For the first time in the interview, Joe Restic stopped smiling. "This Princeton ballgame is absolutely critical," he said Thursday. "We have got to have it."
And if the Crimson does in fact en certain hopes of making a bid for the Ivy football title in the last three weeks of the season. Harvard has to win Princeton is one of the inhabitants of the second division in this year's race but the way things are bunched together in the Ivies the Tigers are not that had a football team.
"Princeton always takes a while to hit its stride." Restic said But by the time November comes around they usually are a very tough ball club.
While Jake McCandless's squad has only a 1-2-1 record in league play 2-3 overall the Tiger defense is second in the Ivies. The Tigers are only a fraction of a yard behind leader Columbia in total defense, giving up only 294 total yards per ball game.
Princeton's forte is its defensive line which Restic calls "the toughest front four in the league." The line is headed by left tackle Carl Bartwich, a massive 6.4 260 pounds. Barisich is considered by many to be the top defensive lineman to the League if not in the entire Fast.
"Barisich disrupts everything that comes his way," Restic said. He did not sound happy as he said it.
The rest of the front four doesn't fall off much after one gets past Barisich Tiger captain Mike Kincaid is a veteran end who is especially tough against the run Ken Beytin and Steve Hausmann a right tackle and end respectively, round out the front four.
The Princeton line is by far the larges and most experienced that the Crimson will face this year Besides Barisich Beytin weights in at 235 and bott Hausmann and Kincaid hover in the 210 range. Anchored by this A Number One beet in the front line Princeton is very tough against the run.
Meeting Princeton and its powerful defensive line at this time of year in particularly untimely for the Crimson who are hurting very very badly in the offensive line.
"Meeting Princeton comes just at the wrong time for us." Restic said. Harvard's coach understates the case. Injuries have plagued the Crimson interior and just to get five relatively healthy bodies to start Restic has had to do more shuffling than a Las Veges blackjack dealer.
The latest casualty in tackle-moved-to guard Bill Ferry, who shifted when regular guards Gus Crim. Bob Kircher and John Friar all came up with physical ailments. Now Ferry in out with badly hanged up ribs (Penn game) and the game of musical chairs begins again.
For Princeton Restic will probably go with Monte Bowens and Tim Manna at the tackles. Crim and Kircher at the guards and Steve Snavely at center.
All these people have missed games with injuries this year and most have yet to regain their full strength. "What makes a really tough." Restic said, "is that we haven't had this group together for any amount of time this year. They haven't had a chance to practice as a unit."
Princeton's success at defending against the run forces the opposition to throw the ball and this is what Restic plans to do But to go to a passing attack involves having a healthy quarterback, and Harvard has a shortage of these as well Eric Crone and Jimmy Stoeckel the starters in the first six games this year are hurting and while both will make the up it is uncertain how much either will be able to play.
That leaves sophomore Milt Holt whiz told of the freshman team a year ago who set the Stadium buzzing last week by putting the ball in the off 16 times in the last quarter. "Milt has been getting half the work this week." Restic said, "we just may have to go with him." For the Crimson coach, who adamently refuses to specify his starting quarterback until game time, that admission is as good as a starting nod.
Offensively, Princeton is not the threat that the Tigers are on defense. The offense to date his had difficulty putting points on the scoreboard. Last week against Brown. McCandless found a quarterback who could direct the attack in sophomore Dave Mistretta. Mistretta three two scoring points a week ago and ran for another at the Tiger ran up 31 points against the Bruins.
"With Mistretta in there, Restic said, "they are really tough on the option and the pass." We'll have to take the option study from their and that all their passing game."
With Cambridge inundated with rain this week. Harvard has not been able to get outside for practice. This relative inactivity is bound to hurt, as workouts in Carey Cage "just don't allow you to go full speed," according to Restic.
This factor sad the fact that Harvard is nearly crippled offensively with injuries to key people in key positions (quarterback and the offensive line) point to a defensive ball game today.
"We have our problems," Restic said Thursday. "But we just have to solve them."