It ought to be a breather.
Everyone--with the exception of Coach Lloyd Jordan and the Davidson eleven--seems to think so. The Crimson's four-and-one record, its three-game winning streak, its showings against Colgate and Dartmouth, have generated a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and confidence.
In fact, local bookmakers have gone so far as to close their accounts with the Crimson an overwhelming five-touchdown favorite to take the second game in a series which began in 1937. The Crimson won then, 15 to 0.
But there are still pessimists who caution that this afternoon's contest--with the opening kickoff at 1:30 p.m.--might prove troublesome.
The combined effects of a Crimson let-down, over-confidence, and complacency, they warn, might work a major miracle for the North Carolina eleven.
Ticket sales for the game, however, have been sluggish. Local fans remain unconvinced. And with good reason.
Davidson comes North with a one-and-four record, compiled against some of the lesser teams of the Southern Conference. The Wildcats defense has yielded 114 points to the opposition; the offense has been able to tally only 60 points. Squads like Virginia Tech and North Carolina State--minor powers, at best--have romped over the Wildcats.
Two serious shortcomings have hampered the squad: lack of depth and lack of experience. For two years, Davidson has had only one man who can handle the quarterback position--senior Jack Ruth. The dearth of pass-receivers is so acute that a tackle, Gene Pierce, has been converted to a right end.
A shortage of able guards was offset somewhat by the presence of Wildcat Captain Arnold Whisnant, a center. But Whisnant was injured in last week's Furman game and will see no action today.
Such a shaky defense might well find itself in serious trouble against the Crimson's rushing attack--now 11th in the nation in total yardage gained on the ground. Tailback Dick Clasby, fourth in the country in rushing yardage, wingback John Ederer, and fullback John Culver, should have little difficulty gaining against the Wildcats.
But indications are that Jordan will use his first-string backfield sparingly. The emphasis seems to be on sophomores, Culver and quarterback Gil O'Neil, neither of whom took part in a contact scrimmage all week, will see limited action at best. Jerry Blitz, with sophomore George MacDonald behind him, will handle most of the fullback's work. Sophomore Gerry Marsh may start the game at quarterback.