They call them Wildcats, but tabby cats might be a more apt eponym for this team which failed to win a single conference game in 1960. State averaged less than 100 yards rushing and was outgained on the ground 3,132 to 918 yards. It is no comfort to Coach Doug Weaver that 21 lettermen return. The weaknesses remain. The present backfield is only ordinarily fast, it has little power and the passing will be uncertain unless harassed junior Quarterback Phil Barger is able to show a quick arm in the face of a fast charge. All hope for a respectable showing depends on the hasty development of sophomores—Guard Bob Noblitt. Quarterback Ralph McFillen and End Carl Brown—and the recovery of junior Fullback Bill Gallagher, who gained 117 yards in the one game he was able to play last year.
CONCLUSION: The Wildcats will once again slink back to their den at the bottom of the Big Eight, providing solace only to other teams.
The only trouble with the Mid-American Conference is that there is no room at the top, and Coach Trevor Rees's Golden Flashes will only complicate matters. With eye-catching sophomores Fullback Santo Pino (195 pounds), Tackle Dick Louis (230) and Guard Mike Kennedy (205) joining 23 lettermen, Kent is as much of a contender as any other team. For once, numbers will be no problem; there are eight capable halfbacks and three vigorous fullbacks to carry out the running assignments in the multiple attack. At quarterback there is Jim Flynn, who last year accounted for 722 yards in total offense. Rees would like more mobility in the line but is satisfied that Guards Bob Alford and Jim Lee, Tackle Art Youngblood and Center Ron Sense (220) will discourage quarterbacks from running over State.
CONCLUSION: The Flashes have too many players, a fact which may force Rees to experiment while finding the right combination.
The Big Green is neither big nor green. With 20 lettermen back, Coach Charlie Snyder is able to field a lineup of experienced players, but this may be a mixed blessing. The holdover linemen lack the size to cope with the big muscular lines that seem to be standard in the Mid-American. Snyder plans to shuffle the lineup, working in 240-pound sophomore Tackle Mike Hicks, switching 205-pound End Dennie Skeens to tackle and replacing him with Halfback Mal Price. But this then puts two men in strange blocking positions and will hamper the offense. Having scored fewer than six points a game in 1960, the backfield of Millard Fleming and Jasper Wright at halfback, Dixon Edwards at fullback and Ralph May or Dick Filmore at quarterback is bound to suffer when the line begins to rock back on its heels.
CONCLUSION: Coach Snyder's teams, though undermanned, are sticky defenders; still Marshall seems glued to its 1960 record.
The Redskins, Mid-American champions six times, are accustomed to the view from the top, but this season they will have to do their sightseeing from a less exalted position. This is not to say that Coach John Pont has assembled a displeasing team. On the contrary, the Miamians are big and strong and at times handle themselves skillfully, but skimpy reserves and two ineffectual first-team men inhibit their chances. Two who do not are 255-pound Tackles Paul Watters and Tom Nomina. Unfortunately, the multiple offense will be multiple only in its choice of ball carriers since Quarterback Vic Ippolito can do everything well but pass, and he is further limited by poor receivers. Fullback Tom Triplett, the team's most capable receiver, is too busy rushing (536 yards in 1960) to be spared for pass-catching chores.