1. NEBRASKA (6-0)
2. OKLAHOMA (5-0)
3. MICHIGAN (6-0)
Oklahoma proved that its offense is versatile as well as awesome. Colorado was geared for the wide stuff, so Quarterback Jack Mildren sent his runners off tackle and even dropped back to pass four times, which is one more than he had the previous two weeks in big wins over USC and Texas. The result was a 45-17 victory in a battle of Big Eight unbeatens and a school-record 670 yards total offense. That gives Oklahoma more than 1,600 yards in October games alone.
"Getting pretty exotic, aren't we?" said OU Coach Chuck Fairbanks of the passing wrinkle that netted two touchdowns and 172 yards. The Sooners settled it early by taking a 24-0 halftime lead. They had seven possessions in the first half, converting four into scores and losing three fumbles. Greg Pruitt, who twice went off left tackle for gains of 66 and 59 yards, improved on his 11-yard-per-carry average with 190 yards in 14 attempts. Joe Wylie, still favoring a sprained ankle that kept him out last week, played sparingly but still had 41 yards in six carries and caught a 68-yard scoring pass. "They have as much talent as any team I've ever seen," said Colorado Coach Eddie Crowder. His lone bright spot was Quarterback Ken Johnson, who completed 14 of 23 passes for 241 yards. Johnson was intercepted twice, however, and dumped three times for losses by reserve Tackle Lucious Selmon, who was astutely inserted for his pass rush ability.
October 24, 1971
It was old grads' week in Lincoln, and who should show up to plant a kiss on the Homecoming Queen at halftime but Johnny Carson, class of '49. "The way the Giants and Jets are playing, it's a treat to come out here and see a real football team in action," said H-e-r-e-'s John-ny! Nebraska walloped Kansas 55-0 as the Husker defense, known as the Black Shirts, recorded its second straight shutout of a Big Eight opponent and threw Kansas runners to the ground for minus 42 yards. Coach Bob Devaney told inquirers afterward, "There isn't much bad I can say about our team, but we'll think of something by Monday." It certainly won't be the rushing game, which had its best day of the year with 411 yards.
Ohio State remained unbeaten in the Big Ten with what Coach Woody Hayes called its top defensive showing of the year in a 27-7 victory over Indiana. Hayes could not say the same for the offense, but he is bound to be displeased when Ohio State is forced to pass 39 times. For the first time this year the Buckeyes survived a game without a serious injury.
Purdue scored after only 47 seconds of play when Otis Armstrong went 81 yards, then waited until the fourth quarter to score twice more, edging Northwestern 21-20. The Boilermakers are at the top of the Big Ten with Michigan and Ohio State, but until Darryl Stingley's 14-yard run and Mike Renie's conversion with 1:30 left, they didn't look as if they would make it.
After seven consecutive losing seasons Wisconsin appears to have a winner. The Badgers upset disappointing Michigan State 31-28 on Roger Jaeger's late field goal to up their record to 3-2-1. "We've finally won the one we weren't supposed to," said Coach John Jardine. In a losing cause, Eric (The Flea) Allen gained 247 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Toledo won its 29th straight, 35-24 over Western Michigan after trailing 21-7 well into the third quarter. "I was scared for the first time in my career here," said senior Safetyman John Saunders. Quarterback Chuck Ealey threw four touchdown passes, broke five Mid-American Conference records and tied a sixth. His afternoon's work showed 23 completions in 42 attempts for 381 yards plus 11 more rushing.
Notre Dame, which has allowed only two touchdowns in five games, shut out high-scoring North Carolina 16-0. The Irish continued to have offensive problems, as they went inside the eight-yard line four times without scoring a touchdown. Their lone touchdown came on a short fourth-quarter pass to Tom Gatewood, who broke Jim Seymour's career reception record. "There's no rule in football that requires a certain number of points to win," said Ara Parseghian afterward, with a look toward the national rankings.
1. PENN STATE (5-0)
2. DARTMOUTH (4-0)
3. WEST VIRGINIA (5-1)
Unbeaten Dartmouth was a heavy favorite against winless Brown, which has not defeated the Indians since 1955. Held scoreless after the first quarter, Dartmouth squeaked to a 10-7 victory. The Bruins out-gained their classier opponent, only to be stymied by two interceptions and two fumbles. It was Dartmouth's 13th win in a row.
West Virginia got five touchdowns from the fullback position in a 44-21 defeat of East Carolina. Pete Wood scored three times, and substitute Brian Chiles twice. Four of the touchdowns were set up by pass interceptions.
Cornell remained unbeaten with its fourth victory, 21-16 over Harvard, but it wasn't secured until Steve Lahr intercepted a Crimson pass with 37 seconds remaining. Ed Marinaro, as usual, provided a big chunk of the Big Red offense with 146 yards in 32 carries, including a 15-yard touchdown run. It has been 20 years since Cornell won its opening four games.
Columbia defeated Yale 15-14 for the first time in six years, the win coming on a touchdown and two-point conversion with 1:36 left. Bill Irish scored the TD on a five-yard pass from Don Jackson, and Mike Jones caught a halfback toss from John Sefcik for the two-pointer. Yale moved the ball effectively on the ground, but three of its 10 passes were intercepted.
Delaware is in the college-division category, which makes its games against the majors all the more interesting. The Blue Hens had already defeated Villanova; last week they routed Rutgers 48-7 to run their record to 5-0. Senior Fullback Bill Armstrong was awarded the game ball after scoring two touchdowns in a three-touchdown explosion before the game was 11 minutes old. "He's an Eddie Stanky type of guy," Coach Tubby Raymond said in an attempt at praise. "Who's Eddie Stanky?" Armstrong asked.
Princeton finally brought its six-game losing streak to an end with a surprising 35-12 victory over Colgate. The Tigers stormed to a 21-0 halftime lead and totaled 442 yards in a superb offensive showing geared by sophomore Jim Flynn, who made his first start of the season. Hank Bjorklund moved to within 45 yards of Dick Kazmaier's career rushing record by gaining 196 yards on 28 carries.
Gary Wichard who, Y. A. Tittle says, is the best quarterback in college football, completed 18 of 29 passes for 359 yards and five touchdowns in only three quarters of C. W. Post's 43-7 victory over Gettysburg.
Penn Coach Harry Gamble watched in agony as his Lafayette team of last year upset the Quakers 17-15. It was the Leopards' first victory over the Quakers since 1923. Joe Wilson scored three touchdowns, two on runs of better than 50 yards, as Holy Cross whipped Boston University 28-14. He gained 168 yards overall.
1. ALABAMA (6-0)
2. AUBURN (5-0)
3. GEORGIA (6-0)
Alabama's new Wishbone offense survived what should be its most crucial test of the year. Tennessee, the best defensive team in the Southeastern Conference, fared little better than the Tide's previous victims against a backfield that has all four starters among the Top Ten SEC rushers. Alabama romped to a 32-15 victory, with 283 yards on the ground. "They made us do some things we didn't want to do," said Bear Bryant. "We had to run outside too much." All did not go according to plan for the Volunteers, either, who made eight turnovers. Tennessee was losing by only one touchdown with four minutes to go, but it gave up the ball on downs at its 25, and the Tide broke the game open. Johnny Musso gained 115 yards in 22 carries, and Quarterback Terry Davis completed three of five passes, two of them to David Bailey for TDs.
At 11 p.m. last Friday the entire University of Florida football team gathered at the 50-yard line of dark Florida Field in Gainesville. The players had plenty to talk about. Their 0-5 record for one, visiting Florida State's 5-0 record for another. "Everybody had his say, and a lot of it was pretty personal," said Captain Tommy Durrance. The next day the inspired Gators pulled a 17-15 upset as usually pass-minded John Reaves went to the air only 11 times, completing four. The first Florida touchdown concluded a 15-play, 75-yard drive in which not a pass was thrown. "This was the best victory we've ever had," said Tailback Durrance, voted the game's Most Valuable Player. As it was, Florida had to withstand a furious assault by State Quarterback Gary Huff, who almost pulled it out.
Auburn remained unbeaten, but only by scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter to erase a 7-6 deficit to Georgia Tech. Quarterback Pat Sullivan triggered the 31-14 comeback win as he completed 25 of 34 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. During one second-half stretch he hit 13 straight. There was also opportunity for running heroics as Tommy Lowry, a five-year man who had not planned to play this year and at best figured to be a reserve, gained 103 yards and caught two passes. The largest football crowd ever in Georgia, 60,204, gave Tech Coach Bud Carson the boo treatment again. "I'm the head coach, I get the blame," he said stoically.
Georgia continued to roll, with a 24-0 victory over uninspired Vanderbilt as Quarterback Andy Johnson scored twice. LSU had it tougher than expected from Kentucky but survived 17-13. Tulane won its second straight by blasting Pitt 33-8. Steve Barrios became the first Green Wave receiver to gain 1,000 yards in a career. After missing the first four games he now has six catches and a 31.1-yard average.
Three times this year, Duke's Ernie Jackson has been the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Against N.C. State, Jackson moved to offense, where he scored twice and averaged a creditable four yards a try on 14 carries. "I hope they don't keep me there," said Jackson. "I'd rather stick to defense." The Blue Devils won 41-13, but the injury situation that has made Jackson one of several two-way performers remains critical. South Carolina had an easy 35-6 win over Maryland, but the losers made it interesting as Jeff Shugars entered the game at quarterback in the fourth quarter and completed 14 of 27 passes.
Wake Forest continued to puzzle. The enigmatic Deacons followed last week's stunning loss to North Carolina State by defeating a once-beaten Tulsa team that had upset Arkansas. The Deacons scored on seven of their first eight possessions en route to a 51-21 shellacking, and the one failure was a fumble at the goal line. Larry Hopkins rushed for 230 yards in 35 carries. The point total was the highest for a Wake Forest team in 20 years.
Grambling defeated Mississippi Valley State 25-15 for Coach Eddie Robinson's 200th career victory. In a switch on the familiar routine, President Nixon called him before the game.
1. STANFORD (5-1)
2. AIR FORCE (4-1)
3. ARIZONA STATE (4-1)
Stanford appeared to have a lock on its second straight Pacific Eight championship and Rose Bowl appearance following Saturday night's 33-18 victory over Southern California. The Indians did it with a Trojan weapon, the Power I. USC's John McKay said he knew how to stop it ("You just tackle the man with the ball. It's not difficult"), but apparently his players didn't. The Stanford offense was not overwhelming statistically, but it did control the ball, 82 plays to 56, and the Thunder Chickens were in control when USC had possession. They allowed 88 yards rushing and held Jimmy Jones to three completions in eight passes for two yards before retiring. "The Thunder Chickens ate you up," Stanford Assistant Coach Jack Christiansen yelled at the downcast losers afterward. The Trojans, who trailed 7-0 after the first Stanford possession, did not get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. By then McKay was counting as lost another Rose Bowl opportunity in another disappointing year.
When Oregon played Washington last year the Ducks lost 25-23 after a late fumble gave Steve Wiezbowski a short field goal opportunity. Last week Oregon was leading 23-21 when Washington again took over on a fumble in the final two minutes. Only this year Wiezbowski missed the kick from the 21 (he missed earlier from the 23), and the Ducks were saved. The fault was not all Wiezbowski's, of course. Washington got off to a 14-0 lead and couldn't gain one yard when it would have given them a three-touchdown advantage.
Through the first three quarters Sonny Sixkiller passed only 13 times, completing two. He opened up in the final period, but Oregon held on. Bobby Moore, Oregon's fine back from Washington (Sixkiller is from Oregon) became the school's alltime leading rusher by gaining 101 yards in 21 carries for 1,903 overall. "Losing this game makes me madder than hell." said Coach Jim Owens after his club dropped its second straight and fell out of Rose Bowl contention.
The recent history of the Oregon State-Arizona State series softens the impact of the Beavers' 24-18 victory that ended the Sun Devils' 21-game winning streak. After all, OSU has won the last five meetings during a period in which Arizona State has won 43 of 52 games. "Their strength is against our weakness," explained Coach Frank Kush. "They have it on us physically. We may have more skilled players, but we can't cope with their size."
Kush figured his team was due to lose before the season was over, anyway. "This team is not as good as the one we had last year. That club had much better balance and a much better passing game. We've got good receivers, but we can't get the ball to them."
Arizona State trailed 10-0 but tied the game after three quarters. Then Oregon State Fullback Dave Schilling, who gained 157 yards in 47 carries, scored his second and third touchdowns of the game to break it open. During his busy afternoon Schilling surpassed the school's alltime rushing record of 2,233 yards. The victory evened the Beavers' record at 3-3 and came a day before Dee Andros' 47th birthday.
It was a bad day all round for Arizona fans as UCLA defeated the University of Arizona 28-12. The Bruins gained 346 yards rushing while their defense tossed Arizona ballcarriers for 64 yards in losses.
California edged Washington State 24-23 on a 20-yard field goal by Ray Wersching with 1:06 remaining. Air Force, which hasn't lost to a rival service academy since 1967, defeated Army 20-7. New Mexico Quarterback Rocky Long ran for touchdowns of six, 10 and 33 yards to give the Lobos a 21-21 tie with San Jose State. The Californians jumped to a two-touchdown lead before Long got New Mexico moving. It was the Lobos' second straight tie.
1. ARKANSAS (5-1)
2. TEXAS (3-2)
3. HOUSTON (4-1)
Texas, beaten the week before by the monstrous Oklahoma running game, faired no better against the Arkansas passing attack as it lost its second in a row for the first time since 1967. Hog Quarterback Joe Ferguson passed for three touchdowns in the 31-7 win, twice to Tight End Bobby Nichols on fourth-down plays inside the five. "There is something about football which allows you to use up the bitterness in your craw that comes from losing several years in a row," said Darrell Royal of the Oklahoma and Arkansas losses. "That's what we've seen the last two weeks, and they had the people to do it."
Royal was 3-0 in Little Rock, and Texas had not lost there since 1955. Even though the Longhorns scored first to lead 7-0, they proved again they are not the same team, offensively at least, without Wishbone-master Eddie Phillips at quarterback. The Texas offense was impotent, and Ferguson made Arkansas' overwhelming. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 249 yards, and the 21-7 intermission lead might have been just half the story were it not for a heavy second-half rain. The Razorbacks had 451 yards total offense, a 30-year high against Texas. Arkansas now has the Cotton Bowl trip virtually assured, and the Longhorns have their first Southwest Conference loss in 22 games. "Now," said Coach Frank Broyles, "J don't have to wait until next year."
There has been discord in Lubbock, where the fans prefer Joe Barnes at quarterback and Texas Tech Coach Jim Carlen prefers to make the decisions. His choice is Charles Napper. The Red Raiders led Boston College 7-0 midway through the fourth quarter when Carlen sent Barnes in for the first time. Barres ran a quarterback draw and went 26 yards for the touchdown as Tech posted a 14-6 victory.
Houston Quarterback Gary Mullins became the Cougars" alltime total-offense leader with 3,674 yards in a 42-9 romp past Villanova. He scored twice and threw a touchdown pass. The Houston defense got to the Villanova quarterback 11 times and pulled in five interceptions.
Texas Christian defeated Texas A&M 14-3 as Bill Sadler scored two second-quarter touchdowns. The showing made up for two fumbles, one at his own 30, the other at the A&M seven. SMU beat Rice 16-10.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE LINEMAN: Defensive End Walt Patulski led the Notre Dame defense that extended its unscored-on string to 14 quarters. The 6'6", 260-pound senior made 11 tackles, two of them inside the live, and forced a fumble.
THE BACK: Auburn Quarterback Pat Sullivan had his most impressive game of the year in the Tigers' victory over Georgia Tech. His three touchdown passes give him 10 for the season as he bids for the Heisman Trophy.