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October 28, 1985 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-28

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 28, 1985
Evasive Morris keys Michigan attack


While the 1985 Wolverines have
been best known for coming up with
the big play on defense, tailback
Jamie Morris has progressed this
season to become the key man on an
often inconsistent offensive unit.
Morris, the second-shortest player
on the Michigan roster at 5-7, has
rushed for 723 yards in seven games
this year, including 179 in Saturday's
42-15 rout over Indiana.
MORRIS sees his short stature as
more of an advantage than a
"My advantage over big linemen is
that they have to stoop over to tackle
me," said Morris, who has rambled
for at least 95 yards in four of his
seven games. "I can make the cut
before they can get over to hit me."
The 175 pounder from Ayer, Mass.
has also become a favorite target for
quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Morris'
four receptions against the Hoosiers
gives him a share of the team lead in
catches with 23. Only tight end Eric
Kattus has caught as many aerials
this year.
IN FACT, in only his second year in
a maize and blue uniform, the "clever
little back" (as coach Bo Schem-
bechler calls Morris) has become

Michigan's most potent offensive
weapon in its drive for a Big Ten title.
Morris' season started out like a new
Chinese dish - sweet and sour ball
carrier. The sweet being Morris' 288
yards in his first three games, with
the sour coming on three fumbles in
those games, including a key fourth-
quarter turnover late in Michigan's
opening victory over Notre Dame.
"In the beginning of the year I was
running tense, trying to control the
ball because I had been fumbling a
lot," said Morris. "Lately the coaches
have been telling me to run naturally,
and that has made a big difference."
MORRIS has also been helped
through the experience of gaining
national recognition by his older
brother Joe, who plays for the NFL
New York Giants.
"My brother has always told me
that it isn't important to prove your-
self to others. You have to prove to
yourself that you can do the job, and
that's what I'be been trying to do,"
said Morris.
While Morris has definitely proved
himself to his coaches and Michigan
fans, he gives all of the credit for his
improvement to the patchwork offen-
sive line, which has been under con-
struction all year because of injuries.

"WHAT dictates whether I'm a
good runner or not is the line
blocking," said Morris, who led the
team in rushing as a freshman last
year with 573 yards. "The offensive
line has been getting better each
game, so I've been getting better each
And with three of Michigan's star-
ting offensive linemen out with in-
juries Saturday, Morris jerked and
twisted his way to the best rushing
performance of his Michigan career.
With two years of eligibility left,
Morris has a chance to become one o!4
the best offensive producers in.
Michigan football history. In a little
over 1 years with the Wolverines,
Morris has piled up 1554 yards in total:
offense (rushing and receiving).
MORRIS, who was originally
recruited as a wide receiver because
of his 10.5 speed in the 100 meters, is
not concerned with records right now,
though. Instead, he just wants to run,
with the football.
And running with the ball has made
Morris a sparkplug of this Michigan
"Jamie Morris plays great all the
time," said Harbaugh. "I love Jamie
Doesn't that just about say it all?

Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Michigan tailback Jamie Morris pivots off a block from offensive tackle Clay Miller to put a move on the In-
diana defense. The sophomore from Ayer, Massachusettts had a personal best 179 yards rushing on 24 carries
yesterday in the Wolverines' 42-15 win.
'M' hurdles Hoosiers

(Continued from Page 1)
"I suspected on Thursday we might
have trouble coming back from
Iowa," said Schembechler. "The
Iowa loss made -it hard to maintain
our emotional level. That factor could
have led to all the turnovers."
"You could tell our mental attitude
wasn't right for this game," agreed
defensive guard Billy Harris. "You
could feel it all week in practice ...
everyone just kept going back and
watching the Iowa game over and
over again and it just kept us down. .
"THIS GAME taught us a lesson. It
helped us get better as a team. This is
The perfect
combination !

the best thing that could have hap-
pened to us."
On the offensive line, John Elliott
became the third regular to miss a
game this season, joining Mike
Hammerstein and Mike Husar on the
injured list. The constant changes
hurt the line as a unit.
"It's hard to work together," said
tackle Clay Miller, who provided
Schembechler with an anxious
moment when he went down for a play
in the second half. "It's not that the
other guys aren't good, but it's hard to
work as a unit when you have dif-
ferent guys in all the time. You're just
getting used to playing as a group and
then someone new comes m."
"RIGHT NOW we are hurting, no
question," commented Schem-
bechler. "We need to get Husar
(sprained ankle) and Elliott (back
spasms) back, and if we do, we're
With the offensive mistakes and a
lack of enthusiasm on defense,
Michigan could only muster a 15-15 tie
going into the lockerroom. Sensing his
team was at a crisis point, Schem-
bechler unleashed one of his patented
halftime pep talks.
"Bo shook us up a little bit," said
Harbaugh. "He told us frankly that is
we didn't start playing with en-
thusiasm, we would lose, and how that
would be a shame after we had
worked so hard all season."
HARRIS ADDED that "it was
(Schembechler's) toughest talk of the
year because we weren't playing well.
We weren't playing like a Michigan
team is supposed to play, and he had
every right to jump on us and criticize
Whatever Schembechler said
worked. Michigan took the initial

kickoff and marched to the Indiana 18
before settling for a 31-yard Mike
Gillette field goal.
Indiana gave the ball right back on
downs, and Harbaugh coolly directed
an 83-yard touchdown march, hitting
tight end Eric Kattus over the middle
for a 34-yard touchdown. Kattus con-
tinued to be Harbaugh's favorite
target, gathering five catches for 123
THE INTENSITY did not let up in
the fourth quarter. The defense com-
pletely shut down the Hoosier attack,
keeping tailbacks Bobby Howard and
Sweazy under wraps and negating
Bradley's passing game.
The offense took advantage of the
good defense by adding 17 fourth-
quarter points. A 19-yard TD run by
White, a one-yard option run by Phil
Webb and a 34-yard Gillette field goal
closed out the second half offensive
"We just got beat in the second
half," said Hoosier head coach Bill
Mallory. "In the first half I thought
we played pretty well, our defense
kept them really contained. In the
second half, we couldn't do anything.
Offensively we couldn't get anything
going, and the defense stopped con-
taining. . . we broke down on passes in
the perimeter."
Morris ended with 179 yards on 24
attempts, a healthy 7.5 yards per
carry average and a personal best at
Michigan. Harbaugh went on better -
his 17 for 23 performance was good for
283 yards and set a new Michigan
single game passing yardage record.
Chris Zurbrugg set the old record of
259 yards against Purdue last season.
"This game did us some good," said
Schembechler. "It taught us the
lesson that to play each week in this
league, you have to come in mentally

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eJim Harbaugh's 283 yards passing
broke the Michigan single game
record of 259 yards set last season by
Chris Zurbrugg against Purdue. But
while Harbaugh's performance tops
the Wolverine yardage chart, it
doesn't come close to the passing yar-
dage records at the nine other Big Ten
schools. Ed Smith set the next lowest
standard by throwing for 369 yards for
Michigan State against Indiana in
1978, while Illinois' Dave Wilson set
the all-time Big Ten mark with 621
yards against Ohio State in 1980.
eMichigan gained 604 yards in total
offense, the most since the 1983 con-
test with Minnesota when the
Wolverines racked up 631 markers
while blowing out the Gophers, 58-10.
" Jamie Morris had his best game
as a Wolverine, gaining 179 yards and
two touchdowns rushing and catching
four passes for another 24 yards.

E Philling it Up
By Phil Nussel
- "
IT'S KIND OF funny, but for most people Halloween
hits on October 31. For Michigan, however, the fall
holiday came five days early. The Wolverines tried
disguising themselves as a bad football team Saturday
as they struggled through their worst half of the season
before scaring away Indiana 42-15.
It must have been those black jerseys at Iowa. Some
sort of dark curse must have hit the Wolverines out
there in cornland, because they came out spooked for
30 minutes, fumbling and bumbling themselves into a
15-15 tie.
Luckily, Michigan has a team sorcerer named Bo
Schembechler who lifted the Iowa curse and inflicted a
deadly spell of his own at halftime on a team that was
in danger of ruining what could still be a banner
Yes, while Jim Harbaugh and Jamie Morris had
their best games of their careers, the credit for this
win goes to the magical motivational force of Schem-
The veteran coach bewitched the squad in a halftime
tirade that probably ranks as one of his hottest in
recent years. And who could blame him? Something
had to be done to get that bunch out of Iowa - where
most of them still were.
"Yea, (Schembechler) was pissed," cornerback
Garland Rivers said. "He said he knew we were going
to go out there like that because we were down on our-
selves from last week."
There was no way that Schembechler -let the
Iowa loss turn the 1985 season into a pumpkin. It's just
a good thing that Indiana was the opponent. A team
like Ohio State or Illinois could have put the game out
of reach with early opportunities like Indiana's.
Schembechler certainly knew this.
"I talked to them, yes," he said. "It was a productive
halftime." As was seen, the productive halftime led to
an even more productive second half with the offense
rolling up 27 points and the defense holding the
Hoosiers to 59 yards of total offense.
"When we're playing bad, dropping the ball, fum-
bling around, with a low intensity mental attitude, he
comes in and kind of goes berzerk," middle guard Billy

Blue bewitched early...
but Bo works magic
Harris said. "Because that's what we need. He, as a
head coach, kind of feels that he has to pitch in the best
he can to get us pumped up. No one likes to see Bo mad,
so we try to please him and go out and do a job for
It's kind of spooky. Harris said that the last time he
saw the Wolverine master blow up like that was at
Purdue last year. In that game, which was played
three days after Halloween, Michigan had its worst
half of the 1984 campaign. It trailed 240, but after a
classical Schembechler explosion, the Wolverines
came out of the locker room and outscored the Boiler-
makers 29-7 only to lose 31-29.
That was also the time that Chris Zurbrugg set the
Michigan single game passing yardage record with 259
yards. Harbaugh broke that record Saturday with his
283-yard effort.
But unlike last year's devilish loss, the Wolverines
didn't let this game get out of hand. They managed to
continue the Schembechler curse on Indiana. The
Hoosiers, along with Northwestern, are the only two
Big Ten teams that have never beaten a Schembechler-
coached Michigan team.
In the early going, though, the offense looked like it
saw a ghost as it fumbled inside its own 10-yard line on
the first two possessions. This made it tough on the
defense, which yielded a field goal and the second
touchdown of the season (still no extra points though).
"You can't be frustrated with the offense," Harris
said. "From the minute you walk in here as a freshman
they teach you about sudden change. In a sudden
change situation, the mood can swing back and forth.
You got to believe you can stop them.
"They (the opponents) think 'We got them.' But if we
go out there and stuff 'em, they are going to think like
'oh shit.' And the whole mood of the game can swing
back in your favor."
The real Halloween hits Ann Arbor Thursday, but the
trick-or-treating may not be over for Michigan next
Saturday when it travels to Illinois to play the pum-
pkin-colored Illini. Hopefully for the Wolverines,
Schembechler will have more treats than Illinois coach
Mike White has tricks. Some more halftime cursing
wouldn't hurt.


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