knee injury
Wand the loss of senior B. J. Dickey, who,
like Virgil, Ben Needham, Dan
Kwiatkowski, and Mike Kligis,, has
gone the suspension route.
So that leaves talented sophomore
Rich Hewlett (6-1, 197), who specializes
,,in running the option. Hewlett, out of
Plymouth Salem, is fully recovered
..from the ankle injury which he
-. x es unewne ,a-n

sustained during the Ohio State game
last fall, but he faces a trio of freshman
recruits in competition for the signal-
calling job.
STEVE SMITH, a highly-recruited,
6-2, 195-pound All-American from
Grand Blanc High School is the most
publicized of the three, but Schem-
bechler warned against making any

because the only quarterback they're
competing against is Hewlett, unless
Johnny makes it back. If John makes it
back, then that's gonna put a little dif-
ferent dimension on the quarterback
situation. But that's still up in the air.
"HEWLETT'S OUR number one
quarterback right now," Schembechler
pointed out. "Hewlett is inexperienced,
although we're satisfied that he can do
the job."
The rest of the offense is solid and ex-
perienced, with seven 1979 starters
returning. The backfield is deep: junior
Butch Woolfolk and sophomore
Lawrence Ricks (5-10, 200) are slated to
share playing time at tailback, and
senior Stanley Edwards (6-1, 205), and
sophomore Jerald Ingram (6-2, 217)
line up at the fullback position.
Woolfolk, a 6-1, 207-pound native of New
Jersey, led the Big Ten in scoring,
finished third in rushing yardage, and
was named first team All-Big Ten last
year, despite starting only five games.
Anthony Carter, who dazzled
Wolverine fans in his freshman season
by averaging 27.2 yards per catch on 17
receptions and scoring seven touch-
downs (including the spectacular, last-
play catch-and-run that beat Indiana,
27-21), returns at one wide receiver.
Schembechler gives 6-1, 185-pound
senior Alan Mitchell the inside track at
the other receiver, with speedsters Rod-
ney Feaster, Kenny Geer, and Zeke
Wallace capable of stepping in.
SCHEMBECHLER IS alsoshigh on 6-
5, 230-pound Norm Betts as the suc-
cessor to Doug Marsh at tight end. "He
does not have great speed, but he gets
the absolute maximum out of his
ability. He's kind of a mistake-proof
guy, he's a smart kid, and I feel very
comfortable with him there." Senior
Chuck Christian and sophomore Craig
Dunaway, both 6-3, 220-pounders, back
up Betts.

Mention of the Blue offensive line
brings a smile to Schembechler's face.
"This will be the biggest line we've ever
had," he said with enthusiasm. "We
figure we got 11 guys, from tackle to
tackle, ready to play."
Three-year letterman George Lilja
(6-5, 250) anchors the front wall at cen-
ter. Kurt Becker (6-6, 255) and John
Powers (6-3, 265), who completed
spring practice without any recurrence
of his knee injury, play alongside Lilja
at the guards. The tackle posts are ably
filled by 6-6, 270-pound junior giants Ed
Muransky and Bubba Paris.
THERE ARE several talented
linemen pushing for these spots,
however. Tackles Tony Osbun (6-5,
255), Rich Strenger (6-7, 240), and
Chuck Rowland (6-6, 255), guard Mark
Warth (6-5, 245), and centers Jeff
Felten (6-2, 220) and Tom Garrity (6-4,
235) are all ready to step in should a
front-liner falter or get hurt.
In contrast with the offense,
Michigan's defense returns only four
starters from 1979, and Schembechler,
always one to stress that part of the
game, is rightfully concerned. "I' don't
think that you can win the conference
See BLUE, Page 9
1979 Big Ten
Football Standings

Conference

W
Ohio State .... 8
Purdue ....... 7
MICHIGAN .. 6
Indiana ...... 5
Iowa ........4
Wisconsin .... 3
Minnesota .. 3
Michigan St..3
Illinois......I
Northwestern 0

L
0
1
2
3
4
5
5
5
6
9

T
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-0

All
W L
11 4
9 2
8 3
7 4
5 6
4 7
46
5 6
2 8
1 10

T
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0

ALTHOUGH THE MICHIGAN defense faces the tough assignment of filling
holes created by graduation, linebacker Andy Cannavino is a returning mainstay
of the unit. Cannavino, shown flying in on North Carolina quarterback Matt
Kupec during the Gator Bowl, led the Wolverines in tackles last season.
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Wangler
... return in doubt

pre-judgments about the quarterback
situation.
"He (Smith) has probably got the
most publicity, but David Hall, from
Livonia, is a good quarterbacking
prospect, and Greg Powell, from
Ravenna, is the all-state quarterback
from Ohio, so you can't just mention
Steve," the coach explained.
"All three of them have a shot

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,MICHIGAN QUARTERBACK John Wangler scans downfield for his receivers
:g speedy tailback Butch Woolfolk swings wide for a possible dump-off toss.
Wangler faces long rehabilitation from a devastating knee injury if Wolverine
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