Purdue University

1955 Boilermakers
(Authentic Reproduction)





Head Coach Holcomb simplified the helmet, maintaining the old gold one-inch center stripe on the black shell, but removing the curved flanking stripes. With the potent Len Dawson returning as QB, a lot was expected but there was no outside running game and defenses again put everything up against the pass and he could not throw long. He did tally seven TD passes and 901 yards in a 5-3-1 season with an offensive "low light" of a 6-4 "baseball score" win against Illinois. Soph backs Erich Barnes, used mostly on defense, and Mel Dillard provided some respite for Dawson with the huge Lamar Lundy and Big 10 leading receiver Bob Koenle, Dawson's favorite targets. Dawson's numbers were enough to again lead the conference in passing and total yardage. Ken Panfil, who played well in 1951, returned from military service to team with Joe Krupa, giving strength at the tackle spots. Krupa had a good nine-year career with the Steelers and Panfil played tackle on both sides of the ball for the Cardinals. At the end of the season, Stu Holcomb bolted for the Athletic Director's chair at Northwestern and the in-house choice for his successor was between assistants Kenneth "Jack" Mollenkopf or offensive genius Hank Stram.

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