The college football season ended the way it began, in a wild flurry of upsets. Notre Dame, beaten by USC 20-17 (page 26), was the most notable casualty, and the result dropped the Irish from the No. 1 spot among the nation's major teams. Alabama, 10-0 and headed for the Orange Bowl, was now clearly the best in the country. Only two other teams—Arkansas (10-0) and unranked Princeton (9-0)—were unbeaten and untied.
Meanwhile, persevering bowl committees, undeterred by the dwindling list of potential candidates, completed their pairings. Surprisingly, Oregon State (8-2) got the Rose Bowl invitation to play Michigan; Oklahoma (6-3-1) was in the Gator Bowl with Florida State; Utah (8-2) will meet West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl; Texas Tech and Georgia, both 6-3-1, were invited to the Sun Bowl.
THE TOP THREE:
December 7, 1964
1. ALABAMA (10-0)
2. LSU (7-1-1)
3. FLORIDA STATE (8-1-1)
Even before he got the news of Notre Dame's defeat, ALABAMA'S Bear Bryant, elated by his team's 21-14 Thanksgiving Day victory over Auburn, was telling everyone: "We think we are No. 1. We played the toughest schedule." Last Saturday The Bear had further evidence that Alabama was indeed No. 1. But there were moments against Auburn when Bryant must have wondered if his Crimson Tide was first, second or 25th. Fortunate to score on an Auburn end-zone fumble after an outrageously bad fourth-down center snap and battered shamefully by Tiger Fullback Tucker Frederickson, Alabama found itself behind 7-6 at half time. The pressure was eased somewhat when Ray Ogden, a 217-pound runner, took the second-half kickoff deep in his end zone, hesitated briefly until he got a go-ahead signal from a teammate, and then raced up the middle alley 107 yards for a touchdown. After that the Alabama defense stiffened, Quarterback Joe Namath threw one of his deadly passes over the middle to Ray Perkins for another score, and 'Bama had its undefeated season.
Vince Dooley, the 32-year-old rookie GEORGIA coach who likes to spend his spare time browsing in the school's Hah Dunlap Little Memorial Library, probably can have the whole building if he wants it. Brought in to banish the sour taste of the Wally Butts-Johnny Griffiths era, Dooley did that and more, putting enough bite in the Bulldogs to get them into the Sun Bowl. Last Saturday they nipped Georgia Tech 7-0. Quarterback Preston Ridlehuber gave Georgia a touchdown on a three-yard run in the third quarter, and then the Bulldogs played it safe. Specialist Douglas MacArthur Faircloth kept Tech at bay with his long punts (he averaged 41.4 yards), and a ferocious defense did the rest.
Two other Southeastern Conference underdogs also finished strong, VANDERBILT completed no passes but still beat Tennessee 7-0. TULANE'S aggressive Posse, a hard-hitting defensive unit, put a fearsome rush on Duke's Scotty McGlacken and the Blue Devils expired quietly, 17-0.
Miami had FLORIDA on the run in the first half. The Gators had gained only 12 yards and had no first downs. What is more, the hustling Hurricanes led 10-0. Then Coach Ray Graves split Lonesome End Charlie Casey out to one side and flanked Halfback Jack Harper to the other side. That opened up the Miami middle and allowed Harper and Fullback Larry Dupree to bang out touchdowns to give the Gators a narrow 12-10 win.
West Virginia already had the Southern Conference title but VIRGINIA TECH wanted second place badly. The Gobblers took it as Bobby Schweickert and Sonny Utz smashed VMI for 372 yards in a 35-13 rout, WILLIAM & MARY Quarterback Dennis Haglan threw three touchdown passes as the Indians trounced Richmond 33-13.
None of the Texas Southern players got to Tokyo for the Olympics, but they got a chance to watch FLORIDA A&M"S Bob Hayes, a gold medal winner, after all. Hayes took two passes from Quarterback Ernie Hart for touchdowns and sprinted 58 yards for a third as the Rattlers won 24-14.
THE TOP THREE:
1. PENN STATE (6-4)
2. SYRACUSE (7-3)
3. PRINCETON (9-0)
The big game, of course, was in Philadelphia, where ARMY successfully shelled Navy 11-8 (below). But for the 27,000 who jammed BOSTON COLLEGE'S Alumni Stadium to watch the traditional jousting with Holy Cross, the really big game was taking place in front of them. The unexpected usually happens in games between these two old rivals, so it was no surprise when sophomore Quarterback Jack Lentz, playing despite three cracked ribs, rolled out around the Boston College line to put the underdog Crusaders ahead 8-3 at half time. But BC's Eddie Foley finally got the Eagles moving in the last quarter. He passed them 50 yards in seven plays, the last one a 15-yard pitch to big End Jim Whalen, who fell into the end zone for the touchdown that won for Boston College 10-8. It was the final game of a 39-year career for Holy Cross Coach Eddie Anderson, who retired with 201 victories, but not the one he wanted desperately. "It's not nice when you don't win," said Anderson sadly.
Chuck Mills, the voluble young man who coaches the U.S. MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY at Kings Point, makes jokes when he loses—and that has happened frequently this year. But Mills had the last laugh Saturday in Atlantic City's indoor Convention Hall. His "alumni" play ("a little wrinkle to show the old grads I've been preparing for the game"), a wide lateral from Quarterback Bob Post to George Clark, who ran seven yards for a score, beat Penn Military Academy 20 16 in the "Little Army-Navy" game.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NOTRE DAME (9-1)
2. MICHIGAN (8-1)
3. NEBRASKA (9-1)
Oklahoma, either too pleased with a Gator invitation or forgetful of its bumbling, early-in-the-season ways, made a game of what should have been a romp against Oklahome State. The Sooners fumbled the ball away five times and lost it once on an interception. Even worse, State struck for a first-period touchdown and Charlie Durkee kicked three field goals, from 29, 28 and 28 yards out, for a 16-7 lead as late as the third quarter. It was almost enough to make Coach Gomer Jones wish that he was Bud Wilkinson's assistant again. But things got better in the last period. Bobby Page, a senior quarterback who can run—he scored Oklahoma's first touchdown on a 22-yard dash and wound up with 149 yards rushing—but supposedly cannot pass, suddenly got a hot hand. He found Ben Hart, an elusive sophomore end who can catch anything if someone will just throw it to him, with a 14-yard look-in pass for a touchdown. Later Page and Hart connected again on the same pattern, this time for 65 yards, and the Sooners went ahead 21-16. That should have settled things, but Oklahoma's fifth fumble gave State another chance with about five minutes to play. The weary Cowboys, however, had run out of miracles. End Tony Sellari dropped Glenn Baxter's 40-yard pass on the five, and Oklahoma, counting its blessings by now, held on for its 19th straight victory in the state series.
Wichita's stunting defenses, set up for each play by a call from the bench, undoubtedly made an impression on TULSA'S Jerry Rhome and Howard Twilley. The charging Shockers threw Rhome for 70 yards in losses but he still got away to beat them with passes. Rhome completed 18 of 29, 10 of them to Twilley, for 234 yards and two touchdowns to set another batch of NCAA records. He also rolled out eight yards for Tulsa's other touchdown and the Hurricanes—now bound for the Bluebonnet Bowl—won their eighth game, 21-7. Coach Glenn Dobbs, who used to be quite a passer himself, could not have been more pleased. "Jerry Rhome," he said flatly, "is the greatest passing quarterback in the history of football." For proof of Coach Dobbs's claim, see opposite page.
The bowl season was already on for the small colleges, NORTH DAKOTA STATE (9-1), co-champions of the North Central Conference, and Western Colorado State (9-0), the best in the Rocky Mountain Conference, had it out in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior, Mo. and North Dakota State won 14-13. SAM HOUSTON STATE (9-1) beat Findlay 32-21 in the NAIA Eastern playoff in Findlay, Ohio. The victory earned the Bearcats a shot at Concordia (Minn.) in the Champion Bowl in Augusta, Ga. on December 12.
THE TOP THREE:
1. ARKANSAS (10-0)
2. TEXAS (9-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (6-3-1)
Texas Coach Darrell Royal, who would find reason to worry if his Longhorns were scheduled to play a grammar school team, was brooding about lowly Texas A&M before the Thanksgiving Day game in Austin. "Playing the Aggies," he complained, "is like opening a box of Crackerjacks. There's a surprise in every package." Sure enough, A&M did have a surprise for listless Texas, a 7-7 tie at half time. But that was only temporary. In the second half the Longhorns picked up a safety on a bad center snap. Then Quarterbacks Marv Kristynik and Jim Hudson passed one way while Tailback Ernie Koy and Fullback Harold Philipp ran the other, leading Texas to a 26-7 win. There was even some glory for Gary Brown, a 180-pound senior end who had never before suited up for a varsity game. He caught a 10-yard pass from Hudson for a touchdown on the very last play, just before the usual game-ending fight.
Rice, double-teaming BAYLOR'S ubiquitous flanker, Larry Elkins, and exercising remarkable restraint with a superb ball-control game, had the Bears down 20-12 going into the last quarter. Then the Owls began handling the ball like a hot spare rib at a Lyndon Johnson barbeque. Rice fumbled a punt on its own 37-yard line, and Defensive End Willie Walker, who also blocked a field-goal attempt, recovered for Baylor. Soon Fullback Tom Davies smashed over from the one-yard line, and Quarterback Terry Southall's two-point pass to Elkins, who had four catches for a new NCAA record (120 in two years), tied the score. A little later Walker pounced on another Owl fumble and Southall passed 27 yards to Ken Hodge in the end zone for the winning Baylor touchdown. Final score: 27-20.
TCU and SMU stumbled around for four quarters in the Cotton Bowl and proved one thing: SMU is more inept than the persistent Horned Frogs. After 11 fumbles and three pass interceptions, TCU won the game 17-6. "I wish we had some more games left," said TCU's Abe Martin. "I always hate to quit playing." SMU's Hayden Fry, whose team finished last in the Southwest Conference with a 1-9 record, was not a bit sorry the season was over. "One thing, though," he said cheerfully, "I'm the most popular guy in the league this year. Yes, sir, everybody must sure like good old Hayden."
Cincinnati's Missouri Valley champions, still fretting over a 42-14 pasting they took from Houston two years ago, tore right into the Cougars. Halfback Al Nelson hammered away for 144 yards and a touchdown to finish third among the nation's rushers and scorers. Quarterback Brig Owens threw a 28-yard scoring pass to Errol Prisby and ran a yard for another touchdown as Cincy won 20-6. But Coach Chuck Studley wanted more. "I'm only sorry we didn't score 100 points," he lamented.
Texas Western Coach Warren Harper, after two losing years, decided enough was enough. He announced his resignation just before he sent his Miners out against COLORADO STATE. They should have resigned with him. The Rams' Jeff Willis ran 63 yards on the second play from scrimmage to start a 35-8 rout. Tom Miller threw 34 yards to Tom Pack, Tom Foster recovered a midair fumble and took it 55 yards for a third touchdown and, when the game was over, Texas Western's 1964 record was a sorry 0-8-2.
THE TOP THREE:
1. USC (7-3)
2. OREGON STATE (8-2)
3. OREGON (7-2-1)
The season ended on the Coast amidst charges and countercharges. The north section of the AAWU was jealous of the south, it was said, and excluded a more deserving USC from the Rose Bowl while voting in its own candidate, Oregon State. Actually, the conference had bowed to a procedural vote the week before. According to conference rules, only by agreement of all eight schools could the AAWU select its representative for the Rose Bowl before all conference members had finished their schedules. USC, which had Notre Dame to play and hoped to sway the other schools in its favor by its showing against the No. I team, did not agree—hence the delay. When the conference did vote, two hours after USC's splendid victory over Notre Dame, it chose Oregon State, probably by a vote of 5-3, with USC, UCLA and California favoring the Los Angeles school. Whichever way the vote had gone, there would have been bad feeling. Possibly the better team will not play January 1, but Oregon State and USC tied in league competition and at least five schools consider the Beavers more representative.
There were no bowl bids at stake in Tucson, just a blood feud involving ARIZONA and Arizona State and a valued piece of the Western Athletic Conference championship. Arizona State, beaten only once (by Utah) went into the game a clear favorite and came out of it soundly trounced, 30-6. The Wildcats simply gave Quarterback John Torok the short pass (he completed 25 of 47 for 394 yards) and, led by 210-pound Linebacker Tom Malloy, clamped down on the eager Sun Devils whenever they threatened seriously. Arizona intercepted six of Torok's passes, running them back for 124 yards, and held State to minus 23 yards rushing. Halfback Floyd Hudlow, a racy runner, led the offensive charge, going 58 and seven yards for touchdowns as Arizona earned a three-way tie with Utah and New Mexico for the WAC title.
New Mexico, meanwhile, had big trouble with Kansas State. Halfback Doug Dusenbury kept the Lobos in a hole with his spectacular 52.8-yard punting—one went 71 yards—and the stubborn Wildcat line held three times inside the 10-yard line. It took three field goals by Jack Abendschan, a 222-pound, two-way guard, to beat the Wildcats 9-7. Abendschan's kicks, all in the first half, were good for 24, 22 and 50 yards, the last a new WAC record.
With seven minutes to go, SAN JOSE STATE looked like a sure 15-7 loser to once-beaten San Diego State. Then the fun began. The Spartans scored twice and Quarterback Ken Berry's 15-yard pass to End Bob Bonds with 32 seconds to go edged San Diego 20-15.
When Slippery Rock, whose very name inspires love and laughter, came west to play LOS ANGELES STATE, the Rockets were received like foreign potentates. They were welcomed at the airport by a caravan, complete with band, presented with a scroll proclaiming Slippery Rock Day in southern California, and some friendly and sympathetic natives even formed a cheering section, complete with card stunts and miscellaneous yells. But it was all to no avail. Los Angeles State thrashed the Rockets 62-6.
THE NUMBERS GAME
When the last yard was counted, free-wheeling Tulsa and its record-breaking pass-catch team of Jerry Rhome and Howard Twilley had claimed six NCAA titles. Tulsa was first in total offense, with 4,618 yards in 10 games, passing with 3,179 yards and 34 touchdowns, and scoring with 38.4 points per game. Rhome led in total offense with 3,128 yards gained and in passing with 224 completions in 326 attempts for a .687 average, 2,870 yards and 32 touchdowns. Twilley was the leading pass receiver with 95 catches for 1,178 yards and 13 touchdowns. Wake Forest Fullback Brian Piccolo took what was left. He led the nation's rushers (1,044 yards) and scorers (111 points).
Other team leaders: rushing offense, Syracuse, 251 yards per game; rushing defense, Washington, 64.4 yards per game; least points given up per game, Arkansas, 5.7. LSU, which plays Florida next Saturday, still had a chance to catch Auburn in total defense and Kent State in pass defense. The standings: total defense, Auburn leading with 164.7 per game, LSU second with 166.7; pass defense, Kent State leading with 53.6 per game, LSU second with 63.9.
A SECOND FIDDLE FINISHES FIRST
For five frustrating years Army could not handle the only team on its schedule that really mattered: Navy. And for the last two of those years, Army's line quarterback, Rollie Stichweh (No. 16 and pronounced, please. Stitch-way), played second fiddle to Navy Quarterback Roger Staubach, (far left), who seemed able to turn every play into a chariot race. Staubach made All-America, won a Heisman Trophy and relegated most of his opposing counterparts to "Who's he?" status.
But last Saturday Army and Stichweh settled accounts. Army beat Navy 11-8, and even though a prankish Navy announcer emphasized Stichweh's comparative obscurity by introducing him to the crowd as "Stee-which," the Army quarterback outplayed Staubach as no player had before. Navy Coach Wayne Hardin may not have helped his cause when he told a pep rally crowd what he thought of Army Coach Paul Dietzel: "I've never heard a man talk so much and win so little." The comment brought only a smile from Dietzel—but it was less the smile of a press agent than of a crocodile.
Since early last winter Dietzel had been studying films of the Cotton Bowl game, where Texas almost ate Staubach alive. The lessons were graphic enough. Blitz the agile ends at Staubach while the slow-footed guards and tackles cover the middle. And tackle Staubach high, not allowing him to dance away.
On Navy's second play, Staubach went straight back to pass. But before he could start his jitterbugging, three Army linemen forced the Navy quarterback into a sitting position. That was ignominious enough, but the worst part was he was sitting in his own end zone—a humiliation worth two points to Army.
After that Stichweh had the time of his life, sprinting away from the center and skirting Navy's ends. And when Navy adjusted to that maneuver, he either completed soft, accurate passes or deftly handed off to Halfback John Seymour and Fullback Donald Parcells coming back on beautifully executed counterplays that always seemed to gain yardage when the effect was most devastating. So well did Rollie Stichweh carry out his duties, in fact, that by the game's end it seemed that everybody among the 100,000 in Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Stadium knew how to pronounce the name—at least as well as Staubach's.
BACK OF THE WEEK: USC Quarterback Craig Fertig was Notre Dame's chief tormentor. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 225 yards, threw for two touchdowns and won the game with a 15-yard pass to Halfback Rod Sherman.
LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Sonny Stowers, 195-pound Army linebacker, dumped Navy's Roger Staubach for an early safety and then concentrated on leading the furious charge that held the Middies to a mere 32 yards rushing.