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Florida Comes To Soldiers Field
The Florida football forces which come to the Stadium on Saturday are an experienced and well-trained group of gridiron performers. Of the twenty-eight men making the trip to Cambridge, twenty are lettermen who earned their suprs playing on the 1928 eleven, the strongest ever produced at the Gainesville institution. They rolled up a total of 336 points in their nine game schedule, more than any other college team in the country. Their nearest competitor was the touted New York University team which could compile only 324.
The 'Gators were victorious in eight of their nine encounters, losing only to Tennessee in the final game of the season on a rain-soaked and slippery field which offered but poor footing to the fast and tricky attack which characterized the Florida play all season. And even then they were defeated by a single point, the final count being 13 to 12.
When you take into consideration the fact that the team made this record under a coach who was serving his first year, then you begin to understand what the latent possibilities of the Peninsula state boys really are. The particular coach in question is a certain Mr. Charles Bachman of Notre Dame fame. Like so many others of his tribe he purports to teach Rockne football, but unlike a great many others of his tribe he really seems to do it. The report is that he has equipped his team with an offense of which the great Knute himself might well be proud.
'Gators Have Strength and Deception
The attack depends largely on deception but has enough straight power plays to keep opposing linemen digging right in all the time for fear of being caught off balance. One-man blocking is relied on for the most part which means that as soon as a back is across the line of scrimmage he will in all probability pick up two or three blockers to aid his further progress. It is a type of offense which is tremendously difficult to stop once it gets under way. There are any number of trick plays which develop quickly and with smoothness and precision when the attack is functioning properly. When it isn't going so well, however, the opposing team finds it pretty easy to smear up the spins and passes with a generally demoralizing effect on the whole eleven.
This seems to be substantially what happened in the Georgia Tech game two weeks ago. Two weeks' of practice, however, can do a lot towards giving finesse in an offense of this sort, and if the Georgia game of last Saturday can be taken as any criterion, it seems to have made a good start. The conquerors of Yale were at a loss to check the powerful drives of the men from the land of oranges where they had a comparatively easy time with Albie Booth, the Elis' "alert atom."
Weights Almost Equal
The Florida line weighs on an average 185 pounds against 187 for the starting Crimson forward wall, while the Southern backs present a figure of 178 to the 172 of the Harvard ball carrying quartet Scarcely a light outfit, but one carrying plenty of speed and punch.
The individual star of the visiting squad is "Cannonball" Clyde Crabtree, ambidextrous triple threat par excellence. He will be watched with a great deal of interest and concern by the Harvard board of strategy for several hours Saturday afternoon. Another Dixie menace is Royce Goodbread, 200-pound halfback whose springtime specialty is running the 100-yard dash in a trifle under 10 seconds flat. Rumor has him confined to crutches now but he is making the trip to Cambridge and don't be surprised if he hobbies out on to the field Saturday and discards his crutches in a moment of weakness to the dismay of a stalwart Crimson defense. Other famous cripples have made sports history as for example the Yankee team of last year and Erwin Gehrke of Yale-Harvard renown.
If you believe in comparative scores Florida has a 35 point advantage over Harvard. Here's how it goes. Florida beat Georgia 18 to 6; Georgia beat Yale 15 to 0; Yale beat Army 21 to 13; and Army tied Harvard. But then fortunately for Harvard comparative scores don't mean anything, and the Stadium turf, not the scribes' copy paper, is the one and only place where this battle between North and South can be definitely decided. BY TIME OUT.
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