The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, October 30, 1995 - 5B
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Big-play receivers catching on
Toomer carries on tradition of wideout excellence
By Scott Burton
Daily Sports Writer
What would Bo Schembechler think?
The Michigan coaching legend dedi-
cated his life to making the Wolverines
a running school, a place where the off-
tackle run could be king and the three-
yard gain utter bliss.
And yet, over the last decade, Michi-
gan has become a football factory not
just for running backs but for (gasp,
gasp) big playmaking receivers as well.
The Wolverines have had seven
wideouts drafted in the NFL since 1980,
trailing the running back production by
The current rage is, of course, Amani
Toomer, who jumped into second place
on the Michigan career receiving yards
list against Minnesota Saturday.
His standout speed, excellent size (6-
foot-4) and good hands make him a top-
notch pro prospect.
If Toomer does end up making an
impact in the professional ranks, he'll
join a fine tradition of Wolverine re-
ceivers who collect paychecks for their
catching ability. Here's a list of the
most prominent Michigan receivers
Anthony Carter (1979-82):
Carter is arguably the greatest Wolver-
ine receiver ever. Consider that he is
Michigan's leader in receiving yards
(3076), passes caught (161) and touch-
down receptions (37).
What made Carter's career so excep-
tional was not just his physical tools; it
was the way he took his tools and made
plays happen. He created incredible
separation when he ran deep routes, but
had solid hands when it came time to
catch passes in traffic.
Unlike the rest of these Wolverine
receivers, Carter also established him-
self as a premier receiver in the profes-
sional ranks. Although his stint in the
now-defunct USFL may keep him from
the accolades he deserves, Carter had a
number of All-Pro years for the Minne-
He retired three weeks ago after a
two-year stop in Detroit.
Greg McMurtry (1986-89):
McMurtry wasn't as much of a big-play
threat as the others, due to only above-
average speed. But he ran great routes
and probably was the most consistent,
dependable receiver of the group.
He was a third-round selection ofthe
New England Patriots in the 1990 NFL
draft, but never established himself as
much more than a possession receiver
in his four years there.
Part of the problem was a string of
unproductive Patriot quarterbacks. And
when New England finally got Drew
Bledsoe -a franchise level gunslinger
- McMurtry was plagued by an acute
case of dropsies. He was not offered a
contract after the 1993 season.
McMurtry joined the Chicago Bears
for the 1994 season, seeing limited time
on special teams. He was not resigned
at the end of the season and did not
make a team this preseason.
Desmond Howard (1989-91):
Next to Carter, Howard was the most
productive receiver in Michigan his-
tory. He was great in the red zone (32
touchdowns), possessed great speed,
was preeminently dangerous in the open
field and had superb hands.
His pro career has been nothing short
of disappointing, however. He was the
fourth overall pick in the 1992 draft by
the Washington Redskins, yet failed to
make any type of impact in his three
years there. Some point to his lack of
size, a poor attitude, and just a failure to
understand the Redskins' passing
He did start to show some promise in
1994, however, and when the Redskins
left him unprotected in the expansion
draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars eagerly
picked him up.
And he can take solace in the fact that
such all-pro receivers as Tim Brown
and Herman Moore also took several
years to bust out.
Derrick Alexander (1989-93):
Although he didn't have as hyped of a
college career as a Howard, he was as
equally capable of making the big play.
He was also excellent in the slot, ran
crisp intermediate routes and sported
He was the first-round selection of
the Cleveland Browns in 1994, and
made perhaps the biggest impact of any
rookie receiver in the NFL last season.
Despite being the third receiver in the
Browns' rotation, he led the team in
Unfortunately for Alexander, things
have gotten a lot more sparse this
season. The Browns signed receiver
extraordinaire Andre Rison in the
offseason, welcomed the development
of Keenan McCardell and the return
of Michael Jackson from nagging in-
juries. And Alexander has had some
problem holding onto the football,
thwarting his development.
C-A Yds TD int
20-39 206 1 2
0-1 0 0 0
20-40 206 1 2
ids Avg Lg TD
68 4.9 19 1
12 1.3 10 0
34 (-)2.8 7 0
46 1.3 19 1
Avg Lg TD
14.2 18 0
7.2 14 0
2 27 13.5 14 0
3 24 8.010 0
1 13 13.0 13 0
A look at the career stats of the top
Wolverne receivers of the Carter era
Jelson 1 13
Atwell 1 9
Jackson 1 (-) 1
13.0 13 1
9.0 9 0
ichigan cornerback Charles Woodson makes a tackle. Woodson had five tackles
sterday, and helped hold Minnesota to 252 yards of total offense.
Anthony Carter 161
Greg McMurtry 111
Desmond Howard 134
Derrick Alexander 125
06 10.3 18 1
o. Yds Avg Lg
7 253 36.1149
2 103 51.5 62
9 356 39.662
Yds Avg Lg TD
the Little Brown Jug
Minnesota 17 1985 Michigan 48, Minnesota 7
Minnesota 22 1984 Michigan 31, Minnesota 7
Minnesota 7 1983 Michigan 58, Minnesota 10
Minnesota 13 1982 Michigan 52, Minnesota 14
Minnesota 6 1981 Michigan 34, Minnesota 13
-Minnesota 18 1980 Michigan 27, Minnesota 14
Minnesota 15 1979 Michigan 31, Minnesota 21
Minnesota 7 1978 Michigan 42, Minnesota 10
Minnesota 20 1977 Michigan 16, Minnesota 0
Michigan 17 1976 Michigan 45, Minnesota 0
1 2 3 4 TOT
0 10 0 7 17
21 0 17 14 52
in every way.
-- Jim Wacker
1 8 8.0 8 0
1 8 8.0 8 0
Player No. Yds Avg Lg TD
Cooper 3 50 16.7 27 0
Nelson 3 49 16.3 22 0
Kratochvil 1 12 12.0 12 0
Totals 7 111 15.8 27 0
he Turning Point:
,With Michigan leading, 7-0, in the first quarter, Wolverine
icker Jay Feely lined up for a seemingly innocuous kick-off.
ow-ever, he snubbed the kick, and the Golden Gophers were
ot prepared to recover the short kick. Michigan's David
owens recovered the ball at the Minnesota 27-yard line.
Two plays later, Tshimanga Biakabutuka scored on a 11-
ard touchdown run. The score essentially opened the door
or the blowout as Michigan went on to score 21 first quarter
SaJayhaw.. 41 7
The Golden Gopher were a dejected bunch after suffering a 52-17 defeat at the hands of the Wolverines Saturday.
1 0 1
last play of the half.
Joey Kent caught TD passes of 35
and 47 yards to lead Tennessee to a 35-
7 halftime lead over the Gamecocks (4-
Jay Graham gained 126 yards in 16
carries and scored on a 17-yard screen
pass and 66-yard burst up the middle. It
was Graham's seventh 100-yard game
pf the season, a school record.
South Carolina's Steve Taneyhill's
First 22 throws ran his string of con-
secutive passes without an interception
to 163, the second-longest streak in
SEC history. He then had three of his
next 11 passes intercepted.
Manning finished 16-of-20 for 215
bards, his fewest attempts of the sea-
unbeaten Division I-A teams. But the
Jayhawks, who rushed for 248 yards
the week before at Oklahoma, rushed
for only 19 while the Wildcats rolled up
335 yards on the ground.
Kansas State (7-1), rebounding from a
49-25 loss at No. 2 Nebraska, bolted to a
27-7 halftime lead en route to its first
victory over a Top Ten team in 25 years.
Eric Hickson ran for 121 yards and
Mike Lawrence for 118, giving the
Wildcats two 100-yard rushers for the
first time since 1979.
Arizona St. 35, No. 10 Oregon 24
Jake Plummer engineered two touch-
down drives in the final five minutes
Saturday as Arizona State upset 10th-
ranked Oregon, 35-24, dealing a near-
Continued from page 1B
Minnesota 35. The Wolverines
fumbled away the ball - their second
turnover of the game - on their next
Late in the quarter, the Gophers
recovered a kickoff after Michigan
didn't fall on the ball quick enough.
Minnesota scored on its last two
possesions of the half to cut the lead
Michigan was also plagued by the
yellow flags. The Wolverines totaled
nine penatlies for 91 yards on the day.
If they want to make a drive for the
conference championship, the
Wolverines certainly have to cut
Amon n n th - a n tinerc
quarter, or even a few minutes off,
could prove to be fatal against any of
"If we can eliminate turnovers and
penalties, then I think we can have
quite a November," Carr said. "That's
easier said than done. We've got to
find a way because the biggest
problem we've had this fall is
turnovers. We had done excellent job
with penalties until last week."
The Wolverines feel that they are
as prepared as they're ever going to
be for this make-or-break time of the
"I think we're definitely ready,"
Griese said. "The last two games
we've played well. I think we've
started to click a little more. People
are starting to play as an offense and
a defense and nlavina toeether I
Here is the procedure for
determining the conference
champion/Rose Bowl representative
in the case of a tie:
Tie between two teams:
1. Head-to-head meeting
2. Overall record
3. Least recent appearance
Tie between three teams:
1. If one team defeated the other
two, it becomes the representative.
2. If two of the teams beat the other
team, that team is eliminated and
the two remaining teams revert to
the two-team tiebreaker.
3. If there is a tie or if two of the
teams did not play each other, the
representative is decided by overall
4. If overall record eliminates only
on of the teams. the remaining two
ll State 31-7
sas St. 55-7
gan St. 31-34
o State 7 p.m.
sconsin 7 p.m.
Illinois 2 p.m.
Oct. 21 at Michi