1. FLORIDA (3-0)
2. LSU (3-0)
3. GEORGIA (2-0-1)
The battle of the brains was intense before the Alabama-Mississippi game. 'Bama pulled the curtains on its AstroTurf practice field and Ole Miss locked the gates for its sessions and went to two workouts a day as the noises emanating from the two hideaways sounded like a George Wallace campaign rally. Finally the two teams got at each other and for almost a half they were locked in a scoreless duel. Then, with less than two minutes to play in the second quarter, Ole Miss Quarterback Archie Manning hit Vernon Studdard on a 49-yard pass play to the Alabama 12 and a moment later he passed six yards to Hank Shows for the touchdown. Perry King kicked the extra point, but his crucial boot came later, a 44-yard field goal that made it 10-0. Alabama was shut out until the last eight seconds when a blocked kick led to the final score of 10-8. It was the first Ole Miss victory over the Crimson Tide since 1910.
The win put Mississippi in a tic for the SEC lead with Auburn, which won its second conference game as John Riley kicked Kentucky into submission, 26-7, with four field goals—from 22, 23, 47 and 30 yards—an SEC record. "The good Lord was with me," said Riley, sharing the credit.
October 13, 1968
Florida was the only other SEC team with a conference victory, and it came easy enough for the Gators, who defeated Mississippi State 31-14. The other contenders were still busy playing nonconference opponents. LSU rolled over Baylor 48-16, but Georgia almost didn't make it past South Carolina. Coach Paul Dietzel's alert defense—Roy Don Reeves, brother of the Dallas Cowboys' Dan, intercepted three passes—and two field goals by Billy DuPre had the Gamecocks ahead 20-7 in the first half. Then Quarterback Mike Cavan found his passing touch and Georgia's big backs began to hammer. Cavan's 15-yard pass to Kent Lawrence and Jim McCullough's extra point barely pulled the Bulldogs through 21-20.
There is nothing that makes Florida State Coach Bill Peterson angrier than not scoring a touchdown. So, after last week's 9-3 Florida defeat, he shook up his offensive unit, bringing in Bill Cappleman at quarterback, sophomore Jim Tyson at tight end and sophomore Tom Bailey at fullback. The changes worked. While a tough Seminole defense, led by Linebacker Dale McCullers, stopped Texas A&M's gaudy Edd Hargett—he was intercepted four times—the newcomers fired up FSU. Cappleman passed for two touchdowns, once to Tyson, and Bailey gained 90 yards as FSU won 20-14.
Clemson has been coming down to Georgia Tech's Grant Field on and off since 1945, and each time Coach Frank Howard has taken home a lot of loot for the athletic vault. But never a victory. Last Saturday Howard got a check for $150,000 along with his usual defeat, this time 24-21, as Tech Quarterback Larry Good threw two touchdown passes. After the game, the familiar twinkle was gone from Howard's eye as he said, "I thought we could beat their behinds. It's hell to go home without a win."
For a while West Virginia's sophomore quarterback, Mike Sherwood, had third-ranked Penn State confused as he pitched the Mountaineers to a 14-7 lead. But then the Lion tackles, Mike Reid and Steve Smear, the heart of Penn State's good defense, began to get to him. What discouraged Sherwood even more, though, was Linebacker Dennis Onkotz's penchant for grabbing his passes. Onkotz ran one back nine yards for a touchdown and set up another score with an interception. That, and some slick running by Charlie Pittman, who gained 125 yards, won for Penn State 31-20.
Duke Coach Tom Harp knows how to give a guy confidence. With his team trailing Maryland 28-27 and driving to within field goal range, he had David Pugh, his placekicker, warm up by kicking footballs into the stands. With three seconds to go and the bad kicks out of his system, Pugh came in and converted a 27-yarder to give the Blue Devils a 30-28 victory and hard-luck Maryland its 16th straight loss. North Carolina took advantage of a bad Vanderbilt center snap to score a touchdown in the last quarter and beat Vandy 8-7.
1. PURDUE (3-0)
2. KANSAS (3-0)
3. NEBRASKA (3-0)
"We ran every place but across the goal line," complained Purdue's Jack Mollenkopf. That may sound like strange talk from a man whose team had just scored six touchdowns and ravaged weak Northwestern 43-6. Mollenkopf could tell, though, that for his No. 1-ranked Boilermakers it was a letdown after the performance against Notre Dame. For instance, Leroy Keyes was just an everyday run-of-the-TD immortal. He only scored three touchdowns, all on six-yard sprints. Northwestern could just be thankful it didn't get Purdue on one of its good days.
This is what Ohio State is likely to encounter when it meets Purdue in the first Big Ten showdown in Columbus this Saturday. The young Bucks were themselves pretty subdued in beating Oregon 21-6. Woody Hayes, naturally, did not want to show Purdue scouts any part of his team's "new look," so Ohio State just mushed along with Fullback Jim Otis pounding the Ducks' middle for 102 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown run. Even so, OSU's defense was impressive, holding the visitors without a first down in the second half.
Regardless of what happens in Columbus, Michigan State and Indiana remain quite alive in the Big Ten title race. Still unbeaten, Michigan State mashed Wisconsin 39-0, while Indiana, up to its old cliff-hanger tricks, got a touchdown pass and a five-yard scoring run by Quarterback Harry Gonso in the last quarter to beat Illinois 28-14. Michigan and Minnesota, meanwhile, helped to bolster the record against non-conference opponents as Michigan routed punchless Navy 32-9, and Minnesota squeaked past Wake Forest 24-19. Iowa tested Notre Dame with a few early scores, but Notre Dame was just teasing and eventually the Hawkeyes succumbed to Terry Hanratty's running and passing, 51-28.
Kansas Coach Pepper Rodgers did everything conceivable to hold down the score against New Mexico, short of telling his team to refuse the ball. He used 52 players, but when he put in kicking specialist Bill Bell at quarterback, Bell—using the only play he knew—took the team 65 yards to a touchdown. Kansas won 68-7.
Nebraska had an off day, resting up for its Big Eight game with Kansas this week, but Missouri overcame its own ineptness and an improved Army pass defense that picked off six passes to edge the Cadets 7-3. Colorado built up a 21-point lead and beat Iowa State 28-18.
The last Toledo loss was to Ohio U. After that the Rockets won 12 straight—and then they met Ohio again. Both teams ran and passed with precision and ease, and their Negro quarterbacks, Cleve Bryant for Ohio and Steve Jones for Toledo, were superb. But Bryant had the edge, three touchdown passes to two, and Ohio won 40-31 to take the Mid-American lead. There was some personal consolation, however, for Toledo's Ken Crots, who has never missed an extra point in college. He kicked four and now has 54 in a row for an NCAA record.
1. ARKANSAS (3-0)
2. HOUSTON (2-0-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (2-0-1)
The season has hardly started, but with a 30-12 win over the Mean Green of North Texas State, conference newcomer Memphis State already looks like a cinch champion in the Missouri Valley. "Whoever wins the title will have to beat us," said Tiger Coach Spook Murphy back in August—and even then everybody figured "whoever" was North Texas on October 5. Memphis State made its worst error at Denton—a fumble—in the first minute, then spent the rest of the game forcing North Texas to make mistakes. The Tigers grabbed six interceptions and won easily.
For the 10th straight year, Arkansas beat TCU, as Coach Frank Broyles' offense—one he describes as "two split people and two running backs"—accelerated for a 17-7 win in the last quarter with the help of a 31-yard interference call and a juggled interception. Before that, TCU had stopped two Razorback drives and held a 7-3 lead. "I think we had 'em beat till the interference," said TCU Coach Fred Taylor afterward. "We stopped battlin' then and let'em have it." Sophomore Bill Montgomery quarter-backed the two split people and ensemble into a share of the Southwest Conference lead with Texas Tech, which breezed to a 43-13 win over Colorado State.
It was hail and farewell in Austin. Texas, once beaten, once tied and once again proving that preseason ratings can be deceptive, found midweek booster support after Coach Darrell Royal made an appeal for a little more school spirit. Royal even got the band to come out and play at a secret practice. The secret turned out to be that Royal was at last giving up on senior Quarterback Bill Bradley, who never quite turned in performances that equaled his fame. Bradley was switched to split end, where he debuted by catching a four-yard touchdown pass from his replacement, junior James Street, as the Longhorns whipped Oklahoma State 31-3.
There seems to be a bona fide quarterback loose in Texas, however, in SMU sophomore Chuck Hixson. He went 22 for 34 for 323 yards—with three touchdown passes to Jerry Levias—as SMU outscored North Carolina State 35-14. Still, this was merely three yards and a cloud of dust compared to the high jinks in Houston, where Tennessee came in and busted Rice 52-0, and Houston, with Fullback Paul Gipson carrying for 131 yards and scoring two times, used a fast break and a full-court press to crush Cincinnati 71-33.
1. PENN STATE (3-0)
2. SYRACUSE (2-1)
3. YALE (2-0)
With UCLA coming to town, one would think Syracuse Coach Ben Schwartzwalder might understandably have been nervous. After all, everybody knows that UCLA's Tommy Prothro is a crafty coach who has tricked more than one unsuspecting rival out of a game. But Schwartzwalder knew Prothro didn't have a quarterback. Starter Bill Bolden was still recovering from a shoulder separation, and Jim Nader, his sophomore replacement, had withered in the glare of the limelight. Schwartzwalder also figured his defense could handle Greg Jones and Mickey Cureton, the Bruins' good runners, especially on a field that had been drenched by an all-night and early morning downpour. He was right. Nader's passes were mostly either too long or too short, and the Syracuse line, led by Tackles Art Thorns and Ray White, held Jones and Cure-ton to 48 yards between them. Meanwhile, sophomore Fullback Al Newton and Halfbacks John Godbolt and John Bulicz slipped through UCLA's specially rigged 5-3 defense for 270 yards and Syracuse led 13-0 before the Bruins scored with 6:54 to go. Everybody, including Schwartzwalder, knew what Prothro's next move would be—an onside kick—but nobody could have imagined the result. The kickoff squirted toward the sideline, where Bill Maddox, normally a tight end on offense, scooped it up on the UCLA 49 and ran down the sideline almost unpursued for a shocker of a touchdown to complete a 20-7 upset. "I never saw that before," said Prothro, who is (or was) a devotee of the onside kick.
In a contest of independents, Boston College Halfback Dave Bennett scored four touchdowns as BC hammered Buffalo 31-12. After two weeks of horrendous beatings, Pitt finally found a team it could face. With Tailback Denny Ferris running for 137 yards, the Panthers defeated William and Mary 14-3.
Yale's Brian Dowling was the busiest man in the Yale Bowl. He threw two touchdown passes, scored once and contributed a touchdown to Colgate with an errant lateral which the Red Raiders recovered in the end zone as the Elis won 49-14 for their 10th straight. Harvard also won easily over Bucknell, 59-0, but three other Ivy League contenders had their hands full. Cornell barely squeezed by Rutgers 17-16, Princeton needed 30 points in the last quarter to beat Columbia 44-16 and Dartmouth was upset by Holy Cross 29-17. Penn, a noncontender, got by Brown 17-13.
1. USC (3-0)
2. CALIFORNIA (3-0)
3. OREGON STATE (2-1)
Quite a kidder, that Dee Andros. Just a few days before his Oregon State team was to play Washington, the Great Pumpkin issued a public warning: "If Washington tries to stack against our fullback, Bill Enyart, the Huskies are going to find out we can pass." Good try, coach, but everybody, and especially Washington's Jim Owens, knows Enyart carried the ball 50 times against Utah and they saw your passing attack: five tries, four incomplete, one intercepted and your top quarterback, Steve Preece, out for weeks because of a shoulder separation. So, Washington devised a defense to stop Enyart, only to discover that here came Preece, in to start for OSU. Washington got off to a 14-7 halftime lead, but Preece loosened up the Huskies with eight completions in 13 attempts, one of them for a touchdown. The shaken Washington defense eventually got its eyes off the ground, but then Enyart got away for two touchdowns as Oregon State won 35-21. Andros even found an extra-point kicker when Larry Rich made five for five. "That shows what a great coach I am," Andros said. "For two seasons Larry has been holding for extra points."
While USC was rolling over Miami 28-3 (page 44), Oregon State was not the only Pacific Eight team entertaining thoughts of contesting the Trojans for a Rose Bowl berth. California, off to its best start in 16 years, rolled over San Jose State 46-0 for its third straight, while Stanford, also unbeaten, got another good game from Quarterback Jim Plunkett. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for one as the Indians beat Air Force 24-13. Stanford has USC coming up next, but Coach John Ralston is not conceding. "I feel strongly we can win it," he said. "Nobody is going to outhit us."
Texas-El Paso's hopes in the Western AC race ended with unexpected suddenness when Arizona stunned UTEP with seven pass interceptions and four field goals by Steve Hurley in a 25-0 victory. West Texas State's Eugene (Mercury) Morris ran for 340 yards and scored four times as the Buffaloes beat Montana State 35-20.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: West Texas State Half back Eugene Morris is called "Mercury" and he caught up to his name against Montana State. He ran 54, 89, 66 and 20 yards for touchdowns and rushed for 340 yards in all for a new NCAA record.
THE LINEMAN: Penn State Linebacker Dennis Onkotz had a variety hour against West Virginia. He intercepted two passes, ran one back for a score, knocked down another pass, was in on 10 tackles and ran back two punts.