The Michigan Dily- Friday, September 16, 1988- Page 13
Continued from Page 1
"We made a lot of mistakes in that game, but they were overshadowed
by the effort of our defense."
THE FRONT SEVEN of that defense, considered among the
nation's finest, held Heisman candidate Sammie Smith and the rest of
the Seminoles to a paltry 42 yards rushing.
"They have nobody slow up there," said Schembechler on Miami's
defensive line and linebackers.
The secondary returns only one starter from last year's squad and was
a concern of Johnson's. Although they allowed 200 passing yards in the
opener, they also picked off five passes.
The offense showed against Florida State that it too could be a force
despite the loss of starters at both running back spots, both receiver
spots, and at tight end. Steve Walsh returns at quarterback with a
national championship under his belt. Against Florida State, Walsh
connected on 18 of 37 attempts for 228 yards with no interceptions.
"He's got tremendous poise," said Messner of Walsh. "He will 99
percent of the time throw an incompletion rather than take a sack."
COMPARISONS to recent Miami greats Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar
and Vinnie Testaverde are inevitable but Johnson tries to avoid these.
"I'm not good at comparisons. He (Walsh) has accomplished all that he
can accomplish up to this point."
The starters in the backfield are Leonard Conley, a 5-9 sophomore, at
halfback and Cleveland Gary at fullback. Both performed capably in the
Nine different receivers caught passes against Florida State so look
for Walsh to spread the wealth around. Tight end, Rob Chudzinski, and
flanker, Randall Hill - both sophomores - had five receptions each.
In Michigan's camp, Schembechler was displeased with Wednesday
night's practice, especially the performance of the offensive team.
Earlier in the week, Schembechler was critical of tailback Tony Boles'
play without the ball.
He defended the performance of Michael Taylor who will start on
Saturday. Taylor himself was more critical. "Overall, I didn't do a good
enough job because we should have won the (Notre Dame) game," said
BOLES and Taylor will have to improve on their performances to
keep the ball out of Walsh's hands.
But they'll have to improve against a defense stronger and faster than
Notre Dame's. Schembechler yesterday called the Miami team "head and
shoulders above" the rest of the country in tafent and ability. To make
matters worse, Miami has had two weeks to prepare for Michigan. Still
there are reasons for hope.
1) Miami's Rod Carter, a preseason All-American linebacker is not
making the trip after arthriscopic surgery. Unfortunately, the
Wolverines are missing two key defensive players in Warde Manuel and
2) Miami is playing on unfamiliar artificial turf. The Hurricanes use
a turf practice field to prepare for these games.
3) Finally, and most encouraging, Michigan should be full of
emotion playing in their home opener and against the number one
team. "It's a thrill for me," said Taylor.
"I don't know who wouldn't be excited about playing the number
one team in the nation," added Messner. "And to have them up here for
the home opener, everyone's excited."
As Hurricane Gilbert heads toward Texas, the Hurricanes of Miami
are ready to hit Michigan. If the Wolverines can't curb the destructive
r power the Hurricanes showed two weeks ago, they'll find themselves
with an 0-2 record.
eBoth quarterbacks on Saturday will have friends trying to knock
their blocks off. Michigan's Michael Taylor went to Cincinnati
Princeton High School with Hurricanes' defensive end Shane Curry.
"Me and him talked over the summer and teased each other about
playing each other," said Taylor. "I'm looking forward to playing
When Miami has the ball, Mark Messner will be looking for his
friend, Steve Walsh. Messner and Walsh met at an All-American
gathering in Phoenix. "Down in Phoenix he and I were kind of
chummy-chummy. (We) took off everywhere together." The two
haven't talked since then. "Hopefully I'll have a chance to talk to him
up close," said Messner, laughing.
-Seven Michigan players are from the state of Florida. Miami has no
players from Michigan on their roster.
-The Hurricanes have the best record in college football (53-9) since
*This is only the second meeting ever between these two teams.
-Mark Messner is only one tackle-for-loss behind Michigan all-time
leader, Curtis Greer.
-*Michigan is 17-1-1 in home openers under Bo Schembechler.
*Keith Jackson, Bob Griese and Mike Adamle will be at Michigan
Stadium to cover the game. The blimp will be there also. No, not
Beano Cook, the Goodyear one.
Michigan will need a big game from quarterback Michael Taylor if it hopes to beat the Miami Hurricanes, the number one
team in the country.
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