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Come on out to the Homecoming game

Column/Andrew Bein

When the MIT football team takes the field against their league archrivals this homecoming Saturday, will you be in the stands?

As head coach Peter Yetten of the Bentley Falcons looks for his 50th career win at Steinbrenner Stadium tomorrow, will you be there rooting that he won't find it?

Tomorrow will mark the biggest day of the MIT football season. The game will decide whether the 2-3 Beavers will have another winning campaign, after last year's march to the playoffs. The biggest MIT crowd of the<>

fall will be cheering them on. Maybe this year the fans will even succeed in making The Wave.

The stage is set. MIT won their game against Southeastern Massachusetts University last week 3-0, while Bentley lost to UMass/Boston, one of the worst teams in the league.

The Falcons are now 3-3. Bentley has not lost four contests in one regular season since 1977. Will it happen again this year? "Our chances are good, but cautiously so," says MIT head coach Dwight Smith.

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"We've always had good games against them," defensive stalwart Larry Monroe adds. The rivalry is one of the league's hottest. Two years ago, Bentley, the defending national champion, strutted onto Steinbrenner field with a 16-game winning streak. The string was broken with an 18-13 loss to the Beavers.

This year MIT beat Bentley 14-0 in a scrimmage game. A fight broke out between MIT lineman Dave Addison and a Bentley<>

player. It is said that Bentley Coach Yetten ordered three offensive<>

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lineman to attack Addison on the next play in that scrimmage.

"We don't like each other," says Hugh Ekberg, MIT's top rusher.

Monroe predicts "they'll be coming in here really trying to put one over on us. Since we played Bentley in the scrimmage they've gotten a lot better. Normally a team is a little tentative early in the season. We're looking forward to a physical contest."

Bentley has a strong defense, and has been averaging 18 points per game on offense. MIT has averaged only 12 points per game. The Beavers will stress the rushing game.

"We'll be running -- that's what we do best," Smith says.

"I see our team grinding out a couple of touchdowns on the ground," Monroe anticipates.

A more lofty attack is expected from the Falcons. "They'll be going to the air," says Monroe. "But don't expect them to be very successful."

"The defense will hold them to<>

few points, I know that much," Ekberg says.

The Beaver passing game, a weak link early in the season, is led by quarterback Pete Gasparini. It could make the difference in the game. "Pete's passing is picking up," says Ekberg.

MIT will also be suffering injuries this week to many players, including key members of the offensive line. Kevin Moschetti, David Weissbein, Shane Arnold, John Dawley, and Chris Moreno are all hurting. Offensive lineman John Ryan will be away at a wedding. Ekberg has a sore neck.

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For MIT to beat Bentley, a lot of things will have to go just right. That will start with the Homecoming Day fans. The team needs a big turnout from the entire MIT community.

"We can hear the hollering in the stands," Monroe says.

"There's nothing better than to have support for what they're doing. It gets the team psyched up. I look forward to a good game, and hope it will be a nice day," says Smith. The crowd "gets the players excited." It is "really nice to see that spirit."

"We'd love to see a lot of fans. A lot of people are psyched to go to the game," says Ekberg. "The crowd helps a lot. We hope to beat them really nice for a good homecoming."

Game time is 2 pm. Show a little pride in your school and show up tomorrow.

See you there.