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September 21, 1964
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September 21, 1964

High On The Hill

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Engle's concern about his quarterbacking is real. Gary Wydman, Liske's successor, is untested as a thrower. But he can run. So can the halfbacks, Gary Klingensmith, Bob Riggle, Don Kunit and sophomore Tim Montgomery. The offense has been revamped somewhat to accommodate their many abilities. Wydman, for instance, will roll out more than any Perm State quarterback since Richie Lucas.

One of the teams that Perm State will have to beat is PITT, but by the time they meet on November 21, Syracuse may have already settled the question of eastern supremacy. Privately, Pitt Coach John Michelosen thinks not. Publicly, he says, "We have problems." A big reason for Michelosen's secret optimism is Quarterback Freddy Mazurek. Whether or not Chancellor Edward H. Litchfield knew of Mazurek when he ordered Michelosen to open up his offense last year, he could not have spoken at a more opportune moment, for if anybody can liberalize an offense, it is this cool, poised little fellow with the quickest feet in the East. Under Mazurek's leadership, the Panthers suddenly split their ends, flanked halfbacks, rolled out, ran wide and far and even engaged in such un-Michelosen activities as passing on first down and gambling for short yardage on fourth. All this paid off handsomely, giving Pitt a 9-1 record and a No. 4 ranking. The pity of it was that the Panthers did not get to a bowl.

Halfback Paul Martha, Fullback Rick Leeson and a flock of good ends and tackles are gone now, but the chancellor will be happy with this team, too—first because of Mazurek, but also because of other backfield members who complement Mazurek nicely. Eric Crabtree, the right half, has the acceleration of a drag racer. Left Half Dale Stewart, a 205-pounder, is Paul Martha plus power, and Barry McKnight, the fullback, hits as hard as Leeson and is faster.

Pitt would be terrifying if it had a line to equal the backfield. The middle is tight, with Guards Ray Popp and Bernie LaQuinta flanking Center Paul Cercel, who gives way to Linebacker Marty Schottenheimer on defense. But the ends and tackles, while decent in size—Tackle Jim Jones weighs 265 pounds—lack speed and know-how and there are not nearly enough of them. Michelosen hopes they can learn against UCLA, Oregon, William & Mary, West Virginia and Miami, who are on the front end of the schedule. If they do, Pitt will be tougher in November, when it bumps heads with its eastern rivals.

Right now, ARMY is not thinking out loud any further ahead than October 3. That is the day it meets the national champion Texas Longhorns in Austin. But always, in the back of Coach Dietzel's stylishly cut, gray-flannel mind, there is Navy, victor in their last five meetings. Especially galling was 1963's game, when time ran out with the Cadets on the two-yard line and Quarterback Rollie Stichweh frantically trying to get a timeout. "As far as we are concerned," Dietzel says, "that game never ended."

After Texas and before Navy, however, Army must face up to its most formidable set of foes in years. Penn State, Duke, Iowa State, Syracuse and Pitt are all waiting. Quite a chore for a squad with only 15 lettermen, but Dietzel cheerily tells everyone, "This is the best team I've had at Army."

It could be, at that—maybe even good enough to settle accounts with Navy. The Cadets have their biggest line ever—averaging 220 pounds—and some wholesome sophomores to add a flourish to the Bandits, the rowdy defensive specialists who return through the courtesy of the NCAA rules committee. Despite the unexpected loss of Tailback John Seymour (shoulder separation) and End Bill Sherrell (mononucleosis), Dietzel is delighted with the look of his Regulars, the two-way team in his three-platoon system. They include Ends Tom Schwartz, a rookie, and Sam Champi, both 220 pounds, and Tackles John Carber and Bill Zadel, 233 and 230 pounds.

Another coach would complain about his passing game if it were like Army's. Not Dietzel. He likes the pass about as much as Bobby Kennedy likes Jimmy Hoffa. "Our best pass play." he says, "is when Stichweh is rushed and has to run the ball." Although just a fair passer, Stichweh is a gifted, strong runner, and Wingback Johnny Johnson and Fullback Don Parcells arc perfectly suited to the Cadets' banging game. For a change Army also has some breakaway speed in the person of Mark Hamilton, a 200-pound sophomore tailback who replaces Seymour in the Regulars' backfield.

"There is nothing like some good football players to make an offense exciting," says Dietzel. "Suddenly those dull plays become spectacular." He thinks Army just might be spectacular.

Boston College's Jim Miller, one of the rising young coaches in the country, does not waste time contemplating his losses. He could, easily, since one of them was Jack Concannon. Miller just counts his blessings—21 lettermen—and hopes for the best, perhaps another 6-3 season.

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