It was a crusade. All week long the Notre Dame campus was draped with signs to remind the Fighting Irish of what happened a year ago in Los Angeles—as if they could forget. USC was coming to South Bend, and USC was the team that upset Notre Dame last season 20-17, costing it the national championship. The signs hung from ancient Sorin Hall, and from the freshman dormitories, Farley and Breen-Phillips, as well. Priests strolling through the trees wore large white buttons that said simply, "Remember." And Coach Ara Parseghian even had the word repetitiously pasted across rows of lockers in the varsity dressing room. Then came Saturday, and Notre Dame remembered, all right, but the player who seemed to want revenge the most was a fullback named Larry Conjar who didn't even make the California trip in 1964.
Conjar, a 204-pound junior from Harrisburg, Pa., bruised his way to all four Notre Dame touchdowns and 116 yards, as the Irish pounded previously undefeated (but once-tied) USC into submission 28-7. To the delight of 59,235 in the South Bend stadium on a gray, rainy afternoon, and much to the astonishment of a national television audience that had every right to expect a close, thrilling game, things went almost exactly as Parseghian—but almost nobody else—had planned.
"You can't let Mike Garrett have the ball 30 times," warned Ara before the game. The reference was to USC's splendid runner who had averaged 30 carries and 170 yards gained in each of his five previous games. "And," said Ara, "the only way to do this is to hang onto the ball ourselves. Ball control is of the most importance."
To control the ball, Parseghian installed some new wrinkles in his offense. For one thing, instead of splitting his ends out from the power-I formation, he sent them out, then curiously shifted them back in tight before the snap of the ball. He also unbalanced his line frequently, but in a different way—using both tackles on the strong side. Notre Dame is big, anyway, and with this heft up front to block for a full-house backfield of Bill Wolski, Nick Eddy and Conjar, it was Parseghian's simple plan to try and blast out USC with a ground attack that would eat up both yards and minutes.
November 1, 1965
To enhance the plan, he made another change, switching back to Bill Zloch at quarterback. Zloch is a so-so thrower, and a player who had lost the job to sophomore Tom Schoen two weeks before in the Army game, but he is a sure ball handler, and just the man, Parseghian thought, to direct this uncharacteristic rushing game.
Zloch directed a good one. Forsaking the pass (he threw only seven), he sent Conjar plowing through USC's middle and inside the tackles 20 times in the first half alone as the Trojans seemed overly conscious of Wolski's sweeps and Eddy's counters. Behind the especially fine blocking of Tackle Tom Regner, Conjar jarred and bulled and occasionally slipped his way for three, four and five yards at a time. Notre Dame scored the first three times it got the ball, with Conjar squeezing over from the two-, two-and one-yard lines.
By the end of the third quarter the Irish were ahead 28-0, and had run 58 plays to Southern Cal's 26. For all practical purposes, the game was over. And Mike Garrett had not yet seen a glimmer of daylight, though in USC's behalf it can be said that Garrett was slowed slightly by a pulled muscle, and Rod Sherman, the Trojans' other top runner, was bandaged and slowed even more.
Garrett was held to only seven yards in nine carries in the first half, and not until well into the second half when Notre Dame fell back in a "baseball" defense, did he squirt through in that peculiar, jittery style of his for two 12-yard gains, winding up with a mere 43 yards in all. Not only Conjar, but Wolski, the sparingly used Eddy, and even Zloch, running keepers, out-gained him.
Conjar, a scrapping, workhorse-type runner somewhat remindful of Emil Sitko from the Frank Leahy days, though not as nifty, is a shy lad who says, "I still have a lot of improving to do." Actually, he gave USC a tip-off on what it might expect in the 17-0 victory over Army. Playing ball control then, too, in the late stages of that game in New York's Shea Stadium, Notre Dame called on Conjar eight consecutive times. He gained 52 yards, to set up the field goal that completed Notre Dame's scoring for the night.
"Notre Dame," said USC Coach John McKay, "is, of course, the strongest team we've played. I didn't think anybody could run on us like that."
1. NEBRASKA (6-0)
2. MICHIGAN STATE (6-0)
3. NOTRE DAME (4-1)
After an undistinguished early season, the Midwest was busy trying to ignore Arkansas and reestablish itself as the king of college football. Unbeaten Nebraska, whose Fred Duda (10, left) took up where he left off the week before with his deadly passes, was one candidate for the top. So was Michigan State, also undefeated, and Notre Dame, loser only to Purdue.
Colorado, everyone thought, would be NEBRASKA'S first real test. The Buffs were unbeaten with two ties, and they played tough defense. Not tough enough, though. The Huskers got a 10-3 lead and then came the crusher. Pinned back on his own five, Duda passed into the wind to Split End Freeman White on the 35, and White outran the pack for a 95-yard touchdown. Nebraska went on to win 38-13. "A great team," said Colorado's Eddie Crowder. "About three touchdowns better than last year."
For all its proficiency, Michigan State does not stand alone in the Big Ten. MINNESOTA, a dark horse of middling ability, is still undefeated in conference games, thanks to a last-ditch Michigan gamble that failed. When Quarterback Wally Gabler took the hard-luck Wolverines in for a touchdown with only 1:22 to play, he cut Minnesota's lead to 14-13. Michigan went for two points, but End Bob Bruggers and Linebacker Gary Reierson rushed formidably and Gabler's hurried cross-field pass soared harmlessly out of the end zone. So Minnesota had its third straight and the battered old Little Brown Jug.
When Wisconsin began juggling the ball like a hot toddy, OHIO STATE pounced on three fumbles, turned them into a touchdown and two field goals by Bob Funk and beat the Badgers 20-10. NORTHWESTERN surprised Iowa with a punishing ground game that tumbled the Hawkeyes 9-0. ILLINOIS' fast sophomores ran often against Duke. One of them, Halfback Cyril Pinder, broke the game open with an 80-yard run, and the Illini won 28-14.
Indiana had heard of WASHINGTON STATE's remarkable propensity for beating Big Ten teams, but the Hoosiers, sitting on a 7-0 lead, did not think it could happen to them. It did. The Cougars moved 62 yards in the last 1:31, scored on Tom Roth's last-play pass to Doug Flansburg and then took the game 8-7 on Roth's two-point toss to Ammon McWashington. It was enough to make ex-Yale Coach John Pont long for the comparative serenity of the Ivy League.
Missouri, getting ready for its Big Eight showdown with Nebraska, went after Iowa State with its big running game. Charlie Brown and Johnny Roland swept the State flanks, Carl Reese hammered away inside and the Cyclones succumbed 23-7. What did Missouri's Dan Devine have in mind for Nebraska? "Prayer," he said plaintively.
Meanwhile OKLAHOMA and KANSAS were improving. The young Sooners hushed Kansas State's passing game with a hard rush, and Oklahoma won 27-0. Kansas took the opening kickoff 66 yards for a score against Oklahoma State, and then its tough defense shut out the Cowboys 9-0.
Bowling green, shaken up by Fred Gissendaner's 85-yard punt return in the ankle-deep mud at Kent State, slogged back to take a 7-6 lead on Tom Luettke's plunge and Jim Perry's placement. But the Falcons had to hold Kent on the two-inch line to beat them for the Mid-American lead. MIAMI of Ohio, an easy 34-0 winner over Ohio U., could take it away from them Saturday.
Tulsa's Bill Anderson had another one of his spectacular days to beat Cincinnati 49-6. He threw six touchdown passes.
1. SYRACUSE (4-2)
2. NAVY (3-2-1)
3. PRINCETON (5-0)
Penn state finally dropped the other shoe—and it landed smack on apprehensive West Virginia. The Nittany Lions dusted off some old defenses—such as the 7-diamond and 6-2-2-1—and suddenly stopped making mistakes. They buried Garrett Ford, the nation's No. 2 runner, with a fierce rush, holding him to a mere five yards, and the Mountaineers did not get a first down until Penn State led 34-6. Coach Rip Engle also had something different for the offense: an unbalanced line. Fullback Dave McNaughton hit West Virginia with weak-side thrusts, and that set up the Lions' outside game. Quarterback Jack White passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, Halfback Mike Irwin scored three times, once on a 74-yard punt return, Tom Sherman kicked three field goals and Penn State won 44-6.
Just as SYRACUSE Coach Ben Schwartzwalder said: "When you have Floyd Little who needs statistics?" At half time against Holy Cross, the Orange had only a single first down but led the Crusaders 24-6. Little had scored on a four-yard run and an 85-yard kickoff return. But Syracuse beefed up its statistics in the second half anyway, and Little got his third touchdown as Holy Cross fell 32-6.
Miami cheerleaders carried red-and-black hurricane warning flags onto the field before the game, but it was PITT that blew up the storm that wrecked Miami 28-14. Stirring things up most were two changes Coach John Michelosen made in his backfield. To counteract an expected blitz, he moved 6-foot-4 sophomore End Bob Longo to flanker and put swift Halfback Eric Crabtree in the slot. While Miami was busy worrying about Longo, Crabtree carried 22 times for 75 yards on slants, sweeps and pitchouts and Quarterback Kenny Lucas threw to Crabtree and Bob Dyer for touchdowns.
Good quarterbacks are usually hard to come by, but now BOSTON COLLEGE has two of them. When starter Ed Foley injured his shoulder, 6-foot-5 John Blair got his chance against Richmond, and he made the most of it. Blair ran for two touchdowns, passed for two and BC won easily 35-7.
The Ivy League race was down to two teams—PRINCETON and DARTMOUTH, both unbeaten. The coldly efficient Tigers smothered Penn 51-0 for their 14th straight as Charley Gogolak, the Hungarian side booter, kicked three long-range field goals (he now has 14 for an NCAA one-season record) and six extra points. Dartmouth finished off Harvard as a contender 14-0. Gene Ryzewicz, a pushy sophomore who plays quarterback and halfback, runs back punts and kickoffs and blocks like a demon, was the one who did in the Crimson. His crushing block sprang No. 1 Quarterback Mickey Beard for one touchdown, and his 31-yard pass set up Halfback Paul Klungness' 16-yard sprint for the other. Among the lower-echelon Ivies, YALE got in its licks by surprising Cornell 24-14, BROWN beat Colgate 6-0 and COLUMBIA defeated Rutgers 12-7.
Massachusetts fell behind Boston U. 12-0 and then got going to win 34-18, while MAINE, with Dick DeVarney setting three conference passing records, clobbered Rhode Island 36-0 to win the Yankee title.
1. FLORIDA (4-1)
2. LSU (5-1)
3. ALABAMA (4-1-1)
While Florida rested, there was just no end to poor Georgia's troubles. The Bulldogs, depleted by injuries, tried everything against KENTUCKY, including a pro-type offense instead of their usual tight formation. Coach Vince Dooley even moved Quarterback Preston Ridlehuber to halfback and let sophomore Kirby Moore run the team. It worked for a while and Georgia had a 10-0 lead. Then the Wildcats exploded. Within eight minutes in the second period, Quarterback Rick Norton passed for three quick scores, and all of a sudden Georgia was dead 28-10.
The Bulldogs were not alone in their misery. Mississippi State, embarrassed to death by TULANE Quarterback Bobby Duhon's left-handed passes, was upset 17-15.
For a change, ALABAMA did not have to come from behind. The Tide, fitted into a becoming 4-4 defense that stopped Florida State's passing cold, started to roll early. Fullback Leslie Kelley slashed through the Seminoles for two touchdowns and Quarterback Steve Sloan got another. The score: 21-0. TENNESSEE, the only unbeaten (but twice-tied) team in the conference, honored a commitment and played Houston while grieving for Assistant Coaches Bill Majors, Bob Jones and Charles Rash, who died after an auto accident the previous Monday. The Vols won 17-8.
LSU-OLE miss Saturday may turn out to be a game after all. LSU, naturally, had no trouble beating South Carolina 21-7, but Mississippi, blasting Vanderbilt's good defense to win 24-7, showed signs of coming alive. Auburn, however, was shocked by SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI 3-0 on George Sumrail's 26-yard field goal.
Georgia Tech had all kinds of goodies ready for Navy. First there was a blitz—Tech style—that prodded the distracted Middies oft" balance. Then there were successive 86-and 77-yard punt returns by Bill Eastman and Sam Burke. But the most succulent goodie of all was a fake draw to Tailback Lenny Snow that kept the Navy blitzers in tight. Sophomore Quarterback Kim King, faking beautifully, dropped exquisitely timed screen passes off to the side to Wingback Craig Baynham and two of them went for touchdowns. All told, King completed 16 of 23 for 172 yards and three scores as Tech swamped Navy 37-16.
Virginia Tech's Jerry Claiborne figured his team would have trouble running inside against Virginia's bulky linemen. So he had Quarterback Bobby Owens run the option. Sometimes Owens kept (for two touchdowns) and sometimes he pitched back to Halfback Dickie Longerbeam (for 164 yards) at the very last second. The option worked so well that Tech whipped the Cavaliers 22-14.
The ACC race was beginning to resolve itself. While first-place CLEMSON edged TCU 3-0, North Carolina and Maryland dropped almost out of the running, WAKE FOREST caught the Tar Heels 12-10 while NORTH CAROLINA STATE shocked Maryland 29-7.
1. ARKANSAS (6-0)
2. TEXAS (4-2)
3. TEXAS TECH (5-1)
It was early last week and Darrell Royal was talking about Texas' opponent, RICE. "They just don't play us like they play other people," he said. Owl Coach Jess Neely knows this, too, and before Saturday's game in Austin he drawled to old friend Royal, "I hope we entertain you." You would have to say that Royal and Texas were subsequently entertained—right up to the final 48 seconds when Richard Parker kicked a 33-yard field goal to give Rice a shocking 20-17 victory. It was no fluke, either. The Owls punished Quarterback Marv Kristynik with some vicious tackling, outplayed Texas on offense 273 yards to 236, and came from 14 points behind to win. Chuck Latourette was the wisest Owl, hustling 77 yards with a kickoff to set up one touchdown and seven yards to score another in Rice's first win in Austin since 1953. The last time Texas lost two games in a season was in 1960.
Celebrating elevation to the nation's No. 1 spot for the first time ever, ARKANSAS routed North Texas State 55-20. Bob Burnett scored three touchdowns and Jim Lindsey got a pair, but speed-boy Harry Jones—who rushed six times for 123 yards, scored on an 83-yard touchdown run and had two other touchdowns called back—had to leave the game with a pulled abdominal muscle. The Hogs' pass defense was hurt, too, as Vidal Carlin hit 32 of 54 passes for 306 yards.
Linebacker Kenny Gill provided TEXAS TECH with some outstanding defense—his pursuit and blockage of SMU's dangerous option plays were masterful—and he kicked field goals of 36 and 34 yards and two extra points to help the Red Raiders to a 26-24 win. Tech has now won its last four games—by a total of 13 points.
Baylor found a replacement for injured Terry Southall, and all sophomore Kenny Stockdale did in his first start was to complete 20 of 27 passes for 286 yards—better than Don Trull's best day—in a 31-0 romp over Texas A&M. And NEW MEXICO STATE, with a field goal from Al Gonzales and Tommy Feezel's 50-yard score with an intercepted pass, handed West Texas State its first loss 10-2.
1. USC (4-1-1)
2. STANFORD (4-1-1)
3. UCLA (3-1-1)
California's Ray Willsey, sitting forlornly in a corner of the Bear equipment room on a trunk labeled appropriately enough, OXYGEN, quipped: "The game wasn't as close as the score indicated." His team had just been bombed by UCLA 56-3 in Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum, and not since the good days of Red Sanders had a Bruin squad been so thoroughly devastating. With gifted sophomore Quarterback Gary Beban running and passing like an old pro and Halfback Mel Farr storming through the embattled Cal line, UCLA just romped and romped. "Everything fell into place," said Coach Tommy Prothro.
Army started out like it was going to run over STANFORD when Quarterback Fred Barofsky's 24-yard run gave the Cadets a 7-0 lead. Then the Indians' fun began. Terry DeSylvia punted out of bounds on the one to put Army into a hole, and it never got out. In 92° heat, Quarterback Dave Lewis lashed the weary Cadets with his options and passing, and Stanford won 31-14.
It looked like WASHINGTON was in for another drubbing when it trailed Oregon 14-7 going into the last quarter. Then Quarterback Tod Hullin came off the bench to save the day. He threw two touchdown passes and the Huskies won 24-20. OREGON STATE fared considerably better against Utah. Despite some early fumbling, the Beavers pulled ahead of the Utes 10-6 on Paul Brothers' 34-yard run and Mike Haggard's 27-yard field goal and stayed there.
Colorado State Coach Mike Lude thought he could stop unbeaten UTAH STATE with a ball-control game. He succeeded in one sense, running 74 plays to the Aggies' 53, but he lost in another: the score against him was 41-20. AIR FORCE finally came up a winner, trouncing Pacific 40-0 while IDAHO, with Ray McDonald ripping off 241 yards and four touchdowns, battered Montana 35-7.
The Western AC race was getting tighter. ARIZONA STATE, an infrequent winner, upset New Mexico 27-14 as John Goodman threw four touchdown passes, dropping the Lobos into a first-place tie with WYOMING.
BEST OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Utah State Halfback Roy Shivers, long a favorite of the pro scouts, scored three touchdowns, one on a 48-yard punt return, and threw an 89-yard scoring pass as the unbeaten Aggies beat Colorado State 41-20.
THE LINEMAN: Howard Twilley of Tulsa, with 14 catches, 226 yards and two scores against Cincinnati, broke Hugh Campbell's NCAA career yardage record. He now has 200 catches (73 this year) for a total of 2,578 yards.
THE 15 HARDEST PICKS
SYRACUSE OVER PITT
Better defenses than Pitt's have not been able to stop Little.
ALABAMA OVER MISSISSIPPI STATE
The Tide has a firmer line—and Sloan to throw.
FLORIDA OVER AUBURN
Spurrier will pass over the Tigers' weak secondary defense.
GEORGIA TECH OVER DUKE
Tech's young backs are quicker and Glacken may be out.
GEORGIA OVER NORTH CAROLINA
But Georgia cannot relax. Talbott makes Carolina tough.
LSU OVER MISSISSIPPI
Ole Miss is looking better, but LSU packs more punch.
NEBRASKA OVER MISSOURI
The Huskers should be ready for their toughest test.
PURDUE OVER ILLINOIS
Illinois can score, but Griese will get Purdue more points.
OHIO STATE OVER MINNESOTA
For once, sheer power prevails over good passing.
NOTRE DAME OVER NAVY
The Irish are bigger, stronger and, plainly, better.
COLORADO OVER OKLAHOMA
Colorado's precocious sophomores have matured faster.
STANFORD OVER WASHINGTON
On defense or offense, the Indians have an edge.
WASHINGTON STATE OVER OREGON STATE
The Cougars have the attack the Beavers lack.
PENN STATE OVER CALIFORNIA
The Lions are improving and the Bears are bruised.
TEXAS TECH OVER RICE
Tech wins the close ones and Rice has had its day.
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS
11 RIGHT, 4 WRONG
SEASON'S RECORD: 50-35-5