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Three thousand miles was a long trip for the Dartmouth football team to make. But they were in a sense upholding the honor of the east against a weak coast outfit. This was the third in a series of Dartmouth-Stanford engagements, and on both previous occasions the Easterners came out on the short end of the stick. This time, beaten only once, the Green looked like a sure bet over the six times vanquished coasters.
But the mackinawed men from the Hills of Hanover took it on the chin Saturday, 23-13, at the hands of the sunkist college of co-ed dreamdom. And it was no freak win. The weather was clear and the track fast. All-American Captain Bob MacLeod and his mates Bill Hutchinson and Colby Howe were due to romp. Stanford, however, held them to 77 yards by rushing and only seven of Hutch's 17 passes found receivers.
Meanwhile Stanford piled up three times their opponents yardage and, by the last period, they had broken down the Dartmouth forward wall and were gaining at will. Easterners had hoped to crack the mythical "bigger and betterness" complex of western gridmen, and now they have got some explaining to do.
Of course the most obvious alibi is that Dartmouth had to play under weather conditions far different than those at home. To practice in snow storms and zero weather, then make a tiring train trip, and then to play with the thermometer hovering near 70, is not easy. Little wonder that Coach Earl Blaik's line collapsed toward the end.
Just after the war, however, Harvard sent its team to the Rose Bowl. This team had practiced in zero weather, made the trip, and played in the heat. But they won, 7-6, from the unbeaten Pacific Conference champions, although regulars on the Crimson team lost 15 pounds on the average.
Another argument against the weather alibi is that Dartmouth has a wealth of reserve strength, chiefly responsible for defeating Brown, Harvard, and Yale. Why could not these reserves have turned the tide on Stanford?
Several Eastern Clubs Better
A safer and more logical argument for Dartmouth's loss, therefore, would seem to be that the Big Green is not one of the east's top teams today. A good early season team, and a flashy and "break" outfit, the Blaikmen of 1938 are not by any means in a class with Cornell (who beat them), Carnegie Tech, Pittsburgh, Holy Cross, or Villanova. Right here at home we have the obvious fact that now the Harvard which won its last four games and the earlier Harvard which lost only by a touchdown to Dartmouth are two very different elevens indeed.
Coach Jock Sutherland of Pittsburgh backed up this argument the other day when he was asked to name ten eastern teams which could win the majority of their games in the South. He called Carnegie Tech, Holy Cross, Pitt, Cornell, Dartmouth, Villanova, Harvard, Brown, Georgetown, and Army. Although he denied any special order, the order he named was by no means casual. Perhaps even at fifth, the Big Green was too high.
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