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September 19, 1988 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-19

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Page 15

The Michigan Daily

Monday, September 19, 1988

Rush Delivery
Michigan quarterback Michael Taylor had little
reason to be upset over his performance in Saturday's
football game.
He had just thrown 16 completions, the most by
tny Michigan quarterback since Jim Harbaugh threw 19
against Ohio State in 1986. Sure, 16 is far fewer than
the 24 that Miami quarterback Steve Walsh threw'
Saturday. But Taylor plays for ground-it-out coach Bo
Schembechler. And being compared to a quarterback in
the National Football League (Harbaugh now plays for
the Chicago Bears) doesn't speak badly for Taylor.
"He played a good game," Schembechler said. Good?
r Taylor had just pushed teammate Demetrius Brown
given further away from the starting job that was
Brown's to lose all last season.
But Taylor was upset.
Michigan defensive back Vada Murray had little
reason to be upset over his own play, either. He had
intercepted two passes, the second setting up a scoring
drive that put Michigan up, 23-14, with just under five
minutes to play in the third quarter.
But Murray, like Taylor, also was upset. "Those
interceptions that I had really don't mean as much
because we didn't win," Murray said. "I just wish we'd
won the game. I just wish we'd won the game."
Before Saturday's game, a Michigan victory seemed
a dream. The Wolverines looked sluggish in a loss at
Notre Dame, and Miami came into Ann Arbor ranked
No. 1 in the country.
But for a while during the game, Murray's wish
looked as if it would come true. Michigan, after falling
behind, 14-6, scored 24 unanswered points to take a 30-
14 lead.
Who needed former Michigan stars Harbaugh and
Jamie Morris? Let the NFL have them. The
Wolverines were doing just fine with greenhorns
Taylor and Tony Boles.
Then Miami marched down the field three times in
the last 10:27 of the game, scoring two touchdowns
and then kicking a field goal to win the game, 31-30.
And Taylor, and Boles, and Murray, and the rest of
the Wolverines had reason to be upset. They are
members of the first Schembechler-coached Michigan
team to lose its first two games of the season.
Miami's fourth-quarter rally left the Wolverines in
speechless shock.
"There was nothing said in the locker room (after
the game) except what Bo said," said defensive lineman
Mark Messner. "And Bo said, 'We're a good football
team, we'll bounce back. Go on home and I'll see you
tomorrow. "
This from a coach with a reputation for a fiery
temper whose team had just blown a 16-point fourth-
quarter lead to lose its second game in a row?
Schembechler wasn't doing somersaults, either, and
had some strong opinions on the quality of Saturday's
officiating. But he didn't do any Bob Knight

Blue future
remains rosey
impressions, either. "We lost (the two games) on field
goals to two pretty good teams," Schembechler said.
"I expect us to win the Big Ten championship,"
Schembechler said. "I'll be disappointed if we don't."
They will. Here's why:
-Offense - Even Schembechler's normally
conservative ways aren't going to stop this team from
Taylor proved Saturday that he's not just a runner
who happens to take the snap from center, but that he
also can throw a touchdown pass or two or three when
asked to. And in seven games at quarterback, he has yet
to throw an interception.
That's good news for wide receivers Chris
Calloway, John Kolesar, and Greg McMurtry; and tight
ends Jeff Brown and Derrick Walker.
And, after 20 years as Michigan's coach, even
Schembechler might be changing his ways. He said
after the Notre Dame game that he maybe should have
called more passing plays. After the Miami game, he
said: "We threw the ball a lot. Really, that's our team."
Running back Boles played well for the second
game in a row, rushing for 129 yards, catching passes
for 34 yards, and running back kicks for 73 yards.
"We put a lot of points on a defense that is
supposed to be impregnable," Schembechler said. The
last time a team scored so many points against Miami
was in the 1986 Sugar Bowl, when Tennessee scored
35. Imagine what this offense can do against such
teams as Northwestern and Wisconsin.
-Defense and special teams -
"The kicking game killed us again. And big plays
on defense. Other than that we have a good team,"
Schembechler said.
"I can't get over this defense giving up big plays,"
he added. "That preys on my mind."
But how many Michigan teams can't play defense?
If Saturday's players can't do the job, Schembechler
will find someone else who can.
-The opposition - Michigan already has played the
two best teams it will face until bowl time, losing
those two games by a total of three points.
"I knew (the Wolverines) weren't that much better
than we were," Walsh said about Miami being down to
Michigan by 16 points at one time during the game.
And after losing to the No. 1 Hurricanes by only
one point, it's probably safe to say that Miami isn't
much better than Michigan.
That's not to say Miami is a slouch of a team. The
Hurricanes crushed Florida State, formerly ranked No.
1, and Miami very likely will enter a bowl game
unbeaten and play for the national championship once
Michigan defensive tackle Mark Messner summed it
up best. "There were two different teams, Michigan in
South Bend and Michigan (in Ann Arbor)," he said. "If
we win the Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl,
we won't even remember these losses."
Neither will Schembechler.

Michigan tight ends Derrick Walker (89) and Jeff Brown (80) celebrate Walker's first-half
touchdown grab which pulled the Wolverines within two points of the visiting Hurricanes.
I -



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