THE TOP THREE:
1. ILLINOIS (4-0-1)
2. OKLAHOMA (4-1)
3. WISCONSIN (4-1)
Will the real Big Ten contenders please stand up?
November 4, 1963
Life in the Big Ten these days is just about as sedate as a Soviet-Red China shivaree—and almost as confused. Last week it was unbeaten Wisconsin's turn to go down, before OHIO STATE 13-10. When Northwestern lost to MICHIGAN STATE, three teams—Ohio State, Michigan State and Illinois—found themselves tied for first place.
Coach Woody Hayes, who recently has exhibited disquieting tendencies toward racy football, dusted off his old quarterback-fullback routine for Wisconsin, but with a surprise—Tom Barrington, a sophomore quarterback who had been sidelined by a fractured jaw suffered in a summer accident. Barrington, a slick roll-out runner, and Fullback Matt Snell hammered away incessantly at the Badgers, while the OSU halfbacks faked dutifully and stayed clear of the action. In the end, however, it was the weapon that Hayes admires least that helped Ohio State to its win. With Wisconsin ahead 10-6, Don Unverferth, another sophomore quarterback, took the Bucks 80 yards, mostly on short passes to End Tom Kiehfuss, for the winning touchdown. It was scored, of course, by Snell on an old-fashioned two-yard plunge. Hayes was pleased but characteristically cautious. "We passed much better than I dreamed," he said, "but I don't think we'll get heady over it."
Purdue, too, was back in the race. Quarterback Ron DiGravio passed and ran the Boilermakers past Iowa 14-0. MINNESOTA was not, but the Gophers, despite dreadful fumbling, beat Michigan 6-0.
Kansas State made the unpardonable error of scoring first on OKLAHOMA. Soon Jerry Cook's 26-yard field goal was lost in a swarm of Sooner touchdowns. Jim Grisham scored on a one-yard dive and a 56-yard run, Lance Rentzel ran 71 yards with a punt, and Oklahoma overwhelmed the Wildcats 34-9. The same thing happened to Colorado. Leading 6-0, the Buffs fell apart once NEBRASKA came alive. The score: 41-6.
Kansas had it easy against Oklahoma State. Halfback Gale Sayers and Quarterback Steve Renko led a 507-yard assault as the Jayhawkers won 41-7. But MISSOURI. perhaps looking ahead to Saturday's Big Eight showdown with Nebraska, had big trouble. The Tigers could manage only 54 yards and three first downs as they barely beat tough Iowa State 7-0.
Undefeated BOWLING GREEN rolled over Kent State 18-3, while OHIO U. edged Miami 13-10.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NAVY (5-1)
2. SYRACUSE (5-1)
3. PITT (4-1)
On the slanting green behind the north end zone in Annapolis' Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, friendly groundkeepers had loyally limed out their own private exhortation for the NAVY team: "PLASTER PITT." That is just what Roger Staubach did to the unbeaten Panthers, 24-12. Although assailed mercilessly and dumped for 93 yards in losses by red-dogging Pitt linemen, Staubach eluded his tormentors often enough to complete 14 of 19 passes, seven of them to End Jim Campbell, for 168 yards. He even caught two from Fullback Pat Donnelly. And when Staubach was not hurting the Panthers with his passes, their own quarterbacks were doing their bit with some aimless throwing. Fred Mazurek and Kenny Lucas each had two picked off, and each interception was followed by a score. Guard Fred Marlin kicked a 36-yard field goal, and Johnny Sai, Staubach and Donnelly all scored from the one-yard line. Pitt scored late. Lucas threw to Eric Crabtree for 39 yards and, just before the end, to Paul Martha for 74. By then, not even Chancellor Litchfield could save the Panthers.
Oregon State gambled everything on stopping SYRACUSE'S wing T power with an over-shifted wide tackle six defense. The only trouble was that it left the Beavers wide open for short pop passes over the middle. No. 3 Quarterback Richie King hit seven for 10, the other backs banged away for 189 yards, and Syracuse won easily, 31-8.
After two losing games, PENN STATE'S Rip Engle put away his swing T and went back to the old reliable slot T against West Virginia. It was a sound move. Ron Coates booted two field goals, Pete Liske threw a touchdown pass, and the Lions won 20-9.
Army stayed mostly on the ground against Washington State as Halfback Ken Waldrop led a march that produced 353 yards and two touchdowns. Rollie Stichweh's 38-yard pass to John Seymour, and Dick Heydt's 35-yard field goal completed a 23-0 trouncing of the artless Cougars.
Harvard, naturally, was tickled to death to beat Dartmouth 17-13 (see page 14), but the Crimson is already worrying about PRINCETON, which has more good backs than most Ivy teams have players. The Tigers trampled Cornell 51-14. The rest of the Ivies flexed their muscles against nonleague foes. Archie Roberts ran and passed for four touchdowns as COLUMBIA whipped Lehigh 42-21. YALE battered Colgate 31-0, and BROWN ran over Rhode Island 33-7. Even PENN won, over Rutgers 7-6.
THE TOP THREE:
1. AUBURN (5-0)
2. MISSISSIPPI (4-0-1)
3. LSU (5-1)
Two weeks ago when the unbeaten Atlantic Coast leader went down to defeat, the unhappy loser was NORTH CAROLINA STATE. Last week, when an ACC leader again suffered humiliation, the victim was Duke, beaten by State 21-7. Holding Duke to 36 yards rushing in the first half, the Wolfpack forced the Blue Devils to the air, then shot them down. Don Montgomery's 11-yard pass-interception wrapped up State's first victory over Duke since 1946. Despite the narrowness of its 7-0 win over South Carolina, NORTH CAROLINA led the ACC. Wake Forest lost its 16th straight, 32-0, to MARYLAND, and CLEMSON beat Virginia 35-0.
With three-fourths of its starting backfield injured, LSU could have been forgiven for bowing to Florida's defense, fourth in the nation. LSU did not bow, however, and indeed beat defense with defense. The Tigers' concussive line, led by Guards Robbie Huckle-bridge and Remi Prudhomme and End Billy Truax, forced an interception and a fumble that set up drives of 41 and 27 yards. Sophomore Fullback Don Schwab took the ball across for both of the touchdowns that defeated Florida 14-0.
Memphis State Quarterback Russell Vollmer ran back the opening Mississippi State kickoff 71 yards. Later Vollmer was pushed out of bounds, hurdled the back of the players' bench, hit the wire support of a fence, landed on concrete steps and got a fast ride to the hospital. There he yelled at the nurses, got his X ray in record time, and returned to the game to lead the final Memphis drive that won 17-10.
In two surprisingly close games, GEORGIA fought down Kentucky 17-14, and ALABAMA defeated Houston by only 21-13, as Cougar Halfback Mike Spratt galloped 41 and 75 yards to touchdowns on passes from Jack Skog. As usual, Billy Lothridge accounted for all GEORGIA TECH'S points on a run, a pass and a field goal in Tech's 17-3 defeat of fired-up Tulane. Just as naturally, TENNESSEE stomped Chattanooga 49-7, and MISSISSIPPI scoured Vanderbilt 27-7. VIRGINIA TECH beat Florida State 31-24 for its fifth straight since losing its opener.
THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS (6-0)
2. BAYLOR (4-1)
3. TCU (3-1-1)
Texas was in no mood to dally with Rice. The very first time the methodical Long-horns got the ball they battered the Owls with a 73-yard drive that left Rice frantically chasing Tommy Ford the last 33 yards. Tony Crosby booted his 19th straight extra point and it looked like a pleasurable evening for the Longhorns. Rice, however, came right back to score when Jerry Kelly made a leaping grab of Walt McReynolds' 19-yard pass. After that the only difference between the two teams was Crosby's 22-yard field goal that put Texas ahead 10-6. McReynolds and Benny Hollingsworth worried the Long-horns with their passes (13 for 216 yards), but the Texas line was rarely better. Led by Tackle Scott Appleton, it held Rice to a mere 39 yards rushing. Explained Appleton, "They talk a big game. They loudmouthed us a lot and called us yellowbellies." A grievous mistake, no doubt.
Now Texas is concerned about BAYLOR. The Bears turned Don Trull and Flanker Larry Elkins loose against Texas A&M, and they made Dads' Day miserable for the Aggies. Trull completed 16 of 31 passes for 242 yards, Elkins caught 10 of them for three touchdowns, and A&M went down 34-7. Brooded Coach Hank Foldberg, "We weren't prepared for all that passing." Blinked observers, what did he expect from the nation's No. 1 passer?
Texas Tech, growing up faster than anybody figured, decided it could beat favored SMU by keying on John Roderick, the fast halfback. It worked. Roderick gained only 26 yards, and SMU's offense flattened out like rolled steel. Meanwhile, Donny Anderson, Tech's brilliant sophomore, ran for 117 yards, grabbed a swing pass for a touchdown and, just for kicks, averaged 45.2 yards on five punts. Tech won 13-6.
Arkansas pounded Tulsa 56-7, while ARIZONA squeezed past West Texas State 6-3 and NORTH TEXAS surprised Wichita 7-3.
THE TOP THREE:
1. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (4-2)
2. WASHINGTON (3-3)
3. OREGON (4-2)
The Geelong and Melbourne teams could not have picked a worse time to introduce Australian football. When the Aussies, bearing a solid silver boomerang and a solid silver kangaroo as gifts, got to San Francisco, the acting mayor was off campaigning, the stadiums were all in use and bands were practicing for the Bay area's biggest (American) football weekend in a long time with California meeting use and STANFORD playing Notre Dame. Notre Dame, of course, had risen again and the local Irish-Catholic colony had risen to meet it. But Stanford's Steve Thurlow scored two touchdowns and passed for a third as Stanford upset ND 24-14. Cal, as expected, was buried by use, 36-6. Oh yes, Melbourne upset Geelong 71-66 before 2,500 spectators.
No more than a touchdown has separated WASHINGTON and Oregon since 1956, and an overflow crowd saw another nail-biter. It was 6-6 after a quarter, 13-12 Washington at the half, 19-19 after three periods. Washington's final 26-19 margin was due as much to knocking out Oregon's two siege guns as to Oregon's failure to defend. Unable to run because of an injury on his first carry, Bob Berry passed for all three Duck touchdowns. Then All-America Mel Renfro was knocked cold. After that, Husky Junior Coffey romped four yards to his second touchdown.
In their 18-12 defeat of UCLA, ILLINOIS built up a 10-0 lead rather routinely on Halfback Sam Price's 21-yard run and Jim Plankenhorn's field goal. But then UCLA scored twice on Byron Nelson's 24-yard interception and a Larry Zeno pass. Price and Fullback Jim Grabowski had to grind 62 yards in 16 plays to recoup, Grabowski scoring from the one.
Unfrightened WYOMING spurned a field goal with fourth and three on the 17, went on to score and eventually to beat Utah 26-23. AIR FORCE was chuckling on the inside after sweeping Boston College 34-7, but Coach Mike Lude was smiling on the outsideafter COLORADOSTATE, long winless, won its second game, 21-14 over Texas Western.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Mississippi over LSU. LSU has too many injuries to beat the talent-rich Rebels.
Auburn over Florida. The Gators will find that Auburn's Sidle is rarely ever idle.
Alabama over Mississippi State. State is overmatched, especially at quarterback.
Georgia Tech over Duke. Tech defends tenaciously, Duke yields too readily.
Wisconsin over Michigan State. But the Badgers will have to contain MSU's speed.
Nebraska over Missouri. Nebraska's Claridge does everything; Mizzou's backs only run.
Navy over Notre Dame. Roger Staubach's nimbleness will thwart the strong Irish rush.
Army over Air Force. Army's Cadets are sturdier in the line, steadier on the attack.
Syracuse over Pitt. A case of a tougher defense halting a versatile offense.
USC over Washington. The Huskies are not up to handling Beathard, Brown and Bedsole.
ARKANSAS OVER TEXAS A&M
BAYLOR OVER TCU
BOWLING GREEN OVER MIAMI (OHIO)
ILLINOIS OVER PURDUE
MIAMI (FLA.) OVER KENTUCKY
MINNESOTA OVER INDIANA
OHIO STATE OVER IOWA
PENN STATE OVER MARYLAND
TEXAS OVER SMU
UCLA OVER CALIFORNIA
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS
9 RIGHT, 11 WRONG
SEASON'S RECORD: 70-43-7