FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1965
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1965 THE MICHIGAN DAILY PAfIII ~TTh21P
- ~'Sl *la41 -
Everchanging Formations Improve Football Play
By HOWARD KOHN
Did someone mention vicious
Football formations have been
in one ever since a rebel rugby
player picked up the ball and ran
with it instead of kicking it. That
was the impetus for the game of
football and the beginning of a
drama-studded evolution of dif-
ferent offensive and defensive for-
"The offense must always stay
one jump ahead of the defense,"
offensive line coach Tony Mason
points out. "A formation loses its
value when the defense finds an
Football was originally based on
running plays - using them and
stopping them. The offensive team
lined up in the traditional "T"
formation with seven men on the
line, the quarterback directly be-
hind the center and the three
backs in the backfield parallel to
Emphasis was placed not on
diversity of attack but on power.
The snap from center, the hand-
off and velocity vs. impenetra-
The "T"-based attack hit its
peak in the Fielding H. Yost era
of the early 1900's, when a bullish
Michigan eleven dominated the
The rock 'em-sock 'em strategy
had one serious drawback, how-
ever. The human machines were
continually in the shop for repair.
The toll of injuries became a mat-
ter of national concern-so much
so that Teddy Roosevelt called a
conference to discuss the problem.
One of the revolutionary as-
pects (football-wise) that resulted
from the conference was the for-
ward pass and the subsequent
Many coaches and critics were
aghast at this proposal to "ruin"
the game. But when pint-size
quarterbacks began connecting on
touchdown pitches to fleet-footed
ends, the coup was over and the
bodycrushing backs were no longer
Mind over muscle was the new
The double wingback became
the new formation with the sig-
nal-caller standing several feet
behind the center with the backs
at his sides.
Oosterbaan to Friedman
Bennie Friedman and Bennie
Oosterbaan, Michigan's f a m e d
passing duo, and Don Hutson,
Minnesota's great receiver, starred
in the heyday of the forward pass.
For yardage on the ground, the
teams used the single wingback
with an unbalanced line and all
the backs shifted to one side.
But, as Mason explained, "the
defense remedied the situation
with a six-man line, cutting down1
both the passing and running1
And then George Halas and the+
Chicago Bears happened.]
Halas Turns Pro7
"Papa Bear" Halas, not one to
buck progress, eliminated the
wingback. Using the structural
nucleus of the old "T" formation,
he innovated the pro offense of
An intersquad swimming
meet will be held Saturday
afternoon in the Matt Mann
Pool with members of the
freshman and varsity squads
competing. It's the first and last'
time that admission to a swim-
ming meet will be free, so stu-
dents are urged to attend. The
meet begins directly after the
conclusion of the Michigan
football game against garrulous
"Woody" Hayes and his Ohio
flankers, men in motion, and split
On the college level, the news
of the Halas refinements spread
like news about the latest increase
in the draft. Clark Shaughnessy
of Chicago U, Ralph Jones of Lake
Forest and Knute Rockne at
Notre Dame championed the re-
vised "T"; and their winning
teams furnished good reasons for
a major change in the offensive
Wilkinson Innovates Split-T
Then in the early fifties, Bud
Wilkinson, coach of the Oklahoma
team that set the national col-
legiate record for consecutive vic-
tories, initiated his own version of
the modified "T." Wilkinson es-
tablished the split-T with the
quarterback running the option
play. His "three in one" option
had unparalleled success, UNTIL
the defense caught up again.
Ironically, Wilkinson himself
was responsible for creating the
five-four defense that eradicated
the dominance of the split-T.
Since then, the wing-T of Forest
Evashevski has made the scene,
along with similar variations. Once
again, the six-man defensive line
has put the clamps on.
The current trend, according to
Mason, is toward the pro-type of-
fense with various combinations
of the men in motion and flanker
theories. "Notre Dame's four-man
line seems to be about best defen-
sive formation to guard against
the infinite variety of pro plays."
He describes Michigan as "a
wide-open team which drops men
off the line for one play and puts
two ends on one side of the line
on the next." Last year, the Wol-
verines created the fullback option
play around Mel Anthony with
the one-handed pitchout. This
year, four of the other Big Ten
schools are using the same play.
Offense seems to have reached
another optima, as evidenced by
the echo of broken passing and
rushing records falling from time-
honored pedestals. Still, the un-
relenting defense is impossible to
Tigers Step Backward
Princeton, after experimenting
with the "T" variations for a short
Michigan's Judo Club will
hold a promotional exhibition
Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in
the Wrestling Room of the I-M
Building. Spectators are wel-
time, is again using the wingback.
The cycle continues, but as Tony
Mason emphasises, "The best for-
mation is to use thebest 11 play-
ers, no matter where you locate
them. If you have the best, you're
going to win."
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Versalles Wins MYP Award
SPORTS NIGHT EDITOR:
By The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS - ST. PAUL -
Zoilo Versalles, who leaped out
of Minnesota Manager Sam Me-
le's doghouse last spring to fire
the Twins to the American League
pennant, was named yesterday as
the loop's most valuable player.
Winning the highest individual
honor a baseball player can re-
ceive climaxed an effort by Ver-
salles to wipe out the embar-
rassment of a $300 fine imposed
last:April by Mele when the pep-
pery shortstop challenged the
Versalles far outdistanced team-
mate Tony Oliva in the American
League MVP balloting.
Versalles had 19 of 20 first
place votes by a selection com-
mittee of the Baseball Writers As-
sociation of America and totaled
275 points. Oliva, who retained
championship in his sophomore
season, got the other place vote,
and had 174 points.
Brooks Robinson of Baltimore
was third with 150 and Chicago
relief pitcher Eddie Fisher was
fourth with 122.
York Mets yesterday, succeeding
Casey Stengel, who retired.
Westrum, who took over as in-
terim manager when Stengel frac-
tured his left hip July 25, was
given a one-year contract. The
announcement followed a meeting
of the Mets' board of directors.
President feorge Weiss said the
decision of the board was unani-
mous. Mrs. Joan Payson, owner
of the Mets, was informed of the
decision in Paris, where she is
Under the former major league
catcher, the Mets won 19 games
and lost 48 fora .284 percentage.
They were 31-64, .326 under Sten-
Maple Leafs Win
MONTREAL-Larry Jeffrey fir-
ed in his first goal for Toronto
midway of the third period, snap-
ping a tie and leading the Maple
Leafs to a 3-1 victory over the
Montreal Canadiens last night In
a National Hockey League game.
The loss kept the Canadiens
from breaking out of a first-place
tie with Chicago. The victory lift-
ed Toronto to within one point
o fthird-place New York.
Baltimore Bullets late in the third
period to lead Baltimore to a
120-104 National Basketball As-
sociation victory last night.
Ohl crowded 12 of his game-
high total of 32 points and Logh-
ery tallied 6 of his 14 points in
the final eight minutes of the
third session as Baltimore pulled
away from the rallying New York-
The Bullets led throughout aft-
er notching the game's first three
field goals and ran out to a 35-
23 first-quarter advantage.
It's TIME to
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