Coach Frank Howard's Tigers won their first Atlantic Coast Conference title as a slow, ball-control team. They depend for the steady accumulation of short yardage on the power bursts of Fullback Rudy Hayes straight up the middle and the off-tackle running of Halfback Joel Wells. The passing, which comes off roll-outs by the quarterback, is good enough to create the proper climate for the ground attack. Clemson is not deep; the difference in quality between the first and second units is decided. The defense—because position by position Clemson's personnel is not truly great—must concentrate on stopping the opponent's strongest threat and sometimes this means giving away valuable yardage to an opponent with several good weapons. Clemson is a sound and determined team, but a lack of real depth may hurt too much.
10 CHARLIE BUSSEY, QB—Poised, smart, a good runner, fair passer. Good on short passes, but will try to throw long.
33 RUDY HAYES, FB—Strictly a power runner, best blocker in backfield. Fair on defense, better against runs than passes.
December 24, 1956
47 JOEL WELLS, LH—Strong, hard runner who maneuvers well at top speed. Best of backs on both offense and defense.
22 JIM COLEMAN, RH—Quick on off-tackle shots, but not exceptional. Fair blocker, average defense.
53 DONNIE BUNTON, C—Very good linebacker, good speed, quick reaction. Blocks very well.
21 CHARLIE HORNE, RH—Substitutes for Coleman. Coach Howard likes his speed.
61 EARLE GREENE, LG—Middle guard on defense, very quick, hard to block. Adequate blocker on offense.
63 JOHN GRDIJAN, RG—A very good line backer, good pursuit, excellent tackier.
70 DICK MARAZZA, LT—Great blocker, only average on defense.
75 BILL HUDSON, RT—Slashing defensive tackle, aggressive. Fair blocker.
86 DALTON RIVERS, LE—Strong, not fast, good defense. Good blocker, fair receiver.
84 WILLIE SMITH, RE—Best pass receiver on team. Active, but not strong.
Coach Dallas Ward's Buffaloes are representing the Big Seven by default, since a Conference rule prevents a team—that is, perennial champion Oklahoma—from going to the Orange Bowl in successive years. The second-place Buffs employ the unbalanced single wing with both style and power, but the team also uses some split T and emphasizes speed off both formations. This is basically a running team but, under stress, has used the pass very well. Left Half Bob Stransky does most of the passing. So when the team wants to pass, it goes into single wing with Stransky at the tailback post. John Bayuk is the best fullback in the Conference, possibly in the country, and is very strong on that part of the fullback spin series where he keeps and powers off guard. The defense, which changes seldom, may be too inflexible, too hard to adjust.
44 BOYD DOWLER, QB—A super sophomore. Fine ball handler, strong blocker, fair passer. A dependable safety on defense.
30 JOHN BAYUK, FB—Key to Colorado attack. A blasting fullback, tremendous inside threat. Blocks well, a good linebacker.
20 BOB STRANSKY, LH—Exceptional runner, good passer. Smart, quick defender.
11 EDDIE DOVE, RH—Very fast, good receiver, effective on weak side reverse. Good pass-defender.
55 JIM UHLIR, C—Best linebacker, good pursuit, pass defense. Adequate blocker.
21 HOWARD COOK, LH—Good punter, good passer. Hard, fast runner.
69 JOHN WOOTEN, LG—Very quick, very tough. Blocks well, closes inside on defense.
67 DAVE JONES, RG—Competent blocker. As middle linebacker he keys the defense.
74 DICK STAPP, LT—Principal pulling lineman on offense. Great blocker, fast.
76 KEN SCHLAGEL, RT—A fine blocker, he throws the key block on sweeps. Not as good on defense.
84 JERRY LEAHY, LE—Key blocker on reverse, strong enough to handle tackle. Fine defensively.
88 WALLY MERZ, RE—Even better than Leahy on defense, tremendous blocker. Both ends only fair receivers.
COLORADO FULLBACK SPINNER
Strictly power and one of the bread-and-butter maneuvers of the single wing, this play is particularly effective for Colorado because of the tremendous power of Fullback John Bayuk. Bayuk (30) takes a direct snap from the center, spins to his right, fakes a handoff to the wingback, Dove (11), swinging wide to the left. Then Buyuk completes his spin and drives through the left guard hole. The guard, Wooten (69), and the center, Uhlir (55), double block the defensive right guard, drawing him in; the Colorado right guard, Jones (67), traps the defensive right tackle and the blocking back, Dowler (44), leads the way through the hole. Left End Leahy (84) brushes the tackle, then takes out the linebacker.