Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 28, 1987
vs. Schoolcraft College
Today, 4:00 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
I - __.
BY ADAM OCHLIS
'M' looking for bowl...
options are aplenty
If Michigan wants to go to a bowl game, it can.
The more important question is whether head coach
Bo Schembechler will want to send his "very average"
team to a bowl game. If the answer to that question is
"yes", the question then becomes - which bowl will
the Wolverines attend?
Looking at the schedule, it is impossible to see
Michigan losing more than two games the rest of the
season. Granted, Michigan has played poorly this year;
granted, the starting quarterback broke his thumb (some
might see this as a blessing in disguise). The fact
remains Michigan should easily beat three of its final
four opponents and the fourth, Ohio State, is as
inconsistent and mysterious as Michigan..
A 7-4 Wolverine team (one loss in its final four
games) will be invited and accept a bowl invitation. A
6-5 Michigan team will be invited but may not accept.
Most teams that are invited to a bowl don't think
twice about accepting it. Michigan, however, is a
different case. In 1984, when the Wolverines finished at
6-5 in what has been described as a "hellish" season, it
was planning to reject a bowl invitation.
Michigan prides itself on successful seasons,
winning the Big Ten, and going to the Rose Bowl. The
1984 season was not a successful season. When the
Holiday Bowl invited the Michigan to play in its
game, the Wolverines were ready to reject the offer.
The reason Michigan finally accepted was because the
opponent was Brigham Young (who had a commitment
to attend the San Diego-based bowl game), 10-0 at the
time and ready to claim the national championship.
The urge to upset the undefeated Cougars was too
tough to resist.
This year has parallelled 1984 in many respects. The
one difference is that Michigan will not have an
opportunity to play either Nebraska orOklahoma for
the national championship in the Orange Bowl. This
year, a 6-5 Michigan team probably will elect not to
go to a bowl when they are invited. It is difficult,
however, to see Michigan ending the season at 6-5.
With that in mind, here are the possibilities:
If Michigan goes 8-3:
This would be quite an interesting scenario. Having
won four straight including one over Ohio State,
Michigan would probably be invited to a New Year's
Day Bowl. It is no secret that the Florida Citrus Bowl
has shown interest in the Wolverines. Representatives
from the Orlando-based bowl have followed Michigan
around all season. Against Indiana, two of its
representatives sat in the press box.
"Michigan is definitely a television team," Citrus
Bowl representative Chuck Zegelbone told me at
halftime on Saturday. "The Big Ten has a great
reputation. We're interested in Michigan. We have to
be interested in Michigan."
While none of the other January 1st bowls have
expressed interest in Michigan the entire year, the
Citrus Bowl has been with the Wolverines from day
Blue magic missing
Repeat of '84 season possible
It's hard to believe but this Michigan team
is actually more disappointing than the 1984
Michigan is 4-3 after losing to Indiana last
Saturday and head coach Bo Schembechler
can't figure it out.
"I've never been in a situation like this
before," Schembechler said. "We may be in
more trouble here than in '84...and that is
THIS TEAM should not be where it is
right now. Just take a look at the personnel
on this team - John Elliott, Mark Messner,
Jamie Morris, John Kolesar. These are some
of the best players to play football at
Michigan - ever. The offensive and defensive
lines are considered to be among the best in
the country, and Morris is on pace to break
the all-time Michigan single season rushing
To say this season is discouraging is an
The statistics indicate that Michigan is a
better team. Lou Holtz said the Wolverines are
a better team than they showed. George Perles
said the same. And Indiana head coach Bill
Mallory had nothing but praise for Michigan
Can a team that currently leads the Big Ten
in total offense and total defense possibly
finish 6-6 like the 1984 team did?
The answer is yes.
As strong as this team looks on paper, it
has always found a way to lose.
QUARTERBACK Demetrius Brown has
not performed up to preseason expectations.
His current rate of 56 completions in 111
attempts does not remind anyone of Jim
Harbaugh, but several of his 12 interceptions
have been the result of team breakdowns.
"As a group we're not playing as well
consistently," assistant head coach and
offensive coordinator Gary Moeller said, "but
at the same time I'm not saying we're playing
as well at quarterback as we'd like."
Brown is doubtful for this Saturday's
Northwestern contest after sustaining a
possible broken thumb against Indiana.
Michael Taylor is expected to get the starting
It will be interesting to see how Taylor
does. Let's face it, Brown hasn't exactly
burned up the conference, but he has two years
of eligibility remaining and will be given
another chance. He has shown occasional
flashes of brilliance. Don't expect the
Wolverines to give up on him yet.
"Give him a year to break in," receiver
John Kolesar said. "He'll be a great
quarterback by his final year. I wish I was here
for his senior year. He's going to do some
SPEAKING of serious damage, injuries
have hit this team hard. The losses of Steve
Thibert, Andree McIntyre, and Brent White
have devastated the defense. Last summer,
Schembechler said White had the potential to
become one of the all-time great defensive
linemen at Michigan. Thibert and McIntyre
had the most experience at the linebacker
The list of injuries has continued to grow
with each game, forcing Schembechler to go
with inexperience - especially at linebacker.
If this team wins the rest of its games it
would be an amazing accomplishment.
Another factor working against the
Wolverines is the lack of team leadership and
unity. Moeller said that Michigan is not
executing very well as a team offensively.
Darren to be Different
BY DARREN JASEY
"It's got to be a machine that takes that ball
down the field " Moeller said.
THE WOLVERINE offense has not
been the fine tuned machine that fans are
accustomed to seeing. Like Schembechler
said, they went into Indiana and laid an egg. If
things continue the way they are, the
Wolverines could lay eggs in upcoming
games with Minnesota and Ohio State, too.
"I don't think there's a player on this team
that's going to give up," Messner said. "We
have to re-establish some goals, make these
goals fairly high, and we're going to have to
reach these goals."
The Wolverines should start off by beating
Northwestern Saturday, but that's the scary
part. Where would the Wolverines be without
teams like Washington State, Long Beach
State, Wisconsin, and Northwestern on the
Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Quarterback Demetrius Brown broke his left thumb in the first quarter of
last week's 14-10 loss to Indiana.
Brown hurt at IU
(Continued from Page 1)
IF BROWN misses the
Northwestern game he will join
the following list of Wolverines
who have missed at least one
game due to injury: Brent White
(knee), Marc Spencer (broken leg),
Curtis Feaster (infected pancreas),
Steve Thibert (knee), Keith
Cooper (knee), J.J. Grant
(stomache muscle and chronic
shoulder), Andree McIntyre (torn
achilles tendon), Billy Harris
(sprained ankle), Mike Teeter
(knee), Rick Hassel (groin), Allen
Jefferson (broken right hand),
Derrick Walker (ankle), Dames
(shoulder), Tom Dohring (knee),
John Kolesar (elbow), Chris
Calloway (thumb), Andy
Borowski (broken hand).
Even Schembechler has been
hurting. The Michigan coach
underwent lithotripter treatment
Monday at the University Hospital
to "break down" two kidney stones
that have bothered him since Sept.
29. All indications are that the
problem has finally cleared up.
"I think they got it all out,"
Schembechler said. "I don't want
to go back their any more. I feel
as good as ever."
JUNIOR FLANKER EARNS RESPECT:
Kolesar returns from doghouse
If Michigan goes 7-4:
This seems to be the most realistic of all
possibilities. If this is the case, New Year's Day will
be minus the Michigan football team for the first time
in two years.
Nine bowls will vie for Michigan's appearance. No
one denies Michigan is an attractive bowl team. It has
alumni and supporters all across the country, fans tune
into a game just to insult Bo Schembechler from their
living room, and everyone loves the helmets.
The Wolverines are like the Dallas Cowboys. You
either love them or hate them. Either way, they are a
big draw, and that's all the bowl people want.
"We are not football experts," said Freedom Bowl
representative Kirk Hendrix. "We know that. Our
purpose is from a PR standpoint."
If 7-4, Michigan should be able to choose where it
wants to go. Since 1902, the Wolverines have never
gone to the same bowl twice except for the Rose Bowl
(establishing new recruiting bases comes into effect
here). It would be out of line to think history won't
repeat itself this year. So, cancel the Gator Bowl
(1979), Bluebonnet Bowl (1981), and Holiday Bowl
(1984) from the list of possibilities.
The remaining bowls include the Independence,
Peach, Aloha, Liberty, All American, Sun, Hall of
Fame, and Freedom.
From this list it is easy to eliminate the
Independence, Sun, and Aloha because all occur either
before or soon after final exams at Michigan. The final
five are pretty much a toss-up although some seem to
have significant weaknesses. The Liberty Bowl
(Memphis) is always cold and raining and is rather
unattractive to visitors. The All-American Bowl and
Peach Bowl are played in Birmingham and Atlanta,
respectively. Enough said.
The decision then becomes one between the
Freedom Bowl (Anaheim, Dec. 30) and the Hall of
Fame Bowl (Tampa, Jan. 2). The Freedom Bowl makes
no bones that it would like to pit a Big Ten team
against a PAC-10 team, thus creating a mini-Rose
Bowl. Their representative in Bloomington, Hendrix,
said that Michigan is high on their list of candidates
and that the Wolverines would have to- finish lower
By SCOTT G. MILLER
John Kolesar characterizes
"Michigan football" as a tough,
physical, knock-down, and drag-out
style of play. He could describe his
playing style in the same terms.
The wide receiver is a throw back to
the glory days of "Michigan football."
A player who would just as soon block
than catch passes. The junior would
have fit in nicely with the Wolverine
satisfaction from throwing a block."
Kolesar's knack for knocking
around opponents sometimes gets him
into trouble. "I block up to the
whistle. Sometimes the defensive
backs don't like that especially when
the referee blows a late whistle," said
Kolesar. "They're taught to run to the
ball, and they get in trouble if they're
not in the picture. I just play hard. I
don't think I'm a cheap or dirty
Kolesar can catch as well as block.
So far this season he is averaging 20.7
yards per catch on15 receptions for 311
yards. "Being a receiver is easy because
you're out there on an island," he said.
"There are only so many routes you
The 6-0, 188-pounder almost did
not run any routes for the Wolverines
this season. Michigan head coach Bo
Schembechler put Kolesar in the "dog
house" this fall because of repeated
injuries. Kolesar reinjured his
collarbone during spring drills. He had
broken it against Illinois and missed
the last five games of 1986. During
this season's fall two-a-day practices,
Kolesar pulled a hamstring.
angry. He had lots of plans for the
flanker in the offense and could not
complete them because of the injuries.
The 19th-year head coach publicly
questioned Kolesar's toughness and
desire in coming back from his
"What can you do about it? I had to
wait it out," said Kolesar. "If I came
back to soon, I could have stayed out
longer. I took it in perspective and
took all the heat - everyday."
Schembechler, however, never
considers punt returns as the hardest
thing to do in a game. As Kolesar's
playing style dictates, he hates to fair
catch and rarely does.
"The second teamers (on special
teams) are crazy guys. That is the only
way they made the team so they come
down like a house of fire to tackle the
returner," he said. "If you have a punt
that's high you're in trouble. Fair
catching for me is a last resort but I'm
not stupid. When I hear footsteps and
screams in front of my face, I'm going
to fair catch."
After Michigan's slow 4-3 start this
season, Kolesar is getting familar with
screaming whether it comes from the
opposition or his own coaches.
Kolesar feels that a return to the
fundamentals - to "Michigan
football" - will improve the team.
"It makes you sick inside when you
see the talent we have running around
and not playing as well as you know it
can play," he said. "We have to get
back to the basics."
... tough player
teams of the early 1970's. Teams that
ran opponents into the ground.
"I play with abandon," said Kolesar.
"If I decide to block the wrong guy, so
what. I can't go back. So I'll block
another guy 100 percent."