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September 25, 1989 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-25

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - September 25, 1989

by Adam Benson
and Richard Eisen
Daily Football Writers

-Elvis Grbac's first quarter
interception marked the first time in
nine games that Michigan had been
intercepted. The last time Michigan
was picked off was on October 8,
1988 against Michigan State.F
-Michigan basketball coach
Steve Fisher and assistant coachN
Mike Boyd made appearances in thes
press box. Both were out on the
coast recruitinga player from San
Diego. Fisher spoke at a coaching
clinic earlier Saturday morning.
-The Bruins have now scored in
208 straight games. The last time
UCLA was shut out was in 1971
when Michigan won, 38-0.
-eroy Hoard's return to the
Rose Bowl brought out some
emotion from last year's MVP:
"Being here brings back a lot of
good memories," Hoard said. "I
have some good memories of this
Michigan 's Tony Boles dodges a UCLA defender during Saturday's Wolverine victory. D
Elvis and Co. spearhead final drive

special teams
rebound vs. UCLA
by Richard Eisen
Daily Football Writer
LOS ANGELES - After a dismal performance against Notre Dame,
Michigan's special teams unit - especially the kicking game - turned in
one fabulous performance after the other against UCLA, helping pave the
way for the shocking victory.
When Michigan placekicker J.D. Carlson and punting partner John
Azcona failed miserably against Notre Dame, Michigan coach Bo
Schembechler likened the kicking game to a golf shot that had gone
inexplicably awry.
Against the Bruins, however, the kicking game - which included four
field goals, two John Albertson punts of 50 and 41 yards, and a successf
onside kick - looked like a hole in one shot with the wind in your face.
"I took over the coaching of the onside kick," Schembechler laughed. "I
think we won the kicking game today. We covered the kickoffs, blocked an
extra point and got an onside kick. I'm kind of excited about the kicking
The rest of the special teams raised its level of play with the kicking
game too. Not only did it produce a 63-yard Tripp Wellborne punt return,
but also a blocked extra point.
"We blocked a kick and had a long punt return. I'm very pleased with the
special teams," Schembechler said.
What a difference a week makes. Carlson's onside kick attempt had fails
the week before, but on Saturday, it couldn't have gone any better for the
"The onside kick was perfectly executed," UCLA coach Terry Donahue
said. "We saw them do it against Notre Dame and when, they shifted, we
shifted. The ball just took a perfect bounce and we're fortunate that they
didn't run it back for a touchdown."
Carlson said he took a different approach to the ball this time around,
charging the ball from the left and sweeping the ball instead of approaching
the right side of the ball and pushing it. And the ball travelled more than
three yards this time, bouncing over two lines of waiting Bruins and itlt
the hands of safety Vada Murray 15 yards away.
"I saw J.D. kick it and saw it on the ground and when it just poppedsin
the air over the second line (of Bruins), I knew I could get it," Murray said.
"We got some breaks. We worked hard (on onside kicks) this week because
Bo wasn't too happy. We worked our butts off."
How the ball jumped over three Bruins and into Murray's arms remains a
mystery. Maybe a little "Luck of the Irish" had rubbed off onto the
Wolverines a week before.
"Onside kicks have to be one of the luckiest things," Carlson said. "I
just kicked the ball and it bounces to us. That's the way it happens-this
1 week."
While Carlson had a game to remember, UCLA place kicker Alfreaf
Velasco had one to forget with his streak of 47 straight successful extra
points snapped by Michigan. The block, however, loomed larger on the
scoreboard rather than in the record books, because Michigan eventually won
by that one point.
"One of -the big plays of the game was the blocked extra point,"
Michigan defensive coordinator Lloyd Carr said. "It's something that we
worked on all spring practice. We had tremendous penetration in the middle
by (lineman) T.J. (Osman) and that allowed us to penetrate."
Murray, who also intercepted Jim Bond's last gasp bomb with no time
on the clock, blocked the kick along with Welbourne. Needless to sa
Murray had a monster game.
"I wanted to go up and get it and I could have caught the thing because it
hit me in the face," Murray said. "Tripp could have caught it, too."
With 6:20 in the third quarter, Wellborne caught UCLA punter Kirk
Maggio's punt and blew past the first line of Bruin pursuers, who might
have been expecting Wellborne to signal for a fair catch.
Wellborne danced past diving Bruins and broke a tackle or two only to be
taken down by cornerback Eric Turner at the UCLA six-yard line.
"It felt good, but I would've felt better if I could have walked it into the
end zone and threw un my arms ." WellhrnegrlA

by Adam Benson
Daily Football Writer
Schembechler began his UCLA
post-game press conference by
saying: "We're not a very good
offensive team, we can't drive the
ball yet..."
Excuse me Bo, did you see the
last 3:41 of that game?
In those final dramatic
moments, your second-string
quarterback Elvis Grbac produced a
43-yard touchdown drive and after
an on-sides kick moved-the club 30
yards for the game winning field
Remember that Bo? UCLA
coach Terry Donahue does.
"I never feel like its over," said
the downcast Donahue. "I felt like
with 3:56 left and up by 8, and
with us with the ball, I felt like all
we had to do was make two first
downs. We had a great chance to
put the game away."
But then - Elvis came back.
"Elvis towards the end started to
get on track a little back," said
Schembechler. "Up until then, he
had a tough time. I thought he was
guiding the ball. His throws were
soft. That wasn't the guy we
practiced with and that wasn't the
guy that we know. I thought he
came through in the end and he did
a great job for us."
On those two final drives, Grbac
threw seven completions out of
eight attempts for 71 yards. True,
he won't yet challenge Joe Montana
or John Elway as one of the great
final-drive engineering leaders, but
his late emergence led to the
Wolverines to victory.
Grbac felt that: "The last couple
games, I've done pretty well (late in
the game). Maybe that is

something I have to concentrate on,
working on the whole game
Grbac's late showing impressed
his competitor, UCLA quarterback
Bret Johnson. The two red-shirt
froshes finished with similar
numbers, as Johnson went 13 for
20, for 140 yards, with 1
touchdown and 1 interception,
while Grbac also connected 13
times out of 23 attempts, with 130
yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception..
Johnson outplayed Grbac for
three-and-half quarters. His ability
to throw in a moving pocket and
create while on the fly impressed
Johnson, however, praised Grbac
for his clutch play in the
Wolverines quarterback's first
collegiate victory.
"He looked like I did three weeks
ago. He showed great leadership to
bring the team back. He'll grow to
be a better player. He'll end up
being a first-round draft choice. It's
tough to be a red-shirt freshman -
both of us made stupid mistakes -
but his last drive really impressed
As the quarterback battle swung
to Michigan's favor, the running
game followed. Most worthy of
kudos was junior tailback Tony
Boles 17-yard scamper of a
screen play with 58 seconds left in
the game would position the
Wolverines for the kill at the four
yard line.
The play called for Boles to
follow three Michigan blockers
moving down the sideline. The
blockers fended off the swarming
Br.uin defense so that Boles could
move inside the 10 yard line. From
there, Boles carried three UCLA

defenders before being forced out at
the UCLA four.
"We were working on the
linebackers," Boles said about the
play. "They were dropping back real
deep. So we just put the back in the
flat. That had us throwing the ball
into the backfield a little more."
Michigan did not need to crack
the goal line at that point, but they
had needed the points just a few
minutes earlier. When Bruin
sophomore Shaun Wills fumbled to
J.J Grant at the UCLA 43, Grbac
had an opportunity to move the
club. After tossing four quick
passes, Grbac moved the team to
the four yard line where he spotted
tight end Derrick Walker wide open
in the end zone for six points.
If only Michigan could claim
that they planned it that way.
"It wasn't the play called in the
huddle," Walker said. "They were

just in a bad defense. I was left wide
open, Elvis stuck it right in there."
Grbac's mini-marches left the
71, 797 spectators in Pasadena
feeling hazy, for more reasons than
just the smog. A quarterback, who
appeared out of his league for most
of the day, emerged victorious.
Moving the team like a
Lamborgini would down a clear
stretch of Los Angeles freeway,
Grbac steered two classic drives in
this memorable win. A win that
has left Grbac with something of a
stigma - even in the mind of his
head coach.
"I think Elvis plays better when
we're in a hurry," Schembechler
Now coach, you've got a great
two-minute quarterback. If you can
just teach him to play that way for
an entire game.

Continued from Page 1
"I saw a huge hole open up. I didn't think anyone stripped the ball
from me." Wills said. "I hit the ground and lost it."
With only 3:41 left in the game and down by eight, it fell on the
shoulders of redshirt frosh quarterback Elvis Grbac to make things happen.
And he did, connecting with Derrick Walker over the middle for a 12-yard
After passes to receiver Chris Calloway and tailback Tony Boles,
Grbac eventually found Walker all alone in the endzone to bring Michigan
within two, 23-21.
"It looked like a blitz, the linebackers coming, they played bad defense
and I was wide open," Walker said. "(Grbac) keeps his confidence and got
us to the right place. He played a hell of a game."
Minutes later, Grbac's pass to Walker for the two-point conversion
was tapped away by safety Eric Turner and it seemed as if Michigan's
goose was indeed cooked.
But then Carlson walked onto the scene and booted a picture-perfect
onside kick. Safety Vada Murray dove on the loose ball up the field and
Michigan was, once again, back in the game.
"The biggest difference in this game was the kicking game," Michigan
defensive coordinator Lloyd Carr said. "We were outstanding. We executed
the perfect onside kick."
Grbac went back to work again as he scrambled to evade rushers and
found Calloway with 1:33 left. Grbac sandwiched a Boles one-yard run
between two passes to the tailback to bring the Wolverines to the UCLA
nine-yard line.
"Grbac plays better when we're in a hurry," Schembechler said. "He
came through at the end."
"I'd rather be up by forty points," Grbac said, opting against the hurry-
up offense.
After two running plays, Grbac downed the ball in the center of the
field to set up the 24-yard game winner for Carlson.
"It was almost like an extra point," Carlson said. "I knew I would win
it if he got it to the center of the field. I didn't know I could have that
kind of impact on the game."
It was Carlson and the defense that kept Michigan in the game early as
it had trouble moving the ball down field.
"We're not a very good offensive team," Schembechler said. "We can't
drive the ball down the field yet, but we'll learn."
UCLA, behind its frosh quarterback, Bret Johnson, kept the ball for
9:22 of the first quarter and took the lead, 7-0. Johnson completed four of
six passes on the drive that came down to a fourth and one on the goal
Johnson handed the ball to Kevin Williams, who jumped over the line
but did not come down with the ball. It was called a touchdown.
Williams' touchdown was just one weird play in a veritable bevy of
strange first half events. Early in the second quarter, Michigan had to punt
and Albertson's kick landed harmlessly out of bounds. Due to a Michigan
illegal motion penalty, Albertson rekicked and was hit by safety Matt
The first down Michigan received from the penalty angered the crowd
and led to a Carlson 46-yard field goal.
Johnson brought the Bruins right back with a 70-yard romp to place
UCLA in front 14-3. Johnson's first half stats were an impressive 8-12
for 96 yards and one touchdpwn.
Michigan scored on its last two possessions of the first half and its
first two of the second half to go in front 15-14, the first lead the




Michigan kicker J.D. Carlson gave the Wolverines their first victory.


Continued from Page 1
"I feel great. Last week, I did not
play too much and this week I got
the chance to play. I had to let
everyone know I'm back to play
Although Hoard had some

impressed their Bruin attackers.
"They are good runners," said
Bruin lineman Mike Lodish. "I
think the running backs from
Tennessee came at you harder, but
Boles and Hoard are better athletes:
They are shifty, yet very big and
they had strength."
Even with the improvement
from the Notre Dame gamethe
running game is still not up to the


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