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If the Grizzlies win two games this year, they will have improved 100%. The chances are they will win more. Coach Ray Jenkins feels he has reasons to be encouraged. He loses but two regulars, End John Lands and Right Halfback Hank Greminger, and has strengthened his lineup by moving Jim Harris to end and sophomore Steve Wood to halfback. The line, built about the sharp, bruising play of 230-pound Tackle John Gregor, will be buttressed by 220-pound transfer Tackle Ed Herber and Sophomore Guard Jim Bartell. Ends Jim Harris and Howard Schwend, both 6-foot-3 200-pounders, make tall, quick-moving targets for the high, hard tosses of Quarterbacks Bob O'Billovich and John Schulz, who passed for nearly 1,200 yards last year, Schulz completing more and O'Billovich having fewer interceptions. Backfield speed appears greatly improved with Sophomores Terry Dillon, Steve Wood and Pat Dodson complementing the power sprints of Junior Halfback Jim Grasky.
The Ducks had their chance last year and came within 11 points of a perfect season and a trip to the Rose Bowl, losing to Washington by one point and to Oregon State by eight. But now 13 lettermen are gone, eight of them starters. Coach Len Casanova most likely will modify his offensive to adjust to a bulkier line (the average is 10 pounds more), which is better equipped to hold the blocks. Complicating matters is the fact that only one lineman, Guard Dave Urell, started last year. Two sophomores have won starting assignments: Steve Barnett, 225 pounds, teams up with Senior Riley Mattson, 232 pounds, while Linebacker Bill Swain pushes aside Joe Clesceri at center. The offense is good. Quarterback Dave Grosz, a fine hand at hitting downfield receivers (he passed for 865 yards and eight touchdowns in 1959), has Paul Bauge, 6 feet 2, and Kent Peterson to aim at over the middle, and Halfbacks Cleveland Jones (17 catches last year) and Dave Grayson (9.7 speed for the 100) outside and deep.
In the past two years Coach Tom Prothro has learned a lesson—the single wing can't move on legs alone. With good passing, the Beavers led the old Pacific Coast Conference in 1956, were cochampions in 1957. The next two years, 20% less effective in the air, they fell from the top. Now State has an arm again, and things are looking up. It belongs to long, lean Sophomore Tailback Terry Baker, and he can throw to fine ball-scooping Ends Aaron Thomas and George Thompson and Wingback Art Gilmore. Prothro, meanwhile, has given his single wing a belly series, along with fullback spinners and wingback reverses. Junior college transfer Hank Rivera, a wild horse runner, handles the new fullback chores. Defensively, the squad appears stronger, with 240-pound Tackle Neil Plumley moving up to first string and Junior Guards Denny Pieters and John Cadwell more certain after baptism in last year's games. The defense had better be better—the schedule has few breathers.
SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose calls itself the Spartans, and this year, as last, the description is apt. The interior line play and the linebacking are no firmer than last year's, which gave up 1,944 yards rushing, and there are few likely prospects in the offing who can change matters. Instead, Coach Bob Titchenal must make do with lightweight guard reserves Herb Yamasaki and Dick Erler. At tackle, the regulars and their fill-ins have graduated, leaving an unlettered 250-pound senior, Herschel Sanders, and a 225-pound transfer, Jack Woodward to fill the gaps. They have the size but not the touch. The ends, fortunately, are good. Claire Appledoorn and Jim Cadile catch passes with skill (they caught 23 last year) and turn in wide plays with crisp tackles. This had been a passing team the last two years, but Emmett Lee, the quarterback, is gone. The likeliest replacement is Chon Gallegos, who, in limited action, had 13 completions out of 27 passes, but also nine interceptions, making him almost as valuable to the enemy.
The skies rain footballs when Stanford takes to the field, and most of them (57.3% last year) come to rest in friendly hands. The Indians in 1959 had no difficulty scoring, averaging 23.2 points a game, but neither did their opponents, who averaged 26.1 points, enough to win. The middle of the line, led by Guards Ron Fernandes and Errol Scott and Center Doug Pursell, has set into a grimmer, more determined mold. But from here Coach Jack Curtice's performers fall off to unseasoned sophomores and game-legged seniors. Stanford's offense, even with Dick Norman's accurate passes, probably will slacken off. Norman, who completed 152 of 263 forwards last year with only 12 interceptions, hasn't the exceptional ends and flanker to throw to in 1960. The backfield, too, is not fast, although Fullback Skip Face, with 100 points, the second highest scorer in the nation in 1959, is back along with Halfbacks Rick McMillen and Mac Wylie, who rushed 4.4 yards a carry despite his lack of speed.