With this in mind, the first thing Cahill did was put Army into a T with split, tight or three ends. He switched Carl Woessner, a slashing type, from flanker to tailback to team up with Fullback Mark Hamilton in the running spots and moved John Peduto from tailback to wingback. Then, when Quarterback Fred Barofsky was ruled out because of his unhappy vulnerability to head injuries, Cahill turned the new offense over to Jim O'Toole and Steve Lindell, a couple of talented sophomores. O'Toole is the better passer, and he brought along his own receiver from the plebe team—Gary Steele, a lanky 6-foot-5 split end with pipestem legs but grasping hands. Just in the nick of time, too, because Army lost all but one of its offensive ends.
Army's racier look may not be quite enough to camouflage the deficiencies. There are not many better football players around than Linebacker Townsend Clarke, who won notices almost as favorable as Tommy Nobis' and Carl McAdams' last year. Almost in a class with Clarke are Tom Schwartz and David Rivers, defensive ends, and Don Roberts, a 235-pound offensive tackle. But after those four comes the trickle.
Cahill has had to do some juggling to fill in the holes, especially in the middle of the offensive and defensive lines. On defense, Tackle Bud Neswiacheny is now at middle guard and Pat Mente, a smallish (206 pounds) former middle guard is at tackle. On offense, John Montanaro, a solid 228-pounder, goes from guard to center while Nick Kurilko, the team's punter and a high school fullback, is at guard along with John Nerdahl.
Cahill's tenure as head coach probably will rest on the Navy game. "We won't be pushovers," he insists, but NAVY will not be, either. Last year's 4-4-2 record, ending in that dull anticlimax, the 7-7 tie with Army, still rankles in the breasts of the brooding Midshipmen. The fact is, Navy is better equipped this time for the rigors of one of the toughest schedules anywhere ( Boston College, SMU, Air Force, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Duke are all on it). Coach Bill Elias, a dry-eyed optimist, refreshingly predicts, "We'll be a better team this year." Maybe. There was not much wrong with Navy's scrambling defenses in 1965—only Georgia Tech and Notre Dame got through for more than two scores. The team was not really overpowering but it stunted, blitzed and came at opponents from almost as many directions as the Viet Cong. That is Elias' way: keep the foe guessing, prod them off balance and then surround them.
Although Navy has lost both tackles and a couple of linebackers, its defense should be even better. Ends Bill Dow and Curt Schantz, Middle Guard George Garrett and Linebacker Don Downing, the best from last year's team, are back, along with three experienced players in the secondary. Dave Tate, 235 pounds, will fill in at one tackle while Dick Petrino is the other linebacker. But the one who really excites Elias is Tom McKeon, a rough 6-foot-4, 231-pound tackle. "If he stays healthy, he can be an All-America," says Elias.
What downed Navy a year ago was an ineffective offense. To jazz it up, Elias will vary his pro-style T with the I and go with his seasoned backfield, including junior Quarterback John Cartwright. Always a good scrambler, Cartwright is more poised and his passing has improved. He has good receivers, too, in Split End Rob Taylor, if he is eligible, and Flanker Tom Leiser, who switched positions, and Tom Shrawder, a sophomore end. Terry Murray, a shifty youngster who ran for 391 yards last year, and Carl Tamulevich, a 206-pound plunger who beat stubby Danny Wong out of the fullback job, will take care of the running.
Unfortunately, the backs will have to operate behind an insecure line. Aside from Skip Dittman, the hard-blocking 6-foot-6, 240-pound center, Tight End Reb Hester and Tackle Kit Ruland, the offensive wall is frightfully inexperienced.
Still Elias is sanguine. "I guess I'm the Walter Mitty of the coaching profession," he says. "I have delusions of grandeur. I always think we will win every game."
Whether his optimism is entirely justified may be discovered earlier than Elias expects. BOSTON COLLEGE'S Jim Miller, a master strategist, spent a busy spring plotting a major disaster for his old coaching buddy when their teams meet in the Saturday opener at Annapolis.
"We have to be in every ball game," says Miller candidly. "We have that kind of strength." The strength he refers to is a collection of the biggest and maybe the best linemen the Eagles have had since the glory days of Frank Leahy. The offensive line, from tackle to tackle, averages 240 pounds and the defensive unit is just as large. Offensive Tackles Dick Powers and Tom Sarkisian are 245 and 240, respectively; Guard Bob Hyland, a converted center and BC's best lineman, is 250, Center Mike Evans 240 and sophomore Guard Dick Kroner a mere 225. On defense, Tackle Doug Shephard is 6 feet 8 and 260. Ron Persuitte, the other tackle, is 240, and Middle Guard Bill Stetz goes 230. The ends are Len Persin, 240, and Gordie Kutz, 225. The nicest thing about them is that they are all quick and agile, and there are plenty more behind them.