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September 04, 1986 - Image 56

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-04

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Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1986

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HARBA UGH RETURNS TO LEAD OFFENSE

Wolverines shooting for Big en title

t

By PHIL NUSSEL
A year ago, Michigan football
preview stories like this painted a
dismal picture of the 1985 Wolverines.
Some even predicted it would be
coach Bo Schembechler's first losing
season. They were unusual previews.
-But they were wrong.
THIS FALL, the predictions are
positive again. Michigan is back in
the top ten and is the odds-on favorite
to win the Big Ten. The Wolverines
may even contend for their first
national title since 1948.
'So then everything is great, right?
"It's nice whenever you're rated
high and all that," said 1985's most ef-
ficient quarterback in the nation,
Jim Harbaugh. "But I think we
proved last year that those ratings
don't mean a heckuva lot. The main
thing is being up there on top when it's
over, like we were last year."
INDEED THE Wolverines were
4imost on top - they finished
second in the nation and in the Big
Ten with a 10-1-1 overall record in-
cluding a 27-23 win over Nebraska in
the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl. It was the
first season a Schembechler-coached
team finished second in both wire
polls.
Still, there was a void in 1985 - no
.Championship and no Rose Bowl.
That is what drives Michigan heading
'into the 1986 campaign.
"We didn't win the Big Ten title or
the national championship and those
are the two things we are going to try
to do in '86," Harbaugh said.
SCHEMBECHLER also has higher
goals this season. "We have a lot of
things we want to do, so I don't fear
any complacency," he said. "If we
see it, then we'll attack it and I hope
we don't see it. If we had a soft
coaching staff, then I'd worry about
it.",
Another area the 18th-year head
coach doesn't have to worry about is a
lack of returning experienced
players. He has 16 starters and 44 let-
termen back. Eight starters and 25
lettermen return on offense and six
starters and 18 lettermen return on
defense. All four punters and placek-
ickers also come back. Those are
all numbers a head coach raves
about.
Whenever Schembechler gets on
the subject of quality returners, he
says .................... is a real
plus. We are really happy to have
back this year.''
When................is Har-
baugh, though, the 196-55-7 head
coach really means what he says.
The 6-3, 204-POUND quarterback
was the first Big Ten quarterback to
lead the nation in efficiency last year,

completing 145 of 227 passes for 1976
yards and 18 touchdowns. He threw
six interceptions in 12 games and set
three single season Michigan records.
Harbaugh also ran for four touch-
downs.
His two favorite receivers - Paul
Jokisch and John Kolesar - also
return. Jokisch, entering his fifth
year (his first two were on the
basketball team), used his 6-8 frame
to gather 37 passes and 681 yards and
two six-pointers. Kolesar swallowed
12 passes and 336 yards and three
touchdowns in his freshman season.
Gene Lawson and Kenny Higgins will
be the backups.

In the backfield, the only problem
facing the Wolverines is how to split
playing time among the talent. Star-
ters Jamie Morris and Gerald White
will see the most action after com-
bining for 1933 total yards and 15
touchdowns, Morris led the team
rushing category with 1030 yards at
tailback.
BEHIND MORRIS and White are
backs like Thomas Wilcher, who was
an All-American 55-meter hurdler
last spring. The senior speedster had
361 yards on 71 carries before an
ankle injury. Ernie Holloway, Phil
Webb and Bob Perryman add to the
backfield's experience. The

Wolverines also have five freshmen
running backs reporting to camp.
The main offensive problem is on
the front line, especially at tight end.
Jeff Brown is the only experienced
returning tight end, but saw almost
all his action as a blocker and caught
just one pass for ten yards. Keith Mit-
chell had a good spring and may be
the top contender.
The coaches spent all spring ex-
perimenting in the five other line
spots. Mark Hammerstein is back at
one guard spot after recovering from
knee surgery last fall, but remains
unclear whether or not he will return to
his old form. John "Jumbo" Elliott is

also returning at tackle. Mike Hussar,
John Vitale, Andy Borowski, Dave
Herrick, Michael Dames, Jerry
Quaerna, and David chester all are
battling for the three other positions.
BUT THEN there's the defense.
Despite losing standouts like Mike
Hammerstein, Brad Cochran and
Mike Mallory on a squad which gave
up 98 points all last season, Schem-
bechler is not worried about the '86
defense.
"Now I may be wrong," he said,
"but I think this year's defense will be
just as good as last year's."
LEADING TACKLER Andy
Moeller, now out of Mallory's shadow,

looks to shine at inside linebacker. He
had 138 tackles in '85 with two fumble
recoveries. Mallory's spot will be
taken by Andree McIntyre or Todd
Schulte - both saw considerable ac-
tion in backup roles over
the last two years.
There is even more uncertainty at
the two open outside linebacker spots.
Steve Thibert, Dieter Heren, Tim
Schulte, and Carlitos Bostic are all at
war for the starting nod. Again
though, all gained good experience in
'85.
Junior Mark Messner (6-3, 255-
pounds) will lead the front line after
making 71 tackles and 11 sacks last
season. A first team All-Big Ten per-
former, Messner also garnered the
defensive MVP award at the Fiesta
Bowl.

4
4

SECOND TEAM All-Big Ten mid-
dle guard Billy Harris is another
boost to the line after starting every
game there last season. Mike
Reinhold and Dave Folkertsma con-
tend for the other tackle spot.
In the secondary, Gary Moeller's
defense is anchored by three retur-
ners: Garland Rivers, Tony Gant,
and Ivan Hicks. Rivers, who has not
missed a start in two years, led the
secondary in tackling with 69 hits and
grabbed two interceptions.. Gant, a
fifth-year senior, had a solid year in.
'85 after spending most of '84'
recovering from a broken leg. Hicks
led the team with six'interceptions.
Dave Arnold has the best shot at the
open corner position, but senior Doug
Mallory may be moved there from
safety. Erik Campbell is back in the
secondary after spending a year on
offense at wideout.

THERE'S A familiar story brewing
in the kicking game: Monte Robbins
is safe at punter while Pat Moons,
Rick Sutkiewicz, and Mike Gillette will
battle for the placekicking job.
That's the same story as last year.
Gillette, now a sophomore, won the
job for extra points and Sutkiewicz
kicked off. Moons sat until Schem-
bechler suspended Gillette and
Sutkiewicz for breaking training rules
before the Ohio State game.
After the spring game, Schem-
bechler declared Moons has the edge
for '86, just as he did after the '85
game.
In the coaching staff, Schembechler
has three riew faces after losing
reciever coach Bob Thombladh and
linebacker coach Milan Vooletich.
Thornbladh took a job in private
business in Tampa, Fla., while
Vooletich took the head assistant
position at Rice University.

I

Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler gets a ride from his boys after
Michigan's 27-23 victory over Nebraska in the 1986 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl at

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. It was Schembechler's
third bowl victory.

0

'85 Big Ten
Standings

SCORES

Iowa ..................
Michigan ..............
Illinois.............
Ohio State...........
Michigan State.......
Minnesota ............
Purdue ................
Wisconsin..........
-Indiana.............
-Northwestern .......

W
7
6
5
5
5
4
3
2
1

L
1
1
2
3
3
4
5
6
7

T
1
1

Date
9/14
9/21
9/28
10/5
10/12
10/19
10/26
11/2
11/9
11/16
11/23
1/1

M
20 NOTRE DAME
34 at South Carolina
20 MARYLAND
33 WISCONSIN
31 at Michigan State
10 at Iowa
42 INDIANA
3 at illinois
47 PURDUE
48 at Minnesota
27 OHIO STATE
27 Nebraska

Opp
12
3
0
6
0
12
15
3
0
7
17
23

Attend
105,523
74,200
105,282
105,491
78,235
66,350
105,629
76,397
105,503
64,129
106,102
72,454

SeptemberSchedule 1985 Mi
13 ............ at Notre Dame
20 .........OREGON STATE
27 ........FLORIDA STATE
October TEAM
4 ..............at Wisconsin M Opp
11 .....MICHIGAN STATE ft ,,**
18 ............ IOWA Passing . 9683
atIdaa Other k 1510
25 ............ at Indiana l Ne4t ...4652 30
November Totls P l's ...3 74
1 ................. ILLINOIS e
8 ..............atPurdue set4ashiYn yards. 3 13!
15 MINNESOTA T
22 ..............at Ohio State Av.eGme. . .
Net Passing Yards
December tclnm ,.<3 n13
6 .................at Hawaii Ar A

4
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