CONCLUSION: Strong all the way around, Purdue will spring no big upsets this year. The team is no longer an underdog.
When Toledo cannot wear out opponents physically, it wears them out mentally. If Coach Clive Rush's equal alternate teams don't have enemy chinstraps dragging by the third period, Rush will bedevil them with 23 different formations. Whether contused or confused, no team beat Toledo in the second half last year. Had the Rockets scored more than a season total of 30 points in the first half, they might have won more than three games. But Rush thinks he has the answer: better players. At end there are Bob Smith and Jim Thibert, already drafted by the pros. A big, fast line features Tackles Ed Scrutchins and Wynn Lembright, Guards Jim Bogdalek and Ron Klotz, and Centers Bruce Bachtel and Ron Dandurand. Quarterback Butch Yenrick gained 945 yards last year and sophomore Dan Simrell may become as good. Fullback Frank Baker has rushed 1,115 yards, 4.8 per carry. Only at halfback are the Rockets shallow.
CONCLUSION: Even in the well-balanced Mid-American Conference, Coach Rush should show improvement.
As its name—Hurricane—implies, Tulsa is big, strong and aerial and should inflict considerable damage before the season ends The Hurricanes have, for instance, two new fast-moving twisters in sophomore Mike Gibbons, an end, and Jeff Jordan, a versatile back. Guard Ken Reed (230 pounds) is the best lineman Coach Glenn Dobbs has ever seen, but equally big Tackle Tony Liscio is not that far behind him. In the backfield a whole new quartet—junior college All-America Quarterback Billy Anderson, Tailback Ken Boone, Wingback Stu Stewart and sophomore Fullback Rich Smithwick—has breezed past five returnees, each of whom rushed for more than 100 yards in 1961. Excellent as the ground game will be, the passing will be better. All four 1961 quarterbacks, who completed 76 of 183 forwards for 816 yards, are back—behind, of course, Anderson and Stu McBirnie, who are even better at the Southwest razzle-dazzle game.
CONCLUSION: With better talent and enthusiasm, the Tulsa low-pressure area seems to be cranking up considerable velocity.
Western Michigan is a soft, warm land of lakes, gardens and orchards. Not all is cherry plucking and tulip growing in Kalamazoo, however. They play football there as taught by Merle Schlosser, which is well taught indeed. Last year the Broncos finished 4-1-1 in the Mid-American Conference. Twenty-three of that team return and only nine are gone, but those nine include Quarterback Ed Chlebek (73 of 129 passes for 1,109 yards and nine touchdowns in 1961); Bob White, who gained 441 yards; nascent pro Tackle John Lomakoski, and Linebacker Mike Snodgrass. Guard Pat Emerick, who led Western Michigan with 56 tackles, is back but the next four defenders aren't. Help must come from a good but unremarkable two-way line. Allen Schau at end is a good pass catcher and Bill Schlee a hard-driving fullback, but Halfbacks Jim Bednar and Karl Toth and Quarterback Roger Theder will be pushed hard by some fast sophomores.
CONCLUSION: Western has plenty of depth but not enough stature. Life, the Broncos will find, is not always a bowl of cherries.