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October 07, 1991 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-07

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday - October 7, 1991

/ -W




Kicking incompetence
plagues Iowa, Michigan

Passing C-A Yds TD Int
Grbac 14-22 196 3 0
Rushing Att Yd~s Avg La
Powers 21 81 3.9 13
J. Johnson 22 168 7.6 56
Howard 3 53 17.7 52
Legette 4 69 17.3 50

Dy Thneouore Cox
Daily Football Writer
IOWA CITY - Iowa coach Hayden Fry
said earlier this year that he was going to
solve his punting problems by not punting. He
should have followed his own advice.
On the Hawkeyes' first punt attempt,
Michigan's Deon Johnson fought his way
through the Iowa line to get the block. The
ball fell into the hands of Wolverine David
Ritter, who ran the ball in for a touchdown. It
was a change of pace for Ritter, who blocked
several punts last year, but never got the re-
Soon after, Iowa's Brian Wise returned the
favor by blocking a Michigan punt. Hawkeye
Eddie Polly ran the ball back to the Michigan
eight, setting up an eventual touchdown run
by Iowa quarterback Matt Rodgers.
"As I thought might happen, the big old
kicking game reared up its ugly head," Fry
said. "It happened to both teams."
"Both sides I thought were very weak,"
Michigan coach Gary Moeller said. "I'll tell
you what, every time I went to punt I was ner-
vous. It's one of those things where you close
your eyes and look up. I know coach Fry and I
want to get those things straightened out."
Michigan also had a 38-yard field-goal at-
tempt blocked in the first quarter.
"I thought he (J.D. Carlson) kicked it too
low," Moeller said.
Carlson missed another one in the third
quarter. This time, his 28-yard kick went wide
Iowa's place-kicking game didn't fair any
better. The Hawkeyes' first extra point at-
tempt went sailing wide left. Iowa tried to

point conversion after its next two touch-
downs, but both times the Hawkeyes failed.
Michigan followed the Hawkeyes lead by
attempting two-point conversions for its next
two conversions, but just like the Hawkeyes,
the Wolverines came up short.
Late in the second quarter, Fry tried to
avoid his punting problems by running a fake
punt. Fry reasoned that because there was a
strong wind blowing against the Wolverines,
a field goal attempt would be difficult to
convert. However, Michigan did not have to
attempt a field goal; instead Elvis Grbac hit
Jesse Johnson for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
In punting formation, the ball was snapped
to the up-back, Paul Kujawa. The Wolverines
read the play well and dropped Kujawa for a
one-yard loss.
Fry apologized for the call later, saying he
forgot that he needed ten yards for the first
down. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over at
their own 46, and Michigan was able to score
quickly to take a 19-18 halftime lead.
"Everybody makes a mistake," Iowa quar-
terback Matt Rodgers said. "He admitted it.
We said, 'Forget about it, Coach, put it behind
Iowa's last two punts were much better,
one hitting the coffin corner.
"Once we changed from a spread formation
to a tight formation we cleared up most of our
problems," Fry said.
J.D. Carlson has apparently provided the
solution to Wolverines' early-season kickoff
woes. Carlson took over the kickoff duties
from John Albertson last week.
"We need somebody who can kick the ball
out of the endzone," Moeller said a week ago.


5 0 371 7.4



Receiving C Yds Avg TD
Powers 1 6 6.0 0
Diebolt 1 5 5.0 0
Howard 4 47 11.8 2
J. Johnson 2 34 17.0 1
VanDyne 4 80 20.0 0
Legette 2 24 12.0 0
Total 14 196 14.0 3
Defense Tac Ast Tot

Michigan safety David Ritter returns a blocked punt by Deon Johnson for a touchdown in
the first quarter against Iowa.


lContinued from page 1
Fired them out and we played smash-
mouth football as we like to say.
We took it down their throat."
One key could have been the re-
turn of literal smash-mouth victim,
center Steve Everitt. His absence
fast week because of a broken jaw
had caused a weakness at both center
4nd guard, following Elliott's shift
to center - possibly causing some
of the line's difficulty. Though the
line needed some time to re-gel with
Everitt back in the lineup, it had so-
lidified by the middle of the second
half into Mt. Rushmore-like gran-
"You can tell you're in control
of the game when the guy you're
across from starts hitting himself
to come out, or they're not pursuing
like they were," Everitt said. "It
feels great to be back - one week
too late - but it's good to be back."
Once the line began to click
again, new Michigan sensation Jesse
Johnson skirted through large holes
between the tackles for big yardage.
All told, the Wolverines averaged

over eight yards per carry while
rushing for 269 yards in the second
And as for the passing game?
Elvis Grbac had more than ample
time to find an open receiver.
On the other side of the ball,
Iowa's offensive line met a solid
wall of its own - the Wolverine
defensive front.
Tony Henderson, Mike Evans,
and Chris Hutchinson pressured
Rodgers throughout the second half,
and with the help of linebackers
Erick Anderson, Steve Morrison,
and Brian Townsend, the Hawkeye
running game never materialized.
"We didn't run the ball, so they
were ready to blitz and bring the
house basically," Hawkeye center
Mike Devlin said.
"The defensive line is tough,"
Rodgers added. "They lull you to
sleep with finesse-type moves and
then, BOOM, it's pressure and they
get you."
There were a lot of big plays in
Saturday's victory, and a lot of
heroes emerged. But in big games
like this, the big people determine
the outcome.
It may have come a week too late,
but the Wolverines' big people fi-
nally took control.

C. Wallace
B. Powers



Michigan tailback Jesse Johnson tries to stay on his feet against Iowa. Johnson rushed for 168 yards and a
touchdown in only his second game as a collegian. He also caught an Elvis Grbac touchdown pass at the end of
the first half to give the Wolverines the lead for good.


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Continued from page 1
ones, then it complemented our
passing game. They couldn't double-
or triple-team me all day, and they
had to pay more attention to the
Howard took full advantage of
the off-balance defensive backs,
scoring two touchdowns in the sec-
ond half to put the game out of
Iowa's reach; he now has 10 touch-
downs in four games. Saturday's
pair were probably his least spec-
tacular,with Howard beating his
defender to score standing up.
When Rodgers had time to
throw, the Iowa passing game was
just as effective. The senior co-cap-
tain finished the afternoon 26 for 42
with 275 yards.
But just when the Hawkeyes
started moving the ball again in the

fourth quarter, Michigan free safety
Corwin Brown levelled Iowa tight
end Matt Whitaker, who was jump-
ing for a pass.
"The key plays in the game were
the fake punt, and then when
Corwin Brown hit one of their
players," Howard said. "It just
lifted our spirits and kept the mo-
mentum on our side."
Michigan is now in good posi-
tion to win the Big Ten. Two of the
preseason favorites, Michigan State
and Iowa, already have one confer-
ence loss.
"I'm proud of our kids from one
standpoint," Michigan coach Gary
Moeller said. "We lost big last
week. We were embarrassed. Then
we came in here and got behind right
away and came back."


Continued from page 1
little bit, but not a lot. It's just a
great experience."
Johnson's insertion into the
lineup coincided with the
Wolverines' improved running at-
tack and eventual 19-point victory.
"It was a good change of pace for
us. He's a good back, and hit the
holes a little quicker (than
Powers)," Moeller said. "He's not
easy to find behind that offensive
line. Because of his size, he'll sprint
through somehow ."
"He's small, quick, and power-
ful," linebacker John Derby said. "I
know I lost him a couple of times
behind that big offensive line."
Defensive end Leroy Smith con-
curred. "Johnson's so close to the
ground, it's hard to get a good shot
at him," he said. "We didn't respect
him as much as we respect Powers.
Johnson really kicked us in the butt
today. He did a good job; I wish he
didn't come."
But Johnson did come, and he did
play. While the Hawkeyes and the
rest of America were surprised by
his performance, his teammates
knew Johnson had it in him.
"We've known he was a good



p .ln 1 i V V V
Total 3 6 8 35 22.7
Returns No. Yds Avg Lg
Howard 2 1 0.5 4
Johnson 1 6 6.0 6
Ritter 1 21 21.0 21
Total 4 28 7.0 21
Returns No. Yds Avg La
Howard 1 24 24.0 24
Wheatley 2 37 18.5 22

Punting No. Yds La Ava


6 8 35 34.0
0 0 0.0


3 6 1 20.3 24

q7h i4 K


Intramural Sports Program
Limited to 30 Teams

Scoring Summary
1st Quarter: Ritter, 21-yd
punt return, Carlson kick,
8:26, 7-0 Michigan.
2nd Quarter: Powers, 1-yd
run, pass failed, 3:21, 18-
13 Iowa.
Grbac, 28-yd pass to J.
Johnson, pass failed, 0:31,
19-18 Michigan.
3:rd Qunar-rs rhac 2-vd



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