The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 19, 1988- Page 17
BY MICHAEL SALINSKY
It looked like a big day for
With nine minutes left in the
game, the fans were singing, "Na,
na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey, hey -
goodbye," to the No. 1 team in the
country. It was 30-14, but really it
could have been 30-0 if not for one
thing. The big play.
The Hurricanes could still tie the
game with two touchdowns. But
they'd have to convert two two-point
conversions. Score three times, win
the game? No way, not enough time.
But they did. And why? The big
The big play spoiled the
Wolverines' big day.
"We lost another game," said
Michigan head coach Bo Schem-
bechler after the game. "Too many
big plays, we allowed too many big
plays, and when we needed to make
the play we didn't make it."
The first of these big plays came
early. The Michigan team and the
fans seemed inspired after recovering
a Miami fumble and driving for a
field goal. Miami moved on their
second possession but faced a third
and nine on Michigan's 49 yard line.
Quarterback Steve Walsh hit his
fullback, Cleveland Gary, with a
short pass, toward the left side of the
field. Gary broke one tackle. On
came David Arnold, an experienced
defensive back, who had a bead on
Gary still short of the first down.
Arnold wrapped up Gary's legs but
bounced off as Gary headed down the
left sideline to give Miami a 6-3
"I can't get over this defense
giving up these big plays," said
Schembechler. "They'll play good
defense for a long period of time,
then all of a sudden, BOOM, you
miss two tackles and the guy runs for
a touchdown. I can't believe it."
One had the feeling a balloon had
been burst, but Michigan's defense
stayed tough and the Wolverines cut
the lead to one. Miami was forced to
punt the next time, and the next, and
the ne...wait, big play number two.
On a fourth and five from the
Michigan 45, Doyle Aaron, a first-
year backup, backup wide receiver,
blocking for the punt, took the snap
and ran into a huge clearing for 24
yards. Miami went on to score their
other touchdown of the half.
The biggest big play came two
quarters, 24 Michigan points and
eight Miami points later. Miami
faced a fourth and one 48 yards away
from a chance to tie the game. Just
over three minutes remained in the
Again it was Gary who Walsh
found. Unlike Gary's first big play,
the catch was on the right side of the
field and Gary had the key first down
when he caught the ball. Also unlike
the first time, Gary got outside the
defense without having to break
tackles. Dale Dawkins crunched Ar-
nold out of the play, leaving Gary to
race Vada Murray to the end zone.
Gary won. Big play number three.
"We had a blown coverage...we
didn't communicate," said Murray.
"We just tried to get back and keep
the ball in front of us but the ball
got outside the defense, and it was a
The irony in it all was that
Michigan was in a prevent defen&e,
the main goal of which is to prevent
the big play.
"We were basically trying to cut
down on the big play - the deep
stuff - and give them the dink stuff
all the way down and just have 'em
eat up the clock," said Michigan
defensive tackle Mark Messner, "and
unfortunately we gave up the big
play. They got the ball outside the
defense and got in the end zone."
Not only had Miami got their first
down. Not only had they scored.
They even had enough time with an
on-side kickoff to get a field goal and
win the game. And they did.
How can Michigan stop giving up
these big plays?
"I don't think you have to play
conservative," answered Murray. "We
have to do the things we're coached
to do. We're coached well enough and
we have the smart players where we
shouldn't be able to have those type
of mistakes, but you know. every-
body's human and those mistakes are
going to happen. It's a matter of
trying not to make mistakes so big."
Mdichigan half-back Tony Boles plows up the middle for
Boles led the Wolverine ground game, gaining 129 yards
a nice gain, Saturday against Miami.
on 33 carries.
Tigers lose; slip six back
gives starting halfback Cleveland Gary a well-deserved
Crowell is Wolverine middleguard T.J. Osman.
keep the scholastic
. RIMAN CS
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