SI Vault
Mervin Hyman
September 19, 1960
Although widely divergent in moods, temperament and coaching styles, these dedicated and successful men have at least two things in common. They have made a career of coaching football in what is traditionally the most competitive section of the nation, and their ultimate goal is identical—to make their teams the very best.
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September 19, 1960

Big Men Of The Midwest

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Coach Woody Hayes has never before been called a daring experimenter, but he is about to discard iron-man football for the unlimited method of substitution. This dramatic departure stems from a simple fact: Ohio State no longer draws the brute, 60-minute-a-game players of the past and must develop a system suited to slighter, less durable athletes. While 22 lettermen will return, emphasis will be placed on sophomores, who will fill out the second and third platoons. Most counted on will be Sophomore Tackle Bob Vogel, a boyish 18-year-old who weighs in at 230, and End Bob Middleton, another 18-year-old stripling. Ahead of these on the first squad will be familiar backfield men Ron Houck at left half, Jim Herbstreit at right; husky Halfback Bob Ferguson, 217 pounds, will be platooned at fullback with Roger Detrick. Last year's starting quarterback, Tom Matte, offensive specialist, and Jerry Fields, a 209-pound defensive standout, will switch off as the occasion demands.

1959 RECORD: WON 7, LOST 3

Things have not been going well for Coach Bud Wilkinson lately: he lost a conference game last year, his first in 13 years, then the NCAA ruled the Sooners could profitably eschew Bowl games for the present. Smiling and affable as ever, Bud must be wincing just a bit underneath. Leg injuries have almost eliminated elusive Halfback Jim Carpenter and Guard Leon Cross; and Sophomore Bill Meacham, depended upon as a starter at halfback, had his knee operated on this spring. A third-string halfback, Bennett Watts, has been pushed into the starting quarterback role. Thus the attack will list heavily to running, and Fullback Ronnie Hartline, a 205-pound All-America candidate, is the man to watch. As always, Wilkinson will have a deadly defense, and if the Sooners are to be saved from disaster it is the linemen who will do it. Tackle Tom Cox chokes off wide plays to either side, Sophomore Duane Cook joins up with Karl Milstead at guard and Center Phil Louhmann to anchor a rock-solid line.

1959 RECORD: WON 6, LOST 4

State's timing could not be worse. The Cowboys play their first Big Eight schedule—and the roughest one they have seen in years—with a patched-up, rebuilt team. Coach Cliff Speegle lost seven regulars, and there are few sophomores coming along. The backfield has vanished, and there is a hole in the middle of the line. It is only at end and tackle that the home forces can nod happily. End Billy Dodson, the sharpest receiver on the team (21 catches in 1959), is back to team with George Walstad, a letterman, while hard-muscled Harold Beaty, 220 pounds, and Gary Cutsinger are tackles who have seen rough play. A sophomore, Billy York, slips into center, and rough-running Tom Jackson into halfback. Fullback Jim Dillard can continue to claim a monopoly on the running—last year he gained 582 yards rushing and added another 125 on 10 receptions. Quarterback John Maisel is admired for his imaginative straight-T calls, but he does not command respect for his scatter-armed passing.

1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 2, TIED 2

If Coach Jack Mollenkopf wears a secret smile this fall, it is because? he alone realizes that the unassuming Boilermakers may play in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. This is a quiet team that lost 23 lettermen, but still it has quality in depth. The first unit, with the exception of hard-running right Halfback Dan Donahue, is likely to be made up of all lettermen. The defensively quick line is backed up by Guards Stan Sczurek and All-America candidate Ron Maltony, and it can stop any offense. In Quarterback Bernie Allen, Purdue has a player who threw four touchdown passes last year, kicked 12 points after touchdown and one field goal, and averaged 27.6 yards on kickoff returns. Halfback Jim Tiller has the end-turning speed of a breakaway threat. Sophomores Tom Bloom and Bob Wiater are ready to take over when Tiller tires. Led by 222-pound Tackle Jerry Beabout, the starting offensive line is impressive, but without adequate reserves its stamina is questionable.

1959 RECORD: WON 2, LOST 6, TIED 1

Alarmed and embarrassed by the 2,629 yards rolled up by the opposition last year, Toledo called in Clive Rush, Woody Hayes's old defensive trouble-shooter, and made him head coach. Rush, with the 15 returning lettermen, is blessed with the raw stuff of success. He switched End Jack Campbell (230 pounds) to tackle. Willie Hancock (210 pounds) was a tackle. He is now a guard. Center Rick Zapsic (200 pounds) was a strong linebacking guard, and Guard Russ Hoogendoorn (203 pounds) a nimble bantam tackle. Add to Rush's shake-well treatment one sophomore, 230-pound Tackle Jim Bogdalek, and you have the makings of a defensive front. Offensively, Rush is still tinkering. He hasn't a running attack. His two returning lettermen gained less than 60 yards apiece in 1959. But Rush has got passing—most of it in the throwing arm of Senior Quarterback Jerry Stoltz, who completes about half of his tosses, and in the receiving hands of Bob Smith who scored five touchdowns in 1959.

1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 5

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