"In the opening game with Miami you're gonna see an All-America quarterback," Pitt Quarterback Jim Traficant immodestly informed the locker room after a spectacular practice last spring. "Yeah," a teammate retorted laconically. "His name is George Mira." The name was indeed George Mira as the facile Key Wester led touchdown marches of 97, 73 and 95 yards for a 23-14 Miami victory.
With Steve Tensi passing for three touchdowns, Eddie Feely passing for two more and running for one, Florida State submerged The Citadel 49-0. Memphis State, beset by rain, fumbles and a dogged Tennessee Tech defense, eked out a soggy 12-6 win.
Alabama, having already lost pulverizing Fullback Mike Fracchia for the season, also lost Dink Wall, Fracchia's replacement and the Tide's second leading ground-gainer last year, who reinjured a knee. In deeper trouble is new Kentucky Coach Charlie Bradshaw, whose Wildcats now number 32. Since spring, 56 players have quit the team. "I haven't been inhuman," says Bradshaw.
Mississippi has looked unusually strong and recovered Tennessee Tailback Mallon Faircloth is running brilliantly.
Iowa State's brand-new T formation and humid 82 weather didn't prevent out-manned Drake from scaring the Cyclones before losing 14-7. After 83-and 44-yard first-quarter touchdown runs by Wichita, Louisville celebrated its first game as a major team by upsetting last year's Missouri Valley champions 21-20. Miami beat Xavier 23-14, and Kent mashed Dayton 22-7.
In scrimmage Ohio State's first team got the ball 11 times and scored 10 touchdowns. The Big Ten got the message. Purdue lost five linemen and is talking poor mouth. Iowa has its new "floater" offense, which will send out five gifted receivers.
When Oklahoma's brilliant sophomore quarterback, Tom Pannell, broke an ankle, the Sooners produced Ron Fletcher, fifth-string sophomore who sold hot dogs last year. Nebraska's Thunder Thornton is out a month with a dislocated shoulder, and four more Colorado players were asked to leave.
While New Mexico defeated New Mexico State 28-17, West Texas beat Trinity 61-0. Texas is further along than it was a year ago, as is TCU's Sonny Gibbs. New Coach Hank Foldberg has instilled discipline and desire into Texas A&M.
Montana gave Wyoming, favored to win the WAC title, a surprisingly stiff battle before accepting defeat 13-0. Brigham Young, sure to finish last, lost 26-7 to Pacific and Utah State beat San Jose 29-18.
Washington looks so good, Saturday's Purdue game is being called a Rose Bowl preview. USC's hopes still hang on Fullback Ben Wilson's recovery.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Penn state over Navy. Surer defense and running will win the East's first major battle.
LSU over Texas A&M. The Tigers have too many big linemen and scurrying backs.
Maryland over SMU. The Terrapins will overwhelm the hopeful Mustangs.
Texas over Oregon. But the Longhorns will have to be at their very best.
Kansas over TCU. Despite losses, the Jay-hawkers are too quick for the lively Frogs.
Oklahoma over Syracuse. The Sooners of old—and over the Orange of the future.
Missouri over California. Not as devastating as last year, Mizzou can still outrun Cal.
Duke over use. Skimpy Trojan defenses aren't ready for Duke's abundant backs.
Purdue over Washington. Purdue will hound the Huskies with a deep defense.
Utah over Colorado. Utah has too many Redskins for the water-thin Buffaloes.
BAYLOR OVER HOUSTON
BOSTON COLLEGE OVER DETROIT
GEORGIA TECH OVER CLEMSON
IOWA STATE OVER OREGON STATE
KENTUCKY OVER FLORIDA STATE
MISSISSIPPI OVER MEMPHIS STATE
N.C. STATE OVER NORTH CAROLINA
VILLANOVA OVER VMI
WEST VIRGINIA OVER VANDERBILT
WYOMING OVER NEW MEXICO
LAST SEASON'S RECORD
139 RIGHT, 65 WRONG, 6 TIED. AVERAGE: .681