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There has been a great deal of comment about coach Dick Harlow's double shift lately, and since the Varsity has been working especially hard this week on polishing up the operation of the shift, this seems as good a time as any in discuss it.
The history of the double-shift dates back to the famous 14-14 tie with Princeton two years ago. From scouting reports Harlow know the strong points and weaknesses of the two Princetonians backing up the line, fullback constable and center Cullinane. These two had been interchanging with each other to have Cullinane on the strong side of the line and constable on the weak.
Cornell, Army Jump Gun
The Harvard team started using their double-shift and both Constable and Cullinane found themselves defending against plays in territories to which they were not accustomed. They were especially lost in their new positions when trying to ward off flat aerials in their sectors, and it is by those aerials that the Harlowmen were enabled to put forward enough of an offense to tie a superior team.
The double-shift then, was off to an auspicious start. Neither Princeton nor Yale have ever been offside against it, but this year both Cornell and Army started jumping over the line before the play.
Why did not center Tim Russell snap the ball on these occasions? For two reasons, one, the ethical that the shift is not designed to throw the other team offside (as many people think) the other, the practical, that the enemy line-men generally are draped all over him.
Green Even Tells Army About It
After the Army had jumped over the line and stopped one double-shift Captain Green, who was calling the plays in the absence of tailback Foley, called for the same shift again. As the Harvard team walked up to the line from the huddle, Green said to the Army defenders, "This is the same shift again."
That is conclusive evidence that the shift is not to throw the other team offside; it is designed simply to make it harder for the defense to get in position for the play. With the added polish that the boys are applying to it this week, the double-shift should be an effective part of Harvard's offense against the Green powerhouse. Remember that the Crimson's first touchdown against Army came on Foley's pass to Daughters, a play which started from the twin shift.
Yesterday afternoon Harlow had the boys working hard on backfield tackling and kicking off, two departments which have not exactly shone so far. Chief Boston and Austie Harding a question-mark as to action, the burden is likely to fall on Daughters again. His boots have improved markedly since last Saturday's ground-loopers.
The most outstanding group improvement of late has been the "B" team line. These boys, ends Gene Levett and Win Jameson, tackles George Downing and Mose Hallett, guards Den Lowry and Bill Coleman, and Center Fearon, have been drilled hard these last three days.
We understand that the statement attributed to Coach Blaik, that Bill Hutchinson might need assistance in the form of crutches to get to the field, is false. We are very glad, for we are very fond of last year's "mudder" Hutch and his backfield buddies, Captain MacLeod and Colby Howe. Hutchinson has scored 14 touchdowns and seven extra points in 13 games, not to mention one field goal; MacLeod has the nice round total of 19 t-downs in 19 clashes; while Howe has paid off ten times in his two years.
Coach Blaik's five-year record shows 32 wins, three ties, and six defeats in 41 games. Altogether the Greenmen have tallied 1173 points to the opposition's 236. In their last unbeaten stretch, through their last 19 games, then scores are 525 to opponents' 92. "Sufnny we don't hear more about 'em.
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