Skip to main content
Original Issue



HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: Despite protestations by Coach "Preacher Bill" Murray, Duke should be head and shoulders above the rest of the conference and represent the ACC for the last time officially against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day. I say "officially" because the Orange Bowl Committee has terminated their contract with the ACC, although they will still continue with Oklahoma and the Big Eight runner-up on alternate years against an opponent-at-large.

"Big, strong and powerful" is the quote from Durham. The great Sonny Jurgensen will be missed at quarterback, but he was out most of last season with injuries—and Bob Brodhead gained valuable game experience. The middle of the line offers such stalwarts as Guard Roy Hord and Tackle Tom Topping, who even sound like football players on paper. Cavorting behind a big line will be a bevy of fine backs led by Halfback Wray Carlton and Fullback Harold McElhaney. An easier schedule and 23 returning lettermen should help dry some of Coach Murray's 1956 tears.

South Carolina was the surprise team of the conference last year under new Coach Warren Giese. Smart, well coached and fiery, they shut out Duke 7-0 in their first conference start, and only a late season defeat by North Carolina State kept them out of the Orange Bowl. Two-hundred twenty-pound junior Tackle John Kompara is being touted as the best anywhere and certainly junior Halfbacks King Dixon and Alex Hawkins have proved their worth under fire. The feathers should fly again when the Gamecocks meet the Blue Devils on Saturday night, September 21, at Columbia.

Coach Frank Howard at Clemson vows the Tigers will throw the ball more in 1957. The air arm depends on two sophomore quarterbacks, Harvey White and Johnnie Mac Goff. He points out that in the last spring practice game they threw 31 passes and completed 19 while Clemson attempted but 80 passes during the entire season of 1956. Two sophomore receivers—Halfback George Usry and End Emil Zager—also shone in the spring. A rugged line and experienced Backs Charlie Home and Mike Dukes assure the Tigers of another fine season.

Coach Jim Tatum has not had easy sailing since his return to North Carolina, but he has the ability not to stay down long. The two games that he won his first year at Chapel Hill—over Maryland and Virginia—were ordered forfeited because of an ineligible player Tatum knew nothing about. On top of this there have been academic difficulties and his recruiting logistics have been strained to the breaking point in the fertile Pennsylvania fields. Despite all this he has come up with a representative group of sophomores. Defensive play, one of Tatum's trademarks, will be immensely improved. Ed Sutton will be missed in the backfield, but capable sophs led by Fullback Don Coker should more than make up for his absence.

No other coach in history was beset by more injuries and just plain bad luck than was Tommy Mont in his first year as head coach at Maryland. After such a disappointing season, the Terps may be in the mood to bounce back. The line has experience and depth. The backfield only lacks speed. Word is that sophomore Guard Rodney Breedlove is one of the best prospects in years.

N.C. State should be an improved team with a bigger line, an improved defense, and one of the best halfback combinations in the conference—the two Dicks—Christy and Hunter. Coach Earle Edwards says: "All in all, I'm looking forward to the season."

Wake Forest's coach, Paul Amen, was voted the "Coach of the Year" in the ACC in 1956 and brought the Demon Deacons a long way on short rations. Missing from this season's squad is Fullback Bill Barnes, one of the really great players of 1956. Nonetheless, Amen in his second year predicts a more solid and versatile team with the biggest problems at quarterback, fullback and ends.

Virginia, led by the block-busting Jim Bakhtiar, had a successful spring practice and is looking forward to an improved season. A rugged schedule may preclude the Cavaliers from winning more than the three games of 1956.

Clemson, S.C.

COLORS: Purple and orange
BASIC OFFENSE: T and split-T
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 2
WATCH FOR: The passing of Harvey White and Johnnie Mac Goff

THE DOPE: The Tigers of 1956 were a plodding, businesslike team which won the ACC crown in singularly unspectacular fashion. They relied on bread-and-butter runners like Joel Wells and Charlie Bussey, rarely passed and then with little success. But with Bussey and Wells gone, Coach Frank Howard must change tactics and emphasize an air offensive. The success of this year will depend greatly on two sophomore quarterbacks—Harvey White and Johnnie Mac Goff. These youngsters put on a spectacular air show in the spring practice game, completing 19 of 31 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. "We're lucky to get boys of this type," beams Howard. "I don't think there is a school anywhere that has two sophomore quarterbacks who would come near being the ballplayers they are." The halfback slots will be filled by Rudy Hayes and Charlie Horn, both fine runners with experience. Clemson's first team will be experienced (nine senior starters), but Howard is worried about his green second unit, which may include seven sophomores. The youngsters will have to be mighty precocious if Clemson is to repeat as ACC champion.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Presbyterian (27-7)
SEPT. 28 at North Carolina (no game)
OCT. 5 N.C. State (13-7)
OCT. 12 at Virginia (7-0)
OCT. 24 at South Carolina (7-0)
NOV. 2 at Rice, N (no game)
NOV. 9 Maryland (6-6)
NOV. 16 at Duke (no game)
NOV. 23 Wake Forest (17-0)
NOV. 30 at Furman (28-7)

Durham, N.C.

COLORS: Blue and white
1956 RECORD: Won 5, lost 4, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Wray Carlton, halfback; great runner, passes on pitchouts

THE DOPE: The Blue Devils have the biggest, strongest, most powerful team in the Atlantic Coast Conference and, barring extensive injuries and plain old bad luck, should wind up in the Orange Bowl next New Year's Day. Coach Bill Murray's biggest problem is at tackle. He has only one experienced candidate, Tom Topping, and must develop another starter from last year's subs who saw but limited action. Best bets to run with Topping are John Kersey, 241-pound blockbuster, or Bill Recinella who saw some action last year. Murray rates the rest of the team from good to excellent at every position, and is especially high on Halfback Wray Carlton and Fullback Hal McElhaney. Although Duke lost a great quarterback in Sonny Jurgensen, the Blue Devils have good replacement candidates in Bob Brodhead and Pryor Millner, both of whom saw a lot of action last year behind Jurgensen. This team will have one of the strongest middle lines in the conference and will be more apt to run over the opposition than to try anything very sophisticated. Keep an eye on Roy Hord Jr., a 6-foot-4, 220-pound guard who has the pros drooling.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 at South Carolina, N (0-7)
SEPT. 28 Virginia (40-7)
OCT. 5 Maryland (no game)
OCT. 12 at Rice, N (no game)
OCT. 19 Wake Forest (26-0)
OCT. 26 at N.C. State (42-0)
NOV. 2 at Georgia Tech (0-7)
NOV. 9 Navy at Baltimore (7-7)
NOV. 16 Clemson (no game)
NOV. 23 North Carolina (21-6)

College Park, Md.

COLORS: Red and white
1956 RECORD: Won 2, lost 7, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Reconditioned Howie Dare at halfback; Guard Rodney Breedlove

THE DOPE: The Terrapins were the only major disaster victims of 1956 who got no federal aid. Touted as conference champs in preseason polls, Coach Tommy Mont's gridders turned turtle in the opener against Syracuse and rode out the rest of the season with heads tucked in against disillusionment. Though last season's disappointments taught Mont that caution can be a fine weapon, he is predicting his Terps will return as a football power. Staggering injuries made it impossible for Maryland to field the same starting backfield in two consecutive games last year. "It can't happen to us two years in a row," reasons Mont. The Terps have experience in every position: five tackles, five ends, four guards and two centers on the line; three quarterbacks, seven halfbacks and one experienced fullback in the infield. Two of the backs are holdovers from 1955—Halfback Howie Dare and Fullback Phil Perlo. The sophomore crop has two players who have Mont glassy-eyed with joy. Rodney Breedlove, a 215-pound guard, is termed "one of the greatest I have ever seen" by Mont, while Jim Joyce, a 190-pound halfback, appears headed for a starting berth.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Texas A&M at Dallas (no game)
SEPT. 28 N.C. State (25-14)
OCT. 5 at Duke (no game)
OCT. 12 Wake Forest (6-0)
OCT. 19 North Carolina (no game)
OCT. 26 Tennessee (7-34)
NOV. 2 at South Carolina (0-13)
NOV. 9 at Clemson (6-6)
NOV. 15 at Miami (Fla.), N (6-13)
NOV. 23 Virginia (no game)

Chapel Hill, N.C.

COLORS: Blue and white
1956 RECORD: Won 2, lost 7, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Much-improved line play; return of injured Quarterback Dave Reed

THE DOPE: The Tar Heels suffered a drastic season in 1956, Jim Tatum's first as head coach. Even the two victories over Maryland and Virginia were forfeited under an ACC ruling after it was discovered North Carolina had been playing an ineligible man (Vince Olen, a transfer from Temple). Tatum, whose rebuilding program is still in progress, sizes his team up this way: "We will be greatly improved at tackle, in fact throughout the line. Jack Lineberger, out last year, is back to anchor the line at guard, and that will help. We have depth at tackles and guards, with some excellent sophomore prospects. Our backfield situation is improved, especially at fullback." North Carolina's main problem last year was its ineffective line and an inability to control the ball. If given a chance, the Tar Heel backfield, quarterbacked by talented but fragile Dave Reed, has enough scoring potential, both in the air and on the ground, to be a spoiler on any Saturday. Two transfer students, Halfback Jim Shuler of Washington and Fullback Bob Shupin of Georgia, add needed experience. Tatum does not have a championship squad, but he could wind up with a winning season.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 N.C. State (6-26)
SEPT. 28 Clemson (no game)
OCT. 5 Navy (no game)
OCT. 11 at Miami (Fla.), N (no game)
OCT. 19 at Maryland (34-6)
OCT. 26 at Wake Forest (6-6)
NOV. 2 Tennessee (0-20)
NOV. 9 South Carolina (0-14)
NOV. 23 at Duke (6-21)
NOV. 30 Virginia (21-7)

Raleigh, N.C.

COLORS: Red and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Multiple offense
1956 RECORD: Won 3, lost 7
WATCH FOR: Touchdown twins Dick Christy and Dick Hunter

THE DOPE: The Wolfpack returns practically intact, with only one man gone from last year's starting eleven. But it will take more than an added year's experience for Coach Earle Edwards' gang to pull out of the ACC second division, or even improve much on last year's 3-7 record: the conference is just too tough for them. This team should provide exciting football, however, with Dick Christy and Dick Hunter teamed again at halfbacks and John Collar and Bob Pepe at ends. Among them, these four scored well over half the Wolfpack's total points during 1956 and gained a reputation for the unusual that would have roused the interest of Circusman P.T. Barnum. The Wolfpack reserve strength is the best it has been in four years, and the added depth will give them an advantage over last season. The line is bigger, and spring practice showed a great improvement in defense, a sore spot in 1956. "All in all," says Edwards, "I'm looking forward to the season." Maybe so, but there are at least five teams on the Wolfpack schedule who will be looking forward to it even more. Looks like another year in the second division for the boys from Raleigh.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 at North Carolina (26-6)
SEPT. 28 at Maryland (14-25)
OCT. 5 at Clemson (7-13)
OCT. 12 at Florida State, N (0-14)
OCT. 18 at Miami (Fla.), N (no game)
OCT. 26 Duke (0-42)
NOV. 2 Wake Forest (0-13)
NOV. 9 Wm. & Mary (no game)
NOV. 16 Va. Tech at Roanoke (6-35)
NOV. 23 at South Carolina (14-7)

Columbia, S.C.

COLORS: Garnet and black
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 3
WATCH FOR: Halfbacks Alex Hawkins and King Dixon, South's best running combo

THE DOPE: The Gamecocks were easily the most startling news out of South Carolina since Fort Sumter after Coach Warren Giese took over the reins last year. With a sophomore-loaded squad, Giese proceeded to win seven of 10 games and missed going to the Orange Bowl by a one-touchdown loss to North Carolina State. The men mainly responsible for South Carolina's fantastic success were King Dixon and Alex Hawkins, sophomore halfbacks who rolled up 1,426 yards in total offense between them. Back as juniors, Hawkins and Dixon threaten to be even more dangerous this year, and they make the Gamecocks second choice only to Duke to win the ACC round robin. Giese lost some standout linemen in Tackle Sam DeLuca and End Buddy Frick, but DeLuca's replacement, John Kompara, a 225-pounder, may make the fans at Columbia forget about the New York Giant draft choice. Eddie Beall is slated for Frick's vacated end spot. Biggest problem facing Giese is finding a replacement for Quarterback Mackie Prickett. This club has every opponent in the conference worried, and even conservative Coach Giese feels it "has more potential" than last year's squad.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Duke, N (7-0)
SEPT. 28 Wofford, N (26-13)
OCT. 5 at Texas, N (no game)
OCT. 12 Furman (13-6)
OCT. 24 Clemson (0-7)
NOV. 2 Maryland (13-0)
NOV. 9 at North Carolina (14-0)
NOV. 16 at Virginia (27-13)
NOV. 23 N.C. State (7-14)
NOV. 30 Wake Forest (13-0)

Charlottesville, Va.

COLORS: Orange and blue
1956 RECORD: Won 3, lost 7
WATCH FOR: Passing of Nelson Yarbrough, running of Jim Bakhtiar

THE DOPE: The Cavaliers will be improved, but still nowhere near the point where they can bid for the conference crown. Ben Martin, in his second year as head coach, will place greater emphasis on ground offense—and that means power-running Fullback Jim Bakhtiar—to supplement the throwing of Nelson Yarbrough, senior quarterback who led the conference in passing last fall. "We will have an improved team on the field in '57," says Martin, but a look at the difficult schedule the Cavaliers face gives little assurance they will improve on their 1956 record of 3-7. Sonny Randle and Alvin Cash, both juniors, will round out the Cavalier backfield at the halfbacks. Martin switched his line around somewhat in spring practice. He converted Jim Keyser, standout center, to guard, while Hal Outten, a 222-pound guard, moved over to tackle. Yarbrough's principal target last year was rangy End Fred Polzer, who led the conference with 24 catches. He will be back on the flank again, and Charlottesville fans should be in for more of the same. The Cavaliers are a good football club, but this year they seem to be playing just a little bit out of their class.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 at West Virginia (no game)
SEPT. 28 at Duke (7-40)
OCT. 5 at Wake Forest, N (7-6)
OCT. 12 Clemson (0-7)
OCT. 19 Virginia Tech at Richmond (7-14)
OCT. 26 Army (no game)
NOV. 2 VMI (18-0)
NOV. 16 South Carolina (13-27)
NOV. 23 at Maryland (no game)
NOV. 30 at North Carolina (7-21)

Winston-Salem, N.C.

COLORS: Gold and black
1956 RECORD: Won 2, lost 5, tied 3
WATCH FOR: Versatile split-T attack, featuring the belly series

THE DOPE: The Demon Deacons lost All-America Fullback Billy Ray Barnes and will have to go with inexperienced quarterbacking against a much tougher schedule than they faced last year. But despite these problems Coach Paul Amen feels he will have a more solid, better balanced team with greater size and better depth. Amen, former Army end coach who is in his second year at Wake Forest, predicts the Deacs will be rated underdog against all 10 foes but adds, "we haven't lost a bit of confidence that we can get the job done." Quarterback, fullback and the flanks will be Amen's biggest headaches, but the line, from tackle to tackle, is in good shape. Of the 16 returning lettermen, 12 are on the lines. Added depth will enable the Deac second unit to play more than it did last year. Jim Dalrymple, starting halfback last year, may be able to run the devastating belly series at quarterback in place of ailing Charlie Carpenter. Keep an eye on fullback candidates Neil MacLean and Pete Manning. Should either one of these boys develop, Wake Forest could surprise. Right now, though, the Deacs still look to be a year away.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 28 at Florida (no game)
OCT. 5 Virginia, N (6-7)
OCT. 12 at Maryland (0-6)
OCT. 19 at Duke (0-26)
OCT. 26 North Carolina (6-6)
NOV. 2 at N.C. State (13-0)
NOV. 9 Va. Tech (13-13)
NOV. 16 West Virginia (no game)
NOV. 23 at Clemson (0-17)
NOV. 30 South Carolina (0-13)