It was that** Schembechler who arrived in Iowa City last week, unacquainted with the Schembechler who wouldn't shake Fry's hand on the field after a 9-7 loss to the Hawkeyes in 1981 (Fry finally ran him down on a stadium runway), or the one who couldn't see straight last season after Fry handed him his worst loss (26-0) as a coach at Michigan. Sheer delight with his team also might have had something to do with the new Bo. It's a fun bunch that includes four sons of former or current Bo assistants—Mike and Doug Mallory of Indiana coach Bill, Jim Harbaugh of Western Michigan coach Jack, and Andy Moeller of Michigan aide Gary. "Tell you how dumb this team is," Bo said. "They've given me the game ball twice already. I used to go years without getting a game ball."
Or perhaps Bo's new joie de vivre came from proving that even in the age of the fast pass and the fast buck, an old Edsel-like Schembechler could still shimmy. "We're just an old-fashioned kind of football team," he said. "We don't have any Heisman Trophy candidates, don't have any agents, and we don't have anybody insured."
If that sounded like a playful dig at Iowa, it was. Fry's Hawkeyes are the state of the art in the game: the No. 1 scoring offense in the country (44.2 points per game before Saturday); a coach with a degree in psychology (Fry even studied at the University of Tokyo to "get an insight into the depth of the Oriental mind"); and a quarterback who is the new breed of BMOC—a candidate for both the Heisman Trophy and the Forbes 400. Long insured his body for $1 million after deciding to play a fifth year of college football instead of going pro.
It was obvious through the week that each man had his dragon to slay: Fry had to prove that he was here for good; Schembechler that he had not gone anywhere. They are not friends, but they are admirers, like painters. "I got no problems with Bo," Fry said. "There's nothing magical about him. He's like me when it comes to football. It's all war."
If it wasn't war, it was at least a very good police action. But surprise! It wasn't Michigan's defense that would win most of the skirmishes, but Iowa's offense, which kept the Wolverine D on the field for 20 of the first 30 minutes and almost 40 minutes all told. So good were the Hawkeyes that but for a blown touchdown call, they would have led 10-7 at the half instead of trailing 7-6.
After Houghtlin kicked his first of four field goals, Michigan went ahead 7-3 when Harbaugh used the famous Flutie Flip to fullback Gerald White for a six-yard touchdown. Running left for his life, Harbaugh suddenly saw White a few yards downfield. He got the ball to White the only way he could without having to slow down, by flipping it backhanded. Harbaugh might have done well to stick with that style for the rest of the afternoon, considering that he had only 49 yards passing the conventional way.
But controversy knocked in the second quarter. From the Michigan 18, Long rolled right and threw to wide receiver Scott Helverson, who not only made the highlight-film-dive-and-drag-your-foot-in-bounds-while-holding-on-to-the-ball touchdown catch, but also did it in front of CBS's end-zone camera so everybody could appreciate it. The only man who didn't appreciate it was side judge John Marrs, who was just about to signal touchdown when, for some reason, he let back judge Harold Mitchell make the call. Mitchell ruled that Helverson made the grab out of bounds. Fry didn't appreciate that and let his players know at halftime that they had been jobbed. "The scoreboard says 7-6," he said, "but we know it should be 10-7." They don't call him Sigmund Fry for nothing.
The scoreboard said 10-9 Michigan after an exchange of field goals in the fourth quarter. But after Houghtlin's sore right leg left a 44-yard field-goal try 10 yards short with 7:38 to play, there was no joy in Iowa. How close would he have to be to make one? More important, would Iowa get another chance?
Here then was Michigan's chance to M*A*S*H the Hawkeyes: First-and-10 at its own 27, make a few first downs, use up some time and then let the defense do its stuff. Problem was, that hadn't happened all day. Michigan's offense got off only 41 snaps, compared with Iowa's 84, an old-fashioned Texas woodshed whip-pin' if there ever was one. So when the Hawkeyes' All-America linebacker, Larry Station, dumped tailback Jamie Morris for a two-yard loss on third-and-two, the Wolverines had to punt. Somewhere in there, Bo must have had some red meat because he was ripping off his headphones regularly and smashing them to the ground. (Got to get that Michigan headphone concession.) But it was no use. Here came Iowa.
From their own 22, the Hawkeyes moved 66 cool yards in 5½ minutes against a great defense. They went the Long way (he ended up completing 26 of 39 passes for 297 yards) and tailback Ronnie Harmon's way (120 yards rushing, 72 catching, plus Best Dressed honors for being the only person in Iowa City wearing black leather pants and coat, gold chains and wraparound Yoko Ono sunglasses).