Crimson Varsity Begins Ivy League Campaign Against Strong, Deep Cornell Team at Ithaca
McLaughlin, Repsher Made Starters As Yovicsin Shakes Up Backfield
The varsity football team plays its most crucial game of the year this afternoon when it faces a strong Cornell eleven on Schoelkopf Field at 2 p.m. Having lost its opener to a mediocre Buffalo squad, the Crimson must be rated as the underdog against the Big Red.
This will mark the beginning of Harvard's campaign to move up from last year's lowly seventh position in the Ivy League, and if it is to enjoy any success in this endeavor a victory today must be considered mandatory. If the varsity loses to Cornell, the psychological disadvantage, especially if it bows to a very strong Leheigh eleven next week, will be tremendous as it faces the heart of the 1958 schedule.
In an attempt to bolster the squad after the Buffalo fiasco, coach John Yovicsin will move Dick McLaughlin up to the starting quarterback position and will promote speedy sophomore Larry Repsher to the starting halfback spot. Against Buffalo, Repsher was certainly the Crimson's most impressive offensive threat, and Yovicsin will count heavily on him and Chet Boulris to give the Crimson a chance for an upset win.
Ground Defense Strong
Harvard's slightest worry will be on the ground defense. The line, with Hank Keohane, captain Bob Shaunessy, Jim Keating, Bob Foster, Hal Anderson, Pete Briggs, and Stu Hershon held Buffalo to less than 50 yards rushing last week, and Crimson opponents all year will find this unusually strong unit a tough nut to crack.
Pass defense, however, may well be another story. The varsity was weak in this department last year, and several times in the Buffalo game it loked as though the same might hold true this year. Unfortunately Cornell has the materials with which to exploit this weakness.
The Big Red boasts two top ends in Norm Juvonen and John Sadusky plus quarterback Tom Skypeck, one of the top men in the League, and John Webster, a halfback who was used largely as a pass catcher last season by coach Lefty James. Last year, Webster was the decisive factor in Cornell's 20-6 win over the Crimson as he caught three crucial passes good for 60 yards.
Containing this passing potential will be the Crimson's main chore this afternoon, but it will also have to be on the lookout for Skypeck running off the option and for the powerful rushes of 190-pound Phil Taylor, one of Cornell's leading ground-gainers last fall.
All in all, this looks like too big an order for the varsity. They may pull it out, and if they do it will have a tremendous bearing on the rest of the season; but the pick is Cornell by a touchdown.