THE TOP THREE: 1. NORTHWESTERN (4-0) 2. WISCONSIN (4-0) 3. NEBRASKA (5-0)
Saturday afternoon began pleasantly enough for 84,376 homecoming celebrants at Ohio Stadium. Halfback Bob Klein's 90-yard return of the opening kickoff and Fullback Dave Francis' nine-yard plunge put Ohio Stale ahead of Northwestern 14-0; the romp was on. Unfortunately for State, the Wildcats didn't see it that way. They dug in on defense, turned brilliant sophomore Quarterback Tom Myers loose on offense and pretty soon OSU was in big trouble. Myers' quick passes—he completed 18 of 30 for 177 yards, mostly to Paul Flatley—led Northwestern to two touchdowns (but no extra points) by half time. Myers switched to Ohio State's own ground game in the last period, sent his backs through the line for 42 yards in six plays, the last a one-yard plunge by Steve Murphy. Northwestern won 18-14.
The rest of the Big Ten was orderly. Iowa tried to beat Wisconsin at its passing game and came off second best. Quarterbacks Ron Vander Kelen, who pitched three touchdown passes, and Harold Brandt completed 22 of 34 for 238 yards and the Badgers took their fourth straight, 42-14. Purdue's Ron DiGravio passed for three scores, ran for one himself and the Boilermakers whomped Michigan 37-0, their first win over the Wolverines in 33 years. Illinois, surprisingly tough for Minnesota, finally lost 17-0. While Notre Dame followers shouted "'Joe must go," Michigan State's George Saimes made matters even more uncomfortable for Coach Joe Kuharich, crumbling Irish defenses for 54, 49 and 15 yards as Michigan State trounced Notre Dame 31-7.
"I'd be surprised if we can hold them to two touchdowns and I just don't see how we can score as many as two," said Kansas Coach Jack Mitchell before his team met Oklahoma. He was right. The Sooners broke loose Joe Don Looney for 61 yards on a halfback trap, Monte Deere scored on a three-yard sweep and Oklahoma won 13-7. In other Big Eight games, Nebraska overpowered Kansas State 25-6, Missouri alternated its famed power sweeps with lunges up the middle to beat Oklahoma State 23-6 and Iowa State clobbered Colorado 57-19.
The Mid-American race was heading for a showdown between Ohio and Bowling Green. Ohio used two field goals, one for 52 yards, by Jim McKee to down Miami 12-6; Bowling Green beat Kent State 45-6.
THE TOP THREE: 1. WASHINGTON (4-0-1) 2. USC (4-0) 3. OREGON (4-1)
Washington's Huskies looked more frustrated than menacing against Stanford. Three times they had to fight off the Indians inside their 10-yard line, and once Stanford got to the one before it gave up the football. But Halfback Nat Whitmyer, subbing for ailing Charlie Mitchell, made life bearable for perfectionist Coach Jim Owens. He ran 10 yards for one touchdown, burst 35 more yards to set up Quarterback Pete Order's scoring pass to Jim Stiger in the second period as Washington won 14-0. Although Owens was far from ready to admit that Washington is a cinch for the Rose Bowl, at least two exuberant Husky rooters were so convinced. They rushed into Palo Alto, bought several dozen roses and happily doled them out to melancholy Stanford coeds.
They might better have saved their thorns for USC, which is looking better each week. California simply couldn't keep up with Hal Bedsole, the 6-foot-5 Trojan end who grabs passes like a pro and runs like a halfback. Bedsole caught six passes from Quarterbacks Bill Nelsen and Pete Beathard, scored two touchdowns and USC romped over Cal 32-6. Washington State, too, showed off its passing muscles against Indiana. Attacking voraciously in a frantic last quarter, the Cougars scored twice on one-yard plunges by George Reed, then pulled ahead of the Hoosiers 21-15 when slippery End Hugh Campbell snared Dale Mathiesen's 50-yard pass with only 1:18 left to play.
Air Force had great things planned for the dedication of its new $3.5 million stadium, but Oregon's swift backs spoiled the day for the Falcons. They breezed to three second-half touchdowns and Oregon won 35-20. Oregon State's Terry Baker and Vern Burke were simply too much for Pacific. With Baker throwing four touchdown passes, three of them to the elusive Burke in the first 24 minutes. State won easily 40-6.
After Utah and New Mexico went 7-7 in the first half, Utah's Ray Nagel decided to play his second unit as long as it could last, then throw his well-rested regulars against the weary Lobos. It almost worked. Nagel's fresh monsters threatened three times in the last five minutes, but New Mexico held firm and the game ended in a tie. Now the Lobos need only to beat Brigham Young to take the first Western AC title. Wyoming perked up to trounce Arizona 31-8 while Utah State kept alive Colorado State's long losing streak (now 21 straight) by beating the Rams 21-0.
THE TOP THREE: 1. ARMY (4-1) 2. PENN STATE (4-1) 3. PITT (3-2)
After two losses in four games, Pitt Coach John Michelosen decided to take a calculated risk against favored UCLA. He benched four starting linemen and went back to old-fashioned football—"just grind it out and pick on their sore spots." The Panthers wisely picked on UCLA's vulnerable right side, running Fullback Rick Leeson inside tackle and pitching to swift Halfback Paul Martha outside. It wasn't gaudy football but with a bit of good luck, it was smart enough to upset the Bruins 8-6. After Pitt's touchdown, Leeson lined up to kick the extra point with Quarterback Jim Traficant holding. But the center snap was high and Traficant elected to pass. Meanwhile the wide-awake Leeson raced for the end zone, where he caught Traficant's pass for two points.
Penn State started out as if it were going to run Syracuse straight out of Beaver Stadium. In less than five minutes Roger Kochman raced 32 yards, then took a 32-yard pass from Pete Liske, and State led 14-0. But, suddenly, Syracuse came alive. Sophomore Quarterback Walley Mahle ran eight yards for one touchdown, Halfback Don King sprinted 35 yards for another and Mahle passed 11 yards to End Walt Sweeney to put Syracuse ahead 19-14. However, Penn State refused to panic. Liske passed the Lions down to the one and Fullback Dave Hayes rammed over for a 20-19 lead. But State wasn't yet out of the woods. Guard Harrison Rosdahl saved the day when he broke through to block Tom Mingo's field goal attempt on the last play.
Army, the Eastern leader, sputtered more frequently than it sparkled against Virginia Tech but still managed to outlast the stubborn Gobblers 20-12. Navy was more adroit in its maneuvers against Boston College. The Middie line outcharged the bigger Eagles and sophomore Roger Staubach passed for two touchdowns as Navy won 26-6. Rutgers survived three fumbles and 118 yards in penalties to beat Lehigh 29-13 while Villa-nova outscored Delaware 22-10.
Dartmouth and Princeton, the best of the Ivies, ventured out among the independents and met with success and disaster. Tom Spangenberg returned an intercepted pass 96 yards as Dartmouth defeated Holy Cross 10-0, but Princeton lost to Colgate 16-15. In league games, Harvard overwhelmed Columbia 36-14; Yale trimmed Cornell 26-8 and Penn held off Brown 18-15.
THE TOP THREE: 1. ALABAMA (5-0) 2. LSU (4-0-1) 3. MISSISSIPPI (4-0)
All season long Auburn has performed diligently but without national honor. Saturday, Georgia Tech discovered much to its horror how good the Tigers really are. Halfback Jimmy Burson stunned the Jackets with a 57-yard touchdown sprint on the first offensive play and soon Auburn led 17-0. Billy Lothridge tried desperately to bring Tech back but Auburn's line throttled his runners, its secondary double-teamed Billy Martin, his pet receiver, and the Jackets went down, 17-14.
LSU had a close call against hardened Kentucky but managed a win, 7-0, on Jerry Stovall's last-quarter plunge. Alabama limbered up with two field goals in the first period, then Quarterback Joe Namath scattered Tennessee's leaky pass defense with his pitches and the Crimson Tide won easily 27-7. Mississippi defeated Tulane 21-0; Florida smothered Vanderbilt 42-7; Florida State outscored Georgia 18-0.
Maryland's Tom Brown got the Terps off in front against Miami with a 98-yard opening kickoff return and then the fun began. The lead bounced back and forth until Miami's George Mira, passing superbly, put the Hurricanes ahead to stay, 28-24, with a 22-yard pitch to Bill Sparks.
Duke caught Clemson paying too much attention to its swing end and ran its swift backs through the weakened left tackle hole to whip the Tigers 16-0. North Carolina won its first game, beating South Carolina 19-14 on Junior Edge's last-minute 49-yard pass to Bob Lacey. Virginia eased past Wake Forest 14-12; Mississippi Southern defeated North Carolina State 30-0; West Virginia blew a three-touchdown lead, then recovered to overtake George Washington 27-25 in the final minute.
THE TOP THREE: 1. TEXAS (5-0) 2. ARKANSAS (4-1) 3. NEW MEXICO (4-1-1)
If Texas, squirming in the hot seat of a No. I national ranking, got a stay of execution by squeaking past Arkansas (see page 18), SMU got a reprieve from what was beginning to resemble a life sentence by upsetting Rice 15-7. Before a fumble and Linebacker John Hughes's four interceptions set up their victory, the Mustangs had been winless in eight straight. Another case of Southwest fratricide was contributed by TCU, 20-14 winners over Texas A&M. Only Texas Tech showed fraternal love (and pitiful offense), as Baylor won its first, 28-6.
Seemingly chained to the losing column for eternity, Hardin-Simmons finally found a team it could beat. The Cowboys roped in Trinity, 14-6, after 27 straight losses.
BACK OF THE WEEK: Quarterback George Mira completed 21 of 31 passes for 288 yards and three scores as Miami beat Maryland.
LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Guard Jack Cvercko was in on almost half the tackles as the Northwestern line ambushed Ohio State.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
LSU over Florida. A more solid defense and Jerry Stovall will see LSU through.
Duke over North Carolina State. Running or passing, versatile Duke has the edge.
Pitt over Navy. Pitt's power offense will prevail over Navy's air game.
Syracuse over Holy Cross. Syracuse, always tough on defense, has learned to score.
Washington over Oregon. But Mel Renfro will give Washington anxious moments.
Oregon State over West Virginia. The Baker-to-Burke combination is hard to beat.
UCLA over Stanford.* Stanford's attack is too skimpy to bother the Bruins.
Northwestern Over Notre Dame. Another sad Saturday for the beleaguered Irish.
Ohio State over Wisconsin. But Only if the Buckeyes can stop Wisconsin's passers.
Bowling Green over Miami (Ohio). Miami had its big moment against Purdue.
*Friday night game
BAYLOR OVER TEXAS A&M
BOSTON COLL. OVER HOUSTON
DARTMOUTH OVER HARVARD
FLORIDA STATE OVER VA. TECH
KENTUCKY OVER GEORGIA
MIAMI OVER AIR FORCE
MINNESOTA OVER MICHIGAN
PENN STATE OVER CALIFORNIA
PURDUE OVER IOWA
MARYLAND OVER S. CAROLINA
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS
10 RIGHT, 9 WRONG, 1 TIE
SEASONS RECORD: 61-34-5