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September 14, 1990 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-14
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Hayes while Moeller was a player.
Then, he became Schembechler's
assistant at Miami, Ohio and
moved with Bo to Michigan in
Finally in 1977, Moeller made
his move and got out from under
Bo's wings. After the Wolverines
led the NCAA in scoring defense
in 1974 and 1976 with Moeller as
their defensive coordinator,
Illinois hired him as their head
Mo at Illinois was a disaster.
The tally: six wins, 24 losses,
three lousy ties. Mo was dumped.
To this day he insists it bothers
him, and if he could have had five
full years to develop a program, it
would have become successful.
There is a security factor with
the job at Michigan that could
never have been achieved at
Illinois. "I was excited at that
time (starting at Illinois) as I am
excited now," Moeller said. "Part
of the excitement now is that I
feel a lot more comfortable here
- you know where the pencil
sharpener is, you know where
your locker is, there's a lot of
things that you know. You know
the kids. That's a big thing. When
you first go to a job, you don't
know the players or how they will
react when a game starts. Some
guys fall apart."
With the Illinois failure fresh
in his mind, Mo went back to Bo
in 1980 and waited in the wings.
There have been splashes of
success. His gutsy call to pass on
fourth down late in the 1988 Hall
of Fame Bowl - which gave
Michigan a 28-24 win over
Alabama - serves as the
highlight of his head coaching
But that was still Bo's team.
Mo only filled in temporarily
because Schembechler watched
from home , recuperating from a
second heart bypass operation. "A
win for Bo, made by Mo," as the
saying went.
But now there's no Bo, just
Mo, and the program is his to run
as he sees fit.
"Gary Moeller is the right man
to lead this football program into
the 1990's," said Schembechler
the day he announced his
It's 1990. The time's here.

* "0"'
Continued from page 17
line has to be one of our strengths.
I challenge them to be one of the
top in the country as I challenge
our secondary. If they don't come
close to the accomplishing that
goal, as does our secondary, we
aren't going to win the Big Ten
ti tle."
Which leads to the defense.
Everything starts with Tripp
Welbourne. The All-American
safety has helped the Michigan
backfield become rated among the
nation's best. A Jim Thorpe
Award finalist in '89, Welbourne
was the second leading tackler
with 80.
"I'd like to think (I'm the top
defensive back in the country),"
Welbourne said. "When I was
small I used to try to be number
one. If you can go out and give
your best, the individual
accolades will come. I feel if they
come, they come."

The tdefensive backfield
remains intact for 1990 listing
five regulars at the four starting
positions. Welbourne, Vada
Murray, and cornerback David
Key have started each game for
the past two seasons. At the other
cornerback slot, the Wolverines
count on senior Todd Plate and
junior Lance Dottin.
Brian Townsend, Mike Evans,
T.J. Osman, Chris Hutchinson,
Alex Marshall, John Milligan,
and Erick Anderson should round
out the defense.
Place kicker J.D. Carlson
returns after a successful year and
Chris Stapleton will hold down
the kicking chores as soon as he is
able to return from his injury.
Eduardo Azcona, who punted
against Notre Dame last year,
will probably kick against them
this season.
In addition to the tough Big
Ten competition, Moeller knows
there is another thing he must
guard against in the Wolverines

bid for a three-peat: the
complacency of a champion.
"The reason that it's not been
done before, and why it hasn't
been done before is because it's
darn hard to do," Moeller said.

Continued from page 11
named second team all-Big Ten in
The Gophers have had three
consecutive .500 seasons and two
bowl appearances since 1985, but
have to visit Ann Arbor and
Columbus and will be without
The Badgers have a new look
this year. Former Notre Dame
assistant Barry Alvarez takes
over a team that returns 17
starters from last season's 2-9 (1-7,
9th) team.
Leading the offense will be
quarterback Tony Lowery.
Lowery missed last season after
having problems with the
coaching staff. He started as a
rookie in 1988 and seems ready to
Senior defensive tackle Don
Davey leads a defense that

includes seven other retunees.
Davey has been selected to the 1st
team academic all-America the
past three~seasonE.
Though Wisconsin can not
match up player for player with
the top teams, the Badgers
welcome Illinois, Michigan and
Ohio State to Madison and can
tighten the conference race with
an upset.
Coming off a season without
winning a game (0-11,.0-8, 10th),
the Wildcats appear headed for
another season in the cellar. But
Northwestern lost three games by
a total of 16 points, excelling on
offense while sputtering on
Split end Richard Buchanan
returns after being named first-
team all-Big Ten. The senior
_ receiver hauled in 94 receptions
for 1,115 yards and nine
touchdowns last season for coach
Francis Peay.

"Why? Because the mind of the i
champion isn't correct. And I c
always jokingly tell them, that I r
hope they watch the Rocky
movies because I think Rocky n
Balboa is a great example of that. a'

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There is no way Gary Moeller
can sidestep this, even if he had
the blazing speed of a Jamie
The question has been coming
for a long time. Same question.
Usually the same answer. Moeller
is sick of it, but he's forced to
continue answering it.
The question: "What's it like
replacing Bo?"
The answer from Moeller in
December when he received the
appointment "I know it's hard
when you're going to follow Bo
Schembechler, and I expect that
everybody associated with the
program, and all of you know, that
that's going to be a tough act to
follow, but we're up to the work."
The answer this fall:
"Following Bo Schembechler will
be hard to do. I'm very excited at
the same time. But I'm nervous. I
am going to try to outdo him

because that's the American way
and that's the competitive way.
What I want to do is improve on
that record. Now, I don't want to
read in the damn headlines
tomorrow that Mo is going to
blow Bo Schembechler's record
out of the water. That's one of the
goals I have set for myself."
Gary Moeller has heard that
question so many times he
probably wakes up screaming it.
Yes, it's true, Gary-Moeller is
replacing a legend. Let's face it,
when Bo's name was announced
over the public address system at
Michigan Stadium, it would cause
fans to raise their hands, bow
reverently and chant the name.
Yes, Gary Moeller is replacing a
man who won 194 games while at
Michigan, and who sits in fifth
place on the all-time list of
victories among Division I-A
coaching leaders.

It might be tough. It might be
But Gary Moeller wants to say
one thing: "Hey guys, let's get on
with the show."
Now it's the Mo Show at
Michigan. And for one, Gary
Moeller is excited.
"It's going to be a Gary
Moeller program," Mo said. "But
it's going to have a lot of Bo
Schembechler in it. If I can have a
program with the kind of players
that represent this university now,
play hard, and are well respected
throughout the country, I'm going
to be a happy man. The wins and
losses will fall into place. That's
the way Bo did it here."
And that's how Mo learned it
here. Moeller appears to be the
tag-along little brother to Bo. He
played under Woody Hayes, just
like Bo. In fact, Schembechler
was an assistant coach under

GILL Continued from page 14
"Hey, didn't it take Bo a couple of months before he could come
back," Elvis asks Tripp Welbourne.
"YUP," comes the answer.
A surge of energy rides through the team. They begin to hum
"Battle Hymn of the Republic," "The Star Spangled Banner," "O
Canada," "The Theme From Hoosiers," and "The Theme from
Rocky" during their final timeout. They are overcome with emotion.
Here is their coach, returning from a supposed heart attack, yet
risking his life to get back on the field.
"Hey guys, we can win," Elvis tells his troops, sounding much like
a kid in the Bad News Bears.
And then it happened. Elvis - 80-yard touchdown pass. Perfect
onside kick. Time running down.
But there's a fumble. Huge lineman Greg Skrepenak recovers, and
scampers 50 yards for the touchdown.
Then he falls down too.
The two point conversion is good. Michigan wins. They head to the
Rose Bowl. What a story.
"A piece of cake," says Moeller, who complains only of a headache.
Hey, I said this all was true. I see it all too clearly.
So what do you expect at the Rose Bowl?
Of course - they lose.
W1comne to reality.


text by Mike Gill


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