"After I got by the line of scrimmage I had to almost look for people to tackle me," said Kansas Fullback Dennis Wright, who scored on a pair of 20-yard, up-the-middle runs in the Jay hawks' 42-24 victory over Missouri. There was a reason for all that daylight. Kansas took Ken Downing, the Tigers' all-conference cornerback, out of harm's way by continually putting a running back in motion. By isolating Downing and by double-teaming the Missouri nose guard, Kansas opened things up. Nonetheless, the Tigers had a 10-0 lead before the Jayhawks broke loose. The loosest Kansan, Halfback Laverne Smith, ran for 236 yards in 15 carries and in a 2½ minute span during the third period had scoring jaunts of 67 and 56 yards. In that quarter the Jayhawks gained 304 yards and scored 21 points. All in all, Kansas gained 626 yards—556 on the ground—with a wishbone offense similar to the one Alabama used when it was upset 20-7 by Missouri on the season's opening weekend. This time the wishbone worked. The victory put Kansas into the Sun Bowl against Pittsburgh.
Colorado's Billy Waddy took the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and the Buffaloes went on to whip Kansas State 33-7. Terry Miller scored twice as Oklahoma State toppled Iowa State 14-7.
Tony Dungy tied a Big Ten season record for touchdown passes, completing his 13th as Minnesota beat Wisconsin 24-3. Lonnie Perrin scored four times and rushed for 174 yards to help Illinois down Northwestern 28-7. Levi Jackson picked up 180 yards rushing and Charlie Baggett ran for two touchdowns and passed for another as Michigan State squeaked by Iowa 27-23. Indiana lost to Purdue 9-7 despite the running of Courtney Snyder, who set a Hoosier single-game record by gaining 211 yards.
December 1, 1975
Toledo's Gene Swick scored three touchdowns, passed for 286 yards and ran for 48 in a 33-28 defeat of Kent State, surpassing the alltime NCAA career total-offense mark of Stanford's Jim Plunkett (7,887 yards) with 8,074.
Miami of Ohio beat Cincinnati 21-13, and Ohio University stopped Marshall 38-21.
1. Ohio State (11-0)
2. Oklahoma (10-1)
3. Michigan (8-1-2)
"When I get home, I'm going to church real quick-like," said Coach Joe Paterno following Penn State's harrowing 7-6 defeat of Pittsburgh. His defense had "limited" Tony Dorsett to 125 yards in 28 carries, yielding the only Pitt touchdown on a 37-yard burst by Elliott Walker. Paterno was also thankful that two of his assistants had been insistent. It seems J.T. White and Gregg Ducatte had noticed that the Panther center tipped off his snap on placekicks by lowering his head, something they felt they could take advantage of even if Paterno did not put much stock in their scheme. Ducatte alerted Halfback Tommy Odell, a good high jumper, that he might be able to block a PAT kick by Carson Long by hurtling over the head-down center. That is what Odell tried after the Panthers scored in the second period, and Long's kick hit him in the chest. It was Long's first miss after making 60 straight.
Paterno had little going for him on offense until he inserted freshman Quarterback Chuck Fusina in the third quarter. Fusina took the Nittany Lions 69 yards for the tying touchdown, which Tailback Steve Geise scored on a 29-yard dash with 8:18 remaining, Chris Bahr adding the extra point. What a hectic day it was for Long. In the morning his wife gave birth to a daughter. In the afternoon Long not only had his PAT blocked but missed three field-goal attempts in the last five minutes: from the 41, the 13 and a 45-yarder with nine seconds to go.
Playing at home, Syracuse built a 17-0 lead over West Virginia, then hung on to preserve a 20-19 victory. A 54-yard touchdown run by Keith Moody on a punt return and a 48-yard field goal by Dave Jacobs helped the Orangemen build their early lead.
As always, there were many whimsical sidelights to The Game, in which Harvard came to Yale to settle the Ivy League race. Members of the staff of the humor magazine, The Yale Record, went to Cambridge earlier in the week, passed themselves off as Harvard students, nabbed a large VERITAS banner and hung it upside down in front of Yale's Sterling Library. The political science departments of the schools had a game of their own. Yale, possibly inspired by cheers of "Clap your hands, stamp your feet/We want blood on every cleat," prevailed 21-0 and gained possession of the Cooperman Cup, a cracked teacup.
Then came the 100th meeting of the Elis and the Crimson. Stone Phillips put Yale in front with a five-yard run, after which came the halftime festivities. Harvard has long claimed it has the world's largest drum. So Yale produced a one-foot drum and a 10-foot drumstick. In the third quarter Harvard tied matters at 7-all on a two-yard plunge by Tom (Apple Juice) Winn. Late in the game Harvard's Jim Kubacki hit Bob McDermott for 21 yards on a fourth-and-12 pass. That put the ball on the Yale 14, and with 33 seconds left, Mike Lynch booted a 26-yard field goal that gave Harvard its first undisputed championship in the 20 years there has been, officially, an Ivy League.
Quarterbacks led Brown, Penn and Dartmouth to other Ivy wins. Bob Bateman scored three touchdowns and passed for two others as the Bruins bopped Columbia 48-13. Bob Graustein accounted for four TDs as the Quakers outlasted Cornell 27-21. Mike Brait scored once and combined with Tom Fleming on touchdown passes of 70 and 85 yards to enable the Big Green to get past Princeton 21-16.
Temple drubbed Drake 44-7 as Don Bitterlich broke the NCAA record for consecutive conversions, kicking five to bring his total to 82. Bitterlich also made good on three of four field-goal attempts to tie the NCAA season mark of 19 and equal another for total points scored, kicking: 84.
Rutgers gained-706 yards in its 56-14 defeat of Colgate. Glen Capriola ran for 160 yards as Boston College held off stubborn Massachusetts 24-14. Lehigh and Lafayette played for the 111th time, more often than any other two teams, the Engineers winning 40-14 to bring their record to 9-2.
1. Penn State (9-2)
2. Pittsburgh (7-4)
3. Syracuse (6-4)
There is nothing quite like going to the locker room at halftime with a whopping big lead—except returning there to savor victory at game's end. Baylor's halftime joy and 23-0 advantage over Southern Methodist disappeared in a 34-31 loss. Chuck Benefield guided the Mustangs to their stunning win, throwing four passes for touchdowns and scoring one himself.
Arkansas had a big margin at the half, too—24-0 over Texas Tech—but did not fritter it away. Final score: 31-14. The Razorbacks are bowl-bound, for the Cotton if Texas A&M stops Texas this week and Arkansas beats the Aggies the following week. If not, Arkansas will go to the Liberty Bowl to face USC.
SMU and Arkansas relished their Southwest Conference triumphs, but it is doubtful that they were more elated than Texas Christian. By overcoming Rice 28-21, the Horned Frogs ended college football's longest losing streak at 20 games.
Houston had a 10-0 lead over Florida State, but wound up a 33-22 loser. Steve Myer of New Mexico accounted for four touchdowns in a 52-28 licking of New Mexico State. Small-college power Texas A&I extended the country's longest winning streak to 24 games by whipping Southwest Texas 28-8.
1. Texas A&M (9-0)
2. Texas (9-1)
3. Arkansas (8-2)
One thousand, two hundred and twenty-nine yards—that was the total amassed by both teams as Maryland routed Virginia 62-24 to win its second straight Atlantic Coast Conference title. The Terps set ACC records with 802 yards gained, 582 yards rushing and 8.7 yards per rush. Five players ran for more than 100 yards: Rick Jennings, Steve Atkins and Jamie Franklin of the Terps; Scott Gardner and Billy Copeland of the Cavaliers. North Carolina fought Duke to a 17-17 ACC standstill.
Jeff Grantz had a hand in six touchdowns as South Carolina crushed Clem-son 56-20, thus becoming the national TD leader with a total of 28. He has run for 12 and passed for 16. Teammate Clarence Williams ran for 160 yards, giving him 1,011 for the year.
Notre Dame closed out an 8-3 season with a 32-9 trouncing of Miami in the Orange Bowl before 24,944, the smallest crowd to see an Irish game in 30 years. The Notre Dame defense devastated the Hurricanes, causing four fumbles, stealing two passes, forcing a safety and sacking quarterbacks six times. Said Coach Dan Devine: "This has been one of the happiest years of my life."
A 17-13 victory over Kentucky probably saved Tennessee Coach Bill Battle's job for another year. Helping to keep him gainfully employed were Stanley Morgan, who ran 80 yards for a touchdown, and a defense that clamped down after the Wildcats had come back from a 17-0 deficit. Kentucky's Sonny Collins, the Southeastern Conference's alltime rushing leader, did not start, and when he did get in was limited to 53 yards on 13 carries.
Steve Lavinghouze kicked two field goals as Mississippi downed Mississippi State 13-7. LSU's opportunistic defense set up four touchdowns in a 42-6 win over Tulane. William and Mary upset Richmond 31-21 in the Southern Conference.
1. Alabama (9-1)
2. Georgia (8-2)
3. Florida (8-2)
"We dug our own grave early with those bad punts," lamented Stanford Coach Jack Christiansen after being bowled over by California 48-15. The interment began when the first Cardinal punt fluttered a mere 18 yards; the second-went but 32. Chief gravedigger for Cal was its superlative tailback, Chuck Muncie. It was Muncie who scored on a seven-yard pass from Joe Roth after Stanford's first punt. And it was Muncie who scored on a 16-yard run after the second punt. And it was Muncie who ran for two more touchdowns and a total of 166 yards, caught three more passes and even threw once himself—for 46 yards and another TD. But the Golden Bears will go to the Rose Bowl only if USC knocks off UCLA on Friday night. So Muncie figured his work was not yet done. "I'm going to fly down there and root for USC," he said.
Up in Seattle, Washington State had a fourth-and-one on the Washington 14, but it did not seem such a big deal. After all, the Cougars led 27-14 with 3:01 left. Surely Coach Jim Sweeney would call for a field-goal attempt. Sweeney wanted to, but his players convinced him they could cash in on a pass. So he permitted them to try what he later referred to as a "riverboat gambler's" call. Washington Safety Al Burleson picked off the pass and scampered 93 yards for a touchdown. A minute later the Cougars were, well, Moonstruck. Warren Moon of the Huskies tossed a pass into heavy traffic 28 yards downfield, where it was deflected off a defender's hands and into those of freshman End Spider Gaines, who galloped another 50 yards into the end zone. Steve Robbins' extra point capped the comeback and gave the Huskies a 28-27 win.
Arizona smothered Utah 38-14 in Tucson. The Wildcats gained 567 yards and even got a touchdown from Punter Dennis Anderson, who decided to run rather than kick on fourth down and went 63 yards. The Wildcats will undertake to clinch a share of the Western AC title this week when they square off against undefeated Arizona State. The winner of that game will go into the Fiesta Bowl against Nebraska.
The running of Herb Lusk vs. the passing of Craig Penrose: that was the billing for the Long Beach State-San Diego State game. Lusk zipped and darted for 183 yards in 24 carries, one a 66-yard touchdown, as the 49ers defeated the Aztecs 21-17. Penrose got a consolation prize, however, becoming the third Aztec in five years to lead the nation in completed passes. By hitting on 24 of 44 tosses for 251 yards, Penrose finished with 198 completions, eight more than Gene Swick of Toledo and Steve Myer of New Mexico.
1. Arizona State (10-0)
2. UCLA (7-2-1)
3. California (8-3)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Toledo Quarterback Gene Swick became the first college player ever to top 8,000 yards in total offense—he finished at 8,074—passing and running for 334 yards to lead the Rockets to a 33-28 victory over Kent State.
DEFENSE: Syracuse Linebacker Ray Preston was in on 22 tackles and twice thwarted PAT tries to save a 20-19 upset of West Virginia, first by intercepting a pass and, after a penalty nullified that play, stopping a last-ditch run.