COLORS: Orange and blue
BASIC OFFENSE: Wing T
1957 RECORD: Won 3, lost 6, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 11, of 25
WATCH FOR: The line play of Dave Graham
THE DOPE: The Cavaliers, with a completely new coaching staff for the second time in three years, are in for a major overhauling. Dick Voris, formerly line coach and chief assistant to Earl Blaik at Army, takes over and brings with him a brand-new coaching staff and the wing T formation. The return of seven starters gives him fair backfield strength and a dependable but shallow line. Biggest losses are Fred Polzer, the conference's leading pass catcher for the past two years, and All-America Fullback Jim Bakhtiar. A good sophomore prospect, John Barger, will take Bakhtiar's place. Another promising newcomer is Guard Louis Martig. Veteran Reece Whitley will be calling signals, and returning to halfback are Ulmo Randle, the Cavaliers' second-best receiver, and Carl Moser, while Dave Graham will again anchor one end of the line. "We'll be outmanned by practically everybody we play," is Voris' dire prediction. The big one for Voris is Virginia's game at West Point after the Cavaliers have been softened up by Clemson and Duke.
COLORS: Red, white and yellow
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 9, lost none, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 20 of 31
WATCH FOR: A fast-charging backfield led by Sam Horner
THE DOPE: The Keydets are welcoming back most of the troops who conquered the Southern Conference last fall, and they stand a good chance of repeating as champs. Coach John McKenna has 20 lettermen, including seven starters, and his only complaint is the lack of experienced backfield depth. VMI will be able to start a letterman at each position and will be only one halfback and one tackle short of an all-letterman second unit. McKenna lost Duke Johnston but has two veteran seniors at quarterback—Bobby Ross, a fine passer, and Bill Nebraska, a power runner. Halfbacks Sam Horner, Johnny Engels and Art Brand-riff and Fullbacks Pete Johnson and Verne Keefer give the Keydets plenty of backfield speed; Engels is the only one not on the VMI track team. All-Southern Tackle Jim McFalls heads an experienced line which includes Tackle Bobby Dale, Guards Nick Ruffin and Lloyd Thacker, Center Jerry Borst and Ends Carl Kasko and Jim Sam Gillespie. VMI is a good solid team but will have to hustle all the way to keep its title safe.
COLORS: Orange and maroon
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 4, lost 6
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 11 of 29
WATCH FOR: Flankers and spreads featuring Carroll Dale
THE DOPE: The Gobblers have championship ambitions despite the loss of all but four starters. Coach Frank Moseley doesn't have a halfback who weighs more than 180 pounds, so the running will probably be wide. Likely starters are speedy Jay Whitesell and 165-pound Pat Henry. Son of former Tech great Mel Henry, Pat is a tricky runner who quarterbacked the '57 freshmen but will move to a halfback spot since Bill Holsclaw will again call signals. He's a good passer and runner, but erratic. Frank Eastman has the stronger arm and may figure prominently since Coach Moseley wants the team to do lots more passing. Tech's line will be inexperienced but one of the biggest (212 pounds) in Moseley's career. End Carroll Dale, an exceptional receiver, and Tackle Jim Burks, one of the South's better blockers, are the men to watch up front. Tech lost possession 46 times on fumbles, interceptions or downs last season, so a more alert, intelligent brand of football is called for if the record is to improve. Nonetheless, the Gobblers will be a better team this fall.