To record the broken bones, casualties, academic upsets and pleasant surprises since the Scouting Reports (see page 53) went to press, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED herewith reports last week's major developments around the country.
Syracuse's professionally pessimistic Coach Ben Schwartzwalder turned loose all six of his teams and clucked appreciatively at what he saw. The Orangemen may have some interior line depth problems, as Schwartzwalder insists, but they were hardly noticeable. Halfback Ernie Davis never looked better, and Fullback Art Baker appeared healthy. The only sour note: Halfback Mark Weber banged up his left knee, may be out for the season.
Pitt demonstrated that it will be solid and uncharacteristically imaginative on the ground. Coach John Michelosen augmented his tackle corps by shifting Guard Bob Guzik, but began to worry about the middle when Guard Regis Coustillac broke his thumb. Penn State may have to do without fleet Halfback Roger Kochman (benched by a knee injury) for a spell, but sophomore Alan Gursky, a solid 205-pounder who runs with more power than Kochman but less finesse, was an able replacement as the Nittany Lions beat Quantico 29-21 in a practice game. Army revealed a partial new look in last week's intrasquad game. Lacking a breakaway runner, Coach Dale Hall has added a man in motion to run with the lonely end (who joins the huddle this year) to help spring the backs loose up the middle. Navy, still searching for a quarterback, will add passing to Halfback Joe Bellino's chores. At Boston College, the casualty list was assuming serious proportions. End Lou Kirouac was trundled off to the hospital for a knee operation and No. 2 Quarterback George Van Cott broke a bone in his left ankle.
In the Ivy League Harvard's Charlie Ravenel ran 43 yards for one touchdown, then threw a 10-yard scoring pass as the varsity pummeled the reserves 40-0. Yale shifted All-Ivy Center Mike Pyle to tackle and sent Hardy Will back to center, but rested the varsity while the second-and third-stringers beat Springfield 14-0. Defending champion Penn was busy trying to adjust to the single wing, and Princeton, hurting badly all over, was suddenly desperate for a quarterback to replace Bill Marr, out for the season with a knee injury suffered in a summer basketball game. Cornell, regarded as a major contender, did some wholesale backfield shifting, moved Marcy Tino to left half, George Eckstrom to right and George Telesch to fullback. The Big Red blushed shocking pink after Massachusetts matched it three touchdowns to three and added a 30-yard field goal in a preseason game. Columbia, aching for success, was impressive in a scrimmage.
Georgia Tech staged a full-dress review before 10,000 and confirmed the suspicion that sophomore Stan Gann is the best passer to land in the Yellow Jackets' nest since Darrell Crawford. Gann threw for 127 yards and one touchdown and led the Whites to a 34-7 victory. Even Coach Bobby Dodd was impressed: "He is the kind of a boy who can make a mediocre team a good one."
Georgia, getting ready for Alabama, scored nine touchdowns in a 2½-hour scrimmage, but hardly moved Coach Wally Butts, who groaned: "I have never seen such a poor defense." Meanwhile Alabama, knocking heads in secret, announced that eight players, including End Bill Rice and Linebacker Buddy Wesley, were ailing.
While Mississippi knocked off for a short vacation, Auburn was being turned upside down. Irked by the first team's failures, Coach Shug Jordan angrily demoted seven regulars, watched his "new" varsity lick the old elite as sophomore Halfback Jimmy Burson scored on runs of 70 and 63 yards. LSU, still having trouble trying to mount an offense, displayed a tough defense in a one-touchdown scrimmage.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference Wake Forest was hit hard when Halfback Winston Futch, who averaged 5.9 yards last year, was declared ineligible. His replacement: Alan White.
Michigan State, bothered by minor injuries to Halfbacks Herb Adderley and Gary Ballman, found a sophomore quarterback in Pete Smith, who may bring a smile to Coach Duffy Daugherty's Irish eyes. Illinois, exploiting power, ran hard in scrimmage, watched Fullback Bill Brown score three times.
Northwestern's Ara Parseghian had his squad going for long gainers, was satisfied that Quarterback Dick Thornton was back in shape, could provide the team's fourth running back. At Wisconsin, Coach Milt Bruhn, who had just about decided John Fabry would be his quarterback, may change his mind after Ron Miller, another yearling, completed 20 of 33 passes for 382 yards and five touchdowns to lead the third stringers past the first and second teams 39-7.
In the Big Eight, Nebraska's Bill Jennings showed uncoachly optimism ("The best material we've had in three years"), leading to speculation that either the Cornhuskers will win the conference title or Jennings plans to quit at the end of the season.
The Southwest Conference engendered little excitement in its practice games, but touring sportswriters came away feeling that TCU was the team to beat. Perhaps they were sold by End Milton Ham, who exuded rare confidence: "When you've got Bob Lilly in the line and Buddy lies and me on the ends, these other teams ain't got too many places to run." Or maybe they were influenced by the casualties at other schools: Arkansas Fullback Joe Paul Alberty (broken chin); Baylor End Carl Choate (shoulder separation) and Guard Bobby Crenshaw (torn knee); SMU Center Max Christian (shoulder injury).
Washington, although still mighty, nevertheless took steps to strengthen its defense. Coach Jim Owens moved Tackle Ben Davidson (6 feet 8, 240 pounds) to end, Fullback Sam Hurworth to guard.
USC has looked better, with Marlin McKeever at fullback and Quarterback Al Prukop throwing well. At UCLA Tailback Bob Smith is ailing with a wrenched knee, but should be back before too long.
Oregon State is expected to survive the loss of Tackle John Cadwell, who left school to return to his California home, but Washington State has had to settle for less than the best at fullback since George Reed broke his ankle.
In the Skyline, Wyoming Coach Bob Devaney is singing the blues over a long injury list, but his key players are hale. Not so fortunate is Utah, which—in one crushing drill—temporarily lost Halfbacks Dennis Zito and Jerry Overton.
PICKING SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Navy over Boston College
BC's talented sophomores need more time, and Navy still has two good Joes (Bellino and Matalavage). They should be enough.
Penn State over Boston U.
Even without Richie Lucas, the Penn State larder is well stocked. Add a ripened T, and the Nittany Lions are too much for Boston U.
Georgia over Alabama (TV)
Georgia's SEC champions have the offense (and Quarterback Francis Tarkenton) to cut up Alabama's usual rugged defense.
LSU over Texas A&M
Despite heavy losses, LSU is still too formidable for the Aggies, whose quarterback problems have them groping for an attack.
Georgia Tech over Kentucky
These Yellow Jackets, strengthened by Sophomore Stan Gann's passing, can sting any defense—even one as tough as Kentucky's.
Missouri over SMU
Both have lost a lot, but most of SMU's offense departed with Don Meredith. Halfback Mel West gives Missouri an edge.
TCU over Kansas
The best Kansas team in years, they say, but can the Jayhawks get past Bob Lilly and Bob Plummer, those monstrous TCU tackles?
Texas over Nebraska
Mike Cotten, Jack Collins and Jim Saxton will lead the Longhorn stampede—despite firm resistance from toughened Nebraska.
Pitt over UCLA
The Bruins are in a maulsome mood and Pitt will have to beware. However, the Panthers have the running and defense to win.
USC over Oregon State*
Terry Baker's passing will jazz up State's single wing, but the Trojans have more depth, balance and the fearsome McKeever twins.
ARMY OVER BUFFALO
MARYLAND OVER WEST VIRGINIA
N.C. STATE OVER VIRGINIA TECH
OHIO U. OVER DAYTON
XAVIER (OHIO) OVER MIAMI (OHIO)
MISSISSIPPI OVER HOUSTON
ARKANSAS OVER OKLAHOMA STATE
OREGON OVER IDAHO
WASHINGTON STATE OVER STANFORD
CALIFORNIA OVER TULANE
*Friday night game