BAKER FIELD, NEW YORK--If last year's football records mean anything, the Columbia-Harvard football game should be the only soft spot on the Columbia schedule, a breather between Rutgers, which is out to get the Lions after suffering its lone defeat of last year at their hands, and Yale, which whipped Columbia last fall, 17 to 7.
But that's not the attitude down here. Somehow, he word has gotten around that "Harvard is loaded," and Columbia coach Lou Little will assure you that he spends sleepless nights worrying about such Crimson stars as Gannon, Moffle, Kenary, Drvaric, Houston, Rodis, Fioritino, DiBlasio, and Guthrie, who he feels could make Harvard tougher then Yale and the equal of Rutgers.
Any mention of the fact that Columbia has a few good ball-players too brings a derisive snort from Little, who means that Columbia's freshman teams of last year and the year before were "the worst in Columbia history" and that hence he has no new blood to pep up his squad.
Has "Golddust Twins"
Things are not so dark on Morning-side Heights, however, as Little would suggest. He has, after all, a pair of backs named Rossides and Kusserow, who have established or are threatening umpteen all-time Columbia records. With Ventan Yablonski, last year's fullback, graduated, Kusserow will probably return to his old fullback position this year.
Bill Olson, wingback on the 1947 Lions, will continue in that spot, while Johnny Nork, last year's number one backfield replacement, has displayed some fancy running in practice and should fill the fourth backfield starting slot.
Two returning lettermen from last year's squad, including punter Bob Russell; Don Bleasdale, back from the 1945 team after two years in the Army; and some promising newcomers indicate that the Lions will show considerable backfield depth.
When it comes to the line, the situation is a little more cloudy. By juggling around his returning lettermen, Little has managed to piece together one pretty good forward wall, but reserve strength seems lacking here. This isn't the line that held its opponents scoreless for 15 consecutive quarters last year, but it is a good one.
Only at the ends does Coach Little have real cause for the worries he professes, but here Old Man Graduation really took his toll when he removed Bill Swiacki and Bruce Genrke from the Light Blue-roster. Adam Rakowski is the only experienced end returning, but Lion rooters are waiting patiently for Little to wave the same magic wand he used in beating Army last year and come up with someone else to pull down Rossides' heaves.
It is a matter of record that, in the six games between Columbia has never beaten, tied or even scored on the Crimson. Unfortunately, the last contest in this series was played in 1901.
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