"The important thing when you go back to pass is not to look. You look for your receiver, and the linebacker will have the play just like you sent him a telegram. I run back maybe five or six yards, just as fast as I can, look straight up the middle and then just when I throw I spot my man. The long ones don't work so much any more. You got to pull the defense in with short stuff to set them up for the long one. Maybe you can try for two home runs a game, not much more."
Traylor does not consider himself as good a runner as Louis (Buddy) Humphrey, the second unit quarterback. Consequently he leaves most of the footwork up to his halfbacks and fullback. "When we get down close and need that yard or two for the first down or the touchdown, I'd much rather run my fullback than try a sneak," he will tell you. "I feel a fullback gets a lot more power than a quarterback on a sneak, and I'll call for the fullback most every time."
While Miami has dropped from the national ratings as a result of its surprise loss to Houston in the season opener, the Hurricanes are a team that could spoil the chances for many a Bowl hopeful, and Baylor is again looking forward to a New Year's date. So Saturday's game will be of vital importance to Coach Sam Boyd. Boyd is more than satisfied with his line—the biggest and the most powerful in the Southwest Conference, if not the nation—but is troubled by the lack of a breakaway threat in the backfield. "What we really need," he explains, "is that speed we had with Del Shofner last year. We've got some fast kids but they are either rookies or sprinters. A rookie needs experience. A sprinter—well, a sprinter can run fast but you hit him just a little bit and over he goes. He just don't have the balance. Sure, we got strong runners like Larry Hickman, and, I suppose, if you turn them loose long enough they'll bang away for the yardage. But we haven't got a real breakaway threat. Traylor, now, he's a great passer. Above average on defense. They may think they can pick on him, but he's gonna stay right in there and be tough. He's got determination. Guts."
By Saturday, Boyd may have found himself a replacement for Shofner. A sophomore, Austin Gonsoulin, and a junior, Dick Clark, have shown up extremely well for so early in the season and may earn starting roles.
Miami, on the other hand, will have a new look. After the Houston game Hurricanes Coach Andy Gustafson reached for his pencil and cheerfully stabbed at the names on his roster. The result was, and is, that Baylor will start against the strongest lineup Gustafson can present, and—until this unit drops—it will stand and fight against what many claim is the best pair of lines in college football.
Gustafson even considers the loss to tough Houston a blessing of sorts. At least, the wild-eyed Miami clientele will not be howling for a national championship in every game from now on. And his own protestations about thin reserves were shown to be completely justified. While neither of the two units he employed against Houston rambled far in the face of an efficient defense and excellent pursuit, Miami's number one unit allowed the Cougars only 45 yards in 32 formations; the second group, however, gave the Cougars everything but the water bucket—158 yards in 19 efforts. With two weeks off in which to nurse hurt feelings and bruises, the revamped Hurricane could blow up a real storm for Traylor and company on Saturday night. But it is rather doubtful that the Bears will arrive expecting fair weather.