A University of Washington man is a man for only one season—the monsoon season. His entire collegiate life is geared to rain. The song most often heard at the 5 o'clock chimes concert is Singing in the Rain Washington is the only university offering an undergraduate degree in oceanography. The campus centerpiece is a large, splashy fountain (above). The men's "spirit group" is ironically titled the Sun Dodgers. And the best-observed campus tradition decrees that students becoming engaged or pinned be routed out of bed during sound sleep and heaved into Frosh Pond.
Until a year ago, Frosh Pond was also used for a mammoth freshman-sophomore tug-of-war with the rope stretched across the pond. That tradition admirably epitomized Washington: it was big, it was muscular and it was wet.
Washington is enormous. Ninety buildings spread out over 640 acres in an architectural smorgasbord of French renaissance, Gothic, Neo-Gothic and contemporary enclose 23,000 students, 3,500 faculty and 4,500 staff. That makes the university the second largest employer in the state and gives it a population larger than all but 11 Washington cities, not counting 5,000 additional fully credited night-class Huskies.
September 20, 1964
Nor is the nickname "Huskies" a misnomer. The ultimate status symbol at Washington is a gash across the bridge of the nose, like the gashes Coach Jim Owens' football players have. A secondary symbol, incidentally, is a T shirt India-ink-stained by the athletic department laundry mark. Fraternity types who balk at self-mutilation have been known to buy their own ink and stain their own T shirts.
This toughness cult may date to early Washington Coach Gilmour Dobie, who won 58 games, lost zero, tied three and acquired innumerable enemies doing so. Prominent Seattle citizens, among them the mayor, actually used to line Denny Field and throw rocks at the impervious Dobie. Later cult adherents made their teams run everywhere they went (even to brush their teeth in the morning) and sleep outdoors in winter.
Dobie's ranting perfectionism produced a novel cluster of stars: line-battering Halfback Melville Mucklestone, the Waukesha Welshman; eight-time letterman Quarterback "Wee" Coyle; and "Mother" Hunt, virtually the only player to receive a Dobie compliment. "Hunt," said the sour Scot in a flush of unwonted affection, "I wouldn't take you out if both your legs were broken." Even when the master martinet was fired in 1916 because President Henry Suzzallo felt he and his university were being overshadowed by Dobie and his football team, the coach's winning style survived. Enoch Bagshaw put Washington into the Rose Bowl in 1924 and 1926 with the Huskies' first All-America, George Wilson, now coach of the Detroit Lions. Later came tough, cocky Jimmy Phelan, whose gaudy 12 years featured one Rose Bowl and unceasing rows with the administration. He once frankly admitted, "I'd rather battle the Upper Campus than beat Oregon State." Current Coach Jim Owens has actually improved on the old superlatives of discipline and victory after coming in to clean up a singularly slimy scandal. Fired Coach Johnny Cherberg's charge that Washington players were not only paid to play (which was routine) but bribed to demand their coach's resignation nearly resulted in de-emphasis of football. With Owens has come harmony, three more Rose Bowl trips and 44 wins (against 25 defeats). In 1964 that record should get even better.
In 1963 the Washington Huskies were supposedly a year away from conspicuous success, but they wound up in the Rose Bowl anyway. Now they return, even stronger than they were last season. Fullback Junior Coffey, probable All-America, has recovered from the mysterious broken bones in his feet. Big Charlie Browning was so successful as the injured Coffey's replacement that a popular song was written about him—First Downing Charlie Browning—and was played constantly by Seattle disc jockeys. Now Charlie joins Junior in the same backfield. At the other half is Ron Medved, a burly, shifty, lacerating ballcarrier who gives Coach Owens' team a three-gun running attack. In reserve is Steve Bramwell, dazzling on kickoff returns. If quarterback Bill Douglas—an excellent runner and an even better passer—can surmount nerve damage to his knee, the Huskies will have, by their own admission, an unstoppable offense. In the line, All-America Rick Redman diagnoses plays, bats down passes and generally constitutes a one-man uprising, but Center Fred Forsberg and Guard Mike Otis are also sturdy linebackers. Other hubs of a fearsome seven-spoke defense are Guard Koll Hagen and Tackles Jerry Knoll and Jim Norton. Add to this lineup the Purple People Eaters (purple-jerseyed defensive platooners), 11 good transfers, substantial sophomore succor and you have the reasons Washington should play in its fourth Rose Bowl in six years.
"This is a team of mystery to me," says Coach John McKay of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Then he proves his point by leaving a blank at fullback on his post-spring practice lineup. Southern Cal is the only prospective nationally ranked team planning to play a blank at fullback. McKay has an explanation (follow this closely): "We moved our first fullback, Eddie King, to defensive end, but he broke his wrist. Our second most experienced fullback, Ernie Pye, he's now our right linebacker. Our only other experienced fullback is Tom Lupo. He's actually a converted quarterback, but we needed another defensive back and so that's Tom Lupo." The only mystery about the Mystery Team is how McKay can be forced to move that much proven fullback to defense to make room for a slasher like Ron Heller (247 yards last year) and still worry about the position. Or, conversely, how he can replace End Hal Bedsole, Halfback Willie Brown, Quarterback Pete Beathard and Guard Damon Bame, All-Americas all, without noticeable shock symptoms. The answer, briefly, is a perpetual revolving fund of half backs like Mike Garrett (seventh nationally with 833 yards rushing) and sophomore starter Ray Cahill, two-way ends like John Thomas and Fred Hill, tough guards like Bill Fisk and Mac Byrd and quarterbacks such as sophomore Rod Sherman and Craig Fertig. USC is going to be very hard to beat.
California, which yielded 213 points in 10 games last year and which has shut out just one opponent since 1957, has decided that a good offense is no defense. To get itself one, Cal hired away the Washington Redskins' defensive coach, alumnus Ray Willsey, and along with its new attitude of defensive attack, it has the players. They are, notably, Guards Ron Calegari and John Garamendi (AAWU heavyweight wrestling champ), Tackles Jim Pinson and Roger Foster, Middle Linebacker Jim Phillips and fast End Mike Gridley, 54-foot shotputter. Since there are not many good substitutes, this line must stay healthy. If it does, there are backs to exploit it: Halfback Tom Blanchfield, substitute Jim Blakeney, rangy Flanker Loren Hawley, sub Jerry Mosher and little Fullback Tom Relies. And then there is Quarterback Craig Morton, Bearishly estimated to be the nation's best passer. Morton, throwing to his favorite target, End Jack Schraub, is enough to panic anyone. If the Bears can hold the opposition to fewer than last year's 1,514 aerial yards and if young players develop at a normal rate, downtrodden California could rise as high as third in the AAWU.
John Ralston of STANFORD is that football rarity, a coach who loves to recruit. Such men are dangerous. They have a habit of taking over a consistent cellar contender, lulling a league with one bad year and causing enormous trouble when their own recruits start playing varsity. By more than sheer coincidence this is Ralston's second year at Palo Alto, the Indians' record last year was a disappointing 3-7 and they now seem likely to finish in the AAWU first division. Exactly how likely depends in large part on a new pair of quarterbacks, transfer Terry DeSylvia and sophomore Dave Lewis, a genuine Indian, and on sophomores and transfers in the line. If all come through, Stanford's 1963 record could be reversed.
Gordon Queen may be forgiven for feeling unappreciated. After all, he tied for first in the nation last year with 16 touchdown passes and accounted for 1,297 yards, yet he might not be OREGON STATE'S starting quarterback. Trouble is, Coach Tommy Prothro has switched to a power I formation, requiring the Beaver quarterback to run more, and Queen is no Ellery on the option. Marv Crowston is a better runner, and so are sophomores Paul Brothers and Bob Grim. No such uncertainty bedevils Tailback Charlie Shaw, a 210-pound hurdler, while Booker Washington and Cliff Watkins are set at fullback and floater back. Although Oregon State's losses were in the line, the Beavers retain a pair of good, big tackles in Ken Brusven and Rich Koeper and excellent linebackers in Jack O'Billovich and Dick Ruhl. If California and Stanford do not achieve their full potential, Oregon State will rise above them.
Oregon, unhappily, has lost all but one of its six best rushers, including the celebrated Mel Renfro, and all four of its top receivers. This represents a net loss of 1,237 yards rushing and 1,328 yards receiving. It also represents a new call for ingenuity by a team already noted for its dashing offenses (Oregon has averaged more than 300 yards and more than three touchdowns per game over the last five years). Whatever Coach Len Casanova conjures up to neutralize his losses, he must use Quarterback Bob Berry (101 of 171 passes for 1,675 yards and 16 touchdowns last year) as its chief ingredient. Halfback Dennis Keller, the only other back with more than two minutes' experience, outstanding Center Dave Tobey, Defenseman Oliver McKinney, Tackles Lowell Dean and Pat Matson and End Ray Palm will have to add their bit. After them, prospects rest on a flock of mighty downy Ducklings.
The Lobos of NEW MEXICO have won every Western Athletic Conference title since the inception of the league—all two of them—and see no reason to curb their appetite now. Particularly voracious is a line led by big, bad Tackle Wayne Tvrdik, who has no weaknesses anyone knows of. Dave Hettema, with good speed, strength and blocking reach, is an excellent match at the other tackle. The happily named Glen Troublefield and fellow Guard Steve Byrd are tough enough, as are versatile Jack Abendschan at center and Ends Gary Plumlee and Mario Marianni. They will enable New Mexico, primarily a running team, to pass more. The Wolfpack backfield is fleet. Quarterback Stan Quintana, says Coach Bill Weeks, has improved 100%. Considering how good Quintana looked netting 256 yards on the ground and completing almost half his passes last year, that is 100% impressive. Just as impressive are Tailback Joe Harris or the wingback combination of Claude Ward and Orvey Hampton plus Fullback Chuck Kelly. Aside from these gentlemen, all New Mexico has is a lot of depth.
With a 4-6 1963 record and the loss of Quarterback Gary Hertzfeldt (1,205 yards total offense), UTAH might appear to be headed straight out of the Promised Land. On the contrary, Utah may not beat New Mexico, but the Redskins will offer a serious challenge. Allen Jacobs, with the running characteristics of a Wasatch mountain landslide, gained 564 yards from fullback last season. One halfback, Ron Coleman, rushed 393 yards and another, Andy Ireland, rushed 271. Even at quarterback, Pokey Allen is considered a better runner and leader than Hertzfeldt. None of these backs matches End Roy Jefferson, however. Besides excelling at defense and offense, catching and running, Jefferson kicks off, converts points and kicks field goals. Utah may have been the toughest 4-6 team in the West last year. Expect something more like 7-3 this season.
Not all Arizonans in the news this fall will be members of the class of 1932. Down at Tucson some 50 young men, ARIZONA classes of 1965 to 1967, are dedicated to the proposition that moderation in pursuit of victory is no virtue. The mere fact that 22 of them are senior lettermen would not be so impressive were not the likes of John Briscoe scattered among them. Briscoe is an honor scholar, a student leader, a nice fellow and a good center and linebacker. Jim Oliver and Rickie (Flea) Harris are mighty useful halfbacks, yet Floyd Hudlow will probably move from defense to replace Oliver. Gene Dahlquist, who passed 252 yards as an alternate quarterback, may be pushed aside by Lou White, and Larry Fairholm furnishes all the expertise needed at defensive half. Two sophomores, Tackle George Tijerina and Guard Joe Escalada, sound like a pair of border towns and reportedly are just as tough. Add them all together, and you won't dismiss Arizona's chances on the basis of early polls.
Utah State will be the most dangerous independent in the West, a state of affairs that should occasion no surprise. The Aggies were national leaders in scoring and total offense last year, and have ranked high in both for the last four seasons. State also outgained opponents by 202.8 yards per game, best in the nation and a record that linemen like Rich Zecher, 245-pound tackle, and Veran Smith, 230-pound guard, anticipate continuing. They will be helped tangibly by Tackles Chuck Bray (250 pounds) and Jim Harris (265), Guard Bob Broughton and Center Jim Bowen. Flanking all this brawn is a pair of fine pass-catching ends, John Mathews and Jack Hannum. Halfback Darell Steele can also catch passes, but he is even better at carrying all the way. If Fullback Craig Murray and Halfback Marv Kendrick can come back from a year of injuries and if either sophomore Ron Edwards or transfer Ron Stewart can take charge at quarterback, the Utags will look like a very good WAC team. Unfortunately, the conference still will not have them.
There better be nothing wrong with the youth of America, or Coach Frank Kush of ARIZONA STATE University is in trouble. ASU is so inexperienced Kush thinks green is a primary color. Gone, taking an 8-1 record with them, are nine of last fall's offensive 11, including the entire backfield. Even so, the Sun Devils are feared around the league as a sleeper. If Arizona State does have hopes, they revolve around Quarterback John Torok, Halfbacks Gene Foster and Ben Hawkins, End Jerry Smith, Guard Bobby Johnson and Tackle Frank Mitacek. Aside from them, all the Devils have are a lot of promising sophomores.
Air Force should be the second independent power in the region despite the loss of its ground-to-ground missile launcher, Quarterback Terry Isaacson. Coach Ben Martin does not pretend that Dave Backus, Tim Murphy and Howard Burkart represent a complete solution, but he can get quite happy thinking about the rest of the backfield. Martin feels Dick Czarnota is "one of the nation's outstanding halfbacks for what we ask him to do." What Czarnota is asked to do is nearly everything. He runs with power, blocks and catches passes. The Air Force has other good halfbacks in Paul Wargo and Ken Jaggers. Fullbacks equally as capable are Steve Amdor and Larry Tollstam. Fritz Greenlee is a fine offensive end, and Martin is enthusiastic about John Puster, a rocky defensive flankman, and Center-Linebacker Wendell Harkleroad and Guard Tom Gorges.
The population of Laramie, home of the University of WYOMING, numbers 19,000. Wyoming's Memorial Stadium seats 20,000 and was more than three-quarters filled in three out of four home games during a mediocre 1963 season. It may correctly be concluded that at Wyoming football interest is high. One good reason is that the Pokes keep coming up with players like Tom Wilkinson, who completed 64 of 137 passes for 902 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. The Cowboys also acquire their share of linemen, such as Harry Reed, a 197-pound tackle who "outscraps, outclaws and outbites larger opponents." Other examples are Guard Bill Levine and a 6-foot 8-inch rookie end from Gadsden, Ala. with the unlikely name of Pedro Billingsley. There is also George Squires, the soccer-playing Englishman imported to Wyoming to kick placements (26 of 35 points after touchdown and eight field goals in two years). Squires, given a go at it, even turned out to be a jolly good running tailback. It is fortunate Wyoming has these excitement inciters. Few other Pokes pack proved punch on offense.
"Sure, UCLA has 28 lettermen back this year," says a Pacific Coast assistant coach. "But they weren't any good last year. Why should they be better now?" The answer, it would seem, is that they will not be. Yet, they appear on paper to be at least medium-size Bruins. Quarterback Larry Zeno, a man with an accurate arm, completed exactly half of 154 passes for 1,036 yards last fall. The UCLA ground offensive was a joke, however, as opponents outgained the team 2,213 yards to 759. Worse, even, UCLA's second leading rusher was Quarterback Zeno, who gained only 173 yards on 104 carries, an average of 1.66 yards. WASHINGTON STATE, already bereft of half again as many lettermen as it got back, lost two more vital links this spring. Herm McKee, 26-year-old halfback, turned pro because he wasn't getting any younger. Quarterback Dale Ford, who had been risking an acknowledged bright future in baseball, quit because football wasn't getting him any healthier. Novice Coach Bert Clark also faces the danger that Clarence Williams, his best remaining back, may become extinct on grades. Understandably, Washington State supporters are a dour and disconsolate lot. Less understandably, Clark remains his ebullient, effervescent Oklahoma self. If there are any reasons for optimism at all, they must be Fullback Larry Eilmes, Halfback Bill Gaskins, Tackle Jim Paton and Ends Gerry Shaw, Tom Kelley and Dennis Kloke. Elsewhere, returnees will be pushed by sophomores, who constitute well over half the squad.
A current Sierra-side sarcasm says the nearly reconstituted Pacific Coast Conference went through all its changes to eliminate perennial loser IDAHO. The last laugh may be on the conference. Idaho, which had its first winning year in a quarter century in 1963, may well be the biggest surprise in the West, thanks to the shrewd leadership of Coach Dee Andros. The measure of their advance is that, facing a major schedule, the Vandals will be very respectable, even shorn as they are of four starting linemen (three of whom headed directly for the NFL), Quarterback Gary Mires and Fullback Galen Rogers. Sophomore Halfback Ray McDonald (see box) will be a main driving force, but little Idaho has others. Tackle is hotly contested by no fewer than 10 mammoth candidates.
Unlike Idaho, NEW MEXICO STATE has not had to prove itself. Except for last year, when two-time national rushing champion Preacher Pilot was hurt, Coach Warren Woodson and associates have had some splendid seasons. Now the Preacher is gone, but the Aggies will be good anyway. Much of the explanation lies in Woodson, who is not exactly the bashful kind of recruiter. Example: of NMSU's 17 returning lettermen, not one is from New Mexico, nor are any of the 12 junior college transfers. Two of these JCs, Wendell Chambers and Gary DeBernardi, promise to commandeer center and halfback, and another newcomer, sophomore Bobby Crenshaw, probably will start at left end. Otherwise. New Mexico State rests most of its case on Fullback Joe Johnson.
Surprise, along came McDonald
Circumstances that give the University of Idaho potentially the best college fullback in the country are related directly to a day three years ago when Coach Ralph Tate left Alamogordo. N. Mex. to take over the high school team in Caldwell, Idaho. Tate was happy to come to Caldwell but sad—so sad—to leave behind a big, fast fullback named Ray McDonald. McDonald was equally heartbroken to see his coach go. So, came registration day at Caldwell High School, and surprise, surprise, there was Ray McDonald standing in line. The lines in Tate's face were merged into one titanic grin.
They stayed that way for two seasons as McDonald became All-Idaho fullback. Then Ray McDonald graduated to the University of Idaho and Coach Dee Andros. "In my 14 years of watching high school athletes I never saw a better college prospect," says Andros.
Andros might have added that McDonald is so big (6 feet 4, 230 pounds) that he is rarely stopped by as few as two tacklers. Little ripples of alarm have been emanating from every school Idaho plays in the next three years. Against Washington and Washington State, freshman McDonald bucked more than 200 yards. He isn't likely to Hunk out either. Only a C student in high school and a struggler his first semester at Idaho, McDonald confounded himself and everyone else by making an even B average last semester. He did it by confining nonfootball activities "strictly to the books and music." After college, he wants to play pro ball. Several scouts already consider him one of the nation's best running backs.
No other sophomore in the West is so much the core of his team as McDonald, but others come close. Oregon State's Paul Brothers, whose high school statistics resemble those of Terry Baker and Mel Renfro, seems ready to displace a senior quarterback (Gordon Queen) who last year led the nation in touchdown passes. USC Safety-Quarterback Rod Sherman, Washington End Dave Williams, Utah State Quarterback Ron Edwards and Cal Halfback Lloyd Reist are other names that will be heard often.