Yale Quarterback Brian Dowling throws a football in parabolas and once broke his hand when he tripped in an agility drill, but he has yet to play in a losing game and he may keep that record intact for another season. Dowling passed for 684 yards last year, and he is such a successful leader that if he blushed at a compliment, the entire Yale team would follow him by turning crimson. Coach Carmen Cozza complains about the rest of his offense, but he has back such able players as Halfback Calvin Hill, Ends Bruce Weinstein and Lew Roney and Tackle Kyle Gee. If Yale cannot repeat last year's undefeated conference record, the reason will be a wobbly defense, where seven starters are gone.
Dartmouth's traditionally effective attack just could be strong enough to take advantage of Yale's questionable defense. Quarterback Bill Koenig, a good passer, may be overshadowed by sophomore Jim Chasey, a better one, while Bob Mlakar, Bob Lundquist and Dave Boyle are all good running backs. Princeton will make it a three-way title race, for all the Tigers save one return on offense, including Tailback Dick Bracken and Fullback Ellis Moore.
There can hardly be title hopes at Harvard, but there is excitement over Richie Szaro, the Polish halfback Bobby Kennedy found on a New York City playground one day and helped recruit. Szaro set a Harvard freshman record for scoring. He, Vic Gatto—soon to be the alltime Crimson rushing leader—and Ray Hornblower add up to a strong running attack. Cornell, which came on well last year, will continue to worry the leaders, but the same cannot be said for Brown, Columbia and that fallen giant of long ago, Penn. They had best play for the pure pleasure of it.
September 8, 1968
In 1953 seven of the best football schools in the Southern Conference packed up their helmets, hip pads and grants-in-aid and departed to form their own league, the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 1965 Virginia Tech, its football program blossoming, turned independent, followed last July 1 by West Virginia, the only real football power that had remained in the conference. What is left may not be the strongest league anywhere but it is the most evenly matched.
Anybody can win the SC title this year, but the race will probably be settled when Richmond visits East Carolina on October 26. Coach Frank Jones of Richmond lost much of his offensive line, but the Spiders are bigger and faster overall, and Buster O'Brien, the league's best quarterback, is back. East Carolina, like Princeton, still does quite well with the single wing, thank you, although the Pirates need a tailback to replace Neal Hughes. Fullback Butch Colson, who set an SC record last year with 1,135 yards, should pick up the slack, and seven returning starters make the defense strong. William and Mary, swifter and bigger than usual, is also a title threat. End Jim Cavanaugh, who caught 48 passes last year, returns.
The Citadel, with a number of good players in key places, is another dark horse. Tailback Jim McMillan is a proven runner, and the defense is headed by Linebacker John Small, who does things up big. VMI's main hope is that Murphy Sprinkel can step in for Russ Quay at quarterback. Furman has Quarterback Clyde Hewell, who threw for 1,873 yards last year, and Fullback Joe Street to lead its attack, but the defense is inexperienced. Davidson faces a tougher schedule—Virginia and Vanderbilt have been added—with a team weakened by the loss of Quarterback Jimmy Poole.
Spring practice left Clemson Coach Frank Howard with ends, tackles, guards, runners, receivers, linebackers—everything, it seems, but an experienced quarterback. Charley Waters or Billy Amnions, one of whom will take over, should have a lot of fun giving the ball to Buddy Gore, who set an ACC rushing record last season. Eight of 11 starters return on the defense and, quarterback or no, the Tigers must be favored for their fourth ACC title in four years.
Both North Carolina State and Wake Forest will cause Clemson some anguish. Last year NC State took a magnificent defensive unit, dressed it in white shoes, won eight of 10 games and beat Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. Coach Earle Edwards will try to build another such defense around End Mark Capuano and an attack around Runners Charlie Bowers and Bobby Hall. Coach Bill Tate calls his Wake Forest team "a bunch of boys who are fun to watch." The most fun can be found in watching Quarterback Fred Summers, who took the Deacons out of the pigeon class and led them to wins in their last four games.
At South Carolina, Paul Dietzel has 21 lettermen back but he is especially cheered by the return of Defensive Back Ben Galloway. Quarterback Gayle Bomar is the big man at North Carolina, which needs more like him. Virginia has balance and two fine runners in Frank Quayle and Jeff Anderson—but that can't carry the Cavaliers too far. Maryland Quarterback Alan Pastrana, fully recovered from a knee injury, will try a new offense for the Terps, and why not? The old one scored all of 15 points in the first six games last year. Blue Devil Quarterback Al Woodall allowed a coed to write a term paper for him during the spring, leaving Duke—and himself—in trouble.
Once again the rugged SEC has contributed four teams to the Top 20—Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and LSU. And a Top 21 probably would have included Georgia. The Bulldogs, looked upon as a team to beat last year, played three big games and served as a beatable team each time. This year, as a spoiler, Georgia could defeat enough clubs with high hopes—including Tennessee and Florida—to have a season worth celebrating 12 months later than expected. Everything rests upon Mike Cavan, a sophomore passer around whom Coach Vince Dooley has erected a pro-type attack. Brad Johnson and Bruce Kemp are reliable runners, and Bill Stanfill's presence eases the loss of All-America Tackle Edgar Chandler.
Auburn is a little quicker and a lot deeper than last season, but its schedule (Miami, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama—in succession) probably will keep the Tigers from improving on 1967's record of 6-4. Quarterback Loran Carter, the SEC's passing-yardage and total-offense leader, is back, along with his favorite target, Tim Christian. For the first time in 19 years Ole Miss Coach Johnny Vaught will start a sophomore quarterback. He doesn't have to—he wants to. Archie Manning, says Vaught, is straight from the mold of Eagle Day or Glynn Griffing or Jake Gibbs, which means he can pass, run and think. The trouble is the Rebels are starting nine other sophomores, too.
Coach Bill Pace has hardened up Vanderbilt's traditionally soft noses, but the Commodores will still lose more than they win. Kentucky currently has one of the SEC's finest losing traditions and its very best player, Dicky Lyons, who might be good enough to beat a few teams all by himself. Mississippi State cannot expect much improvement on last year's 1-9 performance.
For years Mid-American teams enjoyed trampling all over poor Toledo. But that was before the arrival of Coach Frank Lauterbur. Pretty soon the Rockets began to give opponents trouble and last season, after losing their opener to Ohio U., they won nine straight and tied the Bobcats for the conference title. Perhaps it is only coincidental, but Toledo's success was followed by three coaches leaving the league; Bowling Green, Kent State and Marshall all have new leaders. This season should get back to more traditional form, with Ohio and Miami favored for the championship—but nobody is discounting Toledo anymore. The Rockets still have Tailback Roland Moss, a powerful runner who scored 16 touchdowns in 1967, and they have added a little (5'10", 175 pounds) quarterback, Steve Jones, who is an adequate passer and a better runner. The defense is solid, too, with All-MAC End Mel Tucker to lead it.
Ohio has 16 returning starters, including a good aerial act in Quarterback Cleve Bryant and Split End Todd Snyder, and Coach Bill Hess has filled the holes in his defense with capable players. At Miami, Coach Bo Schembechler, who likes to grind out his yardage, has the runners for it in Quarterback Kent Thompson, Tailback Bobby Glover and Fullback Don Wade, and his defensive line, led by Tackle Ken Root, is the best in the league.
The rest of the MAC will be busy chasing the leaders. Bowling Green, under new Coach Don Nehlen, has problems in the offensive line while Western Michigan and Kent State both are faced with breaking in rookie quarterbacks. Perry Moss, the new man at Marshall, has brought in a number of junior college transfers but the Thundering Herd is still mostly pitty-pat.
Almost everybody in the Big Ten is convinced that the conference championship will be settled as early as October 12 when Purdue and Ohio State meet in Columbus. Everybody, that is, but Indiana, the third Big Ten team in the Top 20, and Minnesota. The Gophers, 8-2 last season and co-champions with Purdue and Indiana, are not about to surrender easily. They have All-America End Bob Stein back to lead a characteristically tight defense, and they hope Quarterback Phil Hagen and Fullback Jim Carter, the team's leading rusher, can generate sufficient offense. The main concern is that the squad is thin—and the schedule is thick, beginning with USC.
Michigan State comes off a jolting 3-7 season with an understandable chance for improvement. The Spartan defense seems strong, and Coach Duffy Daugherty figures his new attackers can't possibly be as bad as last year's inoffensive bunch. Senior Bill Feraco, a decent passer, is the new quarterback, and Tailback LaMarr Thomas and Fullback Reggie Cavender are good runners. Duffy also has history on his side. Twice before he has followed losing seasons with Rose Bowl teams.
Michigan and Illinois are not likely to be in the race, but they may have something to say about who wins it. Michigan's strength is in its good backs. Quarterback Dennis Brown passed for 913 yards, and Halfback Ron Johnson ran for 1,005. The Illini have Quarterback Bob Naponic and Fullback Rich Johnson returning, along with a small but sturdy defense. Iowa and Wisconsin will be somewhat improved, but pity poor Northwestern. The Wildcats play Miami, USC, Purdue, Notre Dame and Ohio State in their first five games. Theirs will be a battle not for victory, but for survival.
Football at Colorado is different. At one scrimmage the weather is rain, hail, snow and bright sun. The team training table and lounge is in a women's dorm. The whole backfield skis. Split End Monte Huber, who caught 45 passes last season, badly bruised his shoulder diving into a swimming pool. Coach Eddie Crowder directs practice in a striped Panama hat. Quarterback Bob Anderson is a bowlegged matinee idol who studies Russian II and modern drama and leads the team in, of all things, rushing. There were 22 serious knee injuries in 1967, which makes Colorado different, too. In part because of injuries, the Buffs do not rank with Oklahoma, Nebraska or Kansas, but the recovery of Fullback Tom Nigbur and Tackle Mike Montler could change that, for the rebuilt Colorado defense looks good.
For years Missouri's president and governor watched games from the worst place possible—the first row. Whoever put them there had football confused with musical comedy. Changes have been made. From new seats in row 80, dignitaries will see I formation passes by Terry McMillian augment the famed Missouri sweeps, as Dan Devine finally has come up with some offensive potential to aid his always excellent defense.
Dour Phil Cutchin has a bear trap of a team at Oklahoma State. With sophomores like Halfback Bub Deerinwater and Tackle Gary Burd, plus Fullback Jack Reynolds and Linebacker Larry Gosney, the Cowboys will stage at least one ambush. "Never before had I had kids quit on me," Kansas State Coach Vince Gibson says of last season. He may start 17 or 18 newcomers, led by Ends Mack Herron and Mike Montgomery and Tailback Russell Harrison. Iowa State is still struggling in a conference where everybody seems to keep improving.
For a long time the Missouri Valley was a league where the young man with the heart and the moves wound up with a basketball in his hands. Then somebody discovered that a 60-yard pass was as exciting to throw as a 40-foot jump shot, and now almost every football team in the league has a passer and a wide-open offense—every team, that is, except the likely winner, Memphis State. The Tigers, newcomers to the conference, have been bruised and beaten but also toughened by years of play against SEC teams. They hope to win now in the old SEC way—keep the ball when it's yours and take it away when the other team has it. The Tiger defense will be built around three men who have played together for two years, Monster Man Bill McRight and Linebackers Joe Rushing and Art Brumit.
When Tulsa Coach Glenn Dobbs warned he was going to pass more than ever this year, Memphis State Coach Billy Murphy said, "The only way he could do that would be if the officials gave him more downs." Mike Stripling and Dobbs's youngest son, Johnny, will try to throw Tulsa to a championship. Asked who was the one player they most feared last year, almost every Valley coach named Steve Ramsey, the gangly North Texas State quarterback who threw 21 touchdown passes—13 of them to Ronnie Shanklin. With this pair back, North Texas is the league's best long shot. Cincinnati's Homer Rice is rebuilding the Bearcats around a fine runner, Tailback Lloyd Pate. Eddie Kriwiel, who replaced Boyd Converse at Wichita State, is counting primarily on John Beeson, a good sophomore passer. Louisville had difficulty banning the bomb last year, but this season the Cardinals are looking to sophomore Oscar Brohm to set off a few himself.
It is not easy to look past Texas and Texas A&M and that big game they play on Thanksgiving Day that ought to decide the conference title, but then it wasn't easy to look at A&M last season and say, "Ah, there's the new league champion." A check of this year's prospective also-rans in the SWC begins with TCU. The Horned Frogs have 15 of their top 22 back, plus a sizzling transfer end named Linzy Cole. To this is added a confident attitude gained from winning four of the final five games last season. Two big men in the backfield, Ross Montgomery and Norman Bulaich, can run with most—and over many. And already the pro scouts are excited about a junior guard, 6'3", 230-pound James Ray. With the right start, TCU might get by without the passing attack it does not have.
Arkansas is certain it will have the passing in the form of Bill Montgomery, a sophomore who will be working out of a new pro-style offense. Fast runners and the alert Arkansas defense are already on hand, and Coach Frank Broyles is not likely to allow the Razorbacks to fall off to 4-5-1 again. Nor is quarterback a problem at Rice. Robby Shelton is well, and he is much feared on the keeper play. Behind him is sophomore Larry Caldwell, who will also be used as a tailback. Split End Larry Davis and Tackle Leland Winston give Rice two more outstanding players.
Sparkling individuals are scattered through the rest of the SWC, too, though their teams have limited hopes. Texas Tech has Fullback Jackie Stewart, SMU still has Flanker Jerry Levias, and Baylor has Tackle Richard Stevens. Each of these teams looks improved. Last year the SWC showed up badly against outside competition, but now it has a strong new look from top to bottom.
Last fall's race by Western Athletic Conference teams ended, typically enough, with Wyoming, Arizona State and member-elect Texas at El Paso bunched so closely at the top a ref's handkerchief might have covered all three. Wyoming and UTEP both went to bowls, and Arizona State thought it should have. This year looks like ASU's turn. Seventeen starters are back, including three All-WAC performers—Center George Hummer, Linebacker Ron Pritchard and Defensive Back Wes Plummer—but Coach Frank Kush, who would be gloomy if he ran the Green Bay Packers, reserves the right to be pessimistic. "Having all these veterans," he groans, "could be a real disadvantage if complacency set in."
At UTEP, Brooks Dawson steps in for Billy Stevens, the record-breaking passer, and he can start throwing immediately to his blazing flanker, Volly Murphy. This year UTEP should have a good running game, too, which, combined with a veteran defense, opens up title possibilities. Brigham Young has two quarterbacks, Marc Lyons and Terry Sanford, and a schedule that brings three WAC favorites to Provo, which makes BYU a dark-horse threat. Wyoming, which won 10 straight and almost beat LSU in the Sugar Bowl, needs a quarterback. Unless Ed Synakowski or Skip Jacobson comes through, the Cowboys are through. In Coach Darrell Mudra's first year, Arizona waxed too fat. Now the Wildcats are leaner and a little better.
"We could be competitive in one-platoon football," says Utah's Bill Meek, meaning he has only 11 good players. It is a rebuilding year for New Mexico and its recently hired coach, Rudy Feldman. Colorado State, another new WAC member, has 61 new players and a new stadium—but that's all.
The usually staid Stanford campus has been rocked lately by some very unconventional happenings, such as a topless dancer running for president of the student body. She won the preliminary but, alas, never had a chance in the showdown. Also without a chance in any showdown against USC, Oregon State or UCLA for the Pacific Eight title is the Stanford football team, but, like the stripper, it can try. What the Indians have to display is most of last year's defense, plus the running of Halfback Nate Kirtman and Quarterback Jim Plunkett, a redshirt, throwing to Flanker Gene Washington.
Whether or not California and Washington can challenge Stanford depends upon how their morale has been affected by their racial problems of last winter and spring. Both have since appointed Negro assistant coaches, and Cal has operated an excellent summer program utilizing its black athletes. Cal Coach Ray Willsey has 17 starters back, and Quarterback Randy Humphries, Halfback Paul Williams and Fullback John McGaffie are capable of making the offense move. The defense, headed by 250-pound Guard Ed White, is sound.
At Washington, Coach Jim Owens has tried to stir up his unproductive offense by scrapping last year's double flankers, moving Flanker Jim Cope to running back and replacing Quarterback Tom Manke with senior Jerry Kaloper, who is a better passer. Owens' most effective weapon, however, may be the Astro Turf that has been installed in the Huskies' stadium.
About the best Oregon and Washington State can hope for is to avoid last place. Oregon is looking to its sophomores, and WSU has a new coach, Jim Sweeney, who has brought a fresh camaraderie and enthusiasm to Pullman, if not a winner just yet.
There was a time when it was rare for an independent to make it to a bowl game. There was a time when, except for Notre Dame, Syracuse in 1959 and those wartime Army teams, few independents ever came close to No. 1. Yes, there was such a time. But no more. Of late the independents have gained enormously in both affluence and influence, and this year no fewer than five of them—Notre Dame, Penn State, Florida State, Miami and Army—have made the Top 20. Before the season is over, some more may well taste glory, too.
Perhaps the best of them is Houston. Normally, any team that loses three All-Americas and its quarterback should have to spend a year regrouping. But Coach Bill Yeoman has so much talent available that he will hardly miss Halfback Warren McVea, Split End Ken Hebert, Guard Rich Stotter or Quarterback Dick Woodall. The Cougars' high-powered offense, which led the nation the past two seasons, should be as explosive as ever with Ken Bailey, a better passer than Woodall, at quarterback and Paul Gipson returning at fullback. Gipson, who used to suffer frequent muscle tears, has improved both his health and his style since he enrolled in a dancing class by mistake and began practicing ballet. "I learned how to control my body," he says. "My coordination is better and my balance has improved." Gipson is no Nureyev, but in 1967 he tiptoed through opposing defenses for 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns. The defense is good, too, with Tackle Jerry Gardner and End Jerry Drones the keystones of a solid front line. Houston plays Texas on September 21, and Texas will be tested.
Another strong independent is Syracuse, even though it is without a famous runner for the first time in almost a generation now that All-America Fullback Larry Csonka has departed. Al Newton, a 230-pound sophomore, is in the Csonka mold although he has much to learn. "He's not the fancy type," says Coach Ben Schwartzwalder, "just a solid citizen of a runner." But, for once, Syracuse may have a passing threat. Junior Quarterback Paul Paolisso showed surprising proficiency at throwing the ball in the spring game when he completed 21 of 30 for 258 yards and three touchdowns. The Syracuse defense, second-best in the country a year ago, looks strong again with 242-pound Tackle Art Thorns the big man up front and Safety Tony Kyasky leading the pass defense. The Orange should squeeze out more than enough victories to extend Schwartzwalder's streak of 18 years without a losing season.
Next comes West Virginia, which dropped out of the Southern Conference to go it alone as an independent. Coach Jim Carlen flinched recently when Penn State's Joe Paterno predicted in a banquet speech that the rebuilding Mountaineers would be 8-2. But the truth is they could be, even with as many as 11 sophomores in the starting lineup. Dale Farley, a 230-pound end, will help a defense that already has a fine middle guard in Carl Crennel. Tailback Bob Gresham and Fullback Jim Braxton are the brightest of the rookies on offense. And if West Virginia cannot win any other way, there is a soccer-style kicker, Ken Juskowich, who made 12 field goals last year, five of them in one game against Pitt.
Utah State, a pleasant 7-2-1 surprise under new Coach Chuck Mills last year, should do nearly as well again despite the loss of All-America Tackle Bill Staley and Fullback Mac Lane. The Aggies have Quarterback John Pappas, who threw for 1,424 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Tailback Altie Taylor. Mills has brought in 26 JC transfers, and one of them, 260-pound Tackle Mick Workman, will lead a defensive front four that averages 250 pounds.
Southern Mississippi Coach Thad (Pie) Vann, now in his 20th year, rarely has a loser, and he should not have one this year, even with Alabama and Ole Miss on the schedule. He has three of his starting back-field returning, including Quarterback Tommy Boutwell. The defense, nicknamed the Vandals, is mostly intact, too. It will be led by Rex Barnes, a 250-pound middle guard. West Texas State had one of the best offensive—and worst defensive—teams in college football in 1967. The results of its games read like oldtime basketball scores: 44-27, 37-27, 35-26. What saved a 7-3 record for the Buffaloes was their offense. The man to watch is Eugene (Mercury) Morris, a very fast halfback who rushed for 1,274 yards, second only to USC's O. J. Simpson. Mercury Morris had a good spring, and Coach Joe Kerbel says, "If he gets any better, he'll belong in another world." Most of last year's nondefenders are gone and the new group looks stronger, so it should be a better world all-round for West Texas.
New Mexico State, which always lived off its offense under retired Coach Warren Woodson, will have to look to the defense to carry it under new Coach Jim Woods. Quarterback Sal Olivas, who was No. 1 in the country in total offense, and Fullback Doug Dalton, who rushed for 1,132 yards, are both gone. But the defense, led by 280-pound Tackle Ruby Jackson and 245-pound End Bill Ackman, should assure New Mexico State of another winning season. The picture is also bright at Xavier, where the Musketeers have 16 starters back, among them Quarterback Jerry Buckmaster and Halfback Bill Waller. John Shinners, a 245-pound guard, is a solid pro prospect. Dayton suffered some major losses, but the Flyers still have Quarterback Jerry Biebuyck and a strong defensive line. They will not be too far off last year's 6-3-1 record.
If only half the wishful thinking at Pitt materializes, the Panthers will be sensational. In fact, after two 1-9 seasons, it won't take much to seem sensational—especially since Pitt has to play its usual formidable schedule. Coach Dave Hart, who spends his leisure hours prospecting in the Western Pennsylvania coal regions, has done some hard recruiting, so hard that opposing coaches are grumbling. But the result is a group of sophomores who may help the Panthers win three or four games. Linebackers Ralph Cindrich and Lloyd Weston are outstanding, while Danny Ferris, a speedy tailback, will spruce up the offense. But Hart must find a quarterback, or Pitt will find itself waiting for next year. As usual.
Joining Pitt in the category of Eastern independents with high hopes but rather low promise for success are Navy and Boston College. The Middies need a quarterback since John Cartwright, who passed for 1,573 yards, is gone. But that does not seem to bother Coach Bill Elias, a bubbling enthusiast who insists, "our passing will be better." He is optimistic, indeed, for Cartwright's potential replacements, Bob Pacenta, a 1967 jayvee, and Mike McNallen, a sophomore, are totally inexperienced. It is likely, though, that Elias will field a strong ground attack led by Halfbacks Jeri Balsly and Roland Laurenzo. Boston College, after some lean years, hopes to get back into contention under new Coach Joe Yukica. He plans to open up the BC attack and he has the players for it in Quarterback Mike Fallon and Halfbacks Dave Bennett and Fred Willis, a sophomore. But Yukica must plug some gaps in both interior lines.
Virginia Tech Coach Jerry Claiborne has Quarterback Al Kincaid and the rest of the backfield returning, but he is worried about a defense that is missing seven starters. He also would be happier if he did not have to open the season against Alabama and his old boss, Bear Bryant. The Bear has a way of clobbering friends. At Georgia Tech, Coach Bud Carson shuffled his coaching staff after last year's 4-6 disaster. He brought in three new assistants and switched two others to new assignments, but not even that will help Tech, for the schedule is too demanding. What Carson needs is more players to help Flanker John Sias and Linebacker Eric Wilcox. "If the alumni ask questions," says Carson, "I can stack excuses as high as their complaints." Tulane's Jim Pittman is in the same fix. His team is improving, but it faces Houston, Texas A&M and Florida in its first four games. Six sophomores will be starting, but perhaps Fullback Warren Bankston can keep the Green Wave from being inundated.
Buffalo, striving mightily to go big time, may be the best of the lesser independents in the East. Not many teams will take liberties with the Bulls' defense, which features 250-pound Tackle Don Walgate and Mike Luzny, an alert linebacker. But much will depend on the health of Quarterback Mick Murtha, who has had bursitis problems with his throwing arm. Colgate, 2-8 last year, has a new coach, Neil Wheelwright, who took over when Hal Lahar moved up to athletic director, and it looks like a good year to step in. Almost everybody returns from '67, including Quarterback Ron Burton and a number of large, mobile linemen. Rutgers figures to be improved, too, especially on offense where Quarterback Bruce Van Ness is in shape again after a shoulder operation and Tailback Bryant Mitchell is available to lead the running attack. But Coach John Bateman's defense is questionable. Holy Cross has a good passing combination in lefthanded Quarterback Phil O'Neil and Split End Bob Neary. The team will score, but a rebuilt defense may have trouble keeping Holy Cross ahead. About the best Villanova can hope for is to stave off humiliation every week. The Wildcats were picked clean by graduation.
Out West, neither Pacific nor San Jose State is likely to rattle its opponents. Only 10 lettermen return at Pacific, and Coach Doug Scovil has taken the quick route to fill the holes by bringing in 35 JC transfers. San Jose lost Quarterback Danny Holman, and he was about all the Spartans had last year when they were 2-7. Air Force could scare a few favorites. The Falcons are long on quarterbacks—Steve Turner and Gary Baxter are both back—and have two swift sophomores, Tailback Curtis Martin and Flanker Ernest Jennings. But the defense is ordinary, except for Tackle Ed Epping. "You won't find another tackle anywhere as rough or as mean," says Coach Ben Martin, who will turn mean himself if the Falcons don't better last year's 2-6-2 record.