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December 26, 1955
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December 26, 1955

Rose Bowl

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DAN CURRIE (55), lg: Was considered best second stringer in Big Ten until star Embry Robinson (77) hurt; now a starter. Hits hard, good blocker, strong on defense.

CARL NYSTROM (68), rg: All-conference guard, fiery competitor, team captain and sparkplug. Quick and tough.

PAT BURKE (71), rt: Sophomore and a fine prospect but does only average job now. This may be weak spot with no adequate reserves available.

JOHN LEWIS (87), le: Above-average end; reasonably good on defense and very good on offense. Packs real speed and is favorite pass receiver. Stands 6 feet 4 inches.

DAVE KAISER (89), re: Soph, won starting job away from veteran Jim Hinesly (90). Good blocker and tackier, fair pass receiver. But Hinesly is very good receiver and may take over if State begins to throw.


Not ranked among the nation's leaders in any particular phase of play, the Bruins' strong point is their great balance: speed and power on the ground, a tremendous passing threat when Knox is in the game, a strong, quick-reacting defense. Like all Sanders teams, this is strictly a single-wingback outfit with emphasis on power into the line, an occasional sweep around end and little deception. Sam Brown, Davenport, Peters, Decker and subs Gerry McDougall (16), Doug Bradley (12) and Chuck Hollaway (31) are all very fine runners. If Knox's broken leg is ready, no one can ease up against the Uclan pass threat; he can throw and he has outstanding receivers. UCLA's only loss was by a touchdown to unbeaten Maryland and with Michigan State's great backfield on the same field, this may be the most exciting of the bowls; certainly all the ingredients for heavy fireworks are there. UCLA's defense has several weak spots (left tackle, both ends) but the others are outstanding and the linebacking is very good. A shortage of line reserves may hurt—a major factor in the loss to Maryland.

Like the battle in the Orange Bowl, the Rose Bowl shapes up as a game between two teams with strangely similar appearances. Both UCLA and the Spartans have versatile, well-balanced attacks and quick, sharp defenses without too much reserve strength in the line but above-average backfield depth. But there the resemblance ends: where both Oklahoma and Maryland stick to the split-T, UCLA is strictly a single-wing team and Duffy Daugherty's Spartans present the multiple offense—an effective mixture of straight T, winged T and single wing, each run with an unbalanced line. Michigan State has exceptional team speed; its backs are good runners, Morrall can throw and runs the team well. On defense they prefer the 5-4-2 but use the 6-3-2 as an alternate, always reacting quickly and pursuing strongly. The most amazing thing about this ball club is the way it has improved throughout the year: from mediocre preseason expectations it blossomed out against Notre Dame and just kept getting better. In the only loss, 14-7 to Michigan, State appeared to have much the better ball club.

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

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