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Wolverines Run Through Two Tough Practices

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By Wayne DeNeff

PASADENA, Calif.—It was a happy but tired gang of Michigan football players who trotted off the football field, here, yesterday afternoon.

They were happy because Coach Bo Schembechler had just announced there would be no evening meetings and tired because their first full day in California had been a particularly hard one.

It started with an early wake-up for team breakfast, then the group boarded buses for the half-hour ride to East Los Angeles Junior College where the Wolverines are practicing privately in a bowl-like stadium which seats 22,000.

Their morning workout was rugged, lasting about two hours. Then they had to shower and dress for the trip back to their hotel in Pasadena for lunch.

There was no time for a siesta after lunch.

A picture session for the Los Angeles press was scheduled for 2 p.m. and the Wolverines appeared in their regular game uniforms.

Then there was another change of clothes to start another practice until dark.

Some of the Wolverines, their bodies still on Ann Arbor time, had awakened in the wee hours of the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Some complained of headaches but trainer Lindsy McLean, who spent three years not too far from here as head trainer at San Jose State, said the headaches were not at all unusual considering the change in climate, hours and the fact the Wolverines had spent several hours on a plane Thursday.

There was some impromptu cheering for senior defensive back Brian Healy who received a wire informing him that he had been accepted for Medical School at Michigan.

The wire was signed by Assistant Dean Robert Green under the words: “Go Blue.”

A light rain fell during the last half of the afternoon practice.

The Wolverines have impressed Californians with their reserve during their first 24 hours here and while they’re obviously enjoying all the attention they’re not awed nor overwhelmed.

They no doubt are one of the best dressed Big Ten teams to play here—outfitted with gold, doubt-breasted blazers, blue slacks, blue shirts and appropriate ties.

“Yes, it’s all new,” said Schembechler, “but I don’t know if just because you’re dressed sharply that means you can play football.”

There is one question Schembechler is hearing repeatedly and it goes something like this:

“is it possible Michigan can get emotionally worked up for another game like it did for Ohio State?”

Bo’s answer is pretty much the same each time:

“I think we can. We have a very enthusiastic club.”

Quarterback Don Moorhead answers that the “Rose Bowl under any circumstances is a tremendous challenge and a great opportunity for any football team.”

Says Capt. Jim Mandich: “I don’t think we’ll let down in any respect. Southern California’s front five is the best assemblage of defensive linemen in college football today.”

At the first press conference, Moorhead came in for some special praise from Schembechler, who likes to think of his team as a collection of food, hard football players rather than a collection of stars.

“I like Moorhead a lot,” said the coach about the South Haven junior.

“He went up against Mike Phipps and beat him and he went up against Rex Kern and beat him. You have to like a quarterback like that.”

Schembechler chided the west coast writers who, before Michigan upset Ohio State, had urged repeal of the “no-repeat” rule so that Ohio State could make a second straight appearance in the Rose Bowl.

“I won’t minimize the fact that you people didn’t want us here,” said Schembechler with a twinkle in his eye. “What gets me is that you didn’t want us and now we’re four-point favorites to win the game.”

Another day of morning and afternoon practices is scheduled for the Wolverines on Saturday and it’ll be Sunday before the enjoy a bit of daytime relaxation. Schembechler has scheduled only a light workout for Sunday.

Incidentally, the Wolverines will have to eat more than 268 pounds of beef Sunday night at Lawry’s Prime Rib restaurant if they are to top the total eaten by Southern Cal.

The team that eats the most beef at Lawry’s is supposed to win the game. It’s happened in 13 of the last 14 games going back to 1956 when Iowa put more beef away than Oregon State.

Southern Cal’s statistics are impressive—268 pounds of prime rib, 90 pounds of potatoes, 60 pounds of buttered peas, 40 pounds of creamed spinach, 25 gallons of milk, 40 crates of lettuce, 15 gallons of ice cream and 40 pounds of pudding.

USC linebacker Greg Slough and reserve linemen Bob Stirling and Ron Gallagher each ate four cuts of prime rib to break the old record of three.