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September 12, 1996 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-12

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Thursday, September - 1996 - Kickoff

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Offense

For those who enjoy a good mystery,
Michigan's quarterback situation must
be a real bore.
Because unlike a year ago, it's no
secret who the Wolverines' top signal-
caller is.
Sophomore Scott Dreisbach tops a
group of quarterbacks that looks to be
at least four deep.
"A year ago, the biggest problem
was that we had no experience at quar-
terback," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "We have a lot of experience
coming back at quarterback, and that
position should be a strength of the
team."
Last season, the Wolverines
appeared headed for a year of quarter-
back by committee when Virginia
came to town for the Pigskin Classic.
Carr gave Dreisbach the nod, and the
redshirt freshman responded by throw-
ing for a school-record 372 yards and
two touchdowns, including the game
winner with no time left on the clock.
Not bad for a first-career start.
Dreisbach was 4-0 as a starter
before tearing ligaments on his right
(throwing) hand. He missed
Michigan's last nine games as the team
faded to a 9-4 finish.
"It's been my view that (Dreisbach)
did an outstanding job in the four
games he started," Carr said. "So with
his hand recovered, there's no reason to
think he's not going to pick up where
he left off."
Against Illinois two weeks ago,
Dreisbach had mediocre passing stats
(11-of-23 for 117 yards and a touch-
down), but showed surprising speed on
a 72-yard scoring jaunt.
While Dreisbach was out last sea-
son, Brian Griese led the Wolverines.
He was 5-4 as Carr's head man, throw-
ing for 1,577 yards, 13 touchdowns
and 10 interceptions. The junior also
helped engineer Michigan's stunning
31-23 upset of then-No. 2 Ohio State
in the regular-season finale.
But Griese's offseason did not mir-
ror the success of the win over the
Buckeyes. He had a run-in with the
law at a local sports bar last spring.
And Griese has struggled on the
field, too.
"Brian did not have a great spring,"
Carr said. "I think he has to play better
this fall than he-did this spring."
Still, Griese's experience is a plus
for the Wolverines, even if he isn't
Dreisbach's No. I backup.
That slot belongs to redshirt fresh-
man Tom Brady.._

ition
around, he was 188, and at the start of
w fall practices, 196.
Williams insisted that the extra
weight didn't slow him down, and he
proved it against the Fighting. Illini,
hitting holes as quickly as he did last
season in limited back-up time.
The final variable in the Michigan
backfield is junior fullback Chris
Floyd.
Floyd rushed for only 18 yards on
seven carries against Illinois, but Carr
is expecting big things from him this
season.
"I think he gained confidence from
the fact that, a year ago, he had a very
good fall," Carr said. "I look for him
to be as good a fullback as there is in
the conference."
- Ryan White

Try our famous colliders! Choose any of
our 22 fruit, cereal, and candy toppings
to create your own Colombo
non-fat yogurt shake.
812 South State SI

AP PHOTO
Lendon Henry and Colorado ran by rival Colorado State last weekend. The Buffaloes' speed and quickness will test Michigan
on Saturday in Boulder, Colo. Many believe Colorado has the talent to challenge for the national championship this season.
Quarterback Koy Detmer'leads the Colorado attack. The senior signal-caller has a couple of weapons to choose from in wide
receiver Rae Carruth and-tailback Herchell Troutman.

EVAN PETRIE/Special to the Daily
Clarence Williams will have to get by a lot of tacklers to make up for Michigan's loss of Tim Biakabutuka.

"I think Tom Brady is going to be a
factor in the quarterback race," Carr
said. "He had a great spring and has a
lot of ability."
Redshirt freshman DiAllo Johnson
will make sure Dreisbach, Griese and
Brady come ready to practice every
day. Johnson has the ability to press
the others.
"DiAllo Johnson is a guy we are
going to look at very hard this fall,"
Carr said. "He has a lot of abilities the
other three don't have."
- Barry Sollenberger

If anything was learned about
Michigan's running game from the
first contest, it's that we're going to
have to wait until Colorado for any real
answers.
Yes, sophomore Clarence Williams
ran for 95 yards against Illinois, but he
is only half of the tailback contingent
that Michigan coach Lloyd Carr had
expected to use in the game.
The other half, junior tailback Chris
Howard, was ineligible for the season
opener due to unfinished course work.
"Chris Howard is a guy that we've
always felt was going to be a very good
tailback," Carr said. "He has not
proven that yet. Chris Howard has to
step up and run the football like we
know he can."
Howard should get his chance to
step up and return to the field Saturday
against Colorado.
Carr is hoping the duo of Howard
and Williams will be able to give him

the yardage and the amount of work
given to the Wolverines last year by
Tshimanga Biakabutuka.
In his junior season, Biakabutuka
set team records for number of carries
(303) and yards (1,818).
Biakabutuka opted out of his final
season and was taken eighth overall in
the NFL draft by the Carolina
Panthers.
Williams is expecting the work load
will be split evenly.
"I'm sure Chris thinks he can carry
the ball over 300 times, and I think I
can carry the ball over 300 times, but I
think it will be more of a shared role
where we utilize each other's talents to
the fullest,"he said.
Aside from the lack of a
Biakabutuka, there is another differ-
ence this season, at least as far as
Williams is concerned. And that's his
size.
Against Ohio State last season,
Williams weighed in at 178 pounds.
By the time spring football rolled

Questions come from everywhere
about Michigan's receivers. Can they
catch? Can they compare to present
pros Amani Toomer and Mercury
Hayes? Can they survive with a guy
whose name sounds a little too much
like butterfingers?
Questions. Questions.
Heck, they even come from the
coach.
"The question mark is our
receivers," Lloyd Carr said before the
season. And his players are out to erase
it.
"That's the big goal," sophomore
Tyrone Butterfield said. "They haven't
seen us play, and they're already say-
ing we can't catch. That's the goal for
me personally - to prove we have
receivers."
Michigan surely has them, but when
a team loses players like Toomer and
Hayes, there is cause for concern.
Butterfield and sophomore Tai Streets
will compete with Anthony Williams
for receptions, but remember, among
the three of them, they had nine career
receptions entering the season.
Nine. Career.
Toomer (44) and Hayes (48) each
had about five times that just last sea-
son.
Undaunted, however, Carr glows
See RECEIVERS, Page 5B

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