1. USC (50)
2. CALIFORNIA (4-1)
3. STANFORD (3-1-1)
For a while it looked like the weekly USC game plan—"Give the ball to O. J."—was not going to work against Washington. Simpson carried the ball his usual million times and scored once from the one-yard line, but he also dropped the ball a million times, too, or so it seemed to the 60,000 rooters at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. One of his two bobbles gave the Huskies, who had tied the score at 7-7 in the third quarter, a chance to go ahead in the last period against the country's No. 1 team. But USC stopped them on the one-yard line, and then the real O. J. stood up, slashing off tackle, racing wide and carrying six times for 48 yards. In just 10 plays USC had gone 90 yards to the Washington nine. On the next play O. J. swept left, cut inside and sprinted over for the touchdown that won for the Trojans 14-7. Simpson ran 33 times for 172 yards and now has 980 yards and 14 touchdowns in five games. Reminded that USC is idle next Saturday, O. J. said, "A week off. Oh, that's beautiful." USC Coach John McKay must have agreed, for nothing is coming easy for his Trojans this year.
In Berkeley a team that might cause USC some grief, California, made up for five years of frustration against UCLA. Normally, when UCLA gets ahead 15-7, that's it. But this is a bleak autumn for Bruin Coach Tommy Prothro and a rare one for Cal. A big and tough California defense, led by Guard Ed White and Linebacker Dennis Pitta, simply overwhelmed UCLA, and Quarterback Randy Humphries took it from there. He threw touchdown passes to Split End Wayne Stewart and Halfback Paul Williams as Cal won handily 39-15. It was UCLA's third straight loss. "The way we're playing," complained Prothro, "we won't win another game." But don't bet on that.
October 28, 1968
Oregon State Coach Dee Andros has not been much happier lately than Prothro. His team has lost twice, each time by a single point. But the Great Pumpkin brightened a bit after his Beavers, wallowing happily in the mud at Portland's Civic Stadium, battered Arizona State 28-9. While an alert OSU defense picked off seven Arizona State passes, Quarterback Steve Preece ran Andros' roll-out offense perfectly. Preece scored once himself and passed and pitched out to Halfback Billy Main for two touchdowns.
Stanford, emotionally mute after giving its all against USC last week, settled gratefully for a tie with Washington State. Struggling all day, the Indians scored on Quarterback Jim Plunkett's six-yard pass to Flanker Gene Washington with 6:18 to go, cutting WSU's lead to 21-20. Coach John Ralston hardly hesitated before sending Steve Horowitz in for the extra-point kick that made it 21-21.
While everyone in the Western Athletic Conference had eyes for Wyoming, a 20-9 winner over Utah, and Arizona State, Arizona has sneaked in as a bona fide challenger. The Wildcats, still unbeaten and off to their best start in 23 years, turned two Brigham Young fumbles and a pass interception into scores and won their fourth straight, 19-3. Arizona and Wyoming are undefeated in the conference and tied for first place.
1. GEORGIA (4-0-1)
2. TENNESSEE (4-0-1)
3. MIAMI (4-1)
Watching the rain fall the night before the Alabama-Tennessee contest, one Southeastern Conference official tried to encourage a fretful fan, saying, "Don't worry. Bear Bryant will stop the rain." Although the game was played in sunshine, there were indications that The Bear may be running out of wizardry. After Donnie Sutton of Alabama caught a touchdown pass with 1:12 left to culminate a fine scoring drive and bring the score to 10-9 Tennessee, Bryant went for a two-point conversion on a quarterback option play. It failed. But Alabama recovered an onside kick and, with five seconds to go, tried a field goal from the 26-yard line. It was blocked, and that was the ball game. Speaking about the two-point try, Bryant said, "It was my fault. I should have gone for the tie and then tried the on-side kick. It was stupid. "As to the blocked field goal, it was one of those plays that make coaches wonder who needs them. The man who blocked the ball was Tennessee's Jim Weatherford, normally a defensive halfback. During practice, though, he had once switched positions with Monsterman Nick Showalter. "I asked Nick why not switch on the field-goal try, "Weatherford said later. They switched, Weatherford got his hand on the ball and Tennessee had its victory. Earlier, another bit of minuscule strategy paid off. The Volunteers, noticing a fairly strong wind, forsook a punt and let Karl Kremser try a 54-yard field goal. "I looked at an Alabama linebacker as I got ready to kick, and he smiled," Kremser said, "and I sort of chuckled at the idea myself. "But only Tennessee laughed when Kremser made the field goal, the longest in SEC history.
Gladys and Gayle jostled Florida from the unbeaten ranks. With Gladys—the hurricane—sweeping the Chapel Hill field with rain and wind, and with Gayle—Quarterback Gayle Bomar—passing and running stormily, North Carolina upset the Gators 22-7. The Tar Heels helped themselves by picking up eight of 11 Gator fumbles, and Don Hartig kicked field goals of 42, 44 and 47 yards.
"Field-goal attempt by Riley is no damn good. "Thus read the play-by-play sheet following Georgia Tech's 21-20 upset of Auburn in which the Tigers' usually surefooted John Riley missed a field goal from the 29 with 1:02 left. Auburn Coach Shug Jordan, whose forces had taken command 14-0 at one point, was frustrated in other ways, too. More than anyone it was Tech's Larry Good who bothered Jordan as he hit on 17 of 27 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Said Jordan: "We tried all kinds of red dogs and blue dogs and Charlie dogs but we couldn't get to Good." Jordan also had to wonder if he was really right in having Riley try his field goal on second down with more than a minute left to play.
When Georgia's offense was not scoring, its defense was setting things up so it could as the Bulldogs thrashed Vanderbilt 32-6. Bruce Kemp ran for 114 yards, and Quarterbacks Mike Cavan and Donnie Hampton passed for 261. But the most stimulating play of the day was turned in by Georgia's 240-pound Defensive Tackle Bill Stanfill, who waddled—relatively speaking—64 yards with an interception.
Sophomores helped LSU and Mississippi win. A stout goal-line defense, led by Linebacker Mike Anderson, enabled LSU to contain Kentucky 13-3. For Mississippi the standout was Archie Manning, who rallied the Rebels against Southern Mississippi. Manning ran eight yards for one touchdown, then passed 49 yards for another in a 21-13 victory. Mississippi State stunned nonconference foe Texas Tech with a 28-28 standoff as Tommy Pharr passed for 204 yards.
"Maybe I would have made it if I hadn't turned to look." That was Larry Creekmore of Virginia Tech talking about his 57-yard run with an interception, a sprint that wound up five short of the end zone when he was caught by Miami's Bobby Best. Four plays later Miami took over on the nine and hung on for a 13-8 win
Fearing that Gladys might visit his game against Memphis State, Bill Peterson of Florida State had his boys practice under the sprinklers. As it was, Gladys went elsewhere, which is where Tiger Coach Spook Murphy wished FSU Flanker Ron Sellers had gone. Sellers caught 13 passes for 218 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Seminoles won 20-10.
Linebacker Ray Hester's performance—he made 11 individual tackles, was in on seven others and stole two Boston College passes—led to a 28-14 Tulane win and removed BC from the list of the undefeated, and sharp passing by Mike Sherwood gave West Virginia a 20-0 victory over William & Mary.
Five Duke fumbles and two Clemson interceptions were significant factors as the Tigers won an Atlantic Coast contest 39-22. North Carolina State padded its ACC lead by stopping Virginia 19-0. Maryland took its second game in a row, by upsetting South Carolina 21-19. Twice the Terps prevented the Gamecocks from scoring on two-point conversions in the fourth quarter.
1. PENN STATE (4-0)
2. SYRACUSE (3-1)
3. YALE (4-0)
It was hardly the kind of a matchup that inspires heroics, but both Pitt and Navy felt they had a lot of self-respect at stake in their game at Annapolis last Saturday. Pitt had won only once and had been humiliated by such scores as 63-7, 38-14 and 50-17. Navy had lost all four of its games and faced the likely prospect of its first winless season in 85 years. Aside from the mutual feeling of futility, there was also a close kinship between the rival coaches, Pitt's Dave Hart and Navy's Bill Elias. Hart had been one of Elias' assistants before moving to Pitt. Perhaps the ideal finish would have been a tie.
Pitt, despite some early fumbling, led 16-6 going into the last quarter on two touchdown passes by Quarterback Dave Havern and a 30-yard field goal by Joe Spicko. With Tailback Roland Laurenzo out with a broken collarbone and Jeri Balsly, his substitute, on the sidelines with a twisted ankle, Navy looked sunk. Elias, in desperation, put Dan Pike, his No. 2 fullback, at tailback. "I told him, "said Elias later, "there's no choice, Danny, you have to play it. "What had been no choice turned out to be an opportune one as Pike led the Middies on an 80-yard drive that ended with Quarterback Mike McNallen throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Fullback Tom Daley. Minutes later, Navy got a safety when a center snap sailed over the Pitt punter's head, and then Pike's running put the Middies into position for a 36-yard field goal by Tim Cocozza as Navy won 17-16.
Life was much easier for Army. Coach Tom Cahill was worried about Rutgers, which usually gives the Cadets trouble, and the pattern seemed to be repeating itself when the Scarlet Knights took the opening kickoff and marched to the Army 29. But that was as far as Rutgers got. Fullback Charlie Jarvis pummeled the overmatched Knights for 153 yards, and the Cadets sloshed through the rain to a 24—0 victory with Halfbacks Lynn Moore and Billy Hunter scoring on short runs, Tom Haller running back an intercepted pass 29 yards and Art Jensen kicking a 31-yard field goal.
Old Blues who braved the elements in the Yale Bowl almost lost the glow of their tailgate martinis when underdog Columbia took a 7-0 lead over unbeaten Yale. But the Elis soon righted things as Quarterback Brian Dowling's wetball passes and Halfback Calvin Hill's splendid running—he gained 102 yards—crushed the poor Lions 29-7. Nor was the football team the only Columbia loser. Half the musicians in the Lion marching band were barefoot when they stepped out on the field at halftime. Some playful Yales had stolen their shoes.
Two other Ivy League teams also remained undefeated. Harvard, with little Vic Gatto and Ray Hornblower breaking up the hefty Cornell defensive line, beat the Big Red 10-0, and Penn, one of the league's perennial whipping boys, continued to show surprising strength by rolling over Lehigh 34-0. Dartmouth and Princeton reacted curiously to their bruising game of the previous week. Dartmouth, the loser, routed Brown 48-0 while Princeton, the winner, lost to Colgate 14-7.
1. OHIO STATE (4-0)
2. KANSAS (5-0)
3. PURDUE (4-1)
If Wake Forest Coach Bill Tate could hardly believe it, imagine how Purdue's Jack Mollenkopf must have felt when the winless Wake Forest Deacons, scheduled as a breather by the Boilermakers, found themselves ahead 27-14 with less than 10 minutes to play. Wake Quarterback Freddy Summers, quick and nervy, had scored once and passed for a touchdown en route to an apparent upset, while Purdue's usually brilliant Leroy Keyes, suffering from cramps and shuttling in and out of the game to rest a bad right knee and ankle, had fumbled six times, losing four of them. But Keyes and Purdue were not finished. In the last frantic minutes Keyes caught a 27-yard pass from Quarterback Mike Phipps to set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Halfback Jimmy Kirkpatrick and then led another charge downfield, climaxing it himself by going in from the two-yard line to tie the score with 1:16 to go. When Jeff Jones kicked the final extra point, Purdue had won 28-27 and saved itself from the upset of the year.
Ohio State, meanwhile, had its problems with Northwestern. It did not seem possible that the Wildcats, after being victimized by Miami, USC, Purdue and Notre Dame, could really have anything left. But they hung on against the powerful Buckeyes and were behind only 27-21 going into the last quarter. Up until then it had been a fairly even battle of sophomore quarterbacks, with Ohio State's Rex Kern and Northwestern's Dave Shelbourne each throwing two touchdown passes and scoring once. But then reality struck the Wildcats in the form of three quick Ohio State touchdowns and a score of 45-21. The post-game cry around OSU Coach Woody Hayes was "Woody's No. 1. Woody's No. 1."
It was Indiana's homecoming weekend, but home was never as troubled as this. First, President Herman B. Wells declared there would be no Homecoming Queen because there were no Negroes among the finalists. Then Michigan, the surprise of the Big Ten, embarrassed the Hoosiers by beating them 27-22. Michigan Quarterback Dennis Brown threw the big touchdown pass, a 36-yarder to Bill Harris. Then, after Indiana's Harry Gonso got the Hoosiers close with a touchdown pass of his own with 2:18 to go, the Wolverines ran out the clock.
Michigan State's Duffy Daugherty never goes for the tie, and, when sophomore Quarterback Bill Triplett's 17-yard touchdown pass to End Frank Foreman with 2:34 to play cut Minnesota's lead to 14-13, there was no doubt that Daugherty would order a go-for-broke play. Duffy did, and the play broke down, giving Minnesota its seventh win over MSU in their last nine games. Illinois also tried the two-point play, but against Notre Dame who needs it? Quarterback Terry Hanratty piled up 212 yards passing and 55 running to break George Gipp's 48-year-old Notre Dame total-offense record—4,180 yards to 4,110—as the Irish leveled the Illini 58-8. Wisconsin did better, losing to Iowa by a mere 41-0.
Kansas Coach Pepper Rodgers was in a jovial mood last week. He sang and whistled a song that he said was Sunshine, Lollipops and Roses and told everybody, "I'm a whistler and a singer." And everything was Sunshine, etc. against Oklahoma State. With Quarterback Bob Douglass passing and running and Don Shanklin and the Riggin brothers, John and Junior, hitting away at the Cowpokes, Kansas won 49-14.
Rodgers soon may have to stop singing and start worrying about Missouri. The alert Tigers scooped up six Nebraska fumbles, two of which came on punts that bounced off sleepy Husker blockers, scored all their points within seven minutes in the first half and then held on for a 16-14 victory. Oklahoma and Colorado also looked good, the Sooners beating Iowa State 42-7 and Colorado walloping Kansas State 37-14.
It obviously takes a lot to impress Ohio U. The Bobcats were aware that Miami of Ohio's defense was the best in the nation, but they thought they had a pretty good offense. It turned out to be better than Miami's defense. With Quarterback Cleve Bryant leading the way—he passed for two touchdowns—Ohio rushed for 180 yards, added 179 passing and won the Mid-American showdown 24-7.
1. TEXAS (3-1-1)
2. ARKANSAS (4-1)
3. SMU (4-1)
Texas looked powerful in upending Arkansas, but SMU also put on a good show in beating Rice to go into a tie for the Southwest Conference lead. The Mustangs, picked to finish near the bottom, stopped the Owls 32-24, thereby tying for first place with Texas Tech, a team SMU must face this week. For a while it looked as if the Mustangs were going to live up to their preseason predictions, for they trailed 24-14 at the half. Then Halfback Mike Richardson, End Jerry Levias and Quarterback Chuck Hixson adjusted to the Rice defense. Richardson hammered out 143 yards and three touchdowns. Levias, the nation's No. 1 receiver, was double-and triple-teamed, yet caught six passes from Hixson, who is first in the country in passing and total offense. In all, Hixson completed 27 of 45 throws for 253 yards and ran for two touchdowns.
Casualty reports prior to the Texas A&M-TCU game were so long and well publicized that it seemed volunteers might be requested from the grandstand. At one point 11 starters were on the injury lists. But as usual there were more curative powers associated with the opening kickoff than anywhere outside of an Oral Roberts heal-in. Linebacker Bill Hobbs of the Aggies, for example, who was supposed to have been out indefinitely with a wrenched back, was in there wrenching TCU backs on every defensive play. And Norman Bulaich of the Frogs forgot about his jammed neck and the flu long enough to go for 90 yards. Once the game began the only obvious illness was in the TCU pass defense. A&M Quarterback Edd Hargett made it look sick as he passed for 251 yards. On defense the Aggies halted the Frogs three times inside the 10 as they came up with a 27-7 win that set medical science back a decade.
Quarterback Bob Stewart's pass-run options and Jeff White's three field goals lifted Texas-El Paso to a 30-14 win over New Mexico State. Mercury Morris, the nation's leading ground-gainer, was held to six yards in the first half but then flew for 126 in the second half as West Texas State ran over Arlington 41-0.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Ohio State's Quarterback Rex Kern shook off injuries and tacklers to pass for 170 yards and two touchdowns, run for 121 yards and cause Northwestern Coach Alex Agase to say, "We couldn't do anything with him."
THE LINEMAN: Mike Anderson, a 6'3", 215-pound sophomore linebacker for LSU, made half a dozen tackles inside his own five-yard line and both caused and recovered a Kentucky fumble on the two to paralyze the Wildcats.