COLORS: Scarlet and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 5, lost 4, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 18 of 27
WATCH FOR: Broken-field running of Claude King
THE DOPE: The Cougars have an army of fleet halfbacks operating behind a massive but mobile 208-pound line and are logical favorites to rack up their third straight Missouri Valley Conference championship. Best of Coach Hal Lahar's backs is Don Brown, top ground-gainer in '57; Claude King, a good pass receiver and former Mississippi state champion sprinter, and speedy Harold Lewis, a Texas all-state star. Oklahoma transfer student Lonnie Holland, a clever signal caller and runner, will direct the attack. Jim Kuehne, Hilmer Potcinske and Tom Cowan will alternate at fullback. Don McDonald, a better passer, will alternate with Holland if he doesn't become an academic casualty. The passing game should be potent either way since Lahar makes liberal use of the halfback run-pass option, requiring only "junktype" throwers. Lahar has few depth problems for his line is at least two deep from tackle to tackle. Burr Davis, an all-MVC guard last year, is operating at center, and Hogan Wharton, another all-MVCer, returns to tackle.
COLORS: Cherry and silver
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 4, lost 6
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 19 of 32
WATCH FOR: Inside and outside running of Don Perkins and Tony Gray
THE DOPE: The Lobos will definitely be stronger this year, but a sharp drop in quality after the first team may cost them a title chance. They fell apart after a blazing start last year for want of depth, and injuries could wreck them again. Marvin Levy, who moved up as head coach when Dick Clausen became athletic director of Arizona, inherits practically intact the best rushing team in the Skyline Conference. The legacy includes Don Perkins, who won the league ground-gaining championship with 744 yards in 112 carries. Capable Chuck Roberts will run the split-T, and Tony Gray will be the team's fastest ball carrier at the other halfback slot. Bobby Starr or Ron Beaird will be at fullback. The passing will be improved, and the pass defense which was the best in the league in '57 should be just as tight. The Lobos have great defensive ends in Buster Quist and Dick Coughlan, but perhaps their best linemen are Tackle Mason Rose and Guard John Garber. Quarterback George Friberg and Halfback Chuck Benedetti are good sophomore reserves.
NEW MEXICO A&M
State College, N. Mex.
COLORS: Maroon and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Wing T
1957 RECORD: Won 3, lost 7
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 16 of 31
WATCH FOR: Agile Joe Kelly, Aggies' leading passer and scorer
THE DOPE: The Aggies have a fairly good first team which could surprise the Border Conference. But new Coach Warren Woodson, up from Arizona, must depend on new men for depth and a defense that is untested. The Aggies have good passing and receiving, strong running backs and real speed, so expect a wide-open offense. They're rather weak in the center of the line and just fair at the ends. Quarterback Charles Johnson, a good passer, will be at the controls of the wing T, with Charles Pettes and Jim Craft at the halfback posts. Lou Kelley and Joe Kelly will replace Wally Ferguson at fullback. Joe, the only senior starter besides Guard Sam Negrea, was the Aggies' leading passer and scorer last season. Bill Locklin at 207 pounds is the biggest man on the line and a fast, aggressive tackle. Tackle Berley Pruitt and Quarterbacks Johnson and Ricardo Alba are Woodson's big sophomore hopes. The Aggies' kicking is poor, and they will be among the few teams to gamble almost exclusively on the two-point conversion. Still, the picture looks brighter at A&M.
NORTH TEXAS STATE