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There is neither razzle nor dazzle about the Oregon State offense, but sooner or later it tends to get to the end zone. It operates from a T with balanced and unbalanced lines and occasionally an I or a slot formation. This fall some pro offenses will be used just to confuse the opposition.
Quarterback Preece spent a hard spring trying to improve his passing, but he could hardly improve on the split-second liming that makes his work on the option play a thing of beauty. Preece knows exactly when to pitch out and when to keep the ball, and when he does keep it he runs very well. Halfbacks Don Summers and Billy Main handle the sweeps smoothly. In case all else fails and Preece decides to risk a pass or two, he will have a good receiver in Split End Roger Cantlon or sophomore Mike Biber, who might beat out Cantlon.
The big man, quite literally, in the OSU attack is Fullback Bill Enyart—they call him Earthquake—a 230-pound former linebacker who defected into the ranks of line buster. Enyart, a humanities major who has an excellent 3.81 academic average, tremored his way to 851 yards and eight touchdowns in 1967 and lost yardage only once in 201 carries. Andros says, "Everybody knows he is going to get the ball in tough situations, but what they don't know is which side he's going to hit." As befits a mover of men, Enyart is confident. "This is our year," he says. "I smell roses."
The offensive line is experienced, with Center John Didion, a 240-pounder, leading the way. With him are Roger Stalick and Kent Scott at the tackles, Clyde Smith and Rocky Rasley at the guards and Nick Rogers, who moved over from defensive tackle to play at tight end.
Though it is certain to lose Tackle Jess Lewis to the Olympics—he is a wrestler, as Purdue, UCLA and USC can attest—the Oregon State defense is strong, especially in the middle where Jon Sandstrom and 250-pound, 6'7" Bill Nelson take up a lot of space at the guards. Sandstrom was an All-America last year, and Nelson is nearly that good. Tackle Ron Boley is the only other returning starter up front, and Andros has had to make some position switches to fill the gaps. Jerry Belcher, a running back, is at end, while Mike Foote, who played end, has been moved to linebacker to team up with holdover Mike Groff.
If there is unrest in Mudville, as opposing coaches have called the Beavers' home ground, it concerns the pass defense. Andros does not like it when the other team throws the ball, either. OSU gave up 158 yards per game to opposition passers last season and it has the same defenders returning: Larry Rich, Charlie Olds and Don Whitney.
Because this team is so experienced, it may be able to avoid a problem that has hampered the Beavers for Andros' three years—a slow start. During this period the team has compiled a 5-9 early-season record and a late-season record of 14-1-1. "We've stayed up a lot of nights trying to figure out why," says Andros. In addition, the Beavers will be confronted with a difficulty that they are not accustomed to. With the Year of the Upset behind them, they won't be able to sneak up on any unwary foes.
"We'd better screw our heads on right, because it's harder to stay on top than get there," says Andros.
Last year OSU was a Cinderella team with a pumpkin for a coach. This year Cinderella is gone, but the pumpkin may still be magic.
9 OHIO STATE