BC does not have anyone to match Concannon, but Eddie Foley, a junior who throws an acceptable pass, will try. Fortunately, he can aim at Jim Whalen, a rangy 6-foot-2 end who runs deceptive pass routes and takes off like a halfback when he catches the ball. But passing is only part of Boston College's game. The rest is running, and the Eagles, notably Halfbacks Bobby Shann and Ron Gentili and Fullback Don Moran, can almost fly.
Miller's line is stronger, faster and deeper than it was a year ago. Whalen, who also plays commendable defense. Bill Cronin, the other end, and John Frechette, a 230-pound tackle, give it strength and there are some sizeable sophomores. Their learning must come fast, and hard. BC plays Syracuse, Army and Tennessee in its first three games.
Each year the Ivy League schools pool their chauvinism and announce the "expected champion" during the preseason. They are seldom right, but this year they have cut the odds: both YALE and PRINCETON are picked. Actually, any one of four or five teams could win.
What gives Yale a bright chance is Coach Johnny Pont, who was lured away from Miami of Ohio last year, and just in time. The Elis were beginning to suffer depression symptoms over their football. Pont is a devotee of pure defense and he will get it from 237-pound All-Ivy Tackle Ab Lawrence, End Steve Lawrence (no relation) and Guards Chuck Benoit and Ralph Vandersloot.
The Yale halfbacks, Jim Howard and Jim Groninger, are slower than Pont would like, but his offense, a grim, pounding one, is not really geared to speed or passing. Instead, Pont hammers his fullbacks up the middle and halfbacks off the tackles. Not very subtle, to be sure, but extremely effective when one has 200-pound fullbacks like Chuck Mercein, Pete Cummings and Dick Niglio, out of academic drydock for the first time since 1961, to do the thumping. If Tone Grant, a wispy 156-pound lefthander, or Ed McCarthy, up from the jayvees, can handle the quarterbacking, these Yalies will be the best since 1960.
Beating out Princeton, however, will not be easy. Coach Dick Colman's cup always seems to overflow with good single-wing tailbacks. The latest is Don McKay, a stylish runner who also passes well. Double-teaming with Fullback Cosmo Iacavazzi, who splits the line with All-Ivy fury (for 14 touchdowns last year), he will make that Tiger single wing roar.
Princeton also has a supply of staunch linemen, another Colman stock in trade. Guards Paul Savidge and Stas Maliszewski, quick 215-pounders who can get out to lead Princeton's sweeps, are as good as any in the Ivy League, and opponents will think twice before they run at 225-pound Tackle Ernie Pascarella. Colman, as always, frets about his depth but there is enough to make the Tigers more than testy.
Delaware and Massachusetts may be small colleges but everything about their football is big. The Blue Hens, who have been cackling loudly about their prowess for some time now, soundly whipped three major schools, Ohio, Buffalo and Rutgers, on the way to an unbeaten season in 1963. Coach Dave Nelson lost 19 players, but Tom Van Grofski, a neat triple-threat quarterback, and Mike McCrann, a booming fullback, will give his wing T the sparkle it needs. Delaware also has an outstanding end in Ron Bianco and another fast, hard-charging line. Although a second straight undefeated campaign may be too much to hope for, the Hens will again win the Middle Atlantic Conference title.
At Massachusetts Coach Vic Fusia has little to worry about. Last year the Redmen gave up only one touchdown (to Maine) and 12 points and finished 8-0-1. There was no better defense in their class. Fusia has 18 regulars back, among them defenders like 230-pound Tackle Bob Burke, Center Bernie Dallas and two exceptional ends, Bob Meers and Milt Morin. He also has a superior quarterback in Jerry Whelchel who, in two seasons, has completed 55% of his passes for 1,599 yards and 13 touchdowns and has run 510 for 11 touchdowns. More of the same will keep the Yankee Conference Beanpot in Massachusetts' cupboard.