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November 02, 1987 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-02

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Page 10 -The Michigan Daily-Monday, November 2, 1987

Runaway.
Taylor-made game
plan ignites Blue

I

By RICK KAPLAN
When it was time to start Mi-
chael Taylor at quarterback, Mich-
igan football coach Bo Schembechler
set his clock back to the 1970s.
Schembechler installed an old
offense with his new quarterback.
The Wolverines kept the ball on the
ground almost exclusively, grinding
out a slow-paced, 29-6 victory over
Northwestern.
Touted as a running quarterback,
Taylor lived up to advance billing.
The redshirt sophomore, starting his
first game in place of the injured
Demetrius Brown, threw just five
passes and completed only one. The
big play came in the second quarter,
when Taylor found tailback Jamie
Morris in the right flat for
Michigan's only three yards of pass-
ing offense in the game.
"The game was tight, so I didn't
want to put too much pressure on
Mike," Schembechler said, explain-
ing why he did not call for more
passes. "Undoubtedly, we've got to
throw more than that. I don't want
to play like that."
Schembechler's teams played like
that in the '70s with Rick Leach at
quarterback. The last time Michigan
threw fewer passes and had fewer
completions was in 1975, when
Leach went zero-for-one in a 21-15
win over Illinois.
TAYLOR led the Wolverines
with an impressive option attack. He
ran for. 144 yards and two
touchdowns on 14 carries. Michigan
piled up 374 yards on the ground.
"The option was working pretty
well," Taylor said. "There was really
no need to pass as much as we did.
We kept getting four and five yards a
crack on the ground."
"We felt we could establish the
run and stay with that," said
Michigan offensive lineman John
Elliott, a finalist for the Outland

Trophy, symbolic of the best
lineman in college football. "We
knew we were going to win the
game, and we didn't want to give
them a chance to get back into it.
We wanted to take time off the clock
by running the ball."
Taylor was at his best when
running the ball on the quarterback
draw. He gained more than 30 yards
on three different draw plays. "The
quarterback draw was effective when
we had everyone (on Northwestern's
defense) backing up deep," the 6-0.
195-pounder said. "I could come up
and get an open crease and go from
there."
Taylor hit a crease and went all
the way to the Wildcat end zone for a
65-yard touchdown at the start of the
fourth quarter. "I looked left and saw
the hole and cut up the field," he
said. "The first person I saw was the
free safety coming over (from the
right), so I cut back left and went all
the way."
THE PLAY was costly, how-
ever. Taylor tore a quad muscle in
his left thigh. "On the first cut, my
leg gave out on me," he said. "I tried
to go the rest of the way as fast as I
'could, but it hurt me a lot."
Taylor remained in for the
remainder of the game, but he did
not carry the ball again.
Schembechler is now uncertain
whether Brown (broken thumb) or
Taylor will be able to play at
Minnesota this Saturday. The Mich-
igan coach said he believes Brown
will be will be healed in time to
play.
Taylor will attempt to stay sharp,
even if he is back on the bench.
"Whichever one of us is in there is
going to do a good job," he said. "I
want to be prepared at all times.
When I am called upon, I want to be
in the game mentally.
"I'm just glad I got my chance."

I

4

Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON

Michigan quarterback Michael Taylor runs for a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Later Taylor added a 65-yard TD run in the
first start of his career.

Adamantly Speaking
BY ADAM OCHLIS

Rookie lineman Dingman...
... an unlikely starter

In a game that was as exciting as... Well, in
a game that, just say, wasn't very exciting, it is
only fitting that one of the highlights was the
play of a Michigan offensive lineman that no
one knows anything about.
Dean Dingman started at guard in his first
appearance in a Wolverine uniform Saturday
against Northwestern. Nothing special for
most, granted, but considering Dingman is a
freshman at a so-called "non-skilled" position,
it is quite an accomplishment.
Most players who arrive at Michigan fully
expect to be redshirted their first year to allow
them to stay at school for a fifth year. While
they don't play in games their first year, they
get to practice with the team and gain a little
experience before they are asked to contribute.
Last season, only wide receiver Greg
McMurtry played in his first season. This
season, Tripp Welborne, another receiver, was
the only newcomer expected to see action in his
first year.
But when the linebacker corps became
decimated with injuries before the Long Beach
State game, Cornelius Simpson became the
second rookie to play. Simpson has since
become a fixture at inside linebacker and is
seventh on the team in tackles.
On Saturday, Dingman got his chance to
show what he could do. Most people either fell

asleep, left, or just weren't watching the.game
after the first quarter. But in the early going,
many fans likely wondered who number 78
was. In fact, number 78, Dingman, was
wondering who number 78 was. Dingman,
needless to say, didn't get off to the best of
starts.
"I was a little confused on the first play,"
Dingman said, laughing. "It didn't work out too
good. I just didn't block my man."
"On that first series, he was a wreck out
there," said senior tackle John Elliott, who
lined up beside Dingman during the game. "He
went the wrong way once or twice, but after he
got into the flow of the game, he was OK.
"He's a good player. I'm not so sure he
couldn't have started anyway, it's just that the
coaches wanted to redshirt him. He's a really
good player."
Indeed, Dingman did play well in his debut.
As the game progressed, he seemed more
comfortable out on the field. On Jamie Morris'
74-yard run up the middle, the key block that
sprung Morris was delivered by the 6-3, 265-
pounder out of East Troy, Wisc.
"Dean played like a freshman," said
Michigan offensive line coach Les Miles. "He
made some freshman mistakes. There's no
question he played hard. He drives hard. North-
western played a different front and it screwed

up some of the guys, especially him. But he's
going to be a great player."
Dingman, who was a USA Today and Super-
Prep All-American in high school, admitted
that he thought he might get into a game this
year because he's been practicing. with the
second team all year.
When fellow linemen Michael Dames and
Tom Dohring went down with injuries, it was
time to put in the rookie. And despite knowing
he was going to start four days before the actual
game, Dingman admitted that he was extremely
nervous when he walked on the field.
Dingman thus becomes the third newcomer
to play this year. Head coach Bo Schembechler
said after the game that a fourth, quarterback
Eric Bush, may see action next week if
Demetrius Brown (thumb) and Michael Taylor
(leg) are unable to go. Also, if another
offensive lineman gets injured, Greg Skrepenak,
a 6-8, 305-pounder, would step in.
Schembechler repeatedly has said that players
are not capable of contributing in their first
year. However, in a disappointing year to date
for the Wolverines, all the participating
newcomers have done themselves proud.
"The freshmen that have played are talented
people and quality players," said senior co-
captain Doug Mallory.

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November3 at 12noon: "The Philippine Crisis:
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Speaker: Michael Cullinane of South and
Southeast Asian Studies
for additional information -please call 662-5529

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The Ecumenical Campus Center
and the International Center

Lunch Available:
$1.00 (students)
$1.50 (others)

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Blue runs over Northwestern d

(Continued from Page 1)
Northwestern followed
Michigan's lead, keeping the ball on
the ground on 68 of its 83 offensive
plays. Senior quarterback Mike
Greenfield was the Wildcats' most
effective rusher, gaining 49. yards,
despite taking 55 yards in losses.
"Greenfield is a god,"

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Schembechler said. "He is hard to
wrap up. I'm glad that's the last
time we'll play him. He's been there
for what... eight years?"
The last time the Wolverines
played Northwestern was in 1984
when Greenfield was a first-year
starter. Michigan won that contest,
31-0.
"They improved vastly from that
last time I saw them my freshman
year," Morris said. "They were just
all over the place. They were
hawking."
"NORTHWESTERN played
hard and well," Schembechler said.
"I'm really impressed with
Northwestern - the way they were
coached, the way they were
disciplined. They were hard to
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crack."
Michigan could only muster a 12-
0 halftime lead, causing the large
homecoming day crowd to grow
restless. Midway through the third
quarter the crowd used a variety of
waves - including the slow
motion, the speed up, and the double
opposing-direction wave - to keep
themselves from falling asleep.
"They tried to spice it up a little,"
said Schembechler.
The Wolverines responded by
scoring on their next three
possessions.
Mike Gillette kicked a 43-yard
field goal - his third of the game
- with 1:04 remaining in the third
quarter to boost Michigan's lead to
15-0. Taylor's 39-yard dash on an
option keeper set up that score.
On the third play of Michigan's
next possession Taylor ran 65 yards
for the touchdown. On the play
Taylor ran an option left and cut
inside to elude two defenders, then
John Vitale, Tracy Williams, and
Jamie Morris sprung him with key
blocks.
TAYLOR PULLED a quad
muscle in his left thigh on the run
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but played the remainder of the
game. Michigan offensive lineman
Dave Chester suffered a pinched
nerve in the contest, also. Both
should be available for next week's
game at Minnesota.
The Wildcats finally cracked the
Michigan defense as Greenfield
guided them on an 80-yard, 12-play
drive. The Northwestern QB ran the
ball six times during the march,
amassing 42 yards, including a one-
yard touchdown run. The Wildcats
went for two but failed, leaving the
score 22-6.
"They really have a very
respectable defensive football club;"
Peay said. "We just had problems
crossing midfield and getting into
their territory late in the ballgame."
Michigan finished off its scoring
spree when Morris took Taylor's
handoff on a draw play and stormed
straight up the middle through a
gaping hole. He went untouched 74
yards for the score.
Michigan failed to score in thc
first quarter. But on each of its three
second-quarter possessions, it moved
inside the Wildcats' 10-yard line.
The first two drives of the secon.
stanza resulted in field goals of 28
and 22 yards by Gillette.

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