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December 26, 1955
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December 26, 1955

Sugar Bowl

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JOHN CENCI (67), c: Cocaptain, and best linebacker; tackles hard in open field. Blocks well, leads plays up middle.

HAROLD HUNTER (68), lg: Cocaptain, terrific ballhawk; death on fumbles, passes, sometimes steals ball from runner. Good tackier, middle linebacker in 5-3 defense.

AL BOLKOVAC (60), rg: Less spectacular than Hunter and slightly slower but about his equal. Steady, experienced, aggressive. Bill Schmitt (73), best substitute lineman, great punter.

BOB POLLOCK (74), It: Best tackle on team; big, strong, tough and experienced. Crashes hard, can be trapped. Good blocker.

HERMAN CANIL (72), rt : Steady, not so rough as Pollock but maneuvers better in opposing backfield. Good downfield blocker.


Like all Bobby Dodd teams, the 1955 Yellow Jackets are a quick-striking, fast, T-formation outfit with primary emphasis on the running game but with enough passing to keep the defense opened up. They run most plays from the regular T but will occasionally use a flanker; the big ground gainers have been the quick pitchouts and variations off tackle and around end from the belly series. Mitchell is slick with the ball and a cool, gambling quarterback. When Vann is in, they'll throw more—especially to Volkert, Ellis and Thompson—and the quarterback will keep more on the option. Both Volkert and Rotenberry are most effective off tackle or around end and can really move. Don't expect Tech to make many mistakes—they lost only four fumbles all year. Defensively this is one of Dodd's better teams; only Auburn was able to score on them more than once. Not heavy (but probably a bit larger than the program weights), Tech reacts very fast, hits hard, pursues well. Strongest defensive area in the line is on the left side; the backs are exceptionally good on defense and it's tough to pass against them.

Big and strong,-the 1955 Panthers are a throwback to the days of famed Jock Sutherland. The difference is that Michelosen, an old Sutherland pupil, uses the split-T instead of the single wing. The results are much the same, however: power football with just enough passing to keep the defense honest. They do little faking in the back-field, preferring to use the backs as blockers, and run a lot of off-tackle smashes or halfback slants up the middle. Neft also runs the option well. This is a tremendously good defensive team except for three glaring weaknesses: Salvaterra, Cimarolli and Grier, three of the four best offensive backs. Michelosen has to forfeit his big punch by alternating them with Neft, DiPasquale and Jenkins, all superior on defense. Salvaterra, when he's hot, can be a brilliant back—dangerous passer, very elusive runner. And when Salvaterra is in the game, Walton, Pittsburgh's outstanding receiver, must be watched closely at all times. The Panthers played a rugged schedule and showed steady improvement throughout the season, highlighted by their convincing 26-7 victory over undefeated West Virginia.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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