CONCLUSION: The Wildcats' defense is staunch enough to contain Yankee rivals. The offense, though, will scare nobody.
After two years in the Ivy League cellar, the Quakers are cautiously optimistic. And why not? Twenty-three lettermen, including all the tenacious specialists who led the nation in pass defense in 1961, are back. With such an affluence of material, it is reasonable to expect that Penn will be more formidable. But Coach John Stiegman's optimism is tempered by several hard facts. His interior line suffered severely when Tackle Nick Robak decided to enter the priesthood and scrappy Guard Mike Branca gave up football. Except for experienced End Ron Alls-house, the flanks are vulnerable and Stiegman desperately needs a passer to move his single wing. Fullback Dick Detwiler and Tailback John Owens, a restless sprinter who can sift through the tackle holes or scoot on wide sweeps with equal alacrity, give the Quakers more than enough running, but Owens' passes too often flutter like shuttlecocks.
CONCLUSION: Even with an abundance of seasoned hands, the Quakers will have trouble in their well-balanced league.
The Nittany Lions, who struck a loud blow for eastern football when they manhandled Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl last December, are well fortified to defend their Lambert Trophy honors. Few will run through or around 220-pound End Dave Robinson, an authentic All-America, 245-pound Tackle Charlie Sieminski or 230-pound Harrison Rosdahl. Joe Galardi, moved from guard, will fill the vacant center hole. Coach Rip Engle, who prides himself on his multiple T offense, has a few new tricks up his sleeve. For one thing, he will use an open end and man in motion to spread the defense. This will give Left Half Roger Kochman more opportunity to explode to the outside, while Right Half Al Gursky and alternating Fullbacks Dave Hayes and Buddy Torris shred the middle. Engle's big worry is finding a quarterback to replace Galen Hall. The best bet is Don Caum, an adept roll-out runner and adequate passer.
CONCLUSION: Lacking an outstanding quarterback, Engle is wary, but the Lions will be the best in the East—if they can beat Navy.
Last year's Panthers were overrun (for 1,780 yards), overpassed (for 13 touchdowns) and overscored (by 64 points). The whole business so distressed Coach John Michelosen that he turned to the gang-up defense that new assistant Frank Lauterbur brought from Army. If the ends can shepherd opposing backs inside, where Tackles Gary Kaltenbach, a fierce-hitting 237-pounder, and Ed Adamchik, 226, and forceful Linebackers Tom Brown and Lou Slaby can batter them, the defense should be surer. Michelosen also has tried to brighten up his normally staid wing T. With Jim Traficant, a good passer who can't run, and sophomore Fred Mazurek, a showy runner who passes only moderately well, available at quarterback, he has moved Paul Martha to flanker back to take advantage of his speed and pass-catching ability. Hopefully there will be more room now inside for Fullback Rick Leeson's line plunges.
CONCLUSION: A more harassing defense and, at last, some outside speed will make Pitt formidable—but, oh, that schedule!