In 63 years of football, Colgate has never opened a season with three consecutive defeats.
This year, the Red Raiders have already lost their first two games. They fell to Cornell, 27 to 7, two weeks ago, and lost to Holy Cross, 19 to 6 last Saturday.
And they go into today's game against the Crimson with at least five regulars on the injured list.
Captain Gary Chandler, who last year was named to Sport magazine's list of ten top offensive ends in the nation, is still out of his new halfback position with a knee injury.
Senior Jack Spalik suffered a pinched shoulder nerve in the Holy Cross game, and won't be able to play at all today, much less take over as a starting halfback for Chandler. Spalik is normally a fullback, but shifted when Chandler was hurt.
Now, Spalike's replacement at halfback, Chuck Cooley, is also out with an injury, and he may not be able to play at all.
Line men Dick Woolbert, Tom Miller, Mike Corbo, and Tom Powell are all on the injured list, and Miller appears to be the only one who will be able to play even briefly today.
But Coach Hal Lahar isn't taking too pessimistic an attitude. His starting line despite substitutions, will average 203 pounds per man, an 11-pound advantage over the Crimson. It will include Don Tomanek a junior, who is playing his third year of varsity football, and Dick Ross, a veteran of last year's first team offensive eleven.
Best of all, Lahar will have Dick Lalla, one of the top passers in the east back at quarterback.
Lalla is only a junior. But he has been the first-team Colgate quarterback since late in his freshman year. Last year, despite a leg injury which made it necessary for him to pass from a protected fullback position, he helped Colgate nearly overcome Harvard's winning 21-to-20 margin.
This year, Lalla is completely recovered from an operation on his leg, and has been a standout, despite Colgate's setbacks.
The backs playing behind him in Lahar's fast T-formation, of necessity aren't Colgate's best. Neither are they weak sisters.
Halfback Frank Nardulli, a sophomore, is tabbed as the Raiders' "most promising backfield prospect"--as a freshman star, he scored nine touchdowns in five games.
Running with him at the other halfback spot will be Art Fox, a senior who saw little starting action before this season, but who accounted for 171 yards on the ground against Holy Cross.