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September 05, 1985 - Image 66

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-05

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Page 2C - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 1985

Gridders out to restore 'M'

dominance

By PHIL NUSSEL
Today's Michigan football trivia question:
When was the last year the Wolverines
posted a losing record? Give up? The an-
swer is 1967 when Bump Elliott's squad
finished at 4-6.
Two years later, Bo Schembechler took
over as head coach and has still not had a
losing record. Last season, however,
Schembechler's streak almost came to a
rapid end when his team went an un-
Michiganlike 6-6. Could this mean the in-
famous losing season is right around the
corner? One can only guess.
ONE THING certain is that Michigan will
not enter the 1985 campaign with their usual
high ranking, their usual host of All-
America and All-Big Ten selections or their
usual chance for the Big Ten title.
The Michigan of 1985 has no spotlight-type
stars-at least not yet. The team will begin
with a humble billing and only winning will
alter it.
And winning could be a burdensome task
this season. The Wolverines face their
toughest schedule in years. They play nine
teams that appeared in bowl games last
year. Indiana and Minnesota are the only
non-bowl opponents. (Northwestern is not
scheduled).
THE TEAM will indeed get a baptism un-
der fire in the first three games, meeting
powerful squads from Notre Dame and
Maryland at home along with South
Carolina on the road.
At the helm for Michigan will be senior
Jim Harbaugh, who led the squad to a 3-1
record before his non-throwing arm was
snapped against Michigan State. He retur-
ned to the top spot last spring in what was
termed a quarterback battle with juniors
Chris Zurbrugg and Russ Rein.
"I'd say he (Harbaugh) came out of
spring ball clearly with the edge," said
Schembechler. "Harbaugh shows a little
more poise and experience. I'd say that on
,the basis of what we saw (last spring), that
he has no after effects of the broken arm.
HARBAUGH NOTED, "I knew I could
come back. There was never any doubt
because I just wanted to play so bad."
Harbaugh will have a new offensive setup
to work with in the fall- the split-back of-
.fense. The new attack just might provide the
spark needed to ignite a recently-sluggish
Wolverine offense.

The formation would improve quarterback
protection.
Schembechler surely has no idea of how
good his team will be in '85, at least he
wouldn't say so. "I'm not saying they're a
great team or anything, because I don't
believe that," he said following the spring
scrimmage. "But I think they're going to be
fun in the fall, and I think they'll be easy to
coach."
Harbaugh displayed a similar lack of cer-
tainty. "I don't know how good we are, but
the attitude is great. Everybody is enthused
and excited to play."
THE MAIN task for Schembechler and his
assistants this fall will be to rebuild the
defensive line, which was decimated by the
loss of stalwarts Al Sincich and Kevin
Brooks. The only returnee with any ex-
perience up front is fifth-year senior Mike
Hammerstein, who had 39 tackles last
season. He led the team with five quarter-
back sacks.
Former linebacker Mike Reinhold looks to
play the middle guard spot. Schembechler
noted, though that Reinhold's size is
questionable, being only 6-3, 228 pounds.
Billy Harris is the only other player with ex-
perience at the middle spot.
Two big contenders for line jobs are Dave
Folkertsma and Mark Messner. Folkertsma
is a 6-5, 255-pound junior from Grand
Rapids. Messner, who was moved around
all spring, is another smaller lineman at 6-3,
235.
"I THINK that there will be quite a few
places that will still be up for grabs (on
defense)," Schembechler said.
The defense gets stronger in the secon-
dary. An experienced core of linebackers is
highlighted by All-Big Ten selection Mike
Mallory. The fifth-year senior had a team-
leading 96 tackles last season along with
three interceptions.
The linebacking situation was further im-
proved two weeks into spring practice when
senior Jim Scarcelli elected to return for his
final year of eligibility. Junior Andre McIn-
tyre (6-1, 245) had a good spring and will
compete for a starting job. Andy Moeller
and Jeff Akers saw a lot of action last year
and will most likely see just as much or
more this season.
STEVE THIBERT, Tim Schulte and
Keith Cowan all lettered in '84 and will
have a good shot at seeing more playing
time at outside linebacker.
The Wolverines return all of their defen-
sive backs from last season. Senior Brad
Cochran (6-3, 209) is back after leading the
squad with five interceptions last season. He
also was fourth in tackles with 56. Junior
Garland Rivers (81 tackles last year) is also
back with Ivan Hicks, Doug Mallory, Al
Bishop and Dieter Heren.
If all goes right, Tony Gant will also be
back. The main question is whether his
broken leg will recover from nerve damage.
ON OFFENSE, the biggest losses were in
the trenches-Doug James at guard, Art
Balourdos at center and Sim Nelson at tight
end. But their spots will all be taken by
players with a considerable amount of ex-
perience.
Fifth-year seniors Clay Miller and Bob
Tabachino return at tackle and guard,
respectively. Miller (6-4, 260) received
Academic All-America honors last year.
John "Jumbo" Elliott and Mark Hammer-
stein- both starters-also are back.
Seniors Eric Kattus and Paul Schmerge
both have done a good deal of blocking at
tight end but little pass-catching. The two
performed quite well all spring, however,
and have eased Schembechler's worries
over the position.
LONG-SNAPPER Dave Herrick looks to
be Balourdos' successor at center. The
sophomore from Indianapolis suffered a
knee injury in the spring and if it's too
serious, a battle for the starting job could
occur. Andy Borowski and Mark Hill could
also take the job.
The offensive backfield is led by speedy
Jamie Morris. The sophomore tailback led
the team in rushing last season with 573
yards in 118 carries. He added a second
dimension with his ability to catch the

Key questions remain for Bo

S

boys

y
k

lp

0

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Michigan's renewed prominence in the Big Ten could begin with defense. Here, middle guard Billy Harris and defensive back Brad
Cochran smother Northwestern's Stanley Davenport.

pigskin. Morris gathered in 14 passes for 131
yards. With the new split-back offense, he
will be able to catch even more aerials.
Morris' main blocker will be 6-2, 225-
pound fullback Bob Perryman. The junior
averaged over five yards per carry last year
and ran for five touchdowns. Eddie Garrett,
another fullback with experience and
eligibility, will probably not return to the
team according to Schembechler. He
wouldn't comment further.
JUNIOR GERALD White will be able to
play either back position. Other runners in
line to get playing time are senior Thomas
Wilcher, senior Phil Webb and junior Ernie
Holloway. All had good springs.
There was bad news at wide receiver in
the off-season when senior Triando Markray
severly damaged his knee playing basket-
ball. The word is that the veteran wide
receiver is out of football for good.
To fill his spot, Schembechler moved
sophomore Erik Campbell from the almost
backlogged safety spot to wide receiver, and
the move could pay off since Campbell

looked quite comfortable at the position in
the spring scrimmage. He was recruited as
a wideout.
"HE'S GOT a lot of speed," said Har-
baugh, "and, being a defensive back, he
knows the coverages and he knows how to
get open."
Gilvanni Johnson and Paul Jokisch will be
the other primary wide receivers. Jokisch
averaged 17.8 yards a catch last season to
lead the team. He had two touchdowns.
At the end of the 1984 campaign, it was all
but decided that junior Pat Moons would be
the primary placekicker for the Wolverines.
But since then, walk-on freshman Rick
Sutkiewicz from Detroit Country Day has
been steadily improving and has become a
contender for the starting job. "I think he's
kicked himself right into contention,"

Schembechler said after the soccer-style
kicker hit two 43-yard field goals and three
extra points in the spring scrimmage.
MOONS, in the meantime, has been in
consistent. "He's had some good days an
some bad days," Schembechler explained.
"That's why Sutkiewicz has made a run at
him."
The punting will again be taken up by
sophomore Monte Robbins, who averaged
43.6 yards a kick last year as a freshman.
All in all, the Wolverines will have to
replace nine starters. But in many cases, it.
will not be as difficult as it sounds because
at several positions, the seniors were lost
during the season to an injury. So it jus;
becomes a situation where a starter;,
replaces a starter.
The team's experience can be 'debated,
but the bottom line simply will be an obvious
and overused sentence: if the team plays
well, it will win.

Schembechler
... a "fun" club in the fall

"We went to the split-backs mainly
because, other than Perryman and White,
we're not a big back team," Schembechler
explained obviously referring to the small
but explosive tailback Jamie Morris. "We
think we can exploit the little backs better
from a flat-back position and improve our
passing."
ANOTHER NEW offensive wrinkle the
coaches experimented with in the spring
was the upstance position for the offensive line
on passing plays, just like Brigham Young.

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h

Reinhold
... looks to middle guard

Harbaugh
nails down starting job

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