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MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE

Sept. 24, 1956
Sept. 24, 1956

Table of Contents
Sept. 24, 1956

Events & Discoveries
Acknowledgments
Sporting Look
What Happens To Players?
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE

HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS:

This is an article from the Sept. 24, 1956 issue Original Layout

Treating geographical boundaries with utter disregard, the Missouri Valley Conference stretches from Detroit to Houston. However, Detroit's Titans on the Canadian border have decided to withdraw their outpost after this fall. Bradley and Drake have rejoined the conference, while Cincinnati and North Texas State were admitted recently; but none of the four will figure in the championship this year since schedules are made up. Ambitious Houston may forge to the front under the second-year guidance of Billy Meek; despite line losses this 1956 edition of the Cougars will be a much more cohesive unit than last year's and, if they can stand up under an impossible first five games, they might well come through to win the title. Wichita, co-champion last season with Detroit, returns 23 lettermen. Despite the inexplicable 41-0 rout by Detroit in 1955, the Wheatshockers must again be considered right at the top of this sprawling conference. Two ex-Marine transfers, Steve Piskach and Bill Dando, added to the complete starting backfield of last season, may make Detroit's valedictory in the conference one to remember. Piskach is a fine quarterback, Dando runs well.

WICHITA
WICHITA, KAN.

COLORS: Black and gold.

BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 1.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 25 of 35.

WATCH FOR: Leroy Hinman, B; Dwayne Puetz, G; Max Bretches, T.

THE DOPE: The Wheatshockers, luxuriously deep in big, strong backs, present Coach Pete Tillman with only two real posers. Academic inroads weakened the team at quarterback, and center depends on how well Gil Tatman and Norb Gotner recover from knee operations. Elsewhere, ends, guards, tackles are numerous. Leroy Hinman could be the best back in Midwest.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 15—Brigham Young, N (no game)
Sept. 22—at Arizona St., N (20-20)
Sept. 29—-Hardin-Simmons, N (no game)
Oct. 6—Oklahoma A&M, N (14-7)
Oct. 13—Detroit, N (0-41)
Oct. 20—Drake, N (59-6)
Nov. 3—Houston (21-7)
Nov. 10—at Cincinnati (20-16)
Nov. 17—at Dayton (no game)
Nov. 24—at Tulsa (54-0)

DETROIT
DETROIT, MICH.

COLORS: Cardinal and white.

BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 5, lost 3, tied 1.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 12 of 22.

WATCH FOR: Perry Richards, E; Billy Russell, B; Bob Chendes, E; Jim Lynch, B.

THE DOPE: The Titans must rebuild their line from tackle to tackle with sophomores and 1955 reserves. Coach Wally Fromhart has found backfield help among service returnees, so, barring collapse of the untried interior linemen, the Titans should move well by land or by air. The defense, seventh-best in the nation last season, will be off appreciably this year.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 22—Marquette (20-7)
Sept. 30—Villanova (6-0)
Oct. 13—at Wichita, N (41-0)
Oct. 20—Tulsa (19-13)
Oct. 28—Boston College (0-23)
Nov. 3—at Cincinnati (0-0)
Nov. 10—Drake (no game)
Nov. 17—at Oklahoma A&M (7-0)
Nov. 25—at Dayton (no game)
Dec. 1—at Houston (0-7)

HOUSTON
HOUSTON, TEXAS

COLORS: Scarlet and white.

BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 6, lost 4.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 19 of 31.

WATCH FOR: Curley Johnson, B; Rudy Spitzenberger, G; Harold Lewis, B.

THE DOPE: The Cougars suffered in practice last season when 20 holdovers (players withheld from varsity games to give them an extra year's eligibility) thumped the varsity with depressing regularity. This year the holdovers are on the right side of the line, and Coach Bill Meek has a team in the rugged tradition of Tennessee, where he himself learned the game. Meek has possibly the best three fullbacks on one squad in the country in Curley Johnson, 1955 Missouri Valley back of the year, Don Caraway and Owen Mulholland. He lost some veterans from tackle to tackle in the line and must replace them with unproven talent, which is both plentiful and promising. He has blazing fast halfbacks and good passing from Quarterback Don Flynn. Houston, which has every intention of engraving a major place for itself on the football map, is well along in its program.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 29—Mississippi St., N (no game)
Oct. 6—Mississippi at Jackson, N (11-27)
Oct. 13—Texas A&M, N (3-21)
Oct. 20—at Oklahoma A&M (21-13)
Oct. 27—at Auburn (no game)
Nov. 3—at Wichita (7-21)
Nov. 10—Tulsa, N (14-17)
Nov. 17—Villanova (26-14)
Nov. 24—at Texas Tech (7-0)
Dec. 1—Detroit (7-0)

TULSA
TULSA, OKLA.

COLORS: Red, blue and gold.

BASIC OFFENSE: T and split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 2, lost 7, tied 1.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 13 of 20.

WATCH FOR: Chuck Yonkers, G; Dick Hughes, B; Mel Black, C; Art Davis, G.

THE DOPE: The Golden Hurricane ended a two-year, 15-game losing streak last season, using some hastily assembled junior-college transfers and a generous supply of holdover talent. Coach Bobby Dobbs, not a man to abandon proven methods, scoured the junior colleges for more of the same for this season and claims he has assembled the cream of the two-year-college crop. This will ease a manpower shortage which saw the first team average 500 minutes per man for the 1955 season, as Dobbs calls on his sophomores and new transfers. The line is now firmly built around veteran Guards Chuck Yonkers (an All-America possibility) and Art Davis, who flank Max Black, a salty center. Behind the elusive running of Halfback Dick Hughes, the Hurricane will again depend on overland travel for most of its yardage. Building an effective defense will be Dobbs's chief worry.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 15—New Mexico A&M, N (no game)
Sept. 29—at Cincinnati, N (21-21)
Oct. 6—Marquette, N (0-13)
Oct. 13—Oklahoma A&M (0-14)
Oct. 20—at Detroit (13-19)
Oct. 27—Hardin-Simmons (41-19)
Nov. 3—College of Pacific (no game)
Nov. 10—at Houston, N (17-14)
Nov. 17—Texas Tech (7-34)
Nov. 24—Wichita (0-54)

OKLAHOMA A&M
STILLWATER, OKLA.

COLORS: Orange and black.

BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 2, lost 8.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 14 of 29.

WATCH FOR: Dwaine Underwood, G; Joel Favara, B; Duane Wood, B.

THE DOPE: The Aggies will depend on sophomores almost entirely this year. Normally, a team so overbalanced with young players would automatically be written off, but these are not ordinary sophomores. They are the graduates of a freshman team which tied the formidable freshmen of Oklahoma. Coach Cliff Speegle views the situation with something less than alarm: "We have more depth, better speed, improved passing and less experience than any Aggie club since 1950." Speegle contemplates a wide-open game, based on the passing of sophomore Quarterback Johnny Allen, a Pawnee Indian who moves in in place of Tom Pontius, drafted by the Army. Unfortunately, unless Speegle's youngsters are wise beyond their years, the Aggie defense will be gullible. In fact, they may be as wide-open defensively as offensively. Sixteen of the top 22 players are sophs.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 22—at Kansas State (28-0)
Sept. 29—Ark. at Little Rock, N (0-21)
Oct. 6—at Wichita, N (7-14)
Oct. 13—at Tulsa (14-0)
Oct. 20—Houston (13-21)
Oct. 27—Kansas (7-12)
Nov. 3—at Texas Tech (6-24)
Nov. 10—at LSU, N (no game)
Nov. 17—Detroit (0-7)
Dec. 1—Oklahoma (0-53)

PHOTOTWO WICHITA CAPTAINS, GUARD DWAYNE PUETZ AND TACKLE MAX BRETCHES, CLEAR WAY FOR A THIRD, RUGGED FULLBACK LEROY HINMANPHOTOHOUSTON COACH MEEK IS WELL ON HIS WAYPHOTOTULSA COACH DOBBS GUIDES HURRICANEPHOTOAGGIE COACH SPEEGLE DEPENDS ON SOPHS