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March 18, 1996 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-18

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 18, 1996 - 7B

FOOTBALL

Questions loom as stars leave

By Ryan White
Daily Sports Writer
There will be good news waiting for
Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr
when spring practice begins today: nine
of last season's 11 defensive starters
will be there to greet him.
The bad news is that Carr will be
trying to find replacements for receiv-
ers Amani Toomer and Mercury Hayes,
linemen Jon Runyan and Joe Marinaro,
and back Tshimanga Biakabutuka,
which will occupy most of Carr's time.
There is also that pesky quarterback
problem.
Sophomore Scott Dreisbach started
the first four games of last season be-
fore injuring ligaments in his right
thumb on his throwing hand, in a freak
accident during practice.
Junior Brian Griese replaced Dreisbach
and went 5-4 in finishing the season.
Heading into practice, however, po-
sitions are switched. Dreisbach is
healthy and ready to go, while Griese is
hindered with a sore right shoulder.
"I would like to see Scott take up
where he left off, but improve on the
fundamentals he needs to improve on,"
Carr said of his returning signal caller.
"He's got all the physical attributes, he
just needs to improve on the mental
aspects of the game."
Before his injury, Dreisbach had com-
pleted 56 of his 106 passes and led
Michigan to a 4-0 start. Griese passed
for 1,577 yards while completing 53.4
percent of his passes.
While Dreisbach is favored to regain

the starting job, Carr isn't looking to
make the decision during the next three
weeks of workouts.
"You don't become a quarterback
over night," Carr said. "They both have
a lot to improve on, a lot of fundamental
things to improve on."
Carr also wants to take good looks at
redshirt freshmen Tom Brady and
DiAllo Johnson.
While Carr has plenty of quarter-
backs to choose from, he's not sure to
whom they will throw the ball.
The loss of Toomer and Hayes leaves
the Wolverines with a very thin corps of
receivers.
Only Tyrone Butterfield, Todd
Brooks, Anthony Williams, Terrance
Quinn and Tai Streets return for Michi-
gan. That group combined for just 10
catches last season.
At the running back position, Carr
will have to decide who is going to
replace Biakabutuka, who is leaving
school early for the NFL.
Don't expect to see just one player
equal Biakabutuka's 303 carries last
year, though.
"Biakabutuka carried the ball more
times than any back I'd seen in a long
time," Carr said. "He was physically
capable of doing that. What we have to

do this year is spread that part of oui
offense out."
That responsibility will fall on the
shoulders of three backs: juniors Chris
Floyd and Chris Howard and sopho
more Clarence Williams.
The three combined for 642 yards
last season. Williams led the way, rush
ing for 261 yards on 60 carries.
Carr's final problem will be filling in-
the holes left by the graduation ofMarinaro:
and Runyan's early departure.
Runyan's hole at left tackle may be
filled by last season's starting tackle on
the right side, Jon Jansen. That would
leave senior Thomas Guynes the start
ing spot on the right side.
"We have to rebuild," Carr said. "We
have the makeup of a good offensive
line, but we have some work to do."
Carr won't really know what he has
until next summer, though, when the
freshmen report to camp.
The performances of DavidBowens,
Charles Woodson and Clarence Will
iams proved that freshmen can make an
impact, and the same could be true next
season.
"We have to see where we are in
terms of weaknesses and strengths to
see what we need to do going into the
fall," he said.

,Brian rWese, in action here against Indiana, is in a battle with Scott Dreisbach for the starting quarterback position on the
Michigan football team.
Field conditions cancel spring game
Drainage problems render Michigan Stadium unusable

By Ryan White
Daily Sports Writer
Lastyear, injuriesprevented the Michi-
gan football team from playing its normal
spring game.
'This ear, the blame lies in Michigan
StadiTni - on it, to
be exact.
Due to drainage
problems with the
stadium's turf, and Yo t
work being done to
Correct the problem, Notebook
ere will not be a
spring game this year.
Injuries to numer-
ous players caused
former coach Gary
Moellerto hold a controlled scrimmage
in the place of the normal intrasquad
gamelast April.
"Our players look forward to it. I think
everyone looks forward to it," Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr said of the game. "I'm
*isappointed we can't have it."
Moving the game to another location
was ruled out because there is no ad-

equate facility available nearby.
Eastern Michigan's Rynearson Sta-
dium is large enough, but the Eagles are
having problems with their artificial
turf and are actually talking to Michi-
gan about using its practice facilities.
Carr does, however, plan on opening
up a practice for players' parents to
come and watch.
KICKING OFF: Carr said one of his
biggest priorities during spring practice
will beto improve the Wolverines' kick-
ing game.
"I think two of our four losses a year
ago were directly attributable to the
kicking game," Carr said, referring to
defeats against Michigan State and
Texas A&M.
Carr also said that the kicking game
was a big part of the Wolverines' loss to
Penn State.
DOWN AND BACK: Two players will
miss the beginning of spring practice,
but one will be back.
Linebacker Mike Elston and defensive
end Juaquin Feazell are both recovering
from injuries and will not be with the

squad when workouts begin today.
However, cornerback Charles
Woodson, who injured his knee in the
Wolverines' 22-20 loss to Texas A&M
in the Dec. 28 Alamo Bowl, will be
back.
Carr said Woodson will be held out
of contact drills for the first week to see
how the knee reacts.
Woodson won last year's Big Ten
Freshman of the Year honor and was
named first team All-Big Ten by the
conference's coaches.
MOvING ON: Two players who were
on last season's roster won't be there
this year, even though they are eligible
to play.
Offensive guard Ron Acheson has
decided to give up football, and full-
back George Howell has made the deci-
sion to transfer. Howell saw limited
action last year after moving from line-
backer to fullback.
"George's father has an illness and
his career hadn't gone like he had hoped,
so he is going to transfer to a school
closer to home," Carr said.

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UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

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(Sgls & Dbls)
TABLE
TENNIS
(SgIs & DbIs)
CROSS
COUNTRY
RUN

Entry Deadline: Thurs 3/21 4:30pm IMSB Main Office
Entry Fee: $5.00 for SgIs/$9.00 for Dbls
Tournament Format: Pool Play followed by Sgl Elim Tour
Tournament Dates: Sat 3/23 & Sun 3/24 at IMSB Courts
Entry Deadline: Thurs 3/28 4:30pm IMSB Main Office
Entry Fee: $5.00 for SgIs/$9.00 for Dbls
Tournament Format: Pool Play followed by Sgl Elim Tour
Tournament Dates: Sat 3/30 at Sports Coliseum
Entry Deadline: Thurs 4/11 4:30pm IMSB Main Office
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If you are going to be around during the Spring/Summer Terms,
plan on participating in Softball, Sand Volleyball,
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U,
11

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