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The following are excerpts from yesterday's Boston newspapers, showing the current opinion on the relative merits of the Harvard and Yale football teams.
Aggressiveness Our Vital Need.
"In the Princeton game, Yale gained ground and gained substantially on straight football such as has not been seen at New Haven for years. To back this up, Yale has two good punters, one of whom is a fair drop-kicker, and in Wilson, an excellent back to receive an opponent's kicks, thus providing Yale with all the weapons necessary to play a kicking and waiting game.
The Yale ends are supposed to be weak. Perhaps they are, but at least against Princeton they managed to turn Baker into the folds of a net composed of Blue tackles, guards and a centre, with the result that the wonderful Baker man no kick more than five yards towards Yale's goal.
As against Yale' barnyard straight football, Harvard also plays that type of offense. But Harvard has played for six years the same style and Yale by this time should be well versed in defensive play to meet Harvard's close formation. Also, Harvard, although wonderfully equipped in the backfield, will have to rely on Brickley to do most of the line plunging, and he is far interior to Wendell as a line smasher. Thus it would seem to depend on an awakening in the Harvard line to give Harvard any advantage over Yale in straight plugging football.
"There is no question but that if the backfield trio are given the openings they will produce, yet that "If" depends entirely upon the seven forwards, who will face five as determined Yale men as have faced a Crimson line in five years. On less than four occasions was the Yale secondary defense called upon to stop line plays, a tremendous record when one considers Bradlee's exhibition against Princeton two weeks ago.
"To meet the display of hard, fighting, aggressive football shown by Yale against Princeton, Harvard has nothing as yet to boast of. Harvard beat Princeton on superiority, not on fighting qualities, and the Crimson has yet to develop that desperate play element that has staved off many defeats, if it has not produced victories. Thus the big question of the week is: Can Harvard over come the criticism that they are all brains and no fight? While for Yale it is: Can they hold their present pace until Saturday?
"To summarize: Yale has the best line in years, is well supplied with kickers, possesses a quarterback who has all of the earmarks of a star and an average backfield, Ainsworth stnding out most prominently.
"Harvard has a good line, although yet to show its full strength, both offensively and defensively; a wonderful back-field, yet one which is powerless without support from the line, for there is neither a Wendell nor a Streit in the trio to gain a couple of yards when the two opposing lines are in a deadlock; a fair quarterback and fair kickers, and, lastly, a drop-kicker who full well realizes the responsibility of his work in the present style of game." L. WITHINGTON '11, in Boston Globe.
Yale's New Wide-End Formation.
"Before the Harvard-Princeton game--and after it--Harvard considered Princeton very strong, yet against Yale Princeton did not appear formidable. The reason for this lay in the great latent power of the Yale team, especially its line, which has found itself at last.
"It is not perhaps realized how marked was the superiority which Yale showed over Princeton. Against Harvard, Princeton was able to rush the ball in the first period for long and consistent gains. Against Yale she could make no material headway. Against Harvard, Princeton had at least five chances when she had the ball in striking distance of Harvard's goal. Against Yale she had but two, and one of these would hardly have been considered as a scoring opportunity had not Baker, receiving the pass on Yale's 42-yard line, kicked a goal from the field far more difficult than three he missed against Harvard.
The next thing that will be noticed is that when Yale has the ball it adopts a formation which is practically an entirely new development in modern football. Curiously enough, this has been little commented on, but none the less it is novel and the most striking things about the Yale offence. Ordinarily the scrimmage line of the team in possession of the ball is without material gaps between the players from end to end. The Minnesota shift, while seemingly an exception to this statement, is in fact not so, because when the men assume their final positions prior to the snap of the ball the scrimmage line is still continuous. But Yale this year lines up with a gap of from three to five yards between the tackle and the end. This gap between tackle and end has a new and astounding appearance. The result of it is that the opposing Princeton tackle was apparently entirely unopposed in the line--free to break through and spoil any play. Yet it was from this formation that Yale made her principal gains and pulled off something which has not been seen for years in a big game--a long run right around the end." "STADIUM" in Boston Herald.
Guernsey a Match for Brickley.
Guernsey's drop-kicking technique against Princeton was in every detail equal to that of Brickley, and his goal of 28 yards against Princeton had enough power in it to have scored at 40 yards. Guernsey also is a long punter. Against Princeton his average through-out the afternoon was 40 yards, and some of his kicks travelled 50 yards.
"It is true Hardwick and Mahan, of Harvard were handicapped against Princeton by a wet, heavy ball with little resistance, but under the best of conditions it is probable that Guernsey and Knowles will outpunt them upon almost each exchange.
"Offensively in the Princeton games, Harvard displayed little excess of power over Yale, attributable to the Crimson's better backs, but defensively Yale Proved herself to be almost twice as strong as Harvard.
No Straight Marches Down Field.
"Upon the whole, Harvard is slightly superior to Yale, but not enough to classify the outcome of their meeting to a certainly. While Yale does not possess an equal opportunity to win, the Blue does possess a good opportunity, and under the present rules of the game many a game has been won by an eleven with less. The tactical plan of Harvard and Yale against one another it would seem must be a system of plays intended to create an opportunity." P. H. DAVIS, Boston Post
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