Taylor was among
worst of M'woes
by Adam Benson
':Daily Football Writer
PASADENA - After the Wolverines 17-10 loss to USC in the Rose
Bowl, quarterback Michael Taylor fled from the Michigan locker room, not
even acknowledging the slew of reporters looking for a comment. He did not
even take .the time to tie a knot in his tie.
Even with the loose collar, most of the reporters chasing after Taylor
thought he had already choked.
Taylor's reluctance to face the media came after an afternoon of
overthrown passes and ill-fated attempts to scramble against the USC
defense. The Trojans shut down the Michigan quarterback, holding him to
10-of-19 passing for 115 passing yards and a net 0 yards rushing.
"That's Mike," Michigan tailback Leroy Hoard said about Taylor's
disappearance after the game. "He feels bad because we lost and when guys
are in critical position like he is, you always feel like you can do more."
Overthrown passes stuck out as Taylor's biggest problem. Three Taylor
passes shot past Greg McMurtry's head, and a bomb missed a wide open
Desmond Howard during Michigan's final possession.
"Because of the layoff, you lose some of your timing on the passing
game, particularly on the long passes," McMurtry said about Taylor's
troubles. "You are going to see people get overthrown."
USC safety Mark Carrier felt that USC preparation for Taylor's option
attack hurt the QB's performance more than the vacation time.
"We were able to put some pressure on him, get him flustered a little
bit," Carrier said. "He had some good runs in there and picked up some
yards. We've been able to get pressure on the quarterback all year."
Other factors figured in the Wolverines' lackluster showing. The
Michigan defensive line, missing injured tackle Chris Hutchinson, struggled
with containing USC tailback Ricky Ervins. The offensive line did not
protect Taylor from Trojan tacklers, allowing two sacks and USC pressure
in the backfield. Some of Michigan's most reliable players stumbled, such
as tight end Derrick Walker, who dropped two Taylor passes, and fullback
Jarrod Bunch, gaining 11 yards and carrying the ball only 6 times.
However, Taylor's performance was the most visible disappointment for
Wolverine fans. After a week of posing for photos with the Rose Bowl
queen and living like a movie star in the California sunshine, Taylor looked
like an ordinary Joe on New Years' Day.
But then again, so did most of the Wolverines.
"Everybody played hard, but we made a lot of mistakes blocking during
the game," Hoard said. "It wasn't that (USC) was that much better, they just
played a better game."
The Michigan Daily - Sports Thursday- January 11, 1990 - Page 5
lob yards weren't enough
NBy Richard Eisen
Daily Football Writer
PASADENA - For a few fleeting moments, it seemed as if Michigan
running back Leroy Hoard felt right at home once again in the Rose
Hoard, who runs as if someone dangles a red cape in front of him,
broke some plays for long gains, prompting memories of his Most
Valuable Player performance of 1989. After a slew of failing Wolverine
drives, Hoard finally broke through in the second quarter with his 46-yard
But there was one important difference between the two Rose Bowls, a
discrepancy which Hoard quickly spotted.
"We didn't win," Hoard said after the 17-10 loss to Southern
California. "I could have done a little more. Everyone's like that when
At times, Hoard got his motor running and seemed to harass the USC
defenders for the second straight year. He even set up both of Michigan's
scoring opportunities with runs of 46 and 31 yards. But in the end, the
Trojans got their man.
"It was the same type of thing last year," Trojan defensive tackle Tim
Ryan said. "But this time we were able to overcome the adversity."
Indeed, the Wolverine running game was uglier the second time
around. Without Hoard's inflated statistics of 108 yards on 17 carries, the
Wolverines gained a total of 11 yards. In fact, Hoard had only 22 yards
rushing on nine attempts in the second half, when USC turned up the heat
and Michigan got cold.
"It was little mistakes, missed assignments," Hoard said. "There were
times when we missed blocks at critical times and that hurt us. We
couldn't convert on third down and things like that happened.
"We got in a postition where we had to pass the ball and when you get
in that position and you can't run, you can't do what you're best at, it
Hoard nearly took care of the running and the passing himself on one
drive in the second quarter. The New Orleans native took the handoff at
the Michigan 26-yard line and ran right. Running at freight train-like
levels, Hoard cut back and blew past defenders making feeble attempts to
Two plays later, Hoard took a pitch left and looked to pass the ball on
an unheard of Wolverine halfback option. Much like the fake punt that
would later occur, the trick play did not work as Hoard threw the ball over
tight end Derrick Walker's head.
"I think we let ourselves down more than anybody, we owed it to
ourselves to play the best possible game and we didn't," Hoard said.
Tailback Leroy Hoard (33) dodges USC linebacker Michael Williams in
the second half of the New Year's Day contest. Hoard rushed for 108
yards, the first time this season an opposing ballcarrier surpassed 100
yards against USC this season.
continued from page 1
touchdowns. He never lost the
position and gained 1,269 yards for
the season with a team-high nine
touchdowns to garner first-team All-
Pac 10 and honorable mention All-
"Ricky had a great season," said
Lockwood, who was out with a leg
injury. "It is going to be extremely
difficult to beat him out of a job after
While Ervins had a great season,
the Rose Bowl was where he shined
the most. In the Trojans game-
winning drive, he accounted for 42
of their 75 yards to capture the
coveted trophy, presented by the Los
Angeles Amateur Athletic
"There is no one that deserves it
more than Ricky," Southern Cal
head coach Larry Smith said. "He
has worked so hard into becoming a
good running back and a starter. I
am extremely happy for him because
he has worked hard even when,
things weren't going particularly
well for him.
"After today, I don't think he'll
have to park any more cars."
In fact, Lockwood went so far as
to say, "They may have to park his
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