While Syracuse was showing its muscle in the West, Penn State stayed at home and tried desperately to prove that it was indeed the best in the East. But the Nittany Lions, who even used the slot T for the first time since 1959 in an effort to open up a determined Navy defense, suffered some tremulous moments before winning 20-10. Navy traded touchdowns and field goals with State Halfback Don Jonas for a 10-10 tie. Then Coach Rip Engle dipped into his seemingly inexhaustible depth and came up with sophomore Quarterback Don Caum, who ran the Lions into position for a 25-yard field goal by Jonas and then sprinted 19 yards for the clinching touchdown.
Army simply had too many troops for Richmond. Hiding all but a few basic plays from visiting scouts, the Cadets sputtered at the start, then plodded ahead to beat the Spiders 24-6 on the passing of Dick Eckert and the running of Fullback George Pappas. Brawny Boston College crushed Cincinnati 23-0; Villanova overpowered VMI 22-0; and surprisingly strong Buffalo beat Boston U. 24-12.
October 1, 1961
Coach Johnny Griffith made his SEC debut flat in a hospital bed, where he was recovering from an emergency appendectomy—and before the day was over, his Georgia Bulldogs assumed the same position on the football field. While Alabama's Bear Bryant, stylishly decked out in a straw hat to guard against 90° heat, prowled the sidelines, his linemen cracked Georgia heads with typical Crimson Tide ferocity, and a coterie of hardened backs, led by Mike Fracchia and Pat Trammell, ran over the Bulldogs 32-6.
Other conference teams sharpened thei skills against nonleague foes. Mississippi ex posed its abundant talents to TV while trouncing Arkansas 16-0 (see page 28); Vanderbilt defeated West Virginia 16-6. Mississippi State, with a zealous defense, beat Texas Tech 6-0; and Florida eased past Clemson 21-17. Only Kentucky fared badly. Miami's ends rushed Jerry Woolum, the Wildcat passer, to near distraction, and Quarterback George Mira flipped a five-yard touchdown pass to Bill Miller to give the Hurricanes a 14-7 victory.
Duke, the ACC favorite, was harassed into four fumbles by a hard-charging South Carolina line and just did manage to edge the Gamecocks 7-6. In the Southern Conference, Furman's Bill Canty threw four touchdown passes as the Paladins walloped Davidson 45-19.
Last year Missouri used the pass only as an occasional afterthought as it rushed its way to the Big Eight title. Last Saturday the Tigers decided to see how the other half lives and literally stole Washington State's passing game. While Missouri's usual careful defense diligently picked off four of Mel Melin's 34 tosses, Ron Taylor completed six out of nine for 124 yards and Mike Hunter pitched to Bill Tobin for a touchdown. But Missouri didn't completely neglect its running game. Using power sweeps and off-tackle slants, it chewed up the Cougar line as Taylor twice sneaked over from one yard out in a 28-6 rout.
Other Big Eight teams, except for Kansas, which was unexpectedly ambushed by TCU at Fort Worth, were just as profitably occupied. Dave Hoppmann, Iowa State tailback, broke away for a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and the Cyclones beat Oklahoma State 14-7. Kansas State, after nine straight losses, suddenly came alive under the deft touch of sophomore Larry Corrigan, who threw two touchdown passes, and upset Indiana 14-8. Nebraska too was off to a good start, soundly whipping North Dakota 33-0.
Utah had just as much trouble with the officials, who socked them with 80 yards in penalties, as it had with Wisconsin as the two teams slogged it out in the rain at Madison. The Redskins, who showed so much offense a week earlier, were boxed in by the testy Badger defense. Wisconsin didn't fare much better but won the game 7-0 on Quarterback Ron Miller's five-yard floater to End Pat Richter in the second quarter.
Conference teams, normally unpredictable, had an unpredictably pleasant weekend. At Waco, where there was considerable speculation over the ability of Baylor's Ronnie Bull to make the shift to fullback, the suspense lasted only until the fourth play from scrimmage. Bull took a hand-off against Wake Forest, hit the middle of the line on a trap and exploded 21 yards for a touchdown to set off a 31-0 rout of the Deacons. Before it was over, he had raced 20 yards with a screen pass from Bobby Ply for a second score, gained 74 yards and contributed four tackles from his outside linebacker post.
Rice, which had whetted even dubious Coach Jess Neely's appetite, successfully played defense with conservative LSU, just as successfully gave the punchless Tigers a lesson in offense as poker-faced Billy Cox's accurate passing sent them back to the bayou with a 16-3 licking. Texas A&M and Houston mauled each other for 60 minutes and then settled for a 7-7 tie. SMU was no match for Maryland; bumbling and stumbling, the Mustangs lost 14-6.
Coach Warren Woodson's 200th victory a week earlier came in the nick of time. New Mexico's squiggly Bobby Santiago tore into New Mexico State for 139 yards, scored twice as the Lobos ended the Aggie 16-game winning streak, 41-7.
The wonderful football that had carried Washington to two victories over the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl collapsed with a suppressed squish when Purdue put down the Huskies 13-6. The doughty Boilermakers consistently outcharged the green Washington forwards, struck for 14- and 16-yard field goals by Skip Ohl and a touchdown in the first half, then settled back to hold off a sluggish second-half challenge.
Washington wasn't the only Big Five team to lose. Willie Brown, USC's talented sophomore, was hemmed in by Georgia Tech's ends and corner backs and never did get away as the Yellow Jackets poured through the weak Trojan defenses to win 27-7. California, playing without injured Randy Gold, was no match for speedier Texas and lost 28-3. Only UCLA and Stanford came through unscathed. The Bruins' Bobby Lee Smith ran for three touchdowns to lead UCLA past Air Force 19-6; seniors Chuck Butler and Larry Royse teamed up on a 47-yard scoring pass as Stanford beat Tulane 9-7 to end its 11-game losing streak. In the North, Oregon trotted out Mel Renfro, its flashy sophomore, against Idaho. He ran 80 yards for a touchdown the second time he touched the ball, and the Ducks won 51-0.
Comfortably ahead 14-0 on Roman Gabriel's deft passing, North Carolina State saw its lead vanish into Laramie's thin air as, first, a bad pass from center sailed over Gabriel's head for a safety, then Wyoming's brilliant Chuck Lamson exploited a soft spot in the right side of the State line to lead the Cowboys on an 80-yard touchdown march for a 15-14 victory. Utah State, another Skyline contender, gained 546 yards and rolled over de-emphasized Montana 54-6. Cracked losing Coach Ray Jenkins: "I'm using a shotgun defense for the rest of the season. It consists of a multiple administration, an unbalanced coaching staff and a split alumni."
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Baylor over Pitt. The Pitt defenders, even as stout as they are, will have trouble containing All-America Ronnie Bull and the other swift Bear backs.
Penn State over Miami. Hurricane warnings are up for Penn State, but the bigger and more plentiful Nittany Lions have a better disciplined defense.
North Carolina State over North Carolina. Wiser after the loss to Wyoming, the Wolf-pack will give the ball to Roman Gabriel and hope for the best.
Georgia Tech over Rice. The Owls have enough depth to make anyone blink, but stickier defense will win for Tech.
Ohio State over TCU. The Horned Frogs surprised Kansas, but they aren't likely to catch the Buckeyes napping.
Michigan State over Wisconsin. Spartan power will overcome the Badger passing game in the Big Ten opener.
Notre Dame over Oklahoma. The Irish are aching to regain their lost prestige. Big, strong backs and linemen are ready to overpower the green Sooners.
Missouri over Minnesota. The Tigers have added passing to their usual strong running game. The ponderous Gophers won't be able to handle both.
Kansas over Wyoming. More attention to defense and John Hadl's exceptional talent will carry the disappointed Jayhawkers past the ambitious but outmanned Cowboys.
UCLA over Michigan. High hopes won't be enough to restrain the improved Bruins. UCLA's single wing will be too much for the Wolverines.
AUBURN OVER TENNESSEE
BOSTON COLLEGE OVER NORTHWESTERN
FLORIDA OVER FLORIDA STATE
HOLY CROSS OVER VILLANOVA
MARYLAND OVER CLEMSON
MISSISSIPPI OVER KENTUCKY
OREGON OVER UTAH
USC OVER SMU*
UTAH STATE OVER WASHINGTON STATE
WASHINGTON OVER ILLINOIS
*Friday night game
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS:
16 RIGHT, 3 WRONG, 1 TIE