6 Thi Duly Tar Heel Monday, October 24. 1977
ohnson 'The Horse'
Disappointments hopefully are near an end
By PETE MITCHELL
After dozing off periodically through the
first three quarters of Saturday's UNC-USC
football game, several fans were rudely
awakened in the final quarter by a rumbling
noise, kind of like a stampeding herd of
buffalo in the distance.
They straightened up, shielded their eyes
from the bright sun and watched as Billy
Johnson, head down, busted up the middle
with his eyes on a South Carolina linebacker
like a bull ready to gore a matador.
They'd seen that sight before and heard
the pounding of Johnson's sturdy legs
against the Kenan Stadium turf, but it had
been a while, an awfully long while.
Last year, Johnson's freshman season, he
made his debut in the Heels' stunning victory
over Florida when he caught Bernie
Menapace's desperation fourth-down pass
while lying on his back. He became a crowd
tavorite, nicknamed "Freight Train," "The
Hoss" or just plain "Horse."
He complemented tailback Mike Voight
perfectly, and at 6-feet, 245 pounds, he
appeared to belong in a Merrill Lynch
commercial rather than the Carolina
If anything was certain about the team this
year, it was that Johnson would carry the
ball 15 or 20 times a game and trampel
opponents in search of a 1,000-yard season.
At 5-2, Carolina is in the same situation it
was a year ago. Only this time, the Tar Heels
have done it with Johnson rushing only 44
times for 158 yards and a 3.6 yard average.
That's w hy it was so encouraging to see him
chug for 36 yards in eight attempts Saturday.
"By no means is Billy Johnson a forgotten
man," Coach Bill Dooley emphasized during
the post-game interviews.
Continued from page 1.
before the game that his offensive line v,as
not the best in the world, and Carolina's
defenders found that to be true.
"They're very immature," tackle Ron
Broadway said. "They did stuff you do back
in the pony leagues, like stick their fingers in
yours eyes in a pileup and cussing. You
would think they would've grow n out of that
by now. But they were sky high, so they did
things like that. But they shouldn't act that
Part of the reason for North Carolina's
poor showing early in the game was the
emotional letdown after reaching a peak
against State last week in the 27-14 win. The
South Carolina game was the last chance for
the team to work out problems and take a
quick breath before submerging into the
depths of the Atlantic Coast Conference race
with four straight league games in the next
"We were a little flat after being so
emotionally up," quarterback Rupee said.
"We knew it was a good team, but it wasn't
an ACC game."
But Dooley said the team wasn't flat after
the State win.
"You've got to give South Carolina credit
for that," Dooley said. "It was a tough
kicking dual in the first half."
But Dooley said he did worry about an
"After playing a big game like State, I was
concerned," he said. "But our players are
mature enough not to let this botherthem."
"There's no way you can get up and be
emotionally ready II weeks in a row,"
Broadway said. "There are three or four
games where you can be psyched."
Lawrence, who turned in a sensational
performance against State last week with 216
yards rushing, was held to 73 against the
"They mixed the defenses up so Lawrence
couldn't get outside," Dooley said. "They
were playing outside a lot to keep us from
Paschal, more of a power runner, came in
in the fourth quarter to spark the Tar Heel
drive with his tough runs over the middle. He
and Johnson moved the ball from the
Carolina 32 to the Gamecock two to set up
Lawrence's touchdown plunge.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
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Special emphasis on science and math
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He might . not be forgotten, but he
certainly is a victim of circumstances his
It all started when the Carolina coaching
staff panicked at the loss of Voight from the
tailback slot. They tried everyone back there,
and with the opener against Kentucky just a
week away, it was announced that Johnson
had been moved to tailback, joining six
others including"Famous" Amos Lawrence.
Now, Johnson's probably the fastest 245
pounder you'll ever see, but it was still a
questionable move, especially in light of
what Lawrence has done so far.
The Wildcats gave Johnson nothing, and
after Phil Farrisand Lawrence showed such
promise at tailback, he was switched back to
Thingsdidn't improve at all and in fact got
worse when he injured a knee and fell further
behind Bob Loomis and Doug Paschal. As
the Tar Heels plunged into their conference
season, Johnson no longer had a leading role
as predicted he would.
"Yes, it has been a disappointment this
year with my injury and all the switching
back and forth of positions." he said. "But I
wanted a chance at tailback because our's
carry the ball so much more than the
Even though the knee is healed, Loomis is
quite an obstacle to his starting.
"The alternating positions threw me off
some, but I'm ready to stay at fullback now,"
he said. "I'm showing the coaches I want the
"At the beginning of the year, 1 was
shooting for 1,000 yards. Now I'm just
looking toward having a good game
running the ball more and building up my
average," Johnson said.
Against South Carolina, Johnson rushed
only a couple times until the fourth quarter
when he and Paschal led a 68-yard scoring
drive to finish off the Gamecocks.
Johnson bulled ahead for eight yards, then
four for a first down. Paschal ran 21 and
three yards in consecutive carries, and
Johnson added nine for another first down.
On the USC nine, he bolted up the middle.
"1 thought I was gone. I wanted to score
real bad but they had an angle on me," he
They hauled him down on the two, and
Lawrence scored on the next play.
Hopefully, the disappointments this
season are over for Johnson and the Tar
Heels' sake. Saturday's performance was
only a fragment from the past, but it proves
he's back back to a more appropriate
fullback position, back to opening gaping
holes for UNC tailbacks and back to kicking
up a littledirt of his own as he stampedes into
I " f -vt tit
II If " 1- j rk J' I -
J r, , v. . . vh v -s , -
Doug Paschal sparked an impressive North Carolina drive
during the fourth quarter Saturday against South Carolina.
Paschal, as a reserve tailback, carried the ball eight times for 44
yards and turned in good performances on the specialty
teams. Staff photo by Fred Barbour.
Three teams chasing ACC title
Let's see. Carolina beat State, who beat
defending Atlantic Coast Conference
champion Maryland, who had trouble with
Clemson early in the season. That means
Carolina has the inside track to take the
conference title, right? Not necessarily so.
That's because Carolina must travel to
Maryland this week in a game that will
decide which team will get one last shot at the
And the big boys are thinking about
getting in on the action. A decision will be
made today by ABC-TV on whether to
televise regionally the clash between the Tar
Heels and the Terrapins. The decision has
been delayed to ensure that both teams
would be viable contenders for the title.
As the conference teams begin the last
stretch of games that inevitably will
determine the title winner, Carolina is in
front by a head, while Clemson and
Maryland are neck-and-neck right behind.
Virginia, with a single win all season, tripped
before leaving the starting gate while N.C.
By GENE UPCHURCH
Dr. William T. Kohn, Optometrist
announces the moving
of his office to
300 Eastowne Drive, Suite 200
Opposite Blue CrossBlue Shield on the Durham Chapel Hill Blvd.
Free Parking on the "D" city bus line
State, Duke and Wake Forest have run out
of steam approaching the stretch.
The three teams in the horse race for the
league championship were favorites during .
preseason. Maryland (3-1 in the conference
and 4-3 overall), is defending champion and
ret urns most of the players who carried it to a
perfect season last year. Clemson (3-1, 6-1)
has had good talent for several years and
now has a good coach in Charley Pell, a man
who probably could motivate his Tigers to
move the town of Clemson to somewhere i
else if he needed to. The Tigers now have, the
best overall record in the conference at 6-1,"
w hile 3-1 in the conference, tied for second
North Carolina must defend its
conference lead Saturday at Maryland in a
"must" game for both teams. Another loss
for the Terrapins would nearly put them out
of the running for the title. A loss for
Carolina would put the Tar Heels at a
disadvantage facing Clemson the next
weekend. The Tigers almost defeated
M aryland during the first game of the season
in a game that was a prelude to the rest of the
year. Maryland had much trouble with
Clemson and has dropped three games
already this season after its undefeated
season last year.
Clemson travels to Wake Forest this
weekend in a game that, at one time, would
have been an important ACC game. But the
Deacons lost to lowly Virginia Saturday,
dropping them down the chute to the
basement of the league with four losses. The,
Tigers, with the momentum of their big
season carrying them along, cannot afford to
lose to Wake.
The conference race was a six-team race
(excluding Virginia) until Saturday. Then,
Clemson hrottled. N .C, State's chances with (
a 7-3 win over, the Wolf pack, giving the Pack'
two quick conference' losses (Carolina
dropped the Pack 27-14 last week) after a
season start that seemed to indicate they
would be the team to deal with.
Maryland, which seems to be recovering
from early-season problems and injuries,
whipped Duke Saturday 31-13, ending the
Blue Devils' bid for a run at the title with two
losses and a win in the conference. Duke still
must travel to Georgia Tech and Wake
before entertaining State and Carolina this
season. But more than respectability in the
conference is one the line at Duke cfiach
Mike McGee's job. McGee is in his seventh
season at Duke and the best record his teams
there have compiled is 6-5 as contract
renewal time in Durham draws nearer.
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