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September 21, 1992 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-21

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The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - September 21, 1992 -- Page 5

















Elvis likes

his temporary role
by Josh Dubow
and Jeni Durst
Daily Football Writers
Early in Saturday's game, it seemed like Michigan had two coaches
patrolling the sidelines. Gary Moeller partook in his usual coaching duties
- shouting out directions and sending in plays to his troops.
The second coach was new this week. Injured quarterback Elvis Grbac,
dressed in a tie and holding a play sheet rolled up in his hand, also paced
up and down the sideline yelling out instructions to second-string
quarterback Todd Collins.
"I talked to Todd in the first and
second quarters, but I left him alone
z in the second half," Grbac said. "In
the first quarter, I really got him into
it, making sure he knew what the
clock was, what the down was and
certain situations we were in.
"I can understand in the second
quarter, there were a couple of goof-
ups here and there, and he threw an
interception going in (toward the end
zone)," Grbac added. "It was tough.
I can relate. I knew what he was
going through. I just told him to
forget about it and come out in the
second half and play like it was 0-0."
Collins and the Wolverine
offense came out in the second half,
got the running game untracked and
scored three touchdowns. While
GrMOLLY STEVENS/Dai Michigan coughed up three second-
half fumbles, Collins played an
error-free half of football. He ended the matchup with a new Michigan
record for completions in a game (29) for a 285-yard total.
"(Elvis) was really good on the sidelines, telling me what he saw the
defense doing, noticing any mistakes I made in my technique," Collins
said. "He was really calm out there and he calmed me down a lot.
* Grbac, who would like to go into coaching some day, enjoyed the view
from the sideline as a coach. However, he is not ready to give up his job as
leader of the Wolverine offense.
"My job is my job," he said. "I get the cast off Monday and I'll go out
and practice again. I'm excited to get back in there next week."
BUDDING TREE: Last Wednesday, starting right tackle Rob Doherty
re-aggravated an injury to his right shoulder. Doherty had surgery last
winter to correct the problem but it acted up again this week. The injury
forced Doherty out of Saturday's game in the second quarter.
Starting left tackle Doug Skene moved over to right tackle, and
Trezelle "Tree" Jenkins came in at left tackle. Jenkins, a 6-foot-7, 298-
pound redshirt freshman, played in his first game as a Wolverine.
"I was nervous at first," Jenkins said. "I think I played an average game
for a first game. I could have played a lot better. I missed a couple of
assignments, but I tried hard."
MORE INJURIES: Along with Grbac, Doherty and running back
Tyrone Wheatley, who suffered a groin pull against Notre Dame, both
fullback Burnie Legette and linebacker Chris Hutchinson were added to
Michigan's injury list. Legette and Hutchinson each twisted a foot in
* Saturday's OSU game, but both should be fine for next weekend's game
with Houston.
"We're a banged up football team that's got to get healthier," Moeller
said. "Wheatley's a little bit better than we first thought, but honestly I'd
say he's very, well I don't know about very, but he's questionable for next
The absences of the veterans in Saturday's matchup allowed several
rookies to log valuable playing time.
"I like the experience that some of our younger kids got," Moeller said.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?: On the other end of Collins' completion
' record were the nine receivers that got some experience in last weekend's
game. Freshmen Mercury Hayes and Amani Toomer caught the first
collegiate passes of their career, each netting two. Junior tight end Marc
Burkholder also saw action, snagging one pass for four yards.
"Some of the wide receivers, we made some big mistakes out there with
them, but that's part of playing in a football game," Moeller said. "Now
they'll be a lot better, I think, in the next couple games and they just need
to keep playing and playing."
Hayes also saw action on special teams, replacing Derrick Alexander
as the punt return man later in the game.
"Mercury Hayes showed good movement," Moeller added. "He did one
* thing with the punt return, you have to catch the ball and go - don't look
around a lot, just go - and I thought that's the one thing he did well."
BAND CORNER: The Michigan football team was not the only
organization to play in its home opener Saturday. The band kicked off its
home season with an emotional tribute to Michigan's Olympians and the
United States in general. One highlight of the show was the second
formation in which the band formed the state of Michigan, including the
Upper Peninsula.


Michigan outside linebacker Matt Dyson flings Cowboy running back Rafael Denson to the ground in second-
quarter action Saturday. The Wolverine defense held Oklahoma State ball carriers to 67 yards on 35 rushes.

Player Att Yds Avg L9
Williams 5 22 4.4 6
Loveland 1 8 8.0 8
Porter 6 -9 -1.5 11
Denson 18 33 1.8 6
White 3 10 3.3 6
Franks 1 1 1.0 1
Spatz 1 2 2.0 2
Totals 35 67 1.9 11
Player C-A Yds TD Int
Loveland 2-5 9 0 2
Porter 10-17 111 0 1
Totals 12-22 120 0 3
Player No Yds Lg TD
Culver 3 47 32 0
Thomas 1 9 9 0
Milliner 3 58 40 0
Denson 2 -6 1 0
Keith 1 4 4 0
Jones 2 8 6 0
Totals 12 120 40 0
Player No Yds Avg Lg
Tyner 7 297 42.4 49
Punt Returns
Player No Yds Avg Lq
None - - -
Kickoff Returns
Player No Yds Avg Lg
Milliner 1 12 12.0 12
Denson 1 20 20.0 20
Fugett 1 10 10.0 10
Franks 1 7 7.0 7
Harmon 1 15 15.0 15
Total 5 64 12.8 20
Player Tac Ast Tot
Erving 8 1 9
Ansley 7 2 9
Henley 6 1 7
Cannon 3 1 4
T. Fisher 5 0 5
R. Fisher 1 0 1
Mbroh 0 1 1
Harmon 9 2 11
Burns 8 3 11
Woolridge 3 1 4
Fleischman 1 0 1
Davis 2 0 2
Funchess 3 2 5
Parker 1 0 1
Gildon 3 1 4
Brooks 3 0 3
Bufford 1 1 2
T. Williams 4 0 4
E. Williams 2 1 3

Continued from page 1
of a frightening trend.
Powers' number trailed off at the end of last year.
He was held to just 30 yards on eight carries against
Notre Dame, including a 16-yard gain on one run. He
was shut out in the first half Saturday. Certainly not the
Ricky Powers that Michigan fans were used to seeing.
The old, familiar No. 12 reappeared in the second
"Ricky Powers decided to run over a few people,"
said Moeller, assessing the late resurgence. "That's the
old Ricky I like to see out there."
That's the old Ricky who racked up 340 yards
through the first two games last season, handling the li-
on's share of the team's carries. This season, Moeller's
decision to employ the three-back rotation -- with
Tyrone Wheatley, Jesse Johnson and Powers sharing
duties - had drawn some fire.
This was, after all, the same Ricky Powers who car-
ried the ball 38 times against Notre Dame in 1991. It
appeared that maybe he needed to remain the No. 1 op-
tion to be productive. Saturday's second half may have
dispelled that notion.
The offensive line also had struggled in the first two
quarters against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys literally
threw everyone they had on the line of scrimmage in
order to take away Michigan's running attack. It
worked, for the most part.
Center Steve Everitt mentioned after the game how
frustrating it had been for the linemen to push their as-
signments downfield, only to look back and see the
running backs piled up behind them for a two-yard loss.
It took nearly a half to counter that with any sort of
consistent success.
"(At halftime) I said, 'We have no line and no backs
right now," Moeller said. "I said those are not Michigan
backs, and that is not a Michigan line."
They were, and it was in the second half.
"I was just happy to get the team going," Powers
said. "I made a few mistakes early on, almost fatal mis-
takes, but things went better in the second half. I was
happy to have something good happen."
So was Moeller, a coach who saw his running game
- his bread-and-butter - disappear, only to be re-
placed by a record-setting aerial attack led by a second-

"Golly, I hope we don't become a passing team,"
Moeller said, looking a little bewildered after the game.
Watching the familiar running of Powers, though,
during the last two quarters had eased those fears to the
point where he made the comment with a chuckle.
"He was bouncing off down the sidelines, like he did
two years ago against Notre Dame," Moeller said,
sounding more like a proud father than anything else.
Powers refused to be tackled in the second half, his
legs churning like only his can, as he racked up 64
yards. Meanwhile, Johnson was bowling through the
line, consistently breaking big gains up the middle. And
Ed Davis cane in late to score the last touchdown.
The final totals, like the final score, belied some of
the problems that took too long to work out as the game
progressed. Michigan pounded out 216 yards on 44
carries Saturday, 170 coining in the final 30 minutes.
Not a bad day's work. But two good halves - and
no fumbles - against Houston is the next step.


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