CONCLUSION: State meets its most dangerous foes at home—and Ohio State not at all. The gloom looks more like a gleam.
Minnesota high schools turn out a lot of huge football players, for whom Coach Murray Warmath has relatively exclusive hunting rights. The problem is, they are slow and don't make particularly good trophies. To rectify matters, a couple of years ago War-math freighted in outlanders and two years running went to the Rose Bowl. Fully half of the imports—including Sandy Stephens—are gone. Warmath, however, has been left with more than a stiff upper lip. Big Halfback Bill Munsey (60 yards in 6.2) returns, as does aggressive End Bob Prawdzik. Best of all, the man-eating North Carolina tackles, Carl Eller and All-America Bob Bell, are back. Center Frank Marchlewski and Guard Bill Dallman look good, but they are both sophomores. The real rub is at quarterback. The position so depresses Warmath he may just ignore it, basing his offense on Halfbacks Munsey, Jim Cairns and Al Fischer, and hard-running Fullback Jerry Jones.
CONCLUSION: By the third game Warmath may be playing a wooden-eyed back named Paul and a blue-faced guard named Babe.
What was perhaps the finest interior line in the country—Bill Wegener, Paul Henley, Bill McCartney, Paul Garvis and All-America Ed Blaine—left Missouri this June. Gone, too, are a first-class halfback, Norm Beal, and Quarterback Ron Taylor. But these losses have left Coach Dan Devine remarkably dry-eyed. The current backfield, consisting of hard-running Halfback Bill Tobin, explosive Fullback Andy Russell (412 yards rushing for a 4.1 average last year) and two highly promising sophomores, Quarterback Keith Weber and Halfback Johnny Roland, are helping Devine bear up bravely. So are tough End Conrad Hitchler and Tackle Jerry Wallach, as well as a crop of splendid sophomores, including Fullback Gus Otto, Guard Joe Buerkle and Defensive Back Vince Tobin. Still Devine has his problems: the interior line is slow and he hasn't enough players to repeat last year's performance when the Tigers outscored their opponents 124-57.
CONCLUSION: Relatively phlegmatic for a coach, Devine will shrug off Mizzou's losses and build an excellent, unspectacular team.
Last year Nebraska was outrushed 1,864 yards to 1,404, outpassed 800 to 651, out-scored 135 to 119. Nebraskans were outraged, and old Coach Bill Jennings was let out. In—as new coach—is Bob Devaney from Wyoming, his future sweetened by the return of eight starters and 25 of 34 lettermen. Devaney might prefer more talent at center and linebacker or more line speed, but his problems stop there. Ends Jim Huge and Larry Tomlinson are improved. Not particularly fast, Guards Dwain Carlson and John Kirby and Tackles Gary Toogood and Lloyd Voss nevertheless are big and strong. One of the best anywhere, Fullback Bill Thornton made 618 yards (4.9 per try) and five touchdowns last year. Rudy Johnson (193 yards, 4.7 average) starts at halfback again, as would Willie Ross (198, 4.4) were it not for power-running transfer Dave Theisen. Directing the new multiple offense is Dennis Claridge, who punts as well as he passes.
CONCLUSION: Devaney has Mike Koehler, Jim Thorpe's grandson, but it will take a tribe of Thorpes to ambush the Big Eight.