In bothersome weather—generally damp and humid on the broad brim of the country and snowy in Wyoming—1957 Football rose slowly to its feet last week. Season openers for the Big Ten, the Ivies and many of the major independents were still a week away; the stage was hogged by some intersectional contests and a few early conference struggles.
Oklahoma visited the Panthers of Pittsburgh and treated them like so many fat kittens, emerging with a 26-0 win and fair early claim to the nation's No. 1 rating (see page 30).
In helping to dedicate Boston College's new stadium, fans stood as the Belgium national anthem was played for ex-King Leopold, then sat back in horror as Navy thrashed the Eagles 46-6 (see page 31). Quarterback Tom Forrestal's passing, less than needle sharp at times, and Halfback Ned Oldham's incisive running led the crushing offense.
Atlanta was the busiest football town in the country—and one of the hottest—throughout a day-night double-header at Grant Field. Georgia Tech, playing hellbent for its seventh consecutive bowl bid, knocked off tough Kentucky 13-0 and pushed itself into the future books as a contender with Tennessee for the Southeast Conference title (see page 32). Sophomore Quarterback Fred Braselton, in view of his guile, poise and passing talents, seemed to have won himself an exciting three-year job running the Yellow Jackets.
That night Texas marched through Georgia. The 26-7 score forecasts a Texas revival under the new regime of Coach Darrell Royal.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference, top-dog Duke avenged an upset of last year by plowing through second-rated South Carolina 26-14. Duke, trying but three passes, moved Halfbacks George Dutrow and Wray Carlton through wide channels cleared by Fullback Hal McElhaney and Guard Roy Hord. North Carolina again got off on the wrong foot for Coach Jim Tatum, lost an upset decision to N. C. state 7-0.
Virginia Tech reinforced its claim to top billing in the Southern Conference by tripping Tulane 14-13. West Virginia, conference co-favorite, sputtered badly, tied Virginia 6-6.
Washington state's brilliant quarterback, Bob Newman, warming up his throwing arm, tossed for three touchdowns as the Cougars won a nonconference match from Nebraska, 34-12. Big, strong and experienced, Newman forewarned that his team is an outside bet as the Pacific Coast's Rose Bowl choice.
Another red-hot passer, Ken (Model A) Ford rattled into Tulsa with his Hardin-Simmons buddies and hung a stunning upset on the Golden Hurricanes, 14-0. The Cowboys now point to an October 12 Border Conference date with Arizona state, which itself had a pleasant day slamming through Wichita 28-0.
Texas A&M butted helmets with stubborn Maryland for three periods, then turned near disaster into mere embarrassment by punching over two touchdowns in the fourth to whip the Terrapins 21-13. Statistically, the Aggies took it in a breeze, but their overaggressive play cost them 125 yards in penalties.
Houston now stands alone in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Cougars took another stride toward high football honors by dumping favored Miami 7-0. Hal Lewis and Claude King proved themselves two of the finest halfbacks in the Southwest.
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Dreams ran wild in the broad streets of Salt Lake City after Utah's wide-open 32-13 assault on Montana. The Utes, using three teams, passed for 235 yards, sprinted for 200 more and established themselves as best bets in the Skyline derby and not-such-dark horses in their games against Colorado and Army.
Wyoming air also was filled with passes (and snowflakes in the second period) as the Skyline defenders took Kansas state as their 12th consecutive victim, 12-7. At the close of each half, K-State goal-line drives were shot dead by the gun.
THE FAR WEST
The balance of power in the Pacific Coast Conference seems once again to lie in the rain country of the Northwest. Conference Champion Oregon state used crisp blocking and its tailback ace, Joe Francis, as a decoy to easily rumble over well-regarded use, 20-0. Big gun for the Beavers' single-wing attack was Fullback Nub Beamer, who boomed for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Jim Owens, keen on winning his first game as the Washington coach, was bitterly disappointed as Colorado held his Huskies to a 6-6 tie. "It's like kissing your sister, a tie game," he said. "I'm sick over our performance."
California, due mainly to ill-advised fourth down running plays, stayed in the hole most of the afternoon and lost 13-6 to SMU, a team rated a pushover in the Southwest Conference. The Mustang line, outweighed nearly 16 pounds to a man, carved ample holes for Halfback Charlie Jackson. Jackson carried 10 times for 127 yards.
UCLA was just much too much too soon as they ran roughshod over the Air Force Academy, 47-0. Buck Shaw, summing up his lads after their first big league start (see page 32) said: "We weren't good enough and we're not highly talented."