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November 11, 1948 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-11-11

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with Bud Weidenthal
Associate Sports Editor
Football's iron curtain is closing .. but nobody seems to know
why, or care much about it ...
The much discussed, but easily brushed off meeting of the two
powers of the nation, our Wolverines and our Indiana neighbors,
Notre Dame, has once again been swept into the realm of impossibility
because of a couple of superficial statements issued from the Michi-
gan front office.
SO THE NATION'S scribes have returned to the comfort of their
swivel chairs to ponder comparative scores and AP polls ...
It makes readable copy, we'll admit, and it sure fills up space.
But it doesn't solve a thing.
And to prove it let's take a look at the record of the present season.
TO START THE whole controversy off Purdue gave the Irish a
whale of a battle only to lose by one point .. .
Two weeks later the Maize and Blue made the trip down to
Lafayette and polished off the Boilermakers 40-0 ... it looks pretty
good for our side.
But the Notre Dame rooters claim a foul-the 39 point difference
doesn't mean a thing, they said, Purdue was softened up by the Irish
and Northwestern, who played them the following week .. ,
And they may well be right, but who's to decide?
SEVERAL WEEKS later the South Benders meet the Navy in
Baltimore and proceed to make Pearl Harbor a minor encounter in
the memories of the middies. This was the yard stick said some . . . if
the Wolverines could do better the following week the thing would be
decided .. .
At this a faint whimper was heard emanating from the area
of ,Southeastern Michigan-to the effect that that "nasty" man
Frank Leahy had laid it on thick . .. he was trying to roll up a
score to impress somebody or other .. .
Again we say-could be--but who can say for certain? .
And then we came to last Saturday's game heralded by many not
as a gridiron contest at all, but instead, a sort of a tape measure to de-
termine the relative merits of not the two teams meeting on the play-
ing field, but a couple of aggregations, that haven't met since 1943 and
probably won't meet again 'til 1993.
WELL, WHAT DO our big, bad Wolverines do? You guessed it-
for three quarters they turned on the pressure as if they were playing
Minnesota for the Conference championship and ran up a margin one
whole point greater than the Irish.
Does this mean we're the better team? We contend it doesn't
and furthermore, we contend that it really doesn't matter too
Of course, we don't claim that we could read Ben Oosterbaan's
mind Saturday as he paced the sidelines mapping the game's strategy,
but one thing is almost certain-he wasn't thinking in terms of tape-
measures or AP polls, instead he was thinking in terms of winning a
football game and making an impressive performance ...
We contend at the risk of being called idealistic that Mr. Leahy's
outlook is much the same.
* * * *
THE IRISH COULD well have replaced such eastern "powers" as
Cornell or Dartmouth on the Wolverine's schedules when they were
drawn up last summer ... the real reason, we believe is this :
The Wolverines, win or lose, cannot afford to risk their entire
Big Nine schedule by pointing for one game. They did this in 1946
with Army and promptly proceeded to be tied by a mediocre
Northwestern team and then toss away the conference title the
following week by dropping a close one to Ilinois .. .
The brass hats in the front office don't want a repetition of
1946 ... and this, we believe, is why the two midwestern powerhouses
don't meet ...

H-osers Planl944-45-t"epa
_____DUL~iiI~u1 v :.'No
:::: ... ... .... ... ... .:.. .y ..
. ".... .. :: ::v :" s-.,:;,.-::t

Chuck Ortmnann Named
With Nation's Top Sophs

Michigan will be out to annex
its 22nd straight victory at the ex-
pense of Clyde Smith's invading
Hoosiers Saturday, and if they
win (a fact that most fans have
long since conceded), the Wolver-
ines will be sure of at least a tie
for the Western Conference title.
For the Hoosiers it will be an-
other story. There is no long win-
ning streak to defend, no Big Nine
Title to win, and no Rose Bowl
bid looming on the horizon, but
there is a chance for the Indiana
eleven to continue its role as the
principal thorn in Michigan's
In their last five encounters,
the Hoosiers, under Bo McMil-
lin, won two games to boast a
record that only Army's wartime
team can match. Indiana
stunned Wolverine followers in
1944 with a 20 to 0 win, and fol-

SHAPING UP-Gene Derricotte,
despite the severe handicap of
his knee injury, is again run-
ning with the swivel-hipped
shiftiness he showed last year.

Frosh Forward Wall Shows
Promise in Practice Sessions

With the daily practice sessions
of the Michigan freshmen team
finished for the season, several
lineman of the first year squad ap-
pear to be headed for greater
heights if they show similar im-
provement next spring.
To Wally Weber, well known
coach of the freshmen, falls the
responsibility of developing these
young gridiron candidates for the
time when they will become var-
sity prospects under the Wolver-
ine line coach, Jack Blott.
:: sa
MICHIGAN HAS been known
for their light fast lines, and from
the beginning of the season Wally
has been stressing the importance
of speed to his youthful aspirants.
In his own words, the fiery
mentor states that while the
Gophers from Minnesota de-
velop their linemen big, we want
ours to be quick.
Several of his more promising
prospects, however, are on the
husky side, and with a little more
speed will become top candidates
next year.
FOR INSTANCE, there is Tom
Johnson from Muskegon Heights
who tips the scale at a little over
220 pounds. He, like quite a few
others on the squad, made the all
state team of last year. Putting his
weight to full advantage this lad
plays tackle.
Fenger High School of Chi-
cago has sent us another huge

lineman in the person of Ed Ku-
zanek. Ed packs close to 230
pounds on his frame and makes
good use of it when he assumes
his role of linebacker. Playing
center, Ed helped his prep school
team to a city and state cham-
pionship in 1946.
Most of the better looking first-
year men, though, are in the 190
pound class. Two of these boast
of experience besides that ob-
tained in high school.
TOM KELSEY of Lakewood,
Ohio, who is one of the better ends
on the team, spent two years in
the army where he got both coach-
ing and playing experience. Tom
attended Ohio State University in
1945 and earned a letter on the
Buckeye squad of that year, but
still has three years of eligibility
- - - -

lowed it up with a 13-7 victory
the next year.
Again, the followers of Big Nine
football, have to go back to the
days when Bernie Bierman's
power laden "Gopher's proved the
undoing of the Wolverines' Har-
mon paced teams to find an op-
ponent that has equalled or ex-
celled this feat of taking consec-
utive victories from Michigan.
In practice yesterday Gene
Derricotte resembled his 1947
form as he constantly broke up
jump passes and took part in
breaking up those passes over
the line which have enabled
Michigan's opponents to make
consistent yardage all season.
It was the first time since his
injury that Derricotte apparently
was able to ignore his leg as he
flashed the speed and deception
that made him one of the confer-
ence's biggest ground gainers last
Derricotte's apparent return to
form will be a big boost to the Wol-
verine pass defense which will
have to cope with the Hoosier's
George Taliaferro who also is ex-
pected to be in the starting line-
up following his recovery from an
injury sustained in the Indiana-
Minnesota clash.
Michigan, awarded the AP po-
sition as the No. 1 team in the
country, will be out to better
Notre Dame's crushing 42-6
score and will have to be up for
the game to do it as the Irish
played the entire second half
with second, third and fourth
stringers, having amassed a
35-0 lead at half time without
encountering resistance.
Several players answered one of
the questions that has been float-
ing around campus, to the effect
that the Wolverines will be look-
ing toward Ohio State rather than
the Hoosiers Saturday with an em-
phatic "Who has time for Ohio
State, look what Notre Dame did
last week."
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NEW YORK-VP)-Chuck Ort-
mann of Michigan, Gil Stephen-
son of Army and Kyle Rote of
Southern Methodist are stacking
up as "sophomores of the year" in
college football.
These three gifted halfbacks are
brightest of a healthy crop of star-
studded newcomers to varsity play.
Ortmann, a 19-year-old product
of Milwaukee, has become the
top offensive performer of the
rugged Western Conference while
leading the Wolverines to their
current No. 1 spot in the nation.
A crack passer, he has com-
pleted 19 of 36 tosses for 371 yards
-best in the league-and has
gained 113 yards on the ground
for an offensive total of 484 yards.
Six-feet-one, 183 pounds, Ort-
mann is rated one of the best
looking backs to hit the football-
feverish midlands.
Stephenson, up from Columbus,
Ga., is currently engaged in mak-
ing Army fans forget Doc Blan-
chard and Glenn Davis. A tricky
runner, he has rolled up 761 yards
to rank the fourth best ball-car-
There are still 5,000 tickets on
sale at the Athletic Adminis-
tration Building for Saturday's
game with Indiana.

Ortmann, Michigan's offensive
ace, was named among the top
sophomores of the year by the
Associated Press.
K UR t
DICK HURST, Night Editor

rier in the country. He has scored
nine touchdowns.
Rote, only sophomore member
of a backfield that also contains
All-America Doak Walker, has
carried the ball 67 times for 247
yards, and caught 12 passes for
Other leading Soph backfield
men are Leo Koceski of Michigan;
John Brogan, Idaho's great triple
threat; Marvin Cross, Washington
State's 200-pounder; Oklahoma's
regulars, fullback Leon Heath and
halfback Lindell Pearson; and Red
Bagnell, Penn's passing star.
Here are some of the Midwest's
sophomore standouts:
Ends-Robert Wartinbee, Wis-
consin; Henry Minarik, Michigan
State; Bob Whitmer, Purdue.
Tackles--Allen Wahl, Michigan;
Duck Mueller, Iillinois; Rudy Cer-
noch, Northwestern.
Guards--Charles Yderstad, Wis-
consin; Al Tate, Illinois; Richie
Anderson, Northwestern.
Centers-John Packo, Detroit;
Jerry Groom, Notre Dame; Ray
Wietecha, Northwestern.
Back-Jack Landry, and Bob
Williams, Notre Dame; Mike
Ghnouly, Missouri; Sam Piazza,







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