The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on December 29, 1970 · 37
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 37

Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 29, 1970
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Dolphliits Didn't Bob Griese spoke in a semi-croak on The Season That Was A stranger bearing pad and pencil edged closer to Griese's locker in the Oakland Coliseum and inquired as to whether Griese had laryngitis or just what "Nah" Griese said drawing out the word to express his heartbreak over the 21-14 defeat Sunday "I get hoarse most games just hollering so much" He added dryly "Unfortunately this time I have a long time to get over it" That was the tenor of the Dolphin reaction The finality of elimination from American Football Conference playoffs struck like a wet mop laced with iron filings I have seen more Dolphin teams depressed than I enjoy remembering but none so utterly shot through with dejection as Sunday's THE DOLPHINS flew home immediately after Dolphins' Shula Congratulates Oakland Quarterback Lamonica mudsplauered Klick turns away from shocking scoreboard game this past season the worst blow struck Butch Duhe destined to share the 1970 quarterback job died suddenly It's still hard for McClendon to talk about Duhe but as he prepares his Tigers for their Orange Bowl date with Nebraska mention the word quarterback and he positively bubbles Over with enthusiasm The reasons are Buddy By BOB ELLIOTT Herald Columnist In most of his first eight years as head football coach at Louisiana State Charlie McClendon was apt to shudder at the mention of the word quarterback At various times he lost such star signal-callers as Nelson Stokley Pat Screen and Freddy Haynes — among others Then two weeks before the opening Duct! Power Solves LSU's Murtaugh Anchors Nebraska Defense By GARY LONG Herald Sports Writer Defense a Nebraska trademark of the past was the fear of the future when the Cornhuskers began their 1970 football campaign Eight of the 11 starters were either sophomores or inexperienced second-year players "In spring ball it looked bad" admitted linebacker Jerry Murtaugh Monday "And at the beginning of the season everybody was saying how rotten our defense would be" But Murtaugh took the initial assessment as a personal affront and rallied Nebraska's "Black Shirts" As a result Louisiana State won't be the only team bringing defensive pride into Friday night's Orange Bowl classic As Murtaugh pointed out "We've got to be pretty effective We're undefeated (10-0-1) and we've allowed just Over 16 points a game That's not too bad" THE TALENTED All-American didn't even bother to add that many of the opponents' points were scored against Cornhusker reserves after Nebraska's potent offense had rolled up an insurmou-table cushion Murtaugh has been the defense's ringleader "1 guess Jerry has about every school record for tackles assists and such" linebacker coach John Melton said shortly after the teams morning workout at Miami-Dade Junior College North "He just wants to get to the ball" Melton added in simple explanation of Murtaugh's prowess "That's about nine-tenths of it He seems to haus a sense of where it will be And he's real aggressive real tough" That toughness resulted in the defensive standout being selected the rugged Big Eight Conference's Player of the Year by one wire service "I was shocked" the grinning Murtaugh said "getting it over (Kansas State quarterback) Lynn Dickey like that" BUT STATISTICS provide an ample case in his behalf He made 71 unassisted tackles assisted on 61 others Grid Scores College Tangerine Bowl Toledo 40 William-Mary 12 Blue-Gray All-Stars Gray 38 I 4 Blue 7 Sports Editor the game Some of the coaches' wives including Mrs Don Shula stayed overnight Monday morning they were conducting post-mortems at the San Francisco airport while waiting for their flight Mrs Shula also was casting about for some gifts to bring home to the kiddies "I saw a T-shirt with 'San Francisco' printed on it" she said softly "But I don't think that would be a Lee a senior and Bert Jones a sophomore Together they give LSU as potent a quarterbacking pair as college football knows Says McClendon "I'm far better situated at quarterback than at any time in my and intercepted three passes "Jerry had 15 individual tackles and 10 assists against Southern Cal alone" Melton added of the 21-21 tie that blemished an otherwise perfect record "He's started every game for three years but I think that was his best" Murtaugh concurs But he's quick to add "I could have had so many more But you can't get a good shot at that Clarence Davis I must have missed him eight times I think he's the best back in the nation "Kansas' (John) Riggins is tough But he comes straight at you and you can usually get your shot Not Davis" Murtaugh attributes much of his success to being "in the right place at the right time" and hopes that same theme will result in a solid shot at a pro career At 6 feet 3 inches and 212 pounds he belies the old "ponderous pachyderms of the Plains" tag that used to be applied to Nekraska defenders AND HE admits "Straight ahead if you timed me I'm not very fast" But without a trace of empty boastfulness he adds "I've run down some ball players though Chas:ng somebody I usually catch 'em And latrally I can move with anybody" Last year Nebraska t r aveled to the Sun Bowl to smash Georgia 45-6 and Murtaugh was voted the game's best lineman He hopes he and the Cornhuskers live up to that precedent against LSU " elieve They Could Lose —United Press International Telephoto coaching career I can't say enough about either of them They're both big and strong good passers and the team has extreme confidence in each one It's a beautiful picture" I WHEN YOU'VE GOT as very welcome present" It was suggested that the only thing worse would be a T-shirt with 'Oakland' emblazoned across it Mrs Shula agreed ' WHAT GRIESE SAID what Mrs Shula said what many another Dolphin insider said reflects in large degree what made the club a 10-4 contender after winning only 15 games the previous four seasons Once the totally single-minded Shula got a grip on the club — which took just about three days of four-practices-a-day routine after the veterans reported in August they simply could not believe they could be beaten Even the awful three-game streak involving Cleveland Baltimore and Philadelphia was met with disbelief rather than discouragement Once the gloom wears off the Dolphins will be qt's Our Mud' By BILL BRAUCHER Herald Sports Writer Miami loyalists remained convinced Monday that mud was an ingredient more damaging than Daryle Lamonica's arm to the Dolphins in Oakland Accordingly three local authorities on Oakland mud were consulted in the wake of the 21-14 defeat that left a brown taste in an otherwise sweet season for the Dolphins Jim Otto the 32-year-old center has been thrusting about II years for the Raiders without missing a game The last five years he has labored in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum a structure dedicated in 1966 apparently by King Neptune The field is below sea level When it rains which is often in the Bay area late in the year the water is absorbed so slowly that shiny black pools lend the place an Everglades touch The Sleeper talented a twosome as Lee and Jones what do you do with them? McClendon found this no problem — he plays both Lee usually starts (and will against Nebraska) but after two or three series in comes Jones And they'll keep alternating most of the game "We go with the hot hand" says Coach Mac Each played considerably in every One of LSU's 11 games last 0:: §5tikAlta:44- §0tia440:W4'':'4 - or-gry 1111 s04 40-41MikakZlitbo oks e —Herald Staff Photo by MARLIN LEVISON So WHAT if there was a basketball game going on? So what if it was an exciting close basketball game? So what if Coral Gables was putting on a second-half rally to defeat Nor land 62-53 in the first round of the Carol City High School Holiday tournament? A fella needs his rest Story on Page 2C Raider Iicralb COMPOUNDING the mess is the baseball infield where the Athletes toil in summers Squares of sod are pegged down over the skinned diamond almost as regularly as the sod is torn up Deep slashes left by cleated shoes make the area look from the grandstand as though herds of rabbits have been rounding the bases fall Nebraska can expect to see both the night of Jan 1 Each weighs 205 pounds Lee stands 6 feet 4 inches and Jones an inch less Each had more than 50 per cent completions in 1970 with Jones hitting on 52 of 100 Lee 73 of 138 1 remarked that they were the biggest men in the LSU backfield Lee nodded agreement but Jones as good a talker as he is a passer inter By LUTHER EVANS Herald Sports Writer The youthful magnetism of Fran Curci resulted Monday in his landing the first two local high school prospects for the University of Miami Just 10 days after becoming head coach Signed to four-year grant-in-aid football scholarships by Curci were: Steve Marcantonio 6-foot 3-inch 175-pound split end from Coral Gables High and Rick Schubert 6-foot 1-inch defensive end from Miami Jackson Both said they decided to sign with Miami because the 32-year-old Curd had accepted the task of rebuilding the UM's football fortunes "I wasn't interested in the University of Miami the way things were before" said Schubert Herald-All-City player "But once I knew Coach Curci was coming to Miami I wanted to be a part of the football team in the coming years "I liked the idea of Coach Curci being young I figured an old coach would have old ideas but that a young coach would have a younger point of view about life and football" MARCANTONIO said "I knew Coach (Jon) Mirilovich real well because he coached me as a junior at Gables After I found out that Coach Curd was coming I weighrd all the factors like opportunities after graduation from college "My main reason for picking Miami was that I'd rather build a good name in I o o tball for myself in my home tow n"4 1 able to reflect more realistically upon the positive aspects Defeat should never be glorified but neither is a 21-14 loss to Oakland cause for shame Item: Raider quarterback Daryle Lamonica has appeared in seven playoffs including his three years in Buffalo Bob Griese now has appeared in one playoff You think it doesn't make a difference? OF the sour taste left in Dolphin mouths at least little of it involved so-called "breaks" The Dolphins had the best of whatever breaks there were especially on recoveries on two Raider fumbles that averted almost certain scores Biscayne Kennel Club here even tried to ship along some extra luck to the West Coast The track arranged for a plane to pull a huge sign over the Coliseum The sign said GOOD LUCK DOLPHINS — BISCAYNE DOG TRACK Maybe it brought some luck Just not enough In time that will take care of itself tt 1 ' ' ' " 'f rta: Tuesday Dec 29 1970 Section C While spitting slime between his browned teeth after Sunday's grim business Otto acknowledged the cliche that both sides must operate on the same mud "With one slight exception" Otto added winking "It's our mud" Indeed Lamonica seemed to make ideal use of the few dry hatches along the side Quarterback Woes jected: "Hey that's not so You're forgetting about that 275- pound Notre Dame tackle He was in our backfield more than any of our guys" Notre Dame you'll recall handed LSU one of its two defeats 3-0 The other loss came at the hands of Texas A & M in the season opener when the Tigers were still Turn to Page 2C Col 6 Marcuntonio Schubert Sign Curci Attracts Dade Gridders When somebody asked the Gables receiver if he was aware of how tough UM schedules will be the next four years he grinned and replied "Yeah but I figured Coach Curd wouldn't have come to Miami if he didn't think he could beat these teams" "This is our first step toward building a firm base in South Florida recruiting" said Curd who drove back from Tampa to sign the two athletes personally "I think these two boys are winners" MIRILOVICH former Hurricane end who is now Miami's offensive chief scouted the Dade County area for Curci as a member of his University of Tampa staff last season "We were after both Schubert and Marcantonio for Tampa" Fran conceded "but we're happy they switched their allegiance to Miami along with us" Curci added "We recognized that Schubert was a fine athlete early last season This kid kept coming up with the big play week after week He could develop into a fine linebacker for us "Marcantonio could be a great college receiver He already has great hands And at 6-3 175 you can see nothing but a growth rate in front of him He's already a wide-out He also could grow up into a good tight end" Says lines and of the mud itself in directing his touchdown passes of 82 yards to Rod Sherman and 22 yards to Fred Biletnikolf "Naturally Lamonica said "you try to make the best of a situation like that We certainly ought to know the field We've been on it enough in all kinds of weather" TOM KEATING also an expert On mud after six years in Oakland admitted in -roundabout fashion that the field gave the Raiders an edge "It'a green mud" the defensive tackle said "I know I've swallowed it by the gallon I swallowed five pounds of it today and I say that only in Oakland can you taste green mud" Asked if his reference carried a connotation to the green hue of money Keating said "Not necessarily I just mean that the mud is green I'm Irish and I don't even like the taste of it" A steady weekend rain promoted the swampy conditions The Coliseum ground crew seemed to aid the promotion by removing the field tarpaulin at 10 am Sunday three hours before game time in a downpour that continued until about five minutes before the kickoff BOTH Al Davis Oakland's managing general partner and publicist Tom Grimes dismissed the premature removal of the canvas as trivial under the conditions "The field had been wet for the last three weeks anyway" Grimes said "The tarp was soaked through and probably doing more harm than good" Dolphin Coach Don Shula refused to alibi for the mud "We had all watched the (San Francisco) game on television the week before and were prepared for the worst" he said "We worked out about 30 minutes on the field Saturday and it was a real quagmire We hated to play under those conditions but hoped they would revert in our favor I'm certainly not going to complain about a situation that affecte both teams" SHULA laughed off the contention of Jim Warren that his signal-stealing was a factor in the outcome The Oakland reserve cornerback dismissed by the Dolphins in September said he recognized the defensive signs issuing from the Miami bench and relayed them to Lamonica "It's not hard to steal signals whether you already know them or try to read them during the game" Shula said "We send in a lot of signs from the bench but sometimes we don't "Furthermore we call automatics so many times depending on their offensive sets that it's just about impossible to recognize a particular defense with any certainty "We don't signal until the other team breaks its huddle and comes up to the line "Stealing is not really the problem Many teams try it The problem is making it useful stealing the signal and then getting it to the quarterback By the time they're coming up to the line Nick Buoniconti (the middle linebacker) is looking their quarterback in the eye He would certainly be aware if any stealing were going on with any success at all" So the score remains 21- 14 and the mud in Oakland remains Keating Green But all the same from July through December all things considered for the Dolphins it was a lovely war 10 )ositive asleither is a nonica has hrec years a one playhs at least Nler breaks :wo Raider ed to ship The track er the ColiPHINS mough ) ys mud itself in touchdown rards to Rod 22 yards to amonica said ce the best of that We cer:o know the been on it inds of weathNG also an after six years admitted in hion that the Raiders an mud" the de-said "I know it by the gal4c1 five pounds id I say that and can you i" reference cartation to the ioney Keating essarily I just mud is green I don't even f it" weekend rain iwampy condiiseum ground o aid the prooving the field ) am Sunday 'ore game time that continued re minutes ber vis Oakland's ieral partner Tom Grimes premature reinvas as trivial itions iriad been wet ee weeks any-mid "The tarp through and more harm tch Don Shula i for the mud watched the to) game on week before pared for the out about 30 e field Saturs a real quagto play under is but hoped revert in our iinly not going out a situation Dth teams" ghed off the Jim Warren stealing was a outcome The ie cornerback ie Dolphins in iid he recognsive signs is-Miami bench em to Lamonird to steal sig- i nui nl so ypg looking y oektmuei really tawgknahtl el aware oeanrtegl eni a id y r try to read the game" 'e send in a lot the bench but don't e we call au- any times de- heir offensive just about im- :ognize a par- with any cer- ignal until the aks its huddle o h ttnehheiieefr: teams try it g the signal By the time ti (the middle the eye He y Tere going on ss at all" remains 21- id in Oakland ig Green But t from July her all things the Dolphins war - l) 7::: ' ' H ' ' '1::"N ' 1('‘ ' ' !iit:f4 ' : - 3 - i " -t i 11 : - 'A " 'f --: k A ' - : 41 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