Although 18 lcttermen return. Coach Skip Stahley has to decide whether to go with seniors who have managed only two wins in two years or turn to a sparkling group of sophomores. His best senior is Reg Carolan, a big end who should make a good living after college as a pro. Carolan caught 33 passes for 488 yards last year, blocked viciously and was excellent on defense. Unfortunately, the other linemen gave up 2,563 yards. Stahley hopes to plug some holes with weighty tackles like seniors Zeke Urko (220) and John Desmond (233) and sophomores John Miller (240) and Jim Moran (255). Without prolific passer Sil Vial, however, the Vandals will find it hard mustering an offense. Their lack of backfield speed won't help either, but Stahley hopes to lick this problem with a trio of quick sophomores.
CONCLUSION: The season is a long one, the schedule difficult. No amount of innovation will stave off the losses this year.
The Grizzlies this fall will feel the first effects of the de-emphasis program instituted a year ago. The 20 nonscholarship sophomores on hand to backstop 26 lettermen can neither back nor stop the kind of lines they will be meeting. Center Gary Schwertfeger, the only returning line regular, will be surrounded by forwards who are willing but not particularly able. The best of the lot, in fact, may be his own brothers, Carl and Dale, a pair of 210-pound tackles who like to mix it up. If Coach Ray Jenkins' team is to make any kind of a dent in the Skyline, the momentum will have to come from its experienced backs—Quarterback Bob O'Billovich, an able passer who isn't afraid to run when trapped, which may be often this year; Halfbacks Pat Dodson and Terry Dillon and Fullback Gary Smith.
CONCLUSION: The tenacious Grizzlies do have one talent: they intercept passes; not, however, enough to win many games.
Asked what Oregon would do if Quarterback Dave Grosz were injured, an assistant coach once replied, "Why, we'd call off the game." Grosz has departed now, but the Ducks aren't about to call off any games. Instead, they will turn to three sophomores to move Coach Len Casanova's tricky and versatile T. Bob Berry is a better-than-adequate passer, and he has Halfbacks Mel Renfro, a truly fast runner (9.6 for the 100), and Lu Bain, a deft open-field man, with him in the backfield. Ahead of them will be a typical Casanova line—big, mobile and two-deep all over. Tackle Steve Barnett, a 245-pound junior, is the best of the lot, but by no means all by himself. Ends Paul Bauge and Kent Petersen, Tackle Ron Snidow, Guards Mike Rose and Mickey Ording and Center Joe Clesceri will gladly assist him.
CONCLUSION: If the defense can hold on while the backs learn the hard facts of life, this should be another good year at Eugene.