Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 2, 1989
Saturday's offensive standout Greg McMurtry hauls down an Elvis Grbac
bomb at the 1-yard line to set up a Leroy Hoard touchdown in the third
quarter. McMurtry exploited the Maryland defensive backfield for 126
yards on five catches. The senior flanker moved to seventh on the list for
career receptions by a Michigan player with 79.
by Richard Eisen
Daily Football Writer
Not since the Jim Harbaugh years have footballs travelled so far and so
fast in Michigan Stadium. Traditionally a running football team, a smog-
like cloud of green turf-dust usually hangs in the air after each Michigan
On Saturday, frosh quarterback Elvis Grbac cleared the green out of the
atmosphere with throws that made the crowd "ooh" and "aah" like a Wheel
of Fortune audience.
And with each passing game, Grbac has gone for the gold, instead of
the gift certificates.
"(Grbac) did a good job for being such a young kid." Maryland coach
Joe Krivak, a former quarterback coach, said. "He's a tall kid with a good
arm, and I think he threw the ball very well. He needs some work, but
someday he could really be a good one."
On Saturday, Grbac came out throwing to senior Chris Calloway
immediately with a nine-yard strike to open the game and a 23-yard
touchdown pass to finish the drive.
"He's not really (a surprise)," Calloway said. "He's got all the physical
capabilities of being a good quarterback and he has a good coach."
Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, realizing that the Trrapins were
stacking the line against the run, kept Grbac throwing to Calloway on the
next drive. His 17-yard third down reception kept the drive alive and
enabled Grbac to go to work with his other senior receiver, Greg
McMurtry caught a 14-yard pass over the right hash mark and later
snagged an 11-yard touchdown strike from Grbac. On the day, McMurtry
averaged a fantastic 25.2 yards per catch, snagging five passes for 126
"I'd be a fool not to like games like that," said McMurtry, who had his
first 100-plus yard game of his career Saturday. "It was a good game. We
still made mistakes and we did some things better. There's always room for
Nothing, however, could improve upon his 49- and 42-yard receptions
from Grbac. Up by two touchdowns, Grbac went for pay dirt, throwing a
bomb to McMurtry. By the time gravity brought the ball down to Earth,
McMurtry was easily in front of two defensive backs and made the catch.
"On the one over the middle, it could've been a 71-yard touchdown
pass," Grbac said. "The safety just ran flat over the middle and that's what
On the 42-yarder, McMurtry's favorite catch of the day, McMurtry
turned around, lost his balance, battled cornerback Scott Rosen and still
made the catch on the Maryland one-yard line.
"McMurtry is an exceptional athlete and person and he and Calloway are
a great pair," Schembechler said. "They complement each other well."
In the past, Schembechler has touted these two players, and
Schembechler rarely talks up his Wolverines.
"If you ever had a chance to see a great football player, the greatest
player on our team today is Chris Calloway," Schembechler said after the
Notre Dame game. "And close behind his is Greg McMurtry.
"Those two guys are great players. They work like dogs and never say a
word," he said.
And along with co-captain Derrick Walker, the two senior receivers
have helped the inexperienced Grbac through two very tough football
games - Notre Dame and UCLA.
"All of (the receivers) are seniors and make it easier for me to put it in
there," Grbac said. "Their experience helps me."
Said McMurtry: "I try to keep his confidence up all the time. The
receivers have been around and played the big games."
Calloway also sees Grbac's confidence growing along with his
"(Grbac's) a little bit (more of a leader)," Calloway said. "We still need
leadership from the upperclassmen-Derrick Walker, myself, and Greg."
And while this leadership might focus more attention on Grbac, the
receivers don't mind.
"We kid each other on how many passes we get, how many yards,"
Calloway said. "But if we get overlooked, so what? We do a job. Block
downfield. If we. win, then we're proud. If we lose, we don't want it to be
because we're not hustling."
Continued from Page 1
"We didn't run the ball worth a
nickel in the first half,"
Schembechler said. "We had some
nice passes, but we've got to be a
better running team."
One pretty nice pass set up
Michigan's third touchdown of the
day, a 49-yard bomb from Grbac to
McMurtry. McMurtry, behind two
defenders as Grbac released the ball,
turned on the speed and breezed past
them to make the startling grab.
But just as marshmallows flew
from the stands in boredom,
Maryland struck back in the bat of
an eyelash, travelling 65 yards in
three passing plays. O'Donnell
found receiver Barry Johnson for a
28-yard touchdown strike,
culminating a drive that took only
Michigan returned fire on the
ground this time. Maryland had
stymied Michigan's rushing attack
until running back Tony Boles
broke free on the second play of the
drive. Boles streaked past the line of
scrimmage on a draw play and ran
up the left side of the field. He
broke cornerback Mike Thomas'
tackle and hit pay dirt, giving
Michigan a 21-point lead.
The drive covered 64 yards in
just 22 seconds. If you ran out to
buy more marshmallows, you
missed suite a bit.
After the half, the fans seemed
to grow bored, and, according to
defense seemed to do the same.
"I thought the defense played
well early and the offense got two
quick scores," he said. "After that,
the defense lost its intensity and
was not quite as good. Maryland
moved the ball much more than I
ever anticipated. After we went up
21-0, they came right back.
"Our defense let down,"
Maryland's offense moved down
the field extremely well, but
frequently faltered when it fumbled
the ball. Plus, O'Donnell found his
receivers constantly, only to have
the ball dropped.
"Last year, he looked that good,
but he didn't in their first three
games this year," Schembechler
said. "He was good today. He threw
the ball a lot. What did he throw
for? 800 yards?"
O'Donnell actually only threw
for 197 yards, picking apart
Michigan's pass defense.
"We came out real intense in the
first half," said Michigan outside
linebacker Bobby Abrams, who had
a monster game, including eight
tackles, three sacks and one fumble
recovery. "Later we made mental
mistakes in defense and the younger
guys came in. It's something we
have to work on in practice before
going into the Big Ten."
Wolverine receiver Greg McMurtry leaps for a 42-yard pass from Elvis
Grbac in the first half. McMurtry, who notched 126 total receiving yards,
became the first Michigan end to catch for 100 or more yards since Ken
Higgins totalled 165 against Wisconsin in 1985. The Wolverines host
Wisconsin next week.
Tomlin s pickoff is
second longest at,'M'
by Adam Benson and
Daily Football Writers
Junior quarterback Wilbur Odom entered Saturday's contest in the\
fourth quarter and threw an errant pass near Maryland's goal line, resulting
in the second longest interception return in Michigan's history.
Maryland strong safety Eddie Tomlin returned the throw for a 97-yard
interception return, second only to Illinois' Bruce Johnson's 98-yard return
Michigan had driven down the field to the Maryland five and faceda
third down and three situation. Odom threw the ball behind receiver Dan
Jokish near the left sideline, and Tomlin took off.
"Third and three near the goal line," Michigan coach Bo Schembechler
said as he wiped his brow. "If I (throw) again, call for me to be fired."
When asked if he wanted to pass, Schembechler said: "No. I wanted to
run off tackle."
Odom, immediately removed in favor of Ken Sollom, returned towards
the end of the game and threw another interception. His pass was once
again intended for Jokish and was picked off by free safety Ron Reagan (no
-Redshirt first-year quarterback Elvis Grbac has performed admirably
well so far and thus has become the center of the media's attention. In Los
Angeles, one reporter asked Grbac what his favorite Elvis songs are. Asked
if he was sick and tired about questions concerning his name, Grbac said: 4
"Kinda. But that's expected. Not too many people have that name.?
-Maryland wide receiver Dean Green, who had to be removed from the
field on a cart with his neck in a brace, is okay according to Maryland
coach Joe Krivak.
"The preliminary report is that (the doctors) think its a very severe
burner," Krivak said. "They did not want to take a chance, because there
was some numbness and things of that sort. All that was was a
precautionary type thing-that's one type of injury that you don't want to
take a chance with."
-Maryland's flea-flicker attempt in the first quarter nearly worked, but 4
coach Krivak thought that it might have worked better if Maryland
quarterback Neil O'Donnell had chosen to throw to Green instead of
intended target Norris Harris.
"We wanted to throw the ball deep. When you're playing a team like
this, you've got to take some chances, and that's what we were prepared to
do. If O'Donnell had gone to the X (Green), we had a touchdown. He got
in behind the corner and we had a chance to execute. He just made a bad
-Allen Jefferson's first appearance in more this season was a great
success. Jefferson's 74 yard day ended more than a year of inactivity for the
junior tailback. Jefferson had been sidelined with a calcium deposit in his 4
right leg. During his hiatus, Jefferson contimplated transferring to another
school, but decided against the move.
"I talked to coach (Lloyd) Carr, who recruited me, and he didn't take me
seroiusly. But I got a lot of support from my family and friends and not
the type of player to quit and hide."
Continued from Page 1
Well, while O'Donnell toiled futilely, trying lead an inferior team to an
impossible victory, Elvis Grbac won his second game as a Michigan4
quarterback. Like O'Donnell, Grbac had respectable numbers, going 10 for
20 for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Yet Bo still won't hand Grbac the starting job. Without hesitation,
Schembechler tells you who he wants to take the snap - Michael Taylor.
Bo knows quarterbacks. He can see that Grbac still lacks the certain
something. Grbac has not yet put together four quarters of great football,
while Micheal Taylor has.
"He was pretty good," wide receiver Chris Calloway said about Grbao.
"He practiced well all week and it showed up again. It's not really a surprise.
He has all the capabilities of being a good quarterback and he has a good
coach. But we still need to get leadership from upperclassmen, like Derrick4
.._ai _-/ r_ r _ .
Continued from Page 1
"We didn't run worth a nickel in
the first half, we had nice passes but
we've got to be a better running
Asked if Bo's ever had this much
trouble running before the coach
responed: "No. Not really. It's out
there. We're not that bad. We'll get a
Leroy Hoard improved his grip
on Saturday, recovering from the
fumblitius that plagued him last
weekend against UCLA. Hoard
carried the ball 15 times, gaining 78
Tony Boles' had a spectacular 64-
yard run, highlighting his 91 yard
But great running is expected
from those two. The contributions
of Allan Jefferson, Bernie Legette,
and John Vaughn may have been the
most encouraging to Schembechler.
"Leggett ran pretty well out
there. Isn't that Vaughn fast? He's
For Jefferson, the game was a
personal return tdglory. The junior-
Wligibilty tailback rushed for 74
yards while playing his first game in
over a year.
"I'm happy with my
performance," Jefferson said. "I was
a little upset that I didn't get to run
the ball the two games prior. I just
knew that when he let me in there,
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Allen Jefferson spearheaded the running game.
Michigan wide receiver Chris
Calloway added: "We needed good
productivity and a lot of yards. We
still have to improve running.
been up to par by Schembechler's
standards, but Maryland coach Joe
Krivak would gladly trade places
with his Michigan counterpart.
tough running the ball, but they've
had some problems there. Its a
young offensive line. Its got great
size, but its very young. When those
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