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Crusaders' New Offensive System Might Help, Could Hinder Harvard

By John L. Powers

Harvard's football team has not lost a home game on a rainy day in ten years, but it's doubtful that the bad weather this weekend will work to the Crimson's advantage. Holy Cross is bringing a squad to Cambridge today that runs best up the middle. If it rains this afternoon, the Crusaders can, and will. do little more.

The Holy Cross offensive line out-weighs Harvard's defensive unit by more than ten pounds per man in the center of the line, and the Crusaders have a fine backfield, primarily veterans, who can exploit the difference.

But if rain will help the Crusader running game, it will help Harvard's as well. Holy Cross coach Bill Whitton has openly worried about the Crimson's traditionally effective power sweep all week, and Harvard coach John Yoviesin knows just where it will do the most damage-the left side of the inexperienced Crusader line.

Whitton has been forced to plug non-lettermen and sophomores into his defensive unit to make up for heavy graduation losses there. If Harvard's backs can get to the weak side often and early enough, they should be able to counter-balance Holy Cross threat through the middle. It is the unusual Crusader offensive system, partly patterned after Princeton's old single wing, that will give Holy Cross and early advantage.

Last year. it took the Crimson the entire lirst half to figure out a new Crusader defense. and it was two touchdowns behind by the time it had. Princeton has used an unbalanced line with disturbing success in the past, especially against Harvard. and Yoviesin is deeply concerned that the Holy Cross offense, and not the defense, will provide the problem this year.

"All I know about it is what I've read in the papers and seen from films of other schools that use it." he says. "And they're running a "T" behind single-wing blocking. We've got to stop it early. because I don't want to have to come from behind again."

Mark Mowatt. the excellent junior quarterback that will direct the Crusader offense, could pose another problem. Yoviesin lost both starting safeties and much of his depth in the defensive backfield and although Loyal Park has done an admirable patching job, it has yet to be battle-tested.

The clear advantage this afternoon must go to the Crimson, however. Holy Cross has a woeful lack of depth, a system it has yet to adapt to convincingly, and no data from outside scrimmages to judge itself upon. If things work out properly. the Crusaders will fail to get untracked early. and run out of gas late.

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