The Bucks will be bigger, tougher and deeper, especially in the line, where Hayes has sufficient strength to two-platoon. For offense he has crisp, sure blockers in Tackles Doug Van Horn .235 pounds, and Jim Davidson, 223, and Guards Dan Porretta 213, and Ray Pryor, a compact 215-pound sophomore. The defense is even stronger. Linebackers Tom Bugel and Dwight Kelley and big, experienced linemen like Tackles Ed Orazen, 227, and Gerry Kasunic, 222, and Middle Guard Bill Ridder, 221, on some afternoons will be just plain unmovable.
Ohio State, however, will be as dull as ever on offense. Hayes is firmly committed to sending his large quarterbacks and fullbacks hurtling inside the tackles, hoping, apparently, to blind the foe with the resultant cloud of dust. Don Unverferth, oddly enough, passes better than he runs, practically unheard of in an Ohio State quarterback, but Tom Barrington, a bulky handy-andy who can run and play anywhere in the backfield. is available for the heavy-duty bludgeoning. For the fullback smashing, the Bucks have 220-pound Will Sander and Paul Hudson, a block-busting 210-pound sophomore. Just in case Woody gets to feeling reckless enough to let his halfbacks run some, he has a spry one in sophomore Bo Rein, a wispy-legged youngster who turns a corner like a New York cab driver.
The burning question in the Big Ten—can Ohio State beat Illinois?—will not smolder overly long. The two meet October 10 at Champaign.
Ohio State also has to play MICHIGAN, and if the Big Ten has a dark horse it is Coach Bump Elliott's young, hungry team. The Wolverines, who came on with a rush at the end of last year, have the most and the best-looking backs in the conference and Elliott will run them out of a loose wing T.
All four of last season's starters—Quarterback Bob Timberlake, Halfbacks Jack Clancy and Dick Rindfuss and Fullback Mel Anthony—are back but the talent is so abundant that Elliott can field a complete sophomore backfield and not feel squeamish about it. One of the rookies, swift Carl Ward, will start ahead of Rindfuss.
Michigan, however, has some problems in the line. Not at end, where lanky John Henderson, who caught 27 passes last year, Captain Jim Conley and Craig Kirby head a seven-man brigade. It is the interior that worries Elliott. After Linebacker Tom Cecchini, fully recovered from a knee operation, and Tackles Bill Yearby and Charlie Ruzicka, a solid 235-pound citizen, the Wolverines will have to take potluck. Even so, Michigan could surprise some folks. Says Elliott, "Given the proper set of circumstances, we could do real well." What he means, of course, is victories over brother Pete's Illini, whom he always beats, and Ohio State.
Meanwhile, back in the Big Eight, MISSOURI, KANSAS and NEBRASKA are setting traps for Oklahoma. Missouri appears to have the best chance of all to put down the powerful Sooners. The Tigers will go after them with one of the fastest and best backfields Coach Dan Devine has ever had. Johnny Roland, the fancy-running halfback who was out of school last year for disciplinary reasons after an extraordinary sophomore year (830 yards running, 13 touchdowns in 1962), is back. So is Gary Lane, the All-Conference quarterback who ran and passed for more than 1,000 yards. Sophomore Charlie Brown, a speedy little runner who can sweep the ends or take off on the dive play, will start at right half.
Devine is plotting a new twist to go with his wing T sweeps this year, facetiously called "student body left and student body right" because he gets so many blockers in front of the ballcarrier. It is a spread with both ends split, halfbacks flanked wide and the quarterback 10 yards behind the center. Devine figures it will give swifties Roland and Brown more running room.
The big question is whether the Tiger line will be able to hold its own in the demanding Big Eight. The right side is solid enough with 227-pound Butch Allison at tackle and Tom Wyrostek, a tough defender, at guard, but Devine has had to do some switching to fill the other holes. If the changes pan out, Missouri will be very tough indeed.
So will Kansas Coach Jack Mitchell at last has the big linemen necessary for the tough in-fighting that goes on in the Big Eight. Missouri's Devine views this latest development grimly. "We have never been able to pass on Mitchell," he says. "Now if we can't run against him, we might as well not show up."