1. USC (6-0)
2. CALIFORNIA (5-1-1)
3. OREGON STATE (5-2)
USC Coach John McKay was once a pretty good halfback at Oregon and later an assistant coach there, and for his homecoming Oregon Coach Jerry Frei had a few things planned for McKay and his unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Trojans. First, for O. J. Simpson's benefit, Frei thoughtfully arranged for a drenching downpour that turned the field into a quagmire. It was, though, lovely weather for the Ducks. They surprised USC with a spirited attack that took unusual liberties with the Trojans' defense, gaining 359 yards. With less than three minutes to play, Simpson had gained only 67 yards and Oregon had USC in a 13-13 tie. But then the Webfoots ran out of luck. A lost fumble after a 61-yard pass play, a pass interference call on the Oregon three and Quarterback Steve Sogge's touchdown pass to Bob Klein with 1:12 to go won for USC 20-13. The close call provided cold comfort for the Trojans, whose next two games are against California and Oregon State.
California, though, had some problems of its own up in Seattle. Washington's Al Worley, a slender defensive back who specializes in intercepting passes, picked off one of Cal Quarterback Randy Humphries' tosses in the second quarter and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown. It was Worley's 12th of the year and he got his lucky 13th later to tie the single-season NCAA record set by Oregon's George Shaw in 1951. Even so, it seemed that California would surely break a 7-7 tie with the Huskies. With 24 seconds left, Cal was on the Washington one with Placekicker Ron Miller nervously pacing the sidelines waiting to be called into the game. He never got there, though, because Humphries fumbled, Linebacker George Jugum recovered for the Huskies and California had to settle for a disappointing standoff.
November 11, 1968
Oregon State, meanwhile, looked like the hottest team in the Pacific Eight. Coach Dee Andros, who likes his football pure and simple, turned his double-tackle unbalanced-line offense loose against Stanford and it picked the poor Indians clean. OSU passed only five times, but Fullback Bill Enyart rumbled inside for 164 yards, Quarterback Steve Preece and Wingback Billy Main exploited the outside with pitchout plays for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns and Oregon State won 29-7. "They beat us every which way," said Stanford's John Ralston. "Oregon State is the best team we've played." Ralston, presumably, was including USC, which barely beat Stanford.
Wyoming hasn't got a lock on the Western AC title yet but the Cowboys are closing in on it. With Fullback Dave Hampton piling up 121 yards and scoring three touchdowns, the Cowboys smothered Colorado State 46-14. Wyoming, however, still has to beat Texas-El Paso and Arizona, which defeated Washington State 28-14. Arizona State's 63-28 whomping of New Mexico was no surprise but Utah's 30-21 victory over Brigham Young was-Utah Quarterback Ray Groth led the Utes, running for 134 yards and three touchdowns and completing 11 passes for 92 more.
The duel between West Texas State's Mercury Morris, the nation's leading rusher, and New Mexico State's Ron (Po) James, who ranks fifth, was no contest. James out-gained Morris 160 yards to 85 to win the battle but West Texas won the war 23-14.
1. TEXAS (5-1-1)
2. ARKANSAS (6-l)
3. HOUSTON (3-1-2)
It was late last Thursday afternoon, and Texas players, their workout over, were headed for the dressing room when Coach Darrell Royal called back his first-string backfield and Split End Cotton Speyrer. "He said he had something he wanted to try," Speyrer said later. What Royal had in mind was an end-around reverse off a triple option in which there was also a fake hand-off to the fullback, a fake pitchout to the halfback and then a pitchback to Speyrer. Two days later the play worked almost to perfection, Speyrer going 81 yards before an SMU player got a handful of Cotton on the Mustang four. Quarterback Jim Street plunged over for a touchdown and the Longhorns were on their way to a 38-7 win. Chris Gilbert kept the offense rolling by gaining 145 yards rushing, and the defense clamped down on Quarterback Chuck Hixson and his pet receiver, Jerry Levias. Hixson completed 31 of 50 throws, but had three intercepted, fumbled twice and was thrown for losses seven times. The Long-horns, advised that Levias tended to conserve his energy when he was not the primary target, relaxed their coverage and picked up other potential receivers.
Arkansas and Texas Tech also won, moving into a four-way tie for the Southwest Conference lead with Texas and SMU. Bill Montgomery, the nearsighted Razorback quarterback, hit on 20 of 28 passes as Arkansas rallied from a 14-6 halftime deficit to overcome Texas A&M 25-22. In all, there were 84 passes in the game, with Edd Hargett of the Aggies finding the range on 28 of 55. Roger Freeman gained 83 yards to help Texas Tech thump Rice 38-15.
Ross Montgomery of TCU scored three limes and banged out 177 yards in 36 carries as the Horned Frogs ended a four-game losing streak by beating Baylor 47-14. Five touchdown passes by Steve Ramsey gave North Texas State its first Missouri Valley Conference victory, 55-34, over Cincinnati.
1. PENN STATE (6-0)
2. ARMY (4-3)
3. YALE (6-0)
The big game was in University Park, where Penn State managed to hold off Army 28-24 (page 19), but interest was just as high in Cambridge as unbeaten Harvard and Penn had at each other in the Ivy League's first showdown. It had been years since anyone dared mention Penn in the same hallowed breath with Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth, the perennial contenders for the championship, but Bob Odell, an ambitious young coach who had survived a critical policy struggle concerning how much emphasis should be placed on Penn athletics, began collecting some eager young student athletes. These included a quarterback with the unlikely name of Bernie Zbrzeznj, and suddenly the Quakers were no longer peaceful. In fact they were downright rambunctious while winning their first five games. "Maybe we're just too dumb to know how poor we're supposed to be," Zbrzeznj said.
But like all good things, Penn's winning streak came to an end last week. Harvard, which also had been something of a pleasant surprise, was simply too much for the Quakers. The first three times Penn got the ball it lost it on interceptions and a fumble. The alert Crimson turned two of those errors into touchdowns by Halfback Ray Hornblower and Quarterback George Lalich, and then Halfback Vic Gatto ran back a punt 70 yards to give Harvard a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. After that the Harvard defense took over, and Penn never had a chance. Harvard won 28-6. Odell was impressed. "That's the greatest defensive team I've seen in this league in four years," he said enviously.
Elsewhere in the Ivy League it was offense that caught the eye. Yale's Brian Dow-ling had one of his finest days, completing 14 of 22 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns, and running for a fourth score as the Elis whipped Dartmouth 47-27. Princeton's Brian McCullough scored four times in a 50-7 rout of Brown. The most brilliant performance, though, was the one turned in by Columbia's Marty Domres, a lanky 6'4" quarterback with a slingshot arm. Domres broke four Ivy records—for career passing yardage and completions, and single-game passing yardage and total offense. More important, he gave Coach Frank Navarro his first victory, over Cornell, 34-25.
Syracuse, embarrassed by its 43-0 loss to California, wasted little time getting over its humiliation. The Orange lit into unsuspecting Holy Cross and walloped the Crusaders 47-0. Tackle Ray White started the rout by recovering a blocked punt in the end zone, and after that it was all uphill for Holy Cross. Syracuse passed and ran for 476 yards as seven different players scored.
Navy, with nothing to lose against Notre Dame in Philadelphia, tried an onside kick, gambled twice for short yardage on fourth down in its own territory and once even faked a punt and tried a pass. "If I could have thought of anything else I would have used that too," said Coach Bill Elias. It was all to no avail. Quarterback Terry Hanratty, although suffering with a sore back muscle and a queasy stomach, picked apart the futile Middies with his passes, Halfback Bob Gladieux pounded them for two touchdowns and Notre Dame coasted 45-14.
It had been a full week—and one victory—since Rutgers Coach John Bateman made the big decision to replace Bruce Van Ness at quarterback with Rich Policastro. "Van Ness is a free spirit," Bateman had explained. "He doesn't want a quarterback's responsibility." For a while last Saturday, Bateman may have had some second thoughts. Delaware was leading 14-10 despite an 84-yard run by Halfback Bryant Mitchell. Then Policastro fired a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jim Benedict and all was well with the Scarlet Knights. They won 23-14.
There was nothing bashful about Buffalo and Temple when they got together. Temple's John Waller completed 35 of 62 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns. But it all came after Fullback Joe Zelmanski had bulled over for three touchdowns to give Buffalo a 22-0 lead. The Bulls held on to win 50-40. Colgate was less explosive, but the Red Raiders were just as effective. They beat Lehigh 27-11.
1. OHIO STATE (6-0)
2. KANSAS (7-0)
3. PURDUE (6-1)
Despite Ohio State's 25-20 victory over Michigan State (page 16) the race was not all over in the Big Ten. Michigan's surprising Wolverines manhandled Northwestern 35-0, blasting the Wildcat's upset hopes with a three-touchdown barrage after a scoreless first quarter. Within an astonishing 73 seconds of the second period, Quarterback Dennis Brown passed to Bill Harris for a touchdown, Halfback Ron Johnson ran five yards for another score and Dan Parks, a 235-pound sophomore tackle, wheezed 50 yards with an intercepted pass. By halftime the Wolverines had a 28-0 lead and the rest was a formality.
The news that Coach Jack Mollenkopf had been hospitalized with infectious hepatitis hit Purdue hard—though perhaps not quite as hard as the Boilermakers hit Illinois. With Acting Coach Bob DeMoss running the team from a deck above the press box—and following Mollenkopf's game plan—Purdue got to the poor Illini early and never let up. Fullback Perry Williams ran for 106 yards, Halfback Leroy Keyes gained 81 and they both broke Duane Purvis' 34-year-old career rushing record. They also scored a touchdown each, and Keyes passed for another as Purdue won easily 35-17.
Indiana won another tight game, but not in the usual come-from-behind fashion. This time they got ahead 21-7, then held off the rallying Wisconsin Badgers, who went for a two-point conversion, missed and lost 21-20 in the last quarter. Iowa stormed from behind on three touchdowns by Quarterback Larry Lawrence—he got four in the game—to outscore Minnesota 35-28.
Following his team's 27-14 win over Colorado, Kansas Coach Pepper Rodgers said, "I can't any more tell my players not to think about bowl games than I can tell them not to think about girls." During the week's drills, though, he did try to get his players to think about Colorado's Bob Anderson, the Big Eight total offense leader who had been averaging 219.7 yards a game. "The motto for the week," Rodgers said, "was 'Rush hard.' " And the Jayhawks did, holding Anderson to his lowest yardage ever—40 yards passing and minus eight rushing. Despite a steady cold rain, the Jayhawks ran for 428 yards, with the blocking of 267-pound Tackle Keith Christensen opening the way for the runners. John Riggins, who ran for 162 yards, set up a field goal with a 63-yard sprint on the game's third play, then scored on bursts of 21 and eight yards as Kansas built a 27-0 lead.
Missouri, which is also undefeated in conference play and which takes on the Jayhawks November 23, scored 21 points in a 5:18 span in the first half as the Tigers eased by Oklahoma State 42-7. Kansas State's Mack Herron returned the second-half kick-off 100 yards against Oklahoma to tie the score at 14-14, but then the Sooners got two quick touchdowns and went on to a 35-20 victory. Ernie Sigler of Nebraska connected on eight straight passes en route to a 24-13 win for the Huskers over Iowa State.
Undefeated Ohio U. had surprising troubles with Western Michigan. The Bobcats met with no problems scoring, but Western Michigan kept coming back until Quarterback Cleve Bryant eased the tension with a one-yard touchdown plunge that put Ohio ahead 34-27. It also clinched a tie for the Mid-American title and a trip to the Tangerine Bowl December 27 to play the Southern Conference champion. Miami of Ohio got a scare, too, before it managed to beat Toledo 21-17. It was all fun and games, however, for Bowling Green as Tailback Fred Mathews ran for four touchdowns against Marshall. The Falcons won 54-28.
Memphis State took over the lead in the Missouri Valley, beating Tulsa 32-6, while Louisville, half a game behind, defeated Kent State 23-9.
1. TENNESSEE (5-0-1)
2. GEORGIA (5-0-2)
3. AUBURN (5-2)
Football rivalries being what they are, fans as well as players often spend all week preparing for games. Thus it was that no one was startled when a plane flew low over the LSU campus and air-dropped leaflets referring to the Tigers as "Pussycats," and told them bluntly to "Go to hell." They were signed "Johnny Reb." Emotions in Baton Rouge were further fanned as a tape and film were played throughout the week on radio and TV of Billy Cannon's 89-yard run that beat Mississippi 7-3 back in 1959. At the game itself in Baton Rouge rooting sections from both sides informed each other that they should take up residence in Hades, and once play began Ole Miss added injury to insult by knocking Tiger Quarterback Fred Haynes out of action. When the game—one of the most wide-open offensive battles ever between the two rivals—was over, Mississippi Coach Johnny Vaught referred to it as simply "the damnedest thing I've ever seen."
Ole Miss was led by a young sophomore, Archie Manning, whose 362 yards in total offense was the most ever against an LSU team. Manning, who was on the mark with 24 of 40 passes, threw for a pair of touchdowns as the Rebels overcame a 17-3 LSU lead to outscore the Tigers 27-24. The first of Manning's scoring passes went 65 yards to Floyd Franks and his other went nine yards to Steve Hindman with 55 seconds left.
Georgia players could be forgiven if they acted like so many Linuses who had at long last seen the Great Pumpkin, for the performance by Houston's Paul Gipson was, without a doubt, awe-inspiring. "He's too good for college football," said one of the game's officials. Good as he was—Gipson ran for 230 yards in 37 tries—the Bulldogs came back for 10 points in the fourth period to salvage a 10-10 tie, the final points coming on a 38-yard field goal by Jim McCullough with 12 seconds remaining.
UCLA Coach Tommy Prothro said he was not too concerned about his game against Tennessee because he was more interested in subsequent ones against conference foes. It was just as well, for the Volunteers had a cracking good time of it as they took care of the Bruins 42-18. They had a 35-0 lead before Mickey Cureton ran back a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. Pittsburgh's Dave Hart would be happy with a win of any sort. Alas, Miami disposed of the Panthers 48-0 as David Olivo made good on 16 of 23 passes—10 in a row at one stage—and Jim Huff kicked two field goals and five extra points. "I guess," said Hart sarcastically, "their kicker needed the practice."
Auburn took over first place in the Southeastern Conference, battling back to defeat Florida 24-13 as Loran Carter passed for three touchdowns. Alabama scored four of the first five times it had the ball, but as Coach Bear Bryant put it, "If the defense hadn't rose up, we'd have been beaten." The defense rose up just enough to give the Tide a 20-13 victory over Mississippi State. Vanderbilt beat Tulane 21-7 behind the passing of John Miller.
North Carolina State came within 53 seconds of wrapping up the Atlantic Coast Conference title only to have Clemson score, and the Tigers' 24-19 win gave them a 2-0-1 conference record and first place. Even Tiger Coach Frank Howard, who says that if fans are interested in passing they should go to basketball games, had to admit that forward passing was not all that bad as his Billy Amnions' tosses highlighted the winning 69-yard drive.
Spectacular individual offensive performances also led Wake Forest and South Carolina to ACC wins. Quarterback Freddie Summers of the Deacons accounted for 310 yards on offense, including a 90-yard touchdown gallop, as Wake Forest defeated Maryland 38-14. Virginia was upset by the Gamecocks 49-28 as Tommy Suggs passed for five touchdowns. Independent Georgia Tech was surprised by Duke 46-30 when Phil Asack ran for three scores.
Virginia Tech stole six passes, recovered a Florida State fumble and converted those plays into five touchdowns—one an 88-yard run by Ken Edwards—and a 40-22 win. The Gobblers also managed to limit All-America Flanker Ron Sellers to four receptions.
Richmond came within a stitch of sewing up the Southern Conference championship, beating VMI 35-0 behind the passing of Buster O'Brien. To win the title the Spiders need only to defeat William and Mary in their final game. The Indians kept in shape by stopping Villanova 33-12, while The Citadel beat Davidson 28-21 and East Carolina finished off Furman 24-13.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Columbia Quarterback Marty Domres completed 26 of 44 passes for 396 yards and three touchdowns, scored once and set four Ivy League records, including one for 447 yards in total offense, as the Lions beat Cornell.
THE LINEMAN: End Mike Radtke of Ohio State made the big last-quarter plays against Michigan State. Overall, he caused Quarterback Bill Triplett to fumble twice, dropped him for a 14-yard loss and was in on 10 tackles.