Jim Tressel's Senior Season - 1974

(Excerpted from the 1974 chapter of "...And We Must Excel" by Bill Nichols)

The Jackets posted two shutouts and held Wittenberg without a touchdown in the season opener. Again, coach Lee Tressel had a scoring machine, punctuated by a 73-0 thrashing of Marietta and outscoring Otterbein, Heidelberg, Muskingum and Wooster, 194-42.

Coach Lee Tressel greeted 30 returning lettermen when fall practice began in late August. Returning starters on offense were senior center Carl Stewart, senior guards Mike Glaser and Ray Dickerhoof, junior split end Doug Shook, junior wingbacks Mike Albert and Sam Crumpton, senior fullback Greg Krause, sophomore place-kicker Mike Sabock, junior punter and backup quarterback Ken Preseren and senior quarterback Jim Tressel.

Leading the defensive charge was linebacker and co-captain Mark Summers, who led the team in tackles in 1973. In the secondary were returning All-OAC performer Everett Heard along with Ralph Gudim. Anchoring the defensive line were Chuck Hall, Jim Haubert and Gary Nash.

The Yellow Jackets opened their season at home against defending NCAA Division III Champion Wittenberg. As it turned out, it was a great night for the Tressel family. The Tressels contributed coaching with Lee, cheers with his wife Eloise and clutch passing by son Jim to give the Jackets a stunning 10-3 victory in front of 5,200 fans at Finnie Stadium.

The Brown and Gold ended a 12-game winning streak by the visiting Tigers on a 13-yard down-and-out pass on third-and-nine from Jim Tressel to Doug Shook in the third quarter for the only touchdown of the game.

The BW defense stood tall as the Jackets won their seventh straight opening game. Mark Summers made two game-saving plays, including a pass interception on Wittenberg's 27-yard line to set up a six-pointer. In the fourth quarter, Summers also recovered a Tiger fumble at the BW 10-yard line to stop a scoring threat. The Jackets defense was under the proverbial gun the entire fourth period.

Each team knocked on the scoring door in the first half, but neither could muster more than a field goal and the game was a 3-3 standoff at intermission. BW's Mike Sabock kicked a 27-yard fielder with two seconds left in the first quarter.

"Mark Summers had an outstanding game," said coach Lee Tressel. "He is a very aggressive football player. He's a definite leader and is equally good on both the running and passing games."

Jim Tressel moved into the starting quarterback job in his senior season and said he felt no pressure playing for his father. "My Dad sends in all the plays but gives me the option of changing the calls at the line of scrimmage if I see something in the defense," said the younger Tressel. "Ever since I was a small boy I wanted to play here at BW."

Where can I get a copy of "...And We Must Excel?"

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