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Wolverines Rally Following Rash Of Critical Injuries

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By Wayne DeNeff

PASADENA, Calif.—At least one good thing could come out of Michigan’s bad injury situation.

The Wolverines’ run of misfortune could serve as a rallying factor when they clash with Southern California in the 56th Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day.

It’s not uncommon in athletics for others to rise to the occasion when a teammate is forced out of a big game by an injury.

If there was any over-confidence on the part of the Wolverines as they prepared for this game, it most certainly disappeared in view of the knee injury which has left Glenn Doughty hospitalized after surgery, the arm injury which has left Barry Pierson a doubtful starter and the knee injury which is restricting work of middle guard Henry Hill.

Friday was a down day for the Wolverines and it couldn’t be anything else because their thoughts centered on Doughty and the injury which caused him to miss what very likely is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl.

“It is a shame that a young sophomore like Doughty misses a chance to play in the Rose Bowl,” said Coach Schembechler, whose own low spirits over the injuries were obvious.

But Doughty hasn’t given up hopes of playing here.

“I’m not through,” he said on the day of his operation. “I’m only a sophomore and there is still another chance to come here for another Rose Bowl.”

Some of the Wolverines visited Doughty Friday afternoon, just a few hours after the operation to repair the knee which was damaged in Wednesday’s practice.

Schembechler now has junior Lance Scheffler running in the No. 2 tailback spot behind Billy Taylor and sophomore Preston Henry is also getting work at that position.

Henry has been both first and second string wingback throughout the season and is a young man with lots of speed and daring. Henry has also taken over Doughty’s spot on the kickoff return team.

Michigan’s practice was a light one Friday and it was expected to be light today as Schembechler prepares the squad with a schedule that closely resembles a week during the season.

Sunday and Monday practices will be hard, just like they were in Ann Arbor on a Tuesday and Wednesday preceding a regular game. Tapering off will start on Tuesday and there will only be a light drill on Wednesday, the day the team leaves to spend a night of peace and quiet at a nearby monastery.

Thursday is the day of the game and there is a noticeable buildup here. In downtown Pasadena the Christmas decorations have already come down and been replaced by Rose Bowl banners.

Every available space between buildings on the long route of the parade is being prepared as a viewing area.