1. TEXAS (1-0)
2. ARKANSAS (1-1)
3. RICE (2-0)
It was a good week for the Southwest Conference with all but one of the league's eight teams coming out on top. Most of them roamed elsewhere in the country, but Arkansas and Texas stayed at home. At Little Rock the Razorbacks barely nipped Oklahoma State 24-23 when the OSU placekicker, Eddie Garrett, missed an extra-point kick with 6:23 to play. The Cowboys moved out in front 10-0 on a 40-yard field goal by Garrett and a 40-yard fake-punt touchdown run by Halfback Alfred Nelms. Quarterback Joe Ferguson finally got Arkansas in front 17-10 by directing drives of 72, 70 and 65 yards. Later the Razorbacks led 24-17 when OSU scored on a 36-yard Brent Blackman to Reuben Gant pass. But Garrett's attempt to tie the game hit the goalpost.
Texas had trouble with a slippery ball, but still vanquished Miami 23-10 in its season opener on a rainy night in Austin. Alan Lowry, the defensive back who has been shifted this year to quarterback, had a good statistical game for the Longhorns, hitting eight of 13 passes for 182 yards, but under his control the offense looked sloppy and uneven. Sophomore Billy (Sure) Schott kicked three Longhorn field goals and Lonnie Bennett scored one touchdown for Texas on a 40-yard run in the first quarter. But Coach Darrell Royal was not impressed. "I'm really concerned with what kind of football team we're going to have," he said. "We did not play a poised game." At Houston, Rice won its second straight, beating Clemson 29-10.
October 1, 1972
1. LSU (2-0)
2. ALABAMA (2-0)
3. TENNESSEE (3-0)
The LSU Tigers have begun to snarl. After an unimpressive opening against Pacific and a stumbling first half against Texas A&M, they suddenly sprang to life during the second half of the Aggie game and went on to win handsomely, 42-17. A&M dominated the first half, though trailing 14-10, with a Wishbone attack that LSU could not solve and rolled up 195 yards. In the second half, however, the Wishbone snapped. End Binks Miciotto, with 11 tackles and a recovered fumble during the game, led a defense that sent the Aggie ground game spinning off in the wrong direction and bottled up the passing attack of Quarterback Lex James as well. Aggie runners lost a total of 26 yards after intermission, and their team's passing barely made up that ground. Meanwhile, LSU received the second-half kickoff and marched 80 yards to a score, and then notched another quick score when Corner-back Norm Hodgins picked off a James pass and ran it into the end zone from 45 yards out. LSU's brace of quarterbacks shared offensive honors. Bert Jones completed 10 of 17 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Paul Lyons, who specializes in a running game, had three completions in five attempts and scored a touchdown himself on a four-yard keeper.
Tennessee won its 10th straight game by overwhelming Wake Forest at Knoxville 45-6. Condredge Holloway and Gary Valbuena alternated effectively at quarterback, with Valbuena, a junior-college transfer, throwing three touchdown passes and Holloway clicking on one scoring pass and running in for another touchdown from 29 yards out.
Early in the week Alabama Coach Bear Bryant tried to stir up interest in his team's game with Kentucky at Birmingham by casting forth warnings that the Wildcats were "a sleeping giant." Bryant was right on only one count. The Tide poured 65 players into the game, but even the noise of all those trampling cleats did not arouse Kentucky, which lost 35-0. Alabama Fullback Steve Bisceglia scored on a nine-yard run and again on a short pass from Quarterback Terry Davis. Davis passed for one more touchdown and ran for one himself, but two sophomore reserves, Quarterback Gary Rutledge and Halfback Ralph Stokes, produced the game's most exciting play, a 48-yard touchdown pass. "We're coming," said Bisceglia of his team's solid show of strength. "We're getting better."
Tulane continued in its role of spoiler. In its opener it had defeated favored Boston College. Last week Georgia sunk beneath the Green Wave, losing 24-13. Tulane's specialty teams were the most effective agent in dragging the Bulldogs under. Punter Randy Lee averaged 45.3 yards on seven tries and the coverage held Georgia's elusive return specialist, Buzy Rosenberg, to 16 yards on four catches. Tulane came up with a neat punt return of its own when George Ewing gathered one in on his own 43-yard line in the third quarter, ran left until bumping into one of his blockers, spun back to the right and straight down the sideline to score. For Rosenberg, a cornerback on defense, it was a frustrating 60 minutes. He was victimized on a 17-yard scoring play by freshman Receiver Jaime Garza, who spun him off balance with a dazzling head fake, caught a pass from Mike Walker and put Tulane ahead 17-7 in the second quarter. "Was that guy a freshman?" asked Rosenberg later. "You got to be kidding."
Against Virginia Tech at Tallahassee, Florida State passing whiz Gary Huff missed on his first four tries, then was knocked senseless gaining nine yards on a running play. After a short spell on the bench to clear his head, he came back to hit 19 of his next 33 passes, good for one touchdown and 233 yards, and guided the Seminoles to a 25-12 victory. Gobbler Quarterback Don Strock flooded the air with passes in a vain try to keep VPI in the game, completing 22 of 48 for 276 yards, but could not offset the more balanced offensive zip shown by Huff, Receiver Barry Smith, who caught 10 passes for 146 yards, and Running Back Hodges Mitchell, who churned out 138 yards on 27 carries.
In other games, Stanford paid a cross-continental visit to Duke and returned home with a 10-6 win set up by Reserve Quarterback Mike Boryla, who came in during the third quarter and quickly hit End Bill Scott with a 12-yard scoring pass. The rest of the game was a contest to see which team could fumble the ball away most often, Duke twice blowing touchdown chances in the closing minutes. North Carolina held off North Carolina State in a woolly one 34-33 when State missed a two-point conversion pass after scoring a touchdown with 10 seconds left on a leaping catch by Pat Kenney of a 32-yard pass from Bruce Shaw. West Virginia routed Virginia at Charlottesville 48-10 with the help of four touchdown passes by Quarterback Bernie Galiffa, and Auburn looked something less than prepared to meet Tennessee this weekend while edging out Chattanooga 14-7. "Now that it's over I think it will be damn good for us," said Auburn Coach Shug Jordan. "The players should be very attentive from now on."
1. OKLAHOMA (2-0)
2. OHIO STATE (1-0)
3. COLORADO (3-0)
Three unfriendly visitors from the West, USC, Colorado and Washington, invaded Big Ten country last week and all three went home with scalps. At Champaign, USC stumbled through the first half of its game with Illinois, then turned on some juice to win easily, 55-20. "We didn't really play very well and I don't know why," said Trojan Coach John McKay. "We were slow on defense and uninspired on offense." Illinois went ahead 7-0 and 14-7 early in the first half on short touchdown runs by Bob Hayes and George Uremovich, but USC tied the game and then went ahead 21-14 just before intermission when Coach McKay's son, Wide Receiver John McKay, grabbed a 31-yard pass from Quarterback Mike Rae in the corner of the end zone. A stern lecture by the coach at halftime seemed to have an inspirational effect on the Trojans, but more inspirational may have been Illinois' front-eight stunting defense, which left only three defensive backs to go man-to-man against the slippery USC receivers. USC quarterbacks Rae and Pat Haden completed 14 of 20 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns. "We never quit, but we felt like we were trying to hold back a flood all day," summarized losing Coach Bob Blackman.
While its Big Eight rivals Oklahoma and Nebraska were running up huge scores, Colorado was in Minneapolis posting a relatively modest 38-6 victory over Minnesota. The Gophers, in an attempt to recall their great Golden Gopher image of 1934-41, have donned gold jerseys this year and in the first quarter even looked golden, moving to six first downs. The resemblance ended right there. End Bill Donnell recovered a Minnesota fumble on the Colorado 48 and five plays later Buffalo Tailback Charlie Davis scored on a three-yard plunge to trigger a 24-point Colorado second quarter. Davis achieved his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 119 yards on only 15 carries and scored twice. Quarterback Ken Johnson got touchdowns on two short keepers as Colorado gained a total of 352 yards on the ground and might have rolled up an even more impressive score if Coach Eddie Crowder had not used his reserves for most of the second half.
At Lafayette, Ind. the Washington Huskies proved once again they have a hex on Purdue, beating the Boilermakers for the second straight year with spectacular last-ditch heroics. Last year in Seattle it was a 33-yard touchdown pass by Quarterback Sonny Sixkiller with 2:33 left that lifted Washington to a 38-35 win. This year it was a 25-yard field goal by Steve Wiezbowski with 2:04 remaining that brought a 22-21 victory. Purdue roared through the first half as if destined to put the game completely out of reach. Quarterback Gary Danielson was as elusive as a ghost, gaining 209 yards on nine carries as Purdue marched 86, 80 and 80 yards for touchdowns. Then, on the third play of the third quarter, the momentum switched to Washington. Danielson, who completed only one of nine passes, was intercepted by Washington Linebacker Bob Ferguson. It was the first of three costly turnovers Purdue was to make. Washington scored after the interception on a four-play, 36-yard march, then scored twice more in the fourth quarter on short drives of 48 and 34 yards following Purdue fumbles, but failed on two Sixkiller passing tries for two-point conversions. The Cherokee quarterback more than made up for these lapses, however. Starting from his own 15, he completed three passes for 64 yards, taking the Huskies to the Purdue 10 and setting up Wiezbowski's winning kick.
At Madison the Badgers of Wisconsin had an easy 31-7 time with Syracuse, recovering seven of the Orangemen's 10 fumbles and getting a 153-yard rushing performance from Rufus (Roadrunner) Ferguson, their 5'6", 195-pound tailback. In other games, however, the Big Ten drew a blank. At East Lansing, Georgia Tech Quarterback Eddie McAshan tossed bombs over Michigan State's virtual nine-man defensive line and the Yellow Jackets won 21-16. McAshan completed 16 of his 26 passes, including touchdown strikes of 77 yards—on Tech's first play from scrimmage—and 36 yards to Jim Robinson. "They shocked us on the first play and we stayed in a state of shock all day," said Michigan State Coach Duffy Daugherty.
Notre Dame, its offensive line blocking with explosive quickness, ran up a 30-0 half-time lead at Evanston against Northwestern and coasted home 37-0. Irish Coach Ara Parseghian used five quarterbacks and 12 different ballcarriers as he swept his bench clean in the second half. At Bloomington, Indiana dropped a close one to TCU 31-28 as the Horned Frogs showed a strong running game, including a 72-yard scoring gallop by Halfback Mike Luttrell.
At Columbia, the Baylor Bears upset Missouri 27-0 when sophomore Quarterback Neal Jeffrey threw for one touchdown, scored another and completed seven of 11 passes.
1. USC (3-0)
2. ARIZONA STATE (2-0)
3. WASHINGTON (3-0)
The UCLA-Michigan matchup at the Los Angeles Coliseum might well have been the next glittering chapter in the life of young Mark Thomas Harmon, UCLA quarterback and son of Michigan All-America Tom Harmon. But on the second play from scrimmage the script came up with a surprise twist. Or thump. Harmon was whacked on the head by a knee while running an option play and spent the rest of the night on the bench with blurred vision and a fierce headache as his team lost to the Wolverines 26-9. Without Harmon's deft ball handling, fakes and sharp passing, the Bruins" Wishbone T lacked snap. It was no match for Michigan's ball-control game, which in the first half ground out scoring drives of 74 and 60 yards that consumed 11:35 minutes and put the game out of UCLA's reach. Michigan was able to run off 83 plays to its opponents' 56. Fullback Ed Shuttlesworth was the prime mover, with 116 yards gained on 24 thrusts, but the Wolverines' crop of seven running backs averaged 4.9 yards gained per whack. "Everything I feared could happen, did," moaned losing Coach Pepper Rodgers.
In Tempe, Arizona State ran up a 42-7 halftime lead against Kansas State and with Coach Frank Kush getting a good look at his bench strength in the second half, went on to win 56-14 before its eighth straight home sellout, a crowd of 50,682. Junior Quarterback Dan White put on a crisp passing exhibition to please the home folks, hitting on 15 of 21 for 230 yards, and the Sun Devils picked up 31 first downs on their way to an offensive total of 560 yards.
The Air Force Academy was slow on the takeoff against Pitt, but turned a narrow 13-7 halftime lead into a 41-13 shellacking. Tailback Joel Carlson, a reserve quarterback last year, has now found his niche. He had his second straight 100-plus game, gaining 134 yards on 30 carries.
1. PENN STATE (1-1)
2. WEST VIRGINIA (3-0)
3. NAVY (1-1)
Nebraska, working feverishly to regain top national ranking, slaughtered a brave old Army team 77-7 before a thoroughly appalled but impressed crowd of 42,239 at West Point. It was the worst rout suffered by the Cadets in the team's 83-year history. Nebraska's sophomore Quarterback David Humm picked apart the sluggish Army defense with his sharp passing, completing 14 of 18 for 160 yards before giving way to a series of eager replacements. Most of Nebraska's 50-man traveling squad did not leave the bench, however, until the score had mounted to 56-0. Shifty Slotback Johnny Rodgers scored three times on a short run and pass receptions of 26 and five yards, but not all of his moves were good. He lost two fumbles. Led by Middle Guard Rich Glover and End Willie Harper, the Nebraska defense squelched the Army running game so completely that it ended up with a minus-12-yard total. Presumably shattered is the optimism that had been generated on the banks of the Hudson by three straight wins at the finish of last season. "I don't feel sorry," said Rodgers when the scoring derby had ended. "We have to prove we are as good as last year."
Navy enjoyed a far happier afternoon than its service academy brother, though it lost to Penn State 21-10. "This is the best Navy team since the Roger Staubach days," said winning Coach Joe Paterno. Navy held the ball 65% of the first half and led at half-time 3-0. Penn State could not generate an offense until the third quarter when Quarterback John Hufnagel hit on seven of nine passes to key scoring marches of 89 and 60 yards. The Nittany Lions did not put the game out of reach until—with only 1:18 left on the clock—Linebacker John Skorupan intercepted a Navy pass and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown. Despite the loss. Navy Coach Rick Forzano looks to a rosy future. "We're getting the good kids again," he said.
Most of the Ivies do not start until this weekend, but in Providence Brown opened its season with a 30-24 loss to Holy Cross. The Crusaders won the game on a fourth-quarter touchdown run of 35 yards by Steve Buchanan and then stopped a final Brown surge by intercepting a pass on their own 12 as the game ended. Boston College rebounded from its opening 10-0 loss to Tulane and belted Temple 49-27.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE LINEMAN: Penn State's 6'2", 210-pound senior Linebacker John Skorupan who, in addition to his key touchdown runback of an intercepted pass, also made 15 unassisted tackles and sacked Navy's quarterback three times.
THE BACK: Boston College Running Back Phil Bennett, a junior, who broke a school record that had stood since 1949 when he rushed for 253 yards, including touchdowns of eight, 44 and one yard, in a 49-27 win over Temple.