Coach Ray Eliot sees scant hope for Illini in Ohio battle
October 9, 1957 - Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper Clipping
The Illini may be willing, according to coach Ray Eliot, but they're not ready, or able, to cope with the likes of Ohio State.
Eliot's glumly studied the hospital list as he contemplated Saturday's game with the Buckeyes at Columbus.
It will be the regional televised game and will be seen locally over WNBQ (channel 5) starting at 1:15 p.m. Chicago time.
It will be the initial Big Ten game for both teams and they Go into the contest with identical nonconference records. Each was upset in its opening game, then both came back to win by whopping margins.
But Eliot was concerned about his iodine and bandage brigade, which was far too large for his comfort.
Injuries are hampering or sidelining several of his key players, Eliot said, including guard Carl Johnson, end Ron Hill, and fullback Jack Delveaux.
Delveaux, bothered with a bad leg and recovering from a broken thumb, did not start last week's game against Colgate.
But Illinois hardly missed him as Ray Nitschke stirred up a fury at fullback, scoring three touchdowns, and moving for more than 90 yards.
'But Nitschke's got a charley horse now,' complained Eliot. 'I hope he will be ready for Saturday, but we are keeping him out of scrimmage all week.'
The lopsided win over Colgate was a big boost in morale, Eliot conceded, and 'we blocked and tackled a little for a change.' But he added, gloomily, he did not think Illinois was ready to take on a team like Ohio State, which 'can run inside or outside and throw over you.'
Despite Eliot's glum outlook Illinois will not be going to Columbus in the role of a patsy.
For one thing, Tom Haller has been improving everyday at quarterback. His passing was very sharp against Colgate. And, Bob Mitchell, who is the leading Illini ground gainer, is sound of limb and ready to run... footballhistorian.com - College Football History