STATE COLLEGE, PA.
Some of the record 32,221 football fans in Beaver Stadium began filing out before the final whistle blew. They knew they had just seen one of the hardest-hitting games in the nation. They also knew that it was over. Undefeated West Virginia had made the touchdown that upset Penn State, 19 to 14.
The Mountaineers opened with just the kind of play Penn State feared—a driving, yard-gaining game topped by an unexpected pass which put them on the Penn State four-yard line less than five minutes after kick-off. That scoring threat was fumbled away, but Mountaineer Quarterback Freddy Wyant led his team back to the one-yard line from which he plunged for a touchdown. The conversion failed, leaving West Virginia with a shaky 6 to 0 lead.
From that point on, the play was as tough as any, anywhere. Each team fumbled four times, but never out of negligence. Tacklers were hitting hard, almost paralyzing ball carriers' arms.
October 25, 1954
Two West Virginia linemen, Tackle Bruce Bosley and Guard Gene (Beef) Lamone, probably had as much to do with the victory as did Wyant, whose quarterbacking was superb. But it must have been incredibly tiring. Mountaineer Coach Art Lewis, lacking the depth of Penn State, had to play six linemen and his quarterback a full 60 minutes.
For a time it looked as if the Nittany Lions, who get their name from the valley in which Penn State lies, would come through. They scored twice in the second period, once on a pass from Quarterback Don Bailey to Halfback Ron Younker, again on a ground drive which ended with an eight-yard touchdown run by Halfback Lenny Moore. Penn State led 14 to 6, but the comfortable margin lasted only a quarter.
West Virginia took hold once more in the fourth period with a 68-yard running and passing attack which Wyant himself climaxed with a 15-yard touchdown run. Eight plays later, with less than four minutes to go, Halfback Dick Nicholson took a pitch-out from Wyant and ran 40 yards to score the winning touchdown.
If West Virginia can remain even two-thirds as keyed up as it was Saturday, Nicholson's touchdown probably will be remembered as the point at which the Mountaineers started their march to a New Year's Day bowl.
FOOTBALL AT MIDSEASON WITH FIVE TOP TEAMS
OHIO STATE 20
HICKMAN'S HUNCHES for Games of Saturday, Oct. 23
•Ohio State vs. Wisconsin. Both are undefeated, untied and, as yet, uninvited to the Rose Bowl. The winner could well take Greeley's advice and the Big Ten Championship. Stubbornly...WISCONSIN.
•Arkansas vs. Mississippi. Bowden Wyatt has worked miracles with the Razorbacks to keep them undefeated. The Rebels have run riot over mediocre opposition and can go undefeated by winning this one. So...MISSISSIPPI.
•Southern Cal. vs. California. The smell of Roses grows sweeter to the Trojans. The waft is fainter at. Berkeley. Could be an upset but—SOUTHERN CAL.
•Michigan State vs. Purdue. The Spartans lost a heartbreaker to Notre Dame. The Boilermakers were disrupted by Wisconsin's usual second-half surge. Both teams should bounce back. But—MICHIGAN STATE.
•Rice vs. Texas. Still potentially the two strongest teams in the Southwest Conference. Texas depth over Moegle and Rice...TEXAS.
•Columbia vs. Army. Lou Little got his upset over Harvard and has only a ghost of a chance against Army. The Cadets surprised Duke. Easily...ARMY.
•Michigan vs. Minnesota. In September I picked the Golden Gophers to win their first three games. Michigan could be their fifth. MINNESOTA.
•Alabama vs. Miss. State. Don't underrate this Alabama team. The Maroons are scrappy but thin. ALABAMA.
•Colorado vs. Nebraska. Colorado's backs lead the nation in offense. The Cornhuskers are improving but not enough...COLORADO.
•Oklahoma vs. Kansas State. Kansas bled last week. Kansas State will be tougher but still tender...OKLAHOMA.
Maryland over Miami, Fla. (Fri. Night)
Texas Christian over Penn State
U.C.L.A. over Oregon State
Missouri over Iowa State
Georgia Tech over Kentucky
Yale over Colgate
Southern Methodist over Kansas
Cincinnati over Xavier (Ohio)
Brown over Temple
Navy over Pennsylvania
Duke over N.C. State
Utah over Wyoming
Virginia Tech over Virginia
West Virginia over V.M.I.
Princeton over Cornell
Last week's hunches:
18 right, 7 wrong, 0 ties
Record to date: 79-26-3