An oddsmakers' dilemma will begin at 1:30 in the Stadium this afternoon. On paper, the Crimson eleven is picked to win by seven points, but everyone seems to be betting on Brown.
For once, the best way to explain this switch is not injuries or past records. Today's match happens to be the game-of-the-season for the Bruins while the varsity faces the difficulty of being caught between its "big games." The outcome of the Crimson's problem may result, as in past years, in another onepoint decision.
Although Coach Lloyd Jordon insists that "we take these games one at a time", no one can deny that the team was "up" for Princeton last week and will have to be "up" again next Saturday at New Haven. Whether it can afford to meet this pressure for three straight weeks is the question to be answered today.
Figured on a unit basis, the two teams would rate a toss-up. The Bruins' backfield is reputed to have enough talent to match the powerful Crimson line even with the big five M's back together again for the first time since the Cornell game.
Last Stadium Appearance
The contest will be the last in the Stadium for all of the starting line except Ted Metropoulos, including ends Ted Kennedy and Bob Morrison and tackle Orville Tice.
But Brown, however, may not be able to use its complete starting backfield. Quarterback Bill Demchak, who has maintained a 10 out of 12 average for pass completions, may be out with an injured shoulder; fast fullback Archie Williams may also be on the inactive list because of a possible appendectomy.
The Bruins' real threat will come from halfback Tommy T.D. Thompson and plunging fullback Vic Piscuskas, operating from Brown's Deceptive T-formation.
The Crimson could easily tip the power balance with another stubborn, spirited backfield performance like last Saturday's against Princeton. Jordan is expected to try this shuffled offense again with Joe Crehore at quarterback, Dexter Lewis at wing, Jim Joslin at tail, and Tony Gianelly at fullback.
After this first-string threat, the varsity could also gain an edge with its backfield depth, although neither squad can boast real manpower on the bench. The Bruins' test of reserve strength, which is admittedly shallow, could come against the Crimson's second line.
With the Crimson's forward wall in top late-season form, even Zipper Thompson and Piscuskas should be forced to settle for short-gain end runs. The varsity line interior of Captain Bill Meigs, Jan Meyer, John Maher, Tice and Metropoulos have been described by Bruin coach Al Kelley as being "as good as any in the Ivy League and superior, at least, to Yale's."
Today's game will be Brown's last chance to climb past Columbia and out of the cellar of the League Its only victory this season was a surprise win against Dartmouth, 7 to 0, while the Crimson has a 2-2 Ivy record, including its own surprise defeat by the Green.
Only Cornell has been able to beat the Bruins by more than one touchdown however, and Providence fans agree that if their team had an occasional break during the season the Brown eleven would be near the top of the Ivy League.
"It's hard on the morale to lose so many games where a mistake here or there has been the difference," Coach Kelley admitted. "But the game with Harvard means an awful lot to us."