The Indians have a serious problem—how to squeeze all that size into one small line. At 220 pounds apiece. Ends Bill Bailey and Fred Tomphson are what you might call the minnows of the team. Remarkably, the two largest men, Guard John Thomas (252 pounds) and Tackle Del Wiley (270), are also the fastest, and since a fast line snuffs out running plays this augurs well for the Indians. Coach John Teaff has tailored the straight T to a powerful ground game with only occasional—but climactic—passes from Quarterback Lee King, who has shown a fine hand at this sort of thing (seven touchdown passes in 1960). The running backs, Don E. Davis (195 pounds), Bill West (185) and Jim Bensman (200 pounds and 10 flat for the 100), are big enough to make their own holes and fast enough to turn the ends.
CONCLUSION: There will be a pack of happy Indians in Abilene when McMurry reverses last year's record of three wins and seven defeats.
The Lobos broke even last year, but they were wolves on defense, leading the country in recovered fumbles (25) and intercepted passes (11). Their sharp tackling and alert ball hawking might well make them conference champions if they can find a replacement for all-conference Tackle Frank Gullick and regular Guard Bob Lozier. Even so, the defense, built around 215-pound End George Heard (he does the 100 in 9.9), Center Gene Scott and Guard Chuck Cummings, will be formidable. Coach Bill Weeks's wing-T offense all but eschews long passes. Quarterback Jim Cromartie instead works pitchouts and handoffs to Halfbacks Bob Santiago (596 yards gained rushing in 1960) and Bob Morgan (393 yards in 82 carries) and occasionally passes short to Heard, who is almost as good on offense as defense.
CONCLUSION: Last season the Lobos won their final four games. They might go right on if some hefty transfers come through.
NEW MEXICO STATE
Coach Warren Woodson's old gang is gone—one All-America and four first-string all-conference players—but to a man who firmly believes that this year's transfer is next year's All-America, rebuilding won't be quite like starting from scratch. So far, Woodson has collected 12 transfers. Jim Pilot, a 200-pound ex-Kansas halfback, runs the 100 in 9.8 and could take up where Pervis Atkins left off. Weldon Rutledge, a 5-foot-10 195-pounder from Riverside J.C., is a blink slower at 10 flat. To handle the complicated controls of the wing T, there's Jim Head from Victoria J.C., and in front of him at center, Phil Ehly, a 205-pound SMU transfer. Meanwhile, five stout linemen return from last year's remarkably successful team, along with the conference's best fullback, Bob Jackson.
CONCLUSION: Feeble defensive end play may frustrate the Aggies' almost psychopathic urge to dominate the Border Conference.
NORTH TEXAS STATE
Coach Odus Mitchell dotes on huge, hulking linemen and this year—with the biggest batch of oversize farmboys ever seen in the Missouri Valley Conference—Mitchell is fairly bug-eyed with delight. Averaging 220 pounds, his line abounds in tough tacklers, notably Guard Bill Weaver and two tackles, Bill Kirbie and Gerry Hawkins, who should be all-conference. Turning again, as is his seasonal wont, to experienced transfers and junior-college graduates to fill team vacancies, Mitchell will have a 240-pound Tyler J.C. graduate, Dick Farris, at guard and Texas Tech transfer Bill Ryan at quarterback. The running is nicely divided among the robust rushes of 222-pound Fullback Arthur Perkins and the more delicate sallies of Halfbacks Bill Christie and Chuck Holloway (who does 9.8 for the 100).