Against Eastern Illinois last year, a guileless, unprepossessing quarterback named George Bork took the pass from center, handed it off to the left half, who then handed to the right half on a double reverse. It was fourth down and eight on Eastern's 35. The right half handed the ball right back to Bork, who forthwith passed for a touchdown. "The score was 0-0," said Bork. "I don't think they expected anything like that so early. We beat them 21-0."
Eastern obviously was surprised. It should not have been. When Quarterback George Bork of Northern Illinois gets the ball, everybody and his Aunt Harriet knows he is going to pass. What no one knows, not even Aunt Harriet, is how to stop him. This year, before he takes home his last game ball, Bork and Northern Illinois University will hold every significant alltime passing and total-offense record in college football. Already Bork is the alltime leader in 1) passes completed per season (232); 2) passes completed in one game (37); 3) yards gained by passing in a season (2,506); 4) accuracy (65.2% on the basis of 150 or more attempts); and he has 22 other records. By midseason he should also have the career records in all these categories as well as the one for total yardage running and passing.
Considering that Bork was also a hot basketball prospect in high school, the casual bystander might wonder how he was snatched from the Big Ten's very maw by Northern Illinois, not too many years before known as De Kalb Normal. A sizable part of the answer is that Bork was only 5 feet 10 and 155 pounds and that Michigan—the primary Big Ten recruiter—wanted Bork to restrict himself to basketball. The largest portion of the answer, however, is the small-town atmosphere of De Kalb (where barbed wire was invented and corn is king), which Bork found appealing.
September 22, 1963
In the words of Football Coach Howard Fletcher, "You could never pick Bork out in a crowd." Committed to Midwest values, Bork is modest, democratic and scorns pretense or social striving. He is so democratic, in fact, that originally he wanted to be a lineman but got squashed often enough to realize he was not big enough. He became a quarterback when touch football teammates made him do the passing. The Bork ethic demands that when one gets a lead role, he plays it very, very well.
Today, at 170 pounds, Bork considers himself "average." He demands no more for playing football than a letter and a job paying $48 a month and he wants to play pro football just because "it would be kind of a challenge." But he does like to win. Says he, "All my thoughts, when I'm playing, are based on a pattern. It's a way of doing the job—which is winning." And if it simplifies that job, Bork does not mind a complicated play or a complex strategy. "We pass 70% of the time, using the shotgun offense a lot," says Bork, "but we also use quite a few screens and flare passes to stop the heavy rush. There are even several plays where I run." He adds, "Mr. Fletcher doesn't like me to run."
But run he will—and pass very often too. With a somewhat improved line, Northern Illinois could rise immodestly high among small-college teams, although it might not reach the heights of favorites Fresno, Oklahoma Central, Florida A & M and Susquehanna, as the regional reports below can testify.
Last year OKLAHOMA CENTRAL vandalized the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference, winning all of its games by an average margin of 28 points. When it demolished NAIA rivals by similar scores and won the small-college championship, people everywhere were suddenly impressed. They had better stay that way. Nineteen of 22 regulars return and the team will be "at least three-deep with capable hands" in 1963. Passer Mike Rollins (50% completions and 12 touchdowns last year) has gone but experienced sophomore C.B. Speegle is a good replacement. Backs R. L. Briggs (1,126 yards), George Hughley (601) and Bobby Williams all averaged six or seven yards per carry in 1962. They are back and so are Ends Billy Jones and Jim Davis, Clyde Frolics and Val Reneau in the line.
Wittenberg, after its perfect 9-0 record in 1962, graduated six starters, including Little All-America Tackle Don Hunt. Is Wittenberg worried? Not really, and one reason is Quarterback Charlie Green, who completed 79 of 147 passes for 1,227 yards and 15 touchdowns. Other good reasons are 28 lettermen, among them eight-touchdown-receiver Bob Cherry.
As any back chased by red dogs knows, nothing is more reassuring than a solid line, NORTHERN MICHIGAN has a solid line. Led by Tackle Jack Mauro, Guard Bob Kalbfleisch and End Len St. Jean, the Northern front is two-deep and experienced, if, however, a bit slow. The backfield is inexperienced and Quarterback Stan Ferris is only a fair passer. Success depends on how well promising Fullback Don Bangert and Halfback Tim Tranetzki use their blocking.
With 11 lettermen in its interior line, it is no sign of weakness that SOUTHERN ILLINOIS has shifted four players from guard to other interior positions. The resultant starting guards, Jim Minton and Mitchell Krawczyk, are two of the better in the small-college business, as are Halfbacks Charles Warren and Carl Kimbrel. Senior Quarterback Dave Harris is as good as last year's incumbent, yet three sophomores are capable of replacing him. Disregard Coach Carmen Piccone's plaint that the squad is half sophomores. With 25 good lettermen back, that is merely a commentary on how many excellent sophs he has.
Drake, which proved itself one of the country's most potent "small" college teams by beating or seriously challenging such schools as Wichita, Southern Illinois and Iowa State in 1962, has challenges of its own in 1963. Foremost is the total departure of its first two backfields. Only three starters return to the line, and one of these is thrice-lettered Guard Lou Proctor, who lost his right hand in an accident this summer. Proctor fully intends to remain Drake's best lineman—and is expected to succeed. With that example before it, Drake's best freshman group in 10 years could be quite competent. Quarterback Tim Roels, Halfbacks Lee Brothers and Dan Mitera and End Don Ferrell are the players to watch.
Swayed by BALDWIN-WALLACE victories in the last six games of 1962, many observers call B-W one of the Midwest's best. Halfback George Morris (618 yards), Ends Jerry Roberts and Larry Shinn and Tackle Don Hyne tend to support the theory. At the halfback position, Coach Lee Tressel's only dilemma is which Boynar twin to use—Don or Den.
Omaha has 300-pound Tackle Jack Petersen, 9.4 Halfback Roger Sayers (brother of Kansas' Gale), Quarterback Carl Meyers (58 of 126 passes for 1,012 yards) and almost all the rest of an 8-1-1 team back. Omaha expects a lovely fall. Opponents, eying a Redskin defensive line averaging 245, do not.
Right in Northern Illinois' own conference, CENTRAL MICHIGAN looks ready to score often enough and to win often enough to keep Bork & Co. worried. The Chippewas, who actually beat Northern last year by the basketball score of 35-27, have three good back-fields. Most schools would settle for one that includes Quarterback Dick Moffit and big Halfback Bill Shuple.
An interesting quirk in the football map has been the absence of a single "major" team in the Dakotas and Montana. Judging by its stiffened schedule and 7-2-1 1962 record, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE is a possible future luminary. For this season, however, backfield losses through ineligibility make the Jackrabbits too reliant on Halfback Wayne Rasmussen and their able line. And they play Nebraska.
Members of the fratricidal Midwest Conference so enjoy ambushing their brothers that they schedule no outsiders. A little more equal among equals, GRINNELL probably will emerge on top again, boosted there by Guard Steve Warrick, Halfback Elston Bowers and Fullback Joel Goldman. Only a fat cat whisker behind will be RIPON, blessed with alltime best conference Quarterback Jack Ankerson. Following as close as their internecine nature permits should be COE, ST. OLAF and LAWRENCE.
In a region as thickly populated with small colleges and big football as the Midwest, noteworthy teams can go unnoted. Lest their admirers rise in arms, CARTHAGE, vanguarded by Tackle Gene Schrader and Halfback Jim Payne; ST. JOHN'S, led by Tackle John McDowell; and WHEATON, home of Guard Dick Taylor, are good enough to reward the most discriminating spectator. Also praiseworthy are VALPARAISO, KALAMAZOO, ALBION, NORTHERN SOUTH DAKOTA, HILLSDALE, EMPORIA, UPPER IOWA and PITTSBURG STATE.
Susquehanna, owner of the nation's longest undefeated streak (22 games), will not win the Middle Atlantic northern division championship. The Crusaders are not playing enough conference games. This will save weaker league members untold blood-and-tearshed, since Susquehanna boasts such goodies as a fullback who rampaged 583 yards for 74 points (Larry Kerstetter), a halfback who gained 757 while scoring 46 (Larry Erdman) and a quarterback who averaged 7.4 while running 527 yards (Don Green). Not bad for a school which has lost 70% of its games since 1892 and which abbreviates spring practice because its coach is busy with baseball.
Though in the same league, HOFSTRA never meets Susquehanna, more's the pity. Consistent winners, the Dutchmen blushingly admit, "Frankly, it looks like a seventh straight winning season." Returning lettermen like Tackle Don Cummings and Guard Ray DiScala in the interior line, Hofstra also has deep back-field strength in men such as Quarterback Len Garille, Doug Sickul, Jim Stamos and sophomore Dave Smith.
Among those eligible in the northern division, MORAVIAN is the team. Quarterback Andy Semmel unreels yardage running (332 last year) and passing (406), Halfback Frank Grablachoff catches and runs creditably, JUNIATA has a new coach and hopes for new success, resting largely on a formidable line. But either Larry Landini or Malcolm Wakefield must settle in comfortably at quarterback. ALBRIGHT recently had a 21-game undefeated streak, but it was broken during a sad 3-5 1962 season. Now Coach John Potsklan's students again have a strong line and Running Backs Robert Kopp, Gerald Smith and Doug Deicke. The problem is quarterback.
In the southern division, defending champion DREXEL, equipped with Tackle Joel Gotchel and Fullback Bruno Ceccarelli, expects to repulse defense-minded PENN MILITARY and LEBANON VALLEY.
Little All-America Fullback Joe (98 Points) Iacone and End Max Micsion (54) have bidden farewell to WEST CHESTER, but sensational passer Terry Eberly and 28 lettermen like Tackle Tony DiMidio, End Dick Mazza and Center Ken Johns are back with bad news for opponents. Unless Toby Barkman and a superb defense accelerate EAST STROUDSBURG, West Chester should take the Pennsylvania Conference eastern title, while SLIPPERY ROCK fights off insurgent, intact INDIANA in the western division.
Powerful again among independents Will be SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT.
Five of ARLINGTON'S 10 opponents for 1962 were major teams. After a poor 4-6 season, the Rebels are strengthening their conditioning program and weakening their schedule. Quarterback Doug Wilson may gain even more than his 1962 totals of 555 yards rushing and 501 passing. Tackles Jack Hall and Jim Ferguson typify a nasty stretch of line, but Arlington has just enough inexperience in the backfield to keep the schedule change from being unsporting.
We offer here excerpts from TEXAS A&I'S self-assessment: End Ted Unbehagen, "strong offensive player"; End Gerald Pargamann, "strong"; Tackle Johnny Herrera, "very strong arms"; Tackle Jesse Villesca, "strong"; Guard Armando Nino, "strong"; Guard Vic Swedlund, "strong"; Center Frank Kelly, "strong linebacker"; Quarterback Randy Johnson, "tremendous passer"; Halfback Sid Blanks, "top pro prospect"; Halfback Wes Robinson, "good speed and moves"; Fullback Louis Landry, "strong." A&I's conclusion: "A & I can't help but be weaker." Our conclusion: A & I is strong.
Its defensive line, TEXAS SOUTHERN modestly admits, is "very capable of overpowering blockers." This is just a corollary of the fact that the whole Southern team is quite capable of overwhelming most opponents. Although their specialty is defense, Center Carl Woodard, Guards Herbert Broussard and John Thompson and Tackle Leon Hardy are glaringly offensive, too. Receivers Herman Driver (646 yards last year) and Warren Wells (547), Quarterback Carl Zenn (42 of 84 passes complete for 11 touchdowns and 826 yards) and Halfbacks B. . Cheeks and Robert Batts overpower defenses, PRAIRIE VIEW, the other Texas contender, may give Southern its major competition in the Southwestern Conference.
What trouble Texas A & I has in the Lone Star Conference should mostly be provided by SOUTHWEST TEXAS. In charge of other-directed trouble are a two-deep line led by Little All-America Tackle John Reese, proven Quarterback Danny Leinneweber and four fettle-some halfbacks. In the next bracket are LAMAR TECH and EAST TEXAS, both of which have a fierce crop of sophomores elbowing aside some of the plentiful veterans.
Among independents, TEXAS LUTHERAN balances significant losses with potent replacements. From Pflugerville's 55-consecutive-game prep winners comes Fullback James Bohls to join End Aaron Theilengerdes and Fullback Dickie Manske. Guard Gary Peterson and Halfback Harold Anderson are as fine a pair of holdovers as ever held over.
Florida A&M Coach Jake Gaither has a serious problem—Robert Hayes, the world's fastest runner. Hayes has lots to learn about football, Gaither contends, notably how to change speed through broken-field openings. The problem is one almost any coach can live with, but this will be easier for Gaither, who also has the forces in depth to which he is long accustomed. Alfred Denson could be the area's best end (461 yards in 1962), and important things are expected of Emmett Gamble and Owen McKay at tackle and Charlie Billins at guard. The line as a whole, while chosen for agility rather than size, averages 230, and Jim Tullis, Bobby Felts and Bruce Wilkins are not bad backs. Gaither even admits that Hayes is "dangerous to the outside."
Though Texas members threaten to dominate the Southwestern Conference this year, the South may yet triumph. Defending titlist JACKSON STATE, despite loss of Quarterback Roy Curry, End Willie Richardson and 14 others, can rebuild around Halfback Chico Jordan and Tackle Ben MaGee. GRAM-BLING may have lost too much, but SOUTHERN stands to move up on the strength of a brawny line headed by Ends Sidney Williams and Richard Jackson, plus Fullback Mack Hill.
Coach Hanley Painter of LENOIR RHYNE has lost two All-America backs, one of whom rushed 1,146 yards (Odell White), the other 989 (Richard Kemp). The third leading rusher, Tailback Jim Quails, gained precisely 83 yards, but that could be a misleading statistic. Painter always comes up with something remarkable, and he most likely will again. For a starter he has crashing Center Howard Barnhardt and experienced signal-calling blocking back Mike Pope.
Alabama A&M Coach Louis Crews is relying on prayer. His guards weigh in at 165 pounds, his tackles at 180. This is not last year's fourth-ranked team.
Washington & Lee ought to be in the Southeastern Conference: it has, literally, an all-senior first team. The Generals also have their best sophomores in five years and enough overall quality to form three equal units. Coach Lee McLaughlin particularly enjoys Stuart Yoffe, best recent W & L halfback (482 yards), Ends John Madison and Buck Ogilvie and Tackle Jim Sylvester. Now if the Generals had just nonrecruited (W&L does not recruit) a junior class to match....
McNeese will again be a contentious contender in the Gulf States Conference, led by Fullbacks Darrell Lester and Don Bossier. But defending champion NORTHWESTERN LOUISIANA, even with Center Sammy Odom and Halfback Jerry Burton, will have more to worry about than just McNeese. LOUISIANA TECH will have two solid units, outstanding on which are Center John Williamson and sophomore passer Billy Laird.
Fresno, in a word, is awesome. The cause is not solely 250-pound All-America Tackle Montie Day, already drafted by the Chicago Bears, or even that Coach Cecil Coleman has surrounded Day with linemen who are almost his peer. Offense is Fresno's real forte. Fullback Jim Long, leading scorer and rusher as a sophomore, Quarterback Beau Carter, who completed 49 of 89 for 756 yards as a second-stringer, and End Larry Fogelstrom (415 yards) are the best of a gifted band.
Little—or not at all—less savage than Fresno is SAN DIEGO STATE, which will field such operatives as two-time MVP Tailback Kern Carson (976 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns), All-America End Neal Petties (384 yards, 44 points) and Mario Mendez, who took enough time out from blocking to score 42 points on 296 yards. With 250-pound Tackles John Farris and David Lay doing the frontwork, the Aztecs would never lose—had they not lost their first three quarterbacks.
From the piteous cries heard around Lake Merced, SAN FRANCISCO STATE is hardly a threat in the Far Western Conference. In truth, San Francisco should have little trouble repeating, with Halfback Tom Manney (555 yards), Fullback Greg Baines, Tackle Ted Freeman and Guard Bob Griffin leading a fine team.
The departure of Quarterback Bob Hidalgo (1,427 yards, 16 touchdowns passing) will not, as one would suppose, paralyze ADAMS STATE, the power of Rocky Mountain small-college football. The resourceful Alamosans are simply giving Carl Fetters, who caught all those passes (615 yards, five touchdowns), a turn at throwing. That leaves the receivers a little weak, but with a deep line, Fetters will have lots of time to find someone to catch the ball. MONTANA is Adams' only Rockies competition.
Linfield, undefeated in 21 consecutive regular-season games, still retains half a team of honorable mention All-Americas. Guards Jerry Grossen and Fred vonAppen, Tackle Pete Dengenis and Fullback Dennis Vitale (696 yards, 54 points) are all in that category.
Poets and Pirates, WHITTIER and WHITWORTH are alike in at least one respect: they dominate their leagues. After six consecutive Southern California championships, Whittier is a good bet to parlay Halfback Ron Hales (533 yards in 1962), cool Quarterback Doug Bennett (44 of 91 for 745) and Center Bob Evans into a seventh title. Whitworth is a prohibitive favorite to take the Evergreen Conference again. No one else can match Fullback Charles Reed (1,010 yards) and Quarterback Don Leebrick (49 of 96 for 700).
Bork stands out
Oklahoma Central by a wide margin
Florida A&M is rough again
Fresno will edge San Diego State