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Art Valpey tried to make it two out of three, but his men simply weren't up to it. Valpey, you will recall, gathered up his Michigan style single wing offense and his hulking line coach (Butch Jordan) last spring and moved operations to the University of Connecticut. His Harvard teams defeated Yale once in two encounters and now his first Uconn eleven has failed in its attempt to be the only-football team from the State of Connecticut to boat Yale in 75 years. The New Haven crowd claims this would be a bad precedent.
Just ten days before Yale met the Huskies, Herman Hickman, the Yale coach, was quoted as saying: "This team lacks poise, and desperately needs the confidence an opening-game victory would bring, but Valpey is leveling at us with a veteran Connecuticut squad that is big and fast."
As succeeding events were to prove, Valpey is not a veteran squad. It is not especially big and it is not fast. The Uconns gave the impression that they were not yet Completely certain of their assignments; their backs lacked the assurance and the precision of a Bill Henry and their linemen were not able to open holes in the Eli defense with any consistency.
Ends Weakened Defense
Offensively, Connecticut has a very fast sophomore back in Joe Bettencourt, who was the Husklos' leading ground gainer. However, the team lacks a really powerful fullback and a capable passer. Seven men tried to propel the ball by hand for the Uconns, for a total of 23 forward passes. Five were completed.
Valpey used a five-four defensive alignment, which was probably the best possible defense against Yale. But he experienced the same difficulty he run into here last year; he does not have the defensive ends who can make this defense work.
Hickman uncovered two remarkably fast backs in Ed Senay and Jerry Conway. The latter is only a sophomore and his name will undoubtedly come up again and again to haunt Harvard teams in the next two years. Brad Quackenbush is the mainstay of the line at right end; he plays offense and defense and docs extremely well at both. Yale also has two fine backers-up in Charles Masters and Bob Spears (the offensive fallback); it was difficult to assess Yale's pass defense in view of Connecticut's exhibition, but the defense did seem somewhat vulnerable to short aerials. The right side of the line, led by Quackenbush, Walt Clemens, and Rufe Phillips, appeared stringer than the left.
Conway in Motion
Hickman uses a variation of the T, running from a balanced line. The wingback (Conway) is stationed well beyond the right end and is in motion in every play. Quarterback Stu Tisdale can either fake a handoff to him or give him the ball.
In the final analysis, Connecticut was outcharged in the line and that made the difference. Valpey's squad includes 23 sophomores, 12 juniors, and six seniors and it inevitably will make mistakes before it improves. Meanwhile, Hickman continues to moan. The word out of New Haven yesterday was that Conway and Masters were hurt Saturday and may not be able to play against Brown this weekend. All's right with the world.
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