- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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The Bulldogs have lost four starting interior linemen, but they are stronger than they were a year ago. The backfield is fast and well stocked, featuring Halfbacks Earley Eastburn (he had a 5.4-yard average in 1960) and Tommy Edwards, and Quarterbacks Bill Whaley and Sid Mitchell, both fine passers. Four experienced ends, including starters Bill Gilgo and Jim Alexander, assure a strong aerial game and solid defense. Coach Eddie Teague's line, with the exception of Guard Ed Harrington, needs experience—but there is adequate size and lots of potential in Center Joe Buckner, Tackle Jim Reiney and Guards Joe Turbeville and Aubrey Reeves. Fullback Belton Dykes adds blocking and more strength to a generally sound defense, while Gilgo's place-kicking rounds out a versatile offense.
CONCLUSION: Fast, gifted with kickers and passers and with no serious defensive needs, The Citadel is as strong as its name implies.
With all but four of his top 33 men returning, Coach Frank Howard understandably is sanguine about this year's Tigers. His interior line, led by Center Ron Andreo, Guard Calvin West and 278-pound Ron Osborne, who paces an improved tackle corps, is big and moves quickly. While the backs could be faster, they also are impressively big. Fullback Bill McGuirt led the conference in scoring last year as a sophomore. Yet his job is threatened by Ron Scrudato, who doubles as a fine corner linebacker. All-conference End Gary Barnes brings his sure hands to right halfback, while quarterback, the only spot where an extra man would be appreciated, has a versatile starter in Joe Anderson. The attack will again emphasize running, but an exceptional number of talented ends assure plenty of passing, too. CONCLUSION: Bountifully staffed with everything but a breakaway back, the Tigers should chew up most of their opponents.
With 24 of 30 lettermen returning, the Wildcat camp is awash in optimism. Coach Bill Dole has two separate units which he will keep as intact as the substitution rules permit. The offense will be directed by sophomore Quarterback Ben Coxton, who will run with three 5-foot 9-inch halfbacks and pass to two taller, fleeter ends, converted Halfback Jerry Sheffield and Lou Zirkle. The offensive line has been strengthened by moving Mike Owen from end to tackle, where he joins the coach's 235-pound sophomore son, Bill. The team's defense, built around its best lineman, Tackle Bill Salzer, and best halfback, Duncan Morton, is stronger, too. Booker Clark and Jennings Snider are good defensive ends, Russell Walls joins 220-pound Bill Bankhead at guard, Ed Crutchfield gets the whole business at tackle.
CONCLUSION: The Wildcats have improved and they have some ambitious sophomores to challenge the old hands.
Eight starters graduated, but most of the second unit returns from the team that won in the Cotton Bowl. After sorting out the best of his 89-man roster, Coach Bill Murray has found: 1) that he has a mob of spectacular halfbacks, including Mark Leggett, Joel Arrington, Dean Wright and Jack Wilson, and 2) he has a very light line. Fortunately, he also has a great deal of speed, which he will utilize in a wide-open split-T with both a "sweep" and "swing" series. Ready for duty are Lonely Ends Pete Widener and Ed Chesnutt, favorite targets of last year's No. 2 quarterback, Walt Rappold, who connected 54% of the time. Guard Jean Berry, 215 pounds, is the big man in the little line, while Center Paul Bengel had an encouraging spring. Although 26 lettermen return, the line lacks experience, and Duke requires that. CONCLUSION: This fall in Blue Devil country should be fun. Having converted to razzle-dazzle, Murray has the backs to make it work.