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October 23, 1989 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-23

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 23, 1989

Michigan has a pass rush
that's straight out of leftfield

by Adam Schrager
Daily Football Writer
IOWA CITY - Coming into Saturday's game
against Iowa, Mike Evans and Brian Townsend weren't
known to very many people outside the Wolverine
football circle, including the Iowa Hawkeyes.
But after Evans' two sacks and Townsend's fumble
recovery, one sack, and one other tackle for a loss,
many. more people became acquainted with the two
Michigan defenders and with the Michigan pass rush in
general.
"Michigan is a pressure defensive team that had
rushed the passer well in the past, but we didn't expect
it from the guys who ended up all over me," said Iowa
quarterback Matt Rogers. "92 (Evans) and 45 (Town-
send) were in my face a lot. They weren't in the films. I
don't even know their names."
The no-name defensive rushers of Michigan in
addition to Evans and Townsend don't get the name
recognition but have already recorded 23 sacks, seven
more than all of last season.
Playing in form that will definitely increase his
playing time, Townsend, who was forced into action
due to team leader in tackles-for-losses Alex Marshall's
injury, recovered a Rogers' fumble on Iowa's initial
w drive that was deep in Michigan territory. The fumble
o was caused by an Evans hit.

"We didn't get in as much as we'd like to, but on the
same token, we made some great plays," Michigan
strong safety Tripp Welborne said. "The rushers make
everything happen. I wouldn't trade them in for
anything in the world."
Neither would Schembechler, who has not had to
blitz all that often this season with the Big Ten's No 1
defense. Staying with a straight four-man rush wi1h
variance as to who the four players were, Michigan put
consistent pressure on the redshirt sophomore Rogers.,
So far this season, all four starting linebackers,
including injured inside backer J.J. Grant, had two or
more sacks. Defensive tackles Brent White and Chris,
Hutchinson have five between the two of them, and
Welborne leads the secondary with two sacks of his
own.
"We were too quick for them today," said Evans, a
redshirt sophomore. "We had our confidence and
believed that we were No. 1."
When you throw the football 41 times, there'is
bound to be defensive pressure that surfaces, but Rogers
was still surprised.
"I know I threw the ball a lot, but they came in on*'
my line fairly easily," Rogers said five minutes after his
initial comment. "I still don't know who most of them
were."

Michigan outside linebacker Brian Townsend prepares to pounce on Iowa quarterback Matt Rodgers.

SCHRAGER
Continued from page 1
Taylor can run the option and
quarterback draw plays, while Grbac
cannot. Maybe next year when Grbac
will start at quarterback for the
Wolverines, the offense will change
to adapt to Grbac's drop-back passer
style. But for now, Michigan's
offense is more tailored for Taylor
than Grbac.
Taylor completed 11-of-15 passes
for 179 yards and two touchdowns in
addition to running for a score. After
sitting out four-plus games with a
bruised back, Taylor showed no fear
in rushing the ball eight times and
taking some Advil-inducing hits in
the process.
"Michael is another running
threat out there," said Wolverine
tailback Tony Boles. "He's got the
moves to put on people."
Take for example Taylor's
touchdown run, which occurred on a
Michigan fourth-down and goal play
from the Hawkeye two-yard-line.

Taylor faked a handoff and rolled
right with an option to pass to tight
end Derrick Walker or run it himself
into the end zone.
Taylor chose the latter and scored
to give the Wolverines a ten-point
lead that they would never relin-
quish.
"'I don't think I was nervous,"~
said Taylor, who has won 9 of the
13 games he has started in a
Wolverine uniform. "I was able to
get back in the groove easily, but I
still have a long way to go."
The Taylor groove proved to be
all that it took to get Michigan its
most convincing victory of the
season.
"I was very surprised that he was
so sharp," said Fry. "I thought he
would have needed to get the cob-
webs off, but he looked like the
Michael Taylor of the Rose Bowl
and that player definitely was free of
cobwebs in today's action."
Taylor, who was actually injured
and didn't play in last year's Rose
Bowl, responded, "It was just
another day on the job."

Boles, Hoard run wild
behind improved line
by Steve Blonder
Daily Football Writer
IOWA CITY - Michigan football means ball control and keeping the
pigskin on the ground with an occasional pass to keep an opponent off
balance.
Michigan has been doing just that recently behind the strength of
running backs Leroy Hoard and Tony Boles. Last week against Michigan
State, Boles.ran for 100 yards for the first time this season as Hoard kept
Spartan linebacker Percy Snow occupied.
This week against Iowa, Boles racked up up ninety-three yards and ran a
forty-five yard screen pass for a touchdown while Hoard added fifty-six.
"Boles is as fast a player as I've ever seen and Hoard will get you four or
five yards regardless of the blocking," said Iowa linebacker Brad Quast.
"With the speed and the power the two possess, they're extremely difficult
to stop.
"Their combination is the best in the Big Ten and maybe the best in the
country."
One new ingredient to the Michigan running attack the last two weeks
has been the play of the offensive line, referred to by Michigan State coach
George Perles at an informal gathering as "five marshmellows."
"We knew we had a good offense, and this week everything just came
together," said offensive tackle Greg Skrepanek.
"They hadn't blocked very well in the first few games so we didn't know
whether we would get the typical Michigan line or what we had seen
recently," Iowa coach Hayden Fry said. "I think from Boles' and Hoard's
statistics, they blocked extremely well today."
Offensive line coach Jerry Hanlon explained exactly what the offensive
line did differently.
"We blocked a little better, that's the number one thing. And we were
sustaining our blocks so our runners weren't getting caught from behind.
That way we were getting six or seven yards a play instead of two or three,"
Hanlon said.
One play Michigan got more than a few yards on was the Boles
touchdown scamper. Boles caught the screen and ran forty-five yards into the
end zone.
"Tony's touchdown was just a screen, but he got the ball and took off,"
said Hoard. "Once he got loose, no one could catch him.
"Except me, I would have run him down."
One who tried was Quast, but all he caught was an armful of air.
"He was by me before I could do anything about it. He is as fast a runner
as I have ever seen," Quast said.
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Michigan tailback Tony Boles tries to break the tackle of Iowa defensive
lineman Jim Johnson on Saturday. Boles rushed for 93 yards on the day.

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by Steve Blonder
Daily Football Writer
IOWA CITY - Michigan has
not allowed a rushing touchdown
since the second game of the season.
The last team to run the ball into the
end zone against the Wolverines was
UCLA in the first quarter of their
game.
- The Hawkeyes could manage
only 44 yards rushing Saturday,
marking the fourth consecutive week
Michigan's defense has held an
opponent under 100 yards on the
ground.
-Tailback Allen Jefferson did not
make the trip after getting banged up
last week at practice. He is expected

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to return against Indiana. Lineback-
ers Rusty Fichtner and Chris Bohn
also stayed behind with injuries.
- Entering Saturday's game, Iowa
coach Hayden Fry had won nine
consecutive homecoming games.
Fry has won more games in his ten
years as Iowa's coach than the
Hawkeyes won in the 21 years
before he moved to Iowa City.
- Michigan placekicker J.D. Carl-
son is now 10-for-10 in field goals
this season and leads the Wolverines
with 42 points scored in 1989..
- Wolverine safety Vada Murray
picked up his second "hat trick" of
the season. This "hat trick" consisted
of an interception, a fumble recov-
ery, and a blocked kick. Murray also
accomplished this against UCLA.
- The Iowa press box announcer
after Michael Taylor threw a pass
into the ground: "I can't tell you
who the intended receiver was."

IOWA
Continued from page 1
But what helped Michigan (5-1,3-
0) most was the resurgence of the
offense behind the return of
quarterback Michael Taylor. The
fifth-year senior, who has now won
nine of his thirteen starts, connected
on 11-15 passes for 179 yards and
ran for 30 yards and a touchdown.
"We did not know whether
Taylor would be ready or not,"
Michigan coach Bo Schembechler
said after the game. "He had very
little preseason practice and he
played the Notre Dame game and
looked rusty. This was his second
week of practice... For this being
his first time back, I thought
Michael did an excellent job."
Schembechler appraised Taylor of
his starting role at the team meeting
Saturday morning. He said the
decision was based on Taylor's
experience in big games.
"I knew this would be a loud and
emotional setting out here,"
Schembechler said. "The experience
of Taylor will pay off in the long
run."
Iowa prepared all week for
redshirt frosh Elvis Grbac, who is
more of a drop-back passer than a
running quarterback. Iowa coach
Hayden Fry said after the game he
felt Taylor playing made the
Wolverines a better team.

"I think you saw the real
Michigan team today," Fry said.
"Taylor coming back added an
additional dimension - scrambling
back to pass, the bootleg run --
they just played a whole lot bett4
than we'd seen them play."
For Iowa, which falls to 3-3 op
the year, 1-2 in the conference,
turnovers and an inability to movo
the ball when they had to cost thed)
the victory.
"We had to play a perfect game i
order to win and we didn't do it,
Hawkeye -quarterback Matt Rodger$
said. "When we had the opportunity
we didn't convert."
Linebacker Brad Quast added: "It
would have taken 22 guys to pioy
over their heaas aid give outstanding
efforts to win. And we didn't do
that."
Iowa managed only 44 total yards
on the ground, and 287 via the ai'.
But most of the passing yardage#
came in the second half against
Michigan's prevent-defense.
Rodgers, the son of Bostoi
Celtics coach Jimmy Rodgerl,
completed 28 of 41 passes and spent
most of his day trying to stay away
from the Michigan defense which
recorded four sacks.
"Rodgers is still learning," Frt
said. "Some day he'll be
tremendous football player - he l
good now as it is."
The redshirt-sophomore
engineered a 56-yard drive
culminating with a two-tasi
touchdown toss to Travis Watkins
just before halftime.
The Wolverines started off the
second half with Desmond Howard's
42-yard kickoff return which would
have gone for a touchdown excep
fo ac -inr aclebyTP C ..et

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