Halfback Mike Garrett is a stunning outside threat. Halfback Mike Garrett (same guy) is as great a threat running inside. But then, Mike Garrett is also a fearsome threat as a pass receiver. And sometimes as a passer. And as a kick-return specialist. And as a blocker and defensive back, because he hits hard enough to maim. And, what is more, he is a threat to the outer limits of the unrestrained demeanor of his head coach at the University of Southern California, Johnny McKay. McKay feels he is being conservative when he says that Mike Garrett is not only the greatest player he ever coached, but "the best college player I have ever seen." McKay is afraid that one of these days Garrett will do something so marvelous that he, McKay, will really have to open up.
But for the time being, routine is good enough. Garrett's routine is striking in its simplicity: Quarterback Troy Winslow gives him the football to run 25 or 30 times a game, and Garrett gains about 150 yards. Winslow also passes to him a few times and, together with the finely balanced, deft-blocking USC attack, the result is routine victory piled on routine victory. The Trojans have now won four straight since a season-opening tie with Minnesota, the fourth a 14-0 shutout last Saturday of a Stanford team considered by many in Palo Alto as the school's best since World War II. Predictably, this kind of routine will carry USC into the Rose Bowl.
Stanford Coach John Ralston had a plan for 12-point-favorite Southern Cal. "Give Garrett his 130 yards," Ralston said, "because he will get them anyway. Give him 150 even, or 175; but cut him off at the goal, don't let him go for the long touchdown run and make sure the other three guys don't kill you." For 52 minutes 45 seconds Ralston's plan of containment worked just fine. It was a 0-0 game. Garrett, his 5-foot-9, 189-pound body moving forward, always forward, carried 27 times for 103 yards, but never for more than 12 yards at a time. And whenever the Trojans got close—once as close as the Stanford one-yard line—they were steadfastly shut off.
Now it was the fourth quarter, third down and seven for the Trojans on their own 23. Winslow brought his team out of the huddle into the I formation, with Garrett set to the left on the strong side. With the snap, Winslow pivoted and faked to his fullback, then rammed the ball into the belly of Halfback Rod Sherman, flying in behind the fake. Garrett took two quick jab steps toward the Stanford end, then wheeled and headed back toward the weak side. Both USC guards pulled on the delay, and Winslow yanked the ball back out of Sherman's belly and slipped it into Garrett's hands. Right Tackle Chuck Arrobio wiped out the Indian tackle on the weak side. Jerry Conroy and Frank Lopez, the guard escort, headed into the hole at weak-side tackle ahead of Garrett. Conroy took out the linebacker, Lopez the tackle. Garrett, his 9EE shoes scratching for traction, seemed to hesitate briefly, stutter-stepping, then darted to his left, parallel with the line. Winslow caught the move out of the corner of his eye and took off downfield ahead of the play. Now Winslow was joined by the fullback, Gary Fite; Sherman went for the Stanford safetyman, Fite for Corner Back Craig Ritchey. But Ritchey slipped him and appeared to have the angle on Garrett. Then along came Winslow again, a frail-appearing figure but a giant of a blocking quarterback, to send Ritchey flying. Garrett was free on a 77-yard touchdown run.
"That was it. When Garrett broke that one off, it was too much, just too much," said a dejected Ralston, speaking softly in the bombed-out quiet of the Stanford dressing room. "We had them on the ropes; we had the tempo, we were in complete command of everybody except Mike Garrett."
Garrett wound up with 205 yards on 31 carries. He has yet to be held under 146 yards—in the previous four games he rushed for 146, 154, 172 and 175 yards. A point to be made, however, is that when the opposition tries to lean on him McKay has another fine runner in Sherman—he got the insurance touchdown against Stanford on a 25-yard run—and a thinking quarterback, who knows how to get the most out of McKay's imaginative attack. And perhaps most important, as McKay will admit, "We have the best blocking since I've been at USC."
1. NEBRASKA (5-0)
2. MICHIGAN STATE (5-0)
3. PURDUE (4-0-1)
When Ohio State Quarterback Don Unverferth was driven into the turf of his own end zone last Saturday, providing MICHIGAN STATE with a 12-0 lead and evoking George Webster's ecstatic leap (left), it became suddenly clear that the Spartans were quite capable of winning the Big Ten title. Even Coach Duffy Daugherty, ordinarily not an unrestrained optimist, bubbled over following the 32-7 rout of the Buckeyes. "You know," he said, "these fellows have yet to realize their full potential."
Their potential, which will be tested by Purdue on Saturday, was good enough to hound Ohio State's treasured ground game into a minus 22 yards. Meanwhile, with Steve Juday throwing a touchdown pass and quarterbacking masterfully, the Spartans struck for 538 yards in total offense, Halfback Clint Jones scored twice (once on an 80-yard run), Fullback Bob Apisa got his fifth touchdown this year and barefooted Dick Kenney kicked his ninth field goal.
If there is such a thing as an indispensable man in college football, it has to be PURDUE'S Bob Griese. He had thrown two touchdown passes and kicked both extra points in the second half against Michigan, but still the Boilermakers were behind 15-14 with 4:37 to go. So Griese calmly took Purdue 71 yards to the Michigan 18 with five passes and then, with 55 seconds left, kicked a 35-yard field goal that barely edged over the post. The Boilermakers won 17-15.
Minnesota and Wisconsin were also unbeaten in the Big Ten. The Gophers hit Iowa with two quick scores—in 22 seconds of the third quarter—to beat the Hawkeyes 14-3. Wisconsin surprised Northwestern 21-7. ILLINOIS Fullback Jim Grabowski hammered Indiana for 186 yards to break Red Grange's career rushing record (with 2,177 yards) and scored twice as the Illini won 34-13.
Nebraska had another cakewalk in the Big Eight. The Huskers battered Kansas State with 434 yards in total offense and trounced the Wildcats 41-0. But MISSOURI had to settle for a 14-14 tie with UCLA. Down 14-0 to Gary Beban's talented passing, the Tigers caught up on Ray Thorpe's 79-yard kickoff return, Johnny Roland's 67-yard punt runback and then Roland's two-point pass to Earl Denny. COLORADO needed Frank Rogers' 33-yard field goal with 21 seconds to play to tie IOWA STATE 10-10. OKLAHOMA scored its first win, over Kansas 21-7.
Squeakers were the rule in the Mid-American, BOWLING GREEN just did beat stubborn Toledo 21-14 when big Tom Luettke charged over from the two in the last minute, KENT STATE had to come from behind to tie WESTERN MICHIGAN 10-10, and Ohio U. almost edged undefeated XAVIER. But Carroll Williams, who ran and passed for 337 yards, threw a 40-yard pass to Dan Abramowicz to win for the Musketeers 21-19.
1. NAVY (3-1-1)
2. SYRACUSE (3-2)
3. ARMY (3-2)
Before the season, when NAVY'S new Coach Bill Elias told friends that his team had a chance to win every game, they generally smiled and shrugged. Syracuse's victory in the opening game proved them right—but not by much. Navy tied Stanford, then beat Oklahoma and William & Mary and last week Pittsburgh. The Middies' secret has been a free-wheeling defense that stunts, blitzes and goes at quarterbacks with the ferocity of pit bulls. For Pitt, it also had a surprise. "We noticed in the films they were taking too long to kick," Elias said later. "We thought we could block one and practiced it all week." Sure enough, when Andy McGraw went back to punt in the second quarter, Left End Ray Hill stormed in, blocked the kick and Navy recovered on the two. On the next play Fullback Al Roodhouse scored. After that the Panthers never had a chance. Led by Linebackers Chris Hoch and Gary Gray, Navy's fast-charging defenders dropped Pitt's Kenny Lucas for 100 yards in losses, the offense scored again on Bruce Bickel's 21-yard pass to Steve Shrawder, and the Middies won their third straight 12-0.
The teams that were supposed to be the best in the East—Penn State and SYRACUSE—got together to decide merely which is better of the two. Syracuse is. Penn State set out to control the ball and succeeded admirably. It ran 91 plays to 36 for the Orange, outgained Syracuse 387 yards to 193 and led in first downs 25-8. What it did not control was Syracuse's Floyd Little. Running out of a quick I cooked up by Coach Ben Schwartzwalder especially for the occasion, the talented halfback turned the Lion flanks for 25 and 69 yards and ran a punt back 91 yards, all for touchdowns. The Orange won 28-21.
Before his team played ARMY, Rutgers Coach Johnny Bateman was worried about the Cadets' strong defense. "Boy, how they hit," he said almost wistfully. They did, and won too, 23-6, but not without some anxious moments as the Scarlet Knights managed to pierce the Army line for sizable gains. Cadet Fullback Mark Hamilton broke away for 39 yards and Tailback Sonny Stowers crashed over for two touchdowns.
The Ivy contenders were performing much as expected. Unbeaten PRINCETON, totally unimpressed by undefeated Colgate's supposedly impregnable defense, smashed the Red Raiders 27-0 as Ron Landeck and Bert Kerstetter ran through it and Charley Gogolak kicked over it. Gogolak side-kicked three extra points and two field goals to set two NCAA records—for career points by kicking (135) and field goals (22). DARTMOUTH'S defense, statistically best in the nation, was breached by Brown for 251 yards, but the Indians won anyway 35-9. HARVARD, another challenger, was happy to settle for a 3-3 tie with CORNELL. Even the have-nots had fun. COLUMBIA surprised Yale 21-7 and PENN edged Bucknell 16-13 on Carl Henderson's 18-yard field goal in the last second.
Boston U. and Holy Cross, two of the lesser independents, played to a 7-7 tie, while DELAWARE caught Villanova 24-21 when sophomore Mike Zauzig kicked a 30-yard field goal with 4:39 to go. Little MAINE is only a game away from the Yankee Conference title. The unbeaten Black Bears trounced Connecticut 24-6 as Frank Harney scored three times and Quarterback Dick DeVarney threw his eighth touchdown pass.
1. FLORIDA (4-1)
2. LSU (4-1)
3. GEORGIA (4-1)
For almost the first time in recent memory the Southeastern Conference was without an unbeaten and untied team at midseason. Georgia and Mississippi State, the last two, both went down hard, and now TENNESSEE, which tied ALABAMA 7-7, is the only SEC team without a loss.
Georgia was as plucky as ever, but all the willpower in the world could not pull the Bulldogs through against rough, tough FLORIDA STATE. Led by crashing Linebacker Bill McDowell, the Seminoles punished the Georgia backs—Halfback Bob Taylor suffered a broken leg in one pileup—then won 10-3 with a late charge. Sophomore Bill Moreman, who usually confines his activity to the kicking team, ran 20 yards for a touchdown, Pete Roberts added a 31-yard field goal and it was all over for Georgia. "They just whipped us," said Vince Dooley dejectedly.
All week long small-town disc jockeys in Mississippi woke up farmers with a Dave Clark recording of Catch Us If You Can, the song adopted by Mississippi State supporters after four straight victories. A campus assembly line turned out 3,000 cowbells, traditional symbol of Bulldog defiance, to tinkle at MEMPHIS STATE. But Memphis had not won in four games, and its back-field was broken up by injuries. The noisy preparations seemed unnecessary at best. Then Memphis' Billy Fletcher, an inspired quarterback, and Split End Bob Sherlag, a recently converted defensive back, got going and their thundering feet drowned out the cacophony. Fletcher ran and passed for four touchdowns, Sherlag caught 10 passes for 186 yards and Mississippi State lost 33-13.
LSU found a way to stop Kentucky's Rick Norton. The Bengals harassed him with a strong rush and then hounded his receivers. Norton completed only 14 passes, and alert LSU defenders snatched away six, three by Corner Back Jerry Joseph. With this problem solved, the Bengals went on to win 31-21. Sophomore Quarterback Nelson Stokley ran 50 yards for a touchdown and passed 25 to Flanker Doug Moreau for another, while Danny LeBlanc plunged for two scores.
Florida, the best SEC team now, was too much of a handful for North Carolina State. Quarterback Steve Spurrier just threw passes (21 for 258 yards and two touchdowns), Split End Charley Casey caught them (10 for 137 yards) and the Gators won easily 28-6. VANDERBILT ended Virginia Tech's unbeaten string 21-10, while MISSISSIPPI won over Tulane 24-7. But Auburn lost. The Tigers could not keep up with Kim King, GEORGIA TECH'S slick sophomore quarterback. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 135 yards, ran for 81 more and led Tech to a 23-14 victory.
The way things are going it may take federal action to sort out the ACC title mess. CLEMSON, for instance, upset previously undefeated Duke 3-2 on Frank Pearce's 31-yard field goal, NORTH CAROLINA looked like anything but a champion in defeating Maryland 12-10. And VIRGINIA, beaten the first two times out, was suddenly looking strong. The Cavaliers shut out West Virginia, the highest-scoring team in the country, and just to prove defense wasn't all the game was about, scored 41 points of their own as Tom Hodges completed 16 of 25 passes.
It was an "up" week for inconsistent MIAMI. Bill Miller, the new quarterback, threw two touchdown passes, and the Hurricanes routed Houston 44-12.
1. ARKANSAS (5-0)
2. TEXAS (4-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (4-1)
There is no monopoly on thrilling finishes in the land of Arkansas and Texas (page 24). In fact, most consistent in its ability to heighten pulse rates, come from behind and, not so incidentally, win games is TEXAS TECH. The Red Raiders turned Donny Anderson loose for a 103-yard return of the game's opening kickoff, then stumbled around as Oklahoma State took a 14-7 lead. Tech was again only playing possum. Ken Gill kicked a 21-yard field goal and, with 1:03 left, Tom Wilson pitched a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jeff White for the Raiders' third straight last-ditch victory 17-14.
SMU had not scored in the first half all season, and last Saturday in Houston it was the same old story as lowly Rice led the Mustangs at intermission 14-0. "We knew," said Dennis Partee, remembering SMU's 14-14 tie with Purdue, "if we were 14 down to that team and came back, we could do the same thing against Rice." They could, and Partee did. In the second half SMU permitted the Owls no first downs, only 25 yards in offense and Partee kicked a 43-yard field goal, with 2:03 remaining, to win 17-14.
Trailing TCU 10-3 with time running out, silky smooth sophomore Harry Ledbetter took Texas A&M on an 80-yard drive with his passes, throwing 21 yards to Ken McLean for the score. But when Ledbetter went for the two-point conversion his hurried pass was batted away. The Frogs rushed to another score and won 17-9. North Texas State forced Billy Anderson, TULSA'S passing wizard, into traps and draw plays, but he still ran for a touchdown and managed 26 of 47 passes for 323 yards and two more scores in a 27-20 victory, WEST TEXAS STATE continued unbeaten, but barely. The Buffaloes recovered from a 12-0 halftime deficit to beat Colorado State 15-12.
1. USC (4-0-1)
2. STANFORD (3-1-1)
3. UCLA (2-1-1)
Two games that in the beginning did not figure to excite interest anyplace outside of California were suddenly taking on national importance: USC vs. California and USC vs. UCLA. Both Cal and the Uclans (see Midwest) are suddenly valid contenders.
At Berkeley it was CALIFORNIA'S defense that was beginning to impress people. Bruised for a while by Washington, which rolled to a 12-3 lead, such operatives as End Steve Radich and Linebacker Jim Phillips found they could beat the lean Huskies at their own tough game, and the fun was on. The two led a furious charge that choked off the Washington backs and forced five fumbles. Meanwhile, Dan Berry's three-yard pass to Jerry Bradley, Cal's only completion in two tries, scored one touchdown, and Fullback Frank Lynch rammed over from the one to win for the Bears 16-12. "I haven't seen defense like that at Cal in 15 years," observed former Coach Pappy Waldorf admiringly.
Washington State, loaded down with sophomores, was looking good, too. The youngsters cracked down hard on Arizona's good runners and then turned to a couple of oldtimers for their offense—and their fourth win. Fullback Larry Eilmes rushed for 129 yards, and Tom Roth passed for 188 as the Cougars won 21-3.
Even before the game started OREGON'S Len Casanova worried about AIR FORCE'S Paul Stein. "That quarterback," he complained, "does everything." Then Stein almost beat the Webfoots. He ran or passed on every one of the Falcons' last 22 plays and took his team 85 yards in the final 4½ minutes to tie Oregon 18-18. It was a superb performance, but it annoyed Casanova. "No pressure on the passer," he said disgustedly. "We looked like we were doped."
Wyoming, humiliated by Utah a week earlier, went after Texas Western's Billy Stevens with an aggressive rush to beat the Miners 38-14 at their own passing game. Stevens completed 16 of 47 for 249 yards and two touchdowns, but Wyoming's Tom Wilkinson was more effective. Three of his 10 completions went for touchdowns.
Utah, however, was back where it was two weeks earlier. Two fourth-quarter field goals by NEW MEXICO'S Mickey Williams beat the Utes 13-10. Undefeated UTAH STATE trampled Montana 54-21 as Roy Shivers ran for 120 yards and three scores, and Dave Clark grabbed three touchdown passes from Ron Edwards. OREGON STATE had to come from behind to catch tough Idaho 16-14.
BEST OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Quarterback Billy Fletcher was all Memphis State needed to shock Mississippi State 33-13. He passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 94 yards and a score, kicked two field goals and three extra points.
THE LINEMAN: Arkansas' swift End Bobby Crockett caught eight of Jon Brittenum's passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Five came in the Hogs' winning drive, including a spectacular diving grab on the Longhorn one.
THE 15 HARDEST PICKS
USC OVER NOTRE DAME
The Irish want revenge. They'll get Garrett instead.
NEBRASKA OVER COLORADO
The Buffs are young and pesky, Nebraska older and meaner.
MICHIGAN STATE OVER PURDUE
State's fierce defense will stop Griese's passes.
ILLINOIS OVER DUKE
The Illini attack too violently for the straining Blue Devils.
BOWLING GREEN OVER KENT STATE
This may decide the Mid-American title. BG is stronger.
GEORGIA OVER KENTUCKY
After the usual anxious moments, the Bulldogs by a little.
ALABAMA OVER FLORIDA STATE
But 'Bama's offense had better be ready to work overtime.
VIRGINIA OVER VIRGINIA TECH
The Cavaliers have faced sterner opposition.
GEORGIA TECH OVER NAVY
The Middies are not quite up to holding the likes of Tech.
PITT OVER MIAMI
Both teams are inconsistent, but it is Miami's turn to be down.
PENN STATE OVER WEST VIRGINIA
The Lions keep threatening. This should be their week.
DARTMOUTH OVER HARVARD
The Indians are more versatile. They run and pass.
OREGON OVER WASHINGTON
The defenseless Huskies are no match for a scoring team.
UCLA OVER CALIFORNIA
Prothro's coaching and Beban's generalship are quite sufficient.
WYOMING OVER BRIGHAM YOUNG
The Cow-boys, however, will have to struggle for this one.
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS
8 RIGHT, 5 WRONG, 2 ties
SEASON'S RECORD: 39-31-5
It was Alabama's crimson against the bright orange of Tennessee and a bruising collision of two fine lines as Wing-back Hal Wantland tried to ride over them. Denied a touchdown on the second-period play shown above, Tennessee scored on the next to tie favored Alabama before 70,000 at Legion Field in Birmingham. In a rivalry dating back to 1901, the Tide has won 22 games to Tennessee's 19—there are now seven ties—and would have won another had it not turned in the kind of muddling-through performance Coach Bear Bryant is unknown for. His team fumbled away a big chance at the Volunteer 19-yard line in the second period, at the one on first down in the third quarter. But the worst was yet to come: after 'Bama drove 61 yards to the Tennessee four, sophomore Quarterback Kenny Stabler frantically threw the ball out of bounds to stop the clock with seconds left in the game. The idea was faultless, but it was based on an unfortunate false premise—that his team had a first down and goal to go. It actually was fourth down.