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September 25, 1992 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-25

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Page 14-The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 25, 1992
Could Houston surprise?

KITOFFER GILLE ii wuaily
Tyrone Wheatley will return to action tomorrow after missing last week's
game, restoring the Wolverine's three-back rotation.

by Albert Lin
Daily Football Writer
QUARTERBACKS: Elvis Grbac isstill
questionable for this week's game.
Coach Gary Moeller said that Grbac
could play, but he is unsure whether he
wants to risk his No. 1 QB in a non-
conference matchup. So it looks like
Todd Collins, who was impressive in
his first-ever start against Oklahoma
State, will get another chance to lead
the Wolverines. If things get tight,
however, don't be surprised to see
Grbac march onto the field.
Jimmy Klingler is one of the two
quarterbacks Houston uses, succeed-
ing his brother, David, now with the
NFL's Bengals. The younger Klingler
possesses an even stronger arm than
his brother, but obviously lacks expe-
rience. Donald Douglas is designated
as the starter for Houston, but in the
team's first two games, he has put up
far inferior numbers. Klingler has at-
tempted more than three times as many
passes and has passed for over twice as
much yardage.
The Cougar quarterbacks will likely
put up huge numbers, but stats don't
tell the whole story. The system, until
they establish themselves, is what
makes them so formidable.
Advantage: EVEN
RUNNING BACKS: Michigan's trio
of tailbacks returns as Tyrone
Wheatley steps back into the lineup
after missing a week with a muscle
pull. Ricky Powers andJesseJohnson
both had disappointing games last
week, but Powers showed signs of
returning to the form that made him a

1,000-yard rusher his first two sea-
sons.
The run has always been a surprise
elementin therun-and-shoot. Thepass
opens up the ground game, and the
Cougars have taken advantage in the
past. Butthree-time 1,000-yard rusher
Chuck Weatherspoon is gone now,
and with him went Houston'sproduc-
tion. TiAndre Sanders is the team's
leading ground gainer with only 108
yards in two games.
Advantage: Michigan
RECEIVERS: The Wolverines
clearly have the better wideouts. Der-
rick Alexander proves each week
that he is a step closer to being back,
if he is not there already. Felman
Malveaux has started slowly, but he
remains a threat because of his speed.
Walter Smith continues to make
tough catches in traffic, and the two
freshmen made more suostantial con-
tributions last week. Michigan's new
secret weapon is the tight end. Tony
McGee has nine catches in two games,
more than double his career total.
Freddie Gilbert led the NCAA in
catches last year, but he has only
seven thus far in 1992. He averaged
9.6 per game last season. Outside
receiver Keith Jack is second on the
team with 10 catches, two behind
running back Sanders' total. Again,
the system produces inflated stats.
Advantage: Michigan

OFFENSIVE LINE: Michigan's line
still isn't dominating defenses like
coach Gary Moeller would like. The
talent along the front is unquestion-
able, even with right tackle Rob
Doherty out because of a shoulder
problem, but the group has not per-
formed as well as expected. The Hous-
ton defense had eight sacks last week,
so the Wolverines will have to rise to
the challenge.
Houston's offense calls foralotof
quick reads and rollouts, so pass pro-
tection is not that big an issue. And
the ground game is based more on
surprise than on blocking.
Advantage: Michigan
DEFENSIVE LINE: Michigan's de-
fensive front stepped up considerably
last week, helping to shut down Okla-
homa State's ground attack. The line
also had three sacks last week, and
applying pressure on the Houston
quarterback in order to limit his deci-
sion-making time will be crucial.
TheCougarsplay afour-man front,
and the unit has been very effective.
Nine of the team's 10 sacks have
come from linemen, with each starter
getting at least one. Houston has al-
lowed a total of 321 yards on the
ground, but has countered that posi-
tive yardage with 146 in losses, for a
net total of only 87.5 per game.
Advantage: Houston
LINEBACKERS: Inside 'backer
Steve Morrison had a huge game last
week, with 11 solo tackles and one
interception. But the rest of the corps
has not been very successful. Look at
the tackles list from the Notre Dame
game, in which Michigan's top four
tacklers were defensive backs. That
means the opposition is getting
through the linebackers.

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Houston's leading tackler is
middle linebackerRyan McCoy, who
has 27 on the year. The starting out-
side linebackers have combined for a
total of 30 stops.
Advantage: Houston
SECONDARY: The numbers fell off
a bit last week, but the defensive
backs still made their presence felt.
Corwin Brown picked off an errant
throw, and Alfie Burch came in on a
few corner blitzes, resulting in one
sack. Having to play in nickel and
dime defenses could present a chal-
lenge.
Redshirt freshman Thomas
McGaughey is listed in the media
guide as a receiver, but instead he is *
Houston's starting free safety.
McGaughey has handled his respon-
sibilities well, making 15 stops, in
cluding 13 solos, on the year. Strong
safety Tyrone Davis has 21 tackles,
second on the team.
Advantage: Michigan
KICKERs: Pete Elezovic is still the
kicker of choice, despite missing his
twoattempts last week. Eddie Azcona
has been the sole punter so far, de-
spite averaging only 37.0 yards per
kick. He did send one 54 yards in last
week's game.
Houston kicker is Trace Craft is
perfect on his four attempts this sea-
son, with a long of 42 yards in last
week's victory over Illinois. Punter
Greg Thornburgh has been slightly
worse than Azcona, averaging 33.4
yards on the same number of punts.
VA
Advantage: Houston
Golfers0
hope to
rebound
at State
by Jaeson Rosenfeld
Michigan women's golf coach
Sue LeClair hopes her golfers can
overcome the early-season jitters this
weekend when the Wolverines head
to Michigan State for the 19-team
Spartan Invitational.
Last week at the Lady Northern
Intercollegiate in Iowa City, the
linksters suffered a case of first-
round nerves putting them at a big
deficit going into the last 36 holes.
"The girls came out nervous be-
cause it was their first tournament,"
LeClair said. "The seniors in
particular felt they were to set a good
example."
The team settled down for the
second round, but any hopes for a
high finish were thwarted by a third
round rainout. Michigan was only
able to muster an eighth-place finish
in the tournament, though LeClair

counted on placing in the top five.
LeClair, however, remains opti-
mistic about the Wolverines chances
in the Spartan Invitational.
"We're hoping to finish right
near the top," said LeClair of the
tournament, which will include Big
Ten powers Indiana and Wisconsin.
LeClair is counting on senior co-
captains Tricia Good and Wendy
Bigler as well as freshman Shannon
McDonald for sub-80 scores.
McDonald, according to LeClair,
played well in practice this week,
shooting even-par on the front side
of the Michigan golf course.
. Joining Bigler, Good, and
McDonald at the 5,997-yard Forest
Akers East Course are senior Maura
Hawkins, junior Tegan McCorkel
and sophomore Jenny Zimmerman.
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