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After five lean games, a blocking touch finally came to Dick Harlow's touchdown-hungry gridders--almost like a bolt out of the blue. And they intend to give that bolt right back to the Blue tomorrow afternoon in the Yale Bowl before 45,000 spectators.
Harvard has been a rugged defensive unit all year but had to wait until the Penn game to touch off the offensive spark. Tireless individual effort by the players and painstaking attention to minute details by Dick Harlow have been the reasons for this great transformation of the Harvard team. Coach Harlow has another fine late-November eleven which lacks only a couple of climax runners of becoming the best team he ever had at Harvard.
It has been apparent all fall that Harvard could travel far with just a rock-ribbed forward wall and almost no offense. Now that the ground attack has come, Crimson enthusiasm knows no bounds. The only effective damper is the vivid recollection of the stains of "Good Night, Poor Harvard" pouring out across Soldiers Field one year ago after a similarly favored Harvard team had been soundly whipped by the fighting Elis.
The Bull Dog was literally on his last legs then, and he responded with a ridiculously easy win when Harvard's Sophomores succumbed to an attack of the jitters. This time the Handsome Dans of New Haven have an equally disastrous season but are full of fight and determination. The memory of six previous defeats could be wiped out by a conquest of the Harlowmen, and in Ray Anderson and Ted Harrison the Elis have the men to do the trick.
The defensive strength of the Harvard line is almost a cinch to make the Blues take to the air; there, they are right at home. Yale outpassed both Princeton and Cornell, as aerial-minded a pair of football teams as you will find anywhere in the country. Anderson may not be in top shape tomorrow, but Yale will receive top notch passing. Al Bartholemy will take care of the receiving angle.
Yale may hope to generate enough steam to make its running attack click, but that is only a forlorn hope. All that Coach Pond really wants is to flash an effective enough ground offense to keep Harvard worried. afraid to devote all its attention to Yale aerials.
Captain Joe Gardella and Loren MacKinney are still two big question marks in the Crimson lineup. Each will see action. but no one can safely say just how much it will be in either case. Offhand, Gardella's status seems a bit more favorable than MacKinney's. Gardella is slightly better than an even choice to start the game, while MacKinney is sightly less than than an even bet to start.
The rest of the Harvard team is in good condition and is looking forward to the battle of its life in the bowl tomorrow. Yale as usual will be a worthy opponent. The Pondmen have taken a succession of batterings this fall but have spent the last couple of weeks licking their wounds.
Upon the capable shoulders of Junior Charley Spreyer rests the bulk of Crimson hopes. He has been credited with inspired performances in the Penn and Brown games, carrying Harvard over the top with him. Actually, it may be that Spreyer was just hitting his real stride in those last two games. Sickness and injuries have retarded his progress all year. In 1939 he "arrived" in the Army game, but this year it took a bit longer. Now he is in good shape and ready for the effort of his career. At least, that is one way to look at Charley Sprayer's Cinderella-man acts in the last two games.
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