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November 02, 1992 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



P

U

R D

U

E

1

7

a
ik

Johnson ignites Blue
Tailback leads comeback with 118 rushing yards

1

by John Niyo
Daily Football Writer
WEST LAFAYETTE - Jesse
Johnson, as usual, picked a nice time
to remind everyone just how explo-
sive he can be when he gets the
chance.
Once a year, sometime during the
middle of the season, Gary Moeller
can count on Johnson to provide a
spark and carry his Michigan team.
Saturday in West Lafayette was one
such day.
Johnson helped bring the
Wolverines roaring back from a 17-
7 halftime deficit with 17 unan-
swered points. He rushed for 92
yards on 13 carries in the third quar-
ter alone, and 118 for the game.
"At halftime, coach Moeller said
we needed something like this to get
us going," Johnson said. "It was like
a test."
But Johnson has seen tests like
this before.
He burst onto the scene last sea-
son with a 22-carry, 168-yard per-
formance at Iowa, lifting the
Wolverines after a sluggish start.
Iowa jumped out to a quick 18-7
lead, but Michigan, led by Johnson,
scrambled back to take a 19-18 lead
at the half.
"It took a little longer this time,"
Moeller joked after Saturday's vic-
tory. "He must have been tired."
Aly Tired of being behind on the
scoreboard, maybe.
"We knew we had to come out

and play harder," said Johnson, who
became Moeller's No. 1 back
Saturday when Tyrone Wheatley
was hit in the head after fumbling
the kickoff to open the third quarter.
For Johnson, it was just a matter
of coming out and playing. He had
carried the ball only two times for
seven yards in the first half.
"I thought Jesse Johnson did an
excellent job," Moeller said. "He hit
the holes quicker in the second half.
They were ready for our initial
gameplan."
Johnson agreed with that assess-
ment, but said that the changes made
at halftime were mostly mental.
"We knew we had to win this
game," Johnson said, "so we knew
we just had to go out and do it."
Michigan "just did it" right after
halftime. After Wheatley muffed the
opening kickoff, the Wolverines
marched 92 yards downfield for a
touchdown.
Johnson racked up 35 of those
yards on seven carries. He took the
first play from scrimmage 13 yards
off-tackle. Two plays later he busted
a 10-yard run for another first down.
It was apparent that the old
Wolverines had returned.
"I knew I had to get the job
done," said Johnson, crediting the
offensive line with much of his suc-
cess. "I just picked the holes, they
made 'em."
But even when Johnson found
the holes in the first half, big gains

didn't always result. He said part of
the reason may have been the slip-
pery turf, which bothered the players
all day long.
"I had to concentrate on cutting
on my inside foot, instead of my
outside foot."
Moeller had some better advice.
"On one screen pass early on, he
made a half-stop and then got tack-
led," Moeller said. "I told him, 'Hey,
just run and use your instinct.' And
God, that's what he did."
Run, Jesse run. Moeller said he
got the OK to put Wheatley back
into the game, but he declined.
"When you've got a running
back going good like that, you keep
him out there," Moeller said.
Johnson took the first play of the
second drive up the middle for three
yards. Then he broke loose on the
next play for a 49-yard gain, pop-
ping through a big hole on the right
side and racing down the sideline
before being pushed out at the
Purdue 24.
"Joe (Cocozzo) had a big block
that got me outside," Johnson said.
"And then I just took off."
Johnson capped the drive with
three straight carries - a pair of
one-yarders and then a three-yard
plunge for the go-ahead touchdown.
In less than a quarter, Johnson had
helped pull this one from out of the
fire.
"That's what good backs do," se-
nior tight end Tony McGee said.

Rushing
Player -At Yds, Avg La
Alstott 16 101 6.3 33
4ponners 16 46 2.6 9
Hunter 14 69 2.6 13
Coleman 3 20 6.7 10
Morrow 1 2 2.0 2
Malden 1 2 2.0 2
Totals 51 203 4.0 33
Passing
Player C-A Yds TD Int
Hunter 11-22 209 1 1
Receiving
Player No Yds Avg TD
Dennis 4 74 18.5 0
Green 3 37 12.3 1
Ross 2 83 41.5 0
Alstott 2 14 7.0 0
Totals 11 209 19.0 1
Punting
Player No Yds Avg La
Ulinksi 4 139 34.8 39
Punt Returns
Player No Yds Avg Lg
Calloway 2 10 5.0 6
Ross 1 4 4.0 4

Total

3 14 4.7

6

Kickoff Returns
Player No Yds Ava La
Ross 2 51 25.5 26
Calloway 2 31 15.5 17
Total 4 82 20.5 26
Defense
Player Tac Ast Tot

EVAN PETF
who led Michigan's comeback with 118 rushing yards on 20 carries.

.-.A A A A A A A A A

AAA A Al{ A

1 t
/ic
fic
Jlic
1 i'c
djic]

hi Saturday's triumph,
higan established a
ard with 18 consecutive
Ten victories. The games
he streak:
1990
higan 45, Indiana 19
higan 38, Purdue 13
higan 22, Illinois 17
higan 35, Minnesota 18
higan 16, Ohio State 13

0 1991

Aichigan
Aichigan
'ichigan,
'ichgan!
'ichigan
Aichigan!
Aichigan;
lichigan

43,
45,
24,
52,
42,
59,
20,
31,
1
52,
35,
31,
63,

Iowa 24
Michigan St. 28
Indiana 16
Minnesota 6
Purdue 0
N'Western 14
Illinois 0
Ohio St. 3
992
Iowa 28
Michigan St. 10
Indiana 3
Minnesota 13

igan
igan

FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK_
by Jeni Durst
Daily Football Writer
WEST LAFAYETTE - It was the kind of unbelievable game that made
you think that annoying Energizer bunny would march across the field. But
it was a little surprising when a hare actually appeared.
In the midst of the third quarter, during Michigan's second scoring drive
of the stanza, a brown bunny scurried onto the playing field.
Frightened by the noise of the game, the rabbit ran toward the south goal,
eliciting screams from the crowd when he crossed the goal line.
Play was stopped as bugs proceeded to scamper twice more the length of
the field before being chased out of the south end of Ross-Ade Stadium.
The rabbit rushed for 286 total yards, notching three touchdowns. It even
got its last TD run analyzed in slow-motion instant replay on ESPN.
A couple of Boilermakers expressed concern that the rabbit's antics took
the crowd out of the game and hurt their defensive intensity, but Purdue
coach Jim Colletto had only one thought.
"We need to hire him as a running back," Colletto joked.
OFFENSIVE OFFENSE: Not following in the footsteps of the rabbit, for
the first time this season, a team registered more total offensive yardage
than the Wolverines. Michigan was ranked first in the nation in offensive
production going into Saturday's matchup.
Purdue registered 412 total yards on offense, gaining close to the same
mark rushing and passing at 203 and 209 respectively. Hurt by a poor first
half performance, the Wolverines netted only 376 yards, with only 207 from
the rushing game, a far cry from Michigan's running performances in recent
contests.
INJURIES US:, Adding' to the injury woes that have plagued the
Michigan defense this season, inside linebacker Marcus Walker suffered a
pinched nerve in the first half of Saturday's game. Walker's backup Dave
Dobreff filled in for the rest of the contest.
The same problem cropped up two weekends ago when cornerback
Coleman Wallace went down with a pinched nerve in his shoulder.
Wallace missed the matchup vs. Purdue.
INJURIES THEM: Colletto walked into Saturday's postgame press
conference sporting a discouraged look and a bandage covering almost his
entire left arm. Everyone can guess the origin of the discouragement, but the
source of the bandage was another story.
Apparently, Colletto got his headset ripped off last weekend against
Iowa when a player tripped over the wire. The headset hit Colletto, who
suffers from high blood pressure, on the arm, causing some bleeding under
his skin.
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS: The National Football Foundation Hall
of Fame has chosen Michigan outside linebacker Chris Hutchinson as one
of 15 players nationwide to receive its scholar-athlete award. Hutchinson
will get an $18,000 prize to apply toward a graduate education. Hutchinson
plans to attend medical school.

A hopping good time
for this little furry fella
Not to be outdone, quarterback Elvis Grbac has been named one of six
finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The prize goes to the
top senior quarterback in the nation.
HOME SWEET HOME: Two Wolverines got a chance to perform for
their home crowd Saturday. Jason Horn, a redshirt freshman and backup
defensive lineman from Lafayette, performed to his peek this season in front
of family and friends.
Horn registered two solo tackles, including a sack on Purdue quarterback
Eric Hunter for a loss of 11 yards on third down.
Tony McGee, from Terra Haute, wanted to excel in front of the 10
relatives and friends that made the trip to Purdue to watch him play. McGee
grabbed four passes, one for his fourth touchdown of the season.

Johnson
Batten
Adams
Beatty
Conley
Zgonina
Young
Cole
Gray
Buckland
Delvy
Hal
Brown
KakIis
O'Connor
Thurman
Walker
Strickland
Maciag

11
9
5
4
7
6
5
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0

Scoring Summary
FIRST QUARTER:
O'Leary 34-yd FG, 10:28
Purdue 3, Michigan 0
Hunter 5-yd rush (O'Leary
PAT), 5:46.
Purdue 10, Michigan 0
SECOND QUARTER:
Green 5-yd pass from Hunter
(O'Leary PAT), 7:56.
Purdue 17, Michigan 10
THIRD QUARTER:
no scoring
FOURTH QUARTER:
no scoring

13
10
9
9
8
7
5
4
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

lichigan 24, Purdue 17I

After running the length of the field three times, this rabbit paused in the end
zone for a Desmond Howard-like pose.

r

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