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Surprising M, Badgers Battle To 'Stay Alive'

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By Wayne DeNeff

What a difference a few weeks make!

Just before the lid was blown off the 1969 season, fearless forecasters were consigning Wisconsin to another season in the depths of the Big Ten and Michigan somewhere below Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana and Minnesota.

So here we are on Halloween, fitting perhaps, with the Wolverines and Badgers running hard for the title and a possible Rose Bowl assignment.

The two teams share in a five-way tie for second place on 2-1 records and one will have its hopes pretty well shattered after tomorrow’s match which will be viewed by about 61,000 fans at Michigan Stadium.

It’s homecoming and the next to last home game for the Wolverines.

They’ll travel for the next two weekends visiting Illinois and Iowa before returning home for the season’s finale with Ohio State.

Wisconsin will play in Buckeyeland next weekend and then will play its final home game of the season against Illinois before winding up at Minnesota.

While much has been written and said about the two fine running backs, fullback Alan Thompson and halfback Joe Dawkins, and their exceptionally skilled quarterback, Neil Graff, it should be noted that these Badgers have received a lot of blocking help from Coach John Coatta’s big and agile linemen.

Michigan’s defensive forwards tomorrow will be challenged by two of the biggest tackles in the Big Ten—Elbert Walker, 6-5 and 290 pounds, and Mike McClish, 6-5 and 275. Working effectively at the guards have been Jon Murphy, 5-11 and 225, while the regular center is 6-1, 230-pound Jim Fedenia.

The man playing behind Walker is no ordinary second stringer. Sophomore Roger Jaeger (6-3, 220), who had kicked three field goals against UCLA when he played linebacker, booted three more in a 36-34 victory over Indiana last Saturday.

The field goals carried 39, 32 and 33 yards and tied a Big Ten record held by a number of players and first set in 1966 by Ohio State’s Gary Cairns.

Another weapon going for the Badgers tomorrow will be Greg (Grape Juice) Johnson who has been held back by injuries.

But against Indiana, Johnson was wheeling again, returning four kickoffs for 124 yards.

Hurt in the third game of the season, Johnson has yet to carry the ball from scrimmage in the Big Ten.

Both Thompson and pass receiver Mel Reddick are on the trail of impressive Wisconsin school records. Thompson’s 646 yards rushing puts him well ahead of Alan (The Horse) Ameche’s 1952 record pace when he had 500 yards through six games and finished with 946. Reddick now has a career total of 98 passes caught for 1,160 yards and the school record is 110 set by All-America Pat Richter from 1960 through 1962.

Juniors Chuck Winfrey, a linebacker, and Jim DeLisle, a tackle, are a couple of the foremost Wisconsin defenders.

Of course, Michigan has some weapons of its own to fire against the Badgers and it could be either sophomore Glenn Doughty (531 yards in 107 carries) or sophomore Bill Taylor (151 yards in 31 carries against Minnesota last Saturday) starting at tailback. Doughty has been injured but has improved.

Fullback Garvie Craw charged ahead for 50 yards against the Gophers and that has given the Badgers something extra to think about in their practices this week.

And the Wolverines continue to get fine play at quarterback where Don Moorhead ranks second only to Purdue’s Mike Phipps in total passing yardage in Big Ten games.

Phipps, who has 52 completions in 100 attempts, has accounted for 671 yards through the air while Moorhead (36 completions in 72 attempts) has 503 yards.

Graff is third on 36 of 70 for 467 yards.

Michigan’s defense, paced last week by the work of middle guard Henry Hill, end Cecil Pryor and safety Tom Curtis, kept Minnesota outside the 18-yard line and advanced Michigan’s defense ranking to fourth in the conference.

Michigan takes a four-game winning streak over Wisconsin into tomorrow’s game.

Trailing, 9-7, at the half last season, the Wolverines, behind Ron Johnson’s national record-setting 347 yards and five touchdowns, roared past the Badgers, 34-9.

The three previous years Michigan has won 50-14, 28-17 and 27-14 to lift its all-time edge to 22-7 since the series started in 1892.

BOX TEXT: $2 Wisconsin Tickets Set: Special $2 tickets for students are being offered for the Michigan-Wisconsin football game Saturday at Michigan Stadium. The special tickets can be purchased at the Athletic Ticket Office, at the corner of Hoover and State streets. Regular tickets will be sold at 17 gate locations before the game tomorrow.