The Midwest, from Ohio and Michigan to Colorado, accounts for an awful lot of this country's football. It is the home of the Big Ten and the Big Eight, and invariably the very good Mid-American Conference is ignored simply because there are already too many good teams to pay attention to. But, like the MidAmerican, the bigs may be living in a shadow soon. There is a growing suspicion that Illinois is quietly but efficiently building a football dynasty. Oklahoma and Ohio State, among others, may argue the point strenuously. The fact remains that after years of depression, the Illini quite unexpectedly bloomed last season into what may be a prairie perennial. They are well equipped to repeat as the best in the Midwest.
But this at conservative Illinois? The prospect seems strange. The campus, for instance, is huge and, like the Midwest itself, sprawling. One city cannot contain it, so it is in two, Urbana and Champaign, and no less than 27,000 students wander about buildings that vary from early 20th century boiler factory to Colonial to modern boiler factory.
Illinois is not, to be precise, the sort of place that inspires students to set fires in the streets the night before the big game. Freshman talk less of football than their chances of getting through Rhetoric 101, the English course that separates new students from the university in alarming numbers. Upperclassmen work earnestly at becoming chemists or engineers during the week and until recently, even though Saturday's game was at home, queued up for a place on the Illinois Central's Friday Night Special that headed straight out of town.
There is a three-figure statue (above) sitting astride the corner of Green and Wright Streets in Urbana that reflects the mood of Illinois. Hard to miss on the way to Memorial Stadium, the statue holds a revered position at the university and is never painted garish colors or dressed up in silly costumes before or after football games. The figure in the middle, a handsome woman in flowing robes, her arms outstretched, is known as Alma Mater. To her left is a younger woman, also in flowing robes, who represents Learning. On Alma Mater's right is a brawny fellow in a leather apron, and he is commonly referred to as Labor. But cynics insist Labor looks suspiciously like Red Grange and, while the more serious-minded disclaim it, Learning is shaking his hand.
The point, of course, is that Illinois, in its muted way, has always been able to lift its collective eyes from the pages of books when the noise from the stadium was compelling enough. But there was never undue pressure on football, as evidenced in the tenure of coaches. Only three men have led Illinois's football teams in the last 51 years and the first of that reign, Bob Zuppke, is spoken of in hallowed whispers. Zuppke turned out tough teams, no doubt about that. Once, just before a game with unbeaten Ohio State, he told his players: "Nobody but a dead man comes out." Late in the game an end was hurt, and Zuppke sent in a new man. The substitute took one look at the end lying on the grass, trotted back to the bench and said: "He's still breathing."
Besides the seven Big Ten championships he won and the numerous selected upsets he perpetrated against vastly superior teams, Zuppke invented the huddle. This seemed appropriate enough for a university that had already invented another sort of huddle (the homecoming game) in 1910. Today, virtually every college in the country is stuck with red-faced, overweight, teary-eyed old grads who make it a point to belabor somebody's campus at least once each year.
As with any team that plays football long enough, Illinois has had its bad years. Part of the reason for that Friday Night Special, in fact, was a recent history of absolutely terrible football teams that managed to lose 50 games in the last 10 years. When the Illini turned up their old winning tricks last year, the change came as a distinct surprise and it explains, in part, the 5,000 instant fans who backed up traffic three miles on Route 45 in their rush to greet the team at the airport. Conservative Illinois had just tied Ohio State. Conservatism, as even the bookish had suspected, was only game-deep.
For Illinois there will be more traffic jams this year, and Coach Pete Elliott accepts his sudden prosperity graciously. "My coaching," he says, "improved 100% last season." What really improved Pete's coaching was the presence of such edifying specimens as Dick Butkus, the 237-pound linebacker who was on everybody's All-America at the end of last season, and Archie Sutton, a fierce 249-pound tackle. Butkus, amazingly agile for a man his size, tossed opposing blockers and ballcarriers around like duckpins in a big-pin alley, and made an astounding number of tackles—148. It is no wonder the pros are drooly over him. Two bold sophomores—Fullback Jim Grabowski and Halfback Sam Price—helped, too, and all four are back, along with 20 other members of the team that won the Big Ten championship and beat Washington in the Rose Bowl in January.
For all its size, Illinois is less likely to trample its opponents to death than it is to smother them. With an organized resourcefulness one would expect of a Light Horse Harry Lee, the lightly muscled ends, Rich Callaghan and Dave Mueller, Tackles Sutton and Bill Minor and Guards Ed Washington and Wylie Fox, quick and expert all, will force enemy backs to the inside, where Butkus and his linebacking sidekick, Don Hansen, can stifle them.
Elliott's offense, mostly a free-and-easy T with split ends and flankers, is moved primarily by Grabowski and Price. Grabbo, a lean-faced driver, seems to enjoy sliding his 207 pounds into a tackler's arms. But just when he appears caught—wham—he shuffles, twists and explodes downfield. This talent earned Grabowski 491 yards rushing last year and he added 125 more in the Rose Bowl game. Price, a lithe 200-pounder with elusive moves, Ron Acks, a converted quarterback, and sophomore Doug Harford, who runs the 100 in 9.9, are the outside threats. The quarterbacking is in capable hands. Fred Custardo, who takes over for Mike Taliaferro, is an adequate passer and good roll-out runner.
For all this obvious affluence, Elliott remains cautious. "We hope we can win again." he says, "but you just never know in this conference. There are always so many imponderables."
One of the imponderables that bothers Elliott is the Big Ten rule that prohibits a team from going to the Rose Bowl two years in a row, even if it should win the conference again. Without this incentive, the Illini could conceivably become complacent, just as Wisconsin did a year ago. But Elliott has a plus factor working for him. His players learned to win last year, and they liked it.
Oklahoma, with 29 lettermen back, is even more prosperous than Illinois. The Sooners have enough seasoned hands around to staff three backfields and two two-way lines. Longtime (17 years) Assistant Gomer Jones, who took over the team when Bud Wilkinson retired to run for the U.S. Senate, plans to platoon his three backfields—one to attack, one to defend and one to go both ways. And he has so many good linemen available that three of last year's starters, All-America Tackle Ralph Neely, Center John Garrett and End Rick McCurdy, were bumped to the second team during spring practice.
But Big Eight teams should not be lulled by this springtime gambit. Come Saturday, when Oklahoma meets Maryland, Neely, all 6 feet 6 and 243 pounds of him, will be flushing out ballcarriers like a spirited, oversized hound dog. He will be supported by some highly competent colleagues in the Sooner line. Players like 240-pound Ed McQuarters and 212-pound Newt Burton, the classy guards, know how to block and tackle. After all, they learned it from Jones, who before becoming head coach was one of the best line coaches in the business.
The running game, just as it was under Wilkinson, will be built around All-America Fullback Jim Grisham, a bruising 211-pounder who is large enough to power inside and fast enough to slip outside the tackles. As a sometime linebacker, Grisham also is a punishing tackier. Helping Grisham with the rushing assignments will be Halfbacks Larry Brown and Lance Rentzel, a big, hard-running junior.
Despite all this talent, Oklahoma's hopes hinge largely on one skinny elbow. It belongs to Mike Ringer, a slick quarterback who looked to be very good as a sophomore in Oklahoma's first two games in 1963. Then he jammed his right elbow into an electric fan, lacerating it badly and notching the bone. After two operations, Ringer's elbow has been proclaimed sound, but he missed spring practice and has yet to test it under pressure.
If Ringer, a competent passer and roll-out specialist, cannot make it, the Sooners' slot T will lack the versatility that Jones desires. Bobby Page, who ran the show last year, is strictly a runner and cannot give the Oklahomans the surprise and versatility they need to divert opponents' attention from all those ground plays.
One coach, of course, who believes he needs no such surprise is OHIO STATE'S pass-defying Woody Hayes, who blandly insists football is meant to be played on the ground. Hayes even shuns such an innovation as the I formation, with its extended motion and trickery, as an unnecessary affront to the game. All Woody ever wants is a collection of direct (and sizable) young men who find it pleasanter going over people than around them. He hasn't had quite the right type the past year or two, but he does now and you just have to believe him when he claims, "We will be better than last year."
The Bucks will be bigger, tougher and deeper, especially in the line, where Hayes has sufficient strength to two-platoon. For offense he has crisp, sure blockers in Tackles Doug Van Horn .235 pounds, and Jim Davidson, 223, and Guards Dan Porretta 213, and Ray Pryor, a compact 215-pound sophomore. The defense is even stronger. Linebackers Tom Bugel and Dwight Kelley and big, experienced linemen like Tackles Ed Orazen, 227, and Gerry Kasunic, 222, and Middle Guard Bill Ridder, 221, on some afternoons will be just plain unmovable.
Ohio State, however, will be as dull as ever on offense. Hayes is firmly committed to sending his large quarterbacks and fullbacks hurtling inside the tackles, hoping, apparently, to blind the foe with the resultant cloud of dust. Don Unverferth, oddly enough, passes better than he runs, practically unheard of in an Ohio State quarterback, but Tom Barrington, a bulky handy-andy who can run and play anywhere in the backfield. is available for the heavy-duty bludgeoning. For the fullback smashing, the Bucks have 220-pound Will Sander and Paul Hudson, a block-busting 210-pound sophomore. Just in case Woody gets to feeling reckless enough to let his halfbacks run some, he has a spry one in sophomore Bo Rein, a wispy-legged youngster who turns a corner like a New York cab driver.
The burning question in the Big Ten—can Ohio State beat Illinois?—will not smolder overly long. The two meet October 10 at Champaign.
Ohio State also has to play MICHIGAN, and if the Big Ten has a dark horse it is Coach Bump Elliott's young, hungry team. The Wolverines, who came on with a rush at the end of last year, have the most and the best-looking backs in the conference and Elliott will run them out of a loose wing T.
All four of last season's starters—Quarterback Bob Timberlake, Halfbacks Jack Clancy and Dick Rindfuss and Fullback Mel Anthony—are back but the talent is so abundant that Elliott can field a complete sophomore backfield and not feel squeamish about it. One of the rookies, swift Carl Ward, will start ahead of Rindfuss.
Michigan, however, has some problems in the line. Not at end, where lanky John Henderson, who caught 27 passes last year, Captain Jim Conley and Craig Kirby head a seven-man brigade. It is the interior that worries Elliott. After Linebacker Tom Cecchini, fully recovered from a knee operation, and Tackles Bill Yearby and Charlie Ruzicka, a solid 235-pound citizen, the Wolverines will have to take potluck. Even so, Michigan could surprise some folks. Says Elliott, "Given the proper set of circumstances, we could do real well." What he means, of course, is victories over brother Pete's Illini, whom he always beats, and Ohio State.
Meanwhile, back in the Big Eight, MISSOURI, KANSAS and NEBRASKA are setting traps for Oklahoma. Missouri appears to have the best chance of all to put down the powerful Sooners. The Tigers will go after them with one of the fastest and best backfields Coach Dan Devine has ever had. Johnny Roland, the fancy-running halfback who was out of school last year for disciplinary reasons after an extraordinary sophomore year (830 yards running, 13 touchdowns in 1962), is back. So is Gary Lane, the All-Conference quarterback who ran and passed for more than 1,000 yards. Sophomore Charlie Brown, a speedy little runner who can sweep the ends or take off on the dive play, will start at right half.
Devine is plotting a new twist to go with his wing T sweeps this year, facetiously called "student body left and student body right" because he gets so many blockers in front of the ballcarrier. It is a spread with both ends split, halfbacks flanked wide and the quarterback 10 yards behind the center. Devine figures it will give swifties Roland and Brown more running room.
The big question is whether the Tiger line will be able to hold its own in the demanding Big Eight. The right side is solid enough with 227-pound Butch Allison at tackle and Tom Wyrostek, a tough defender, at guard, but Devine has had to do some switching to fill the other holes. If the changes pan out, Missouri will be very tough indeed.
So will Kansas Coach Jack Mitchell at last has the big linemen necessary for the tough in-fighting that goes on in the Big Eight. Missouri's Devine views this latest development grimly. "We have never been able to pass on Mitchell," he says. "Now if we can't run against him, we might as well not show up."
Missouri will, of course, and the game will be played at Columbia on November 21. It will be a doozer. Kansas has a line that averages 225 pounds overall and 231 from tackle to tackle. Included in this formidable collection of heft is 266-pound Guard Dick Pratt, a roly-poly with a perpetual smile who is also a skilled percussionist, 245-pound Tackle Brian Schweda and End Mike Shinn, a mere 220-pounder. Not many teams, Oklahoma and Missouri included, will take liberties with them.
Kansas also has All-America Halfback Gale Sayers. All he did last year, when he was the nation's No. 3 rusher, was run the ball for 917 yards, catch 11 passes for 155 yards, run back 14 punts and kickoffs for 314 more and score eight touchdowns. The one knock against Sayers is that he does not block or tackle. That is perfectly all right with Mitchell, just as long as he keeps running. Mike Johnson, a power runner who played behind Sayers, and Fullback Ron Oelschlager can take care of the blocking and tackling. Not all is muscle and brawn, however. Quarterback Steve Renko was a disappointment as a passer last year, completing only six passes in his last five games. "We would have been better off if we hadn't thrown a single pass," says Mitchell.
That may be the tip-off on how Kansas will play the game this year. Mitchell has switched Sayers to right halfback and gone back to the classic split T with its dive options and quick openers. But Kansas will have to throw the ball once in a while to avoid stacked defenses, and Renko must improve if the Jayhawkers are to make a hard run at Oklahoma.
Despite the loss of Quarterback Dennis Claridge and most of the king-sized linemen who thumped opponents so unmercifully, Nebraska Coach Bob Devaney is far from pessimistic. He says flatly, "We'll be a contender. We're the defending champs, and if anybody wants the title they have to beat us to get it."
It is a fair statement, even though many Husker rooters were disturbed when a mostly freshman team beat the varsity 24-15 in the spring game. Devaney was not unduly perturbed. He knows what his 26 holdovers can do and, face it, who is going to cry over freshmen who are that good?
Even without 260-pound All-America Guard Bob Brown and Lloyd Voss, the 245-pound All-Conference tackle, there are plenty of able bodies around for the line—like Larry Kramer, a 245-pounder, and converted center Walt Barnes, 240, at tackle. The end situation is pleasant, too. Right End Tony Jeter is a lean, sad-faced but very able 210-pounder who may be Nebraska's best lineman. He can grab passes, defends well, and is happiest when sent in a blocking assignment against a defensive halfback.
The Huskers' running game, the best in the nation in 1963, will again be something to see. Quarterback Fred Duda, a junior, loves to run with the ball on the option play, and they say he passes better than Claridge. The halfbacks, 9.6 sprinter Kent McCloughan and Bobby Hohn, can buzz on the off-tackle slants and sweeps, but Devaney needs a fullback who can take advantage of quick-opening holes. Pete Tatman, one of the many good sophomores, may be the answer.
The Mid-American Conference, still a cut below most of the bigger fellows in the Midwest but growing all the time, has three good teams. With 23 lettermen back, defending champion OHIO will be quicker and more explosive on offense and even tougher on defense than it was a year ago when it led the conference. Coach Bill Hess has three of the MAC's best linemen in Skip Hoovler, a 230-pound linebacker, Ron Fowlkes, a slinky 6-foot-2 end, and 240-pound Tackle Ron Stepsis, as well as a seasoned back-field. Quarterback Wes Danyo is only an average passer, but Hess, like his old boss, Woody Hayes, would rather run than pass anyway and he has the backs for it.
At first glance BOWLING GREEN'S losses (20 lettermen) would seem to indicate that disaster lies ahead for the Falcons. Don't believe it. Coach Doyt Perry, once a Woody Hayes man, too, still has Jay Cunningham, a halfback who last season ran for 539 yards and 9 touchdowns. He also has a fine passer in Quarterback Jerry Ward, two lusty tackles—300-pound Tony Lawrence and 260-pound Jerry Jones—and the best freshman crop in his 10 years at Bowling Green. One of them is Stew Williams (see box), the 230-pound fullback who is so good that he has made a halfback out of Jim Wisser, the Falcons' second-best runner last year with 537 yards gained rushing.
Miami's Bo Schembechler, unlike his old boss—who else but Woody Hayes?—likes the pass. The reason is obvious: Ernie Kellermann, a baby-faced, stringbeanish left-hander whom Bo calls "the greatest quarterback in the country." He may be taking in too much territory, but Kellermann is one of the best. Last year he completed 68 of 134 passes for 895 yards and eight touchdowns and rolled out on the option for another 358. Miami's defenses, however, are suspect. Unless Schembechler can find some depth in the line, Kellermann's best may not be quite good enough.
One NOTRE DAME follower, watching new Coach Ara Parseghian hustle his players through a workout during spring practice, was heard to murmur, "Thank God, it's like the old days again." His enthusiasm is premature. Parseghian, an impatient man, is determined to return Notre Dame to its position of dominance in college football, and he undoubtedly will one day—but not in 1964.
The Irish, who have suffered wretchedly through five straight losing or .500 seasons, will be better, but they are not quite up to a schedule that includes Wisconsin, Purdue, Stanford, Navy, Pitt, Michigan State and USC. As a starter, Parseghian will have to make do with what he inherited from former Coach Hughie Devore. It is not much, by old-time Notre Dame standards, but players like Jim Carroll, a 225-pound linebacker. Dick Arrington, a stocky 227-pounder who has been moved from tackle to guard, and Tackle John Meyer are big league. They can give the Irish line a respectable look this year.
What Notre Dame lacks most is back-field speed. Halfbacks Bill Wolski and Nick Rassas and Fullback Joe Farrell run hard but too slowly, and Quarterback John Huarte, just a fair passer, is hardly what Parseghian, who had Tom Myers at Northwestern, is used to. Nevertheless, he will put them in a racy flanker T and hope for the best, which could be a break-even season. Coming from Parseghian, a Presbyterian, that would satisfy the good fathers at Catholic Notre Dame immensely. Indeed, one win-starved clergyman says, "It would be a great thing for the Ecumenical Movement."
Everybody in the Big Ten worries about WISCONSIN. And so does Coach Milt Bruhn, but for different reasons. Bruhn is still in shock after watching his highly regarded 1963 Badgers go down the drain in a wave of lethargy. To add to his troubles, he no longer has Lou Holland, his best runner, nor does he have Rick Reichardt, his best pass catcher, who succumbed to a Bunyanesque baseball bonus. So why is the rest of the Big Ten suspicious? Quarterback Harold Brandt, who threw for 1,018 yards in 1963, is one answer, and Charlie Burt, a free-flinging sophomore, is another. He may be even better than Brandt. The defense will be surer, too, with 230-pound Bob Pickens at middle guard and Ray Marcin and sophomore Bob Richter backing up the line.
Michigan State's Duffy Daugherty had better have a fresh supply of quips ready for his East Lansing critics. What he will not have are Sherman Lewis, Dewey Lincoln and Roger Lopes, the backs who made life so unexpectedly pleasant for the Spartans a year ago. His new runners are not nearly as good. What Duffy Daugherty will have is his usual testy defense, best in the Big Ten and fourth best in the nation last season. Players like Rahn Bentley and 240-pound Jerry Rush, the two-way tackles, sturdy Linebackers Ron Goovert and Steve Mellinger, and Defensive Backs Charlie Migyanka and Lou Bobich, the soccer-style field-goal kicker, will see to that.
Purdue, where the attack has always been mostly airborne and the defense usually big and rough, has a lot of problems. Bob Hadrick, a rangy 195-pound junior end with grabby hands (he caught 29 passes as a sophomore), is back again, but Coach Jack Mollenkopf has no one like Ron DiGravio to throw the ball to him unless sophomore Bob Griese lives up to his notices. The Boilermakers will have to stay on the ground most of the time and hope that Fullback John Kuzniewski, a husky fellow with good breakaway speed who has been shifted from halfback, and Gordon Teter, a swirly runner, can move the ball. But a vulnerable defense will make Purdue scratch for its victories.
At INDIANA, Coach Phil Dickens will have his own scratching to do. He has more good players than he has seen all together in a long time, though, and his scratching could be more successful than Purdue's. Fullback Tom Nowatzke is a for instance. A hard-running 222-pounder, he ran for 756 yards and six touchdowns last year, caught seven passes, kicked seven points after touchdown and five field goals and, just to keep busy, played middle linebacker on defense. He also is a tremendous blocker. Then there are Quarterback Rich Badar, who completed 55 of 94 passes, and End Bill Malinchak, who caught 25. The offense will do just fine, and the line is mean enough to be bothersome. But the Hoosiers' pass defense, which leaked profusely last year, permitting 19 touchdowns, does not seem improved.
About all that Ara Parseghian left behind at NORTHWESTERN was Quarterback Myers, a superb passer who completed 93 for 1,398 yards. New Coach Alex Agase has done away with the flanker, split an end instead, and now Myers, who has never displayed much talent for running, will do some rolling out. Hopefully, the change will give the Wildcats more versatility. But the same old problems plague Northwestern. If anything, the always-thin Wildcats are skinnier than ever, particularly in the line. It will be a hard year in Evanston.
Down at the bottom of the Big Ten heap are MINNESOTA and IOWA. Minnesota's offense, rarely exciting, needs a quarterback desperately, and Coach Murray Warmath, for the first time in memory, has run out of big, booming All-America tackles. Iowa's Jerry Burns, reportedly on his way out, does not miss tackles. He never had any. He does have a quarterback—Gary Snook, who is an excellent long passer. Burns's runners, though, are hardly the kind who will scare anyone.
The outlook is more pleasant at IOWA STATE. All-America Tom Vaughn, who last season made hash of Big Eight defenses with his pure line smashing (for 795 yards) from fullback, has moved to tailback, and now he will be turning corners as well as hammering middles. With some help from Mike Cox and Tony Baker, a flashy 210-pound sophomore fullback who hits like a skull cracker, and from a rough interior line that features 248-pound Tackle Norm Taylor and 222-pound Center John Berrington, Vaughn could put Coach Clay Stapleton's team into the Big Eight first division this season.
Oklahoma State, Colorado and Kansas State entertain no such hopes. Oklahoma State Coach Phil Cutchin, who likes his players nasty, does not have nearly enough of them, and there is an abyss at quarterback. Colorado, still rebuilding under Coach Eddie Crowder, will have to depend largely on three sophomore backs—Quarterback Hale Irwin, Oklahoma transfer George Reese and Terry McCarthy—and that is risky. Kansas State, weary of the dark Big Eight cellar, has adopted a unique approach to its troubles. Instead of firing the coach, K-State gave Doug Weaver a raise and one more assistant, increased the number of football scholarships and raised the student athletic fee from $5.50 to $15 to finance the plan. It may work, eventually. Meanwhile, Weaver will have to get along as best he can with what he has—a handful of eager backs and some diligent but mediocre players in the line.
The have-nots in the Mid-American Conference are beginning to stir, MARSHALL has the offense to cause trouble. TOLEDO, for so long the lowest totem on the pole, is showing signs of life under Coach Frank Lauterbur.
Kent State and Western Michigan look for some improvement under new coaches this year. At Kent State, Coach Leo Strang has moved up from Massillon in Ohio. At Western Michigan former Army assistant Bill Doolittle has taken over.
Good passers and runners abound in the Missouri Valley. Maybe the best passer anywhere is TULSA'S Jerry Rhome, a refugee from SMU, who could throw the Hurricanes right into the championship. WICHITA has lost its splendid passing team of Quarterback Henry Schichtle and End Bob Long, so Coach Chelo Huerta will have to look to his runners for action. CINCINNATI, last year's co-champion (with Wichita), has the fastest set of backs in the conference. Quarterback Brig Owens (called The Brig O, naturally) is an accurate passer who runs the option like a halfback.
Independent XAVIER, with Halfback Walt Mainer leading an aggressive attack, has high hopes, but it will be a long season for DAYTON and DETROIT.
He doesn't drag them, he scatters them
Stew Williams, Bowling Green's fullback, has exceptional balance for a 230-pounder (he's six feet tall), runs the 100 in 10.1 and is strong and aggressive. "When he hits the line he doesn't drag people, he just scatters them," says Freshman Coach Jim Ruehl. Varsity Coach Doyt Perry, a man not usually given to superlatives, calls Williams "the greatest prospect we've ever had." Williams, a mild-mannered youngster with a warm, friendly smile when he isn't barreling into enemy linemen, was one of Ohio's best all-round high school athletes. In three seasons at Sandusky High he won nine letters—three in basketball (college scouts were amazed at his rebounding abilities), three in track (he won his district's shot-put title and anchored the mile relay team) and three in football (he was a unanimous All-Ohio fullback and made several scholastic All-America teams). Every time Williams ran with the ball he averaged 7.3 yards while, overall, he gained 3,059 yards, made 39 touchdowns and scored 260 points. Remarkably, his high school coach considered him just as valuable as a defensive corner-back and inside linebacker.
Woody Hayes, who tried but failed to recruit Williams for Ohio State, did land Ray Pryor, a 6-foot 215-pounder who could be the top sophomore lineman in the Big Ten, if not the nation. Extremely strong and quick, Pryor, who was an All-Ohio center at Hamilton High, was switched to guard in spring practice. At center, guard or tackle, which he can also play, Pryor will be an asset to the Ohio State team.
Paired with the speedy Johnny Roland in the Missouri backfield will be Charlie Brown, a halfback flash who is even faster than Roland. An electrifying runner who can burst through the line or scoot around end for long gains, Brown is so quick getting started (he has run the 60-yard low hurdles in 6.8) that Quarterback Gary Lane has to hustle his hand-offs to Brown on dive plays. At Jefferson City (Mo.) High, Brown played in 28 consecutive winning games and during his senior year scored 138 points, rushed for 1,030 yards and averaged 10.9 yards a carry.