Harvard's football team yesterday began to prepare itself once again for its 80th encounter with Yale. Although inactive for three days, the team that worked out yesterday was in better shape than the squad that drilled Friday in the Bowl.
Coach John Yovicsin is not a man to moan loudly over his misfortunes, but he was frankly worried last week about disabilities plaguing four important men. With seven more days to recover from injuries, these players should be able to contribute their full talents to the effort against the Bulldog.
These talents are not inconsiderable. For instance, Wally Grant, Harvard's leading runner, was expected to provide little more than moral support last Saturday. Now he has had time to strengthen his leg and refresh his memory on play patterns. His return to active service will restore some versatility to the Crimson attack.
Bilodeau in Better Shape
Tom Bilodeau, another halfback, should also profit from the added work. Bilodeau has suffered several injuries this season, and while able to dress last week, he was scheduled to do defensive work most of the time. He will now be able to carry out this important part of his work more effectively, and in addition might have time to prepare for offensive activity.
Two essential linemen have also gained more time to heal. Captain Bill Southmayd was determined to knock down several Yalies last Saturday in spite of his injury, but now that his ankle is stronger his blocks should be harder.
Tackle Jeff Pochop, thought by many to be one of the most important men on the squad, will now be able to participate fully. Pochop spent most of last week in the infirmary recovering from the flu and an infected nose. In view of Yale's many good tackles, Pochop's return could have a significant effect on the final score.
At Physical Peak
Assuming everyone continues to recover and that no new injuries occur in practice, Harvard will probably enter the Yale game physically stronger than at any other time this year. The team has suffered from injuries to starting players from the very first day of preseason practice.
With everyone healthy, Yovicsin may be tempted to put some new twists in Harvard's offense. The team has had a week to study the Yalies' tendencies, and now may be able to develop real offensive and defensive finese.
Yale will be in better shape as well, but last week only two Elis were on the injured list, so the improvement will not be as great.