The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 47 so cold we tried to wear surgical gloves, but they'd just bust and peel right off." As such, they had trouble feeling their hands, Timberlake recalled. Still, he was able to grip the ball well enough for a 17-yard pass into a stiff wind to Detwiler just before the first half expired. When he added a fourth- quarter field goal, the game was all but in the bag. "It was so cold that toward the end of game, I almost felt euphoric," Conley recalled. "It was like floating on a cloud or something like that. It was a battle, and defensively we said: 'If we shut them out, they can't win.' When we scored the field goal we told the offense: 'We'll take it from here.'" They lived up to their word, stifling the Buckeyes the rest of the way to secure the 10-0 win and a Rose Bowl berth against No. 8 Oregon State. The Beavers scored first, but there would be no upset. Anthony's 84-yard run, a Rose Bowl record, was part of a 123- yard day that helped propel the Wolverines to a 34-7 triumph. Ward added 88 yards, but the recollection of Anthony's gallop is his lasting memory of the afternoon. "I can still see him right now," Ward said. "He'd hit the line and straighten up like a stallion and take off. He was an upright run- ner compared to a lot of runners now, but he could run." When it ended, the Wolverines sat No. 4 in the country, only a failed two-point conversion away from a possible national title. "It was a voting thing," Conley recalled. "The coaches' poll was UPI, and AP was a writer's poll. That was it. We lose one game by one point and shut out Ohio State at Ohio State. I don't know if people were really caught up in being national champions as they are today, but a lot of things had to happen to win that mythical title. "We take pride in that team and what we accomplished." A Mentor, A Friend What the 1964 team achieved as a group was far more than just victories on a football field. To a man, the pride in their accomplish- ments outside of football is evident, and each credits Elliott — who at 89 still sounds like he could be in his 60s — in large part for his personal success. They had so much respect for him that no- body wanted to let him down, Ward said. "He always kept everything calm and didn't get overexcited," Ward said. "He didn't make you feel like you were ever doing things wrong, but he'd teach you. "I loved him. I would do anything in the world for him." Added Mader: "Bump just had a way. I grew up in Chicago, so I knew the difference between an honest man and a 'BS-er.' If you were being recruited and going through all the glad-handing, people telling you how great you are, and then you heard Bump talk about football and education, you weren't going to go anywhere else. "I judged Bump to be an honest guy. It was one of the best judgments I ever made, because I've never had any doubts about him." He was different in a great way, Timberlake recalled. Mader, an engineering major, once had a test on Friday before a big Saturday game. Elliott allowed him to show up late for practice without consequence, always encour- aging his players to be true student-athletes. It's no wonder, then, that so many were so successful in life. "We think virtually every one of our play- ers graduated and in four years, except those who redshirted," Timberlake said. "Somebody added up the number of guys we had with advanced degrees … off the top of my head I can come up with a dozen or so. You don't see that these days. That's never going to return in Division I football. We really were student- athletes." Timberlake himself made the Big Ten All- Academic team and was named a scholar-ath- lete by the National Football Association. He, too, credits Elliott for his success, specifically his approach. "One of the things I think all the guys will remember about Bump is I don't think he put an excessive amount of pressure on us to win through criticizing us," Timberlake said. "In fact, I don't remember him criticiz- ing us, ever. I'm sure he did … maybe, 'You should have gone right instead of left,' or 'Make that catch next time' — but I can't ever remember him berating us the way you see it with some of the coaches today." In 1969, first-year head coach Bo Schem- bechler gave Elliott the game ball when the Wolverines upset No. 1 Ohio State to earn a trip to the Rose Bowl, Mader recalled. It was Elliott who recruited them, Schembechler noted, and put together the team that would spur years of greatness under the Schem- bechler's leadership. The 1964 team, though, might have been Elliott's crowning achievement, a group he molded into winners in every facet. When it reconvenes this fall, it will be as much to cel- ebrate the man who brought them together as their own accomplishments. "When you win it's obviously going to be fun, and I remember that team very vividly," Elliott said. "We had a team that just kind of put itself together both on offense and defense. We played three teams most of year, offense, defense and a third played both, and we used that one not as much as other two, but almost as much. The substitution rule worked well for us and we had very few, if any, injuries that kept us from doing what wanted to do. "It was one of those seasons you'll never forget." One that can be appreciated 50 years after the fact. ❏ Tailback Carl Ward scored the game-winning touchdown against Ohio State on a 24-yard run, and then had 10 carries for 88 yards and a score in the Rose Bowl win over Oregon State. PHOTO COURTESY BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY 1964 Wolverines In The Pros Tom Mack, OG (13 years in the NFL, 11 Pro Bowl appearances) Rick Volk, DB (12 years in the NFL, three Pro Bowl appearances) Frank Nunley, LB (10 years in the NFL) John Rowser, DB (10 years in the NFL) Bill Laskey, LB (10 years in the AFL/NFL) Mike Bass, DB (eight years in the NFL) Stephen Smith, TE (eight years in the NFL) John Henderson, TE (eight years in the NFL) Jack Clancy, WR (three years in the NFL) Carl Ward, RB (three years in the NFL) Arnie Simkus, DL (two years in the NFL) Bill Keating, DL (two years in the NFL) Bill Yearby, DE (one year NFL, career shortened by knee injury) Bob Timberlake, QB (one year in the NFL) 42-47.1964 50th Anniversary.indd 47 6/19/14 4:37 PM

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