Harvard's offensive-minded A-formation football team, having already scored more points in three Ivy games this year than in any full season since 1952, stands as a solid eight-point favorite to defeat Penn today. Game time in the Stadium is 1:30 p.m.
Both the Crimson and the Quakers have won two games in the League, and both have lost one--the former, a last-minute 26-20 battle to Columbia; the latter, a crushing 34-0 defeat to Princeton. But whereas Penn's two wins were narrow 14-7 contests over Dartmouth and Brown, the Crimson has showed an unexpected strong attack in crushing Cornell, 32 to 7, and in outscoring Dartmouth, 28 to 21.
In fact, this season, operating under Lloyd Jordan's overbalanced T-formation, which Jordan fondly calls the "A-formation," the Crimson has rolled up 82 points in three Ivy games. Last season, in six games, the single-wing Crimson scored only 57 points; in 1954, for six games, 74; in 1953, for five games, 60. In 1952, the Crimson tallied 89 in five games.
The impetus for this offensive upsurge must go first to Jordan, who had the courage to junk his conservative single-wing in favor of the more deceptive T-formation--thus allowing him to utilize his experienced backs more profitably.
And it has been these backs--the versatile junior, Walt Stahura; the senior quarterbacks, Babe Simourian and Matt Botsford; and the strong running seniors Tony Gianelly, Jim Joslin, and Ron Eikenberry, who have carried the team so far.
Botsford, who was previously starting quarterback, has been out all week with a virus attack, so Simourian, who was the outstanding man on the field in last week's game with Dartmouth, will take over, with sophomore Dick McLaughlin as his substitute.
There is also a good chance that Big Gianelly, who hurt his leg against the Green, may not start. If he can't make it, promising sophomore Jim Bell will get the post. Stahura and Joslin will be at the halfbacks.
In the line, Jordan will go with the same seven he has used for most of the season. It is a big front wall that has been very strong down the middle, and surprisingly effective defending the flanks. At the ends, Jordan will use senior Phil Haughey, and junior Tom Hooper.
Haughey is the most amazing player on the squad. For the last two seasons, he was an obscure T-formation quarter-back on a single-wing team, his only job to throw a desperation pass or two every game. But this year, Jordan has utilized Haughey's 6-3 stature and his sure hands to an extent not thought possible in September.
At the tackles, there stand the very promising sophomore Bob Shaunessy, who observers have been comparing to last year's All-Ivy Orville Tice, and junior Dave Schein. Guards Ted Metropoulos and Woody Harris and center Marv Lebovitz, have been doing a very good job in the center of the line.
Jordan's main concern is to make sure the team is "up" for the visiting Red and Blue. It is always hard for a Harvard team to concentrate on an opponent when it knows that an undefeated Princeton eleven is waiting for it next week.
But the men of Steve Sebo will be ready for the Crimson. They have been absorbing astounding punishment from non-Ivy teams over the past few seasons, even accumulating 19 straight losses before defeating Dartmouth this season. In their games with Dartmouth and Brown, however, they were impressive.
The Quakers operate out of Sebo's multiple-offense, basically a combination of a T and a single wing. Their main threat is a good left halfback named Frank Riepl.
The rest of the backfield, far from the most dangerous that the Crimson will face this year, is made up of junior quarterback Rich Ross, sophomore halfback John Wright, and sophomore fullback Dave Sikarskie.