The world series might have gripped the East, but football had a half nelson on the Middle West, where 101,001 fans flocked to see Michigan State tame Michigan at Ann Arbor, where 82,881 Ohio State partisans held their breath at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, as the home team barely squeaked past an injury-ridden Stanford with two last-period touchdowns. Thus Ohio State and Michigan State, who do not play one another, now remain as the Big Ten's only unbeaten candidates for top national rating. Oklahoma, with only one seriously testing opponent (a subpar Notre Dame team) on its 10-game schedule, retained its national stature—as it must through most of the season—by overwhelming a mismatched foe: in this case, Kansas State. Confirming its new status as a giant of the South, Tennessee gave Duke another nudge down the incline from its once-lofty national rating in a game of uninhibited scoring. Of the South's three other leading contenders, Georgia Tech was idle, Miami easily defended the homeland against Boston College and Mississippi successfully invaded the Southwest. Also in the Southwest, TCU gave a coast-to-coast TV performance of its tremendous strength, while Texas A&M, the area's other outstanding entry in the national sweepstakes, improved its reputation at the expense of Texas Tech. In the Far West, USC remained the only team open for national honors by invading the Midwest and scoring one of the Pacific Coast's two wins over Big Ten teams this year.
With all the Ivy League having now seen action, the positions were taking shape with Yale and Princeton at the top, Columbia and Dartmouth at the bottom and Brown in the middle. The event of first importance, of course, was Pennsylvania's emergence into the victor's circle, 14-7, over Dartmouth after 19 straight losses dating back to 1953 (see page 67). Overcoming an early Dartmouth lead, the hopped-up Red and Blue team tackled and blocked so hard that it had to be considered a team victory without individual heroes. Yale overran Brown 20-2 after one of its usual lackadaisical starts which gave the team a bare 6-0 lead at the half. But the Elis were full of adrenalin as the second half started, marched off a quick touchdown and thereafter dominated the game with a stronger line that thwarted Brown's abortive comeback passes. Good running by Halfbacks Al Ward and Dennis McGill indicated better days ahead for the Bulldog. The Princeton Tiger, still feeding off the tamer game of the league, chewed up Columbia 39-0 after the emaciated Lions lost Claude Benham, their ace passer and quarterback, early in the game. Harvard, rarely a serious threat to anyone until it takes on Yale and Princeton in November, bowed meekly to little Tufts 19-13. Navy and Army continued undefeated with respective wins over Cornell (14-0) and Penn state (14-7). Cornell, still to play its first Ivy League game, stopped the Middies effectively in the first half, but they were holding against Navy's second team, which Coach Eddie Erdelatz had started after he had soured on the practice drills of his regulars. The demoted first squad took over in the second half, however, and scored both touchdowns to win the game and Coach Eddie's favor. Army once again started like a steam roller and punched across two touchdowns before Penn State could say "time out."
That scare little Connecticut threw into Yale last weekend was no accident. The UConns hog-tied Rutgers, 27-7, and established themselves as the Yankee Conference favorite. They also came within two minutes of interrupting a Rutgers 97-game scoring streak which dates back to 1944. Rhode island, 1955 Yankee champs, lost their second in three games, 13-7, to New Hampshire. Rumored discord among teammates plus the loss of Head Coach Hal Kopp to Brigham Young seems to have compounded Rhode Island's problems in this, an obvious rebuilding season. Other scores:
October 14, 1956
Amherst 40, Union 27
Hamilton 47, RPI 0
Hobart 20, Rochester 0
Holy Cross 20, Colgate 6
Juniata 25, Moravian 0
Lafayette 28, Delaware 14
Lehigh 25, Bucknell 6
Maine 14, Vermont 0
Maryland State 28, Hofstra 0
Springfield 26, Northeastern 0
Swarthmore 13, Susquehanna 12
Temple 19, Muhlenberg 14
Trinity 40, Bowdoin 13
Wesleyan 19, Coast Guard 12
Williams 42, Colby 0
Though many top teams in both the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences were engaging outside opponents in miserable weather last weekend, a vague general outline of both conference races began to emerge. It is a picture of excellent balance that promises close races, with some unexpected contenders. Mississippi and Georgia Tech still rate at the top of the SEC, but Tennessee and Vanderbilt are coming fast, perhaps too fast.
While Tech was idle, Tennessee was blitzing a good Duke team 33-20, and Vanderbilt was blasting a much-improved Alabama with unforeseen violence 32-7; Maryland's 14-0 defeat by Baylor indicates the Terps have dropped to the level of the field in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In intraconference games in the SEC, Georgia finally managed its first touchdown in three games, but it came 25 seconds from the end, and Mississippi state already was far in front, winning 19-7. Favored Florida fumbled in the mud, and Kentucky capitalized twice for scores en route to a 17-8 victory. An interconference game saw Auburn breeze over little Furman 41-0.
South Carolina's Coach Warren Giese, who was an assistant to Jim Tatum at Maryland last year, forgot noblesse oblige as his new charges upended Tatum's new pupils at North Carolina 14-0. Fine quarterbacking by Mackie Prickett and elusive running by Halfback King Dixon gave Giese's gritty Gamecocks all the edge they needed over the rebuilding Tar Heels.
Swift North Carolina State Halfbacks Dick Christy and Dick Hunter ran clemson ragged for three quarters, performing out of a confusing assortment of split-T and single-wing formations, but the Tigers recovered with two late scores and a 13-7 victory. Virginia bottled up Wake Forest and upset the Deacs in a tight one 7-6.
In the Southern Conference, high-scoring citadel tromped all over an undermanned Stetson 40-6, while Davidson groped its way through a pea-soup fog to win its homecoming game from Presbyterian 26-6. Virginia Tech broke up a tight game with two quick scores in the third period for a 20-7 victory over Florida State. Defense was ignored as VMI outscored Richmond 35-20.
Among the independents, Miami put the lid on Boston College's vaunted passing game and waltzed to a 27-6 victory Friday night, and Mississippi Southern beat Dayton. Other scores:
Boston U. 18, Wm. & Mary 18
Randolph-Macon 6, W. Maryland 2
G. Washington 13, Hardin-Simmons 7
Biggest game in the Midwest last Saturday was the Michigan-Michigan State showpiece at Ann Arbor (see page 66). The 9-0 State win took the Spartans a giant's step toward a Big Ten championship. For Michigan, the defeat was a bitter blow but did not end its dreams of a Rose Bowl trip, since neither Michigan State nor Ohio State may go. Minnesota, shrugged off in preseason forecasts, continued to play as though it, too, smelled roses. In their first outing, the Gophers routed Washington. Last Saturday they came from behind twice to knock off Purdue 21-14. Ohio State continued to roll awesomely on the ground while Indiana played a surprisingly good game against Notre Dame but lost 20-6. The Irish, incidentally, may be a good deal weaker than anyone expected a few weeks back. Wisconsin threw a scare into powerful Southern California before losing 13-6, as Jon Arnett averaged seven yards per carry on 26 tries and scored the deciding touchdown for the Trojans. Northwestern lost to Tulane 13-20, when the Green Wave's pony backs ripped off three touchdowns in the second period. Iowa remained undefeated by passing for two quick touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat stubborn Oregon State 14-13.
Oklahoma had to share the Big Seven conference leadership with several other teams Saturday, which is one of the few times the Sooners have had to share anything. They used five full teams and a couple of sixth-team players while setting a new, modern college victory string of 32 with an easy win over Kansas State 66-0.
Halfback Bob Stransky raced 80 yards in the fourth quarter to earn Colorado a wild 26-25 conference victory over Kansas. Sophomore Ellwin Indorf's two extra points spelled the difference. Nebraska's George Harshman kicked a 15-yard field goal with 45 seconds remaining, and the Cornhuskers extended a jinx over Iowa State to 11 years, 9-7. Southern Methodist scored four times on passes and edged Missouri 33-27, with Quarterback Charlie Arnold adding to his brilliant 1956 record with three touchdown passes. Other scores:
Bowling Green 46, Drake 7
Oklahoma A&M 32, Wichita 6
S. Dakota 32, N. Dakota 14
Tulsa 54, Marquette 0
Xavier 31, Ohio U. 7
Omaha 27, St. Ambrose 19
In the Southwest Conference opener Texas Christian humiliated Arkansas 41-6, gaining 330 yards on the ground, 95 in the air. All-America Jim Swink picked up 71 yards, caught a 36-yard pass, scored once on a short buck, but was outrushed by Running Mate Ken Wineburg who gained 89 yards and Fullback Buddy Dike who made 88. West Virginia foiled a 92-yard last-quarter Texas march on the one-inch line for two downs and emerged a 7-6 victor. Texas A&M mauled Texas Tech 40-7 and climbed back into national prominence. While the Aggies' sticky-fingered ends caught passes for three first-half touchdowns, A&M also moved well on the ground, rolling up 354 yards rushing. Rice mixed passing, a 55-yard run by Howard Toelscher and a 32-yard dash by Frank Ryan to squelch a surprisingly strong LSU 23-14.
Quarterback Ray Brown and Fullback Paige Cothren collaborated on slick hand-offs and pass plays to spark Mississippi to a 14-0 victory over hefty Houston. Mississippi marched 94 yards the first time it had the ball, then contained the Houston aerial circus for its 12th straight win.
Jack Hill scored twice as Utah State upset Arizona 12-7, once on a 60-yard return of a pass interception. Arizona's Art Luppino picked up 27 yards and now needs only 65 in six games to tie the alltime college-career rushing record of 3,212. He scored Arizona's lone marker. Other scores:
Arizona State 28, N. Mex. A&M 7
Texas Western 34, N. Mex. 0
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Utah and Wyoming U. kept pace in their march toward the Skyline Conference championship (they meet in Laramie October 20) with weekend victories. Utah Smothered Brigham Young University 41-6, scoring three touchdowns in the final period when Cougar defenses collapsed. Wyoming, however, had to battle down to the whistle to whip stubborn Colorado A&M 20-12. The Cowboys rolled up a 20-6 lead, then had to fight off four deep Aggie thrusts, one of which got through. Tailback Jim Crawford was the work horse for Wyoming. He scored once from 21 yards out and carried 19 times for 68 yards. Wing-back John Watts provided the most sensational run of the day with an 83-yard scamper on a reverse around left end. He got precision blocking the length of the field and scored, puffing but standing.
Denver won its first of the season, handed Montana its fourth straight loss 22-13. All the scoring in this one was in the first half, the officials taking over in the second half. In fact, the striped shirts had a field day as they marched off too much yardage in their enthusiasm, another time getting the downs mixed up, and finally permitting an ineligible receiver to catch a pass. Star for Denver was George Colbert—end converted to halfback last week—who picked up 114 yards in 14 carries.
The Air Force Academy turned loose a devastating corps of ground troops in thrashing hapless Colorado College 53-14 at Colorado Springs. The Academy boys looked like big-time football in their first varsity appearance at home. Coach Buck Shaw has them moving with precision and smartness. Even though the opponent was no match, the Academy is beginning to fall into the fine football tradition of Annapolis and West Point. Other scores:
Calif. Aggies 27, Nevada 19
Col. State 16, Adams State 0
California's victory over high-ranking Pittsburgh was anything but a fluke. In the first half Pitt was penalized 80 yards, mostly for illegal use of hands, and the penalties came at strategic times to break up Pitt marches. As the game progressed, the Bear defense grew stronger against Pitt's ground power. The Panthers, a running team, were forced into the air in the late stages to attempt a recoup, so California promptly intercepted two passes. Coach Pappy Waldorf called this "California's best game in three years." In the PCC Purity League, Cal is now definitely a Rose Bowl possibility.
College of the Pacific downed a tough Cincinnati squad 21-15 to remain undefeated. Feather-hipped Dick Bass was back in stride, gained 181 of COP's 237 rushing yards for a 9.5 average in 19 carries. Bass ran 53 yards for the second COP touchdown and set up a third with a 24-yard run. Washington State ruffled the stubborn but crippled Idaho Vandals 33-19.
Washington upset favored Illinois 28-13, before 36,000 at Seattle. The Illini took the opening kickoff, marched to the Husky two in seven plays, only to lose possession on a fumble. A couple of plays later, Dean Derby, Washington halfback, completely turned the game about, raced over left tackle for 92 yards to put the Huskies out front 7-0. It was the longest run from scrimmage in Washington's history. The Illini appeared to come apart after Derby's devastating run and fumbled away frequent first-half chances to pull even.
UCLA beat Oregon 6-0 for its 17th straight PCC victory. Other scores:
Cal. Poly 48, Pepperdine 0
Cen. Wash. 19, Whitworth 7
Fresno St. 2, San Diego Marines 0
San Diego NA 39, San Diego 0
Monmouth's Bob McKee, noting that the whistle had not blown after three Cornell College players downed a punt, scooped up the ball and ran 72 yards for a winning touchdown, ending a 13-game losing streak.
Traditional trophies began changing hands again last week. One of the first to cross school lines was The Goat—won by Carleton from St. Olaf 18-6.
Whitworth College, of Spokane, Washington, winners of 20 straight over a three-year period, finally lost one—to Central Washington 19-7.
VITAL STATISTICS : Ernie (USC) Zampieses' 85-yard quick kick against Wisconsin. Dean (Washington) Derby's 92-yard run against Illinois. Ninety-nine-yard TD marches by USC (against Wisconsin) and South Carolina (against North Carolina).
Juniata opened its season under a new coach but kept up old habits, beating Moravian for Juniata's 25th consecutive victory over a 4-year period.