1. OHIO STATE (7-0)
2. NOTRE DAME (7-0)
3. OKLAHOMA (6-0-1)
Big Ten leaders Ohio State and Michigan continued their relentless pursuit of each other last week. The Buckeye defense, led by Linebacker Randy Gradishar's fumble recovery and pass interception, recorded its second straight shutout as Ohio State popped Illinois 30-0. Michigan led Indiana 42-0 at the half and the Wolverines' bench warmers played it out for a 49-13 victory. "The only difference between the two teams is that Michigan wears blue," said Indiana's Lee Corso, who earlier lost 37-7 to the Buckeyes. Illinois Coach Bob Blackman's postmortem did not include the Wolverines, whom he has not seen, but it might have described both Big Ten powers, anyway. "I had a week of mixed emotions," he said. "I'd tell my players that they could beat Ohio State and they would tell me they could beat them, and we would believe each other. Then I would go home at night and look at the Ohio State films, and I'd wonder if the Minnesota Vikings could beat them."'
Elsewhere in the league, Michigan State tripped Wisconsin 21-0, Purdue bombed Iowa 48-23 and Minnesota outlived Northwestern 52-43. Unbeaten Mid-American leader Miami of Ohio, which wants everyone to know it was an MU before that Southern school was a U. of M., thumped Western Michigan 24-9. Kent State ripped Marshall 35-3.
November 12, 1973
Oklahoma stayed on top of the Big Eight despite falling behind for the third straight time at home. The Sooners came from 10 points down to whip Iowa State 34-17. Joe Washington scored twice and ran for 136 of the Sooners' 411 yards rushing. Missouri Quarterback John Cherry ran and passed for three scores as the Tigers set down Kansas State 31-7.
Oklahoma State is the best 3-2-2 team in the country. Probably the only one, too. The Cowboys, who tied Nebraska two weeks ago, got a 10-10 deadlock with Kansas when they muffed a 30-yard field-goal attempt with five seconds left. Oklahoma State has not won in five weeks. Nebraska defeated Colorado 28-16 after leading 28-3 at the half.
Notre Dame routed Navy 44-7 as six different Irish players scored touchdowns.
1. ALABAMA (8-0)
2. LSU (8-0)
3. TENNESSEE (6-2)
"You work like heck to win it and I blow it," a grim Bill Battle told his Tennessee team after its 35-31 upset loss to Georgia.
"You don't need to apologize, coach," Quarterback Condredge Holloway said in the still locker room. "We win together as a team and we lose together as a team."
Battle's coaching error had come as Tennessee faced fourth and two at its 28 with 2½ minutes remaining. The Volunteers, after trailing 21-14 at halftime, were ahead 31-28, and Battle thought going for the first down would keep it that way. Neil Clabo went into deep punt formation, but the center snap went to short man Steve Chancey. Georgia's Bubba Wilson sacked him for a loss, and five plays later Quarterback Andy Johnson salvaged a busted play—and the game—by scrambling in with a fumbled hand-off from the eight. "Georgia didn't play well enough to win," Battle said later, "but they didn't have a stupid coach."
The victory was a crucial one for the Bulldogs, who had lost their last two. Coach Vince Dooley spurned critics calling for more passes and went with a power I running attack. His Bulldogs didn't go to the air once as they drove 81, 70 and 43 yards to scores in their first three possessions.
Battle's decision may have been doubly costly. Not only did Georgia win for the first time in Knoxville in 50 years, but it probably cost the Volunteers a major bowl bid.
There were two other major upsets in the South as Kentucky rose up to knock Tulane from the unbeatens 34-7 and Florida surprised Auburn 12-8. Sonny Collins, the Southeastern Conference's leading ground gainer, romped for three touchdowns and 176 yards in 26 carries to pace the Wildcats. Tulane, held to 49 yards rushing, did not score until the fourth quarter.
Florida had not won at Auburn since 1927, or anywhere else against the Tigers since 1966. But Auburn lost three fumbles, one at its 31 to set up a Gator touchdown and did not score until the last play of the game. "I've been in this business too long to try to camouflage the situation," said Shug Jordan. "We got took to the woodshed today. Any way you look at it we took a licking, and the final score docs not give the true picture."
A stadium full of Mississippians down in Jackson got a pretty good idea of why the Southeastern Conference standings are the way they are. A rare football doubleheader saw LSU smash Ole Miss 51-14 and Alabama bust Mississippi State 35-0. The Tigers and Tide will decide who represents the SEC in the postseas n national championship derby on Thanksgiving night in Baton Rouge.
LSU's victory was its first over the Rebels in Jackson since 1934. "From the quiet in our dressing room before the game," said Charlie McClendon, "I knew we'd either explode or fall flat on our faces." The Tigers exploded, but it is Mississippi's Johnny Vaught who may have popped a cork; his team lost five fumbles.
Alabama scored in every quarter, but the real difference may have been a defense that blocked two field-goal attempts and a fourth-down pass, intercepted Mississippi State four times and threw Melvin Bark urn for a 32-yard loss when the Bulldogs were threatening on their first possession.
A couple of Eastern teams made forays into the South, and both went home winners, West Virginia upsetting Miami 20-14 and Penn State cracking stubborn Maryland 42-22. The Mountaineers' four-game losing streak ended when a 32-yard pass from Ben Williams to Marshall Mills capped a 95-yard drive. The completion came with only 22 seconds remaining.
The Terp-Lion clash was a weird one. Penn State's Gary Hayman returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and Greg Buttle recovered a fumble on the next kickoff to set up a second score within 84 seconds of the start. But Maryland fought back to lead 16-12, and it held a 22-22 tie at the half, thanks to Bob Smith's 87-yard punt return. The third quarter began much as the first, however, with a pass interception and a fumble leading to short Lion TD drives that finally broke the game open.
Atlantic Coast Conference leader North Carolina State won a wild 56-35 victory over South Carolina and Duke fell 12-10 to Georgia Tech when a late field-goal try of 34 yards was ruled no good. League games saw Virginia outscore North Carolina 44-40 and Clemson bomb Wake Forest 35-8. East Carolina won a meeting of Southern Conference unbeatens, 34-3 over William & Mary, but Richmond kept pace with the Spiders by downing The Citadel 27-0.
1. HOUSTON (7-1)
2. TEXAS (5-2)
3. TEXAS TECH (7-1)
The struggle to overcome a 14-0 halftime deficit had long been accomplished, and Texas was well on its way to victory over SMU when Darrell Royal called Roosevelt Leaks to his side. After 281 yards and a touchdown Leaks' work might have been finished, but no one in the 59-year history of the Southwest Conference had ever run for more than 300 yards. The record of 297 had been set in 1950 by A&M's Bob Smith.
"They tell me you're 16 yards short of the record," Royal said to his fullback. "Do you want it?"
"Well get in there."
Leaks failed in his first couple of tries, and with less than a minute left told his teammates, "Go ahead and call the right play and don't worry about the record. I don't care if I get it."
The Texas huddle shouted "No!" in unison and Leaks' number was called again. Roosevelt took the hand-off, hit into the middle, and suddenly there were 53 yards of daylight. Touchdown. Record. Euphoria. "When I crossed the goal I knew I had it all," said Leaks of his 37th carry that ended the scoring 42-14. "I was happy. It is a feeling you can't describe."
Leaks has now gained 744 yards in his last three games for a 164-yard average through seven contests. "I haven't been doing as well as I should," he told a team meeting a month ago. "I've been thinking too much about the pro scouts. I'll start putting the team first."
Other conference games saw Texas Tech lumber to a 19-6 win over Rice, Arkansas trip Texas A&M 14-10 and Texas Christian outscored Baylor 34-28. Razorback Coach Frank Broyles was spewing joy after his young team's fifth victory in its last six games. "I feel pretty darn good. In fact I'm elated," he said. "It was the first time this year we put together a good offense, defense and kicking game. It's very encouraging." Dickey Morton led the Hogs with 147 yards in 27 carries. Baylor's three-touchdown rally in the fourth quarter nearly overcame a 34-7 TCU lead built on two touchdowns each by Mike Luttrell and Kent Marshall.
Houston, shut out by Auburn one week ago, flexed its muscles again against winless Florida State. The Cougars romped 34-3 and rolled up 606 yards, their best effort in two years. Fullback Leonard Parker ran for 151 yards, his fifth game over 100.
1. USC (6-1-1)
2. UCLA (7-1)
3. ARIZONA STATE (7-1)
They may be devils in the sun, but they are angels in the snow. Arizona State slept through a snowfall the night before its game with Utah in Salt Lake City and awoke to near-freezing temperatures. Coach Frank Kush did not blame the unfamiliar climate for his team's first loss of the year, but something obviously was amiss in the 36-31 setback. Utah took advantage of five fumbles and two interceptions to jump to a 30-10 half-time lead. Warmed by the fire of Kush's locker-room oratory, the Sun Devils closed to 30-24 and, with first and goal at the Ute four in the fourth quarter, were in a position to go ahead. But Utah held and then generated a 95-yard scoring drive that clinched the big upset.
The Utah ground defense, led by Tackle Ron Rydalch, held Woody Green to 48 yards in 16 carries and dropped Quarterback Danny White for 31 yards in losses. White passed for 361 yards and two TDs, but he was intercepted four times. Ute Quarterback Don Van Galder ran and passed for four scores. The Western Athletic Conference lead is now in the firm grip of Arizona, which dumped Texas-El Paso 35-18.
Southern California and UCLA continued warmup drills for their Pacific Eight showdown Nov. 24, drubbing California 50-14 and Washington 62-13. Anthony Davis, a disappointment much of the year, exploded for five touchdowns, three in the fourth quarter and the last on an 80-yard return of a free kick as the gun sounded. "We needed this kind of win," said A.D. "We've been struggling all season." The Trojans' shuttle system produced 355 yards by Tailbacks Davis (106), Rod McNeill (164) and Allen Carter (85). "I didn't think Cal was that great on defense," said John McKay.
Neither, apparently, was Washington, which has allowed 120 points in its last two games. UCLA went over half a hundred for the fifth time this year and its 671 yards of offense broke the school record. Kermit Johnson scored twice and gained 141 of the team's 566 rushing yards. Quarterback John Sciarra ran for 130 yards and passed for 54. "I go back to Red Sanders [the 1950s]," said Husky Coach Jim Owens, "and I don't know that this isn't the best Bruin team I've seen." Then he reversed his field. "Certainly it's the best for the last five or six years."
Stanford edged Oregon State 24-23 on Rod Garcia's second field goal with 4:19 remaining after trailing 20-9. The Cardinals kept the three-pointer rather than accept a Beaver offside penalty that would have given them a first down at the 14. "They were smart," said OSU's Dee Andros. "They showed great judgment in not being greedy." Washington State trudged from midfield through heavy snow in the last five minutes to score the winning touchdown against Oregon. Andrew Jones' two-yard smash made it 21-14.
Air Force ended a three-game losing streak to its fellow service academy teams and equaled the interacademy scoring record with a 43-10 victory over winless Army. The teams were tied 10-10 at halftime, but the Falcon defense tallied two touchdowns on pass interceptions and set up an offensive score with another theft. "It was a great win for us," said Coach Ben Martin, "probably one of our top half-dozen victories ever."
1. PENN STATE (8-0)
2. PITT (5-2-1)
3. HARVARD (5-1)
The fortunes of Eastern football are now such that young blond Johnny Majors of Pittsburgh was gesturing across the field to tell old gray Ben Schwartzwalder of Syracuse that he was sorry. The Panthers, leading 28-14, had possession at the six with one second left when an overenthusiastic Pitt substitute called time out. Time for one more play, c'mon guys, really stick it to them. Majors, who had told his quarterback to run out the clock, was enraged. After Pitt had managed to not score on the final play, Majors said of the Syracuse coach, who is in his 25th and final season, "You don't run it up on a man who's meant as much to the game as Ben."
The Panthers were charged up by Quarterback Billy Daniels, a third-stringer last year, who scored twice, passed for another, gained 165 yards in 19 carries and threw for 121 more on nine completions in 16 attempts. Super frosh Tony Dorsett, the nation's third-leading rusher, skittered for 211 yards.
Dartmouth created an Ivy League logjam by defeating Yale 24-13 to join Harvard and Pennsylvania at the top. Greenie Quarterback Tom Snickenberger passed only 11 times but completed nine for three touchdowns.
In the midst of all that activity at the apex of the Ivy League, Princeton was securing the bottom. The Tigers lost to Brown 7-6 for their fourth straight conference defeat and first to the Bruins since 1954. The game's only touchdown completed a 22-play, 11-minute drive in the third and fourth quarters, Mike Sokolowski going over from the one. The Brown win might have been more convincing except for six fumbles.
The tranquillity on the bluff overlooking Cayuga's waters was interrupted Halloween night when Cornell End Bruce Starks was mugged and beaten as he left the library. Three days later Starks caught four passes for 89 yards and a touchdown as the Big Red topped Columbia 44-14. Mark Allen also threw three other TD passes.
J. J. Jennings scored twice and rushed for 100 yards, but his two fumbles helped Yankee Conference leader Connecticut upset Rutgers 27-19. The first bobble was recovered in midair and returned 20 yards to a touchdown by Linebacker Don Thompson. The second set up a 39-yard scoring drive, capped by Lou Mancari's second TD pass to Al MacLellan. Eric Torkelson gained 164 yards rushing for the Huskies.
Rhode Island trounced New Hampshire 40-16, Boston U. ended a six-game losing streak 30-14 over Northeastern and Maine blanked Bucknell 14-0. Villanova, punch less against major college foes, picked on Delaware 24-7, the third straight defeat for the defending college division champs. Massachusetts celebrated "A Salute to Yogi Berra" by taking Vermont 27-7. Yogi's son Tim is the team's star receiver and a co-star with his dad in a Jockey shorts commercial.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE LINEMAN: Sophomore End Jay Miller, whose 52 receptions in six outings led the nation before the game, caught an NCAA record 22 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns as Brigham Young beat New Mexico 56-21.
THE BACK: Roosevelt Leaks became the country's top rusher with his 342-yard effort against SMU. The Longhorn fullback finished only eight yards short of the NCAA mark held by Michigan State's Eric Allen.