1. TENNESSEE (7-0)
2. LSU (7-1)
3. AUBURN (6-2)
An Auburn fan, appalled al the way the Tigers have been butchering opponents, dashed off a letter to Coach Snug Jordan imploring him to please show a little mercy and stop scoring so many points. Apparently neither Jordan nor the writer's fellow inhabitants of Cliff Hare Stadium are nearly so compassionate, for even before the Tigers had finished their 52-13 murder of Mississippi State, the chant "Beat "Bama, Beat 'Bama" was already rolling through the stands.
Auburn probably will not run up the score against Alabama two weeks hence, nor are the Tigers likely to rout Georgia this Saturday in Athens. But the drubbing of Mississippi State—the school's third 50-point game of the season—did enable the Tigers to become the highest scorers in Jordan's 19 years at Auburn (298 points), besides putting them only 20 points shy of the alltime school record in 1920. As much as John Riley's kicking or Pat Sullivan's passing, the Auburn defense is responsible for the big scores. Against State, for instance, the Tigers intercepted four of Tommy Pharr's passers to set an SEC season record of 30, besides blocking a punt for another TD. One of the interceptions belonged to Safety Buddy McClinton, giving him 16 for his career, a school record.
November 17, 1969
At Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LSU fans whooped it up while their Tigers beat Alabama 20-15—their first victory over the Tide in 11 years and the first time one of Paul Bryant's pupils (LSU Coach Charlie McClendon played for him at Kentucky) has beaten the Bear in a regular-season game. LSU Tailback Allen Shorey scored twice and gained 118 yards, while Mark Lumpkin's kicks accounted for eight points. The defeat stuck Alabama with three losses for the first time since 1958.
Tennessee led South Carolina by only 16-14 with 5:40 left, but Quarterback Bobby Scott threw two TD passes for a 29-14 victory. The last Vol touchdown was set up by Tim Priest's interception. "This would have been the right time to take them, when they were looking ahead to Mississippi," said South Carolina Coach Paul Dietzel. The Rebels were looking ahead, too, beating Chattanooga only 21-0 in Oxford.
After 76 fruitless years, Davidson finally won a championship, beating East Carolina 42-27 for the Southern Conference title. The Wildcats did it the hard way, trailing 27-7 at halftime, but came back behind Gordon Slade's five TD passes. Davidson now meets the Mid-American winner, Toledo, in the Tangerine Bowl Dec. 26.
1. TEXAS (7-0)
2. ARKANSAS (7-0)
3. HOUSTON (5-2)
While Arkansas was moseying past Rice (page 74), the Texas Longhorns looked more like greenhorns when they took the field against Baylor. Two days before the game Fullback Steve Worster had come down with a "24-hour virus" and by noon Friday it had spread to include 29 more Longhorns. Still, countless bottles of medicine and several trips to the infirmary later, everyone was in uniform—if not good health—for the opening kickoff, and despite a sickly start Texas bashed the Bears 56-14.
After the first three downs, Texas had not budged past the line of scrimmage and had almost run one play with only 10 players in the lineup. But soon sophomore Jim Bertelsen, one of the sickest virus victims, ran 53 yards to set up the first TD, and Texas got healthier as the warm afternoon wore on. Early in the last quarter, with Texas leading 56-7, it was announced that Ohio State had beaten Wisconsin 62-7 and the crowd began urging Texas Coach Darrell Royal to pour it on—for the sake of the polls, you know. But Royal, mercifully, kept substituting until 56 Texas players—one for every point—had seen action.
Houston, always one to pile it on whenever possible, whipped Tulsa 47-14 in what for these perennial adding machines was almost a defensive struggle. Tulsa Quarterback Rick Arlington completed 17 of 37 passes for 214 yards but was intercepted five times. His counterpart, Gary Mullins, threw for 179 yards and two TDs, but the Cougars won the game on the ground, where Ted Heiskell gained 118 yards and Jim Strong 117, including three TDs. "Our offense was too spotty," said Houston Coach Bill Yeoman, undoubtedly miffed with only 47 points on the board.
1. UCLA (7-0-1)
2. USC (7-0-1)
3. STANFORD (5-2-1)
The nearer the UCLA game (Nov. 22) gets, the more USC looks like the worst unbeaten team in the country. The Trojans squeaked through again, this time against winless Washington State. It was not exactly close—the final score was 28-7—but neither was it a breather, considering that USC had been so heavily favored that the bookies refused to put a price on it. First USC Coach John McKay needled the press—"It was an easy game," he said, tongue in cheek, "just like you writers said it would be"—but then he added, "I'm unhappy. We're favored by 50 and have trouble winning by 21. Maybe we just aren't any good."
The Trojans should have known they were in for a long afternoon after Washington State's first play. The Cougars' quarterback, Rich Olson, came into the game with a perfect record—six incompletions and an interception in seven passing attempts—so he completed his first throw against the Trojans. It was only 14-7 at halftime because State had found a way of throwing off Southern Cal's offense: the Trojans start their plays on the word "Go," so State's linebackers would shift defenses with a similar word, "Now," leading to an occasional jump offside by the Trojan line. Say, though, isn't this illegal? "It's close to it," said McKay. "Coaches have been doing illegal things for years." Said Cougar Coach Jim Sweeney, "We thought our defensive shifting was one of the keys.... Yes, we worked on it all week."
Washington's best performance of the year still was only good enough to hold Stanford to a 21-7 victory, the eighth straight loss this season for the troubled Huskies, whose problems were compounded last week when Coach Jim Owens kicked off four blacks. While black spokesmen spent the week calling for his dismissal, Owens was tied up in so many meetings that he missed two practices (that would have got him canned at Indiana). Conferences of reconciliation between Owens and the suspended players finally began on Friday morning, but quickly degenerated into rough facsimiles of the Paris peace talks, with the players walking out because Owens wouldn't allow their attorneys to be present. As soon as this was resolved, the players balked again when Owens refused to allow a black assistant coach, Carver Gayton, to be present. Finally, the coach and players met Friday afternoon and evening, with the announcement coming late Sunday that all the blacks except Halfback Harvey Blanks would be taken back.
In the Western Athletic Conference, Utah pinned Wyoming with its second straight loss, 34-10, knocking the Cowboys out of championship contention and enhancing its own chances considerably. The Utes now are 4-0 in WAC play, with games left against Arizona this week and Brigham Young after that. Utah plays one less league game than Arizona State, the hottest contender, and thus would lose the title if both teams finished with only one conference loss. There were no demonstrations in protest of Wyoming Coach Lloyd Eaton's well-publicized dismissal of 14 black players, although a few blacks in the crowd wore black armbands with "14" on them. Meanwhile, Brig-ham Young kept alive its WAC title hopes with a 21-3 victory over San Jose. All the Spartans, even Coach Joe McMullen, entered the BYU stadium wearing black armbands in protest of the alleged racist policies of the Mormon Church, the issue that had touched off the trouble at Wyoming.
Junior Flanker Ernie Jennings of the Air Force tied the NCAA record held by Ron Sellers and Howard Twilley when he caught five TD passes in the Falcons' 38-13 win over Utah State. Jennings now has scored the Falcons' last seven touchdowns, including a 96-yard kickoff return two weeks ago.
1. PENN STATE (7-0)
2. WEST VIRGINIA (7-1)
3. DARTMOUTH (7-0)
If any Princeton diehards were unhappy that the Tigers finally junked that Stanley Steamer of formations, the single wing, this season's team hasn't left them much room for complaint. As happy with the T (or the cockeyed-I, as they call it) as a poor kid with an old toy, the Tigers flattened Harvard 51-20 to remain tied for the Ivy lead with unbeaten Dartmouth, a 37-7 conqueror of Columbia. Each has a 5-0 league record heading into this week's final tune-ups before their showdown Nov. 22 at Princeton.
Nobody has been happier without the single wing than Princeton Quarterback Scott MacBean. "It gave me a new life," he said. "I was about to be beaten out at tailback. Besides, the single wing makes for dull football. We were last in the nation in passing last year." Against Harvard, the hero was not MacBean but the Princeton captain, senior Fullback Ellis Moore, who scored three TDs—two fewer than he got on his last trip to Cambridge. "Players seem to return to the scene of the crime quite often," said Princeton Coach Jake McCandless. The Tigers' defense threw Harvard Halfback Ray Horn-blower for a net loss of seven yards rushing.
It was raining in Morgantown, but West Virginia came out passing and beat William & Mary 31-0. Quarterback Mike Sherwood completed seven of II for 147 yards and a touchdown, while Bob Gresham scored three times on runs of 35, 48 and 59 yards. Notre Dame, having a great season against mediocre opponents (except Purdue and Southern Cal), destroyed Pitt 49-7. Irish Quarterback Joe Theismann called an efficient game, mixing his own passes (three for touchdowns) with traps and end sweeps.
1. OHIO STATE (7-0)
2. MISSOURI (7-1)
3. PURDUE (7-1)
Indiana's 28-17 loss to Iowa was the "climax to a very bad week," in the words of Quarterback Harry Gonso. Indeed, the Hoosiers' second Big Ten defeat virtually destroyed their Rose Bowl hopes, and that was all Gonso needed after a fire Friday night gutted his fraternity house (Sigma Alpha Epsilon), destroying everything he owned—including prized football mementos. None of this was as serious, however, as the trouble that began on Wednesday, when Hoosier Coach John Pont dismissed 10 blacks—including three defensive starters—from the squad for skipping practice two straight days, an offense that called for automatic dismissal under the Pont system.
On Friday the blacks released a list of eight grievances, with charges ranging from "inadequate medical treatment" to "creation of an atmosphere that is mentally depressing and normally discouraging for blacks." No specific charges were made against Pont, a coach who has heretofore had a reputation for being sensitive and sympathetic to black problems. Not mentioned in the grievances, but possibly originating them, was Pont's shake-up of his team a month earlier. After the coach declared every starting position open, some blacks failed to win theirs back and two didn't even make the traveling squad
Four blacks had returned to practice Wednesday, skipping only one day, and one of them, Split End John Andrews, received a loud pregame ovation from the Indiana fans, many of whom had changed their "Go Big Red" buttons to "Go Big White," a not-so-subtle response to the dismissed blacks, who met in the school's Union Building during the game. To discourage any disturbance in front of a regional TV audience, 84 uniformed policemen ringed the field and a state police helicopter hovered overhead The Hoosiers clung to a 14-13 lead in the third quarter, but Iowa's Jerry Nelson blocked a John Isenbarger punt and teammate Dan McDonald recovered at the Indiana 19, setting up the winning TD by substitute Dennis Green.
While Indiana was staggering, Purdue and Michigan each won easily to remain tied for second in the Big Ten—but the end of the honeymoon may be at hand. The Boilermakers this week make their long-awaited trip to Ohio State, then Michigan gets the Buckeyes the next weekend—at home.
At Champaign, Linebacker Bruce Erb was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on Friday, then 18 of his teammates suffered some injury or another in Illinois' 57-0 loss to Michigan. Purdue was hardly less bruising in beating Michigan State 41—13 as Jeff Jones kicked five extra points to give him 39 straight—an NCAA record. At Columbus only one of Ohio State's 79 players didn't see action in the 62-7 romp over Wisconsin—Quarterback Rex Kern, of all people. While Kern rested up for Purdue, letting his many injuries heal, second-stringer Ron Maciejowski ran up 247 yards total offense in the first half, then watched his backup, sophomore Kevin Rusnak, throw two TD passes in the second half. "Rusnak is listed as an end on their roster," noted Wisconsin Coach John Coatta. "What's he do—throw it, then run out and catch it? I was about to go over and see if all those Ohio State players had a big S for Superman on their chests." For want of anything else to grumble about, the Buckeyes' Woody Hayes said: "We're getting a little too soft when we score four on passing." Obviously, Woody still likes his dust clouds.
Missouri (page 40) was able to take sole possession of the Big Eight lead when Oklahoma State surprised Kansas State 28-19. Quarterback Bob Cutburth and End Herman Eben combined on three TD passes for Oklahoma State. Said losing Coach Vince Gibson, "They were so high they probably could have beaten the Los Angeles Rams."
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Junior Flanker Ernie Jennings of Air Force (6', 172 pounds) caught five TD passes—tying an NCAA record—in the Falcons' 38-13 win over Utah State, a week after his 96-yard kickoff return beat Army.
THE LINEMAN: Junior Linebacker Nip Weisenfels made 10 tackles to help Missouri past Oklahoma 44-10. Besides twice dumping Sooner Quarterback Jack Mildren for losses, Nip stopped Steve Owens on several big plays.