Coach Tommy Prothro hit the Pacific Coast jack pot in his second year at Oregon State, as his Beavers, with a 6-1-1 Conference record, finally ended the 14-year California monopoly in the Rose Bowl. The Beavers, employing the balanced-line single wings, are basically an infantry outfit, calling for air support only when the ground attack falters. Wingback reverses and tailback power plays to the strong side are the prime offensive weapons. Although they attempted only 75 passes in 10 games, the Beavers completed 40 of them for 670 yards and four touchdowns. Yet the main threat lies in the running game sparked by Earnel Durden at wingback and either Joe Francis or Paul Lowe at tailback. Early in the season Oregon State showed its inexperience in pass defense, but this was pretty well solved during the 10-game season.
22 GERRY LAIRD, QB—Fine blocker, calls offensive signals, backs line on defense.
33 TOM BERRY, FB—Power runner, arm tackles will not stop him, runs well in secondary, reacts well to pass on defense.
December 24, 1956
42 JOE FRANCIS, LH—Strong runner, good passer, does punting. May quick kick.
14 EARNEL DURDEN, RH—Devastating break-away runner, good receiver with potential for greatness. Watch on reverses.
55 DOUG CORRICK, C—Excellent on offense but too light (163) for real linebacking power. Makes up for size with hustle.
52 BUZZ RANDALL, C—Will play mainly on defense. Has trouble centering ball especially in deep punt formation.
62 JOHN SNIFFEN, LG—OSC's best guard. Strong, reacts well on defense.
60 JIM BRACKINS, RG—Agile. Offensively dependable. Inexperienced, can be trapped.
75 JOHN WITTE, LT—All-America, strong on offense, has bad moments on defense but is improving. Can be trapped.
77 DAVE JESMER, RT—Big, strong, overshadowed Witte in first Iowa game. Has fine pursuit on defense.
83 NORM THIEL, LE—Good speed, good receiver, top blocker on reverses. Weakest of defensive ends, does not tackle well.
88 BOB DEGRANT, RE—Good blocker, standout on defense, likes rough going. OSC likes to throw him spot passes.
Coach Forest Evashevski's Hawkeyes are a triumph of versatility over mediocrity. There is nothing outstanding about this team, no one strong point or weakness an opponent can concentrate against—and no one star. The Hawkeyes do nothing brilliantly, yet neither do they do anything poorly. Because of this balance it is impossible to stack a defense against them. They can run inside and outside, throw long and short. The offense moves out of a flanked T but uses single wing power blocking on most running plays. The team's greatest asset is undoubtedly its defense, which was responsible for at least four of its close victories. Evashevski must be credited with performing a coaching miracle with this squad if only on the grounds he has kept his boys "up" week after week. Summing up Iowa: a steady ball club that will make few mistakes.
11 KEN PLOEN, QB—A good runner and passer. Fakes well, likes calling reverses.
35 FRED HARRIS, FB—A late bloomer who has developed into a fine breakaway runner. Good outside linebacker on defense.
20 DON DOBRINO, LH—Used a lot on off-tackle power plays for short yardage.
40 BILL HAPPEL, RH—Speedy, definite break-away threat. Used frequently on reverse. Speed covers defensive weaknesses.
55 DON SUCHY, C—Excels on defense, can diagnose play quickly, injured easily.
66 HUGH DRAKE, G—Was starter at left guard until injured. Will share position with Commings. As good a player.
64 FRANK BLOOMQUIST, LG—Aggressive, good linebacker, good blocker. Best guard.
50 BOB COMMINGS, RG—If there is weak spot in Iowa line, this is it. Average blocker, weak on defense.
77 ALEX KARRAS, LT—Extremely agile, stops anything up the middle. Best tackle.
70 DICK KLEIN, RT—Strong, a shade below Karras. Good on defense, hard to trap.
88 JIM GIBBONS, LE—Covers well on kicks, turns outside stuff to the middle. A big man and a very good receiver.
87 FRANK GILLIAM, RE—Smaller than Gibbons, has trouble fighting a play right at him because of his size. Fair blocker.
Blending deception and power, this reverse gives Iowa the power of single-wing blocking at the point of attack, with the deception of the flanker T formation from which it begins. The quarterback, Ploen (11), spins to his right and fades back, handing off to the left half, Dobrino (20), who has started wide to his right. The flanked halfback, Happel (40), takes a step to his right, then circles back and takes the ball from Dobrino. He follows the right end, Gilliam (87), through the hole opened by a double block on the defensive right tackle and a trap block on the defensive right end. The beginning sweep of the play to the right is designed to pull the defense a step in the wrong direction.