Due largely to its fine linemen, Navy rates among the nation's best in both rushing and total defense. The Middies have no one runner as good as Army's Kyasky, but their fast backs plug away effectively from the split-T, using the "belly series" well. Tom Forrestal, who played second fiddle to the brilliant George Welsh last year, has become the best of the three competent Navy quarterbacks, passes well and handles the mechanics of the split-T capably. Coach Eddie Erdelatz's forces, which are surprisingly deep in reserves for a rebuilding year, have only lost one game.
This is an article from the Dec. 3, 1956 issue
86 PETER JOKANOVICH. Started season as a substitute, but caught two touchdown passes against Pennsylvania and developed so rapidly from mid-season that he is a regular now. A hustling, aggressive player.
81 EARLE SMITH. Team captain and a good all-round end. On defense plays tight so that it is hard to run inside him. He is a good receiver, especially on buttonhook passes. Smith does all of Navy's punting. Since Ron Beagle's graduation, he is getting the credit due him.
76 ANTHONY ANTHONY. He is the weaker of the two starting tackles. Not too active, he failed to react quickly enough against Cornell's inside dive play. He is not active enough to cover entire territory well.
71 ROBERT REIFSNYDER. One of the best sophomore tackles in the country. Especially strong at covering to his inside on defense. A former high school fullback, has good speed, but can be hurt on plays which veer to his outside. He is hard to trap, has improved all season and is a future great.
61 TONY STREMIC. A hard, slashing type of guard who has played two varsity seasons and uses his experience well. Gives opposing center trouble when Navy is on defense, has great pursuit. A smart, alert player.
67 JIM HOWER. A sound, capable football player. He has good speed, gets downfield quickly, covers the flat zone well against passes. Backs up the left side of the line on defense. Not flashy and often overlooked by the fans, but he is a solid player.
58 WILSON WHITMIRE. A senior, he is one of the best centers in the East. Plays right linebacker in the Navy defense, is quick and agile and a good pass defender. A great leader and a devastating tackier who hits so hard he sometimes knocks himself out. He is a fine offensive blocker.
47 PAUL GOBER. A tough senior halfback who won starting job from last year's regular right half. On defense, he is probably Navy's best pass defender and is a sure tackier. When he has the ball he can slip away from a careless tackle, must be hit hard. Late-season knee injury may keep him out of game.
27 NED OLDHAM. He is Navy's best all-round back. Quick and a hard runner, he is especially effective on quick pitch from quarterback on wide end run. He defends against both passing and running adeptly and will make the "big play" for Navy. His ability to recover makes him a good pass defender.
24 CHET BURCHETT. At 162 pounds, he is rather small, but he is fast and tough and an all-the-way threat. Blocks well on pass plays and is a good receiver too. Tackles hard on defense, but can be passed on.
18 TOM FORRESTAL. Good field general, good passer if given time to throw. Runs option play, but is not fast. Weak on pass defense.
38 VINCE MONTO. A big, roughhewn type of runner who would rather run over a defender than go around him. He gets valuable short yardage for Navy and is fast for his size. He is not as good on defense, however. Dick Dagampat (44), a hard-running sophomore who excels on defense, will split fullback duties with Monto.
NAVY'S DEEP PASS
Navy likes to throw buttonhook passes and to throw, also, to a halfback who drives through the line first after faking a handoff from Quarterback Forrestal (18). The pass here illustrated by the football manikins is a natural development from this series and went for 73 yards and a touchdown against Cornell. Right End Smith (81) and Right Half Burchett (24) sift into the short and long area to the right to pull the defense that way. Left End Jokanovich (86) buttonhooks in front of the deep defensive back to bring him in. Left Half Oldham (27) is flanked, goes deep and fast, forcing the close defensive back to try to stay with him. Forrestal throws to Oldham as he is cutting across downfield.