When an opening game crowd files slowly into the Stadium this afternoon to inaugurate the seventy-third season in Crimson gridiron history, the visiting team for the first-time will be provided by Western Maryland College. The kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 o'clock, with football and musical entertainment being provided for the patrons by scholars of both institutions.
As usual, Dick Harlow has a few surprises for his aficionados in releasing his starting lineup yesterday. For one thing, Nick Rodis has returned to his 1946 guard position, vacated at the start of the season when he was groomed first at tackle and then at center. At present, Nick is ready to serve either at guard or center.
Starting in Nick's place in the middle of the line is Don Stone, second-string Jayvee of last fall, while at end, along with Walt Coulson, will be two-year letterman Bob Kennedy. The rest of the lineup runs along the lines of the Boston College scrimmage and forecasts earlier this week.
For those who like to compare weights, the Crimson from end to end will exceed its opponents by several pounds to the man. It will include nine lettermen from last fall's team, not the least of whom are plunging fullback Captain Vince Moravec and left-handed running passer Chip Gannon.
Focus of attention for Crimson supporters may well be quarterback Keb O'Donnell, last fall limited by an injury to defensive work only. Interest will also center on youthful running-passer Jim Kenary who will try his hand as Gannon's counterpart to the right.
The visitors sent three full teams into the Stadium yesterday afternoon to hold their final practice before actual combat. Following their retreat into Dillon Field House. Dick Harlow sent his clean-uniformed forces onto the same gridiron to pose for pictures and run through plays. If the opposition today is half as ferocious as the cameraman they faced yesterday, the game ought to be in the bag.
One point of fact, given in complete impartiality, is essential to an appreciation of the pre-game standing of the two teams. The World Almanac of 147, in giving the student attendance of United States Colleges, lists in part; "Harvard 4.028: Western Maryland 575." There is perhaps no more eloquent evaluation of the odds which as underdogs, the visitors must overcome.
The probable starting lineups: