The rest of the Yankee Conference is still playing catch-up. CONNECTICUT has a new coach, former Columbia aide John Toner, and two solid defensemen in Halfbacks Gene Campbell and Dave LaLima. But the Huskies, who belie their name these days, lack a quarterback. RHODE ISLAND and New Hampshire will play the game with sophomores. Indeed, over 40 of the 50 candidates at Providence are newcomers, and some of the linemen are big enough to match the Green Bay Packers. Coach Jack Zilly's offensive interior averages 225 pounds, and the defensive middle, sophomores all, goes 230. The best of the new backs is Owen McEntee, a fierce 227-pound fullback who crashes lines like a small tank. NEW HAMPSHIRE, weary of being pummeled, brought in Joe Yukica, another of Blackman's Dartmouth assistants. Yukica took a bleak look at his seasoned players and benched most of them. A dozen sophomores are contesting for Wildcat starting positions, and three of them—Bill Phillips, Tom Kasprzak and Les Wilson—are in the backfield, along with Bill Estey, a pint-sized (5 feet 6, 140 pounds) junior quarterback who throws a nice pass and, for his size, is quite a little runner.
The unpredictable Middle Atlantic Conference is shoulder high in contenders. Bucknell could win the title again. Or Hofstra. Or even Temple. BUCKNELL lost its quarterback, Bill Lerro, and two star receivers, Tom Mitchell and Ron Kinsey, who between them gathered in 92 passes, and ordinarily that would be enough to discourage the Bisons. But they were left with a firm defense, and Coach Carroll Huntress has another able marksman—Bob Marks—to run his swinging I. HOFSTRA's chances rest with Don Gault, a lanky quarterback who is attracting pro scouts. He completed 158 passes for 2,134 yards and 20 touchdowns last year. If Coach Howdy Myers can find some new catchers to replace Ends Frank Coffey (56 receptions) and Bill Starr (52), the Flying Dutchmen can soar to the top. TEMPLE is sitting pretty with quarterback Tom DeFelice, two outstanding receivers in End Ed Reinoso and Flanker John Fonash, a smallish 9.8 sprinter who had 41 catches last season, and an experienced defense. What disturbs Coach George Makris, however, is that these same defenders gave up 210 points in 1965. The Owls, obviously, will have to mend some fences to have a chance at the title.
The other MAC teams are far behind. At DELAWARE, Coach Tubby Raymond, who took over when Dave Nelson decided to retire to the athletic director's chair, has plenty of backs but he is desperate for good linemen. The only ones he has are Herb Slattery, a 238-pound middle guard, and End Mike Purzyicki. GETTYSBURG, without fancy-passing Quarterback Jim Ward, will have to rely upon its runners, Rod Albright, Bob Nye and Craig Markel, for its kicks. LAFAYETTE, after too many down years, should be better. Juniors Chris Yaniger, Bill Messick and Joel Cassrow will put some snap into Coach Ken Bunn's Leopards. LEHIGH, however, is still in big trouble.
To hear AMHERST's Jim Ostendarp tell it, the Lord Jeffs will be lucky to win a single game. "We're green," he complains, "and we have problems." If Amherst has any serious problems, they are fairly well hidden by Halfbacks Bob Ryan and Ed Bradley and Fullback Ron Hoge, a dandy bunch who ran for 1,423 yards and 21 touchdowns last year. That is the kind of offense that wins Little Three titles. WILLIAMS will go after Amherst on a wing and a prayer. The Wing is Ed, a marvelous runner who rushed for 1,139 yards and scored 15 times in 1965; the prayer is for a rebuilt defense that Coach Frank Navarro hopes will work. WESLEYAN, unhappily, is in no position to match its rivals. Only 15 players are back, its offensive line was swept clean and the backs lack speed.