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August 08, 1949 - Image 21

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1949-08-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

olverine Gridders To Open '49 Season in Enlarg
(sporti Co-Editor)
( oThe Bowl That Yost Built will be filled a little fuller this year.
Mammoth Michigan Stadium already the largest college-owned
/astadium in the country, with a seating capacity of 85,938, has under-
gone a face-lifting during the summer months and seats are now
available for 97,000 gridiron fanatics.
* * * *
PERMANENT STEEL STANDS have been erected along the top
h-xof the concrete and brick bowl where temporary seats were formerly
erected to handle sellout crowds, and final touches will have been
y, applied by the time the powerful Wolverines meet their traditional
rivals from Michigan State in the season opener, Sept. 24.
Long recognized as one of the finest stadiums in the country,
Michigan Stadium was completed in 1927, the result of the dreams
and planning of Fielding H. Yost, who was even then acknowledged
the outstanding figure in Michigan's brilliant athletic history. . C e .4
The huge arena was built in a natural bowl with the top row of
permanent seats located at ground level on three sides.
* * * *
YOST, with an eye to the future, left a broad concrete strip at
the back of the top row, preparing the way for the eventual building
of a two deck stadium should the need ever arise for such an edifice.
y6Y..It was along this strip that the new stands were erected.
d ' = ',A crowd of 84,401 was on hand to witness the official dedica-
tion game with Ohio State, a record which stood only until the
next game with the Buckeyes two years later.;$
The present attendance record was set in 1943 when 86,408 fans
jammed the stadium to see the Wolverines bow to Notre Dame, 35-12.
That record will likely be broken at the season opener and is cer-
tainto be surpassed on October 8 when Michigan meets Army in a
--Daiy Alex Lmaniari game which will combine the brilliant pageantry of the marching
MICHIGAN STADIUM corps of Army Cadets and the spectacle of two of the nation's top- MICHIGAN S
.. air view of old stadium ranking teams battling for new gridiron honors. showing new

\ '' tr \r
--Daily-Alex Lmanian


Latest Deadline in the State





1N4uI lri squad
Finished Where It
Started Off,_But--

4Y? Fnoow!
MICHIGAN.... 252
_ aw OPPONENTS- 44

23-Game Streak
At Stake inOpener
Michigan State, First Football Foe,
Nearly Caused Upset Last Season

(Sports Co-Editor)
Michigan's 1948 football jugger-
naught left off just about where
it started, which is more of an
accomplishment than it appears to
be at first glance.
At the beginning of the season
the Wolverines were champions
of the Big Nine,,the top team in;
the nation (decided by a special
pot-season press poll), and had
not lost a game in fourteen starts.
WHEN THE DUST of another
hectic fall of football had settled
Michigan was still Conference
champ, still the top team in the
nation (no special poll necessary
this time), and had stretched its
winning streak to 23 games.
Yet last year cannot be classed
as Just another season where
'someone turned a crank and out
came nine more victories.
It was a season of many firsts
and many thrills for Michigan.
For Bennie Oosterbaan it was his
first year as head coach of the
mighty Wolverines. He had the
job of taking over for one of the
modern masterminds of the grid-
iron, "Fritz" Crisler, and he prov-
ed he could fill the bill.
coach Oosterbaan not only piloted
the Wolverines to another perfect
season, but also was named "Coach
of the Year"--the second year in
a row Michigan had been awarded
the honor, Crisler taking it in
Oosterbaan did not have an
easy job. There were some cx-
ry-overs from what Crisler had
built, but what was left was not'
a team, a unit. Oosterbaan had
to build and experiment.
To find men to fill the shoes of
Bob Chatppuis and "Bump" El-
liott was his main problem. His
defense was strong, but it's touch-
downs that win ball games and
he needed some men who could
supply an offensive punch.
* * *
GENE Derricotte was counted
on heavily to carry a large part
of the offensive load, but he was
injured in the very first game of
the season and wasn't in top form
the rest of the year.
For the moment it looked like
Michigan's hopes for another
championship were just about
gone, but no one had figured
on a pair of men up from the
freshmen squad. Two outstand-
ing sophomores, Chuck Ort-
mann and Leo Koceski, provided
just what was needed and led
the Wolverines to another un-
defeated season.
Ortmann, with his running and
passing ability, more than ade-
quately filled the hole left by

W. Morton trophy for showing the
most improvement, added the
speed and shiftiness to the back-
field which "Bump" Elliott had
provided the season before.
With this pair in the back-
field and a hard-charging ag-
gressive line up front Michigan
went through to its second un-
defeated, untied season.
From this line came two more
All-Americans to add to the ever-
growing list of Wolverine greats.
Al Wistert, following in the foot-
steps of his two All-American
brothers from Michigan, was the
bulwark of the Maize and Blue
line, and received the honor for
the second year in a row. The 33-
year-old tackle has also been nam-
ed captain of this year's squad, an
additional tribute to "Pappy."
Wolverine gridder to receive the
honor, is the first Wolverine end
to win All-American recognition
since the playing days of his
coach, Bennie Oosterbaan - al-
most 25 years ago.
Rifenburg's speed, height, and
sticky fingers made him the
teams' top pass catcher as he
rolled up eightmarkers during
the season.
All this adds up to another great
chapter in Michigan's football his-
tory, typical of those earlier in the
century which earned the Maize
and Blue the title of "Champions
of the West."
DO YOU KNOW ... that in
March, 1946, the University of
Chicago formally withdrew from
the Conference, leaving nine
schools in competition. Michi-
gan State was voted into the
Conference last December, mak-
ing the Conference the Big Ten

Defending Conference and na-
tional champs for 1947 and 1948,
Michigan heads into the 1949 foot-
ball season riding the crest of a
23-game winning streak, the long-
est since the fabulous point-a-min-
ute teams of Fielding H. Yost.
Coach-of-the-Year Bennie Oos-
terbaan faces some stiff opposi-
tion this season, and the attempt
to continue the string and retain
the Big Nine and national cham-
pionships will be no easy task.
* * *
season against their traditional
state rivals, Michigan State, who
earlier this year were voted into
the Conference but won't compete
officially in football until 1953.
State gave Michigan the biggest
scare of the season in the opener
last year as the Wolverines just
managed to win, 13-7.
The Maize and Blue head west
the next weekend to tangle wit
Stanford. Little trouble is ex-
pected there, but when the Wol-
verines return they face four
games in a row of the toughest
kind of football.
Army, still strong since the Blan-
chard-Davis era; Northwestern,
last year's runnerup and Rose
Bowl champ; Minnesota, top con-
tender for the crown this year;
and Illinois, always ready to make
things rough for Michigan, will
make October a do-or-die month
for Oosterbaan and his crew.
MICHIGAN plays Purdue and
Indiana the first two Saturdays
in November, and ends the season
against Ohio State. Last year the
DO YOU KNOW . . . that it
wasn't until May, 1940, that the
Conference voted to allow nine
fcotball games per season-six
against Big Ten, teams and at
least two at home.

Wolverines just squeezed by 08U,
13-3, in the closing contest of the
season, as the determined Buck-
eyes were out to upset Michigan at
any cost.
The biggest problem facing
Oosterbaan is finding a replace-
ment for Pete.Elliott atquarter-
back. Veteran Wally' -Tenln ,
one of the 24 lettermen return-
ing, might be used in that posi-
tion. His versatility and all-
around ability make him cap-
able of handling the spot, but
since this is Wally's last season
Oosterbaan would rather find
someone who would be coming
back next year so he won't have
to face the same problem next
Bill Bartlett, who understudied
Elliott last year, Don Zanfagna,
who showed a lot of promise in
spring drills, and Bill Putich, up
from the freshman team, are
the other outstanding possibilities
Ocsterbaan and backfield coach
George Ceithaml have to work with
to find a signal caller for this
year's team.
* * *
THE HALFBACK positions are
pretty' well takencare of with
Michigan's. sophomore sensations,
Leo Koceski and Chuck Ortmann,
back again. Chuck Lentz, Bob Van-
Summern, Don Soucheck, and Jim
Eldridge will provide the reserve
strength at half.
Tom Peterson will be fighting
with Don Dufek, who won the
Meyer W. Morton trophy last
spring for showing the most im-
provement, for the offensive full-
back slot. The defensive posi-
tion will be held down by hard-
hitting Dick "Killer" Kemp-
Most of the losses on the line
were from the offensive team.
There seems to be enough depth
in each position, though to take
care of the situation.
* * *
HARRY ALLIS, Irv Wisniewski,
Ozzie Clark apd Bob Hollway are
the top end men, with Captain Al
Wistert, Al Wahl, Jim Atchison,
Bill Ohlenroth, and Tom Johnson
at tackle. At guard the chief re-
placements are Lloyd Heneveld,
Al Jackson, and Don McClelland,
while at center Tony Momson, Bob
Erben, and Dick Farrar are the
top candidates.
The coaches are going to have
their hands full getting the team
into top form in time for the
first game September 24. The
game is played at the end of
orientation week whereas last
year a week of school had
elapsed before the first contest.
Remembering how close MS
came to beating Michigan las

OosebaCoaching Staff Keep Team

(Sports Co-Editor)
When Bennie Oosterbaan was
named "Coach of the Year" last
December, it made the second year
in a row that a Michigan coach
had received the honor.
Oosterbaan followed the foot-
steps of his predecessor, "Fritz"
Crisler, to the letter as he guided
Michigan to another all-victori-
ous season, won the mythical na-
ticnal championship, and became
"Coach of the Year."
THE TITLE is decided by a vote

ated with Michigan since 1925
when lie was a three-sport ath-
lete. He was outstanding at end
on the gridiron, so outstanding
as a, matter of fact that he was
selected as an All-American at
that position for the three years
he played in varsity competi-
Upon graduation. Oosterbaan
joined the Michigan coaching staff.
Since that time he has devoted
himself to the University and it
has become an integral part of
him. This strong attachment for

Bennie, and each one played his
heart out to preserve what Oos-
terbaan stood for.
In the last game of the season,
for instance, Ohio ;Mate kicked a
field goal and took the lead overI
the Wolverines. But with the spirit,
and determination of a truly great
team playing to win for a truly
great coach, the Michigan grid-
ders charged back to score two
touchdowns and give Oosterbaan
a perfect season.
* * *

Don lobinson, who coaches the
Football ,junior varsity squad, works much
in the same way as Weber giving
Sch d l the boys more seasoning and ex-
Sc e u e!perience.
Blott is onc, of the reasons why
Michigan is traditionally strong
Sept. 24. Michigan State, Here through the center. His lines
Oct. 1. . Stanford Univ., There have been characterzed by speed
Oct. 15 Nothwestern, U. There and smartness rather than rug-
Oct. 225 NortMinnesota, Here gedness in size, which seems to
Oct. 22.. Minsot, THere have paid off in victories.
Nov.........IoPurdue, here Ceithaml received the backfield
Nov. 12........Indiana, Here coaching spot last year when Oos-
Nov. 19......Ohio State, Here terbaan was moved up to head

recognition, which can certainly
be considered a feather in Orwig's
cap, too.
Robinson Is also a new mem-
ber to the coaching staff. He
joined the organization last year
after having graduated from
Michigan the year before.
Weber, besides being a good
coach, is, widely noted for his
ready wit and tremendous vocabu-
lary. A game is never a tilt, con-
test, or battle with Weber, it's an

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