Sunday, June 29, 2008

Michigan quarterbacks of the early-'70s

Nick Meyer of the Detroit Free Press recently compiled a photo list of Michigan's top 10 quarterbacks of the past 30 years. Here is Meyer's list:

This list only covered the past thirty years (1978-present). As this blog covers what I refer to as the modern-era of Michigan Football (1969-present), I thought I would go back and profile in chronological order the three outstanding Wolverine quarterbacks of the early-'70s who were not on the list.

Don Moorhead (1970 starting QB)

Moorhead was co-Captain of the 1970 squad. He was also the starter in 1969 during which he lead the Wolverines to the historic 24-12 victory over then #1 ranked Ohio State. In 1970, Moorehead guided the Wolverines to a perfect 9-0 start heading into the final game of the season versus Ohio State. On the year, Moorhead was 87-190 passing (45.8%) for 1,167 yards with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also ran the ball 97 times for a net total of 368 yards and he had two rushing touchdowns.

Tom Slade (1971 starting QB)

Slade was a tough-as-nails QB who was better known for his blocking ability than he was for his passing ability. Slade piloted the Wolverines to Coach Schembechler's only perfect regular season as the Wolverines went 11-0 in 1971 and advanced to the Rose Bowl. Slade only threw 63 passes in 12 games that year. He was 27-63 passing (42.9%) for 364 yards with 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He was more proficient in the running game as he toted the ball 87 times for a net total of 266 yards while scoring 3 touchdowns.

Dennis Franklin (starting QB 1972-1974)

Franklin was a three-year starter that led the Wolverines to an incredible 30-2-1 record from 1972-1974. The only downside was Michigan went 0-2-1 versus Ohio State in those three seasons and the Wolverines never made it to the Rose Bowl game in that span. Nevertheless, Franklin ranks right near the top of Michigan's all-time most successful quarterbacks. Franklin was a proficient passer as well as an extremely dangerous runner. During his three-year stint as the Wolverines' signal caller, Franklin completed 153 of 294 passes (52.0%) for 2,285 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. On the ground, Franklin displayed dazzling footwork as he gained a net total of 1,212 yards on 351 carries with 16 touchdowns.

Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of QB Tom Slade (17) conferring with Coach Schembechler on the sidelines from Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

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