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September 09, 1994 - Image 43

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-09
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x-18- TEMichigan Daily - Kicko 4 - Friday, September 9, 4

0 0


Th Michigan Daily -

Powlus, Taylor
If you mind what the pundits say of -
Ron Powlus, Notre Dame's redshirt
freshman quarterback, you mightthink
he was sent down to South Bend by
Touchdown Jesus himself. ;U tr
If you listen to Irish coach Lou
Holtz, you may believehe comes from -
a place perhaps even more legendary.
"We did not go to Krypton to re-
cruit him," Holtz says. "Nor did we
send his scholarship there." Vetu nI
Whether his father's name was Jor- M
El or not, Powlus is a super quarterback "We did i
- in just his first year of action. He go to Kra
leads an Irish squad with the typical recruit
amount of offensive weapons and de-
fensive stoppers.Pw1US
After losing seven starters on de- did we s
fense and six on offense, Holtz may i schol
have to dig deep into his roster. tsip her,
The offensive backfield represents p
the one area about which the Irish need -Lod
not worry. The top five rushers from r K.

anchor an Irish
o draw on depth

Without Stanley, defensive line will focus 0:

last season return, led by tailbacks
Lee Becton and Randy Kinder.
But there should be a little less
daylight for the backs this season, after
the loss of standouts Tim Ruddy (cen-
ter) and Aaron Taylor (guard). Tackle
Ryan Leahy and guard Mark Zataveski,
both seniors, are the only returning
starters on the line and will key the
group's performance.
If the offensive linemen can give
Powlus consistent time to look
downfield, expect him to air it out.
"He's not what you call a picture
passer," Holtz says. "He just finds a
way to get the ball to the receiver."
And there will be plenty of speed
down the passing lanes. Explosive
flanker Mike Miller and split end Der-
rick Mayes should make Irish fans for-
get the loss of flanker Lake Dawson.
Against Northwestern in Notre
Dame's first game this season, Miller
caught seven balls for 142 yards and
one touchdown, while Mayes grabbed
six passes and two scores.
Powlus also has capable targets in
tight ends Charles Stafford and Pete
But Notre Dame's biggest question
mark is on defense. The Irish defense
lost five of 1993's top six tacklers and
has numerous holes.
"Our defense ... is not as strong as
in the past," says Holtz.
End Brian Hamilton (42 tackles,
four sacks in 1993) and nose guard

Players on the defensive line are
rarely recognized for finesse, and
Michigan's line is no different. But line
coach Greg Mattison says that to com-
pensate for key players lost to gradua-
tion, his players must place renewed
emphasis on form and technique.
Middle guard Buster Stanley, who
was fourth in the Big Ten with eight
sacks and sixth on the team with 47
tackles last year, will be missed.
"Buster would come out every
single practice and every single game
and try as hard as he could, and not just
burn up calories," Mattison says.
How will the line compensate for
such aloss?
"There's enough talent to be able to
make up for it," Mattison says. Stanley
brought pride and a work ethic to the
team that the coach says he'd like to see
carried over into this year's squad.
In the new line, Mattison sees char-
acteristics that will help make up for
the loss of two starters.
Senior middle guard Tony
Henderson will be called upon to lead
the line. Henderson had a subpar sea-
son in 1993, finishing 14th on the team
with 23 tackles, after being named sec-
ond team All-Big Ten the previous
year. But the coaches are confident
he'll return to top form.
"(He) has shown signs in the first
game of being the kind of player we
hoped he would have been last year,"
Mattison says.

and Minnesota games.
Sophomore Damon Denson, who
started last season's final four games,
backs up Horn. Horn and sophomore
Will Carr, who played in the Minne-
sota and Purdue games last year, fill in
for Henderson. And sophomore Steve
Evans, who saw action in five games
last year, backs up Zenkewicz.
How can the line improve?
"We're not good enough right now

'We're not good enough right now to I
able to just go in there and be aggress
We've got to use technique to get to 1
--Greg M
defensive line

We are Michig,

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All-American Bobby Taylor will give the opposition fits throughout 1994. He
blocked three field goals and picked off four passes last year.

Oliver Gibson (34 tackles) lead the
way along the line.
The Irish have top, if unproven,
talent at the linebacker positions. Justin
Goheen (92 tackles in 1993) is the
leading defensive stopper at inside line-
backer, while sophomores Lyron
Cobbins and converted defensive back
Kinnon Tatum are green on the inside.
Junior Renaldo Wynn and senior
Jeremy Nau will see plenty of time in
Notre Dame's 3-4 setup.
Three of last year's four starters in
the defensive secondary are no longer
with the team. But the one returnee,
junior All-American Bobby Taylor is
huge. After playing cornerback last

season, Taylor (51 tackles, four inter-
ceptions in 1993) will switch to free
safety. This guy is a game-breaker.
Senior Travis Davis should start at
the other safety position. Top backups
in the past, Brian Magee and LaRon
Moore will start at the corners.
The Irish have always been known
to lose key players but not miss a beat.
With the athletes Notre Dame has on
this year's squad, Holtz should be able
to plug in players and keep on chug-
So when the coach says: "I don't
know how we're going to come to-
gether," take it with a grain of salt.
- Brett Forrest

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As a fifth-year senior Henderson
also is expected to motivate the line.
"There's a little more pressure than
I felt last year," Henderson says. "That
leader thing comes out when the
younger guys are going to be looking at
you to make a play."
Junior tackle Trent Zenkewicz
provides consistency. He has game
experience in the past two seasons, but
was hindered by injuries during both.
Zenkewicz made tackles for loss in
three of the four games he played last
year, and made a seven-yard sack that
forced a punt in the 1994 Hall of Fame
Bowl victory.
Junior Jason Horn brings strength
to the line. He's moved to tackle from
middle guard, where he played most of
his games during the two years he's
seen game action. Horn made several
big plays last season, including sacks
during the Ohio State, Michigan State

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