As the 1964 college football season neared an end, bowl committees from Pasadena to Miami scrambled to till their cards. The lineup: Rose—Michigan (8-1) vs. Oregon State (8-2) or USC (6-3); Orange—Alabama (9-0) vs. Texas (8-1); Cotton—Arkansas (10-0) vs. Nebraska (9-1); Sugar—LSU (7-1-1) vs. Syracuse (7-3); Gator, with Florida State (8-1-1), and Liberty, with West Virginia (7-3), each had half a bowl. Blue-bonnet—Mississippi (5-3-1) vs. Tulsa (7-2).
THE TOP THREE:
1. OREGON STATE (8-2)
2. USC (6-3)
3. OREGON (7-2-1)
The season was over, but the West Coast still did not have a team to send against Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Happily, however, the number of candidates was down to two, co-champions USC and Oregon State. The AAWU will choose one after USC plays Notre Dame this Saturday.
USC Coach Johnny McKay's game plan for UCLA was hardly novel. Other teams had beaten the Bruins by running up the middle, and McKay figured his Trojans could do it, too. So he turned loose Halfback Mike Garrett, and the UCLA line sagged like wet tissue. Quarterback Craig Fertig passed for three touchdowns, Rod Sherman ran 38 yards for another and USC romped 34-13.
Oregon State, meanwhile, started off against Oregon like a team eager to go nowhere. State fumbled the ball away three times and dropped easy passes. The Beavers were behind 6-0 with 5:43 to play when they got the idea. They moved 41 yards in 11 plays, Booker Washington smashing over from the three-inch line. Steve Clark's kick gave State the victory, 7-6.
Washington, which needed a minor miracle to earn a trip to Pasadena, had to settle for a 14-0 victory over Washington State when USC and Oregon State won their games. The Huskies rarely looked better, as Linebacker Rick Redman crashed into the Cougar backfield, and Fullback Jeff Jordan and Halfback Charlie Browning scored.
While the contenders were busy bashing each other, STANFORD and California went at it before 76,780 at Berkeley. Cal's Craig Morton did just what was expected of him. He completed 20 of 36 passes for 247 yards. But Stanford's Dave Lewis, a rangy Chukchansis Indian sophomore quarterback, did more. He ran 11 yards for a touchdown, passed 10 to Tackle-eligible Fergus Flanagan for a second and averaged 47.4 yards punting as Stanford took the game 21-3.
Colorado and Air Force traded fists and touchdowns freely at Boulder, but the Buffs got in the most telling blow—a 91-yard kickoff return by Bill Symons—to upset the cadets 28-23. UTAH, with an ear attuned to any bowl bid, beat Utah State 14-6. NEW MEXICO and ARIZONA STATE also kept their postseason hopes alive, the Lobos with a 20-0 win over Hawaii, Arizona State with a 14-0 victory over Idaho. WYOMING thrashed Brigham Young 31-11, while NEW MEXICO STATE edged Texas Western 13-7, and ARIZONA was held to a 0-0 tie by IOWA STATE.
THE TOP THREE:
1. PENN STATE (6-4)
2. SYRACUSE (7-3)
3. PRINCETON (9-0)
What had started out as a dismal season—three straight losses and a 1-4 record in mid-October—turned out to be a satisfying one for PENN STATE. Indeed, once the Nittany Lions began beating people there was no stopping them, and last Saturday they ripped Pitt 28-0 for their fifth in a row. Middle Guard Glenn Ressler led a crashing defense that held the Panthers to 64 yards rushing, and Fullback Tom Urbanik ground out 107 yards and two touchdowns. When Pitt moved to overprotect against Urbanik's inside thrusts. Quarterback Gary Wydman and Halfback Dirk Nye flogged the Panthers with counters and scissors plays. It was sound, resourceful football.
The big game, however, was at Cambridge where HARVARD'S quick backs kept Yale hopping frantically. One of them, sophomore Bobby Leo, eventually did in the Elis 18-14 with a 46-yard power sweep in the last quarter. PRINCETON, meanwhile, had to light desperately to maintain its unbeaten record as a tough Cornell team took liberties with the Tigers' good defense. But Cosmo Iacavazzi and his friends ultimately prevailed 17-12. BROWN treated Columbia's Archie Roberts shabbily—89 yards in losses, only 10 yards in total offense—and beat the Lions 7-0. DARTMOUTH thrashed Penn 27-7.
Boston College, down 9-7 to Detroit, took the lead on Jim McGowan's 27-yard run and then sealed off the Titans with Marty Dimezza's 24-yard field goal to win 17-9. COLGATE'S Gerry Barudin ran for one touchdown and passed for two more as the Red Raiders whipped Rutgers 20-7 for their best season (7-2) in 29 years. HOLY CROSS gave retiring Coach Eddie Anderson his 201st victory, a 20-6 decision over Connecticut.
THE TOP THREE:
1. ALABAMA (9-0)
2. LSU (7-1-1)
3. FLORIDA STATE (8-1-1)
An awful thing happened to Syracuse on its way to the Sugar Bowl. The Orange got upset by WEST VIRGINIA 28-27. This time the heavy running of Floyd Little and Jim Nance and a 21-7 half-time lead were not quite enough to see the Orange through. Not that Syracuse Coach Ben Schwartzwalder was unprepared. Before the game he said he thought West Virginia would throw short passes, with the ends hooking and the backs flaring. And that is precisely what the crisp Mountaineers did. Quarterback Allen McCune caught the Syracuse linebackers lagging and punished them with little hook passes, eight of them to End Milt Clegg. But Bob Dunlevy, the other end, caught the most important one, a 50-yarder for the winning touchdown. LSU, the other Sugar Bowl team, had better luck. The Bengals squeezed past Tulane 13-3.
Not too long ago FLORIDA STATE thought it would never get a chance to play Florida. When the time finally came, the Seminoles were happy to escape with their lives, losing five and tying one. But last Saturday six years of frustration ended at Tallahassee. Steve Tensi riddled Florida's pass defense—the best in the country—for 190 yards, throwing 55 yards to flanker Fred Biletnikoff for a score. Les Murdock kicked 25-, 34-and 40-yard field goals, and State won 16-7, to earn an invitation to the Gator Bowl.
Wake Forest's one-man gang, Fullback Brian Piccolo, played the sweetest music Coach Bill Tate has ever heard. Already the nation's No. 1 rusher, Piccolo smashed North Carolina State inside and out, scoring 21 points to take the scoring lead (with 111 points) as Wake shocked State 27-13. But there was some consolation for the Wolf-pack. They backed into the ACC title when NORTH CAROLINA surprised Duke 21-15.
Miami's Bob Biletnikoff, a sophomore quarterback with a George Mira flair, softened up Vanderbilt with a touchdown pass, then ran through the startled Commodores for three scores in three minutes as the Hurricanes won their fourth straight, 35-17. KENTUCKY overtook Tennessee 12-7.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NOTRE DAME (9-0)
2. MICHIGAN (8-1)
3. NEBRASKA (9-1)
Now Iowa is a believer. The Hawkeyes had a go at unbeaten NOTRE DAME, and it was like playing Russian roulette. The rude Irish line smothered Gary Snook, holding him to eight completions in 21 attempts. Notre Dame's Johnny Huarte was more judicious with his passing. He tried 10 and completed only four, but one was a 66-yard scoring bomb to End Jack Snow. Bill Wolski ran for two touchdowns, Nick Eddy got one, and Notre Dame coasted home 28-0.
For most of the season OKLAHOMA had bumbled and fumbled, leaving behind a trail of horrendous mistakes. But not last Saturday. The Sooners met undefeated Nebraska, held on to the ball and beat the Huskers at their own system. Oklahoma hammered away diligently at Nebraska's inside, marching 88 yards to go ahead 10-7 in the last quarter. Then sub Halfback Larry Brown went 48 yards on a run that gave Oklahoma the game 17-7.
"We may have the best chance to go scoreless against Missouri that we have had in my seven years at Kansas." Kansas Coach Jack Mitchell, talking before the MISSOURI game, was only kidding, of course. Mitchell was really more worried about his shaky defense. Mizzou, with its devastating power sweeps and straight stuff, battered the Jayhawkers for 303 yards and a 34-14 victory, knocking them out of a tie with Nebraska for the Big Eight title.
While Bump Elliott's MICHIGAN team was beating Ohio State 10-0 to win a trip to the Rose Bowl, brother Pete's ILLINOIS club saved a small slice of its prestige. Linebacker Dick Butkus wrecked Michigan State's offense and Jim Grabowski did the same to the defense, running for 185 yards, mostly on trap plays, as the Illini won 16-0. There was even some small solace for other Big Ten also-rans. PURDUE outscored Indiana 28-22, and WISCONSIN upset Minnesota 14-7.
Tulsa's Jerry Rhome and Howard Twilley were at their record-breaking best again. Although plucky Toledo refused to roll over and play dead, Rhome completed 21 of 35 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Twilley caught 11 for 119 yards as the Hurricanes took their seventh game, 39-16. The new records: for Rhome, most rushing and passing plays in a season (415) and in a career (971); for Twilley, most pass-catching yards in a season (1,039).
THE TOP THREE:
1. ARKANSAS (10-0)
2. TEXAS (8-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (6-3-1)
For a while it looked as if Texas Tech was going to spoil ARKANSAS' perfect record. Tech had the Porkers caught up in a scoreless game at half time in Lubbock. Then Coach Frank Broyles decided to force Tech to spread its tough defense. He set his ends out wide and told Quarterback Fred Marshall to throw some sideline passes. It worked beautifully. When Tech spread, Tailback Bobby Burnett slipped through the tackles and around the bare Raider flanks to put Arkansas ahead. End Jerry Lamb made a leaping end-zone catch of Marshall's 28-yard pass, and the Porkers had their 11th straight, 17-0.
TCU passers proved they are impartial. They threw six completions and six interceptions as RICE won 31-0. BAYLOR'S Terry Southall tossed a couple away, too, but he saved the big one. It was a six-yard pass to Larry Elkins, and it beat SMU 16-13.
BACK OF THE WEEK: USC's Mike Garrett, a stumpy 185-pound speedball halfback who hits like a 200-pounder, made UCLA's shifting defenses worthless, ramming through the frustrated Bruins for 180 yards in 28 carries.
LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Dick Butkus, Illinois' meaty 235-pound linebacker, gave Michigan State a difficult afternoon. He made 16 tackles and once went zooming over the top to stop the Spartans on the goal line.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Notre Dame over USC. After a surprisingly tight game, the Irish go unbeaten.
Navy over Army.* Staubach is well, and that is ill news for the ailing Cadets.
Boston College over Holy Cross. The curtain comes down hard on Dr. Eddie Anderson.
Georgia Tech over Georgia. The Bulldogs will just miss nipping Tech.
Tennessee over Vanderbilt. Vandy, however, will be volunteering no aid to the foe.
Miami over Florida. The Hurricanes are blowing up a late-season storm.
Oklahoma over Oklahoma State. National honors lost, the Sooners settle for state.
New Mexico over Kansas State. The Strong Lobos will be shooting for the Sun Bowl.
Cincinnati over Houston. Cincy's Missouri Valley champs finish with a flourish.
Baylor over Rice. Air men, these days, generally beat the foot sloggers.
TCU over SMU. The only thing at stake here is the Dallas-Fort Worth championship.
Arizona State over Arizona. State's good backs will pierce Arizona's good defense.
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS: 9 RIGHT, 10 WRONG
SEASON'S RECORD: 110-81-7