The University of Cincinnati is, with the Oklahoma Sooners, enjoying the longest winning streak of any major college team: 15 games. The opposition for the U.C. Bearcats may not be as tough as it is for the Sooners, but Cincinnati is a driving team of cold efficiency which a year ago led the nation in both offense and defense.
The Bearcats are coached by Sid Gillman, who, after a year as my successor as line coach at West Point, has won 49 games at Cincinnati while losing but 11. His squads are now so respected that the problem is no longer how to win the games. It is how to sign up suitable opponents. Last week, on the way to the seventh victory of the season, Gillman and his boys found a most suitable opponent: the rebounding College of the Pacific Tigers, who lost their first three games, then won the next three against formidable rivals. Watching the game, somehow you always had the feeling that the Tigers' efforts were futile even though Cincinnati did not play its best.
The West Coast eleven, which relies strongly on the passing of Quarterback Billy Jacobs, was handicapped when Jacobs came up for this game with a fractured right thumb. Jacobs nonetheless worked on some beautifully conceived pass patterns, thrown, for the most part, with a halfback set wide as flanker to either side. His favorite target was End A. D. Williams, who averted a C.O.P. shutout with a touchdown catch with just 29 seconds left to play.
November 8, 1954
Cincinnati played a sound, strong and conservative game. Lucky not to be trailing at halftime, when Jacobs barely overthrew Don Cornell in the flat in the last seconds of the second period, the Bearcats scored both touchdowns in the last half. The first drive went 56 yards in 14 plays. Quarterback Mike Murphy slashed his able backs, Dick Goist, Joe Miller and Jim Niemann "down the gut" and slanted them off tackle through C.O.P.'s tightly packed and stubborn mixture of 7-2-2 and 5-4-2 defenses. Murphy then sneaked over from the two for the score, Ferd Maccioli converted and the Bearcats led 7-0. Murphy set up the next score too, with a pass interception on his 27. This drive had more imagination but the same result: 14 plays for a TD. Niemann was the main work horse in the sequence, catching one Murphy pass for 17 yards, going off-tackle nicely and finally carrying it over from the three on a straight-ahead quick opener. The last period was only five minutes old, but the outcome of the game was settled and neither the score nor statistics represent U.C.'s true strength.
But enough about the "artists." I'm an old lineman and love to watch the men in the "fighting rows." Gillman's offensive line techniques are beautiful to behold. He has a stocky, senior 200-pound guard named Jack Campbell who does just about everything a guard should. My crystal ball tells me there is also lots of future for Jim Nisby, a C.O.P. sophomore tackle. After the game Gillman moaned over the strain of keeping a winning streak intact. Solid burghers of Cincinnati filled the air over Nippert Stadium with cries of "Gator Bowl!" I believe these fans would fill the Gator Bowl if the Bearcats were invited, but there are still three games to go. I'm going with Cincinnati.
GEORGIA vs. FLORIDA
SLIPPERY ROCK vs. CLARION STATE
SQUEAKS AND UPSETS OF THE WEEK
The Cadets, losing possession on five fumbles—including this one in the Virginia end zone—had no breather.
NOTRE DAME: 6
A Navy fumble, this one on the Irish one-foot line, halted Middie threat when Guglielmi (right) recovered.
WEST VA.: 10
Panthers' Corny Salvaterra (35) fired two TD passes, also did some running, to upset the unbeaten West Virginians.
BOSTON C.: 14
Xavier's Don St. John bulls over in the slop to halt his team's 12-game winless streak, hand B.C. first loss.
HICKMAN'S HUNCHES for Games of Saturday, Nov. 6
•Yale vs. Army. The Elis are big, strong and fast. The Cadets are bigger, stronger and faster. ARMY.
•Florida vs. Georgia. The Bulldogs have surprised everyone by remaining undefeated in SEC play. The Gators sport a 4-1 conference record. A Sugar Bowl bid could hinge on the outcome. Sweets for the sweeter...FLORIDA.
•Arkansas vs. Rice. Amazing Arkansas still remains undefeated. The Owls are no fly-by-night outfit. An upset...RICE.
•Navy vs. Duke. General Mud and Notre Dame beat Navy last Saturday in the Battle of Baltimore. The Blue Devils came back from an 0-20 deficit to defeat Georgia Tech. Still coming...DUKE.
•Ohio State vs. Pittsburgh. Tom Hamilton, the pro-tem Panther coach, is unbeaten in his three-game tenure. The Buckeyes are unbeaten all the way, and still will be after the Pittsburgh game. OHIO STATE.
•Michigan vs. Illinois. The Indiana Hoosiers with Helinski stunned the Wolverines last Saturday. The Illini are still in a coma. MICHIGAN.
•U.C.L.A. vs. Oregon. The point-a-minute Uclans started rolling early and their momentum has not decreased. Oregon is no road block...U.C.L.A.
•North Carolina vs. South Carolina. The Tarheels are improving. The Gamecocks have had their ups and downs. The Governor of South Carolina said to the Governor of North Carolina: Suh, I give you...SOUTH CAROLINA.
•Missouri vs. Colorado. Old Mizzou and the boys from Boulder both suffered honorable defeats last week from Nebraska and Oklahoma. Eyes are still turned south toward the Orange Bowl. Evenly matched, but...MISSOURI.
•Auburn vs. Miami (Fla.). Auburn has been a bit disappointing so far. The Hurricane shows no signs of blowing itself out. So...MIAMI.
Georgia Tech over Tennessee
Oklahoma over Iowa State
Maryland over N. C. State
Michigan State over Washington State
Minnesota over Oregon State
Notre Dame over Pennsylvania
Southern Cal. over Stanford
S.M.U. over Texas A. & M.
West Virginia over Fordham
California over Washington
Wisconsin over Northwestern
Princeton over Harvard
William and Mary over V.M.I.
Wyoming over Utah State
Kentucky over Vanderbilt
Last week's hunches: 17 right, 5 wrong, 3 ties Record to date: 109-42-7