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December 02, 1982 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 10-Thursday, December 2, 1982-The Michigan Daily
Johnson ran from bench

By JEFFREY BERGIDA
Here's a test for all you Wolverine
football experts. What Michigan run-
ning back holds Big Ten records for
most points (30) and touchdowns scored
in one game, school records for rushing
attempts (42) and yards gained (347) in
one game and most touchdowns in one
season (19)?
Must be Butch Woolfolk, right?
Sorry, try again. Rob Lytle ... Billy
Taylor? Nope, take one more stab. Oh,
old number 99, Tom Harmon, that's got
to be it. Good guess but you blew it.
The former Wolverine superstar who
holds all these records and more is Ron
Johnson, Michigan's Most Valuable
Player in 1967 and '68 and an All-
American in his senior year.
IT'S NOT really surprising that John-
son's name does not immediately come
to mind when one thinks about the great
backs in Michigan history; his own
coaches wouldn't even let him play un-
til his junior year. Johnson recalled
that in 1966, the Wolverines had "an
outstanding crop of seniors who took
them to the Rose Bowl their sophomore
year. (Running backs) Carl Ward, Jim
Detwiler, and Dave Fisher were all
very talented." The Detroit native did
not get discouraged sitting on the bench
watching the Wolverines compile a 6-4
record in '66. "I knew when I came to
Michigan that 'an opportunity to play
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full-time would take a while."
The 1967 season was one of the
lowpoints in Michigan football history.
The squad followed up an opening-day
victory over Duke with five consecutive
losses. Calls for Coach Bump Elliott's
dismissal were loud and numerous.
The Wolverines were never serious con-
tentders and only a late season winning
streak saved Elliott's job.
Lost within this mess was a junior
tailback who gained 1,005 yards and set

beaten them it would have been my,
only trip to the Rose Bowl. I look back
afterwards and think things could have
been different."
JOHNSON was drafted by the
Cleveland Browns in 1969 but was
traded after one season. "The major
reason was that they traded Paul War-
field, a-sentimental favorite because he
went to Ohio State. The thing they had
to do was satiate the fans and (N.Y.
Giant receiver) Homer Jones was the
man who could do it."
So Johnson spent the next six seasons
in New York, making the Pro Bowl both
in 1970 and 1972. Although the Giants
had only two winning seasons in his
time there, Johnson has some fond
memories of those years. "Fran
Tarkenton was the best quarterback
who ever played the game. he had the
ability to get results out of his team-
mates more than any other," Johnson
said, "and I absolutely loved playing

to glory
for Alex Webster."
But not all of Johnson's memories of
his pro career are pleasant. He had two
operations in 1971 and made a com-
mitment to himself that the next
surgery "would make it time to call it a
day." He did retire after a knee injury
in 1975 but at that point he was also
"mentally burnt-out from the level of
intensity you need to play in the pros."
Johnson's last coach with the Giants,
Bill Arnsparger, did not make things
easier. "Me and Arnsparter did not hit
it off too well. He was not a motivator
of people.'
Johnson is now working for a
management consulting firm as vice-
president in charge of marketing and
sales, and lives in Cressk ill, N.J. Still,
700 miles from Ann Arbor, "I always
look in Sunday's papers to see how
Michigan did."
Ron Johnson still has a soft spot for
the team which kept his All-American
talent on the bench for a year.

Straight from the
source'smouth
By RON POLLACK

4l

A bowl slate of highs, lows .. .
Sand some very bad shows
" On December 11, Wisconsin (6-5) plays Kansas State (6-4-1) in the In-
dependence Bowl. Does anybody care? Will anybody bother to show up for
the game?
" That same day, Virginia plays Georgetown in basketball. To be perfec-
tly honest, I'd rather see Ralph'Sampson and Patrick Ewing lead their
respective teams in a game of touch football than watch the Wisconsin-Kan-
sas State battle.
" Sixteen bowl games and neither USC or Notre Dame will play in any of'
them. It just doesn't seem like the post-season without them.
" When the season started, who would have ever believed that Vander-
bilt and Air Force would play each other in the Hall of Fame Bowl?
" Can someone please explain to me how it is that sixth-ranked Arkansas
is playing in the Bluebonnet Bowl, while 13th-ranked LSU gets to play in the
Orange Bowl?
" Can someone please explain to me why the Rose Bowl is the only New
Year's Day bowl game which doesn't have another game being televised at
the same time? Last year, the Rose Bowl was stuck with the lowa-
Washington clunker. This year, the Rose Bowl is stuck with 20th-ranked
Michigan playing UCLA for what seems like the 15th time in the last 366
days. It would seem that the other bowl games would fare best in the TV
ratings game by being played at the same time as the Pasadena-based bowl.
A run for the pineapples

a school record for kick-off returns
which still stands today.
PRE-SEASON predictions placed
Michigan in the lower half of the Big
Ten in 1968. An opening-day thrashing
at the hands of California did not en-
courage Wolverine backers as the Big
Ten looked to be dominated that season
by number-one Purdue and nationally-
ranked Ohio State.. However, Johnson
had a streak of games which upset
everyone's thinking.
Michigan put together an eight-game
winning streak, ultimately rising to a
number-four national ranking and most
of the credit must go to one man. John-
son's 1,391-yard season was climaxed
with a performance against Wisconsin
in week nine which boggles the mind.
he rushed for 347 yards, then an NCAA
record, and scored five touchdowns.
"As I look back on it, the game was
one of the high points in my life. I did
not cherish it as much then because
OSU was looming next week. They beat
us 50-14 but it was a matter of breaks
that went against us. The game was
much closer than the score. If we had

MICHIGAN
The UI A SSENI
is now accepting applications
for the position of
Treasurer & Chief Financial Officer
Requirements:
" Class of '84 or '85'
" Two semesters of College Accounting
to be completed by May '83r
" Previous work experience
Applications are being accepted at the
MSA offices-3909 Michigan Union
The Application Deadline Is January 5, 1983
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 763-3241

" If I were a football player and my name team wasn't going to a New
Year's Day game, you better believe my first choice would be to play in the
Hawaii-based Aloha Bowl.
" Whenever Nebraska plays Oklahoma, with the Orange Bowl on the line,
fans celebrate touchdowns by tossing the citrus fruit onto the field. If the
Aloha Bowl catches on, look for some unfortunate player to be injured when
a spectator tosses a pineapple onto the field.
" The Southeastern conference has more teams in bowls than any other
conference, with Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and
Vanderbilt all seeing post-season action. You don't suppose the fact that SEC
teams play four to five non-conference games in the season has anything to
do with that do you? Just look at Alabama. The Crimson Tide played against
such powerhouses as Georgia Tech, Arkansas State and Cincinnati, yet did
not face bowl-bound Georgia or Florida.
* Look for Herschel Walker to win the Heisman Trophy.
h Look for the Herschel Bulldogs to beat Penn State and win the national
championship.
" Even though second-ranked Penn State can control it's own national
championship destiny by beating top-ranked Georgia, Nittany Lions' head
coach Joe Paterno is complaining that the college game doesn't have a play-
off system. "I always felt that after the bowls are over, you should come out
with four teams and play semifinals and finals." Betcha Paterno doesn't
bring this up after the Sugar Bowl if his team wins.
" Penn State is currently 10-1. SMU is 10-0-1 and ranked fourth. If both
teams win their bowl games, the Nittany Lions will undoubtedly win the
national title, but how do you award the national championship to an 11-1
team over an 11-0-1 squad? The Mustangs only crime is that they were tied
late in the season, while Penn State had the foresight to lose earlier in the
year. Maybe a play-off system wouldn't be so bad after all.
Search for tomorrow
" Will Michigan State hire a new head football coach before the bowl
season ends? Will the new coach bring more pleasant tomorrows?
" You don't suppose Arizona State's Darryl Rogers would consider retur-
ning to Michigan State, do you? After all, take away the winning program
the Sun Devils have and the state of Arizona's deliciously warm climate and
what does Rogers have there that Michigan State couldn't offer? OK, so
that's a lot to take away.
* Actually, a candidate is currently being considered who would do a sen-
sational job for the Spartans. He is West Virginia head coach Don Nehlen.
The former Michigan assistant has coached the Mountaineers for three
seasons and has completely turned around a once struggling program. West
Virginia is 17-5 the last two seasons and will play Florida State in this year's
Gator Bowl.
* If Nehlen doesn't get the MSU job, look for his name to crop up in this
neck of the woods again in about five to ten years. That's when Bo Schem-
bechler will probably retire, and who better to run the Michigan program
than a man from within who has had success as a head coach.

114

Sports Information Photo
Former Wolverine tailback Ron Johnson, a Michigan All-American in 1968
and a Pro Bowl performer with the New York Giants in 1970 and 1972, suc-
cessfully made the jump from bench-warmer to star. Johnson still holds
numerous Michigan game and season records.

II

ItHere!
The UniUersity STRECTOR 92
1982-83y
U-M
^.
ON
SA LE
NOW
DIag/Fishbowl Sales
Conducted by Members of
ALPHA PHIIOMEGA
AND AT THESE CAMPUS BOOKSTORES:

SCORES
College Basketball
Kentucky 58,Notre Dame 45
Virginia 51, James Madison 34
Memphis State 75. St. Louis 56
Tennessee 55, TennesseeChattanooga 49
Purdue 50, Fresno State 39
Wisconsin 76, Northern Iowa 69
St. John's 72, Columbia 45
NHL
Minnesota 4, Detroit I
New York Rangers 6, Hartford 1
New Jersey 7, Toronto 2
NBA
Boston 122, Atlanta 97

Bronx Bombers add Don Baylor
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York be for five years. Terms of the deal better ballclub than that. Winning is
Yankees announced yesterday that were not disclosed. contagious; so is losing. I think that's
they have signed free agent Don The 1979 American League Most what happened last year."
Ba .lnr and the veteran designated hit- Valuable Plaver said he was glad to be

ter said he now would set his sight on
'pointing myself and the club in the
right direction."
Baylor, 33, who spent the past five
seasons with the California Angels,
signed a multi-year contract believed to

with the Yankees despite the club's fif-
th-place finish last season in the AL
East.
"I know this ballclub finished fifth,"
Baylor said at a news conference at
Yankee Stadium. "But I think it's a

JOSTEN' S
White Lustrium Rings

Bra res sign Forster
ATLANTA (AP)- The Atlanta
Braves, desperate for left-handed pit-
ching help, got it yesterday in free
agent reliever Terry Forster, who
agreed to a three-year contract.
Forster, who will be 31 next month,
was 5-6 last year in his fifth season with
Los Angeles with three saves and a 3.04
earned run average in 56 appearances:
He was the first free agent the Dodgers
ever signed. i
"We're obviously delighted to have
Terry," said Atlanta General Manager
John Mullen.
"We were highly interested in Terry4
because of our shortage of left-handed
pitching. We definitely plan to use him
in short relief. With Terry, Gene Gar-
ber and Steve Bedrosian, that's not a
bad bullpen."

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