THE ball was originally put in play from open formation on the forty-five yard line (designated by white stake on further sideline.) It has been passed back to player on extreme right who has just ex-ecuted a punt. When he received the ball from center he was standing ten yards back, but in the act of kicking has evidently taken two steps forward instead of one. This brought him dangerously near the onrushing defense.

Two defensive players (with uplifted arms) have made a valiant attempt to block the kick, which they failed to accomplish as the ball passed between their upraised arms.

It can be seen that, had they succeeded and the ball bounded backward, the offense would have small chance of recovering it as most of their players have started down-field. Two of them (without head-guards) looking back over their shoulder, are evidently worried as to the ultimate success of the play.

This "pressure" by the defense upon the kicker not only results sometimes in a block kick, but always tends to hurry his stroke, as it were, with corresponding inaccuracy of performance.

To thwart the defense, the offense resort to a "fake kick" in which the kicker makes pretense of punting or drop-kicking, thus causing the defensive linemen to converge toward the ball. Then by suddenly desisting in his kicking motions, he darts toward either flank.

In this picture it will be seen that the defensive left end and tackle (players with arms upraised) have committed themselves to blocking the punt, thus leaving the left flank exposed, but the defensive left wingback (1) warned by signal of the fact that his team-mates were "going for the kicker's foot" has given up his usual assignment of blocking the offensive right end in his attempt to tackle the receiver of the punt and has advanced to a position near the scrimmage line to guard against a possible sweep in his direction.

Yale vs. Harvard 19I3.

To this one play can be attributed all of the so-called "momentum-mass plays" which thereafter rapidly came into vogue. The new possibilities thus revealed soon took the form of "flying interference" from scrimmage formation, wherein the majority of the offensive side started before the ball was put in play to act as interference for the runner. So overwhelmingly powerful were these offensive principles that in 1896 the Rules Committee wisely abolished them entirely.

Although stripped of its strongest weapon of attack the offense was not long in devising plays, the salient feature of which was hiding the runner in a mass of players who formed a "revolving wedge," usually on tackle. The exact outlet was left to the judgment of the runner, who, following "the line of least resistance," was often unwound into a clear field. In order to add more power and deception the offense began the withdrawal of first one and then several line men to re-inforce the backfield.

The most successful offense of this type, produced at Pennsylvania in the early nineties, was called "guards back." This system, which was the first of what was termed "a steam roller" attack, held sway over the defense with eminent success for several years. Harvard, however, in 1898 finally overcame this style of attack by adding one of their defensive halfbacks to the rush-line, which was thus able to envelop the formation before the runner reached the line of scrimmage. In 1900, Yale, recognizing the fundamental weakness of the guards back formation, modified it so that it was not vulnerable from the flanks, and thus came to the game the wonderful "tackle back" system of play. In 1901, Harvard, not to be outdone, added deception to the power of this formation, and once again the defense lay helpless before the grinding process of mass play.

During the succeeding years, variations of this type of offense produced so many injuries to players that in response to an insistent public demand the Rules Committee in 1906 took drastic measures toward cleaning house of all kinds of mass plays, by restricting the number and positions of such players as were not on the line of scrimmage when the ball was put in play.

Not only was the offense thus stripped of all real rushing power, but it was called upon to gain ten yards in four tries as against the previous five yards in three tries.

As compensation for the loss incurred two wholly new offensive features were by law introduced into the game - the forward pass and the onside kick, but both were surrounded by so many complicated restrictions that neither was seriously considered as an integral part of the offensive scheme. Yet the Committee naturally thought that the defensive tackles would be relieved from the weight of the rushing game. It so turned out, however, that the wing halfbacks were forced to give up their support to the rush-line and station themselves ten yards to the rear in order to cover the forward pass zones. Taking advantage of this fact the offense learned, in succeeding years, that linemen could be utilized in assisting the runner by pulling him along after he had reached the line of scrimmage. Thus, in 1909, we find a system of mass plays as deadly as its predecessors. In reality, then, it was the "threat" of a pass which defeated the aims for which the forward pass was introduced.

However, rather than give up this salient arm of attack, the Committee in 1910 went to the core of the trouble, and prohibited any bodily assistance to the runner. In consequence of the check thus abruptly placed on the offense, scoring through the medium of the rushing game was all but stopped and the forward pass and onside kick were of such a haphazard nature that although advances were possible in the middle portion of the field, yet the offense was left without the punch necessary to carry the ball over the goal-line. It was during this trying period that the offense, in dire need of a play which would supply this deficiency, resurrected the drop kick, and made of it the prime scoring play.

During 1910 and 1911 it was apparent the offense had been stripped of too much power, so the Rules Committee was once more called upon to restore the proper balance to the game. Fearful of strengthening the rushing game directly, lest mass plays should again appear, they wisely directed their attention in 1912 towards bolstering up the offense through the medium of the forward pass, which was then made a practical weapon by removing the complicated restrictions which surrounded it, and in order that it could be used more successfully as a scoring play, a zone of ten yards was created beyond the goal line in which a forward pass could legally be completed as a touchdown.

Not only has this proved feasible, but on account of the constant threat of a forward pass, the secondary defense are subtly held at arm's length, thus allowing the rushing game to share again its proper proportion of ground gained.

Throughout the vicissitudes of the rushing game, caused by the ever-changing rules, the art of kicking has always remained the back-bone of the offense.

To be sure the rule which allowed the direct pass from centre to kicker naturally so reduced the period of time from the snap of the ball till the actual kick took place as to make it far more difficult for the defense to block both punts and drop-kicks. Also the methods of protecting the kicker against the onrush ensive line were vastly improved by a contraction of the offensive line, thus forming an impenetrable wall of players and the proper utilization of the other backs in warding off the opposing ends and tackles.

Still another indirect method of protecting the kicker lay in the adoption of "fake kicks" (a pretense of a kick developing into either a plunge, slant or sweep) which caused the defense to hesitate before committing themselves blindly towards the kicker's foot. Contained in these plays were the beginnings of the so-called "threats" which became still more effective after the introduction of the forward pass and which today are the basis of holding the defense in check until the offensive maneuver is well under way.

Hence, instead of the constantly recurring blocked kicks of the early nineties (in the Princeton-Harvard game of 1895 there were eight kicks blocked during the game) only on rare occasions does a well-drilled team of the present day experience this humiliation. For example, in 1909 Yale blocked a punt in the Harvard game, but from that time Harvard's kicking game perfected that not a single punt was blocked in a championship contest until the Princeton game of 1920.

However, in individual skill the old-timers were as good, if not better than the present generation. Such men as Moffat who punted with either foot and who scored several drop-kicks while on the nm are not to be equalled today. Such kickers as Bull, Butterworth, Traf-ford, Brooke, O'Day, Kernan, Coy and Felton showed such marked superiority over their opponents that the punt was used not only to kick their teams out of their own territory but, by a continuance of the same tactics, to reach a point well within the opponents' territory (sometimes referred to as "scoring distance") when the rushing game for the first time was brought into action.