Before he left on a little recruiting trip of his own, SAN DIEGO STATE'S Don Coryell said, "We'll have to get three more good offensive linemen if we're going to beat our best opponents." It was certainly not ends Coryell was after—the Aztecs have two of the finest anywhere in the country in Leon Standridge (drafted by San Francisco) and Gary Garrison (drafted by Philadelphia and San Diego). Garrison caught 78 passes last year for 1,272 yards and 15 touchdowns. The defensive line will be refurnished around 268-pound Middle Guard Larry Martin, who is the fastest man on the team except for Garrison and 9.7-sprinter Bob Jones, a starting halfback. The I-formation Aztecs led the nation's small colleges in scoring (averaged 42.3 points a game) and total offense (averaged 422.6 yards a game) in 1964, but the backfield was all but leveled by graduation. The man San Diego will miss most—Tailback Jim Allison—led the NCAA's college division in rushing. But—you guessed it—help will come from JC transfers. A JC transfer of a year ago, Don Horn, had a fine spring at quarterback. The nucleus of an excellent team is there, but whether San Diego can upset the Diablos in the league race—and in their October 16 game—depends upon the success Coryell had during this summer's junior-college tour.
Frenso state has 20 junior-college transfers. State starts with three nonconference games, and this might give it time to develop into the kind of team that can challenge the two leaders. "Everything—our offense in particular—depends upon how quickly the transfers come along," says Coach Phil Krueger. All-League selections Paul Warkentin at center and Tailback Dave Plump (a San Francisco future who intercepted seven passes last year) both return, as do 220-pound Fullback Bill Aston and Harry Miller, another fine tailback.
Long Beach state finished third last year and could be there again or higher. Long Beach's proudest transfer is Quarterback Jack Reilly, who was the best junior-college passer in the country last year, completing 173 of 301 passes for 2,207 yards and 18 touchdowns. Seventeen lettermen were lost, but the same number return, among them Halfback Les Shy and Tackle Roy Schmidt, a Green Bay future.
Sacromento state lost Little All-America Tackle Bill Fuller and Little All-Coast End Gary Kelley. But 19 lettermen are back, and they're good enough for the Hornets to repeat as winners in the Far Western Conference. Quarterback Bob Miller and Fullback Mike Clemons supply the desired blend of passing and running. Close, however, will be HUMBOLDT STATE with Joe Sarboe. SAN FRANCISCO STATE, titlist three years running, missed its fourth in 1964 when it could only tie Sacramento State in the final game. Seventeen of the Golden Gators' 24 best players are gone, and it looks like a year of reconstruction for Coach Vic Rowen. He will build around All-FWC Halfback Tom Piggee, End Mike Meyer and Quarterback Don McPhail. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT DAVIS will have the running in Glenn DuFour and Phil Stewart and the passing in Jim Wilcox. But the Aggies do not have the linemen or defense to improve much on last year's 3-6.
Quarterback Terry Durham will throw more at LINFIELD, but not well enough or far enough to catch WILLAMETTE in the Northwest Conference.
"If you can have a sound team when you don't have enough tackles, then we have a sound team," says Coach Jim Sweeney at MONTANA STATE. The Bobcats out-scored Big Sky opposition 74-6 last year and finished 7-4 overall, including a 28-7 win over Sacramento State in the Camellia Bowl. Tackle shortage or not, Quarterback Ray Foley, Center Terry Albrecht and five good halfbacks are enough to earn the Bobcats another Big Sky championship.
Owning a good quarterback is like having more water than you need: both are sometimes taken for granted, as WAGNER COLLEGE of Staten Island is now finding out. It has neither Dan Coughlin (who was more than a good quarterback, he was the best the school ever had) nor water. Coughlin was so good, in fact, that Wagner didn't lose a game last year, won the Middle Atlantic Conference championship (Northern Division), outscored the opposition 202 points to 67 and finished third in the balloting for the Lambert Cup. Were Coughlin back this year the Seahawks would win the title again with ease. With an even better defense they probably will win it anyway and lead the East's small colleges—but it won't be easy this time around.
Coach Bob Hicks has two men trying out for Coughlin's job—Lou Moskal and Rich Salinardi. The chances are he will choose Salinardi because he can throw a football better than Moskal. This is important because Little All-America End Dick Kotite is still around and Hicks wants a quarterback who can get the ball to him, the way Coughlin did.
Even with Kotite playing, Wagner sooner or later is going to find it necessary to move the football on the ground. When it does, Halfbacks Chuck DiStaulo, Ed Martin and Mike Kelly, fine runners all, should respond admirably. On defense the Seahawks are stout, and it may be this stoutness rather than the running or passing that returns the MAC championship to them.