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A YEAR FOR STRATEGIC FINESSE
Mervin Hyman
September 24, 1962
Navy depends on offense, Army on defense, but Penn State has enough of both to be the best in the East
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September 24, 1962

A Year For Strategic Finesse

Navy depends on offense, Army on defense, but Penn State has enough of both to be the best in the East

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Buffalo

Convinced by two losing seasons that his Bulls can't win on passing alone, Coach Dick Offenhamer has discarded his pro-type split T for the more versatile wing T. With 23 lettermen back, including a bevy of fast backs and two seasoned lines, the Bulls are well prepared to run. Halfbacks Bob Baker, who specialized in pass catching (he grabbed 23 last year), and Gerry Ratkewicz give them the outside speed they need, while Fullback Jack Valentic, a stubby plunger, is expert at his specialty. Like an only half-reformed chain smoker, Buffalo will sneak in a pass now and then. It should, so long as it has "Long John" Stofa around. He is a lean, 6-foot-3 junior quarterback who completed 64 of 127 passes for 807 yards in 1961. The defense will be sturdier than last year's, especially when Tackles Gerry (King Kong) Philbin and Kevin Brinkworth and Center Jim Wick are in the game. Not particularly big, they nevertheless pack a wallop.

CONCLUSION: Two deep except at guard, the Bulls can't help winning more games than they did in 1961.

Colgate

Colgate men were properly chagrined when Coach Alva Kelley, who had shown signs of putting the raid back into the Red Raiders, unexpectedly retired last February. Now there is new hope. Hal Lahar, an old Chenango Valley favorite, is back after a five-year sabbatical at Houston, and he brings with him a devotion to pure defense. However, Lahar will find more enthusiasm than skill among the 13 returning lettermen, and, except for Tom McManamy, a rugged 217-pound tackle, and End Chris Lomas, his first line will be a crazy quilt of sophomores and last year's second-stringers. There are fewer worries in the backfield. Quarterback Dan Keating tends to splatter his passes but he runs well enough to make the roll-out an effective weapon in Lahar's slot and wing T, and experienced Halfbacks Jim Hellman and Jim Deegan are dependable, if not showy, runners. The big worry is at fullback. There just isn't a good one in sight.

CONCLUSION: Soft in the middle and skimpy in linebacking, the Raiders may win some skirmishes but not too many battles.

Columbia

It took Coach Buff Donelli five long years to build a winner and just a couple of hours to graduate it. Tom Haggerty, Russ Warren and Tom Vasell, who gained more than a mile from scrimmage and accounted for 21 touchdowns, are gone. Only two starters remain—Guard Tony Day and Fullback Tom O'Connor. Donelli will refurbish his backfield with Archie Roberts Jr., a gifted sophomore quarterback, who, they say, passes like a pro, runs like a halfback and booms his punts 60 yards. With O'Connor available to handle the inside slashing, the big job will be to find able halfbacks to complement Roberts' abundant talents in Donelli's tricky wing T. Lackaday, Mike Hassan, a skittery runner, is the only one around with any real experience. Even so, the real worries are in the line, where the pickings are lean indeed. The best bets: End Ron Drotos; Lou Asack, 240-pound "little" brother of all-East Tackle Bob; and Jack Strauch, a sophomore linebacker.

CONCLUSION: The Lions have suffered too many casualties, especially on defense, to avoid a return to mediocrity.

Connecticut

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