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January 06, 1993 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-01-06

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Sports Wednesday - January 6, 1993

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Dream Weaver
Tony McGee fashions storybook ending to career

Wheatley
Rushing
Player Att Yds Avg Lq
Wheatley 15 235 15.7 88
Davis 9 35 3.9 7
Powers 6 28 4.7 24
Legette 5 12 2.4 4
Grbac 1 -2 -2.0 -2
Total 36 308 8.6 88
Passing
Player C-A Yds TD Int
Grbac 17-30 175 2 0
Receiving
Player No Yds Avg TD
.McGee 6 117 19.5 2
Smith 3 19 6.3 0
Alexander 3 18 6.0 0
Wheatley 2 4 2.0 0
Hayes 1 10, 10.0 0
Malveaux 1 5 5.0 0
Le ette 1 2 2.0 0
Total 17 175 10.3 2
Punting
Player No Yds Avg La
Stapleton 6 222 37.0 42
Team 1 0 0.0 0
Total 7 222 31.7 42
Punt Returns
Player No Yds Avg Lg

by Jeni Durst
Daily Football Writer
PASADENA - Fortunately for Tony McGee
and the rest of the Michigan team, sometimes
dreams don't come true.
McGee, who was the only Wolverine besides
Tyrone Wheatley and Pete Elezovic to put up
points in Michigan's 38-31 defeat of Wash-
ington, was plagued with a dream filled with his
playing mistakes before Friday's matchup.
"1 had a dream the other night I was in one of
those plays - up-the-middle plays - and
(quarterback) Elvis (Grbac) threw the ball right
on the money and I missed it," McGee said. "I'd
start at one end of the bed and end up at the other
I was so nervous. I had to get that out of my
mind. I saw myself drop (the ball). I got that
negative thought out and out of the way."
Come game time, the negatives were defi-
nitely out of mind and out of the way and all that
were left were postitives. McGee connected with
Grbac for several over-the-middle plays, hauling
in six passes for 117 yards and two of Michi-
gan's five touchdowns. He was the only Michi-
gan receiver to score on the day.
Though it is Wheatley's electrifying runs, in-
cluding an 88-yard score from scrimmage, that
spectators will remember most about this year's
Rose Bowl, it was a McGee catch that clinched
the Michigan victory, breaking the 31-31 tie late
in the fourth quarter."I didn't know McGee
caught the ball until I heard the crowd," Grbac
said. "I got hit and was on my back, but I knew
what happened from the roar that went up."
Late in the first quarter, McGee's, and Michi-
gan's, first touchdown enabled the Wolverines to
regain the lead, putting them up, 10-7. Grbac
dropped the ball over the middle to the senior,
who dashed untouched 49 yards into the endzone.

"I was like, 'Dang, I hope I'm not running
slow'," McGee said of his TD run. "I knew I
wasn't up on my toes like I should be. I'll prob-
ably hear about it when I look at the film."
Even though McGee's running style may not
have been on track, his hands surely were. lis re-
ceptions accounted for all but 58 of Michigan's
175 passing yards and his two touchdowns tied a
Rose Bowl record for TD receptions. It is an un-
usual occurance for a team that in the past hasn't.
normally utilized its tight ends.
"We came into the season with a new coach,
new position coach, and it was a new type of
learning," McGee said. "I know what everyone
else on the offense was doing - not just myself.
We wanted to take the tight end to another level."
Which is exactly what the 6-foot-5 native of
Terre Haute, Ind., did. McGee's afternoon tally of
six catches is two more receptions than he had
registered in his entire career prior to this season.
In this first year as a starter McGee had racked
up 32 receptions for 350 yards and four touch-
downs before Saturday's game, second on the
team to Derrick Alexander in receptions.
"This is a very gratifying feeling," McGee
said. "For three years I haven't really gotten the
chance to play and I come here and play my best.
I can't really describe the feelings with words.
But I'm not just happy for myself but for the
whole team. It cane at the right time."
McGee's gratifying play helped lead his
Michigan team to its first Rose Bowl victory in
the last four years and only its fifth in the last
29. After a disappointing loss to the Huskies last
year in Pasedena, the Wolverines were determined
to hand Washington a defeat this season.
McGee's offensive production was one of the ma-
jor factors in reaching that goal.
"I just looked up and said 'Thank God',"

McGee said about his actions after the final sec-
onds had ticked away. "I got next to the trophy
and said that 'Hi Mom'. You have to get one of
those in."
Yet, McGee is not one to claim any signifi-
cant credit in his team's accomplishment. In-
stead, he cites Grbac, Michigan's offensive line,
Alexander and the rest of the receiving corps as
the reason for his and the squad's success.
"(Washington) has to worry about Derrick,
Felman, all the guys you see," McGee explained.
"I have to give all the credit to Elvis; he got me
the ball. Their defense gave me the opportunity
to score and we exploited the opportunity."
Though the Husky defense did seem to leave
McGee virtually alone in the open field, Michi-
gan coach Gary Moeller has a different take on
McGee's talent and contributions to the Wolver-
ines victory.
"I don't think there is a better tight end in the
nation right now than Tony McGee," Moeller
said.
If Moeller's praise rings true, one has to won-
der what NFL dreams lie ahead for McGee.
Though it would be a boon to him to make it in
professional football, McGee will receive his de-
gree in communications in May and is leaving
his options open.
"That's why you play football, you want to
make it in the NFL," McGee said. "It would be a
great honor to be in the NFL but if it doesn't
happen ... I'll make my mark somewhere else."
At the moment, McGee will savor the excite-
ment of the Rose Bowl victory and the last game
of his collegiate career.
"As a Michigan team that's our goal, to win
the Rose Bowl - to sing 'The Victors' in
Pasadena," McGee said.
In this case, sometimes dreams do come true.

In the first quarter, Michigan.tight end
of his two touchdowns. The two TD rec

HUSKY
Continued from page 1
When asked at the iostgamne
press conference if he was surprised
at the size of the openings, Wheatley
motioned to the five linemen behind
him and answered, "No, not at all. I
mean, look at 'em. Would you be
surprised?"
But as well as the Michigan of-
fense executed, the game proved to
be a see-saw affair. That's because
neither side could stop the other
from scoring. For every Wolverine
touchdown jaunt there was a
Washington answer.

"It was a shootout. The momen-
tumn went back and forth, back and
forth," said Grbac, who closed out
his career with 175 yards on 17-for-
30 passing. "It seemed like whoever
got the ball last was gonna win the
game. Luckily, our defense really
stopped them there in the end."
Lucky, indeed. On fourth down
from its own 44 with just over a
minute left and the play clock run-
ning down, Michigan hurried a kick
rather than call a timeout, and Chris
Stapleton's punt was blocked. Wash-
ington recovered at the line of scrim-
mage - down, 38-31 - and had
plenty of time to try to tie or win

the game.
"We had to find a way to stop
them," said outside linebacker Matt
Dyson, who had seven tackles on the
day, including the game's only sack.
"We had to find a way to dig deep
and come up with the big play."
Washington quarterback Mark
Brunell, the 1991 Rose Bowl MVP
and a thorn in Michigan's side all
day long, tried to work some more
magic. Earlier, in the second quarter
on back-to-back drives, Brunell had
escaped the Michigan rush and found
receivers well downfield for gains of
64 and 55 yards. Both possessions
ended in touchdowns.

This time, however, the Mich=
igan defense tightened up. Brunell
went for big gainers on first and
second down, but overthrew one
receiver and nearly had the second at-
tempt intercepted. On third down, he
looked to his tight end for a first
down, but threw high.
So Washington's season came
down to one last play. And the
Wolverines did not break. Brunell
thought he saw a passing lane, but
the ball fell to the ground in a crowd
of white uniforms. The celebration
began with 43 seconds remaining,
and it continued well after the final
gun.

Records set or tied by Mic
Rose Bowl record .
Tyrone Wheatley: Longest rua
Tyrone Wheatley: Most touch
Tony McGee: Most touchdow
School records:
Tyrone Wheatley: Most rushiy
Elvis Grbac: Most completion
Elvis Grbac: Most touchdovwn
career: 7
Elvis Grbac: Most passing,.
Elvis Grbac: Most completiomh
Team: Most touchdowns, sda

Alexarider 1

28 28.0

Kickoff Returns
Player No Yds Avg La
Hayes 3 49 16.3 23
Wheatley 1 22 22.0 22
Total 4 71 17.8 23
Defense
Player Tac Ast Tot
Ware 5 4 9
Brown 6 2 8
Morrison 7 0 7
Dyson 4 3 7
Henderson 4 3 7
Stanley 5 0 5
Law 4 1 5
Hutchinson 3 2 5
Aghakhan 2 2 4
Peoples 2 2 4
Powers 3 0 3
McThomas 2 1 3
Collins 2 0 2
Maloney 1 1 2
Steuk 1 1 2
Blankenship 1 0 1
Buff 1 0 1
Dudlar 1 0 1
Smith 1 0 1
Scoring Summary
FIRST QUARTER:
Elezovic 41-yd field goal,
7:11.
U-M 3, Washington 0
McGee 49-yd pass from
Grbac (Elezovic PAT),
2:07.
U-M 10, Washington 7
SECOND QUARTER:
Wheatley 56-yd run (Elezovic
PAT), 11:12.
U-M 17, Washington 7
THIRD QUARTER:
Wheatley 88-yd run (Elezovic
PAT), 14:44.
U-M 24, Washington 21
Wheatley 24-yd run (Elezovic
PAT), 1:48.
U-M 31, Washington 31

John Niyo

Long wait
Seniors e x

PASADENA - The Case of the Missing
Leaders was a baffling one.
Michigan fans first became aware of the mys-
tery in early September, as they watched in
agony as the Wolverines walked off the field at
Notre Dame. Without a loss, but also without a
win.
The enigma disappeared, popping up now and
again in the back pages of the daily newspaper
until the snow flurries began in mid-November.
Another tie, this time at home to Illinois. And
then another, at Ohio State.
Where had all our heroes gone? More impor-
tantly, where had all our leaders gone? All the
suspects gathered one more time Jan. 1 in
Pasadena. One last chance to solve the puzzle.
Consider it case closed.
It was a youngster who won the game, really.
Without Tyrone Wheatley, there would not
have been any celebration in the Michigan lock-
erroom this time. No helmets raised in triumph
on the field under the lights after the game. This
Rose Bowl would have been like the last one.
Quick showers. Long faces. Long summers.
Michigan's head coach, Gary Moeller, still
would be hunting for a first Rose Bowl victory.
Michigan's players still would be hearing how
they were second-class citizens among the na-
tion's top teams. And Michigan's fans still would
be searching for new excuses.
Wheatley, on one leg no less, made sure that
didn't happen. Spurred by a motivational history
lesson from backfield coach Fred Jackson,
Wheatley galloped into the end zone three times
and earned MVP honors in leading Michigan's
charge to victory.
"Tyrone," Jackson had told him weeks earlier,
"for us to win this game you're going to have to
gain over 200 yards."
He did. And afterwards, the ones with the
look of relief, the ones who let out the deepest
sighs of contentment. were the seniors Thev had

Stomping back and forth across the stage,
Brown - the man who brought most of the
emotional fire to the defense all year long -
screamed into the microphone about what the
game meant to him and the other fifth-year
seniors.
"IT'S TIME TO PAY THE PIPER!" he
yelled, among other things.
And the rest of the players, properly dressed
in their suits, looked at each other and smiled and
winked. If he's like this today, they thought to
themselves, imagine what he'll be like tomorrow
before the game.
Leaders and best. That's what the 100,000 or
so fans laud in triumphant sing-song at every
Michigan home game. The several thousand
Wolverine faithful in attendance in Pasadena
sang it some more, while crossing their fingers
and hoping for the best. Hoping they still would
be singing "The Victors" when the final seconds
ticked off the clock.
They were. Washington, which matched
Michigan step-for-step the whole way, exited to
its lockerroom after the Wolverine defense
stopped the final drive. Michigan stayed. Turned
to the crowd, raised the hehnets and sang.
And cried. Hutchinson, an all-American who
will probably be in medical school at this time
next year, simply broke down and cried.
"If it's my last game (of football), I couldn't
have finished on a higher note," Hutchinson said
in the lockerroom after things had calmed down
some. "It all came together when I heard every-
one singing 'Hail to The Victors' in the Rose
Bowl."
Moeller felt much the same.
"I couldn't be happier. The one thing.
Michigan wanted to do... " Moeller said, pausing
to choke back tears (tears of relief more than
anything), "is that we wanted to sing 'The,
Victors' in Pasadena."
---

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