Herman Hickman must have had a perfectly miserable afternoon at the Stadium Saturday. Everything the rotund Yale coach looked at spelled pain for the Elis.
It was quite clear that Princeton, whom Yale plays next Saturday, had more than enough to beat the Blue and the class the Crimson showed during the first half must have alarmed him even more, since that wasn't in the script.
For 29 thrilling minutes the Crimson played the much raved about Princetonians to a tie. Sophomore Dick Clasby looked better than the Tiger's Dick Kasmaier, the back who during the past few weeks has probably piled up more news inches than yards.
One play with a minute left to go in the half changed the whole tenor of the came. Princeton had executed a screen pass play with spectacular success and Crimson quarterback Gil O'Neil had elected to try the same. But the Tiger's defensive guard Vie Bihl smelled the play coming because no Harvard lineman attempted to block him.
When the pass came Bihl was in front of it and a minute later he crossed the goal line.
A team that's playing over its head just cannot absorb a bad break like that. Thereafter the Harvard squad lost some of its electrifying vigor and the Tigers shook off their sense of shock.
What made the difference in the ball game was not the highly touted Kazmaier but the Princeton line. Clasby probably would have looked better than Kazmaier Saturday had he been operating behind that same sort of forward wall.
It's not that the Princeton line is heavy or especially strong. But it is very fast and very clever. Tiger frontmen could pull out of the line with sufficient skill to execute Coach Caldwell's complex maneuvers and when a Princeton back broke away he could always be sure of picking up blockers who would clean up the secondary. Harvard linemen haven't the speed to catch up with Clasby, and the sophomore tailback, however astutely he would a camper through the line or around an end, was sure to run ultimately into a mess of opposition secondary.
Kazmaier had fine protection during the second half especially. He generally had plenty of time to pass and experienced little trouble in finding eligible receivers. Caldwell, in the meantime, devised an unbalanced defense which restricted Clasby's a running activities
Center John Lewis had the rare pleasure of intercepting a Kazmaier pass and once making the Tiger back fumble
During his post game autopsy, Caldwell, professor of Modern Single Wing Football, ventured the opinion that the Crimson should beat Brown next Saturday.