What saves the game, of course, are the seniors and the varsity scrubs, because they know all the plays and are in shape. Also there are a few ground rules laid down to neutralize the aggressiveness of Assistant Coach John Ray's varsity defense, to wit, no red-dogging.
"We cannot," said Earley to Ray on Thursday night, "afford to let you kill one of our alumni quarterbacks. It would not look good in the papers."
Last year, Earley said, Ray could not control himself. "I looked up and there were his linebackers, pouring in on our helpless quarterback. Red-dogging."
Earley ran around the field and braced Ray on the varsity sidelines.
"No we're not, we're just wiping off [linebackers reacting quickly to the ball-carriers]. Go back on the other side where you belong. Besides, you're red-dogging."
"Nobody said we couldn't red-dog."
Last year Earley got Coley O'Brien for a few plays, out of the goodness of Ara Parseghian's heart. Coley took the old-timers on a 60-yard drive downfield.
The next thing Earley knew the student manager was at his elbow. "What do you want?" Earley asked him.
" O'Brien," he said.