"Oh, we'll have enough of those big boys around to excite the alumni so they can say, 'Look at the material Old Ben has,' " admitted Schwartzwalder. "Those big boys" are his tackles, 235-pound Tony Scibelli, 240-pound Tom Wilhelm and 220-pound Dave Archer; Guard Gary Bugenhagen, a 230-pound sophomore; and Center Pat Killorin, 220. But a smaller man, 205-pound Gerry Everling, is the Orange's best defensive interior lineman. The only concern is the linebackers, mostly sophomores.
There is no concern in the backfields—there are several of them—other than who is getting to get to play. At quarterback, for instance, Schwartzwalder has Wally Mahle, a lanky 6-foot-3 senior "so skinny," says the coach, "that when he walks into a room you want to help him to his seat." Maybe so, but when Mahle runs, the opposition would like to show him a seat in the stands. Last year he led the Orange in rushing with 457 yards. Some critics contend that Mahle would have trouble throwing a football into the ocean, but this is an exaggeration. He completes just enough wobbly passes to make a defense wary when he rolls out. And when passing is really needed. Rich King, more a thrower than a runner, can come in.
Take the halfbacks. They really tickle the fancy, even with Mike Koski, last year's regular right half, still recuperating from a summer knee operation. He is just one of a crowd that includes Billy Hunter, Charlie Brown, Nat Duckett (who can also take a turn at fullback) and sophomores Dan Healy and Terry Roe, all good and all second-best stringers. The best is Floyd Little, Syracuse's exceptional sophomore (see box page 63). The fullback is Jim Nance, a 225-pound senior line bucker who has only one fault: an occasional lapse in concentration. If this happens often, Duckett will steal his job.
With such players, Schwartzwalder reasonably could be expected to go along with the trend toward a wide-open game. Not at all. "Last year," he says, "we used a Hanker most of the time and everybody played us to the sidelines. I don't like much to have other people tell me which way to run. So we'll tighten up, use more straight and split T and be prepared to go either way."
Navy Coach Wayne Hardin, conversely, delights in a ring-a-ding offense and this season, as in the past, his team will attack from all angles. Indeed, to keep up with Roger Staubach, the All-America quarterback and one of the nicest things that ever happened to Hardin, defenses will have to spread almost out of the ball park. Staubach gave Navy a 9-1 season and a No. 2 national ranking last year.
Life in 1964, however, may not be quite so pleasant for Staubach or Hardin. Navy plays as hard a schedule as any in the country: Penn State, Michigan, Georgia Tech, California, Pitt, Notre Dame, Duke and Army, with only William & Mary and Maryland as breathers. Equally depressing, the Middie defense, meager enough last season when it gave up two touchdowns a game, has been badly depleted by graduation.
Hardin has but 13 lettermen to salt his three teams. Jim Freeman, a rangy 215-pound tackle, 225-pound Pat Phil-bin on the other side, and Fred Marlin, the 193-pound guard who kicked 37 of 41 extra points and five field goals in 1963, are all that are left in the line. One sophomore could help: Don Downing, a 215-pound center-linebacker.
But any team with Roger Staubach has to be dangerous. He is an extraordinary passer with a knack of quickly finding, and hitting, the open man. Staubach is even more spectacular when trapped, which might happen a lot this year. Darting, dodging, whirling, he often converts 10-yard losses into 20-yard gains. His antics accounted for 1,892 yards last year: 1,474 on 107 passes (66%) and 418 running, for a total of 15 touchdowns. The Navy offense also has Pat Donnelly, a better than fair fullback who averaged six yards a carry, and Flanker Ed Orr, swift and tricky, who caught 25 passes.
Unfortunately for Navy the teams it plays also have high potentials for touchdown production, PENN STATE, Navy's first opponent, may in fact end Navy's short-lived dominance of the East before Syracuse gets the chance. This is not, of course, admitted by Coach Rip Engle. He sorrows over the loss of 23 lettermen, wonders how in the world he can ever replace Quarterback Pete Liske and warns anyone who will listen that his Lions are simply too young and inexperienced to have real bite. But Engle cannot obscure the fact that his line is stacked and his backfield is competent. They can make trouble for anybody.
The Lions have five big tackles who range from 225 to 260 pounds. The starters, John Simko and Joe Bellas, are 245 and 230. At center there is Glenn Ressler, a 230-pounder who played guard last year and is so good Engle calls him "the finest interior lineman I've coached."