Joe Paterno made no excuses after Penn State's 7-6 loss to Navy at soggy Beaver Stadium. He didn't have to. Middie Coach George Welsh, his assistant the previous 10 years, did it for him.
Welsh talked about the Lions' seven fumbles (two of them inside the 15) and their four missed field goals (the last a 43-yarder in the final seconds). He said his Middies, outgained 375 yards to 171, were beaten "in everything but the score." Navy's 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the first half "was all we had. We shot our wad on that one." His team "showed character, didn't collapse and hung in there," Welsh praised, but he admitted, "We were lucky."
Navy's score came on a four-yard fullback pass from Bob Jackson to Robin Ameen. "The ball almost slipped out of my hands," Jackson said. "It wasn't a good pass at all." Steve Dykes' extra point was the difference after the Lions failed on a two-point try following their only touchdown with 4:41 remaining. Tom Shuman posted the six with a five-yard pass to Jerry Jeram but his conversion attempt to Jim Eaise was knocked down.
September 29, 1974
"It has to be one of the biggest wins in Navy history," Welsh said. But many an old salt may disagree with his conclusion that "it's better than beating Army this year or any other year." Come the last week of November Welsh will likely be singing a different chanty.
Tulane pounded Army with two offensive units that rolled up 437 yards in a 31-14 victory. Quarterback Steve Foley threw one touchdown pass and his replacement, Terry Looney, tossed two.
West Virginia put the clamps on Sonny Collins to defeat Kentucky 16-3. Collins managed only 57 yards in 12 carries against a Mountaineer defense that recovered two fumbles, intercepted two passes and held the Wildcats three times after first downs at the five. The Mountaineers started the game backed up on the one-yard line, but a 75-yard run by Artie Owens set up their first touchdown.
Brown got the jump on the rest of the Ivy League, opening a week early against Holy Cross, but it was a leap into hot water. Crusader Safety John Provost intercepted four passes and returned two punts 59 and 85 yards for touchdowns as Holy Cross won 45-10. The Bruins scored first, on a 54-yard play from Pete Beatrice to Pete Chelovich, but they committed nine turnovers.
Rutgers edged Bucknell 16-14 on Bill Bradley's 21-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining. Bucknell seemed to have the game won after going ahead with 5½ minutes left and then intercepting a pass at 2:14. But a fumble gave Rutgers life and two penalties helped move the ball into field-goal position.
The first of two three-pointers by Dave Mancosh put Lehigh ahead to stay in its 33-12 victory over Colgate. The second kick was a 47-yarder that broke a 91-year-old school record.
1. Pittsburgh (2-0)
2. Penn State (1-1)
3. Navy (2-0)
Say what you will about the pro set in this era of the triple option, but when a team is trailing late in the game there is no quicker route to the scoreboard than an old-fashioned down and out. New Mexico was a Wishbone team last year, but under new Coach Bill Mondt it came out throwing this season.
The Lobos' passing attack salvaged a 21-21 tie with heavily favored Texas Tech when Quarterback Steve Myer followed a four-yard scoring toss with a two-point conversion pass. All of this excitement capped a 55-yard drive that ended with just over a minute to play. "It was a great tie," said Mondt, which doesn't necessarily mean he enjoys kissing his sister.
Arizona State had little trouble disposing of its visitor from the Southwest Conference. The Sun Devils thumped Texas Christian 37-7 as a couple of sophomore ball carriers, Freddie Williams and Mark Lovett, gained 104 and 99 yards respectively. The game also marked the debut of freshman Quarterback Dennis Sproul, who came off the bench to complete 10 of 14 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score. TCU Coach Jim Shofner begged off when he was asked to compare Sproul with starter Ray Alexander. "I couldn't tell any difference," he said. "They both put points on the board and that's all I understand."
Texas-El Paso has seen a lot of scoring in recent years, usually by the other team. But on Saturday the Miners ended their 13-game losing streak with a 34-7 victory over Utah. Bob McKinley threw three touchdown passes and Mike Belew gained 168 yards. Utah won last year's game 82-6.
Brigham Young's defense has not allowed a touchdown in two games but the Cougars are still winless. Hawaii beat them with five Held goals two weeks ago and last Saturday Al Knapp kicked three in a 9-6 victory by Utah State.
Washington is in the unusual position of being the only unbeaten team in the Pacific Eight. The Huskies Veered to 504 offensive yards in a 31-28 victory over Iowa State. Fullback Willie Hendricks rushed for 148 and Quarterback Denny Fitzpatrick came into the game in the second quarter to run and pass for 261 yards and three touchdowns.
Washington State, California and Oregon each posted first victories while Stanford remained winless in an upset loss to Illinois.
Washington State beat Idaho 17-10. California scored twice in the fourth quarter, the second time on Howard Strickland's two-yard run with 2:45 remaining, to nip San Jose State 17-16. Oregon's triumph was another clock beater, 27-23 over Air Force. The Ducks scored the winner with 1:27 left when Rick Kane bolted over from the one. The touchdown, his second of the period, came two minutes after Oregon had lost the lead on a fumble and an 18-yard scoring pass by the Falcons' Mike Worden to Bob Farr. Worden threatened to pull the game out in the last half minute, only to suffer an interception at the Oregon three.
Stanford's 41-7 loss to Illinois was largely the result of Mike Gow's four interceptions, one of which he returned for the go-ahead touchdown in the first quarter. Chubby Phillips scored three times for the Illini and rushed for 126 yards.
1. Arizona State (2-0)
2. Arizona (2-0)
3. USC (0-1)
Looking nothing like an Aggie joke, and every bit like a threat to Texas' long dominance of the Southwest Conference, Texas A&M jolted Louisiana State 21-14 in the Bengals' own bayou lair. The Aggies, in fact, may be the most underrated team in the country.
All three A&M running backs scored touchdowns as each rushed for more than 100 yards. Skip Walker netted 130, Bubba Bean 127 and Bucky Sams 107 as the Aggie Wishbone outrushed the Tiger Veer 417 to 248. In the first half alone, Texas A&M gained 290 yards and posted a 17-2 advantage in first downs. The only question was why it did not have more than a 14-7 lead.
The winning touchdown came after an exchange of fumbles gave the Aggies possession on the LSU 37 in the fourth quarter. Sams took it in on a one-yard plunge. "Maybe I should have made some changes," the Tigers' Charlie McClendon said, "but it's too late to talk about that now."
Florida salvaged some Southeastern Conference pride by handing Maryland its second straight defeat, 17-10. The Terrapins, who lost 21-16 to Alabama two weeks ago, led 10-7 at the half. But the Gators snapped back in the third period on David Posey's 49-yard field goal and Jimmy Fisher's 17-yard pass to Lee McGriff. "I think Florida is comparable to Alabama," Maryland Coach Jerry Claiborne said.
Southern Mississippi may not agree. Alabama crushed the Golden Eagles 52-0, scoring in each of its first three possessions and averaging 11.7 yards per play in the process. Quarterback Richard Todd ran for one TD, passed for another and set up a third with a 40-yard scamper. Auburn and Vanderbilt had the same kind of success against other-opponents who were in over their heads. The Tigers derailed Chattanooga's choo-choo 52-7 as Mike Fuller returned two punts for touchdowns. The Commodores got three short scoring plunges from Adolph Groves and precise passing from Quarterbacks David Lee and Fred Fisher in bombing Virginia Military 45-7.
Condredge Holloway, still bothered by shoulder and knee injuries suffered three weeks ago against UCLA, watched sophomore Randy Wallace lead Tennessee to a 17-3 win over Kansas. Volunteer Coach Bill Battle said he "considered putting Holloway in two or three times, but I decided it was not worth the risk." After a shaky start, Wallace acquitted himself well, completing a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tim Fitchpatrick and rushing for 71 yards. "He's similar to Holloway in many respects," said the Jay-hawks' Don Fambrough.
Actually, Holloway played a rather decisive role in the victory. Sent in to hold for a field-goal attempt in the first quarter, he bobbled the snap but recovered to throw a 15-yard first-down pass to the Kansas seven. The Vols' first touchdown followed moments later.
Year in and year out, there is no team harder to figure than Georgia. The Bulldogs maintained their baffling form by losing to some other Bulldogs, Mississippi State, 38-14. The running and passing of State Quarterback Rockey Felker accounted for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Mississippi, meanwhile, wasn't doing so well. The Rebels were upset by Memphis State, 15-7, for the second year in a row. James Thompson's alert play keyed the victory. He recovered a fumbled punt on the Ole Miss 37 and four plays later caught a 25-yard pass that lifted the Tigers into the lead.
Johnny Majors brought Pittsburgh into its game with Georgia Tech troubled by the Panthers' sluggishness in practice and the narrowness of their opening-game win over weak Florida State. After Pitt triumphed, 27-17, Majors said, "I've never been happier to win a football game."
He got a two-touchdown, 168-yard performance from Tony Dorsett, who had been slowed the week before by a pulled groin.
Pepper Rodgers said his Yellow Jackets were hurt more by the Panthers' errorless play than anything. Pepper got a bit ruffled on the matter of his sidelines play-calling. "I ain't taking all the blame," he said. "I call the plays, but I can't handle the ball."
Florida State continues to have its troubles also. The Seminoles were done in this time by Colorado State, which got 158 yards and one touchdown from Ron Harris in a 14-7 victory.
Following South Carolina's 20-14 loss to Duke, Paul Dietzel announced he would retire at the end of the season. The Gamecocks, in this year of "Total Excitement," are 0-2. Their fans have fed on similar false hopes throughout Dietzel's nine-year tenure. Dietzel says he made the decision to step out during the summer but will stay on as athletic director.
The Duke victory featured a sensational performance by Larry Martinez, who gained 199 yards in 36 carries and scored all three Blue Devil touchdowns.
North Carolina and North Carolina State posted easy wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels jumped on Wake Forest 31-0 and the Wolfpack came from behind to stomp Clemson 31-10. State trailed 10-9 at the half, but zoomed into control as Fullback Stan Fritts scored three touchdowns. Scott Gardner threw four scoring passes, three to Split End Ken Shelton, as Virginia came from behind to beat William & Mary 38-28.
1. Alabama (2-0)
2. Florida (2-0)
3. N.C. State (3-0)
Miami has just joined Santa Ana on the Southwest Conference enemies list. Last year the Hurricanes opened with an upset victory over Texas. This season they nearly blew the lid off the Astrodome by defeating Houston 20-3.
"People who think this win was a fluke are going to be surprised," said Middle Guard Rubin Carter. "We're going to take it right through the season this time."
Last time, which is to say last year, Miami fizzled to a 5-6 finish. But early in the week Coach Pete Elliott proclaimed this team to be better than the Illinois and California squads he led to the Rose Bowl. Sophomore Don Martin and senior Woody Thompson scored the Hurricane touchdowns on runs of one and four yards and freshman Chris Dennis kicked a pair of 22-yard field goals. The defense was bolstered by Carter, who had 12 tackles, and Eddie Edwards, who sacked Cougar Quarterback David Hussmann five times.
The game may have raised more questions about Houston than it answered about Miami, however. This was the Cougars' second loss in three games. They were 11-1 last year and many people expected them to be even better this season.
When Roosevelt Leaks underwent knee surgery last spring, Texas Coach Darrell Royal said there was no way the All-America fullback could return by the fall. Leaks said he not only could, but would. And he was right. But he did not know he would be back in the lineup as a halfback. Leaks made his appearance on the Longhorns' second possession against Wyoming and contributed a touchdown to the 34-7 romp. The man who replaced him at fullback, heralded freshman Earl Campbell, tallied a touchdown also. Another freshman, Gralyn Wyatt, scored two TDs and rushed for 127 yards in 11 carries. Leaks gained 56 in seven and Campbell 54 in 10.
Quarterback Ricky Wesson ran for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead Southern Methodist to a 28-25 victory over Virginia Tech. Wesson's scoring toss was a 35-yarder to Oscar Roan with 2:53 remaining in the first half. Then, with 25 seconds left, he sneaked in from the one to give the Mustangs a 14-7 lead. SMU was still ahead, 21-17 early in the fourth quarter, when Wesson got loose on a 77-yard romp that put the game on ice.
The week's most confused scoring summary came from Houston, where Cincinnati's Larry Rice recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown as Cincinnati beat Rice 28-21. Nobody named Cincinnati did a thing for the Owls, although sophomore James Sykes did run back a kick-off 97 yards for a touchdown. It was the third such dazzler of his career.
1. Texas (2-0)
2. Texas A&M (2-0)
3. Texas Tech (1-0-1)
The Big Ten has lost many a skirmish in its ongoing battle with the Big Eight for regional supremacy, but last week roles were reversed.
Wisconsin, a member of the league's second echelon, went right to the Big Eight's jugular in upsetting Nebraska 21-20. The fourth-ranked Cornhuskers were coming off a 61-7 massacre of Oregon, and the only noise the Badgers have made in the 12 seasons since they played in the Rose Bowl was in 1969 when they ended a winless string of 23 games by defeating Iowa.
Wisconsin was helped more than a little by the hip injury that sent Nebraska Quarterback Dave Humm out of the game in the first quarter. Humm's replacement, Earl Everett, could not provide the passing attack the Cornhuskers needed so desperately. The Badgers pulled it off by sandwiching a 22-yard Nebraska field goal in the fourth quarter between a pair of touchdowns. The first came on a one-yard dive by Bill Marek, the second on a 77-yard pass from Gregg Bohlig to Jeff Mack with 3:29 remaining. "It was a simple out and up, something we do every day," Wisconsin Coach John Jardine said. "If the cornerback plays Jeff too close, he goes upfield. He played too close and Gregg got the ball over him."
Nebraska still had plenty of time to score again but Everett hurried a screen pass and Steve Wagner was there to pick it off.
Wisconsin was not the only Big Ten team to score a major upset as Iowa took care of 12th-ranked UCLA 21-10. This one may have been even more unexpected since the Hawkeyes had lost 12 games in a row. New Coach Bob Commings turned Iowa around with some vivid reminders of the '50s, when the Hawkeyes won two Big Ten titles under Forest Evashevski. First, he made his team look like the Iowa of old by ordering similar uniforms. Then he installed Evashevski's old wing-T offense, the one in which he himself had been a guard. But Commings added his own touches as well, a "Bubble 50" defense and a slogan right out of the Bible. "You will win," he told his team when it came in at halftime with a 14-3 lead. "You are the chosen people."
Iowa's defense turned Middle Linebacker Andre Jackson into a standup nose guard two yards off the ball. It limited Bruin Quarterback John Sciarra to 31 yards rushing and 82 passing—compared to the 390 yards of offense he rolled up against Tennessee three weeks before.
Sciarra's counterpart, Rob Fick, produced 154 yards and touchdown passes to Dave Jackson and Mark Fetter. The Hawkeyes iced it with a 91-yard scoring drive just before the end. Commings admitted he did not see much of the last minute and a half. "I've got bad eyes," he said, "and when I'm crying I can't see worth a damn."
Meanwhile, at the top of the Big Ten, Ohio State and Michigan were gallivanting as usual. The Buckeyes demolished Oregon State 51-10 and Michigan skunked Colorado 31-0. Elsewhere, Michigan State topped Syracuse 19-0, Minnesota edged by North Dakota of the small-college ranks 42-30, Purdue battled Miami of Ohio to a 7-7 tie and Indiana suffered its ninth straight loss, 35-20 against Arizona.
Oregon State got off to the perfect loser's start, fumbling the opening kickoff, and the Buckeyes were on their way to the first of seven touchdowns. Archie Griffin gained 134 yards in 16 carries and his younger brother Raymond scored twice in his first college game. Michigan came out throwing against Colorado, 11 completions in 17 attempts, one of them for a touchdown. A school record 88-yard punt return by Dave Brown opened the scoring.
Michigan State got two fourth-quarter touchdowns from Tailback Rich Baes and a 30-yard scoring pass from Charles Baggett to Mike Jones.
Sophomore Quarterback Tony Dungy fired Minnesota with four TD passes and 273 yards of total offense. Miami of Ohio had won 13 straight entering the Purdue game, but the Redskins narrowly avoided defeat on Steve Sanna's 35-yard scoring pass to Ricky Taylor in the last three minutes.
An aerial bombardment also brought down Indiana, which twice held one-touchdown leads. Bruce Hill won it for Arizona by completing 10 of 14 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. He added 63 more yards and another score on 12 carries.
Baylor has proved to be a tough challenge in its two forays into the Big Eight. Two weeks ago it gave Oklahoma a struggle before falling 28-11. Last week the Bears entered the fourth quarter of their game with Missouri in a 21-21 standoff. Then the Tigers took the situation in hand by marching 70 yards to the winning touchdown, which came on Joe Stewart's plunge from the one.
A freak play had enabled Baylor to keep the score close. On second and goal at the one in the third quarter, Missouri Fullback Ray Bybee fumbled and Defensive Back Charles McClanahan picked the ball out of the air and fled 96 yards for a touchdown.
"I was proud we were able to come back from the tie," Missouri's Al Onofrio said afterward. "That's what you look for in a football team. We were going for a cinch touchdown and they wound up scoring instead of us." Baylor managed only two first downs in the second half as Linebacker Scott Pickens and Tackle Mark Johnson each made 14 tackles. Steve Beaird of Baylor still was able to lead all ball carriers with 134 yards.
Kansas State also won outside the conference, 17-0 over Wichita State. In the Mid-American Conference, Bowling Green stepped out to beat Dayton 41-21 but Toledo fell to Villanova 7-0. Dave Preston tied a league record for Bowling Green by scoring five touchdowns on runs of three, one, two, 15 and nine yards—all in the second half.
1. Ohio State (2-0)
2. Notre Dame (2-0)
3. Michigan (2-0)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Senior Quarterback Gregg Bohlig led Wisconsin to its second straight victory, a stunning 21-20 upset of fourth-ranked Nebraska. Bohlig completed 14 of 21 passes for 242 yards and touchdowns of nine and 77 yards.
DEFENSE: Navy Roverback Chet Moeller, a 6-foot, 185-pound junior, keyed the Middie defense that ended Perm State's 13-game winning streak. Moeller had 13 tackles, three for losses, and recovered a fumble in the 7-6 victory.