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Original Issue


Penn State matches its flash and daring against the conservative tactics of Georgia Tech in Jacksonville on December 30

Penn State has a high-powered offense, the sixth-best in the country this season. From a wing T and straight T, it mixes off tackle runs, roll-outs and belly plays with fancy stuff. Its most spectacular plays are a deep draw run from a fake roll-out, on which Halfback Roger Kochman carries on a slant toward the opposite side of the field, and a long pass to a halfback cutting down the sidelines. Penn State's pass patterns, with Quarterback Galen Hall throwing, have varied from short to long to straight over the middle. The defense, unfortunately, is erratic. It is apt to give up long yardage on big plays, but led by End Bob Mitinger (dumping ballcarrier, below), it is tough on goal-line stands. The worst problem seems to be an inability to adapt to certain plays. Against Miami, it was a draw play, against Army, a quarterback option-keep lateral. Maryland gained consistently on, of all things, the quarterback sneak. Penn State lost all three games. Against conservative Georgia Tech, Penn State will probably go all out with deep passes and outside runs from the beginning, hoping to score and make Tech abandon its ball-control technique. In any case, State will make things lively.

Georgia Tech has a tough defense. Not once this season did it give up more than one touchdown a game, and its opponents included Alabama, LSU, Rice and Tennessee. The line is big and reacts well. Coach Bobby Dodd uses a pro-type revolving secondary that has worked effectively. Occasionally, but only occasionally, the rotation system falls apart and leaves a receiver spectacularly open, but the secondary is very quick to recover after such mistakes. The Tech offense is fairly versatile, especially when the line is able to push its opposition around. When this is the case, little Stan Gann does most of the quarterbacking. Gann runs the option well, swinging wide, cutting sharply inside a defender and then out again behind blocking. Gann throws short and medium passes well, mostly to End Billy Martin, but he has a tendency to throw interceptions when rushed. If the Tech line is getting mauled, sophomore Billy Lothridge will throw long passes and send his halfbacks wide. Tech often punts on third down, but Lothridge will sometimes fake and throw. This should be an interesting game, with Tech stopping State.