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October 28, 1984 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-28

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Sunday, October 28, 1984
Zurbrugg, option spark offense

Maybe Bo Schembechier won't need Steve Smith's
help after all.
Smith, Michigan's starting quarterback from 1981-
83, earlier in the week said he "felt sorry" for the
Wolverines' struggling young signal callers and
would be glad to give some pointers once his Mon-
treal Concords finished the CFL playoffs. But the way
sophomore Chris Zurbrugg ran the offense-especially
the option - in yesterday's 26-18 victory over Illinois,
it appears his assistance might be superfluous.
ZURBRUGG, had only seen a moderate amount of
playing time behind fellow sophomore Russell Rein
since top QB Jim Harbaugh got crunched in the
Michigan State game. Yesterday Zurgrugg played
the entire contest running for an eight-yard touch-
down and pitching for another.
Zurbrugg only completed 5 of 14 passes, but four of
those connections came on third-and-long situations
and two others were dropped. He did not throw an in-
More importantly, the option returned under his
guidance. Once the principle weapon of the Schem-
bechler strategy, the option had been non-existent
this season under Harbaugh and Rein. But the
Wolverines put new emphasis on their old offense in
practice this week, and yesterday morning Schem-
bechler tabbed Zurbrugg to take the wheel. The
Alliance, Ohio native came through in Smith-like
"WE DID WHAT we felt we had to do," Schem-
bechler said of the change in offensive strategy.

"Some people think the option is conservative, but it
opened up the game for us . . . Having Zurbrugg in
there allows us to do some different things, including
the option.
"We always had the option in (the game plan). We
just didn't have the quarterback to do it."
Bo may very well have found this man now. Zur-
brugg ran for 71 yards on 12 carries, not including the
two times he was sacked. He faked well to the "up-
back" and every one of his pitches were on the
ZURBRUGG SAID he was an option quarterback in
high school and it showed. Michigan's first touch-
down came after Zurbrugg made a clean fake up the
middle to fullback Eddie Garrett and then pinpointed
a pitch into Rick Rogers' hands. Rogers swept out-
side and scampered to paydirt.
The Wolverines' only other six-pointer came in the
third quarter on a Zurbrugg run from eight yards out.
Zurbrugg said the option capitalized on a weakness
in the Illinois defense.
"ON FILM YOU could see how their safeties would
support (move to the line of scrimmage) real fast,"
Zurbrugg said. "The free safety (Craig Swoope)
would come up real close." Because the Illinois
defensive backs moved to line quickly, they covered
less ground on outside runs, allowing Zurbrugg to
pick his hole.
The-success of this strategy had to be especially
pleasing for Zurbrugg. Last spring he went into pre-
season practice figuring to give Harbaugh a serious
battle. But a back injury put him behind both Har-
baugh and Rein, and out of the Michigan quarterback

picture. The way that Zurbrugg got hurt was slightly
"I was running an option," Zurbrugg related.
ZURBRUGG'S BACK is fine now and so is his
outlook for the option, the quarterback job is cer-
tainly his unless he falters. Zurbrugg's success could
make next spring's practice a three-way battle bet-
ween himself, Harbaugh and Rein.
"There will always be an interesting battle for
quarterback," commented Harbaugh from the
photography deck at halftime. Harbaugh, who is still
recuperating from a broken arm, said Zurbrugg is
"doing a fine job."
That fine job included runs of 19, 12, 11, and nine
yards, in addition to the eight-yard TD scamper. The
speed may not have been reminiscent of Smith, but
the poise was.
ONE EXAMPLE of Zurbrugg's headiness was a
run in the third quarter. Zurbrugg led an option right
but saw immediately that Illinis had it covered. So he
ducked his head down and plunged up the middle. The
play netted only two yards but it avoided a certain
loss to the outside.
Crafty plays like this one, along with some big
gainers, gave a clear message to Michigan fans and
foes alike: while the Wolverines may not possess a
running quarterback the caliber of Steve Smith, the
option has definitely returned to their attack. And
that has everybody breathing a little easier.
"It's nice," said quarterback coach Jerry Hanlon,
"to have it back."




(Continued from Page 1)
Michigan 12-yard line on 14 plays, but brought hi
could get no farther. Chris White, son of With tim
Illinois head coach Mike White; put his Michigana
club on the board with a 29-yard chip but this 50
shot. much for t
SENIOR placekicker Bob Bergeron NO HAR
had a field day with field goals, booting Bergeront
14 of Michigan's 26 points, four three- one. Besid
pointers and two PAT's. The mark ties ning in the
him for the club single-game high, set running a
by Bob Wood in 1975. broaden thi
Bergeron's first field goal capped off sophomore
Michigan's next drive when Zurbrugg's himself,
impressive 71-yard romp was stifled right for t
by a sack. Bergeron easily put the
Wolverines ahead 10-7 with a 32-yard
kick, his 22nd career field goal.
The only real scare of the day that the
Illini provided came from a two-minute
drive from the Michigan 35 in the itx.#i
second quarter. Aided by a pass inter- MICWGAN
ference penalty against Michigan,
Trudeau guided his team to a first and uL -
goal situation and running back Ray iLL-WhI*
Wilson took.it in from the four.-
BUT THE 10-10 tie was as close as
Illinois would get. Bergeron retaliated j
in the next set of plays with a 40-yard MtE1i-Hr*
shot, regaining the lead, 13-10.-
Michigan had everything going for itf
yesterday - a record-setting kicker, a
motivated offense and a thieving defen-
se that feasted on Trudeau's passing s
The defensive highlight of the after- fthlng (AW6
noon was Brad Cochran's late second I
quarter steal to stop a potential Illinois .,J(YAJ*.
scoring threat. Cochran nabbed the toss l \
on his own 25 and streaked downfield
for 49 yards until Trudeau finally n
'"'ink* .'

D'chews up Trudeau

Michigan running back Rick Rogers moves upfield past Illinois tackle Steve
Nelson (93). Rogers rushed for 93 yards yesterday and was a vital part of the
Wolverine option play.

m down.
ae running out in the first half,
again went to Bergeron's leg,
0-yard attempt was just too
he senior.
RM was done, however, and
had earned the right to miss
des, Zurbrugg came out gun-
second half, utilizing his own
ttack and that of Rogers to
he point spread. This time, the
e from Alliance, Ohio did it
charging eight yards to the
he touchdown.

"I thought today he (Zurbrugg)
showed poise and character out there,'
said Schembechler.
Zurbrugg also seemed to have en-
joyed his performance. "I've always
liked to play under pressure," he ad-
mitted. "But it's all for the team.
Whatever is going to help us win, I want
to do."
FOR THE remainder of the contest,
all Zurbrugg had to do was get his team
to within range of Bergeron's leg. He
did that two more times, and the kicker
responded with field goals of 29 and 31

yards to end the scoring for the
Late in the final stanza, with
Michigan ahead 26-20, the Fighting
Illini offered one more brawl.
Highlighted by successful Trudeau
passing, they added eight token points
with a nine-yard Randy Grant recep-
tion in the endzone with -just two
minutes to go. Trudeau hit tight end
Cap Boso for the two-point conversion,
ending the scoring for the afternoon at

: .

Tre Il~ouga. B. I ev

Big win over hated rival...
*.. in a word, satisfying
M ICHIGAN FOOTBALL, satisfaction guaranteed, or your money
Bo Schembechler's Wolverines not only defeated Mike White's Fighting
Illini yesterday, they outclassed them.
For Schembechler, his beleaguered warriors and the 100,000 plus
Michigan fans in attendance, yesterday's uplifting, 26-18 triumphy was the
most satisfying aspect of this 1984 campaign.
"This, of all the victories, has meant the most this year," said a satisfied
Schembechler immediately after the victory.
The Wolverines are now beaming with confidence as they head into next
week's crucial clash at Purdue. Illinois is finished. Illinois has now lost to
Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan this season and it is not going to a bowl game
because of NCAA probation.
Yet Mike White's team is powerful, it lost-to the Hawkeyes in Iowa City by
the close score of 21- 16, and to the Buckeyes in Columbus in a true barnbur-
ner, 45-38. Illinois has also destroyed the trio of Michigan State (40-7),
Wisconsin (22-6) and Purdue (34-20).
Illinois, for all of its problems, is one hell of a fine football team, which
makes Michigan's victory truly satisfying.
" Most satisfying of all was the victory itself, avenging last year's 16-6
pasting in Champaign. Michigan's players were acting like a bunch of
college kids, singing 'Hail to the Victors' in the lockerroom after the win. The
'84 Wolverines are not the wild men of past Michigan teams. Crunching the
Illini was indeed, satisfying.
* Supremely satisfying was the play of the Michigan defense. Three Jack
Trudeau passes were intercepted and returned for 76 yards. The one time
Trudeau was sacked, he fumbled and Michigan recovered. The Wolverines
were not to be denied when they stopped Trudeau on fourth down and inches,
snuffing yet another drive. Brad Cochran made 12 tackles and Mike Mallory
made 14 stops.
" Expectedly satisfying was the running of backs Rick Rogers and Bob
Perryman. Rogers gained 93 bruising yards on 28 carries and received two
passes for 16 more. Perryman took over at fullback when starter Eddie
Garrett was injured and rambled for 55 yards on only seven carries, in-
cluding a 27-yard gallop. Together Rogers, Perryman and Zurbrugg rushed
for 219 yards. The Illinois defense is still grabbing.
" Surprisingly satisfying was Schembechler's game plan. Michigan's 16-
year leader insists that he did nothing out of character in reference to
yesterday's play calling, to which I respond, 'C'mon coach, give us a break.'
For one thing, Rogers just missed hitting Markray with a tailback option
pass play in the first quarter. Although Rogers' aerial was a tad overthrown
and fell incomplete, Schembechler's team received a standing ovation for
the effort.
"I couldn't hear it (the fan's reaction) because I have the headphones on,"
said Schembechler. "Heck, I would have booed if my team missed a receiver
who was that wide open."
Schembechler's offense also hit on two screen passes, or flairs-to-the-flat
as Schembechler would call them. Hey, when you've got physical backs like
Rogers and Gerald White, let them have some fun with a couple of screen
passes. One thing about Rogers, the man is a game player. He will be a
tremendous factor in Michigan's upcoming stretch drive for the Fiesta
* Always satisfying is the performance of placekicker Bob Bergeron.
Yesterday, the fifth-year senior phenom hit on field goals of 32, 40, 38 and 31
yards. So far this year, Bergeron has hit on nine of 11 and in his career he is
an impressive 25 of 30.
Monte Robbins averaged 51.7 yards on his three punts, including the one
that rolled forever, pinning the Illini deep in their own territory.
" Quotably satisfying was Schembechler himself who admitted in no un-
certain terms that he did not think Michigan has a shot at the Rose Bowl.
Iowa would have to lose two of its final three conference contests for the
Wolverines to win the Big Ten. This, Schembechler stated, was not to be ex-
Hoarse from excitement and mental exhaustion, it was with pride that
Schembechler described the character of his '84 team. "We could have very
easily thrown in the towel, rolled over and died," said Schembechler. "But
this team is willing to do everything it can to win and I'm proud of them."
" Eternally satisfying is what Michigan's victory over the Illini represents
in the overall scheme of big time college football. It was a victory for good
over evil. Mike White's program reeks of dishonesty. Schembechler's
triumph over Illinois was honest to God, SATISFYING.








Illini quarterback Jack Trudeau gets pressure from the Michigan line. Trudeau was injured on the play but later retur- mak,
ned to action.


Illinois' problems didn't end with the final gun of
the 1984 Rose Bowl. That 45-9 pummeling was
followed by probation, player arrests and finally a
season plagued by frustrating losses.

Illini quarterback Jack Trudeau. "I don't know
what happened."
Last year, Illinois was lucky enough to play the
top three teams in the conference-Iowa, Ohio
State and Michigan-at home. They won all three
Qa n acwa1l n the Ri Ten_

mostly his own performance. He threw three in-
terceptions and fumbled once to account for all the
Illini turnovers.
COACH WHITE would credit Michigan with
simply a "good, consistent defense", but Trudeau

bowl hopes.
"YOU CAN never predict when the big play is
going to happen," said linebacker Rodney Lyles,
who caught interception number one. "You just

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