1. MISSISSIPPI (1-0)
2. FLORIDA (2-0)
3. AUBURN (1-0)
With only a few seconds left on the clock in Baton Rouge, the highly regarded Tigers of Louisiana State had a seemingly safe 18-13 lead over Texas A&M. The LSU fans were beginning to make their way toward the exits—but wait, what was this? Here was A&M's Lex James, the sophomore quarterback with the matinee-cowboy name, flinging the ball into the sky. And here came an LSU defender to intercept and end the game—but, oops, he overran the ball, which dropped right into the hands of Hugh McElroy, the Aggies' tiny (5'7", 170) split end. And, as that gentleman put it later, "All I could think was that I had to outrun everybody." Which he did, to give the Aggies a 20-18 upset.
It was LSU's first opening loss at home since 1957 and the Tigers' first ever under Coach Charlie McClendon, who could only look at the scoreboard and groan: "We were in the right defense but went for the ball instead of the man and gave away the big play."
September 27, 1970
The Tigers led 12-3 going into the final quarter, but the Aggies took the lead with 10 quick points. First came a field goal by Pat McDermott (who does not wear a shoe on his kicking foot), and then Linebacker Mike Lord, who comes from Baton Rouge, recovered an LSU fumble to set up a TD pass from James to End Homer May. Nevertheless, the game still seemed to be LSU's when Mark Lumpkin kicked a 21-yard field goal with 2:34 left and added one from 31 yards with 45 seconds to go. Then came the bomb that gave the Aggies what Coach Gene Stallings called "as big a win for Texas A&M as any, at least since I've been here." Well, Gene should enjoy it while he can. This week the Aggies meet Ohio State. In Columbus. Gulp.
Another upset occurred in Lexington, where the Kentucky Wildcats surprised Lynn Dickey and Kansas State 16-3—thanks in part, at least, to Coach John Ray. After Kentucky's opening loss to North Carolina, Ray said, "I was ashamed of our defense." He spent the week trying to gain some pride in it. Well, not only did it stop Kansas State with a minus-93 yards rushing, it also intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles, the second by Linebacker Wilbur Hackett with 47 seconds left that stopped K-State's last gasp and led to a Kentucky TD on the final play of the game. Though Dickey completed 20 of 30 passes for 224 yards, he also was dumped four times for losses of 44 yards and had to leave the game because of sore ribs. The win ended Kentucky's seven-game losing streak.
In Memphis Archie Manning of Ole Miss opened in routine fashion—which is to say spectacular. Although the Memphis State defense was set to stop his end sweeps, Manning—or "Broadway Archie," as the latest button has it—still scored two TDs and passed for another as the Rebels won 47-13. Before turning over the quarterbacking to two understudies, Manning gained 44 yards rushing and completed 17 of 22 passes for 180 yards.
Auburn and Tennessee warmed up for their game this week with easy victories. With Quarterback Pat Sullivan hitting 15 of 24 passes for 241 yards, the Tigers' 33-14 win over Southern Mississippi was so mechanical that even Coach Shug Jordan was bored. "We looked like an old baseball player who has been up 3,000 times," said Jordan. "It was just another time at bat." At Knoxville SMU's Chuck Hixson wasn't really sharp—he completed 20 of 38 but threw the ball everywhere except into the end zone—and Tennessee made Bill Battle's coaching debut a success by taming the Mustangs 28-3. The week got off to a bad start for Florida Coach Doug Dickey. On Tuesday sophomore Linebacker Fred Abbott quit, saying he could not play Dickey's unemotional brand of football. But the Gators came back to chew up Mississippi State 34-13, with Quarterback John Reaves accounting for 272 yards passing and two TDs. In the Atlantic Coast Conference impressive North Carolina beat NC State 19-0 for its second straight, South Carolina defeated Wake Forest 43-7 and Duke outlasted Maryland 13-12. Georgia Tech moved past Florida State 23-13 for victory No. 2.
1. NEBRASKA (1-0-1)
2. NOTRE DAME (l-O)
3. MISSOURI (2-0)
Football teams have been known to go to ridiculous lengths to win, but Colorado did something new. Before the Buffaloes beat Indiana 16-9, seven members of the defense shaved their heads. "It kinda signifies what football means to us," said Safety John (Bad Dude) Stearns. O.K., John, but while we're trying to figure that one out, why did Colorado stop in the end zone on the way to its dressing room after the game and do wind sprints? "It's a team-spirit type thing," Stearns said. "We call it the 'Jingle Jangle." One Jingle Jangle is from the back of the end zone to the goal line and back. We did five. It definitely helps. Everybody likes it, and it gave us a boost for next week. We're thinking Penn State."
Of course, it will take more than a few bald heads and Jingle Jangles for the Buffs to upset Penn State this week in Boulder, especially after the way they played against inexperienced Indiana. The Hoosiers led their visitors 24-19 in first downs and 78-73 in plays, but Colorado used Dave Haney's three field goals and a little razzle-dazzle to win. The Buffs' only TD, a nine-yard pass from Jim Bratten to Marv Whitaker, was set up by Wide Receiver Steve Dal Porto's 47-yard run on a reverse. Said Colorado Coach Eddie Crowder, "You just have to run some kind of misdirected play today against the defenses being used."
In Columbia, Missouri floundered without a point for the entire first half, then unleashed its own version of Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside to crush Minnesota 34-12. Powerful Tailback Joe Moore ran over the Gophers for three TDs (his 156 yards in 31 carries put him within eight yards of the all-time Missouri career rushing record of 2,030 yards). But speedy Mel Gray (he does the 100 in 9.2) was the man who tore it open for the Tigers, going 36 yards for their second TD on a flanker reverse. In other games involving Big Eight teams Kansas lost to Texas Tech 23-0 for Jim Carlen's second win as the Red Raiders' coach, and Oklahoma—back to playing all-round football now that Steve Owens and his constant line smashes have gone on to the pros—defeated Wisconsin 21-7. Quarterback Jack Mildren completed eight of 13 passes, and an additional Sooner hero was its Indian mascot, Little Red. Benched last year because some Indian groups felt he was degrading their race, Little Red made a surprise appearance at the start of the second half, and the Sooners, trailing 7-0, ripped off three TDs.
After Michigan's coach, Bo Schembechler, had a heart attack and missed the Rose Bowl, you would think the Wolverines would want to make things easy for Bo this season. So what happens? In their opener against Arizona the Wolverines nursed a one-point lead until the final three minutes, then got a TD and a field goal for a 20-9 win in Ann Arbor. "I was really nervous," said Schembechler, "I've got to learn to control myself."
Having disposed of Northwestern 35-14 in an easy opener, Notre Dame now prepares for this week's foe, Purdue, which has dominated the Irish for three straight years. Notre Dame will be heavily favored to end that streak, but there was an ominous new name in Lafayette. Chuck Piebes, a sophomore walk-on from Valhalla, N.Y., engineered the Boilermakers to a 15-0 win over Texas Christian for the new head coach, Bob DeMoss. Could Piebes be a worthy successor to Dawson-Griese-Phipps? "He made some mistakes," said DeMoss, "but he also made some great calls."
In the Mid-American Conference, Toledo defeated Buffalo 27-6 for its 13th straight.
1. TEXAS (1-0)
2. TEXAS A&M (2-0)
3. ARKANSAS (1-1)
While Houston was mastering Syracuse (page 22), Texas began its defense of the national championship with a crunching 56-15 defeat of California. It was hot in Austin, 90°, and in Memorial Stadium it was more like 130°. Perhaps it was the heat and perhaps not, but the fact is that two California backs ran into each other trying to catch the opening kickoff—and that was about as exciting as the Golden Bears were all day. Texas fans enjoyed watching Steve Worster, the Longhorns' fine fullback, and Eddie Phillips, who looked like a more-than-suitable replacement for James Street at quarterback.
Phillips, a 6' senior from Mesquite, Texas, ran Coach Darrell Royal's triple-option formations very well. He fed the ball to Worster for three TDs, scored twice himself and gained 129 yards on only nine carries. "Phillips has waited a long time for this," said Royal, who could not conceal his pride in the offense. "Any team we play can stop Worster—if they are willing to pay the price," he said. "Or they can stop us going wide—if they are willing to let Worster rip 'em up the middle."
In Little Rock, Arkansas used a safety in the third quarter as the pivot to a 23-7 win over stubborn Oklahoma State. With the score tied 7-7, the Cowboys' Jim Benien went back into his end zone to punt. The snap from Center Bob Bridges went over Benien's head and into the hands of the fans in the end-zone seats. That gave the Razorbacks an automatic safety and put them ahead 9-7. Arkansas took the ensuing free kick and made it 16-7 when Bill Burnett scored on a pro sweep. Burnett also scored the Hogs' last touchdown for a Southwest Conference career record of 40. Arkansas' Chuck Dicus caught five passes to become the school's alltime top receiver. And Quarterback Bill Montgomery completed 11 of 14, with two clearly dropped, in a fine comeback from his erratic performance in the Razorbacks' opening loss to Stanford.
1. PENN STATE (1-0)
2. WEST VIRGINIA (2-0)
3. BOSTON COLLEGE (1-0)
Near the end of Penn State's 55-7 victory over Navy, Coach Joe Paterno was pacing up and down before his bench, shouting: "Who hasn't been in yet?"
"I haven't," said a player.
"Well, get in there at tight end," said Paterno.
"But I'm a tackle."
"Well, that's close enough."
And so the tackle went in at tight end, which gives you a fair idea of how easily the Nittany Lions extended their unbeaten streak to 31 and their winning streak to 23—both the longest in the nation. Behind senior Quarterback Mike Cooper, the Lions' offense looked even more explosive than it had last season. Cooper passed for two touchdowns and scored one himself, and he proved his leadership by driving State across the goal four times in the second period. Said Navy Coach Rick Forzano, "My mother probably could have thrown the football with all the protection he had, but Cooper did thread it very well."
What especially pleased Paterno was his defense. Even with seven new men Penn State held Navy to 122 yards in total offense, and the defense also accounted for three TDs, with a recovered fumble, an interception and Halfback Mike Smith's 50-yard punt return. "It was one of the finest opening games any State team has played since I've been here," said Paterno.
Eligible this season for the Lambert Trophy (awarded annually to the best team in the East), West Virginia easily defeated Richmond 49-10. Quarterback Mike Sherwood completed nine of 10 passes before being relieved, while Pete Wood rushed for 157 yards and caught five passes for 49 more. Afterward Bobby Bowden, West Virginia's new coach, said: "Our goal is to be No. 1." They play Penn State Oct. 31.
Old Pitt Stadium had a new look: AstroTurf, brick red Tartan track, walls and ramps freshly painted blue and gold. The most interesting new look, however, was in the Panthers themselves, who pushed UCLA around quite a bit before finally succumbing 24-15. Even after star Linebacker Ralph Cindrich was injured early in the game the Panthers made UCLA Coach Tommy Prothro sweat for his 100th victory. Sophomore John Hogan, the Irish son of a steelworker, out-dueled UCLA's Dennis Dummit, completing 29 of 47 passes for 299 yards while Dummit was hitting 10 of 25 for 135. However, the statistics did not reveal how courageously Dummit rallied the Bruins in the third quarter for two touchdowns—and the game.
At West Point, Army expected to have a breather against Baylor. The Bears were 0-10 last year, and they were thumped by Missouri 38-0 in this year's opener. So imagine the long gray looks when the Bears won 10-7. The stars were Matthew Williams, a sophomore tailback who broke away in the third quarter for a 30-yard TD, and Mike Conradt, whose 35-yard field goal provided the decisive points. At Villanova, the Wildcats put the ball into the air 56 times against Boston College, but the Eagles completed the pass that won the game—a 78-yard play from Quarterback Frank Harris to Wide Receiver George Gill in the fourth quarter. BC ultimately won 28-21.
1. USC (1-0-1)
2. STANFORD (2-0)
3. UCLA (2-0)
"It was one of those games made to match two of the nation's superior forces," said Nebraska Coach Bob Devaney. "I like to think we're one of the better teams in the nation. And I can assure you that USC is." He probably could not have got much of an argument from the 73,768 who sat in the Los Angeles Coliseum and watched his Cornhuskers, the favorite in the Big Eight, and Southern Cal, the Pacific Eight pick, battle to a 21-21 tie. The only argument, in fact, was this: Should USC Coach John McKay have gone for a two-point conversion after the Trojans' last touchdown?
That score, drawing the Trojans within a point at 20-21, came with 6:44 left, USC's strong Clarence Davis bulling the ball in from the nine to complete an 80-yard drive. Instead of going for two points, McKay went for the sure thing—Ron Ayala's extra-point kick. "A tie is better than a loss," said McKay afterward.
If Devaney seemed more disappointed than McKay ("Hell, no, I'm not satisfied with a tie," he said), it was understandable. After a 14-14 tie at halftime the Huskers took a 21-14 lead in the third period. Quarterback Jerry Tagge, who had spent most of the week in the hospital with a ruptured vein in his leg, pitched out to Joe Orduna, who slipped around USC End Charlie Weaver and took off on a 67-yard TD run. Early in the last period Nebraska missed a chance to build its lead to 10 points when Kicker Paul Rogers flubbed what seemed to be an easy field-goal try from the 13-yard line. "We figure he's automatic on one like that," said Devaney, '"but it was a bad pass from center and the holder had a little problem."
There were no problems in Palo Alto, where Jim Plunkett and Stanford eased past San Jose State 34-3. Plunkett completed 17 of 29 passes for 302 yards. He now has a Pacific Eight record of 5,584 yards in total offense—and still has nine games to go. Although the Indians scored three of the first four times they had the ball, Plunkett said, "I think we were a little tired. But we'll be ready for Oregon this week."
Last season Colorado State lost to Arizona State 79-7; last week the Sun Devils won by only 38-9. Quarterback Joe Spagnola hit on 13 of 25 passes for 189 yards for the winners, and Dave Buchanan rushed for 313 yards in 20 carries. In Laramie, Wyo., Coach Lloyd Eaton and a record crowd of 24,541 were wondering what happened to the Cowboys' defense. The Air Force gained 564 yards against the Cowboys, Flanker Ernie Jennings caught eight passes for 235 yards—including a nice one-handed grab for an 80-yard TD play—and won 41-17. Said Eaton, "He makes catches he has no right to make."
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE LINEMAN: Kentucky Linebacker Wilbur Hackett, a 5'9", 185-pound senior, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass as the Wildcats upset Kansas State 16-3. The recovery stopped K-State and led to Kentucky's final TD.
THE BACK: Missouri Tailback Joe Moore, a 6'1", 205-pound senior, gained 156 yards in 31 carries and scored three TDs in the Tigers' 34-12 win over Minnesota. Moore is eight yards away from the school rushing mark.