The Redman will be experienced this year.
Tomorrow, of course, will decide whether or not experiences hinders an underdog when University of Massachusetts coach Charlie O'Rourke visits the Stadium with 12 of the same 22-man squad which defeated the Crimson a year ago.
Led by the touchdown twins, quarterback Johnny Noble and fullback Roger Barous, who accounted for both scores against the varsity in 1954, this season's UMass squad is highly rated in its league, the Yankee Conference, and boasts a good balance between offense and defense.
In its first Conference match last Monday, the Redmen ran through American international College, 27 to 13, using consistent driyes throughout the entire game.
Good Passing Attack
Noble, who lives within a football's throw of the Stadium, completed 25 out of 56 passes last season and averaged 7.2 yards on the ground. Behind him, junior Tommy Whalen, who led the Yankee Conference in punting in his sophomore year with a 40.8 average, has already shown he will be more than just a formidable substitute.
These two quarterbacks accounted for 700 yards in passing last fall and may be an important factor tomorrow when they team up with the Redmen's veteran ends, Russ Kidd and Dave Ingram. Ingram, who stands six feet, three ices, received All-Western Massachusetts honors as a sophomore in 1954.
Fullback Barous, a trackman in the spring, will handle most of the Redmen's rushing, along with senior Hal Bowers, who won his letters at halfback last season. Dick Wright and co-Captain Don Johnson will fill in at the halfback positions to give the team an experienced backfield.
Coach O'Rourke will only field two lettermen on his forward line, with co-Captain John McGowan, a coverted center from last fall, at left tackle and Ron Matheson at right guard.
Completing the remainder of the Redmen's middle line (average weight: 190) are Jim Donlan, burly (210 lb.) Ralph Parsons, and center Ken MacRae. All these men saw action last season.
Most outstanding among the Redmen sophomores is quarterback Ronnie Blume of Lexington, Mass., who sparked the 1954 UMass freshman team last season and earned his reputation as the "Lexington Minute Man."
Certainly the Redmen, despite their lineup of seven lettermen and three experienced linemen, are not overconfident about tomorrow's match with the Crimson. They cannot overlook last season's record, when they met crushing defeats (39-0 and 52-0) at the hands of such small college teams as Rhode Island and Northeastern after beating the varsity.
The team usually can have either its best or its worst day, by generally its pre-season practice (Including early workouts in the spring) has been so good that it can jump off to a sensational start before opponents can recover their talent at mid-season.
This was obviously the case last season when the Redmen rolled rolled up three victories before beginning a losing string of four decisive defeats. And the Redmen's schedules began just that way last week when the eleven took a 27-13 over A.I.C. after starting their practice sessions with a record turnout of 70 candidates.