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September 22, 1958
The PCC dies and the Big Four is nearly stillborn
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September 22, 1958

The West

The PCC dies and the Big Four is nearly stillborn

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COLORS: Cardinal and white
1957 RECORD: Won 6, lost 4
WATCH FOR: One of Stanford's alltime great tackles, Troy Barbee

THE DOPE: The Indians have a new chief and will raise plenty of havoc on the warpath if Quarterback Bob Nicolet can learn to execute Coach Jack Curtice's tricky pass patterns. Curtice's first problem is to find the kind of adept and nimble passer on which his system depends. Nicolet, who throws accurately over any distance, is the leading candidate for the assignment; Sid Garber is another prospect. Curtice inherits 22 lettermen but only four regular starters. The entire first-string backfield is gone, and the new one is a distinct question mark. Both regular ends and one guard have also departed, but the line will be tough. Troy Barbee, a 232-pound tackle, is billed as the best in Stanford history and a sure All-America. Eric Protiva, a 222-pound Iranian, holds down the other tackle position. Guard Bob Peterson and Center Russ Steele are key figures. The backfield candidates include Jim Byrer, a dangerous runner, Fullback Rick McMillen and Halfback Doug Dick, who was out last year with a broken leg. The unpredictable Indians bear watching.

Los Angeles

COLORS: Blue and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: Single wing, balanced line
1957 RECORD: Won 8, lost 2
WATCH FOR: A great starting line led by Dick Wallen and Bill Leeka

THE DOPE: The Bruins, for half a season at least, will be a great team. UCLA, already hard hit by the untimely death of Coach Red Sanders, now tackles a rugged schedule with a strange sentence still to serve as a parting gesture to the moribund PCC. Eight seniors—six of them on the first string—have been deprived of five-games' eligibility by the conference for accepting unauthorized financial assistance. Included are All-America End Dick Wallen, All-Coast Tackle Bill Leeka and Tailback Don Long, the Bruins' total offense leader and high scorer the past two years. The UCLAns are barred from the Rose Bowl. If it's any consolation to them, this is the last season they'll play under PCC rules. Coach George Dickerson, who was Sanders' senior assistant, is expected to bring his team close to the top even on half power. Long, who completed 62.5% of his passes in '57, will probably be understudied by converted End Jim Steffen. Wingback Phil Parslow succeeds Bill Mason, an academic casualty.

Los Angeles

COLORS: Cardinal and gold
1957 RECORD: Won 1, lost 9
WATCH FOR: The defensive play of Frank Fiorentino

THE DOPE: The Trojans' slow-footed-ness and inexperience cost them dearly last season and Coach Don Clark, now in his second year, hopes he has solved at least one of these problems. His accent is on sophomores who, although lacking savvy, will provide a great deal more speed. Only four seniors are likely to make the starting eleven. Three of them, Guard Frank Fiorentino, End Hillard Hill and Tackle Monte Clark, were hampered by ailments last season and should have starring roles. The fourth is Quarterback Tom Maudlin, who may have to yield to Willie Wood, a better passer. Three other seniors—Quarterback Jim Conroy and Halfbacks Tony Ortega and Rex Johnston—can play only five games by the same PCC edict that cripples UCLA. The likely sophomore starters include Halfback Angelo Coia, a speedy 200-pound transfer from The Citadel. There are also the McKeever twins. Both are 6 feet 1 inch, 215 pounds and fast, with Marlin at end and Mike at guard. The Trojans will find it difficult not to improve on a 1-9 record.

Salt Lake City

COLORS: Crimson and white
1957 RECORD: Won 6, lost 4
WATCH FOR: Lee Grosscup, one of football's most accurate passers

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