1. PENN STATE (8-0)
2. ARMY (6-3)
3. YALE (8-0)
Penn State's Joe Paterno worried that his unbeaten team might have a letdown against underdog Maryland. "You just never know what can happen when you play a team like that," he said. What happened was only that as usual the defense had to get Penn State rolling. Tackle Steve Smear intercepted a Maryland pass and ran it back 40 yards, and fumble recoveries setup two more touchdowns. Then, on offense, Charlie Pittman, who is from Maryland, scored twice, and Halfback Bob Campbell and Fullback Don Abbey crunched over for two more touchdowns as the Lions went on to their 16th straight without a loss, 57-13, and moved into the Orange Bowl against Kansas.
Pity poor Pitt. The Panthers at last had a chance for an upset when Army led them only 6-0 at the half. But the delusion was only temporary. Cadet Quarterback Steve Lindell, checking off at the line of scrimmage, caught Pitt's defenders going right, so he went left for 30 yards and a touchdown. A fumble set up a one-yard scoring plunge by Charlie Jarvis, Lynn Moore broke away for 25 yards and the Cadets coasted home 26-0 in their last test before the Navy game. The Middies, meanwhile, were trounced by Syracuse 44-6. Safetyman Cliff Ensley was Navy's chief tormentor. He ran back nine punts for 130 yards, intercepted a pass and had nine tackles.
November 25, 1968
For the first time since Walter Camp had the story back in 1909, both Yale and Harvard will be unbeaten going into The Game Saturday in Cambridge. The winner will get the Ivy League title and the Big Three championship. The loser—well, Yale just announced that it was going coed, anyway. In preparation for Harvard the Elis warmed up by smashing Princeton 42-17 as Quarterback Brian Dowling and Halfback Calvin Hill broke an assortment of school records. Harvard just overpowered Brown 31-7.
Boston College, recovering from the experience of losing to Penn State and Army on successive weeks, got some soothing medicine—an easy 45-13 win over VMI. Rutgers had to play catch-up against Holy Cross. But the Scarlet Knights rallied, Halfback Bryant Mitchell, who rushed for 152 yards to set a school single-season record (1,058), broke away for a 19-yard run and Rutgers won its seventh game 41-14. New Hampshire shut out Massachusetts 16-0 to share the Yankee Conference title with Connecticut, which swamped Rhode Island 35-6.
1. OHIO STATE (8-0)
2. MICHIGAN (8-1)
3. KANSAS (8-1)
Showing no favoritism, Oklahoma beat an undefeated Big Eight leader for the second week in a row. First it was Kansas, this time Missouri. The Sooners grabbed the ball and kept it for their 28-14 win, leaving the Tigers' bowl hopes askew and winning a place in the Bluebonnet Bowl for themselves. Tailback Steve Owens had the ball most of the time, carrying 46 times for 177 yards and scoring three touchdowns while breaking Billy Vessels' single-season school rushing record.
"Most of our opponents just dislike us," said Kansas Coach Pepper Rodgers before the Kansas State game, "but out there in Manhattan they hate us." Obviously the feeling was mutual, as the teams played their customary thriller, the Jayhawks finally winning 38-29. Kansas Fullback John Riggins and K-State Quarterback Lynn Dickey, two of the most sought-after high school players in the state in 1967, had a duel. Riggins ran for 189 yards and broke open a close game late in the third quarter with an 83-yard dash to the Wildcat eight. Dickey, time and again hitting receivers crossing over the middle, completed 25 of 48 passes for 297 yards. This Saturday Kansas and Missouri, having both beaten everybody but Oklahoma, hope to settle the Big Eight championship amongst themselves at Missouri. Oklahoma, however, also has one conference loss and can tie for the title.
Nebraska beat Colorado 22-6, even though Buffalo Quarterback Bob Anderson set a league season record for total offense. Nebraska's Guy Ingles proved the difference, giving the Cornhuskers excellent field position with four punt returns and taking another back for 62 yards and a score.
Ohio State and Michigan meet for the Big Ten championship this week, and both were obviously already looking forward to it last Saturday. The Buckeyes ran up a 26-6 lead on Iowa at the end of three periods, but then Hawkeye Quarterback Mike Cilek triggered a 21-point comeback that had OSU gasping at the finish with a 33-27 win. Meanwhile, Michigan had its troubles early with Wisconsin (a loser in 18 of its last 19 games). Trailing at halftime by 9-7, Wolverine Halfback Ron Johnson had some choice words for his teammates. They got the message and won going away 34-9 as Johnson scored all five touchdowns. Fullback Perry-Williams scored on a five-yard run to give Purdue a 9-0 victory over fumbling Michigan State, and Illinois likewise shut out Northwestern 14-0. Fullback Jim Carter scored three touchdowns to lead Minnesota past Indiana, 20-6, in a game accented by a near free-for-all at the end that featured one intrepid Hoosier who limped onto the field from off the Indianabench and broke his crutch over the helmet of a Minnesota player. Notre Dame Quarterback Terry Han-ratty sat and watched from a wheelchair in the press box as the Irish smothered Georgia Tech 34-6. Quarterback Cleve Bryant had a hand in five touchdowns as Ohio U. (page 32) remained unbeaten by outscoring Cincinnati 60-48.
1. TEXAS (7-1-1)
2. ARKANSAS (8-1)
3. HOUSTON (5-1-2)
The Southwest Conference race was down to two leaders—Arkansas and Texas—and chances are they will tie for the title. If that happens, Texas will go to the Cotton Bowl because the Longhorns beat Arkansas when they met. With such a lush prize in view, Texas wasn't taking any chances against TCU, and the Longhorns trampled the poor Frogs 47-21. In the process Texas ran up 26 first downs and 490 yards in total offense, 183 of them by Steve Worster.
Texas Tech, which had been in a four-way tie for the SWC lead, was sitting pretty—it thought—with a 28-13 spread over Baylor late in the third quarter. The Raiders, however, had perhaps forgotten that they have never beaten Baylor in Waco. If so, they were promptly reminded and, with Baylor Halfback Gene Rogers slashing the Tech defenses (he scored three times), the Bears made 29 points in 21 minutes and won 42-28. Baylor fans were so happy that they poured onto the field before the game ended and wouldn't leave until the band finished playing That Good Old Baylor Line.
Rice-Texas A&M was a battle of also-rans, but it was important to the Aggies' Edd Hargett, who completed 24 of 41 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns to tie Sammy Baugh's SWC career record of 38 scoring passes. And the Aggies won 24-14.
Houston and Idaho were caught up in a tidy 7-3 battle, when suddenly the Vandals were vandalized. Houston touchdowns came so fast that the only Idaho players who got any offensive exercise were the members of the kickoff-return team. When the carnage finally ended Houston had piled up 793 yards and gone five over par to win 77-3. Wyoming, the Western AC leader, rolled to a 26-0 lead over Texas-El Paso in the third quarter and then had to hang on for dear life to win 26-19.
1. USC (8-0)
2. OREGON STATE (6-3)
3. CALIFORNIA (6-2-1)
There were no secrets when USC and Oregon State got ready to play each other in Los Angeles for the Pacific Eight title and a place in the Rose Bowl. Oregon State's Dee Andros acknowledged that O.J. Simpson could hurt an opponent running inside, outside or up the side of the Memorial Coliseum. "He's the greatest runner in America," said Andros simply. USC's John McKay knew all about OSU Quarterback Steve Preece's wizardry at running the option and Fullback Bill Enyart's thundering blasts up the middle. "Take away their option," said McKay, "and that Enyart will murder you inside." The big question was whether either team could stop the other—and at the half they both had. It was scoreless. Then, in the third quarter, OSU took a 7-0 lead on Enyart's one-yard plunge. McKay had adjusted his offensive formation, moving Flanker Bob Chandler inside the split end to strengthen the blocking, and Simpson, who had been running mostly inside the tackles,began going outside. Carrying on almost every play, O.J. got the ball to the OSU 22, Quarterback Steve Sogge threw a neat pass to Terry DeKraai and the score was tied. A little later Ron Ayala's 27-yard field goal put the Trojans ahead 10-7, and with 1:20 to go Simpson turned the corner and ran 40 yards for a touchdown and it was 17-7. But Oregon State wasn't finished. Preece hit Billy Main with a 74-yard pass to cut the lead to 17-13. OSU went for two points but missed, and then came the inevitable onside kick that just failed. O.J. carried 47 times for 238 yards, and USC made the Rose Bowl for the third straight year. "We like to go there," said McKay. "It's kinda like our bowl."
The other Pacific Eight teams, meanwhile, were playing out the string. California, bolstering its best record in years, ran over Oregon 38-6, while Washington handed UCLA its sixth loss 6-0, Stanford beat Pacific 24-0 and Washington State clobbered San Jose State 46-0.
Arizona had to rally to edge Utah 16-15 on Steve Hurley's 27-yard field goal with three seconds to go, and Arizona State rolled over Brigham Young 47-12. Air Force defeated Tulsa 28-8.
1. GEORGIA (7-0-2)
2. TENNESSEE (6-1-1)
3. ALABAMA (7-2)
The taste of success was there. The reports were that Georgia already had a Sugar Bowl bid, and the only team standing in its path to the SEC title and another bid was surprising Auburn. Tickets to the game commanded $100 a pair. Showing little worry under pressure of the big game, the Bulldogs eased past the Tigers 17-3, scoring all their points in the second quarter. Guard Steve Greer recovered Auburn fumbles at the Tiger 26 and 47 to set up a field goal and a Mike Cavan-to-Kent Lawrence touchdown pass, and later Cavan sneaked over himself from the one.
Tennessee intercepted a record seven passes because two Vol linebackers, Steve Kiner and Jack Reynolds, saw a flaw in Ole Miss Quarterback Archie Manning's passing. "He looks where he's throwing," said Kiner. Volunteer quarterbacks were apparently slier. Bubba Wyche found Gary Kreis and Les McClain open for two 37-yard touchdown passes, and Bobby Scott hit McClain for another score on the way to a 31-0 victory and a trip to the Cotton Bowl.
Luckless, winless Mississippi State, after outplaying highly favored LSU, lost a down and a football game 20-16. Behind by only 14-13 in the last minute of the third quarter, State had first and 10 on the LSU 12. A pass gained almost 10, but a fumble then lost two yards. State called time. When play resumed the Bulldogs noticed that the sideline marker showed fourth down. Officials insisted that was correct and, after an argument, State settled for a field goal.
"I guess defense is an old-fashioned way to win a football game," Alabama's Bear Bryant apologized smugly. Neither the Miami nor the 'Bama offense had generated any earthquake noticeable on the Richter measuring scale, and it had been a slightly-soggy 14-6 Crimson tidal wave, but a win is a win. At one point in the third quarter Miami had exactly 51 times as much rushing yardage as Alabama—51 yards to one—but interceptions nullified every Hurricane threat until the last three minutes.
Needing a win against South Carolina next week to take his third straight ACC title, Clemson Coach Frank Howard kept injured Tailback Buddy Gore in civvies against North Carolina. So sophomore Ray Yauger, playing in his place, gained 201 yards in 35 carries to beat Gore's best mark. On his last carry Yauger broke his left forearm. "He was on the verge of a record," Howard said. "I told him to carry on every play. If I hadn't I'd never be able to live with it." Almost incidentally, Clemson beat the Tar Heels 24-14 as Yauger led two touchdown marches within 2½ minutes in the second half to put it away.
Duke's Leo Hart passed for two touchdowns in an 18-3 victory over Wake Forest, while becoming the first ACC player to attain more than 2,000 yards in total offense. Florida State gave North Carolina State its worst defeat in 15 years, 48-7, but Virginia had the most to celebrate in 16 years. The Cavaliers had not had a winning season since Harry Truman was in the White House, but a wild 63-47 victory over Tulane at last guaranteed Virginia a winning record.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Michigan Halfback Ron Johnson ran wild against Wisconsin. He scored five times on runs of 35, 67, 1, 60 and 49 yards, rushed for 347 yards to set a new Big Ten record, and also broke Tom Harmon's school career mark.
THE LINEMAN: Linebacker Mike Widger led VPI to a 17-6 win with a blitz that overwhelmed South Carolina Quarterback Tommy Suggs. He had 16 unassisted tackles and personally trapped Suggs five times for 41 yards in losses.