For once, form held reasonably firm and, with the season half over, 11 of the nation's major college football teams were still unbeaten and untied. Some, like Mississippi (6-0), Iowa (5-0), Minnesota (5-0), Baylor (5-0) and Rutgers (5-0), had some fitful moments but managed to survive. However, Navy (6-0), Missouri (6-0), New Mexico State (6-0), Utah State (6-0), Syracuse (5-0) and Yale (5-0) simply overwhelmed their foes.
Navy had its Joe Bellino and Penn had little but its tarnished Ivy League reputation as the two teams met in the last game of their 72-year-old series. While a stern Navy defense held Penn to 64 yards, Bellino stirred up the Middies with two touchdowns (for a new Naval Academy single-season scoring record: 68 points), led them to an easy 27-0 victory.
With no Navy facing them, the other Ivy teams looked more competent. Princeton outlasted Cornell 21-18 and moved into a first-place tie with Yale, an easy 36-14 winner over independent Colgate. Harvard, resorting to ball control to thwart Dartmouth's defensive maneuvers, scored on a 30-yard reverse pass from Halfback Bruce MacIntyre to Bob Messenbaugh to beat the Indians 9-6.
Boston College shocked unbeaten VMI with two first-half touchdowns, then held on grimly with a pair of last-quarter goal line stands to earn a 14-14 tie. Army, behind second-string Quarterback Dick Eckert, romped over Villanova 54-0.
Not all the good football last Saturday was reserved for the name teams. Some of it was played in the shadow of the steel mills at Bethlehem, Pa., where Rutgers and Lehigh, a couple of little giants, battered each other until Rutgers emerged with an 8-0 victory and one tentative hand on the Middle Atlantic title. In the last quarter, fired up by No. 2 Quarterback Bill Speranza, Rutgers marched 49 yards, the last two by Halfback Bill Thompson, for the only touchdown. The top three:
1. SYRACUSE (5-0)
2. NAVY (6-0)
3. PENN STATE (2-3)
Resourceful Iowa, needled into a ground game when Purdue effectively stifled Quarterback Wilburn Hollis' passes, crunched to a 21-0 lead on two short runs by Hollis and sub Center Dayton Perry's 84-yard sprint with a fumble. But the Boilermakers, who rarely give up easily, suddenly had the Hawkeyes scrambling for their lives. Quarterback Bernie Allen pitched a 16-yard touchdown pass to Halfback Jim Tiller and ran for another score before Purdue reluctantly succumbed 21-14. Gasped Iowa Coach Forest Evashevski: "These last three Saturdays have been rugged. I still feel as if we had a tiger by the tail." And the tiger may yet turn on the Hawkeyes, who have to play Minnesota and Ohio State on successive weekends in November.
Meanwhile Minnesota continued to win. Coach Murray Warmath had his linebackers shooting the gap to put intolerable pressure on Dave Glinka, Michigan's sophomore quarterback, forcing Glinka and his fellow Wolverines into numerous errors. Minnesota won 10-0 when reserve Fullback Jim Rogers plunged for a touchdown, kicked the point after and added a 22-yard field goal. Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes used three rangy tackles in the middle of his defensive line to harass Wisconsin's talented Ron Miller, and three deep backs to guard against the long pass. It worked, and the Buckeyes' Tom Matte and Bob Ferguson, who pounded away relentlessly at the Badgers, did the rest for a 34-7 victory.
Illinois scored the first two times it got the ball (on Marshall Stark's three-yard plunge and Gerald Wood's 24-yard field goal), then held off Penn State's late drive to beat the Nittany Lions 10-8; Michigan State got little more than a good workout while beating Indiana 35-0; Northwestern's Dick Thornton, his long passing frustrated by Notre Dame, struck often enough at the flanks to give the Wildcats a 7-6 triumph over the Irish.
The only thing certain in the Big Eight was that the ultimate champion of this vastly improved conference would be an awfully good team. Kansas subdued stubborn Oklahoma State 14-7, Oklahoma ran over Kansas State 49-7, and Missouri and Colorado enhanced their already impressive reputations.
Missouri's rabbit-legged backs, especially Mel West and Donnie Smith (who ran a punt back 88 yards), wore down Iowa State with their wide sweeps, took the wind out of the Cyclones 34-8. Colorado's Olympic sprinter and NCAA 400-meter champion Ted Woods, who wasn't given a chance to run in Rome, made the most of his opportunity against Nebraska and carried a kickoff back 95 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in a 19-6 victory. The top three:
1. IOWA (5-0)
2. MINNESOTA (5-0)
3. MISSOURI (6-0)
It was another sorrowful week for Clemson Coach Frank Howard, who grimly watched Duke trap his Tigers 21-6 and move closer to the Atlantic Coast title. The Blue Devils' Bill Murray, who "discovered" the pass this year, kept Quarterback Don Altman throwing long enough to build up a 14-6 lead, then sat back to enjoy himself after sophomore Mark Leggett ran 70 yards for another touchdown. Clemson tried desperately to mount an offense, but was forced to give up the ball on the one-yard line twice in the last quarter. There was little cheer for Wake Forest, which lost to Maryland 14-13, and North Carolina, which tumbled into the cellar after losing to South Carolina 22-6. But North Carolina State got another first-class performance from Quarterback Roman Gabriel, who completed nine straight passes, two for touchdowns, in the first half, plunged for another and led the Wolfpack past Mississippi Southern 20-13.
The woods were full of challengers in the Southeastern Conference. Florida's Larry Libertore squirted through the LSU line for 66 yards and a touchdown on the game's first play, but it was End Bill Cash who finally did in the punchless Tigers. Cash kicked 47- and 35-yard field goals in the third quarter to give Florida a 13-10 victory and a first-place tie with Mississippi. Georgia's Francis Tarkenton ruffled Kentucky's feelings with his wonderful passing, tossed to End Bill McKenny for two touchdowns, and a 17-13 win.
Billy Williamson, a scatty 5-foot 9-inch, 160-pound halfback, neatly picked off one of Tulane Quarterback Phil Nugent's passes in the third period, ran it back 31 yards to give Georgia Tech a 14-6 victory over the Green Wave.
Syracuse practiced on winless West Virginia, treated the glum Mountaineers to a devastating display of power and won 45-0. The top three:
1. MISSISSIPPI (6-0)
2. TENNESSEE (4-0-1)
3. DUKE (4-1)
For 30 minutes it looked as though Washington would get no closer to the Rose Bowl than Portland's Multnomah Stadium. The enigmatic Husky defense had been shot full of holes by Oregon State's remarkable sophomore tailback, Terry Baker, who led his team to a 22-7 half-time lead and eventually accumulated 215 yards by passing and 87 more by rushing. Injured Bob Schloredt wasn't there to move the Huskies, and his replacement, Bob Hivner, had enjoyed little success. But suddenly Washington came alive. Halfbacks George Fleming and Charlie Mitchell slipped, slithered and slashed through the painfully thin Beaver line for three touchdowns. With 2:07 remaining, Hivner bucked over from the one-yard line, and Fleming kicked the extra point to give Washington a 30-29 victory and a new sniff at the roses.
Stubby, elusive Cleveland Jones ran California dizzy, gave Oregon a 20-0 win over the Bears. UCLA took a while to warm to its task, but finally heated up sufficiently to scalp Stanford 26-8.
Wyoming stuck to simple offense, simple defense and just enough passing to keep Air Force loose, gave Rich Mayo his most difficult day and brought down the slumping Falcons 15-0. The top three:
1. WASHINGTON (5-1)
2. UCLA (2-1-1)
3. OREGON STATE (4-2)
It will take many a bourbon and water to make Arkansans forget what happened to their Razorbacks last Saturday. For 59 minutes and 57 seconds Arkansas had played Mississippi even. The score stood at 7-7. Mississippi had apparently kicked a field goal with 25 seconds to play, but the play had been called back by the officials. Then with just three seconds to go, the Rebels' Allen Green tried another from the 29-yard line. He kicked the ball, and the referee's arms went up to signify that the kick was good. Arkansas howled in protest. Ole Miss had a 10-7 victory, but there wasn't a Razorback supporter worth his salt who didn't insist—and will continue to insist until his dying day—that the kick was wide.
Rice's Owls, hooting more belligerently with each passing week, caught Texas with its mistakes showing and upset the Longhorns 7-0 on Quarterback Billy Cox's two-yard sprint. Baylor's lagging offense perked up in time to beat Texas A&M 14-0; Texas Tech smothered SMU 28-7 for its first SWC victory.
TCU and Pitt went into their game with identical records: two wins, two losses, one tie, one gang fight. They came out of it with identical records: two wins, two losses, two ties, two gang fights. Each team scored once for a 7-7 tie; the last-minute brawl ended in no decision. The top three:
1. BAYLOR (5-0)
2. RICE (4-1)
3. ARKANSAS (4-2)
BACK OF THE WEEK: Ohio State Quarterback Tom Matte dazzled Wisconsin with fakes, ran for 108 yards, passed for two touchdowns.
LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Colorado Guard Joe Romig, an astronomy buff, starred against Nebraska, made 11 tackles in first 12 plays.
NEW FACES: Mark Leggett (left), Duke halfback, jiggled loose for 70 yards on end sweep to help whip Clemson; precocious Dick Eckert, No. 2 Army quarterback, passed for two scores, ran for one, rushed for 76 yards against Villanova.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Yale over Dartmouth. The unbeaten Elis are understandably wary of Dartmouth, despite the Indians' loss to Harvard. But better offense will win for Yale.
Syracuse over Pitt. The Panthers have been struggling to make both ends meet. Syracuse has been lagging, but this may be the week for its power to explode.
Duke over Georgia Tech. A close one. The Blue Devils are reaching for national ranking and will drive hard against sometimes disappointing Tech.
Rice over Texas Tech. The way things are going in the Southwest Conference, the Owls could go all the way. Imaginative quarterbacking and stubborn defense give the edge to Rice.
Iowa over Kansas. Big Ten prestige is at stake and the Hawkeyes can't afford to relax against a fine Kansas team. Iowa passes will do the trick.
Missouri over Nebraska. The Missouri swifties have too much speed even for Nebraska's tenacious defenders. Those wide sweeps will bother the Cornhuskers.
Ohio State over Michigan State. Ohio State power will overwhelm the Spartans. And Buckeye Quarterback Tom Matte can pass if he has to.
Wisconsin over Michigan. It takes a lot of defense to stop Wisconsin's Ron Miller and the Wolverines haven't got quite enough. Michigan is still learning.
Washington over Oregon. After two scares, the Huskies should be used to doing without Bob Schloredt. They will win the hard way, on the ground with fast Halfbacks George Fleming and Charlie Mitchell.
UCLA over North Carolina State. The Bruin single wing is potent, but the defense will have to find a way to stop State's Roman Gabriel.
NAVY OVER NOTRE DAME
AUBURN OVER FLORIDA
TENNESSEE OVER NORTH CAROLINA
MISSISSIPPI OVER LSU
BAYLOR OVER TCU
ARIZONA STATE OVER NEW MEXICO STATE
PURDUE OVER ILLINOIS
COLORADO OVER OKLAHOMA
OREGON STATE OVER CALIFORNIA
WYOMING OVER UTAH
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS:
13 RIGHT, 5 WRONG, 2 TIES
SEASON'S RECORD: 70-44-6