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September 10, 1983 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-10
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The Michigan Daily - Saturday, Septei

Page 4 - The Michigan Daily --- Saturday, September 10, 1983
It's bombs away against Michigan

By RON POLLACK

The forward pass has Michigan head
coach Bo Schembechler worried.
But wonder of wonder, miracle of
miracles, it is not the loss of three-time
All-America flanker Anthony Carter
that weighs so heavily on the Wolverine
coach's mind.
Instead, it is his own secondary that
causes Schembechler to fret. With the
days of a team running the ball until it
hits paydirt or a fourth down situation
replaced bywild, crazy and thorougly
unpredictable aerial assaults, Schem-
bechler is vexed by a secondary,
ravaged by graduation.
GONE ARE starters Keith Bostic,
Jerry Burgei and Marion Body. What's
more, opposing teams averaged a lofty
254.8 yards per game through the air
last season against Michigan. With
senior free safety Evan Cooper the only
full-time starter returning, a calculator
with brand new batteries may be
required to keep track of opposing
quarterback stats.
"The secondary is my biggest
worry," lamented Schembechler.
"That more than anything else."
"The secondary is the weakest part of
the team," echoed assistant head coach
and defensive coodinator Gary Moeller.
"We have some unanswered questions
and a lack of depth. But the people we
put in there will be competitors. The
thing we'll miss most is experience. It's
hard to replace a-Keith Bostic."
BUT REPLACE Bostic they must, as
well as Burgei and Body. Leading can-
didates to take over their starting
duties include seniors John Lott, Jeff
Cohen and Rich Hewlett and
sophomores Tony Gant, Dieter Heren,
Greg Randall, Ivan Hicks and Steve
Johnson who was a wide receiver last
season but may line up in the secondary
this year. Out of this group, only Gant
and Lott saw any starting action last
season. Gant started in one game, while
Lott was a starter in four contests.
Unfortunately for Schembechler and
his coaching staff, few defensive backs
saw much playing time during spring
practice. Lott missed two weeks of
practice because of a strained knee.
Cooper only played in the last two

'The secondary is the weakest part of the
team. We have some unanswered questions
and a lack of depth.'
-defensive coordinator
Gary Moeller
weeks of the spring because of a minor We worked all spring on emphasizing
knee operation in the winter. Gant and the pass rush. Last season we lost a
Cohen missed three and four weeks of couple of games we could have won
spring ball repsectively. Heren also because of deep passes."
was set back by injury. INSIDE LINEBACKER Mike Boren
1982 Big Ten Pass Defense Y YdsJ
Ga. Att. Cmp. Int. Pet. Yds. Att. TD Ga.
MINNESOTA ..................... 9 199 115 7 57.8 1513 7.6 13 168.1
NORTHWESTERN ......... 9 197 112 7 56.9 1572 8.0 13 174.7
INDIANA ....................... 9 235 136 13 57.9 1694 7.2 9 188.2
MICHIGAN STATE ......... 287 151 14 52.6 1921 6.7 11 213.4
WISCONSIN.....9..... 274 171 11 62.4 1955 7.1 7 217.2
PURDUE.......................... 9 248 155 7 62.5 2005 8.1 15 222.8
OHIO STATE............. 8 306 158 11 51.3 1813 5.9 10 226.6
ILLINOIS..............9 3 142 10 48.1 2043 8.8 14 227.0
IOWA ...................... 8 296 169 17 56.7 1921 8.4 5 240.1
MICHIGAN....................... 9 395 240 11 60.8 2443 6.2 7 271.4

injured his knee midway through the
season and missed five games, -Dave
Meredith and Mike Hammerstein both
saw starting time. Brooks recovered
from the injury, "however and started
the last three games of the season.
Other linemen who should see playing
time include Vince DeFelice, Joe Gray,
Mike Krauss, Mike Wilson, Jim Scar-
celli and Nate Rodgers.
With so many players returning along
the defensive line, the overwhelming
consensus amongst the Wolverine
coaching staff is that there will be an
improved pass rush this year.
"THE EXPERIENCE adds a lot,"
said Schembechler. "You can tell the
difference in all of them. In the spring,
we can tell the difference in all of them.
In the spring, we emphasized the pass
rush. Not a lot of blitzing, although we
do blitz a lot, just the pass rush out of
the .down linemen. I think we're im-
proved. I think that'll help."
Said Moeller, "Pass rushing is not an
easy thing to accomplish since offen-
sive linemen can use their hands, the
quarterback can get the ball off quickly
or dodge the rush. But we worked hard
on the pass rush in the spring and it
really improved. We'll be a better pass
rushing team than we were a year ago
which is a concern because of all the
passes we'll face."
Said defensive line coach Jerry
Meter, "We'll be improved because of
one word - experience."
With a little seasoning under their
belts, these experienced linemen are
now being taught a new trick or two.
"What you want to do is create some
problems for the opposing offensive
line," said Meter. "so we do some
changeups. It's not anything extraor-
dinarily new to football, just new to our
program."

Get the picture. Well Schembechler
and his staff didn't. The only picture of
the secondary that came out of spring
ball was a blurry one. According to
Moeller, the only "sure starters" to
emerge from spring practices were
Lott and Cooper.
"Because of injuries, we could never
get in a position to tell what would hap-
pen back there," said Moeller.
ADDED SCHEMBECHLER, "We
had so many guys out that we get any
cohesiveness in the secondary at all and
that to me is the biggest problem."
If Michigan is to survive the barrage
of passes it will face this year, it is not
just the secondary which must develop.
So too must the defensive line. Last
season the secondary had added
pressure placed on it because of a
suspect pass rush.
"The pass rush was lacking last
season," admitted defensive tackle
Kevin Brooks. "but we're working on it.

agreed that the pass rush was not a
Wolverine strong point last year. "The
only thing that hurt us last season was
letting the quarterback out of the con-
tain. If we rush the quarterback well
we'll be solid."
Defensive tackle Winfred Carraway
is "the only player gone from last
year's defensive line and the result is a
great deal of depth at the position. Al
Sincich started all 12 games at middle
guard last year, while Brooks started
the majority of the season at the tackle
spot opposite Carraway. When Brooks

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