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September 22, 1953 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1953-09-22

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by Paul Greenberg

Novem ber

mmommoommomm moommo .

. . *


T est

Gridde rs

. * *

yELLOW MUMS, SILVER FLASKS and plaid foot-warmers are in
style again. Traditionally a part of the football scene, they have
begun to take their annual fall spot in store window displays across
the nation-making it all quite obvious that the big pigskin parade is
on its way. But the real keen, deep-dyed grid fan saw the season com-
ing a good ways back.
He analyzed the 1953 schedule at the end of last season's cam-
paign, figured the rough spots for his favorite team, analyzed what
graduation would cost and then settled back to watch what happened
in otger sports. Relaxing, watching the Yankees and Dodgers run
away with the big league baseball races the football fanatic almost
didn't realize what time it was until the avalanche of late-August
football-prognosticating magazines hit the local newsstand.
Baseball, tennis, golf, the entire remains of the athletic cal-
ender were swept into the background - King Football had
returned. And it was in this very same manner that we were jolted
back into the swing of the annual fall madness. It was Street and
Smith's picture-crammed grid publication that snapped us out of
our baseball kick.
Navy's patriotically-named guard "Ike" Eisenhauer rates as cover
boy for the Football Pictorial Yearbook, with a truly rugged grimace
for the photographer. But under the red cover came revelations galore
-and plenty for the Michigan grid enthusiast.
. * * * * .
An Old Friend Appears .. .
WHO SHOULD BE ENTRUSTED with rating the entire Mid-West
but that denizen of the areas press coops, Tommy Devine-known in
local circle and olverine wooer extroadinaire. Uncle Tommy figured
Michigan for a stprtling seventh. Startling because in other national
polls, the Wolverines were ranked 12th and 15th-trailing only Mich-
igan State and Ohio State of the Western Conference.
It's natural that MSC and OSU draw one-two rating considering
their great power and depth and the superlative coaching of Messrs.
Biggie Munn and Woody Hayes. The Buckeyes have an entire line
that could be All-American, plus some fine backs in T-master Johnny
Borton, and soph halts Howard (Hopalong) Cassady and Jerry Hark-
rader. Up in Spartanville they're working on a 24-game winning streak
and they have a potent outfit that could well go undefeated and take
the Conference crown in its first year of Big Ten grid competition.
Munn's complaints about two-way football fall sour when you take a
glance at the list of his 21 returning lettermen-each good enough to
make a les fortunate mentors mouth water.
But Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin present four
different stories. The Illini rated as universal number one confer-
ence choice last year and they cracked under the burden of their
press notices and some early season injuries--now with merely a
shadow of the squad they had last year (losses including the
Tommy O'Connell-Rex Smith passing combination), it seems cred-
ulous that they be rated as one of the real rugged units in the
Big Ten.
Purdue too is minus a "big" passing combo-graduation having
claimed Dale Samuels and All-American end Bernie Flowers, and
this seems to leave the Boilermakers from Lafayette just about punch-
less on offensive although they still are strong in the line.
* C * *
That Giel's here Again. .*,
GIELOSOTA IS JUST THAT-the Gophers had a one man club
last year and rumor has it that no great new talent - aded
the Minneapolis campus. No matter how great brother Pa .ad he
sure is fabulous, the Big Ten isn't going to be pushed aroui o y repu-
tations the way Kazmaier shover around the Ivy Loop.
Wisconsin, to be remembered as the Western Conference repre-
sentative that LOST in the Rose Bowl, doesn't have the team it had
last season-Alan "the Horse" Ameche is still crushing bones, but leg
injuries to the Badgers ex-Michiganite quarterback Jim Haluska and
potential All-American end Don Voss have dampened the scene on
the shores of Lake Mendota. That Badger line doesn't exactly frighten
opposing ball carriers either.
Everybody agrees that Iowa, Indiana and Northwestern will
trail the pack-but as for Michigan, well let's look at the Wolve-
rines. The Maize and Blue lost some hard-to-replace guys like Ben
Pederson, Lowell Perry, Bob Timm and Roger Zatkoff, but some
good reserves have appeared and if it weren't for the football fac-
tory at East Lansing and one of the strongest squads that Colum-
bus Ohio has seen in a long time, the Wolverines would probably
rate as logical choice for the number one spot.
The eternal question marks are there to be sure, this year locating
themselves at quarterback and linebacker. The pivotal figure here is
a stocky Akron, Ohio sophomore Lou Baldacci who is first in line
for the signal-calling role and for one of the linebacking spots-Bal-
dacci has size and plently of ability, but should he fall short of the
mark Bill McKinley, another sophomore, junior Duncan McDonald
and senior Ray Kenaga will all be around to fill the breech.I
Nobody Back to Lineback .o.

ACTUALLY THIS IS the first season that the Wolverines find them-
selves without at least one experienced linebacker-there had al-
ways been one holdover to show the other man the ropes-extending
in a line that included Dan Dworsky, Dick Kempthorn, Tony Momsen,
Roger Zatkoff, Ted Topor and Laurie LeClaire. But when Zatkoff and
LeClaire left, there was nobody.
Right now it looks like Baldacci and center Dick O'Shaugh-
nessy and if they don't work John Morrow, Dick Balshizer and
McKinley shape up as other possibilities. Aside from the two so-
called "sore" spots the team looks good and solid--the pass defense
is slightly improved over last season, the line strong from end to
end and there isn't a finer balanced backfield anywhere than the
Baldacci-Ted Kress-Dick Balshizer-Tony Branoff unit.
All can pass and run, Branoff and Baldacci both rate as good
punters and if Kress can learn to hold onto the pigskin and Baldacci
can come through in the style that his coaches know he's capable of,
they'll all have to "watch out for the Wolverines."

Varsity mill
Play Six Big
Ten Teams
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan's 1953 football sched-
ule is one of extreme contrasts.
The beginning, with four con-
secutive home games against aver-
age competition, offers an excel-
lent opportunity for the coaches
to bring the team along to its
proper peak.
THIS PEAK will have to be
reached before mid-season, how-
ever, because starting with the
Minnesotahgame andrcontinuing
through the last four weeks of
the campaign, the varsity will face
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan
State and Ohio State.
Those last two games should
present the greatest challenges to
the winning of a conference
championship. Both the Spar-
tans and Buckeyes are rated as
top choices to win the Big Ten
title. Playing them on successive
Saturdays will be the supreme
test of the 1953 Michigan team.
The University of Washington,
playing its first season under new
coach John Cherberg, will open the
season at the Stadium on Sep-
tember 26. The Huskies have car-
ried on football relations with
Minnesota and Illinois in the past,
but this marks their first appear-
ance on the Michigan schedule.
* * *
T ULANE will follow Washing-
ton into the Stadium, and will
furnish ichigan's first Southern
football opposition since 1934. The
Green Wave gave the great
Georgia Tech team one of its
toughest games last year, and is
expected to be much improved in
Forest Evashevski will bring
his Iowa team into Ann Arbor
on October 10 to open the BigI
Ten season for the Wolverines.

Evashevski, who gained fame as
the blocking back for Tom Har-#
mon on the Michigan teams just
before World War II, has been
rebuilding the run-down Hawk-
eye grid machine. Iowa while
not a contender for the title is
always capable of playing at
least one standout game in a
season. Last year the game was
against Ohio State and the
Hawkeyes pulled the upset of
the year with an 8-0 victory.
Northwestern will present an
improved team and will be Mich,-
igan's fourth straight home op-
ponent on October 17. The Wild-
cat still smarting from last year's
48-14 drubbing handed them by
the Wolverines will be out for re-!
venge. The last time (1951) Coach
Bob Voights brought a team into
Michigan Stadium it upset the
Maize and Blue 6-0.
* * *
WHEN MICHIGAN journeys to
Minneapolis to face the Minnesota'
Gophers it will mark the 50th an-
niversary of the first "Little Brown
Jug" game. The Wolverines have
held the famed trophy since 1943,
and Minnesota, with All-America
tailback Paul Giel carrying its
hopes for a championship, should
be primed to take it back. This is
the first away game for the var-
sity, which in itself stamps the
contest as the first major test of
the season. Minnesota is consid-
ered a definite th reat in the race
for the coveted "Championship of
the West."
The Homecoming game will be

very successful, winning 25 of the
games, but in the last three sea-
sons, Illinois has fashioned vic-
tories. A veteran line will make the
Illini tough again this season, but
they do not appear to have enough
scoring power to carry them
through to the title. The gradua-
tion of the great aerial duo of
passer 'Im O'Connell and end
Rex Smith seems to have deprived
Illinois of its offense.
* * *
EAST LANSING'S Macklin Field
will be the scene of one of the
key games of the Big Ten schedule
when on the 14th of November,
the two great intra-state rivals
Michigan and Michigan State
clash on the gridiron. Biggie
Munn's Sartans are as good as
last year's national champions, and
the only question mark about 1953
is the strength of their opposition.
Michigan and Ohio State are both
improved and will have to be de-
feated on successive weekends if
the Spartans are to win a title in
their first conference football sea-
son. -
Michigan will conclude the
season against its traditional foe

Ohio State in Ann Arbor. Last
year, as a partisan crowd of
80,000 roared its approval in
the big, double-decked horse-
shoe at Columbus, the Buckeyes
ruined Michigan's title dreams
with a stunning 27-7 defeat.
Coach Woody Hayess Bucks were
probably the strongest team in
the conference at the end of
the season, but because of early
reversals at the hands of Pur-
due and Iowa, they were denied
the championship.
Ohio State has one of the best
lines in the nation, a superb passer
in quarterback John Borton, and
a great broken field runner in
Howard "Hopalong" Cassidy. The
line is the key to Ohio's high pre-
season rating, and there is a good
chance that more than one of its
members will be on the All-Amer-
ica team.
An overall view of the Michigan
schedule shows it to be made to
order for bringing a team along
to its proper peak, but the con-
clusion is so difficult that it -re-
mains to be seen whether any
team, no matter how highly keyed,
can weather the late-season storm.

. . .season number six . . . leads Wolverines
* * * , * *

with the University of Pennsyl-
vania on the final day of Octo-
ber. The Quakers, once a regu-
lar entry on the Michigan sched-
ule, are making their first ap-
pearance against the Maize and
Blue since 1944, at which time
they were demolished by one of
Fritz Crisler's wartime teams,
41-19. Penn is engaging some
top-drawer gridiron opposition
this autumn, what with Ohio
115 W. Liberty-Near Main

State, California and Notre
Dame lining up against the boys
from Franklin Field.
When Coach Bennie Oosterbaan
brings his team into the camp of
the Fighting Illini on November
7th, it will mark the 39th meeting
in an ancient rivalry that dates
back to 1894. Michigan has been



.. . ...



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