"I was pulling my hair out," says Navy Coach Wayne Hardin. Navy had a comfortable lead over Army in the third quarter, but the ball was on the Annapolis 10-yard line and Quarterback Roger Staubach was drifting back toward his own goal to throw a pass. First, Staubach almost slipped down. Second, an Army defender just nearly swiped the ball out of his hand. But Staubach recovered, and in his scrambling, now-you-have-me, now-you-don't manner launched a pass to End Jim Campbell that gained a whopping 50 yards to the Army 40. Seven plays later Roger Staubach scored the touchdown that helped bury Army for sure, 34-14.
"He is the only player I've ever had who made me change my offense," says Hardin. "I prefer to use the drop-back pass, but Roger is a roll-out, scrambling type of quarterback, so we've adjusted to him."
The big adjustment came last season in Navy's fourth game, against Cornell. Until then, Roger Staubach had been a sophomore making the usual mistakes. Against Cornell, however, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound product of Cincinnati's Purcell High School took over command of Navy. After routing Cornell 41-0, Staubach almost personally accounted for four more victories. He completed 67 of 98 passes for 966 yards and seven touchdowns. Equally impressive, he ran for 265 yards and seven touchdowns.
September 22, 1963
"He has a sixth sense," Hardin says. "He's not fast, but he's quick. He somehow gets where he is supposed to be. He's exciting and one of the easiest to coach I've ever seen."
Wayne Hardin knew Staubach would be good. In a recruiting duel with Army, Hardin won out by suggesting that Staubach attend New Mexico Military Institute for one year before coming to Annapolis. Army had wanted to send him to prep school. "I figured it would be better to have a year of college credits under my belt," says Staubach. Staubach got more than that under his belt. At NMMI he became a Junior College All-America quarterback.
Shy, modest and handsome, Staubach is durable. Despite his scampering all over the backfield, giving tacklers every conceivable crack at him, he has avoided injury. Neither has he ever had a sore arm. "I throw all the time," Staubach says. "Even in the summer. I think you have to work steadily at something if you're going to be any good at it. And I just want to be good at football."
Roger Staubach is the best of an unusual group of glittering quarterbacks in the East in 1963. In any normal season Columbia's Archie Roberts, Cornell's Gary Wood or Boston College's Jack Concannon would be considered exceptional players.
Roberts is an authentic triple threat, and although Columbia is in the Ivy League he could play for most any team. A junior now, Roberts is already being courted by the pros, the feeling being that the 6-foot, 185-pound Massachusetts youngster could make it as either a passer or a punter.
Cornell's Gary Wood would rather run than throw. Of all of the quarterbacks in the East, he is probably the best with the ball tucked under his arm. Last season he ran for 889 yards but still managed to complete 60 of 117 passes.
The quarterback whom the pros may go after ahead of any player in the East, however, is Boston College's Concannon. He is one of the best long passers in football and he has the size, 6 feet 3 and 200 pounds, to peer over onrushing defenders. Boston College is one of the widest-open teams in football, and Concannon is just the man to operate so dazzling an offense.
Prominently taped to a filing cabinet alongside Coach Rip Engle's desk in his office in PENN STATE'S Recreation Hall is a huge red cardboard panic button. It is merely comic decoration. Despite some severe losses from last year's eastern champions, Engle is not about to summon outside help. His Nittany Lions quite likely will repeat as the best of the eastern independents.
Finishing first in the East will not be easy for Penn State, NAVY, with perhaps its best backfield ever, will be almost as strong, PITT has the potential for its finest team in years, and ARMY and SYRACUSE will be considerably better than they were a year ago. But the best record in the region may belong to BOSTON COLLEGE. BC will be playing a schedule that is not as arduous as those of the others.
As pessimistic as ever, Penn State's Engle shudders when he contemplates his losses and a schedule that lists Oregon, UCLA, Rice, Army, Syracuse, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio State, Holy Cross and Pitt. So would any other coach who lost two and one half All-Americas—Halfback Roger Kochman, End Dave Robinson and Tackle Chuck Sieminski (honorable mention)—and three-quarters of his starting line. "It's just like starting all over again," moans Engle.
Not really. If Engle can see no hope, it is only because his vision is being blocked by some of those mammoth sophomore linemen who probably will not break into the starting lineup. His first line is packed with such solid citizens as Harrison Rosdahl, a 235-pounder who threw his weight around with considerable effect as a middle guard last year and now moves to tackle to team up with 235-pound Terry Monaghan; 226-pound Guard Glenn Ressler; 215-pound Center Ralph Baker, a relentless linebacker; and Dick Anderson, a splendid end.
Where once the Lions were so sincerely dedicated to running over people, the offensive emphasis now has shifted to deceit. Penn State's multiple T will feature more wide sets with flankers and men in motion, more option plays and even some fullback sweeps and pitch-outs. "It's the only way you can get the defense to spread its strength," explains Engle.
There is another way, of course, and Penn State is well equipped to scatter reckless defenders with a strong passing attack. It has Quarterback Pete Liske, who completed 91 of 162 passes for 1,037 yards and 12 touchdowns last year and showed surprising adeptness at running the roll-out, and Halfback Junior Powell, a precocious little fellow who caught 32 passes and scampers through a broken field like a nervous fox. Penn State does have one nagging weakness. Its running game could be stronger.
Hardin of Navy is refreshingly candid about his team's chances. "I feel good about this team," he says. He should, with Staubach at quarterback to regulate traffic among such dodging halfbacks as Johnny Sai, a 9.5 sprinter, Kip Paskewich and Dick Earnest, who can all run outside the tackles and ends, and Fullback Pat Donnelly, a bruiser up the middle. And Staubach has sure-handed ends to pass to—Jim Campbell and Dave Sjuggerud.
But passing and running are only part of the game, and Navy's interior line, badly gutted by graduation, is a shell of its old self. Except for Jim Freeman, a quick, aggressive 210-pound tackle, it will be manned by players who, for the most part, were on the defensive team last year. They will have to learn to play both ways. Dick Merritt, a 230-pound 6-foot-1 jayvee fullback moved to tackle during spring practice, was impressive with his speed and blocking and is expected to help some. But Hardin, with his usual predilection for frankness, isn't too concerned. "We will be all right," he says confidently. "We're never really great, but then we're never really bad either."
At Army, Coach Paul Dietzel spent a painful but pensive winter mulling over the severe thrashing administered to his Cadets by Navy last December. Out of these ruminations came some highly un-Dietzel-like moves. The glamorous Chinese Bandits, retired by de facto legislation of the Football Rules Committee, were juggled around and spread over two two-way teams, and then Dietzel took some definitive steps to open up his conservative wing T.
Defensive Halfback Rollie Stichweh is the new quarterback, and Dietzel, with his typical deference to defense, moved two big ex-Bandits, Fullback Tom Cunningham and Center Dick Nowak, to guard. Along with Center-Linebacker Lee Grasfeder and Tackle Ed Schillo, a mobile 222-pounder, they give the Cadets an appreciably improved interior line that even Penn State and Navy will have trouble breeching.
On the tactical side, Army will flip-flop its wingback and tight end together. Occasionally it will line up with the wing-back and the split end flanked wide to opposite sides and almost as far out as the Lonely End used to be. Sound tricky? Dietzel hopes that the formations will lead to more passing and so dazzle opponents that they will neglect to stack their defenses to stop his meticulously plotted off-tackle smashes. The one catch to these well-laid plans is Quarterback Stichweh. Although a tough option runner, he is not much of a passer. Nor are the running backs, Ken Waldrop and Johnny Johnson, and Fullback Ray Paske the kind who can explode with breakaway speed. But Army has a bright young sophomore passer in Curt Cook. He may be ready in time for Navy, which Army has been unable to beat for the last four years.
At Pittsburgh, where the moans of alumni have caught the ear of Chancellor Edward H. Litchfield, there are unmistakable signs that the Panthers are in better shape than usual to survive their annual hefty schedule. Coach John Michelosen has 28 lettermen, some shiny new sophomore backs and a mandate from the chancellor to "play a daring, imaginative, wide-open style of game."
Michelosen had his team passing and running from wide formations, even toying with the shotgun in spring practice. He also moved Paul Martha, his best running back, from right to left half to make room for sophomore Eric Crabtree, an elusive runner who can turn an end with speed. Presumably, the two will keep the defenses from massing to stop Fullback Rick Leeson, who is fast enough to get away from the secondary. Pitt's passing is the sticky question. Quarterback Fred Mazurek, a showy runner, is only a fair passer. Kenny Lucas, sophomore brother of Richie, the former Penn State All-America, could supply a happy solution. A near 6-footer with a touch of daring in him, Lucas can throw the ball long or short and will not hesitate to pass on first down, practically unheard-of at Pitt.
Whether or not Pittsburgh can play its new kind of game will depend upon the line. It is certainly big enough—226 pounds from tackle to tackle—and, for a change, there is substantial depth behind Tackles Ernie Borghetti (235) and John Maczuzak (225), Guards Ed Adamchick (230) and Ray Popp (220), back after sitting out 1962 with an injury, and Center Paul Cercel. The ends, Michelosen's biggest worry last year, are still of questionable quality. Even so, Pittsburgh will be good enough to give teams like Washington and Miami a real tussle.
While most of his colleagues search for new gimmicks with which to beguile the opposition, Syracuse's Ben Schwartzwalder is content to stick to his straight T power game with an occasional flanker or counter man in motion and a sprinkling of wing T for variety. "I know that some people think that I am about as imaginative as a fencepost," says Schwartzwalder, "but I believe that if you build soundly off fewer sets you have a better foundation."
Syracuse's foundation is impressive. The line, biggest in the East, averages 228 pounds. Inside Tackle Tom Wilhelm weighs in at 260 pounds, Guard John Paglio is 235 and the other guard, Jim Mazurek, the best of the interior linemen, is 235. Despite some soft spots in middle-line depth, not many teams will take liberties with these huskies.
The Orangemen, like Pitt, have one major flaw. They lack a topflight passer. Quarterback Walley Mahle, a poised, confident junior who was a fifth-stringer at the start of last season, is more at home loping around the ends. Fortunately, Syracuse is well-heeled in good running backs. Big Jim Nance, a 220-pound fullback, is a crackling line smasher, while Halfbacks Bill Schoonover and Mike Koski can go inside or outside with equal facility. But the best of all may be two 195-pound sophomores, Charley Brown and Ron Oyer. If they live up to expectations—and Mahle improves even a little bit as a passer—jubilation may run rampant on Piety Hill.
The real surprise in the East could be Boston College. After several years of wallowing around in its own despair, BC suddenly turned menacing last season under new Coach Jim Miller. He dressed up the Eagles with a daring attack, and almost immediately they began to win. They lost only to Syracuse and Navy and finished with five straight victories.
Miller's offense, a straight T with a multitude of variations, is based on movement, speed, passing and, above all, surprise. "The sooner you attack," Miller reasons, "the quicker you score." Last year BC scored on the first play in three of its games. It won all three.
Miller's backfield talent is well suited to his free and easy style. Quarterback Concannon is a superb passer who can throw long floaters or fire quick and hard over the middle and into the flat. He is also an exciting runner, and excellent on the option play. In 1962 Con-cannon passed for 15 touchdowns, ran for five more and ranked fifth in the nation in total offense. Most of his passes will be aimed at Jim Whalen, a 6-foot-2 end who has a knack of slipping by careless defenders.
BC's game won't be all passing. Halfbacks Bob Shann, Pete Shaughnessy and John Barrett are quick and Fullbacks Don Moran and Walt Dubzinski (son of the onetime Boston College All-America) are strong. BC is less imposing in the line. Except for the good ends, Whalen and Joe Lukis, and John Frechette, an agile 222-pound tackle, it is made up of last year's reserves, backed up by promising but unproven sophomores. Miller is hopeful that his good passing and fast backs will get more scores than the defense gives away. He will know soon enough. The Eagles open against Syracuse.
The Ivy League, operating in a lower-pressure area than the big independents, will have at least two fine teams. Defending champion DARTMOUTH, one of the nation's few unbeaten major-college teams last year, lost Bill King, a very talented quarterback, and Don McKinnon, its All-America center, but it still has enough capable players to win again. Coach Bob Blackman, who dotes on outwitting Ivy rivals with his ingenious V formation and stunting defenses, has 24 lettermen, some lively sophomores and a new quarterback, Dana Kelly, considered by many a better passer than King. Kelly does not run as fast nor as well as King, but he will have Tom Spangenberg, the versatile halfback, and Fullback Tom Parkinson for that chore.
Even with McKinnon gone, the Dartmouth line has a forbidding look. It is big and, like most Blackman-coached lines, it will be quick and stingy on defense. Few opposing backs will get away from Bill Curran, the 223-pound middle guard, and the two sturdy tackles, 255-pound Dave Stenger and 222-pound Dale Runge.
Harvard may be able to match Dartmouth's defense, but the Crimson will have to find a way to speed up its flanker T. Coach John Yovicsin, a stickler for pure defense, will get it from Tom Stephenson, a solid all-purpose end, Tackles Neal Curtin, a 235-pounder, and Jeff Pochop, an aggressive 200-pounder, and Center Brad Stephens, who may be the best linebacker in the Ivy League.
Harvard, however, lacks speed in the backfield. Fullback Bill Grana is an exemplary inside runner but Halfbacks Scott Harshbarger and Tom Bilodeau are slow-footed. Too, Quarterback Mike Bassett does not pass often enough to stir up a breeze. Perhaps Wally Grant and Dave Poe, up from an unbeaten freshman team, will help. If they do, the Harvards might just be good enough to worry the life out of the Dartmouths when they meet in Cambridge on October 26.
Delaware, last year's Lambert Cup winner, is sure to repeat as champion in the Middle Atlantic Conference. Coach Dave Nelson, who likes his linemen big but mobile and his backs fast and frisky for his intricate counters and crisscrosses off the wing T, has an abundance of both. Halfbacks Mike Brown, who does the 100 in 9.7, and Joe Slobojan and Johnny Wallace, a pair of nimble little (they both stand 5 feet 7) scramblers, will run behind a seasoned line, led by 225-pound Tackle Paul Chesmore and 215-pound Guards Don James and Don Burawski.
Massachusetts is the choice to win in the Yankee Conference, but not without a fight from Defending Champions NEW HAMPSHIRE and CONNECTICUT. Coach Vic Fusia's young Redmen came within three points of winning the title a year ago and now 20 of his regulars are back, a season older and wiser. The interior line has good size—Tackles Paul Graham and Bob Burke weigh 235 and 225 pounds. Quarterback Jerry Whelchel, who ran and passed for 957 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, will give verve to Fusia's straight T.
New Hampshire, unbeaten last year, again has a tight, unyielding defense, the same kind that held its foes to a mere 46 points in eight games. But the Wildcats scored only 100 themselves and that will not be nearly enough to win this time. Coach Chief Boston will have to find a small explosion for his Lonely End attack. It could come from Quarterback Lloyd Wells, up until now an accurate but much too frugal passer. Connecticut, restless after two lean years, will go after Massachusetts with a typically big line and backs like Dave Korponai and Brian Smith, who fit perfectly into Coach Bob Ingalls' ground game. What is needed is a good passer and runner. Sophomore Jack Redmond is expected to fill in that lack, and if he does, look out Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Among the lower-echelon independents, perhaps the liveliest football will be played by BUFFALO. Coach Dick. Offenhamer's swing T should be devastating with Fullbacks Jim Burd and John Cimba and Halfbacks Tom Butler and Bob Edward racing up the middle and around the ends. Quarterback "Long John" Stofa is an accomplished passer and deft on the option play, the Bulls' best weapon. In the line End Larry Gergley and Gerry Philbin, a burly 230-pound tackle, lead a solid defense. Buffalo will not lose many games.
After two delightful seasons, VILLANOVA has worries. The large, powerful backs who led the Wildcats into two bowls have left and a rash of springtime knee injuries has done nothing to brighten the outlook. Coach Alex Bell has reconstructed his multiple T with lighter, racier backs like Jack Boyle and Jim Thomas, shifted from halfback to fullback, but Quarterback Bill Sherlock, one of the spring casualties, still must prove himself as a varsity passer and runner. It will be up to the line, led by End Jack Clifford, 6 feet 3 and 220 pounds, and 215-pound Tackle Al Atkinson to save the Wildcats from complete embarrassment.
At RUTGERS the muscle is gone but the memory lingers. The deep well of material that Coach John Bateman drew on through two remarkable seasons began to run dry last year. Tony Hoeflinger, a stubby, swift guard, is still around to lead the double-wing-T sweeps and Center Jon Paulson will give the Scarlet Knights some strong linebacking, but Bateman will have to forage among the 1962 reserves and the new sophomores for an adequate attack.
Colgate Coach Hal Lahar, who likes a tough, disciplined defense, has some linemen to tickle even his critical fancy. Eric Orke, a 225-pounder shifted from tackle to guard, and End Chet Kasprzak hit with authority, and opposing teams would do well to steer clear of Center Mike Heffernan, an excellent linebacker. Offense is another matter. Except for Halfback Jim Heilman, the Colgate runners are just ordinary. Worse yet, Gerry Barudin, a spindly 165-pound quarterback, is not cut out to run the option and he is just a so-so passer.
In New England HOLY CROSS and BOSTON UNIVERSITY have fallen on hard times. Graduation swept Holy Cross clean almost everywhere, and Coach Eddie Anderson will have to regroup his meager forces around a cadre of one—Jon Morris, a bullish 227-pound center-linebacker who has already attracted the attention of pro scouts. The backfield outlook is not any better. Jim Marcellino is the only experienced runner and seniors Joe Policastro and John Wheaton, the best of the quarterbacks, are both untried. Boston University, caught between a determined de-emphasis program and a still-too-tough schedule, has only 12 lettermen back. Coach Steve Sinko has shifted Lonely End Bob Horton to fullback and Dennis Gerardi from tackle to center, but there are not enough able bodies around to make BU respectable in the ill-chosen company.
Oddly enough, the two Ivy League teams with the best quarterbacks are not regarded as authentic challengers, but they could make the race interesting. COLUMBIA'S Buff Donelli expects his Lions to have more bite, mostly because Archie Roberts is back to operate Columbia's tricky wing T. But aside from Jack Strauch, a fine linebacker, the other young Lions are disturbingly mediocre. CORNELL is in pretty much the same fix. It has Gary Wood and little else. A too skimpy defense, no depth to speak of and a lack of speed will turn the Big Red a blushing pink on too many Saturdays.
The other Ivy League schools will be less pretentious than Columbia and Cornell but probably stronger than last year. PRINCETON has its usual herd of good backs—holdover Tailbacks Pete Poreitis and Hugh MacMillan, Wingback Jim Rockenbach and Fullback Cosmo Iacavazzi, an awesome line smasher—but graduation hit hard at the line.
Brown, weary of being pummeled year after year, might just do a bit of mauling of its own. Coach John McLaughry starts with 22 lettermen and the most productive battery in the league. Quarterback Jim Dunda, when he wasn't running for his life, threw for nine touchdowns last year; End John Parry, a 6-foot-2 stringbean with eager hands, caught 27 passes for five scores. Dunda should get better protection from seasoned linemen and more running help from his halfbacks. They should lift the Bruins out of the cellar.
Penn will be stronger and maybe even a darkhorse challenger if Coach John Stiegman, who likes to jazz up his single wing with flankers and split ends, can find a passer. He has failed so far. But he does have Tailback John Owens, a 9.8 sprinter, and Bruce Molloy, a powerful 205-pound sophomore who gained more than 700 yards for the freshman team. One happy note: the Quaker defense, led by End Don Dick and Guard Jim Buell, will be more tenacious.
Yale, shocked but not really saddened by Jordan Olivar's sudden resignation last winter, will have a new look under Coach Johnny Pont, who was brought in from Miami of Ohio to lift the Elis out of their recent doldrums. Pont's pro-type offense is geared to a strong defense. He wants possession of the ball as quickly as possible and then he expects his team to break its backs into the clear. The idea has a nice sound to it, but Yale lacks the firepower to make it come off. After Tackle Perry Wickstrom and Center George Humphrey, the line has too many tender spots. The quarterbacking is questionable, too, and the only stylish runners around are Halfback Randy Egloff and Fullback Pete Cummings.
About the best that BUCKNELL and TEMPLE can hope for in the Middle Atlantic Conference is second place behind Delaware. Bucknell has the defense to challenge for the title, but Coach Bob Odell's multiple T, which depends so greatly on a strong passing game, may be more restrained with sophomore Bill Lerro at quarterback. Although there are still some excellent receivers around—End Phil Morgan and Halfback Mike Connell each caught 25 passes last year—the Bisons will have to rely upon their runners. Temple's losses were minimal, and Coach George Makris has plugged his weak spots by switching Tackle Steve Speers to end, Center Ron Koehler to tackle and substitute Quarterback Wil Gattuso to fullback. This should strengthen the defense and make the running attack more dangerous. The passing could be better and it may be if sophomore Joe Petro moves ahead of letterman Mark Lichtenfeld at quarterback.
The other MAC teams are less impressive. GETTYSBURG has toughened up its defense with 245-pound sophomore Tackle Lloyd Grumbein, and its running game is improved, but the Bullets lack a good passer. At LAFAYETTE new Coach Ken Bunn does have a passer—Quarterback George Hossenlopp—but little else. Only three starters are back at LEHIGH and, unless the sophomores mature rapidly and Quarterback John DeNoia returns to his 1961 passing form, the Engineers will find moving the ball a difficult chore. Coach Mike Cooley's only hope is to develop a defense—to hold down the score.
In the Yankee Conference VERMONT Coach Bob Clifford has junked his conventional T for the more airy spread T with its flankers and split ends to give Halfback Kenny Burton, his best runner, more opportunity to get away. But the Catamounts need more strength in the line. MAINE will have a passable first line, a new quarterback in Ray Austin and, after that, its usual dearth of able hands. At RHODE ISLAND new Coach Jack Zilly's first job will be to fill out a starting lineup. He has only six lettermen from last year's 2-5-2 squad, hardly enough to form a corporal's guard. With some luck, Quarterback Greg Gutter may keep Zilly's first season from being an absolute zero.
Williams has a slight edge over AMHERST in the Little Three. Frank Navarro, who moved up from line coach to replace the retired Len Watters, inherited 24 experienced players, including some fast backs and many of the tenacious linemen who gave up only three scores last season. Guard Al Hageman and Tackle Ben Wagner, a pair of robust 225-pounders, insure Williams of a solid defense, and Navarro has put in the spread T to get more scoring punch from his backs. Amherst Coach Jim Ostendarp does not have that particular worry, not with Bob Santonelli and John North, who between them ran for 1,051 yards and 17 touchdowns in 1962, available. But he has others, notably an acute shortage of linemen. WESLEYAN'S sophomores need time to learn Coach Norm Daniels' wing T ways. Until they do, the Cardinals will have to look to Don Ware, who has been moved from tackle to guard, to hold together a leaky line and Halfback Gerald Miller to provide the offense.
Trinity and Tufts will be less prepossessing this year. Trinity Coach Dan Jessee starts his 32nd year with a mere handful of lettermen. Halfbacks Bill Campbell and Merrill Yavinski, an accurate short passer, make the Bantams a threat but they do not spell a big season. At Tufts, Coach Harry Arlanson, whose Chicago Bear T usually revolves around quick slambang fullbacks and king-sized tackles, is fresh out of both. Arlanson will try to compensate with his good runners, Halfbacks Ralph Doran and Dick Sylvester, and perhaps even with some unaccustomed passing by his quarterbacks, John Nyhan and Steve Karp.
Staubach is a scrambler
Penn State will repeat
Boston College could surprise
Harvard will press Dartmouth
Roberts and Wood are outstanding
Williams will head the Little Three