They may not be well known. They may even be ranked as underdogs. But the Ohio University Bobcats should provide the Crimson football team with stiff opening-game opposition today at Soldiers Field.
For Ohio boasts both a dangerous passing combination and a powerful running attack, which features fullback Ted Jackson, one of the leading ground gainers on last year's starting eleven.
And reports from Coach Carroll Widdoes' Athens, O., training camp emphasize that the Bobcats are "up" for the game, after two weeks of practice, following a decisive 20-to-0 triumph over Toledo.
The visitors will again use a fast T. formation offense, a contrast to the Crimson's slower-starting but powerful single-wing attack.
Calling the signals from the "T" will be junior Bill Frederick, who is seeing his second season of action as starting Bobcat quarterback. Frederick completed 49 passes for 845 yards, eight touchdowns, and a creditable .426 completion percentage last season.
He will have a highly-rated receiver in 6-foot 5-inch senior Lou Sawchik, who gathered in 27 aerials last season for a total of 472 yards, and four TDs. Sawchik, who also boots the Bobcats' extra points, drew special praise from Widdoes for his performance against Toledo: he caught five passes for a total of 60 yards, one good for a touchdown. Senior Ron Foliano is scheduled to start at the other end post.
Teaming with Frederick in the visitors' backfield will be Jackson at fullback, Chuck Boll at left half, and Tom Ascani at right half.
Jackson totalled 292 yards not rushing last season as a sophomore, third highest total on the team, and he and Ascani picked up 176 yards between them against Toledo. Ascani is a letterman senior.
Bell, a junior, is playing his third season with the Ohio varsity. He saw only defensive action last season.
Anderson is Captain
Widdoes has expressed confidence in his line strength. Senior Lowell "Duke" Anderson, team captain, will return to the center spot he has held down for the past two seasons, and offensive guards will be lettermen Tom Lee and Leon Wilson. John Schwab and Bob Penrod are both back to bolster the forward wall.
Letterman Ron Weaver and Don Anderson are scheduled as the Bobcats' starting tackles.
So whether they're well known outside their Mid-American conference or not, whether the Crimson is favored to triumph Saturday or not, Ohio's Bobcats should do more than snarl and bare their fangs.