Brown Football Team Has One Win in Six Tries
Zitrides, New Coach, Hampered by Slow Line, Tough Slate
Until last year, Brown hadn't won a football game in the Stadium since 1938. But Rip Engle's team gave its coach a going-away present in the form of a 28 to 14 victory to break the jinx.
Engle has now departed for the somewhat more fertile fields of Penn State, taking with him an eight and one season's record. His successor, Gregory "Gas" Zitrides, has had less success; the Bruins will enter today's game with only one victory in six tries.
The Bruins ran up a big score over Rhodo Island State (55 to 13), and gamely battled Colgate (34 to 35) and Rutgers (12 to 15), but were apparently quite outclassed and outrun by Yale (36 to 12), Holy Cross (41 to 21), Princeton (34 to 0), and Pennsylvania (50 to 0).
Zitrides, it should be noted, has had more troubles than just a fast schedule and a slow squad. For one thing, he was not appointed to replace Engle until spring practice was over. This, of course, prevented him from installing any new features until September.
Furthermore, Zitrides had lost eight of 11 backfield lettermen. He still had reliable veterans at quarterback (Walt Pastuzak) and fullback (Leon Beaulieu), but the halfback crop was so lean that Zitrides had to move end Bob MacConnell into the backfield. MacConnell has looked fairly good so far at right halfback. He does most of Brown's punting, and has averaged 38.7 yards a try, good enough to place him fifth in the Eastern Football Association.
MacConnell in the "X" back in Zitrides' (and Engle's) "X-T" formation. The "X-T" is a variation of the winged-T, with the right half either out as a wingback, or else in normal position, but turned at an angle from the usual stance facing the line.
In either case, the "X" back can be a man in motion; or he can slant across, receive a handoff from the quarterback, and go over the left tackle of Brown's balanced line.
On other plays, Pastuzak can pass, either to MacConnell or to ends Jim White and Frank Powers. Pastuzak is seconded by Dave Carter, a sophomore with great natural passing ability, but understandable lack of experience.
Beaulieu, 201-pound fullback, is dependable when in good physical shape, but a trick knee has had him in and out of the lineup. Vit Piscuskas, captain and quarterback of the freshman team last year, has been moved to fullback to spell Beaulieu.
Letterman Bob Lenker tops the list of left halfbacks, although the Brown coaches have great hopes for Lee Markoff, a sophomore who has speed enough to go all the way, if shaken loose.
In front of this better-than-average array, Zitrides, a former line coach himself, can assemble only a so-so, and definitely slow, forward wall.
Captain and right tackle Lloyd Hill is the best lineman on the squad, but he can, after all, play only one position at a time. Next to Hill, at right guard, is John Chernak, who showed so much promise two years ago that he was named to the Sophomore All-America team. But Chernak, though still good, has slumped badly over last season and this, and his decline has hurt the Bruin line.
Loss of graduated left tackle Gerard Walters also hampered Zitrides, although Gil Borjeson, star hammer-thrower for the track team, has improved greatly over the course of the season. At left guard Brown has John Pietre, a slow moving veteran. Center has proved another trouble spot, where Zitrides has been going along with Ed Sexton, an inexperienced junior.
When the Bruins are on defense, Bill Altieri goes in at left end, while the agile Powers, all 6 ft. 4 in, and 220 pounds of him, stays on for two-way duty. Most of the Bruins play both offense and defense: the only other positions which are split are left tackle, where Steve Lalikos, a 19-year-old junior, spells Borjeson, and fullback, where Jim Martland replaces Beaulieu. On occasion, Zitrides inserts Chuck Bryson and Jimmy Hutchinson at the linebacker positions.
The Bruin pass defense has been one of Zitrides' biggest headaches. Brown has had trouble with passing teams all through the season, starting with Yale, continuing with Holy Cross and Pass. The one time the Brown pass defense was at all impressive was in the Rutgers game. Here, the line crashed through enough times to upset ace Seariot passes Walt LaPrarie. But the Bruin secondary simply did not have sufficient speed to keep up with the Rutgers ends.
Brown will certainly have to depend on its own passing game as well as the strong running plays which can develop from the "X-T." On one of those, the "X" back (right-half) cuts diagonally across into the left side of the line. The quarterback fakos a handoff, and then gives to the fullback, who has charged straight over right guard.