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September 08, 1988 - Image 74

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-08

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Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988

FALL

Question of D-pendability

BY PETE STEINERT
What ever happened to the good
old days of the Big Two and the Lit-
tle Eight?
Everything was so simple then.
A Michigan-Ohio State showdown
for the Big Ten championship was
as inevitable as a last-place finish for
Northwestern.
Now it seems that parity has in-
vaded the conference, and the fate of
the Wolverines has become more
clouded. Last year, they lost games
to Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio
State en route to fourth place in the
conference.
THE UNCERTAINTY of this
season is no different. As many as
five teams figure to contend for the
Big Ten crown.
But even in this time of upsets,
uplifts and upstarts, some things
remain crystal clear:
Bo Schembechler will begin his
20th season as head coach at Michi-
gan on Sept. 10 when the Wolver-
ines play the Fighting Irish of Notre
Dame in South Bend, Ind. Michi-
gan's winningest football coach re-
turns to the sidelines with the new
title of coach/athletic director and a
clean bill of health.
Last year Schembechler was
treated for kidney stones and under-
went quadruple heart bypass surgery.
The. latter forced him to miss his
team's season finale, a dramatic 28-
24 win over Alabama at the Hall of
Fame Bowl in Tampa.
THIS YEAR, Michigan will

JOHN MUNSON/Daily
Junior Tony Boles, with three years left of eligibility, came out of the annual spring football game as the leading
candidate to replace Michigan's all-time leading rusher, Jamie Morris.

Read
Dai~q
CIaooijied5

have Washington, Jefferson and
Grant; Boles and a Plate; two
Browns and a White.
The Wolverines will also have a
new tailback; Jamie Morris, Michi-
gan's all-time leading ground gainer,
is now a Washington Redskin.
Morris leaves his spot for the ca-
pable hands of Allen Jefferson, Tony
Boles and Tracy Williams. Jefferson
saw the most action of the three last
season, rushing for 267.yards in six
games. Jarrod Bunch and Leroy
Hoard return at fullback.
Michigan will have a set of re-
ceivers as deep as the national debt.
Chris Calloway, Hall of Fame Bowl

RESERVE OFFICERS' TRAINING CORPS

hero John Kolesar, and Greg Mc-
Murtry head the cast of wide re-
ceivers. The Wolverines' depth at
that position allowed Schembechler
to try another receiver, Tripp Wel-
borne, at defensive back. Schem-
bechler also owns a pair of fine tight
ends in Jeff Brown and Derrick
Walker.
THE ONE QUESTION that
remains is whether redshirt senior
Demetrius Brown - and his host of
backups - will consistently find
their receivers. Brown tossed a con-
ference-record seven interceptions
against Michigan State a year ago.
The Wolverines may have lost
All-America tackle John "Jumbo"
Elliott, but they return with the
likes of 6-3,.287-pound tackle Mike
Husar and 6-1, 273-pound center
John Vitale. And if fans spot some-
one comparable to the size of El-
liott, that's just tackle Greg Skrepe-
nak - all 6-8, 322 pounds of him.
Barring injuries, fifth-year senior
Mark Messner will grab All-America
honors as well as his share of
opposing quarterbacks. The 6-3,
244-pound defensive tackle gained
All-America honors last year in
addition to earning All-Big Ten
honors for the second consecutive
season. Messner led the '87 Wolver-
ines with 10 sacks and 20 tackles for
losses.
SCHEMBECHLER wishes he
had a few more Messners and David
Arnolds on defense. "Our season de-
pends on the defense," Schembechler
said. "If it improves over last year,
we will have a good ballclub because
we will move the ball."
And according to Schembechler,
if you can't play defense, you won't
win any championships. Last year's
8-4 team surrendered a 98-yard
touchdown run to Minnesota's Dar-

JOHN MUNSON/Daily
Returning All-American Mark Messner will anchor a defense
decimated by injuries last season.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THIS GUY
IS IN CLASS.
If you're looking for excitement and adven-
ture, you'll find it when you enroll in Army
ROTC. It's not your ordinaryucollege elective.
MYROTC
THE SMARTEST COLLEGE
COURSE YOU CAN TAKE.
Find Out More. Call Captain O'Rourke
Visit 131 North Hall or Call 764-2400

rell Thompson, the longest run from
scrimmage in Big Ten history.
Mike Gillette will get his kicks
out of this season. Already the most
prolific place-kicker in Michigan
history, Gillette will double this
season as the team's punter unless
first-year punter Eddie Azcona fills
Monte Robbins' vacated spot.
THE WOLVERINES will sell
out all of their home games at
Michigan Stadium. Michigan has led
the nation in attendance for 14
straight years. Its consecutive-game
streak of crowds in excess of
100,000 currently stands at 79. This
year's home schedule includes de-
fending national champion Miami

(Fla.), Wake Forest, defending Big
Ten champion Michigan State, Indi-
ana, Minnesota, and Illinois.
The Wolverines will face Ohio
State in the regular season finale in
Columbus. This year's contest fea-
tures a new twist as coach John
Cooper takes over for the fired Earle
Bruce. Cooper's Arizona State Sun
Devils beat Michigan, 22-15, in the
1987 Rose Bowl.
Finally, the Wolverines will go
to a bowl game. Michigan has re-
ceived a bowl bid for 13 straight
years and - unless as AD Schem-
bechler decides to drop the football
program in favor of a varsity croquet
team - that streak will reach 14.

SOURCE i
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