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Bo era savant Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis recently caught up with Jon Falk to get down and dirty on the decals.  And if you are wondering when this site is going to stop talking about helmet decals, the answer is NEVER.

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Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis (SS): Bob Ufer mentioned that there were team goals as well as individual achievements that were used to award the decals. Do you know what criteria was used to get a decal? Was that list published?
Jon Falk (JF)
: There was a notebook that Bo had that listed the goals.  It had offensive scores, defensive stops, interceptions, tackles for loss – I can’t remember all of them.  When the offense would score, every player on offense would get one. If we scored more than 30 points, the whole offense would get one.  If the defense made a goal line stand, the entire defense would get a decal.  Things like that.

SS: Who made the decision to award decals to each player?
JF: The position coaches would give me the list.  Later on, it would be the Victors Club List.  That’s where guys would wear Victors Club jerseys at practice.

Victors Club Jersey(Victors Club jerseys)  U-M Bentley Historical Library

SS: When were those decisions made? After evaluation of game film?
JF: Correct.  On Sunday each position coach would break down the game film and make a list of who would get (how many) decals.

SS: When were the decals applied to the helmets?
JF: Monday.  After I got the list from the coaches on Sunday, I would put the decals on Monday before practice.

SS: Who put the actual decals on the helmets?
JF: I did.  I would also check the helmets on Saturday to see if any were torn.

SS: Who kept track of the decals and were they locked up?
JF: I had them in my office, locked in a drawer.  I had a book that I kept a record of for the entire year of who had how many decals.

SS: Do you still have that book?
JF: Oh, gosh no!

SS: The design of the decals changed over the years. Who decided to change the design in 1975 & 1985?
JF: I did.  The original ones were crudely shaped – they were just punched-out and literally stuck to adhesive tape.

SS: Who/what company made the decals?
JF: There was a local guy in Milan, MI – gosh, I can’t remember his name – but he was the guy who made them.  They were made on cards that had 10 decals on each card.

SS: Were the decals actually a yellow football with just a clear-colored (not blue) wolverine head?
JF: Well, like I said, the first ones were cut out and applied to adhesive.  The next ones (1975-82), the yellow was adhesive with a clear wolverine head. But those were very thin and would tear and get torn, so the next ones (1985-94) were made a little thicker.  They were yellow with a blue wolverine head (with laces) and were a little more durable.

SS: The decals were not on the helmets in 1983 & 1984 but were still kept track of. Who made the decision to take them off the helmets?
JF: I don’t recall that. I thought they were always on.

SS: They came off in ’83 & ’84 and I had heard that they were still kept track of, but they were just not placed on the helmets. Evidently, Bo wanted to reinforce the TEAM element and thought removing them might help.
JF: No, I don’t remember that. Are you sure?
SS: Absolutely.

SS: Were the players excited about getting new decals each week?
JF: Oh, yeah!  Each Monday they’d say things like, “How come I only got this many decals?” And I would tell them, “Go talk to your (position) coach.”  But some of the players would move the decals each Monday and then I would move them back on Saturday before the game.

SS: You mean some of the guys would reposition them?
JF: Yes. And I would have to move them back to where I put them.

SS: I know there were left and right decals. Were they placed on the helmets in a certain way?
JF: Yes. I tried to place the decals so that the wolverine head was facing away from the (side) stripe.  So the left-facing ones were on the left side of the helmet and the right-facing ones were on the right side of the helmet. That didn’t happen every year, but that’s what I tried to do.

SS: When Lloyd Carr made the decision to remove the decals in 1995, were they still kept track of?
JF: By then we had the Victors Club T-Shirts – not the jerseys. A few years later, if we were playing a home game, they would wear a blue Victors Club jersey with no numbers on it at practice. If we were playing a road game, it would be a yellow Victors Club jersey. The Demo Squad would wear different colored jerseys for each team that we were playing on the road. The Demo Team would wear white jerseys for the road (visiting) teams.

SS: How did the players react when they were told there would be no more decals?
JF: You know what? They just took it in stride. We didn’t want anything to distract from that winged-design.

SS: I have been a big proponent in trying to bring back the decals. What’s your take, Jon? Would you like to see them again on the Michigan Football helmets?
JF: I like that Michigan helmet without the decals.
SS: :(

OTHER TIDBITS FROM JON FALK:

  • “I used to tell all the players who would go to the Senior Bowl, ‘Don’t put any (other team) stickers on that helmet of yours!’”
  • “Bo used to ask me, ‘How come these helmets are scratchy?’ Guys like (Mark) Donahue and (Rob) Lytle would have their helmets all scuffed up and Bo didn’t like that.  He liked those old (MacGregor) helmets where the design was actually inside the helmet and there was a plastic coating on the outside. So we got some touch up paint and Bob Bland would touch up the helmets every Thursday night.”
  • “Dave Brandon wanted the helmets to look shiny for each game on Saturday. So a few years ago, Bob Bland would paint the game helmets on Monday so they would look perfect for Saturday’s game.   More recently, all the game helmets have been shipped to Elyria, Ohio to have them touched up and have a heavy gloss coating applied to them so they could be nice and shiny. On Monday the helmets would get shipped to Ohio to get the gloss finish re-done. The guys would wear practice helmets all week and get their game helmets back on Thursday. This way the helmets would look nice all the time.”
  • “The first night game against Notre Dame was when we first used the speckled (yellow) paint and used it all season.”

 

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By Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

In the 1970s player introductions for college football games were very different compared to the productions that they are now.  There were no fancy graphics, no computer generated backgrounds and no animations some forty years ago.  While the intros back then lacked the glitz and glamour of today’s game, they made up for it in uniqueness and creativity.

In 1973, the player introductions for the Michigan-Ohio State game were announced over the Michigan Stadium public address system. ABC-TV’s Bill Fleming was live on the field and had the players run up to the on-field camera as he announced their names to the sell-out crowd and national TV audience, literally minutes before kickoff.  Those introductions were epic and captured the emotion of the moment.  None were better than Michigan’s Curtis Tucker, Dave Gallagher and Paul Seal’s introductions.

A few years later, ABC decided to use video mug shots at the Friday walkthroughs for both teams instead of delaying the start of the game with on-field player introductions.  This was relatively boring as the players were usually just standing there in their team-issued sweat-suits as the camera moved down the line, one by one.

Then, in 1978, Michigan tailback Harlan Huckleby added a subtle coolness to his intro for the game against Notre Dame.  When the camera moved in front of #25 and paused for about 3 seconds, Huckleby winked:

When I recently asked Huck about it he didn’t recall doing the wink or what his motivation was at the time.  Whatever the reason, it was a cool move by one of Michigan’s coolest cats, for sure!

The next time Michigan was on National TV, Michigan’s Russell Davis, Ralph Clayton and Doug Marsh all decided to continue the tradition of the Huckleby Wink. During the 1978 Michigan-Ohio State game, all three players winked when the ABC camera got in front of them.  The next year, during the 1979 Notre Dame mug shot player intros, Stan Edwards, Lawrence Reid, Clayton and Ed Muransky all winked to the ABC camera.  Who knew that what Huck started on a whim a year earlier would continue with the next group of Wolverines?!

For the 1979 Rose Bowl, NBC took the player introductions to a new level.  The peacock network already had the players introducing themselves, as well as their hometown and degree of study for the previous few Rose Bowl telecasts. In 1979 NBC decided to have the starters for each team hang out in a picturesque garden while they shot their player intros.  It was a little more dynamic and flashy than ABC’s Friday walk-through mug shots, but not by much.

For Michigan quarterback Rick Leach, NBC decided to add a little pizzazz to his intro. After announcing all the offensive starters, NBC had Leach crouch down behind his offensive linemen. As legendary broadcaster Curt Gowdy announced that “you can’t hide an All-American,” the Wolverine offensive linemen all knelt down on one knee and up stood the Guts and Glue behind them. It was classic!

I’ve made a video collage of some of the more memorable Michigan player introductions of the 1970’s for all to see and remember:

Ed. You can check out the whole Dr. Sap Archives video collection here, including the intro clips from several games in the 1970s.

 

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UGP

[Ed. In a repost from January 2014, Dr. Sap is back and offers up some Bo-era flavor that comes from the treasure trove that is the Sap archives. –G]

Guest Post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

When Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh scored on a quarterback draw against Notre Dame in 1985, little did he know that a photo of the classic TD would spark an interesting discussion in the national media.   As Harbaugh crossed the goal line that afternoon, Ara Parseghian exclaimed on the CBS broadcast, “A quarterback draw – great call!”

The next week, Sports Illustrated captured Harbaugh’s scoring play under the title, “A Cure For Bo’s Blues”:

A Cure for Bo's Blues - HarbaughA couple of SI readers took notice of the NFL football Harbaugh was cradling in the photo.  They were inspired to write the editor and ask why a collegiate athlete was using a professional pigskin:SI Letter - Jim Harbaugh's NFL Wilson footballAs noted by SI’s ED/Sir, this question was addressed by the NCAA and the next year they decided to modify their college footballs that were used by Division I schools. So when Michigan played at Notre Dame in 1986 Harbaugh was throwing around the new AFCRT Wilson 1001:

Jim Harbaugh - Notre Dame 1986It was the same model, size and shape as the NFL Wilson – it now just had a different, less professional-looking, stamp on it.  Of course everyone then was asking, “What the heck does AFCRT mean?”  It stands for the American Football Coaches Retirement Trust and is essentially a retirement plan setup for qualified college football coaches.

The ball stayed in circulation for a few years. In fact, when Demetrius Brown outdueled Rodney Peete in the 1989 Rose Bowl, this was the ball that was used in that glorious victory over the Trojans:

AFCRT pigskin Michigan

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Thanks Sap!  If you want to see the best looking ball from a Notre Dame game, that’s easy.  My pal and artist Jil Gordon does the handiwork on many of the game balls awarded to players and coaches.  Here’s what she did for UTL 1.0 – just amazing:

ND ball

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[Ed. What the heck – a primer on Jim Harbaugh’s greatest moments as a Wolverine as we await the official decision. Once again a nicely done Bo-era gem from Dr. Sap!]

A guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

#5: 1984 Miami (FL) – Jim Harbaugh’s first start as a Michigan Wolverine would come against the #1-ranked, defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes and he didn’t disappoint. Wolverine fans, myself included, had long felt that the maize and blue lacked one thing on offense for a few years – a tall, pocket-passing QB, ideally from California. That finally happened with the Palo Alto, CA 6-3, 202 pound Harbaugh.

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Having heard that he had attended a high school passing camp with John Elway as his instructor, sealed the deal for me – Harbs was going to be the next starting QB in my opinion and his first start was highly anticipated by many. His first two passes against Miami – an out pattern to Vince Bean for 11 yards and another to Steve Johnson for 16 yards – showed off his strong arm, much to the delight of the Michigan Stadium crowd, as Michigan went on to win, 22-14. It was an impressive victory for the Wolverines and a great start for the new QB from California.

#4: 1985 Notre Dame – Remembering how Michigan finished the 1984 season at 6-6, not many gave U-M a chance in the season opener against Notre Dame in 1985. It was a statement game for both Michigan and its quarterback. Would the Wolverines bounce back with another 10-win season?

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Would their quarterback return to form after breaking his arm a year earlier? A strong defense and solid ground game would power the maize and blue to the victory, and while Harbaugh didn’t light up the scoreboard with his passing, he was effective enough through the air to get the win, 20-12. His 3rd quarter touchdown on a quarterback draw and his ensuing endzone celebration put an exclamation point on the victory – Michigan and Harbaugh were back. 

#3 1985 Ohio State – With Iowa having all but wrapped up the Rose Bowl bid a few weeks earlier with a one point win over Michigan, the Wolverines and Buckeyes were playing for Fiesta & Cotton Bowl bids respectively.

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Not quite the same, but the chips were still high and Harbaugh was clutch throughout the game – particularly on 3rd down. Michigan’s QB would finish the game 16 of 19 for 230 yards and 3 TD’s with 8 of 9 passing on 3rd down for 8 first downs. He topped his clutch performance with a 77-yard touchdown bomb to John Kolesar that put a dagger in the Buckeye hearts once and for all as Michigan won, 27-17.

#2 1986 Notre Dame – Going into the game against the Irish in 1986, Michigan was ranked #1 in some polls but Notre Dame was strutting out their new coach and no one knew what to expect from Lou Holtz and ND.

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Two moments stood out for me in this game: (1) After Harbaugh floated a perfect 27-yard touch pass to Jamie Morris for a touchdown, the Michigan quarterback flashed the #1 finger as he raced to the endzone to celebrate the score with his teammates. When did Michigan’s QB ever proclaim so visibly that they truly were #1? Never. (2) Late in the 4th quarter with the contest still in doubt and facing a critical 3rd & 6 at their own 22 yard-line, Harbaugh lofted a perfect 38-yard pass to Kolesar down the Michigan sideline that got the Wolverines out of trouble. When did Bo EVER throw deep on a critical 3rd & short with the game on the line? Never. Not until #4 arrived. A last-second John Carney field goal miss preserved the 24-23 Michigan victory.

#1 1986 Ohio State – After beating Notre Dame (twice), after beating Ohio State at home, and after winning the Fiesta Bowl, there was still something missing on the Harbaugh resume: a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl berth. Both were on the line in 1986. If that wasn’t enough pressure, Harbaugh put the bull’s-eye squarely on himself after he predicted victory over the Bucks on the Monday before the tilt with OSU.

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This game was what he dreamed about as a kid emulating his boyhood idol, Rick Leach – beating the Bucks & going to Pasadena – and nothing was going to prevent him from reaching his ultimate goal. Much like he said before his first start in 1984, he was going to do whatever it took to win. In this game it meant overcoming a 11 point deficit in the second half and the raucous crowd in Columbus he so incited with his guarantee. It meant cupping his hands around his facemask to make it appear that his teammates could not hear his audibles that he really wasn’t screaming to them. It meant not throwing a touchdown pass the entire game. It meant executing the game plan to perfection. When it was all said and done, Harbaugh & the Wolverines would emerge victorious In Columbus, 26-24. They were Big Ten Champs and would head west to play in the Rose Bowl, just like he dreamed about as a kid.

Other Notables on Harbaugh:

  • Harbaugh would be the first UM QB to throw for 300 yards in one game (1986 Wisconsin, 1986 Indiana).
  • #4 was the nation’s most efficient passer in 1985 & finished second in 1986.
  • He would also become the QB to successfully break the Bo threshold of attempting more than 25 passes per game AND WIN – another indication that Michigan had finally devised an effective passing game that could win games.
  • Harbaugh started his career being late for his first team meeting and held a clipboard that entire 1982 season. He ended his career by hoisting the Big Ten Championship Trophy and singing The Victors in Columbus.

 

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Last week we learned that the new radio broadcast team will be former U-M teammates Jim Brandstatter and Dan Dierdorf.  The big news is that Brandy is shifting over a seat to do the play-by-play, with DD handling the color commentary.  I confirmed with Doug Karsch that he will remain is his previous role handling the on-field duties.  I kinda hope Karsch would get the nod to be in the booth (in one role or another) but it’s hard to argue with the Brandy-DD team.  Heck, I didn’t even know Dierdorf was an option.

You might know that Brandy stepped in to handle the radio play-by-play back in 2003 for the Northwestern game, but that’s not actually the first time he performed those duties during a Michigan football game.  It turns out that was way back in 1980…on TV.  Recently Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis shared with me the details of Brandstatter’s first shot calling the game:

In 1980, Larry Adderley and Jim Brandstatter were all set to call the Michigan-Notre Dame football game from South Bend, Indiana for a local cable TV outlet.  Adderley, who had just finished 5 years as the host of Michigan Replay with coach Bo Schembechler, would unfortunately come down with laryngitis just before kickoff.  He made a valiant effort to do the play-by-play, but his voice just couldn’t hold up (see clip #1 below).

Brandstatter, having been a former UM offensive lineman knew the drill: when one man goes down, the next one has to step up. It has been the creed of Michigan Football since Bo arrived in 1969.  While he was planning on doing the color commentary for the cable telecast, Brandy manned up and took over for Adderley in the 2nd half. He recruited UM Hoopster Steve Grote to do the color commentary (see clip #2).  Obviously Brando got a little excited and you can tell he was “watching” the game in some spots instead of describing the action.  In his defense you have to remember that he was doing this game on TV, not radio.  He recovered nicely, and his call of Craig Dunaway’s last minute TD (see clip #3).

Not bad for his first gig as a play-by-play guy, especially when you consider he was prepping to do the game as the color commentary man.

Not too shabby indeed.  Here are the clips:

I heard back in January through my deep network of #1000SSS spies that Brandstatter was indeed going after the play-by-play gig…and it prompted this tweet exchange:

Brady MVictors tweets

We know now that Jim sought out clips from his first time doing radio play-by-play (2003 Northwestern) to help make his case to IMG and our friends on State Street.   Radio legend Art Vuolo, the man with an ultimate set of U-M audio in his archives, confirmed the story on his site last week:

Perhaps the reason I am personally so excited to see this happen is due, in part, to the fact that it was my pleasure to help out via my extensive archive of U of M games. In 2003, when back surgery prevented Frank Beckmann from making the trip to Evanston, IL for the UM-Northwestern game, Jim was pressed into service calling the game, with Steve Courtney doing the color commentary. Brandy called me and asked if I had that game? I said I have just about all of them.

After checking, that game was still on the original video cassette (a Beta tape none the less!) So, I copied it, with Jim on the audio, onto a DVD and watched it at the same time. I thought “wow he’s damn good at actually calling a game!” When he came over to pick up the disc he was truly amazed at the library of Michigan video I’ve accumulated over the past 35+ years.

A copy of that DVD was given to Michigan Athletic Director, Dave Brandon and the rest…is now history. In an e-mail I received from Jim Brandstatter on Thursday he said, “Thank the Lord you still had a copy of that Northwestern game when my copy didn’t work so well…that was big…I had no idea at the time, but it turned out large.”

My pleasure Brando.

Nice work Art.  Nice work Sap.  Looking forward to hearing the new crew.

 

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Rose Bowl Watch

A close-up on the watch Bo is wearing on the Schembechler Statue – hmm, 1981 Rose Bowl!  Note it also reads 1pm – Bo’s favorite time to start a game — (MVictors photo)

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Bo’s headset – with the Dymo tape and all– (MVictors photo)

If you missed it, we had some great radio this morning on WTKA 1050AM  as Ira and Sam were joined in studio by MVictors’ own Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis to discuss his recent Bo Brackets series.   The discussion of Bo’s greatest teams wasn’t left to those in studio alone, as Ira took calls from longtime coach Jerry Hanlon and legends Don Dufek, Stan Edwards and Ali Haji-Sheikh.

Check out all of the Bo Brackets posts here:  Background  Results:  Schembechler 16   Elite 8   Final Four   Title Game

Here are three clips from the show with a little on each:

Clip #1:  The Bo Bracket is introduced, Sap explains the origins and the initial seedings.  1980 kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh joins about 10 minutes in, and shares a quote from Bo himself what he considered his best team.

Clip #2: Leading off with a Bob Ufer clip, they get deeper into the Brackets and coach Jerry Hanlon joins in (5 mins in) and then Stan Edwards (10 minutes in). Edwards tells Hanlon, “…you know damn well..” that 1980 team was the best of the Bo era.  Edwards adds that the only team that could have kept pace was Lloyd Carr’s 1997 squad.

Clip #3:  Sam closes the show and Sap points out that Jim Brandstatter’s first true “play by play” radio experience was not 2003 Northwestern, but rather the 1980 Notre Dame game.  (More on that later).

Audio:

 

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[Ed. The conclusion of the Bo Brackets – a guest post once again by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis!]

To celebrate the conclusion of the Bo Brackets, it was decided that the Championship Game would be played at the Rose Bowl. 

The 1973 squad was designated as the home team via coin toss and would wear their home blue jerseys.  Conversely, the visiting 1980 M-Men would wear their white, road jerseys for this championship tilt.   While both teams were directed by #1000SSS to wear commemorative patches below sewn on to their respective jerseys for this game…there was one slight problem..

Patches …the 1973 team refused to put anything on their classic uniforms.  U-M Equipment Manager, Jon Falk, balked at the idea of stitching the patch on the 1973 blues and told the media, “We don’t need a patch on that beautiful uniform. We didn’t wear one for our other bowl games in the ‘70s, so we’re not going to start now. No thank you.”

The 1980 team had a different take on the patch.  The same trail-blazing group that convinced Bo to have their names put on the back of their jerseys (see Uniform Timeline – 1979 and 1989 entries) and felt having a patch sewn on was no big deal. 

But General Bo wouldn’t be pushed too far.  “Sure, I gave in and let them have their names on the jerseys, so having a patch sewn on was no big deal. But when they tried to convince me that the team should wear white shoes, that’s where I drew the line.  Absolutely not!” added Bo.

Reserve defensive end Dave Brandon (1973) and back-up defensive back Brad Bates (1980) were selected by their respective teammates to be honorary captains for this game as well as being most-likely-to-become-future-athletic-directors.

After the University of Michigan Alumni Band played the National Anthem and The Victors, both teams were ready for kickoff.  The 1980 team won the coin toss and naturally elected to defer.

When Brandon and the 1973 team decided to receive, Dennis Franklin and his offensive teammates couldn’t wait to get their hands on the ball.  Ali Haji-Shiekh’s opening kickoff sailed through the end zone and the ’73 team started first and ten from their own 20-yard line.  Not surprisingly, the first play of the game was a handoff to fullback Ed Shuttlesworth and he powered up the middle for a gain of 5 yards.  Successive option pitches to Chuck Heater and Gil Chapman put the ball on ’73 UM 38-yard line.   Now that they had lulled the ’80 defense into over-playing the run, TE Paul Seal’s number was called on a play-action pass. Franklin faked beautifully to Heater and hit Seal down the middle of the field for a 35-yard gain. Just like that the ’73 team was on the move against the great 1980 U-M defense.

Next up was a designed quarterback draw that left the middle of the field wide open for Dennis “The Menace” Franklin.  He scampered all the way to the 3-yard line and while the ’73 Wolverines were making it look easy, McCartney’s Monsters were back on their collective heels.   But on the very next play, Franklin fumbled the snap and Mike Trgovac recovered for the ’80 squad at their own 2-yard line.  

As the 1973 defense took the field, Co-Captain Dave Gallagher felt the momentum swing to the white shirts on the other side of the gridiron. He urged his teammates to stand their ground and force a three-and-out.  Don Dufek took his captain’s words to heart as he blitzed from his strong safety position on first down and tackled Butch Woolfolk at the goal line for a two-yard loss. Runs by Stan Edwards and Lawrence Ricks moved the ball out to the 8-yard line, giving the ’80 offense some breathing room to punt.

With freshman punter Don Bracken set to kick from his own end zone, the ’73 Wolverines called for a punt block. Bracken’s quick step and a half delivery beat the charging ’73 defenders as he boomed a high spiral that landed just in front of return man Dave Brown. As he was about to corral the punt, the pigskin bounced over Brown’s head and rolled toward the ’73 end zone. By the time Brown picked up the ball at his own 15-yard line, he was greeted by a sea of white jerseys and was downed on the spot.   Bracken’s 76-yard rifle-shot had flipped the field and the momentum changed once again.

The teams exchanged punts on the next two possessions and as the defenses continued to dominate, the first quarter ended with the score tied, 0-0.

To start the second quarter, Wangler completed consecutive passes to tight ends Norm Betts and Craig Dunaway.  Looking to put the first points of the game on the scoreboard, Wangler threw deep looking for Anthony Carter, but Brown got his fingertips on the pass just enough to deflect it past the spindly-legged receiver.  While Brown let Carter know that he was going to be around all game, AC, still looking for his first reception of the contest, reminded the Brown that #1 was not just a receiver…and the ’73 defensive back would find out the hard way on the very next play.

Realizing the 1980 offense needed a jump start, a flanker reverse was called and finally Carter got his hands on the ball. With nothing but green grass and offensive linemen in front of him, the “Human Torpedo” weaved his way through the 1973 defense for a 54-yard touchdown run.  A miscommunication on the ensuing point after try resulted in the snap hitting holder Rich Hewlett in the facemask. The ball was picked up by Haji-Shiekh but he was swarmed over by the ’73 defense and with just over two minutes to play in the half, the 1980 U-M squad was up, 6-0.

Franklin and the ’73 offense took the ensuing kickoff and methodically moved down the field using their last timeout to give Mike Lantry a shot at a 55-yard field goal.  “Super Toe” hit it high enough and long enough to finally get the ’73 team on the board and the first half ended, 6-3 in favor of the 1980 Wolverines.

HALFTIME SCORE:  1980 Whites 6, 1973 Blues 3

To start the second half, Ed Muransky and Bubba Paris were determined to impose their collective will on the ’73 defense.  The two mammoth tackles wanted to run the ball and that’s just what the ’80 offense did.   Runs by Edwards and Ricks moved them into scoring position but a fumble by Woolfolk ended the drive and once again the momentum swung over to the 1973 side.  Capitalizing on this break, Franklin ran successive option pitches to Heater to set up the one trick play the ’73 squad had been working on all week.

On third down, Franklin ran another option play and pitched the ball to Heater once again. This time, Heater threw to a wide open Seal and he lumbered in for a 25-yard touchdown.  Lantry’s extra point now gave the ’73 team its first lead of the game, 10-6.

Missed field goals by each team kept the score unchanged at the end of three quarters.
With the momentum and lead on their side, the ’73 team’s strategy in the 4th quarter was to use up as much clock as possible and put the game in the hands of their strong defense.  The strategy played out exactly how they wanted as the ’80 offense had the ball on their own 30-yard line with just over a minute to play and one timeout.  Seventy yards separated the two teams from victory or defeat. 

A first down pass to Carter picked up 15 yards.  Wangler then connected with Alan Mitchell for 10 yards before he tip-toed the sideline and stepped out of bounds with 30 seconds to go.  The ’80 squad was now at the ’73 UM 45-yard line and on the move.

A pass intended for Betts was knocked down by Dufek and on second down, Wangler missed an open Carter across the middle.  Facing a 3rd and 10 Bo called his favorite play, 54 Draw, fully expecting the ’73 defense to be keying on Carter. 

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Sure enough, when Wangler went back and handed off to Woolfolk, the entire middle of the field was wide open. Butch ran and ran until Dave Brown made a shoe-string tackle that brought Woolfolk down at the ’73 UM 4-yard line with just 4 seconds to play.  Wangler hurriedly called his last timeout as the Bo Brackets Championship Game would come down to one last play.

With the entire ’80 offense focused on every word Bo said, he barked out the details of the final play of the game. Wangler was to roll out and look for Carter on a quick hitch. If he was covered, Edwards would be the safety valve out of the backfield. If he was covered, Wangler would have to run it in.

On the other side of the field, the ’73 defense was thinking one thing and one thing only – BLITZ!  As the teams lined up for the final play, everybody in the Rose Bowl rose to their feet. 

Wangler took the snap, rolled to his right, saw that Carter was covered, looked for Edwards but before he could set his feet, Don Dufek came out of nowhere and drove Wangler’s shoulder into the Pasadena turf, but not before Wangler lofted a desperation pass to his fullback.

Edwards reached back for the pass, and as it caromed off his shoulder pads it looked like Dave Brown would make the interception, but he slipped on the Rose Bowl grass and deflected the ball right into the hands of a diving Craig Dunaway.  

As the tight end came up from the end zone turf with the ball, he victoriously hoisted it over his head. The referee confirmed the score by signaling touchdown!

The 1980 U-M Team had won, 12-10!

They were Bo’s Best and the victory in the Rose Bowl proved it.

EXCLUSIVE:  Photos from the big game compliments of SAP:

The Two Bo Schembechlers During the pre-game warm-ups, Dr. Sap got on the field and snapped this photo of the two coaches.

 

Bo and Moeller complain 19731973 Bo tries to convince the referee that Franklin’s knee was down before he fumbled in the 1st quarter.

 

Don Bracken Michigan Punter1980 punter Don Bracken booms his 76-yard momentum-changing kick early in the game.

Anthony Carter - White Jersey - MichiganAnthony Carter eludes a tackler on his way to his 54-yard flanker reverse touchdown run.

 

Butch WoolfolkButch Woolfolk runs for 41 yards to set up the winning score, atoning for his fumble earlier in the game.

 

Bo send in the play - Michigan football

Bo sends in the final play of the game.

 

Johnny F'ing Wangler rolls out

Wangler rolling out on the last play of the game looking for someone open.

 

 

Bo celebration in Rose BowlBo and his 1980 Wolverines riding high in the Rose Bowl at the conclusion of the Bo Brackets.

 

THANK YOU STEVE!  MichiganA salute to Dr. Sap and MVictors from the HIGHLY partisan Michigan crowd

 

Final Bracket:

BO B FINAL

UGP

Via the mind of Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis, here are the Round 1 results of the Bo Brackets

the Bo Brackets

ROUND 1 GAMES – 1970s

clip_image001 1969 vs 1970
In a close game, 1969 pulled away late in the 2nd half with a pic-six by Barry Pierson and a Garvie Craw 1-yard TD run that came off a Tom Curtis interception.

 

Final Score: 21-7
1969 advances

 

clip_image002 1971 vs 1972
Dennis Franklin out dueled Tom Slade for most of this game, but Billy Taylor scored his 2nd TD of the contest on a 65-yard scamper to put the ’71 squad up, 17-13. Franklin’s last second Hail Mary pass was batted down by Thom Darden in the endzone to preserve the victory for the 1971 team as they move on.

 

Final Score: 17-13
1971 advances

 

clip_image003 1976 vs 1977
Rob Lytle ran for three TD’s as the ’76 squad looked to make this game a blowout, but Rick Leach’s three TD passes in the 4th quarter tied the game at 21 with just under a minute to go. Jim Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards to set up Bobby Wood’s game winning 33-yard field goal. Final score: 24-21.

Final Score: 24-21
1976 advances

 

clip_image004 1973 vs. 1974
A back and forth contest that saw the lead change 3 times, this game, not surprisingly, came down to a last second field goal. This time Mike Lantry drilled it right down the middle to give the 1973 team the 20-17 victory.

 

Final Score: 20-17
1973 advances

 

ROUND 1 GAMES – 1980s

clip_image005

1980 vs 1981
An 80-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Carter in the first quarter put the 1980 squad up early, but dual-threat QB Steve Smith led the 1981 Wolverines on three scoring drives to take the lead, 9-7 just before the half. After making some halftime adjustments McCartney’s Monsters finally figured out how to stop Smith with two red-zone interceptions in the 4th quarter to win, 17-9.=

Final Score: 17-9
1980 advances

 

clip_image007
1988 vs 1978
In a battle of #7 southpaw signal callers, Demetrius Brown emerged victorious over Rick Leach, 28-21. John Kolesar caught two TD passes while Vada Murray intercepted Leach’s pass in the endzone in the final minute of the game to preserve the victory for the ’88 squad.

Final Score: 28-21
1988 advances

 

clip_image008 1989 vs 1986
Jim Harbaugh threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to freshman wideout Greg McMurtry, but it wasn’t enough as J.D. Carlson kicked 4 field goals to lift the 1989 squad to the victory.

Final Score: 26-24
1989 advances

 

clip_image009 1985 vs 1982
Jamie Morris ran for 275 yards and two touchdowns and Mark Messner had four sacks to lead the 1985 team to a 24-10 victory. Messner’s last sack separated Steve Smith’s shoulder, knocking him out of the game early in the 3rd quarter.

Final Score: 24-10
1985 advances

 

For more on the Bo Brackets, click here.   Second round coming up later this week.

 

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