Jim Camp starts his first year as head coach with only 14 lettermen, but they form a sound nucleus. Andy Guida is sure to repeat as All-Southern Conference end, Steve Bartnicki is a mainstay at tackle and Dick Drummond, a halfback transfer from Iowa, will provide the running threat the Colonials lacked in 1960. There is good depth at halfback and, defensively, at end, but a potentially dangerous shortage of guards. A 230-pound sophomore, Dick Myers, is expected to do wonders at tackle, while his classmate Jim Johnson will start at fullback. The middle of the line is light but good, particularly on defense. Drummond's running mate, Halfback Tony Fredicine, gained 4.6 yards per try last year, assuring a dependable rushing game, but a scarcity of receivers is bound to affect the passing.
CONCLUSION: There is something a little diabolical about a schedule in which almost every game seems a tossup.
New Coach Johnny Griffith picked a bad year to succeed that old Georgia Bulldog, Wally Butts. He will start minus the services of two All-Americas—Quarterback Francis Tarkenton and Guard Pat Dye—and a pair of all-conference halfbacks. But Griffith can balance his losses against the return of 10 of last year's top 14 linemen, including Tackles Pete Case (6 feet 3, 223 pounds) and Leonard Vella (6 feet 5, 230 pounds), bull-like junior Guard Wally Williamson and five good ends, led by tall Clyde Childers. The backfield, of course, is untried. Fullback Bill Godfrey is the only returning starter, but the offense gets a boost from Durward Pennington, who has kicked 44 of 48 extra points and 10 field goals in the last two years. Also back is Halfback Bill McKenny, who caught 22 passes during the 1960 season.
CONCLUSION: An experienced line, excellent on defense and generally deep, will have to hold the score down if the Bulldogs are to win.
Coach Bobby Dodd is no fool. When the new college rules were voted last year, he saw the toe marks on the wall and produced field-goal kicker Tommy Wells, who won two games for Tech, which lost four more by a combined total of five points. This year Dodd has two place kickers to replace the departed Wells, Billy Lothridge and Jorge Enderica, and will be angling for more three-point plays. To get Tech into position, Dodd has 15 of his 22 best Yellow Jackets back, including 227-pound Guard Rufus Guthrie, and a fine set of senior halfbacks, Chick Graning and Billy Williamson. Graning led the team in rushing and pass catching in 1960, Williamson in punt and kickoff returns, and both excel in the open field. Stan Gann, the schoolboy sensation three years ago, will be back at quarterback.
CONCLUSION: Even without so many returning players, it is inconceivable that Dodd would have two so-so years in a row. He won't.
Steadily building to the level of their Bowl teams of the early '50s, the Wildcats are one year away from being a truly powerful team. A sparkling all-junior aerial unit includes Jerry Woolum, who completed 63 passes for a .504 average last year, End Dave Gash, who caught 19, and one of the nation's best receivers, Tom Hutchinson, a fast, agile 6-foot-1 end who gathered 30 more. Coach Blanton Collier, who likes to alternate squads, must include at least seven sophomores on the second shift, and both squads need help at guard. Pro scouts like 6-foot-5 Center Irv Goode, opponents dislike the mean defensive line and a secondary that may equal last year's, which gave up a meager 52 yards per game. Fullback Gary Cochran (he had a 5.5-yard rushing average last year) had a good spring, as did sophomore kicker Darrell Cox.