Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 22, 1989
...Bo biggest win?
by Adam Benson
Daily Football Writer
Twenty years ago, Michigan
broke Ohio State's 22-game win
streak, defeating the defending
national champion and No. 1 ranked
Buckeyes, 24-12. It was a big win.
Bo Schembechler's first Mich-
igan squad had struggled on the field
early that season, losing games to
Missouri and Michigan State. The
team, which was used to the laid-
back style of previous head coach
Bump Elliot, had trouble adjusting
to Schembechler's discipline.
"There was kind of a love-hate
relationship," Schembechler said.
"When I came in there, those guys
all hated me. Now, when you talk to
those guys - I'm as close to that
team as any club I coached."
That feeling for Schembechler
began to build after the Michigan
State defeat. Looking towards the
end of the season, Michigan appeared
to be headed for another drubbingat
the hands of the Buckeyes, who had
crushed the Wolverines, 50-14, in
The '68 game came to haunt
legendary Ohio State coach Woody
Hayes. In order to score 50 points,
Hayes put his first team offense on
the field late in the game to go for a
two-point conversion. Schembechler
used the actions of his mentor Hayes
to motivate his club for a rematch.
"Bo put the number 50 up
everywhere," Offensive guard Dick
Caldarazzo said. "He had it on
helmets, lockers, and shower
curtains. It really pumped us up. I
didn't want to have that 50 on my
head. We wanted to get them back."
Michigan entered the Ohio State
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game as a huge underdog, but
Schembechler raised the spirits of
his club. He issued challenges to
each player calling for them to
outplay their Buckeye opponent. The
Wolverines were moved by the
coach's plea for excellence.
'Bo put the number
50 up everywhere. He
had it on helmets,
lockers, and shower
'There was kind of a
When I came in there,
those guys all hated
me. Now, when you
talk to those guys -
I'm as close to that
team as any club I
"It came down to individual
matchups, each one of us had to play
better than the guy on the other side
of the line," tight end Henry Hill
said. "Ohio State had the better
team, so we had to play better than
The Buckeyes opened the game
with a touchdown, but they missed
the extra point. Michigan came back
the next series and drove for a game-
tying touchdown. While lining up
on that series, Caldarazzo began to
sense the impending victory:
"Ohio State was not used to
having the ball moved on them. I
looked at the lineman, Jim
Stillwagon. He was pretty flush,
sweating and breathing heavily.
Stillwagon was one of the great
lineman to play the game at the
time. We began to see them as
human. That set the tone."
After the game the fans mobbed
the field. The game would be called
the greatest upset of all time.
The Big Ten championship and
the trip to the Rose Bowl were the
prizes for the victorious Wolverines,
but the win was also significant for
The Michigan players had lacked
the attention of their fellow students,
who were preoccupied with the
volatile issues of the 1960s.
Football players were cast as part of
the establishment that everyone else
seemed to be fighting. For one week
after the upset, the players were
treated as heroes on the campus that
had rejected them.
The Vietnam war was a growing
issue on the minds of students at the
University of Michigan in 1969.
Long hair and tie-dye shirts became
the fashion, all for the purpose of
making a statement.
"We were outcasts," former
Wolverine lineman Jim Brandstatter
said about the 1969 team. "Bo said
we couldn't wear any tie-dye or grow
our hair long, but these things were
viewed as fashionable."
Caldarazzo added that the summer
of 1969, when Schembechler first
arrived, was a time of turmoil.
"Around the country, athletic
programs were accused of being
racist. There were threats that several
athletes would have sit-ins.
Bo stood up in front of the
players and told us all 'you know,
there is not a prejudiced bone in my
body.' He told us that there would be
no picketing, he wouldn't allow it.
There wasn't any, because everybody
knew what he was saying was true."
But many of the students did not
feel so comfortable with the national
confusion over issues such as civil
rights and Vietnam. Some players
did participate in the protests,
although Schembechler had dis-
None of the players said that
Schembechler was in favor of the
war, nor did they say he wanted to
censor the team, but as back-up
defensive back Frank Guzich said,
"he wanted us to concentrate on
Hill added: "It was difficult to
avoid being involved (in the unrest).
We were all involved, but we didn't
let the division in our country
interfere with the football team."
The memories of that afternoon
are not so much about the game, but
about the team that played it. The
victory wasn't only on the
scoreboard, it was winning the hearts
and minds of the fans and the
community that had turned on them.
"The country was going through
change," Hill said. "A lot of serious
opinions existed. It took a strong
group of players to holl together,
and we did."
Producing yardage for the Wolverines has been easy
for quarterback Michael Taylor the last two weeks. The
Cincinnati-born senior has the ability to lead the same
passing attack that crushed Minnesota last weekend or
run the same option offense that dismantled the tough
Illinois defense. Whatever Taylor does, he scares the
"How are we going to stop Michael Taylor? I don't
see anybody stopping Michael Taylor," Cooper said.
"He's a great athlete. He can run and throw. If you cover
the receivers, he's a good enough athlete so he can pull
the ball down and make a lot of things happen. We're
not going to stop Michael Taylor. We'd like to slow
him down a little bit, but we are not going to stop
The defense that Taylor will face this weekend is not
the group that Cooper originally envisioned. Ohio State
has lost two starting linebackers the last two weeks,
including their top defensive player, linebacker Derek
"We are going into this game with six of our top
eight linebackers being freshmen," Cooper said. "That's
how young we are on the defensive side of the ball, but
that doesn't mean these guys can't play."
Ohio State's defense has allowed 3,844 yards this
season, almost a thousand yards more than Michigan's
2,854. Against Wisconsin, one of the Big Ten's weaker
offensive units, the Buckeyes allowed the Badgers to
rush for over 250 yards and score 22 points.
The Wolverines first test the Buckeye defense before
committing to either the run or the pass this weekend.
"We can't go in there and say that we are going to
run every play," Taylor said. "I think we can kind of
mix it up well where we can go to either the run or the
pass. That's what we will try to do Saturday."
The Wolverine defenders possess much more
experience than their rivals from the south. However,
they still fear Ohio State's offense, even without their
top runner Snow. The Buckeyes have scored 307 points
this year, compared with 297 for Michigan. In their six
game victory streak, the Buckeyes have averaged over
34 points a game.
"The key for us, and you'll hear Bo say this, is
going to be to stop the run," Michigan linebacker J.J.
Grant said. "(Ohio State quarterback Greg) Frey is an
outstanding field general, but the key to their success
has been Carlos Snow and (Scottie) Graham. They've
been able to pound out yardage, beat teams up front and
that takes a lot of pressure off of Frey. We have to
control the line of scrimmage and make Frey do things
he normally doesn't have to do. We want to make Frey
have to win the game for them."
Frey's passing nearly led the Buckeyes over
Michigan last season. The Buckeye junior quarterback
will bring a flash of the '80s into traditional ground
war. Frey completes 60 percent of his passes and still
has the ability to throw the ball deep.
"The most underrated quarterback in our league is
Frey," Schembechler said. "He's vastly improved. He's
a smart quarterback and he knows what he is doing."
As much as the fear of Frey might make Michigan 0
play for the pass, Cooper's respect for Michigan's
defensive backs might keep the Ohio State attack
"Michigan has probably the best secondary in this
conference in my opinion," Cooper said. "They've got
great athletes back there. We'd like to go up there
thinking we can throw the ball, but realistically we
probably won't be able to."
Ohio State quarterback Greg Frey will bring a 60%
pass efficiency to Michigan to lead the Buckeyes.
Continued from Page 1'
Without the use of the quick, slashing runners, both
teams will use the more traditional power running
games. Michigan will start Leroy Hoard in Boles' place
at tailback. Allen Jefferson will back him up and Jarrod
Bunch will start at fullback. Ohio State plans to use
first-year player Dante Lee in place of Snow. This will
force the Buckeyes to depend on the play of Scottie
Graham, who has gained 791 yards this season at
Even with the injuries, this game should be more
like the Michigan-Ohio State games of a more recent
era. It will be a showcase for two of the Big Ten's
"It hasn't been a defensive struggle in the last four or
five years," Schembechler said. "The offenses have
pretty much been in control because they've moved the
ball a lot. Back in the '70s, when both of us were
strong defensive teams, these were defensive struggles,
where a yard really meant something."
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