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November 03, 1982 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-03

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Wednesday, November 3, 1982


The Michigan Daily

Page 9


Small B
Take a look at Michigan defensive
back Jerry Burgei and prepare to be
deceived. In stature, he is anything but
timidating. .
On the playing field, teammates and
counterparts alike tower over the 5-10
dynamo. In the lockerroom afterwards,
he speaks with a boyish grin spreading
infectiously across his face, his wavy
blond hair mussed up from the after-
noon's tussle. It is .difficult to imagine
Burgei snarling and spitting out ob-
scenities at the opposition.
BUT DON'T be fooled; just because
Burgei isn't a toothless, growling
kehemoth ready to hurt anything that
oves doesn't mean his presence on the
field isn't felt by opposing teams.
In fact, two plays by Burgei during
the last two seasons stand out as her-
culean in nature.
In Michigan's ninth game of the year
last season, Illinois was nurturing upset
hopes in the cgntest's second quarter.
Leading 21-7, the Illini were threatening
to score again when Burgei made a play.
that altered the flow of the game.
' ILLINOIS quarterback Tony Eason
dropped back to throw from the
Michigan 15-yard line, lofting the ball
toward teammate Joe Curtis at the
, f.., ,..;

i I

urget too
Wolverine goal line. Another touch-
down would have given the Illini a
seemingly insurmountable three-
touchdown lead. But instead, Burgei
stepped in and picked off the pass,
returning it 16 yards. The play set off a
tidal wave of momentum in Michigan's
favor during their 70-21 rout of Illinois.
Burgei's other heroic act came in this
season's 29-7 victory over Iowa. The
game was scoreless early in the second
quarter, but the Hawkeyes had moved
the ball to the Wolverine one-yard line.
With visions of a 7-0 lead dancing
through his head, Iowa running back
Owen Gill took a handoff from quarter-
back Chuck Long and headed for the
goal line.
He never made it.
BURGEI STORMED into the Hawk-
eye backfield and buried Gill with a
crushing tackle that popped the ball
loose. Michigan's Marion Body fell on
it, and while the play didn't break
Iowa's back, it certainly broke their
"It meant a lot," said Iowa's Long af-
ter the game. "If we shad scored, I
thought we'd have been in the game. It
probably would've gone all the way
down to the wire."
But it didn't, thanks to Burgei.
"YOU HAVE to be a person who'll

0 1

ms large
make a big play," says Burgei. "If
you're not doing it, you're not helping
the team. You can't count on someone
else to do it."
With Illinois the opponent this
weekend, Burgei would like to com-
memorate the one-year anniversary of
his tide-shifting interception with more
of the same.
"I hope I can get a couple of more in-
terceptions," he says. "I'm looking
forward to it."
THERE'LL certainly be no shortage
of passes thrown by Eason for Burgei to
try to pick off. So far this season, Eason
has already tossed 376 passes, com-
pleting 234 of them.
"I hope he comes after me, because
it's a challenge," says Burgei. "I want
to see what' I can do against an All-
American quarterback."
Burgei will do well not to concentrate
solely on Eason, however, as he will be
pitted against Illinois wide receiver
Mike Martin, the recipient of 56 Eason
passes thus far this year.
"IT'S A personal challenge for me to
see if we can stop him," says Burgei.
An even bigger challenge will be for
the Michigan secondary to shut down
all of the Illini receivers. The
Wolverines, after all, are last in the
nation in pass defense while Illinois has

on field
the country's second-rated passing of-
"Just so long as we win and keep
them out of the end zone, that's all I
care," says Burgei, downplaying the
importance of the defensive statistic.
AGAINST Illinois, Burgei realizes
that Michigan's defensive passing
statistics may continue to take a
beating. But he does not fret over such
matters, worrying only that the pass-
happy Illini attack be slowed down
rather than shut down.
"They're going to complete some
passes, we just don't want to give up the
big one," he says. "We want to make
them earn everything."
What he'd like his team to earn is a
"WE'RE OUT to get them," says
Burgei. "We have three games left and
they're standing in the way of the Big
Ten title and they have to be
Now that sounds like the comment
expected out of a hulking, violent,
scowling giant. It certainly isn't what is
expected out of a 5-10 cornerback who
talks with a perpetual grin after a
game. Of course, when Jerry Burgei is
on the field, he is no mild-mannered
player who opponents can push
around. Just ask Illinois and Iowa.



Daily Photo by BRIAN.MASCK
Terry Tanker of MSU finds no more room as Michigan's Jerry Burgei (15)
and John Lott (44) converge on him during Michigan's 31-17 romp earlier
this season.


Angels hire McNamara

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - John Mc-
Namara has been named manager of
the California Angels, the club announ-
ced yesterday.
McNamara, who previously has
managed Oakland, San Diego and Cin-
cinnati, came to terms with club Vice
President E. J. "Buzzie" Bavasi over
the weekend by telephone and the
veteran skipper will visit rext week for
the official signing.
TERMS OF the agreement were not
McNamara succeeds Gene Mauch

who, the club said, refused a proffered
contract after guiding the team to the
West Division title in the American
League last season.
Mauch was criticized after
Milwaukee came from two games
down to win three straight playoff
games and the American League pen-
nant in the best of five series.
A native of Sacramento, Calif., Mc-
Namara is 50. He managed Oakland for
two years, San Diego four, and Cincin-
nati from 1979-1982. He was fired last

... new Angels skipper



Daily Photo by BRIAN MASCK
Michigan defensive cornerback Jerry Burgei lunges to swat down a pass intended for Michigan State's Anthony Woods.

EE and Computer Science graduates



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4 U


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