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December 09, 1983 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-12-09
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Yfis 1ISee It
By LARR YMISHKIN
1983 Michigan football...
...more ups than downs
B Y ALL NORMAL standards, the 1983 football season was a success for
Michigan. After all, a 9-2 record, a win over Ohio State and a trip to the
Sugar Bowl are nothing to sneeze at.
Why then, are so many Michigan fans stocking up on their kleenex sup-
plies?
Perhaps they remember the early season 25-24 non-conference loss to
Washington when the Huskies scored two touchdowns in the last 10 minutes
of the game behind the pin-point passing of Steve Pelluer who hit 15 passes in
a row, including the game winning two-point conversion play.
Maybe disgruntled fans have nightmares about the Wolverines' poor
showing in their 16-6 loss to Illinois that was played before a national
television audience and 75,000 Illini fans who couldn't wait to celebrate their
team's first victory over Michigan in 16 years.
Michigan supporters are also probably upset about their team's failure to
repeat as conference champions and represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl.
Time out for a minute though. Put the decongestant spray on hold. 1983
wasn't such a bad year for the Wolverines was it? I sure don't think so and
you won't find many people on this campus who detest Mike White and his
crew more than I do.
Let's take a look at some of the highlites and lowlites of the season and see
if the ups don't outweigh the downs.
Many detractors would like to point to Michigan's narrow season-opening
20-17 victory over "lowly" Washington State as a minus. However, these
same pessimists, who would find something bad to say about Anthony Car-
ter, tend to overlook a very plain and simple fact. The Cougars had a damn
good football team this year, and, with Steve Smith out of the game, the
Wolverines were fortunate to win. If you don't agree, why not send a letter to
Don James who saw his squad knocked out of the Rose Bowl for the second
straight year by this same "bunch of patsies."
That's 1.5 for the ups.
Washington goes to the downs
The nose-blowers would then call the Washington loss a definite failure
and good for two points on their side. True, the Michigan secondary looked
like Swiss cheese and the offense helped run out the clock by sitting on the
sideline and plotting to kidnap the timekeeper, but the game wasn't a total
loss.
First of all, for a while the offense looked like it was unstoppable as it
paced the team to what seemed to be a comfortable 24-10 lead. This was a
positive note for fans who were worried about whether or not Smith would
ever recover from his aggravated shoulder problem.
And of course, the Washington game is now famous for first introducing
Michigan cheerleaders to the Wave cheer, the greatest thing to hit Michigan
Stadium since Don Canham decided to carpet the field with Tartan turf.
Because of the early offensive surge and the Wave cheer, we'll only give
the downs one point for the Washington loss.
The next couple of weeks found the Wolverines playing weak conference
opponents who they defeated in a series of "yawners" with the only spark of
excitement coming when they planted George Perles' foot in his mouth by
crushing the Spartans 42-0. Still, a win over State is a big thing, especially
up in East Lansing so that's one more point for the ups.
'M'fans get a kick out of Bergeron
No one should have to be convinced about the plusses of Michigan's
dramatic last second win over Iowa on Bob Bergeron's 45-yard field goal as
those types of wins for the Wolverines are as rare as a spring day in Ann Ar-
bor.
Chalk up two points for the ups for that one.
Now we run into the ups downfall and downs uprise, if any of that makes
sense. There's not a heck of a lot anyone can say about the loss to Illinois ex-
cept that Michigan got beat good. Not only did the team lose its trip to
Pasadena, but it looked poor in doing so. The offense was ineffective in
moving the ball all day, although some of its ineptitude could be attributed to
Smith's inability to throw because of his shoulder brace.
That's a solid two points for the downs.
Well, I'm running out of room here so I'm going to go straight to the Ohio
State game, picking up one point along the way for the ups for convincing
victories over Purdue and Minnesota.
The Ohio State game is worth another two points because no matter what
Illini fans would like to believe, Michigan's biggest and most important
game of this, and any year, is the one played against the boys from Colum-
bus.
And of course there's the Sugar Bowl bid. While Big Ten runner-up
Michigan will be playing third-ranked Auburn, Illinois will face a UCLA
squad that "sparkled" thisyear with a 6-4-1 record. Give the ups three more
points and they win convincingly.
Of course some people will not agree and want to cast a shadow over
Michigan's season. The only thing I can say to them is "blow it out your
nose."

I

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Sweet paths
Tigers beat the best'
to gain top SEC prize

'..~c w --________
The Michigan Daily - Friday, Dec
to Sugar
Blue loses Ros
but faces top oi

By LARRY MISHKIN
Auburn 24, Southern Missippi 3
Auburn opened its 1983 season in fine
style by crushing the Golden Eagles in
front of a sold out Jordan-Hare Stadium
(Auburn's home field) crowd. Bo "Big
Train" Jackson scored two touch-
downs, one on the ground and one
through the air on a pass by Tiger quar-
terback Randy Campbell. Lionel "Lit-
tle Train" James, who rushed for 172
yards, ran in for the other Auburn score
and placekicker Al Del Greco added a
field goal.
Texas 20, Auburn 7
The Tigers suffered their only defeat
of the season at the hands of the second
ranked Longhorns. Texas scored on
three consecutive first half possessions
to build a commanding 17-0 lead while
holding the vaunted Auburn Wishbone
attack to only two first downs and 51
yards. Aurburn finally got on the
scoreboard with 1:33 left in the game as
Jackson scored from one yard out to
cap a 95-yard scoring drive.
Auburn 37, Tennessee 14
The Tigers defeated their
Southeastern Conference opponents
before 95,185 Volunteer fans in Neyland
Stadium. The Auburn attack was led by
Del Greco who booted three field goals.
Tiger freshman Trey Gainous returned
a punt 81 yards for a touchdown in the
fourth quarter in addition to TD runs by
Jackson, Campbell and Clayton
Beauford.
Auburn 27, Florida State 24
In their most exciting game of the
year, the Tigers came from behind to
slip past the Seminoles on a 15-yard TD
pass from Campbell to James with 1:59
left to play. The play capped a 74-yard
scoring drive that had begun four
minutes earlier on the Tiger 26 following
a Florida State score. Seminole quar-
terback Kelly Lowery shredded the
Auburn secondary by passing for 285
yards while rushing for two second half
touchdowns. Auburn linebacker Gregg
Carr finally secured the win for the
Tigers by intercepting a Lowery pass at
the Auburn 24 at the end of the game.
Auburn 49, Kentucky 21
The Tigers handed the upstart Wild-
cats their first loss of the season as the
wishbone ran wild, amassing 384 of
Auburns 436 yard output. Jackson ran
for three touchdowns while Campbell
ran for two more and cornerback David
King returned an interception 40 yards
for another score.
Auburn 31, Georgia Tech 13
Paced by the effective wishbone at-
tack that ran up 333 yards, the Tigers
had little trouble with the Yellow
Jackets and raised their record to 5-1.
Jackson, who ran for 123 yards, also
scored a touchdown as did Campbell
and full back Tommie Agee. Campbell
also hit split-end Christopher Woods
with a 47-yard touchdown strike and
Del Greco added a field goal.
Auburn 28, Mississippi Sate 13
The Tigers knocked off the Bulldogs
on a day when their wishbone attack

was held to a "mere" 226 yards. James,
Agee and freshman Brent Fullwood all
scored on the ground while Jackson
caught a Campbell pass for Auburn's
other score.
Auburn 28, Florida 21
Before their largest home crowd of
the year (75,700), the Tigers ran past
the Gators on the legs of Jackson who
lived up to his "Big Train" nickname
by rushing for 196 yards and two touch-
downs. Campbell and James ran in
the other two scores as the wishbone
ran up 316 of Auburn's 387 total yards.
Gator quarterback Wayne Peace
picked apart the Tigers' defense, passing_
for 336 yards and two TDs in a losing ef-
fort.
Auburn 35, Maryland 23
The day belonged to Agee who paced
the wishbone to its finest output of the
season (450 yards) by running for 219
yards and two touchdowns. Jackson
and James each cleared the century
mark too by gaining 118 and 105 yards
respectively with Jackson adding a
touchdown. Campbell also hit Woods
with a touchdown pass to contribute to
the Tigers' 517 yards of total offense.
Once again though Auburn's defense
was riddled as Terp QB Boomer
Esiason passed for 355 yards and three
touchdowns.
.Auburn 13, Georgia 7
The Tigers handed the Bulldogs their
first SEC loss since B.H. (before Her-
schel) in a nail biter down in Georgia.
Leading 13-0 late in the game on a James
touchdown and two Del Greco field
goals, the Auburn defense cracked as
Georgia marched 99 yards to score. The
Bulldogs then recovered an onsides
kick and looked as though they might
pull out a miracle finish, but the Tiger
defense regained its composure and
shut down Georgia for good as time ran
out. The victory assuredAuburn of its
first trip to the Sugar Bowl since the
1973 game (following the 1972 season).
Auburn 23, Alabama 20
Led by Jackson's 256 yards rushing
on only 20 carries, including touchdown
runs of 69 and 71 yards, the Tigers ear-
ned their first undisputed SEC cham-
pionship since 1957. The game was in
doubt until the final two minutes when
an Alabama pass was deflected and in-
tercepted (one of three Tide turnovers)
to lock up the win for Auburn. The
Tigers' other nine points came on three
Del Greco field goals on a day when the
weather proved to be as tough as the
opposition with swirling winds and a
driving rain making the playing con-
ditions less than optimal.

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BY RON POLLACK
Michigan 20, Washington State 17
The Sports Illustrated Jinx strikes.
SI ranked the Wolverines the pre-
season number-one team in the country
and only the fact that Michigan wasn't
put on the cover prevented the jinx
from sending Bo's boys down to defeat.
Quarterback Steve Smith didn't play
because of an irritated shoulder.
Washington State kicker John Traut
missed a 37-yard field goal with just
over two minutes left in the game and
Michigan then ran out the clock to
preserve the win.
Washington 25, Michigan 24
Just one play into the fourth quarter,
Michigan led 24-10. It was time for
Dandy Don's song. "Turn out the lights,
the party's over."
But the party wasn't over. Not for
Washington anyway. Huskies' quarter-
back Steve Pellner completed 15 of 15
passes in the fourth quarter to lead
Washington to two desperate, but suc-
cessful, fourth quarter touchdowns, a
two-point conversion with 34 seconds

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remaining and the victory. Steve Smith
returned to the Wolverines' lineup and
was brilliant in defeat, completing 18 of
26 passes for 225 yards. With Michigan
leading 24-17, placekicker Todd Schlopy
missed a 32-yard field goal with less
than four minutes left to play which
would have iced the game away.
Michigan 38, Wisconsin 21
It was your typical Michigan-
Wisconsin football game. The
Wolverines reverted to their grind-it-
out style of the '70s as they rushed for
351 yards, won the game, and saw the
Badgers' student section get so drunk
and incredibly rowdy that at game's
end these fans probably had no idea
who had won and who had lost. Schlopy
again had problems in the game and
was replaced on field goal and extra
point attempts by Bob Bergeron.
Michigan 43, Indiana 18
The Roses were smelling sweet at
this time of the season (little did the
Wolverines know that the sweet smell
was actually sugar).
"We're going to win the conference
title," said Michigan defensive back
Evan Cooper after the game. "That
was my attitude at the beginning of the
season and it's my attitude now."
Despite the lopsided score, the
Michigan defense and passing game
struggled. The defense surrendered 382
yards and Steve Smith only completed
six of 17 passes for 82 yards.
Michigan 42, Michigan State 0
The Wolverines knocked Spartans'
head coach George Perles' socks clear
back to East Lansing. Following the
recruiting wars of the previous March,

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