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September 25, 1990 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-25

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The Michigan Daily -Tuesday, September 25,1990 - Page 11

S. porting views x the sporting view

Sports Illustrated
shows myopic bias

.A

yAndy Stabile
Daily Sports Writer

"By now it should be obvious to all you
Michigan fans that when it comes to playing
season openers against Notre Dame, it doesn't
make any difference if your coach is named Bo,
Mo, or Joe Bl6w. The Irish are going to find a
way to beat you, and you just as well accept it."
Whether or not this is obvious to "all us
ichigan fans" it is apparently obvious to
illiam F. Reed who opens his article in last
week's Sports Illustrated with these insightful
statements. The article entitled "Blast Off" is the
latest installment in media's continuing love
affair with that team from South Bend.
The article centers on two main issues - the
emergence of Irish sophomore quarterback Rick
Mirer and the notion that Michigan could not,
cannot, and will not beat Notre Dame on the
gridiron.
* First Mirer.
Reed promptly introduces America to college
football's latest phenom and promptly starts 'The
Hype.' No, Reed didn't mention the word
'Heisman' at all in the article, but one is led to
think that Reed has already turned in his voting
ballot.
At the time the story ran, Rick Mirer had just
come off of his first collegiate start. His numbers
were sound, but not stellar. 14-for-23, 165 yards,
1 touchdown and 1 interception. Granted, he did
*chestrate an impressive game winning drive to

beat the Wolverines with about four minutes to
play, but Reed speaks of Mirer as if he had the
game under control the whole time, as if the
drive was characteristic of the way Mirer played
the entire game, as if the tipped pass wasn't luck
- but rather destiny.
Did he watch the same game we saw here in
Michigan?
Reed is quick to call Mirer a "Joe Montana
impersonator" and coin the phrase "Mirer-cle," all
after one game.
Did you remember to put a stamp on your
Heisman ballot, Mr. Reed?
Secondly, as evidenced by his opening
paragraph, Reed wants America to know that any
effort Michigan makes to beat Notre Dame is a
futile one. Reed comments on various coaches,
three previous season openers, off season efforts
by offensive linemen to get into better shape, and
the hurry-up offense. All efforts in vain,
according to Reed.
Turn back the clock four years and it was
Michigan who seemed to have the Irish's
number. Before Notre Dame's current winning
streak, Michigan had won three of the four
previous meetings and it was Michigan who led
the series between the two schools, 13 wins to
five.
Now, just four years later, Reed says
Michigan can't and won't beat Notre Dame. He's
wrong. Both programs are too competitive and
too successful for one to dominate the other for

the rest of time. Besides, the luck of the Irish is
just that, luck. Someday the tide will turn and
Michigan will (literally) get the bounces.
But when?
If history repeats itself, as all professors tell
us it does, Notre Dame is through winning for
about four more years.
In 1986 a new coach named Lou Holtz led his
Irish to an impressive performance against the
Wolverines of Michigan. On that September day
in South Bend the Irish seemed to beat the
Wolverines in every phase of the game, except
on the scoreboard. The new coach's .debut was
spoiled. Since that game, Michigan hasn't beaten
Notre Dame.
Fast Forward to 1990 and we see a complete
role reversal.
William Reed ends his article stating, "Please
excuse the folks in Michigan for not wanting to
think about next year's opener against the Irish...
We all know who's going to win, don't we
Wolverine fans."
Thanks again for the insight Mr. Reed.
Although you might be ready to scratch the game
and give Notre Dame the victory, Gary
Moeller's situation at Michigan seems all too
similar to that of Lou Holtz' in 1986.
Mr. Reed, please excuse the folks everywhere
for not wanting to read your biased and unfounded
account of next year's season opener... Next time
just let the two teams play one of their gems,
and tell us what happened in the following issue.

Terps' Zolak heads new offense

by Kevin Colleran
The Diamondback
If Maryland's 20-13 win over
Virginia Tech is any indication of
yw the Terrapin football team
Might run its offense for the
remainder of the season, then you
probably won't see Scott Zolak
complaining.
After only one collegiate start,
the senior quarterback from
Monongahela, PA, has already made
the Terrapin record books with a
Terp-record 28 completions in last
;Week's victory. And with his newly-
stalled pass-oriented offense, Zolak
could be on his way to several more
milestones.
Zolak, however, made it clear
that he would rather help the team
win the next 10 football games than
concentrate on his statistics.
"We just have to go out and play
every week and let the statistics take
care of themselves," he said. "If you
thinking about that, you tend to
tgoofy in the head and that's what
takes away from your game.
That type of answer is typical of
the soft-spoken Zolak, who is
described by Terp head coach Joe
Krivak as "a leader by example."
Zolak doesn't like to say much but
when he does he makes sure to
compliment his teammates, which
impresses Krivak.
."That's the one nice thing about
m," Krivak said. "When you talk
to him and hear the comments he
said after the game it was in relation
to the other players. There are 10
other guys on the field and he
recognizes that and he realizes that
and so does everybody else."
"To be a leader, I think you have
to be a leader by example," Zolak
aid. "People start talking and
sifications come out and certain
people won't look up to you because
you have a big mouth."
Despite his modest demeanor,
Zolak can't admit he isn't excited by
this new offense. Krivak decided
before spring practice that his team
was better suited for the one-back
offense rather than the regular pro-set
the Terps have had in the past. So
lak will probably be throwing the
1 more often than most of the
Terrapin quarterbacks of the past
were able to, whether he likes it or
not.
"It's a throwing type offense. We
have great receivers, they catch the
ball well," Zolak said. "They've

been doing that in preseason and
since last spring."
As for his predecessors (Boomer
Esiason, Frank Reich, Stan
Gelbaugh, Dan Henning, and Neil
O'Donnell), Zolak was quick in
saying that he isn't worried about
living up to the great quarterback
tradition the Terps have built in
recent years.
"I look at myself individually and
I have certain goals set for myself
and this team, and I don't look back
at anybody else," Zolak said.
After riding the pine for four
years, this season Zolak finally got
his chance to run the Terrapin
offense. He was recruited by former
Terp and now Georgia Tech coach
Bobby Ross back in 1986, and has
played the waiting game ever since.
He had thoughts about leaving after
Ross resigned but decided to stay
when Krivak took over.
So now Zolak's not only in
control for the first time, but he's in
control of an entirely new offense,
one that revolves around him.
"It's a lot different because a lot
of guys are looking up to you to do
well," Zolak said. "You have the
starting role. A lot of people say it's
a lot of pressure to be the starting
quarterback but I don't think it is.
You only put the pressure on
yourself."
Zolak was happy with the
Virginia Tech win, but says the
offense still has a ways to go. The
Terps won the game in dramatic
fashion despite controlling the ball
for most of the contest.
"We're not where we want to be
offensively. We have a lot of things
to brush up on," Zolak said. "We
made a lot of mistakes and we have
to get rid of those. We have to stop
turning the ball over and we have to
score when we get down to the
opponent's territory and we didn't do
that all the time Saturday."
Zolak has come off the bench
successfully for the Terps and is

Maryland quarterback Scott Zolak leads the Terrapins into Saturday's
game against Michigan at Michigan Stadium.

best remembered for his 1988
performance against Virginia, when
he entered the game late in the fourth
quarter and led the Terps to a
touchdown. Only a controversial
completion call by the officials on
the two-point conversion caused the
Terps to lose the game, 24-23.
"He's a very competitive
youngster and he's got a lot of
tools," Krivak said. "There's no
doubt in my mind that he'll get
better and better the more he plays
and I think his performance level can
almost be unlimited."
Many Terp players feel
comfortable with Zolak in charge.
He has a knack for keeping his cool
in pressure situations, as he proved
with last week's final-minute
touchdown pass.
"I said some things in the huddle
before we went out to the line of
scrimmage and the guys got a
chuckle out of it, but I can't say
what I said," said Zolak. "I wanted to
loosen things up before we went out
there."
Zolak's competitiveness can
probably be attributed to his

background. He played his high
school ball at Ringgold, the same
school Joe Montana attended.
Zolak's not afraid to admit that he's
one of Montana's biggest fans.
"He's a great idol to look up to,"
said Zolak, who met Montana at a
banquet back in his hometown last
spring. "He is a great example of
Western Pennsylvania and football
in Western Pennsylvania.
"It's a tough area to play in
growing up," he said. "I mean you'd
go out and play in front of ten to
twelve thousand people every Friday
night. I think it prepares you better
for college."
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