THE TOP THREE:
1. USC (6-3)
2. OREGON (6-3)
3. UTAH STATE (8-1)
The path to the Rose Bowl became thornier; UCLA, of all teams, thrashed surprisingly submissive Washington 14-0 and suddenly found itself, with a sad 2-7 record, a candidate to represent the Big Six at Pasadena. The Bruins, now 2-1 in the conference, can win the championship if they beat USC (also 2-1) and Washington (now 3-1) loses to WASHINGTON STATE Saturday.
November 25, 1963
"Everything fell into place," chortled UCLA's happy Bill Barnes. It did indeed. Barnes stacked two linebackers in close to shut off Husky Fullback Junior Coffey, sent his monster linebacker in motion with the deep back and tightened up his pass defense. Barnes also had some new twitches in his offense—a flanker back and more passing than ever before. Drop-back Passer Steve Sindell threw to Halfback Byron Nelson for a touchdown in the first half, Rollout Passer Larry Zeno threw to Nelson for another score in the second half.
Washington's troubles are not over yet. Washington State, with Quarterback Dale Ford out of Coach Jim Sutherland's doghouse at last, knocked off Stanford 32-15. USC, despite some expert faking and wriggling by Oregon State's elusive Vern Burke, who caught three touchdown passes from Gordon Queen, outlasted the Beavers 28-22.
California and Utah, two teams with so-so records, indulged themselves in a so-so game in snowbound Salt Lake City. Utah's defense was softer, so Cal won 35-22. Bob Berry moved OREGON 75 yards in five plays, the last one a 29-yard pass to H. D. Murphy with 11 seconds to go, to overtake Indiana 28-22. Terry Isaacson triggered AIR FORCE'S new shotgun offense with 202 yards and scored twice as the Falcons clobbered New Mexico 30-8. UTAH STATE, the nation's total offense leader, gained 408 yards but also picked up 123 yards in penalties and barely beat New Mexico State 7-6. ARIZONA STATE, ineligible for the Western AC title, made certain that Wyoming would not win it either. The Sun Devils beat the Cowboys 35-6.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NAVY (8-1)
2. PITT (7-1)
3. SYRACUSE (7-2)
All season long PITT'S "new look" had titillated its boosters and distressed every opponent but Navy. But last Saturday, with Orange and Gator Bowl scouts looking on, Coach John Michelosen went back to his old power game to beat Army 28-0. Halfback Paul Martha swept right end for 48 yards and the first Panther touchdown. When the Cadets spread their defenses, the big Pitt line made the team's belly plays work. Quarterback Fred Mazurek broke inside left end for 33 yards and a score, and Fullback Rick Leeson boomed up the middle all day for 77 yards. Stymied Army, meanwhile, went to the shotgun and even threw 20 passes—most of them desperate. "No excuses," said Coach Paul Dietzel. "We got whipped real good in the line."
Penn State, Pitt's next opponent, was less fearsome but convincing enough as it rested its wounded and still won easily, 28-14, over Holy Cross. SYRACUSE had things even easier. No. 2 Quarterback Rich King threw three touchdown passes as the Orangemen thrashed Richmond 50-0. BOSTON COLLEGE'S Jack Concannon ran and passed for 299 yards in a 30-21 win over Virginia, while Rutgers gave unbeaten DELAWARE a tussle, but lost anyway, 14-3.
The Ivy League was ready for a last-week showdown. PRINCETON (5-1), an easy 27-7 winner over Yale, can cinch the title next Saturday by defeating DARTMOUTH (4-2), which squeezed past Cornell 12-7. HARVARD (4-1-1), after outscoring Brown 24-12, needs a victory over Yale and a Princeton loss to win. COLUMBIA, out of the race, got its kicks from ubiquitous Archie Roberts. He completed 12 out of 15 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 55 and another score as Penn went down 33-8.
THE TOP THREE:
1. OKLAHOMA (7-1)
2. MICHIGAN STATE (6-1-1)
3. NEBRASKA (8-1)
With one week to go, the Big Ten race was down to two teams—MICHIGAN STATE and ILLINOIS—and they will settle their differences this week at East Lansing. Thanks to NORTHWESTERN, Ohio State was back among the also-rans. But Columbus fans, 83,988 of them, could hardly believe their eyes. They saw the Wildcats, a passing team, running fullback draw plays and halfback traps while the Buckeyes threw passes with the regularity, if not the accuracy (12 for 32), of a pro team. In the end, might prevailed over flight, as Northwestern won 17-8. How did a team as good as Northwestern lose four games? "They passed too damn much," snapped Woody Hayes.
Michigan State pulled out a 12-7 decision over Notre Dame on Sherm Lewis' 85-yard touchdown sprint. Illinois played it real cozy against Wisconsin, turning Badger errors into scores to win 17-7. Gordon Teter's 88-yard kickoff return and Ron DiGravio's one-yard sneak gave PURDUE a 13-11 victory over Minnesota, while MICHIGAN'S Mel Anthony and IOWA'S Gary Snook were in on all the touchdowns in a 21-21 tie.
Oklahoma's Bud Wilkinson was saying before the game with Missouri, "Try to trick them and you're likely to wind up losing." But Wilkinson did trick the Tigers, with a violent rush on Quarterback Gary Lane that turned his passing game into a nightmare. The Sooners won 13-3. Wilkinson is sure to have more trickery ready when his team meets NEBRASKA Saturday for the Big Eight title and a trip to the Orange Bowl. Playing without ailing Dennis Claridge, the Huskers took Oklahoma State 20-16.
There was some small comfort for two other Big Eight teams. KANSAS expected Colorado to key on Halfback Gale Sayers and it happened. But, while the Buffs were watching Sayers, the other Jayhawkers tore apart Colorado's interior line for a 43-14 victory. KANSAS STATE, after 26 straight league losses, upset Iowa State 21-10.
THE TOP THREE:
1. MISSISSIPPI (7-0-1)
2. AUBURN (7-1)
3. MEMPHIS STATE (8-0-1)
The MISSISSIPPI STATE portion of the biggest crowd (48,000) ever to attend a game in Mississippi dissolved in ecstasy when, with 85 seconds left, Sonny Fisher's 17-yard pass to Tommy Inman broke a scoreless tie. Then LSU recovered an onside kickoff at its own 49, and Billy Ezell passed four times. The last one went to End Doug Moreau for a touchdown, just 14 seconds before the gun. Said LSU Coach Charlie McClendon later, "I decided to go for the two points to win or to go home a loser." Ezell's pass was high, and McClendon went home a loser, 7-6.
Each and every year ALABAMA'S Bear Bryant begins the season by intimating darkly that his team would fare poorly against the local YMCA. Late in the season, well after 'Bama has ensconced itself high in national rankings, Bryant admits that he was a mite pessimistic. What he never was pessimistic about in 1963 was Joe Namath, who with the aid of Halfback Benny Nelson's two touchdowns led the Tide to a much-needed 27-11 win over Georgia Tech. Namath quarterbacked so smart a game that, in Bryant's words, "they kept phoning from the press box to tell me not to call any plays."
Auburn, 14-0 victor over Georgia, demonstrated early that its confidence had not been shattered by last week's upset loss. When Georgia was ruled offside as Woody Woodall kicked a 38-yard field goal, Auburn snubbed the three points for a first down. Three plays later the Plainsmen scored a touchdown. Second-string MISSISSIPPI Quarterback Jim Wcatherly completed 12 of 17 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown in the first half, and Ole Miss coasted to a 20-0 win over Tennessee, VANDERBILT and TULANE both managed to continue their no-win policy by arranging a 10-10 tie.
Navy had to score every time it got the ball to lead Duke 31-25 at half time. "Then we started thinking about getting somebody stopped," said Coach Wayne Hardin. Navy stopped Duke, all right—seven times in naval territory—and the Middies won 38-25 when John Sai scored on a 93-yard run. NORTH CAROLINA'S Junior Edge outshone Miami's George Mira in a 27-16 win, FLORIDA STATE beat North Carolina State 14-0, CLEMSON downed Maryland 21-6 and WAKE FOREST finally broke its 18-game losing streak, edging South Carolina 20-19.
THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS (9-0)
2. BAYLOR (5-3)
3. RICE (5-3)
Texas sophomore Tommy Stockton, scheduled to start for the first time, was so nervous the night before the TCU game that he had to take a sleeping pill. With the first two fullbacks out with injuries, Stockton bore a lot of responsibility for continuation of Texas' No. 1 ranking and he was scared to death. Came the game, Stockton carved out 89 of Texas' 150 yards rushing and scored a touchdown in a 17-0 win. "We knew Carlisle was a good runner, and Ford, and Harris," said chagrined TCU Coach Abe Martin. "But with Koy and Philipp out, we thought maybe their fullback wouldn't be. He was."
Also playing Texas, in reminiscence, was Baylor, which forgot to play KENTUCKY. Don Trull, the nation's leading passer, completed 17 of 30 for 248 yards and a touchdown, but allowed three interceptions. One, run back 42 yards by Kentucky Halfback Darrell Cox, sent Baylor on its way to a 19-7 defeat.
Once Arkansas bobbled a kick, and oncc SMU kicked only 13 yards. The Mustangs survived their mistake. Arkansas did not and got beaten 14-7. TEXAS A&M'S Hank Foldberg suffered one of coaching's great horrors when he had the Aggies kick off to take advantage of a strong wind. Rice's Gene Fleming raced the ball back 98 yards. Like SMU, A&M survived to upset Rice 13-6.
LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Kentucky's big tackle, Herschel Turner, had nine unassisted tackles as he personally threw Baylor backs for losses totaling 29 yards. Turner also blocked well to lead Wildcats to 19-7 upset.
BACK OF THE WEEK: Halfback Sherm Lewis scored both Michigan State touchdowns in a 12-7 win over Notre Dame. His second score represented the fifth time this year that he has run more than 80 yards.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Michigan State over Illinois. Both yield grudgingly, but State makes fewer mistakes.
Ohio State over Michigan. Woody Hayes's power game works against weaker foes.
Oklahoma over Nebraska. But Only if the Sooners hold down Nebraska's Claridge.
Missouri over Kansas. Jayhawker Sayers, however, can give Mizzou a hard time.
Pitt over Penn state. Pitt's versatile attack will exploit the Lions' tackle woes.
Harvard over Yale. Both have a defense, but the Crimson goes forward, too.
Princeton over Dartmouth. The Tigers are determined to win the Ivy League title.
North Carolina over Duke. NC's alert pass defenders will blunt Duke's best weapon.
Rice over TCU. After Texas, the Frogs are in for a letdown. Rice can win with passes.
California over Stanford. Cal's Morton will be able to escape the big Indian line.
ARIZONA OVER NEW MEXICO
ARKANSAS OVER TEXAS TECH
AUBURN OVER FLORIDA STATE
BAYLOR OVER SMU
FLORIDA OVER MIAMI
OREGON OVER OREGON STATE
USC OVER UCLA
UTAH STATE OVER UTAH
WASHINGTON OVER WASH. ST.
WISCONSIN OVER MINNESOTA
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS
13 RIGHT, 7 WRONG
SEASON'S RECORD: 121-61-7