With the first two rounds in the books, it’s time to turn our attention to Round 3.
This time, the criteria used for each pairing will be the best, or signature, run from each running back. When you think of these running backs, what play do you think of? Whose one play is better than the other’s?
To make it easier for you and your memory banks, I went deep into the Dr. Sap Archives and captured what I feel is the best play/run for each of our remaining running backs. The links provided will give you a trip down memory lane for sure and bring us one step closer to determining Bo’s Best Back.
Here are the brackets:
ROUND 3 – BEST / SIGNATURE RUN
1970s BURTON REGION
(#1) Rob Lytle vs. (#4) Russell Davis
1976 Rob Lytle 75-yard TD run vs. Michigan State
1976 Russell Davis 85-yard TD run vs. Stanford
While Davis’s run was right up there with Tom Harmon’s record-setting jaunt against California in 1940, it did come against the Stanford backups. But should that matter? The run by Lytle is why he was dubbed the “Fremont Flash” by Bob Ufer. Another close one to call, but I gotta go with Lytle. That run against MSU served notice to everyone that Michigan and #41 were a force to be reckoned with in 1976.
WINNER: ROB LYTLE
1970’s STOBART REGION
(#2) Billy Taylor vs. (#3) Gordon Bell
1971 Billy Taylor 21-yard TD run vs. Ohio State
1975 Gordon Bell 25-yard TD run vs. Purdue
Make no mistake about it, Gordon Bell’s run was an amazing individual effort, but is it enough to overcome Billy Taylor’s game-winning run against Ohio State that preserved an undefeated season? Both are great, iconic and signature runs for each player. It’s why #5 is remembered as “The Whirling Dervish” and why #42 is remembered as “Touchdown Billy Taylor!” A tough one to call for sure, but I gotta go with BT on this one!
WINNER: BILLY TAYLOR
1980s MOELLER REGION
(#1) Jamie Morris vs. (#4) Leroy Hoard
When you think of these two backs, these plays come to mind. Both were tough to bring down and both could go the distance. Either play is the essence of who these backs were – strong, fast and determined to get into the endzone. In the final analysis, I’m gonna go with Jamie Morris & his Alabama run. That was, and still is, an incredible run!
WINNER: JAMIE MORRIS
1980s NEHLEN REGION
(#2) Butch Woolfolk vs. (#3) Tony Boles
An incredible matchup here as we have the longest run in Michigan Football history and the second longest run in the annals of Wolverine pigskin lore. Too tough to call as both backs went the distance, but both also made defenders miss. Both made it look easy, but didn’t make my decision any easier. In a tossup, I’m gonna go with Butch – by a yard!
WINNER: BUTCH WOOLFOLK
Next up: A quick post on the final 4 and voting