Zane Grey could have written last year's road history of Florida State. Four of the five times the Seminoles strayed from the reservation they were massacred. The fifth time they drew. This year's team is being called the school's finest, but it meets Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Auburn, Miami and Kentucky—all away. State should be ambushed good and plenty. The line lacks major size and strength, particularly at the tackles. At ends, John Wachtel and John McConnaughhay have shown defensive stability but only the barest aptitude for running successful pass patterns. Hardest to dent is the middle, backed by superb Guard Gene McDowell, who in a single game last year made 17 unaided tackles. Coach Bill Peterson has slick sleight-of-hand Quarterback Ed Feely, and burly Back Keith Kinderman can make the tough yards needed for the first down. The backfield, however, has no breakaway speed.
CONCLUSION: With that road schedule, even good sophomores won't help the Seminoles beyond a fifty-fifty season.
In an era of immodest, flashy offenses, Coach Bob King, a modest, undemonstrative man, says: "We'll run a little and pass a little." Not a coach's characteristic poor-mouthing, this is King's realistic analysis of a team whose strength is in balance rather than brilliance. The squad has ability if little experience in its backfield; only Left Halfback John Cook played as a regular last season. The others. Quarterback Elton Brunty, Right Halfback Sam Pickens and Fullback George Rapinchuk, were only briefly exposed in 1961's games. Even so, they will move the ball well—for short gains at least—if the burly line continues to make those strong, certain blocks. Fundamentalists at heart, the Paladins prefer defense to offense, and on a squad well grounded in the art of tackling and the efficacy of hounding passers and pass catchers, no one is more able than the pair of 240-pound tackles, Olin Hill and Joe Monti.
CONCLUSION: Heavy on defense, light on offense, Furman may still score enough to win all but two games.
With lettermen at every position, the Colonials are reasonably hopeful of improving on their lamentable 3-6 effort of last year. Halfback Dick Drummond, the leading interpreter of Coach Jim Camp's cut-and-run offense, is ably abetted by Halfback Bill Pashe and Fullback Jim Johnson, who are dedicated to making the backfield both durable and fast. The three form the nucleus of what is essentially a running team. The line, with plenty of good reserves behind the very solid middle manned by Center George Stone and Guards Gary Scollick and Art Gubitosa, unfortunately suffers from some obvious weaknesses. Several linemen were shifted to gain more reserve oomph at the tackles, but the moves didn't help the end situation, which remains wobbly. Nor did they clear up the tackle situation, which also is somewhat snaffled. There is hope, though, in sophomores Ray Cushman, a big man at 230 pounds, and Michigan transfer Don Periello.
CONCLUSION: Mentally tough, the Colonials need only a brace of additional backfield starters to be as rugged on the field.
Coach John Griffith will be satisfied with as little as modest success. But even this seems beyond the ability of his defanged Bulldogs. With 14 lettermen gone—six of them starters—the team was further beset by a serious injury to a key player, Len Hauss. Without the 220-pound center, the interior line woefully lacks depth and experience. Only at end, where he has Mickey Babb (6 feet 4, 227 pounds) and Ray Clark (212 pounds), can Griffith derive any comfort. Both men loom large in Georgia's T formation, concentrated as it is on the passing of Quarterback Larry Rakestraw (68 completions for 710 yards and 131 yards rushing in 1961). The halfbacks are undistinguished, but the running game may improve if 196-pound sophomore Fred Barber makes the switch from half to fullback successfully. All three of Georgia's victories last year came on field goals by Durward Pennington. He is gone. His loss may be the most critical of all.