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If they do, it won't be for lack of hitting. Schembechler likes to emphasize hitting. On defense this theme is perhaps best articulated by senior Defensive Back Frank Gusich, known as the Wolf-man because that is the name of his position (some teams would call him the Ripper or the Monster). He is also called Superman, because when he changes into his head-busting clothes he is transformed from a mild-mannered, Mass-attending, nice person (he was elected last year to Churchmen's All-American) to a fellow who lives for the moment when he catches a fullback in the flat just looking up to catch a pass. At such a moment Gusich goes, as he puts it himself, "berserk." The fullback goes end-over-end.
For the offense, let McKenzie speak. "You can't shuck and jive, you can't lallygag," he says. "You got to hit." Searching for an analogy to the satisfaction he gets from really stunning someone, he says, "It's like...when you bite into a good piece of apple pie and say, 'Ohhhhhh, that's good.' Lots of times I'll be sitting talking, and I'll just get to shivering, from thinking about loving to hit."
During the week before the Michigan State game, the Spartan defensive tackle who was to play opposite McKenzie declared that if Michigan State didn't win he would eat a towel. Michigan State did prove more formidable than its reputation, but McKenzie's performance against the tackle was later graded at 92%, and Michigan won 24-13.
"I want to see him eat a towel," McKenzie was yelling after the game. "Hey Bo, can I go across the hall? I want to see him eat a towel." "Be humble in victory, Reggie," said Schembechler. " Michigan State did all the woofing," said Billy Taylor, "and we did all the whupping."
The Mellow Men do a good deal of woofing too, though. After the Illinois game—as they have after every game since they moved into the white house as juniors—the seven of them and their parents and brothers and sisters and nephews and friends and coaches and their parents' old PTA associates convened for "dinner at the den." Name tags reading "guest of the den" were distributed; fried chicken, barbecued ribs, green beans, turnip greens, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, chicken and rice, black-eyed peas, baked beans, sweet-potato pie, lemon pie and chocolate cake cooked by the parents and brought in from Detroit, Flint and Highland Park, Mich. as well as Cincinnati, Sandusky and Barberton, Ohio were hit almost as hard as the Illini had been. Mike Taylor's father danced to James Brown's Hot Pants. Carpenter's girl friend Pat Batson, a professional singer, was prevailed upon to sing her Mellow Men song, with Billy Taylor, McKenzie, Darden and Doughty moving and going "woom badoom awoom" in the background. Some of the words went like this:
"There's an endless giving of love and affection,
Just try telling that one to some of the football teams that have visited Ann Arbor recently.