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January 09, 1985 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-01-09

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, January 9, 1985 - Page 11
BYU edges Huskies for national crown

b Edwards
even more
0 d
It was the closest vote in the history
of the wire-service polls, but Brigham
Young was able to successfully ride its
Holiday Bowl victory to the national
There was some question as to
whether the Cougars would be voted the
top spot if number-two Oklahoma had
beaten Washington handily in the
Orange Bowl. Instead, though, the
Sooners lost handily, 28-17, and the
Huskies - whose only loss came on the
road to USC - earned the title of close
AFTER THE GAME in San Diego, of
course, the BYU players and coaches
expressed no doubt that they were the
National Champions, despite playing a
schedule of teams in the regular season
that couldn't win the NCAA Division III
"I'm even more convinced now that
we should be number one," said Cougar
coach LaVell Edwards. "When you're
number one going in and you win,
you're number one going out.
"Anyone who saw the game and saw
the adversity and the problems we
caused ourselves and overcame, knows
we deserve it."
THE PROBLEMS Coach Edwards
speaks of are the six turnovers
produced by the BYU offense during
the game.
"No doubt about it. We're number
one," exclaimed banged-up quarter-
back Robbie Bosco after limping into
the media room on crutches after the
game."All we had to do was beat
Michigan and you know that by looking
at the scoreboard."
Part of the problems BYU encoun-
tered centered around Bosco. The

Wolverines not willing
to call Cougars best

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Holiday Bowl VII offensive MVP Robbie Bosco following BYU's, 24-17 triumph. Bosco bombarded the Wolverine defen-
se for 343 yards and two TD tosses on 30 of 42 passing, but was intercepted three times.

Brigham Young may have won the
game and the national championship.
But the Cougars didn't win much
respect from their opponents in the
Holday Bowl.
One-by-one' the Michigan players
trudged out of their lockerroom after
the disappointing 24-17 defeat. And
every reporter who cornered a stray
Wolverine asked the same question: Is
BYU number-one?
DOWN THE tunnel a ways, the same
question was being asked in the
Brigham Young dressing room, as well
as in the coaches' interview room. .
Not surprisingly, opinions varied,
depending on which side talked to.
The Michigan players agreed with
the sentiments of their coach, Bo
Schembechler. That is, Brigham Young
is a fine team that deserves credit for
going 13-0. But Bosco and Co. are not
the best team in the country. BYU
coach LaVell Edwards and his players,
of course, held their index fingers
up high.
THE MAJORITY of the country's,
coaches and football writers agreed
with the Cougars. Both the Associated
Press and the United Press Inter-
national polls ignored critics who said
no team from the Western Athletic Con-
ference deserves to be number-one and
selected the Cougars as national cham-
pions. The AP poll is comprised of foot-
ball writers from around the country,
while UPI relies on the expertise of
collegiate coaches.
Although a proper poll of the Michigan
players was made impossible by
Schembechler's refusal to let the press
into Michigan's lockerroom, not one
player who was grabbed in the
claustrophobic tunnels of Jack Murphy
Stadium would call Brigham Young the
best team Michigan faced this season;
none would enthusiastically endorse
BYU as the nation's champion, either.
When asked if he would select
Brigham Young as number-one if he
had a vote, linebacker Rodney Lyles
said, "No. No I wouldn't. But I don't
want to take anything away from
UPI Top Twenty

junior from Roseville, Calif. had to
leave the game after Michigan defen-
sive tackle Mike Hammerstein rolled
over his left leg causing a sprained
ankle and some knee damage.
EDWARDS HAD to bring in backup
Blaine Fowler for a few series while
Bosco got taped up in the locker room.
Then when Bosco limped back onto the
field early in the second quarter, the
Cougars had to operate from the
shotgun for the first time all season.
"When you go to the shotgun, there
isn't much that you can do except drop
back and pass," said Edwards.
Bosco did manage to scramble for 27

yards after reentering the game, so he
must not have felt too bad.
"ON THE FIELD the pain was there,
but not that bad," said Bosco. "But this
was a big game, we don't play football
for four months so you just have to give
it all you've got."
"I didn't think Robbie would be
coming back in the game and I was
surprised that he came back as quickly
as he did," said Fowler, who connected
for five of seven passes during his brief
stint on the Murphy Stadium turf. "Af-
ter each offensive series, I would ask
him if he was okay and he would say
'I'm alright for another one."'

Other Cougar players indicated that
Bosco's injury helped fire them up.
"(The injury) was negative in that it
limited our offense, but it was positive
in that it motivated us - it was a cheap
shot," said BYU center Trevor Matich.
"Our offensive line takes pride in
protecting the quarterback. The rest of
the game, I think we gave him plenty of
time to pass."
Defensive Player-of-the-Game Leon
White added, "The offensive line got
fired up after Robbie got hurt. They
didn't want any more cheap shots on
him. I think the offensive line definitely
played their best game."
"When Robbie came back, we saw he
was playing with pain and knew we had
to do it for him," said tight end David
Mills, the game's leading receiver with
11 catches. "We tried, we did and we
AP Top Twenty

them." Lyles said the Cougars would
have lost "a few" if they played in the
Big Ten.
"IT'S.DIFFICULT to say," commen-
ted fullback Bob Perryman, who
rushed for a career-high 110 yards.
"Washington was much better defen-
sively." Perryman added that, the
game was less physically punishing
than most Big Ten games. "The db's
(defensive backs) didn't really come up
and hit us."
Tight end Sim Nelson, who was
sidelined after he injured his ribs on a
reception in the first quarter, said BYU
is "a good team - nothing spectacular.
.. We moved the ball on them any time
we wanted. And we didn't play our best
game." Nelson agreed with Perryman
that Washington is a superior defensive
If you look at the stats, though, you'll
find that Michigan gained 350 yards
against the Huskies, while BYU held
the Wolverines to 202.
SCHEMBECHLER himself, who
spent the week previous to the game
lecturing anyone who would listen why
Brigham Young was number-one, sud-
denly became mum on the subject after
the loss.
"I don't know if (BYU)
is number one or not. If I
told you what I thought,
you'd say 'sour
, ,,
- Bo Schembecher
"I don't know if they are or not,"
Schembechler said when asked if the
Cougars are number-one. "If I told you
what I thought, you'd say 'sour
On the other side of the debate, the
Cougars' message - to a man - was
the same: We deserve it."
"IF YOU'RE number-one going in
and you win, you should be number-one
going out," said Coach Edwards.
"In my mind, there's no question we
should stay number-one," said his
quarterback, Robbie Bosco.
"Naturally, I think we deserve it,"
said linebacker Leon White, who was
voted the game's outstanding defensive
player while his father, who is dying of
bone cancer, watched from the
It's possible that Michigan's reluc-
tance to give Brigham Young credit
was due to the heat of the defeat, that in
their anguish Schembechler and the
Wolverines were in no mood to praise
anybody. But at the next morning's
press conference the irascible Schem-
bechler still declined to call Brigham
Young number-one. Instead accusing
the Cougars of using illegal holding
techniques. "Brigham Young should be
banned," he told reporters.
All those teams that finished behind
the Cougars in the polls would probably
second that motion.

1. Brigham Young (38) 13
2. Washington (16) .... 11
3. Florida (6) .......... 9
4. Nebraska ........... 10
5. Boston College.......10
6. Oklahoma .......... 9
7. Oklahoma State ..... 10
8. SMU ................ 10
9. UCLA .............. 9
10. USC................ 9
11. South Carolina......10
12. Maryland .......... 9
13. Ohio State .......... 9
14. Auburn............. 9
15. LSU ................ 8
16. Iowa ............... 8
17. Florida State........7
18. Miami (Fla.)........8
19. Kentucky .......... 9
20. Virginia ............ 8


1. Brigham Young (28). 13
2. Washington (11) .... 11
3. Nebraska.........10
4. Boston College.....10
5. Oklahoma State. 10
6. Oklahoma.........9
7. Florida (1) .........9
8. SMU.............10
9. USC..............9
10. UCLA............9
11. Maryland.........9
12. Ohio State.........9
13. South Carolina.....10
14. Auburn...........9
15. Iowa ............... 8
16. LSU.............. 8
17. Virginia..........8
18. West Virginia......8
19. Kentucky..........9
20. Florida State....... 7


Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON I

An intense Bo Schembechler and aids head off the field following the heartbreaking loss. Schembechler has now lost 10
of 12 bowl games, he has been Michigan's head coach for 16 seasons.


.A..".":..*. v~f"' .::::"t .:::".*.{.{"}. :.v*t::t:.: .**}:::::: :::::::............ :.....:. :..::.. . .... .......
Bo's beha
By Douglas B. Levy "

vior stuns media . .



H oliday Bowl VII (that's "7" for those who have
difficulty with Roman numerals) had
everything to make it one of the most interesting
spectacles ever.
Of course, the Michigan-Brigham Young clash
was correctly billed as "The National Champion-
ship Game." Then there was Bo Schem-
bechler-who is now being likened by San Diegoans
to Mu'ammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi, the sicko
who is military emperor in Libya.
Yes, whoever cared to follow the '84 Holiday
Bowl was treated to vintage Bo.
The arrival...
Bo arrived on the coast December 18 and was in
the highest of spirits. Smiling at his first press con-
ference he wondered: "In boxing, isn't it true that
no matter where you're ranked, if you beat the
champion you become the champion? But I'm not
making anything of this. I don't give a damn about
the national championship."
Bo was sick and tired of being reminded that his
Wolverines were only 6-5. "We're playing (against
BYU, 13-0) because we are Michigan and we have a
chance to beat number one," justified the 16-year
Wolverine head coach. "We can play against
anybody, anytime."
The night of the 18th, the Michigan team was
treated to a special tour and banquet at Sea World.
Darkness was quickly descending upon the
aquarium extraordinaire as Bo ambled up to the
seal pit. This pit did contain about 15 of the most
awesome looking sea lions and Bo, who was far

both teams at a lavish luncheon aboard the U.S.S.
Kittyhawk-a mammoth naval cruiser-destroyer-
banquet hall rolled into one. Chow time was set for
12 noon. Sure enough, the Cougar entourage arrived
right on time and even staged a 20-minute pep rally
for the sailors.
But no Wolverines. Bo failed to show. Nothing.
Not even an "official university representative."
The Banquet area was half full, half desolate. San
Diego's dignitaries, including the navy brass were
visibly flustered. How could a football coach do this
to them?
The coach's reason was a valid one. Thunder-
storms had been predicted for that entire afternoon
which was when the team was designated to prac-
tice. So Bo's men skipped the luncheon to get in a
workout. Afterall, a football game was supposed
be played. And the Wolverines did make it to the
Kittyhawk later in the day. The local media gave
Michigan a scorching for ruining the luncheon. Did
Bo care? Are you kidding?
The game and **s aftermath...
Not once after any of the five regular season
losses did Bo look or sound worse than after falling
to BYU, 24-17.
"If I'd have won the game, I'd tell you what I
thought of the game," scowled Schembechler to a
throng of reporters. "We didn't win, so I can't tell
you. We had too many opportunities. It's been that
way all season. If I told you what I thought, you'd

the guy was amazing
dumb a-- in the world should expect Bo Schem-
bechler to accept a second place trophy in a football
Now the killer, Kuhn decided to hang around and
wait patiently. In a matter of minutes a Michigan
equipment manager (slightly more dignified than a
waterboy) popped out, grabbed the award and
quickly disappeared back inside. At that point, one
of the assembled scribes asked Kuhn if he would
consider inviting Libya to next year's Holiday Bowl.
Kuhn could barely muster a chuckle.
"Once again, Bo's postgame behavior is unspor-
tsmanlike conduct," blared the headline above a
San Diego columnists work, the morning after.
The end is near...
On December 23, the Wolverines returned to Ann
Arbor, a 6-6 team, out of the nation's top twenty
ranking for only the second time in Schembechler's
illustrious career. One sportswriter remarked,
"Today it's not much fun to be Bo Schembechler."
That sportswriter is dead wrong.
Michigan got caught in an off year. Due to injuries
and a shortage of talent, the Wolverines offense
couldn't compliment a solid defense. The challenge
of rebuilding looms ahead and who better to lead the
effort than Bo. No one could work harder or care
more for Michigan's success than Schembechler.
In many ways, 1984 was the most exiciting year of
Wolverine football. Michigan played the toughest
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