Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 16,1989
Blocked kicks scare the
Dickens out of 'M', MSU
by Adam Benson
Daily Football Writer
EAST LANSING - This is a
tale of two blocked kicks and the
men who made them.
Michigan's win Saturday over
Michigan State was the best of
times for Vada Murray. The
Michigan safety blocked John
Langeloh's 37-yard field goal
attempt, soaring up above the center
of the Wolverine line in the middle
of the first quarter.
However, Murray was no scrooge
about sharing the credit for the
"It wasn't me," Murray said. "It's
T.J. (Osman) and Mike Teeter. The
coaches were telling us after warm-
ups that their kicker was kicking
low. They knocked the State line
back. I saw the ball coming low, I
just jumped and waved my hands."
Besides keeping three Michigan
State points off the scoreboard, the
block enthused the Wolverine
"We wanted to go out and prove
ourselves," tailback Tony Boles said.
"After (the block), we just had to
buckle down and get at it."
Boles and Leroy Hoard would
scurry for 55 yards of the 61 yards
that made up Michigan's only
touchdown drive of the game.
Michigan coaches know of
Murray's knack for making strange
twists. Against UCLA, the senior
from Cincinnati recovered the onside
kick and blocked an extra point. On
field goals and extra points, the
coaches spot Murray where he can
best utilize his kick-blocking savvy.
What makes him so good at it?
"He can jump," answered Mich-
igan coach Bo Schembechler.
But so can Harlon Barnett, the
Michigan State safety who help
create a small Spartans surge with
his block of a Chris Stapleton punt
in the middle of the fourth quarter.
"I thought he took too long,"
Schembechler said of Stapleton's
punt. "I should have faked that one. I
came close to doing that."
Barnett realized that the Spartans
had successfully penetrated Michigan
punt protection before. He, like
Murray, had the premier punt
blocking position, and this was the
time for him to match State's great
expectations for him.
"(Jon) Miller blocked a punt
against them (in State's 1987 win),
and I was in his same position this
year," Barnett said.
The Wolverines did evade the
ghost of football past, holding onto
the victory, making Saturday the
worst of times for Barnett.
"I thought the offense would go
down there, put it in, we'd go backr
out there and stop them," Barnett
said. "But some things don't turn
out the way you want them to."
Defensive tackle T.J. Osman wraps up MSU quarterback Dan Enos for a sack in the first half for Michigan. The
Wolverine defense held the Spartans scoreless for three quarters in Saturday's victory.
by Steve Blonder
Daily Football Writer
EAST LANSING - Michigan assistant head coach Gary Moeller
watched Saturday's win from the press box instead of from his usual spot
on the sideline. While addressing the quarterbacks at practice Thursday,
Moeller fell off a platform and suffered ligament damage in his ankle in
addition to cracking his right elbow.
Head coach Bo Schembechler quipped, "We don't care about Moeller.
We can lose him anytime."
- In retaliation for the "S" painted on the Diag Thursday night, several
Michigan fans broke into Spartan Stadium late Friday and painted a large
"M" on the 50-yard line.
- Representatives of the Citrus, Hall of Fame, Freedom, and John
Hancock bowls were in attendance Saturday.
- Michigan has won nine of the last ten games at Spartan Stadium, and
leads the series 53-23-5.
Goal line stand is differenc
by Steve Blonder
Daily Football Writer
EAST LANSING - You make the call.
You're down by ten with fifteen minutes left
in the game. It's fourth down andyou're on the
Michigan one-yard line. Do you kick the field
goal or go for the touchdown?
Michigan State coach George Perles went for
the quick seven and Wolverine safety Tripp
Welborne is glad he did.
"That's a play we're very happy to have,"
Welborne said of his stopping Spartan tailback
Blake Ezor on a fourth-and-one to start the final
quarter. "We were all joyous and in jubilee."
Michigan State used up over seven-and-a-half
minutes of the third quarter driving the ball 78
yards on 17 plays. But the final yard proved
elusive as Welborne filled the hole and knocked
Welborne described what happened.
"Everyone came down to the right, but we
had great penetration which made them cut back
slightly. All I could think of was holding him
out of the end zone. We met and I won,"
Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, who
gambled and won earlier in the game on a
similar fourth-and-one situation, was confident
his defense would prevail.
"There wasn't any question that he wasn't
scoring," Schembechler said. "It was a big play.
Tripp made a big play."
Linebacker Alex Marshall, who made his
own share of big plays, called that play the key
to the game.
"We expected them to go for it," Marshall
said. "If they would have scored, it's a whole
new ball game. But it was a great stand and it
e in game
conservative and kicked the chip-shot field goal.
"They had to get a field goal or a touch-
down," Welborne said. "I thought coming out
with points is better than not getting anything
Luckily they went for it because we stopped
Welborne credited defensive captain J.J.
Grant with making the right call.
"We were looking for a run or a pass, or any
sign that might tip us off. J.J. looked and saw
something odd. He said they were going to run
the ball so he made an adjustment."
Had the Spartans been able to enter the en(
zone, Wolverine players feared the momentum
would have totally shifted away from them and
State would have been in the driver's seat.
Now, you make the call.
ignited the offense."
But Welborne said1
he wouldn't have played
Continued from Page 1
called on Leroy Hoard, not the most
trusted man to hold a football in an
important situation, and fooled
State, running through the Spartan
defense like it was a pile of leaves.
When George needed the points, he
vetoed the field goal, handed the ball
to Blake Ezor, who everyone knew
would have the football...
"They had to get a field goal or a
touchdown," said Tripp Welborne,
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the wall that stood up Ezor and kept
him from the goal line. "I thought
coming out with points is better
than not getting anything. Luckily
they went for it, because we stopped
The play ended State's 79 yard,
17 play drive, taking up 7 minutes
and 39 seconds - but there was no
movement on the Michigan State
"We were playing a little tenative
in the first half," said Michigan
State quarterback Dan Enos. "We
came in the locker room and we
decided we were going to have to
pick this up. I thought we moved
the ball well in the second half, we
just didn't put any points on the
Wearing a look as cold as a
Michigan winter, Perles added: "We
made the normal corrections that we
make at halftime."
It used to be that Bo and Woody
Hayes, the great Ohio State coach,
had the great rivalry. Their friendly,
but mega-competitive, war added to
intensity of the Michigan-Ohio State
contests of the 1970s. Seasons
change, and George Perles appeared
to be Bo's next arch-rival, but
George has to thaw out his offensive
strategy from the dark ages before
being a threat to Bo.
Continued from Page 1
0) accounted for 98 yards by keeping
the ball on the ground for twenty
consecutive plays. By the end of the
first half, Michigan had 129 yards on
the ground and ten points on the
"They got a lot of yards on the
ground," Spartan defensive lineman
Travis Davis said. "They ran the ball
outside and it was hard to stop them
at the beginning."
After the game, Wolverine
quarterback Elvis Grbac admitted "we
really didn't want to pass a lot."
The main beneficiary of the
ground game was tailback Tony
Boles, who finished the afternoon
with 21 carries for 100 yards. Forty-
seven of those yards came during
Michigan's 61-yard touchdown drive
in the first quarter.
"Our offense has been criticized a
lot," Boles said. "We weren't
surprised (at our success) because we
can run on any team. We just have
to put our mind to it."
The teams reversed roles in the
second half, with the Spartans (2-3,
1-1) gaining 222 yards and seven
points, while Michigan managed
only 40 yards on the ground and 57
via the air.
"I expected us to move the ball,
but I also expected to move the ball
in the second half," Schembechler
said. "Our offense kind of stalled a
But the story of the game was the
defenses. For Michigan State, All-
American Percy Snow did not reach
double figures in tackles for the first
time this year as a result of
Michigan forcing Snow to fight off
fullback Leroy Hoard and tackle Greg
Skrepanek among others.
The Wolverine defense overcame
inferior comparisons to its MSU
counterpart, and held the Spartans to
only 77 yards on the ground. Most
important was Michigan denying
Michigan State a visit into the ent
zone on a fourth-and-one play to
start the fourth quarter.
"We knew they wanted to run it
over us, but Tripp (Welborne) came
up with a big play that saved us,"
linebacker Alex Marshall said.
"Michigan State has a good
defense and a lot of good players,"
said Wolverine safety Vada Murray.
"But when they say Michigan Stat
has a good defense and MichigaD
doesn't, it kind of burns us."
Marshall, who chipped in seven
tackles to go with a fumble
recovery, discussed playing in the
shadow of Michigan State's
"We knew we were a good de-
fense and statistics said we were the
best defense," Marshall said. "Andat
the end of the game, we showed thal
we still were the best defense."
And the defense not breaking
added an extra spark to the offense at
a time when the Wolverines seemed
to be losing their momentum.
"I was excited. Elated," said
Hoard who rushed for sixty-two
yards and scored Michigan's only
touchdown on a fourth-and-one play.
"We always knew we could stop
,Michigan State gave the
Wolverine defense all the help they
could need. Junior kicker John Lang-
eloh missed a 35-yard field goal and
had a 37-yard attempt blocked, while
Spartan penalties helped stall a last-
ditch effort to win the game and gave
Michigan kicker J.D. Carlson a sec-
ond chance to expand the lead to ten.
Carlson obliged at 9:16 of the
second quarter, providing the victor4
margin with a 35-yard field goal.
0 0 " " ! " " " " " " f " i w ! "
Leroy Hoard scores the lone Michigan touchdown in the first quarter.
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