WEST POINT, N.Y., Oct. 15--The Crimson Varsity invaded the inner sanctum of Army's football greatness this afternoon, working out for an hour on the turf of Michie Stadium before retiring to nearby Storm King school for the night.
Practice was confined to loosening-up exercises with brief workouts for the passing and kicking specialists, but the squad will have a lengthy strategy meeting on game plans tonight, with another scheduled for tomorrow morning before luncheon. Art Valpey is waiting for a look at the weather before the commits his squad to a definite type of game, but if today's skies were any indication it will be a perfect day for pitch-outs and passes.
Should it rain, the Crimson will cancel its aerial plans for a through-the-middle game, with large Paul Shafer spinning, but the coaching brain trust is hoping that it will not have to resort to this type of play, for the general pattern of practices this week has emphasized the wide-open, Columbia-game type of attack, with end-arounds and passes the keynote.
Offense is still the basis of the Michigan system, and Harvard will need plenty of it to outscore the Black Knights, who have a few tricks up their own braided sleeves. Gone is the bone-crusing line that spearheaded the forays of Davis and Blanchard, but Colonel Earl Blaik has lost none of his touch with the quick-opening T.
To execute his canny attack he has two fullbacks whose speed and finesse have enabled them to rack up 113 yards in three games for a total of 108 points as against 8 by their opponents.
The combination of Arnold Galiffa, Bobby Jack Stuart, Win Scott, and Rudy Cosentino has achieved a reputation approaching that of the great wartime backfield, and they are only one-half of Blaik's offensive potential. Jackie Cain, star of the alternate unit, is tied for Army's scoring lead, and mates Gil Stevenson, Jack Gillette, and Bill Depew all have statistical records that make then look like distance runners.
The forward wall is not to be depreciated either; while they are not much bigger than most of their ilk, they are fast enough to run interference for such men as Win Scott. All this adds up to a defensive problem for the Crimson, for fast-breaking plays can easily spell the death of a team which has already displayed many imperfections in this department.
Even to live up to the 19-point odds against them, the Crimson must show a new and better defense in the line, while to make it a ball game the offensive unit must regain and surpass its Columbia form.
If this much transpires, then one can begin to ruminate on an upset.