For 30 minutes, while 76,132 partisans sat in shivering horror, Notre Dame pushed Michigan State around Spartan Stadium. The hard-charging Irish line held State to 12 yards rushing, punished the Spartans for 170 yards and Notre Dame led 7-0. Then Coach Duffy Daugherty went to work. He changed all the offensive blocking assignments and told the defensive backs how to rotate to meet the play. He put Tackle Jim Bobbitt (247 pounds), Guard Ed Budde (243) and Tackle Dave Behrman (253) in the line together for two-way duty and switched Defensive Back George Saimes (below) to offense. Suddenly Notre Dame's runners found their paths solidly blocked by huge Spartans. State sprang Saimes loose for 24- and 25-yard touchdown runs, added a 20-yard field goal by Art Brandstatter to polish off the Irish 17-7. Despite Michigan State's apparent affluence, the other Big Ten teams weren't about to give up the fight. Iowa looked better than ever as Quarterback Matt Szykowny completed 14 of 17 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns in a 47-15 victory over Wisconsin. Ohio State gave the ball to Fullback Bob Ferguson for 157 of its 220 yards rushing and slipped past Northwestern 10-0. Minnesota's Sandy Stephens threw four touchdown passes and the Gophers beat Illinois 33-0. Michigan held off fumbling Purdue 16-14 and Indiana won at last, over Washington State 33-7.
For the second straight week a former pupil sent Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma Sooners sprawling. This time it was Kansas' Jack Mitchell, who got another good game from John Hadl, wearing contact lenses for the first time, as the Jayhawkers beat Oklahoma 10-0. However, Colorado and Missouri still held the aces in the Big Eight. The Buffaloes, led by Lineman of the Week Joe Romig, who roamed far and wide to bat down three passes and innumerable Kansas State runners, tamed the Wildcats 13-0; Missouri, just as unyielding, took the wind out of the Iowa State Cyclones 13-7. Nebraska got a shock at Stillwater, losing to Oklahoma State 14-6.
Detroit's Jerry Gross gave Navy fits with his fine passing, but the Titans succumbed ultimately 37-19. The top three:
October 30, 1961
1. MICHIGAN STATE (4-0)
2. IOWA (4-0)
3. OHIO STATE (3-0-1)
The Southwest Conference, where title hopes are as fragile as dime-store toys, was as unpredictable as ever. Texas Tech, a Johnny-come-lately to the ways of this crazy-quilt league, showed that it had learned quickly when it upset Baylor 19-17 on H. L. Daniels' 34-yard field goal with 27 seconds to play. TCU sent Texas A&M tumbling 15-14 when Sonny Gibbs, playing with several broken ribs, passed the Horned Frogs 98 yards to the Aggie one, and Jerry Spearman kicked a 20-yard field goal with 2:12 left.
But Texas did the expected. Coach Darrell Royal, blessed with the swiftest backs in all of Texas, let them run to their hearts' content against Arkansas. Quarterback Mike Cotten, pausing occasionally to fling a well-directed pass, cleverly directed the flow of traffic against the stunting Arkansas linemen. He ran Halfbacks Jim Saxton, Jack Collins and Jerry Cook inside and outside, and the unbeaten Longhorns piled up 354 yards rushing while trampling the poor Porkers 33-7. However, Texas isn't yet safe from its pursuers. Rice, victor over SMU 10-0 Saturday, will come to Austin this week aching for an upset. The top three:
1. TEXAS (5-0)
2. RICE (3-1)
3. ARKANSAS (3-2)
All season long Coach Rip Engle had waited for his Penn State team to live up to its preseason notices and give him his 100th victory. Strangely, his big linemen had looked more like docile lambs than the ferocious Nittany Lions they were supposed to be and his backfield never seemed able to generate a sustained attack. Last Saturday Engle's patience was rewarded. While Syracuse stumbled dreadfully without its two ailing quarterbacks, Dave Sarette and Bob Lelli, State's looping linemen, led by Ends Bob Mitinger and Jim Schwab, keyed on Halfback Ernie Davis and held him to a mere 36 yards. Quarterback Galen Hall, back after missing two games with an injured shoulder, deftly spread the Syracuse defenders with his extremely accurate passes (10 out of 12 for 170 yards) and flipped to Roger Kochman and Dick Anderson for touchdowns. Kochman, meanwhile, burst through and around the stultified Orange linemen for 107 yards as the Lions thoroughly whipped Syracuse 14-0.
There were a few other surprises in the East. Unbeaten Villanova, with high-blown hopes for a Bowl date, was suddenly deflated under the precise probing of Boston College's stumpy George Van Cott, and the Eagles won 22-6. Boston U. caught West Virginia still meditating on its wonderful victory over Pitt and eased by the Mountaineers 12-6. Holy Cross marched 74 yards in the final minutes to catch Dartmouth 17-13. Shutting out its third straight foe, Colgate upset Princeton 15-0. But Army and Rutgers performed as expected. The Cadets methodically marched up and down the field against overmatched Idaho 51-7; undefeated Rutgers stayed mostly on the ground to beat Lehigh 32-15.
The Ivy League race proceeded in orderly fashion. Columbia held off Harvard to win 26-14; Yale recovered its aplomb to beat Cornell 12-0; Penn defeated Brown 7-0. The top three:
1. NAVY (4-1)
2. ARMY (4-1)
3. PENN STATE (3-2)
Continuing to rumble through a marsh-mallow schedule, Mississippi humiliated Tulane 41-0 as the other SEC contenders dutifully kept up the chase. Alabama, the team with the next best chance for the title (and almost as many marsh-mallows on its schedule), was impressive as it whipped Tennessee 34-3 for the first time since 1954. The Crimson Tide was led by the inventive Pat Trammell, who came up with a new gimmick—the "whoopee" pass—a shotputter's push over the middle to a breaking halfback. When the defense drifted to protect against the whoopee, Trammell sent Halfback Ray Abruzzese storming through the gaps. The big 'Bama line stopped everything except George Shuford's amazing 53-yard field goal.
It was homecoming night at LSU, but for a while the hosts were just too hospitable. They politely let Kentucky's Jerry Woolum pass them dizzy in the first half and were barely ahead 17-14. But LSU's aggressive Chinese Bandits finally forgot their manners, put a determined rush on Woolum and intercepted three of his passes. The "Go" team attacked brazenly from a shotgun spread and the Tigers pulled ahead 24-14. Florida, defending sturdily against Vanderbilt, beat the Commodores 7-0. Georgia Tech and Auburn bashed each other furiously before Tech won 7-6 when the gambling Tigers missed a two-point pass in the last period of the game.
While Maryland was off beating Air Force 21-0 at Denver, its ACC neighbors back home were doing their best to confuse the issue. Clemson Coach Frank Howard, perhaps the best confuser of all, had Duke thoroughly frustrated when he cleverly put two halfbacks on the Blue Devils' swing end. But his biggest surprise was sophomore Jim Parker, who twice pitched Clemson into scoring range and carried the ball over once himself for a 17-7 victory. North Carolina and North Carolina State also edged back into contention. The Tar Heels beat South Carolina 17-0 to tie Duke for first place; the vagabond Wolfpack settled down behind Roman Gabriel's passing to beat Wake Forest 7-0. The top three:
1. MISSISSIPPI (5-0)
2. ALABAMA (5-0)
3. GEORGIA TECH (4-1)
The balance of power in the Big Five now seems to be heading south. California, after a very brief renaissance, was no match for USC and lost 28-14. Quarterback Pete Beathard obediently plumbed Cal's light middle with the rocketing shots of 220-pound Fullback Ben Wilson and, when the Bear linebackers crept up closer, he passed to the open flanks on the way to two touchdowns.
UCLA's passers (0 for 7) were even more helpless than Pitt's runners (49 yards), but the Bruins belted the clawless Panthers 20-6 with Tailback Mike Haffner roaming through the Pitt line for 120 yards. Cracked UCLA Coach Billy Barnes, "We have a passing attack. The trouble is we don't have a passer."
Up north, Washington's Jim Owens was still experimenting. Last Saturday he moved third-string Quarterback Bill Siler to wingback, put him in motion and the Huskies beat Stanford 13-0.
Wyoming and Utah set the stage for Saturday's Cowboys vs. Indians Skyline battle at Salt Lake City. Chuck Lamson led Wyoming past Brigham Young 36-8 while Utah beat Montana 24-12. But Colorado State's Tuffy Mullison was convinced that Utah State is the best in the conference. "Once those Aggies get rolling, they kill you," muttered Mullison in agonized admiration after State crushed his Rams 49-3. The top three:
1. WYOMING (4-0-2)
2. WASHINGTON (3-2)
3. UCLA (3-2)
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Penn State over California.
The Nittany Lions are roaring again. Cal's Randy Gold will have to hustle to keep Bob Mitinger and the other State toughies off his back.
LSU over Florida.
Ambitious Gators will seriously test the LSU defense, but the Tigers have a knack of making a little go a long way.
Iowa over Purdue.
Matt Szykowny's passes and a horde of able Hawkeyes will be too much for the diligent but unimaginative Boilermakers.
Michigan over Minnesota.
But not without some difficulty. The head-butting in the line will be fierce as both teams strive to stay in the Big Ten race.
Notre Dame over Northwestern.
There aren't many smiling Irish eyes at South Bend this week, but Northwestern isn't Michigan State, and those good Notre Dame backs will find room to run again.
Missouri over Nebraska.
Although Stubborn enough up front, the Huskers will be too busy chasing Tigers to muster an offense.
Texas over Rice.
Jim Saxton and his swift Longhorn playmates will leave the slower Owls blinking with confusion.
UCLA over Stanford.
The Bruins have an eye on the Rose Bowl. They may be deterred, but not by Stanford.
Washington over Oregon.
Although these aren't the Huskies of 1960, Coach Jim Owens always manages to have a surprise or two ready for would-be marauders.
Wyoming over Utah.
This is the week for the fur to fly in the Skyline. A healthy Chuck Lamson will be too much to handle—even for that tough Utah line.
AUBURN OVER CLEMSON
ARMY OVER WEST VIRGINIA
COLORADO OVER OKLAHOMA
DARTMOUTH OVER HARVARD
DUKE OVER NORTH CAROLINA STATE
MIAMI OVER NORTH CAROLINA*
MISSISSIPPI OVER VANDERBILT
NAVY OVER PITT
PRINCETON OVER CORNELL
SYRACUSE OVER HOLY CROSS
*Friday night game
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS:
16 RIGHT, 4 WRONG
SEASON'S RECORD: 65-30-5