Michigan is well grounded
Michigan is well-grounded well-grounded well-grounded U-M, U-M, U-M, from Page 1D there's been a complete turnabout," said U-M U-M U-M backfield coach Tirrel Burton. "Certainly there is always room to improve. But the important thing is our performance on blocking schemes is better and our backs are more experienced experienced and confident. i "That's the thing. We've got good balance back there. All of them are capable runners, blockers and catchers. We try and keep drilling to each the importance of blocking for each other and not having what we call tunnel vision. When they come off the snap, each back has an assignment and he's got to be able to read and make his block. Just like on defense, when we find a back who can't block, we're going to blitz, his way. Our backs know that teams would try the same against us." ! There is camaraderie among the backfield, said fullback Gerald White. "We all know that we have fairly equal ability, but I know that I'm not as fast as Jamie (Morris) or Tommy Wilcher), and they know I may be a little better runner up the middle," White said. "So whoever is in there will do the best at what they do best. We like working together and for each other. That breeds success." THEY ENJOYED plenty of success against South Carolina, Carolina, rushing for 324 yards. After Harbaugh hit split end Paul Jokisch early on two deep passes (41 and 26 yards), South Carolina's linebackers took deeper drops for pass coverage. The secondary moved deeper. And Michigan's offensive line especially on the right side where tackle Clay Miller was consistently dominant ran roughshod over the Gamecocks' Gamecocks' defensive front. Wilcher, in his first start, led all rushers with 104 yards and scored his first U-M U-M U-M touchdown. Since arriving at Michigan in 1982 from Detroit Central, his career has been marred by injury. In 1982 he sprained an ankle and had surgery on his right knee. In 1983 he was slowed by a turf-toe turf-toe turf-toe injury and another ankle sprain. And last year he suffered a season-long season-long season-long hamstring inury. But Wilcher had high hopes this season after finishing third in the 110-meter 110-meter 110-meter high hurdles in the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in June. "I kind of used that as a stepping stone," Wilcher said. "I know I've got a little speed, so I want to use that to make better better reads off blocks and get to the holes. I don't think they (his coaches) have too much confidence in my pass-catching pass-catching pass-catching abilities, but I'm working on that. I think I've come from the bottom there to near the top." J How U-M U-M U-M grinds it out Michigan's running ways after two games compared with same time last season: YEAR ATT - YARDS TD 1984 (1-1) (1-1) (1-1) 67 346 1985 (2-0) (2-0) (2-0) 113 575 How the coach rates backs Michigan backfield coach Tirrel Burton's assessment assessment of his charges: Bob Perryman (6-1, (6-1, (6-1, 225) "He's a veteran back there now, and as big as he is he can play both fullback and tailback. He's a good athlete with speed, size and good hands. He hasn't played his best football yet." Gerald White (6-0, (6-0, (6-0, 21 2) "Another tailback-fullback, tailback-fullback, tailback-fullback, although we've moved him more to fullback this year. An all-out all-out all-out player." ' Jamie Morris (5-7, (5-7, (5-7, 175) "He had success as a freshman last year. Good quickness and probably the best pass catcher back there." Thomas Wilcher (6-0, (6-0, (6-0, 185) "The most pleasant surprise we've had this year, but he's always been capable. The injuries have slowed him, but he's starting to reach his potential. In a flat-out flat-out flat-out race, he's probably the fastest man on the team." Ernie Holloway (5-10, (5-10, (5-10, 187) "He doesn't have much playing experience, but he's probably the most natural back we have. Great foot quickness. He has all the skills. Phil Webb (8-1, (8-1, (8-1, 205) "He's been hampered by injuries, but he's good. Great in the open field. Coach Bo Schembechler thinks Wilcher will be a key man in the Wolverines' success this season. He has moved defensive back Ken Mouton to the backfield for more depth,, because Phil Webb and Morris (hamstrings) and Ernie Holloway (ankle) are injured. Webb has not yet played but should Saturday against Maryland. Holloway is questionable. questionable.