- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Last month the Southerners finally achieved the status symbol they had long sought—recognition as a major college football team. Oddly, it came after Coach Pie Vann had lost four of 10 games, as many as in the four previous seasons combined. Vann's record in 11 years is an impressive 82-27-1, and this year, with half of his 30 lettermen around again, he should add to it richly. He has more than enough material at quarterback and may, therefore, have Don Fuell playing fullback part time. Fuell, subject of a recruiting scandal a few years ago, has turned out to be as good a student (B average) as a football player (21 of 41 passes for 356 yards in 1959; 178 yards rushing at a 3.8 gait). Morris Meador, Billy Larson and Val Keckin provide quarterback depth. At fullback, only Dan Pugh (5-yard rushing average) has any playing time. Amy Spence (3.3), Tommy Morrow (4.0) and Andin McLeod (4.9 and 12 pass catches) top a long list of halfbacks. Guard Ray St. Pierre is seldom outmaneuvered.
Nothing bothered Coach Wade Walker last year—plenty of nothing. In their final four games his boys scored exactly no points. This season, with a couple of outstanding linemen, some bright sophomores and a better-balanced offense, the Maroons will no longer be patsies. Hulking Tom Goode, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound center, will rate with Dixie's best. Walt Suggs, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound tackle, has good speed and swats down ball carriers like flies. A shakier member of this weighty clan, Floyd Peters, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound tackle, has had knee trouble. Two promising newcomers are Mackie Weaver, who will challenge Walt Flowers at fullback, and Quarterback Charlie Furlow. Returning Quarterback Tootie Hill, who picked up four yards a try last year, is a speedy broken-field runner and fair passer, but he will have a hard time holding off Furlow, a gifted passer. Halfbacks Pat Shute (5.1) and Lee Welch (3.9) will turn in creditable performances when carrying the ball or going out for a pass.
Coach Jim Hickey has 21 lettermen, including seven starters from the 50-0 win over Duke in the 1959 finale, but he still has a number of problems. Aside from Co-Captain Rip Hawkins, a rugged center and linebacker, there is no truly outstanding player on the team. The Tarheels are strongest at tackle, where there are five returnees, and weakest at guard, where only Co-Captain Frank Riggs, one of the ACC's most respected linemen, and Fred Mueller have any real experience. Hickey's paramount need is for someone who can keep his foot on the offensive accelerator. Quarterbacks Ray Farris, No. 2 a year ago, and Ward Marslander, a red-shirt last fall, are prime but still-to-be-tested candidates. Last season's three best receivers are gone, but Ends Mike Greenday and John Schroeder, plus Fullback Bob Elliott, are adequate pass catchers. Elliott, Joe Davies and George Knox are a trio of hard-running fullbacks who epitomize the team's sound, if unspectacular, ground game.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Against Maryland in the final game last fall, Quarterback Roman Gabriel completed 23 of 38 passes for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also scored once. And still the Wolfpack lost. Gabriel, now a 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior, is back and should help Coach Earle Edwards win some of those close games he has been losing. With Gabriel are 16 other monogram winners from the 1959 team, and Edwards will be relying on four of them—John Stanton, Al Taylor, Claude Gibson and Randy Harrell—for most of the halfback assignments. At fullback will be Roger Moore, who has the power to go up the middle and the speed to go around the outside. He may fulfill Edwards' hopes for a consistent breakaway runner. Standouts among the returnees on the line will be Guard Alex Gilleskie and Center Bill Hill, the co-captains, plus End Jim Tapp and Tackle Collice Moore. Tapp proved last year he is an excellent pass receiver. The line should be a bit stronger, and the offense should carry a little more sting.
With his two best quarterbacks gone, Coach Ed Merrick must feel like a man trying to drive a car without a steering wheel. He has, however, Mel Rideout and Dick Curl, and they may give his split-T the direction it needs. When the Spiders want to shift into high, they will call on Captain John Boggs and Jim McGinnis, a pair of stomping fullbacks who can slam up the middle. Earl Stoudt, Don Ridenhour and Art D'Arrigo are proved halfbacks and will round out a balanced running attack. Thirteen of the 19 missing lettermen were linemen, and the major loss was All-Southern-Conference Tackle Pat Lamberti. Still, there will be enough talented players on the line to dent the opposition. Among these are Tackle Bob Buffman, a 245-pounder, and Center Don Christman, 215 pounds, both of whom are agile and explosive and among the best in the league. Bob Coolbaugh, a dandy two-way performer, and Art McGee are rangy and rugged ends, but they will need replacements.