1. PENN STATE (7-2)
2. ARMY (8-1)
3. SYRACUSE (7-2)
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno's big worry before the season began was his defense. Too many sophomores, he said. But week after week the sophomore defenders have been saving games for the Nittany Lions, and last Saturday they won one by doing the scoring themselves. Sophomore Halfback Bob Capretto intercepted an Ohio University pass and ran it back 50 yards, sophomore Linebacker Dennis Onkotz, who carries the ball like the quarterback he used to be, returned a punt 56 yards and End Frank Spaziani blocked a punt and raced 26 yards, all for touchdowns, as Penn State beat Ohio U. 35-14 for its sixth straight.
It was almost the sorriest week of the season for Army. First, the Pentagon barred the Cadets from participating in a postseason bowl, and then Pitt nearly made the ruling strictly academic by taking a 12-7 lead into the fourth quarter. Sluggish all the way, Army finally rallied to win 21-12 when Halfback Lynn Moore plunged one yard for a touchdown, and minutes later Quarterback Steve Lindell ran 12 for another score.
Navy was not quite so lucky. The Middies, leading Vanderbilt 29-15 on Quarterback John Cartwright's passing (for two touchdowns) and running (for one), fumbled away its edge and had to scramble to salvage a 35-35 tie. Cartwright, who broke Roger Staubach's single-game total offense record with 358 yards, got Navy even with a 14-yard pass to End Rob Taylor with 44 seconds to go. But John Church's try for the winning point was blown off target by a 40-mph wind.
Syracuse, getting more versatile by the game, threw the ball 24 times against Boston College, but Fullback Larry Csonka's running was the big reason the Orange beat BC 32-20. Csonka, who had already broken Floyd Little's career rushing record, carried 30 times for 154 yards to bring his season total to 1,068 with a game still to go. How does he compare with Jim Brown? "Larry doesn't have Brown's speed," says Coach Ben Schwartzwalder, "but I don't think the opposition was as tough when Jimmy played for me."
The Ivy League race is over. Yale Coach Carmen Cozza was worried about Princeton's single wing. "They ought to ban it," he said, facetiously. But in this case they could have banned worrying about it, too. The Elis, with Quarterback Brian Dowling both throwing and catching passes, beat the Tigers 29-7. Dowling passed for two touchdowns, caught a surprise pass from Halfback Calvin Hill for another and ran three yards for a fourth. "The mystique of Princeton football is definitely dead," pronounced Yale Tackle Glenn Greenberg—whatever mystique there was.
The victory meant the conference championship for Yale when Cornell upset Dartmouth 24-21. The race for second, however, is still on. That will be decided Saturday when Harvard, which beat Brown 21-6, meets Yale in The Game at New Haven and Dartmouth plays at Princeton.
1. TENNESSEE (7-1)
2. ALABAMA (7-1-1)
3. MIAMI (6-2)
Just as American League baseball teams were repeatedly stunned by the way Manager Dick Williams of the Red Sox came up with the right move at the right time, so Mississippi Coach Johnny Vaught was shocked by the exploits of another Dick Williams, a tackle for Tennessee. Williams recovered two Rebel fumbles to set up a touchdown and a field goal as the Vols won 20-7. Vaught's 5-4 monster defense closed off the middle and held the potent Tennessee offense to 290 yards. But Halfback Walter Chadwick ran options to the weak side for 115 yards, scored once and passed for another touchdown. The win brought the Vols a bid to face Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
Georgia stymied the passing of Auburn's Loran Carter, hit on some timely passes of its own and won 17-0. Carter, who had thrown for more than 1,000 yards in seven games, could complete only four passes for 59 yards. Still the score was only 3-0 when an untimely offside penalty hurt Auburn in the fourth period. Georgia Quarterback Kirby Moore then got the Bulldogs moving. He connected on passes of 19 and 20 yards, and plunged over for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead that meant the game.
With the offensive line opening wide holes in the South Carolina defense, Alabama runners barged through for 269 yards, and End Dennis Homan and Quarterback Kenny Stabler teamed up for their ninth scoring pass of the season—the first allowed by the Gamecocks all year—as Alabama won 17-0. The victory virtually assured the Tide of its ninth straight bowl appearance, most likely in the Cotton.
Florida enhanced its bowl hopes by stopping Kentucky 28-12 as Wayne Barfield set an NCAA record when he kicked his 51st extra point in a row, and another strong SEC team, unlucky LSU, took out its season frustrations on hapless Mississippi State 55-0 as Quarterbacks Nelson Stokley and Fred Haynes completed 21 of 29 passes for 327 yards. This impressed the Sugar Bowl, which invited the home-state Tigers.
Although Gerald Warren of North Carolina State broke an NCAA mark with his 16th and 17th field goals of the season, Clemson fought back for a 14-6 victory that moved the Tigers into a three-way tie for the ACC lead with the Wolfpack and South Carolina, their next opponent.
Independent Georgia Tech floundered to its worst season since 1945 as Notre Dame stung the Yellow Jackets 36-3 behind the passing of Terry Hanratty and the running of Bob Gladieux and Rocky Bleier.
West Virginia picked off two passes by Davidson's Jimmy Poole—the nation's No. 1 passer prior to the game—and ran them back 76 and 48 yards for scores as the Mountaineers won 35-0 and clinched the Southern Conference title.
1. PURDUE (8-1)
2. OKLAHOMA (7-1)
3. NOTRE DAME (7-2)
Reality finally hit Indiana, and in the large economy package, as big and powerful Minnesota wore down the undefeated Hoosiers for three quarters and buried them in the fourth 33-7. To wrest the Rose Bowl bid from Minnesota and tie for the Big Ten championship now, Indiana would have to upset Purdue on Saturday, an improbable happening even in a year of improbabilities. Minnesota simply overpowered Indiana, running up the middle, off the tackles and anywhere else that looked like fun. The Gophers piled up 376 yards as Quarterback Curt Wilson ran for four touchdowns and passed to End Charlie Sanders for another. But Indiana did not let its rosy dream evaporate easily. Behind only 13-7 early in the fourth quarter, it had a first down on the Minnesota 27. Then, inexplicably, the Hoosiers stopped using the option to Halfback John Isenbarger, which had worked so well for them all year, and had to give up the ball on the 21. Both ball and ball game were gone. "It's not the end of the world—or the season," said Coach John Pont philosophically. "When you lose by that kind of score you pick up the pieces and forget it."
Last summer, while Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes was visiting U.S. troops in Vietnam, he generously invited Marine Lieut. General Lewis Walt to the Dad's Day game with Iowa and promised him the victory ball. The way things had been going for Woody earlier in the season, it seemed like an ill-advised gesture. But Hayes reinstated Fullback Jim Otis—the son of his old college roommate—who had been benched for poor play, and Otis responded nobly. He rammed through Iowa's mushy defense for 149 yards and scored once on a seven-yard burst as the Bucks won 21-10 and the general got his ball.
Oklahoma fans came prepared when the Sooners played Kansas in Norman. They had heard the ill-kept secret about Oklahoma going to the Orange Bowl if it beat the Jayhawks, and they loaded up with oranges sold by vendors at the stadium. But what they almost got stuck with was armloads of oranges. Kansas had a 10-0 lead in the third period, and, as one Oklahoma player said later, "We could see Miami slipping into the sea." However, Oklahoma pulled it out 14-10 on Quarterback Bobby Warmack's 30-yard pass to Steve Zabel with 1:02 to go. The touchdown led to a barrage of oranges being thrown onto the field—the Kansas team would have preferred a Cotton Bowl trip for Oklahoma.
When Nebraska, the nation's No. 1 defensive team, and Missouri, the country's third best, got together it might well have taken them until next Saturday to score. Both did, however, as Missouri won 10-7 to remain in the bowl picture. Colorado had no scoring worries, beating Kansas State 40-6 and accepting a Bluebonnet Bowl spot.
Toledo still winning, broke out of a 7-7 tie to surprise Dayton 21-7 for its eighth straight, the first time that has happened in 50 years.
1. HOUSTON (7-2)
2. TEXAS AT EL PASO (5-2-1)
3. TEXAS (6-3)
UTEP may sound like a branch of the United Nations, but the University of Texas at El Paso team was no dove against undefeated Wyoming. High-flying UTEP (40 points a game) scored twice after recovering Cowboy fumbles and held a 13-3 lead going into the fourth period, but then Quarterback Paul Toscano began to show why the Cowboys were ranked sixth in the country. He hit on a 64-yard pass, ran for two points after a touchdown and then moved his team in front 18-13 with a scoring pass. UTEP regained the lead 19-18, but, with 5:37 left, Jerry DePoyster won it for the Cowboys 21-19 with a 19-yard field goal and won a Sugar Bowl bid, too.
Chris Gilbert scored on a 96-yard run, the longest from scrimmage in SWC history, and Texas held a 17-6 lead over underdog TCU as the fourth period began, but Bubba Thornton scored for the Horned Frogs on a 78-yard punt return and Cubby Hudler ran back a quick kick 47 yards to set up a field goal that tied the score at 17-all. Texas Quarterback Bill Bradley, who had one of his worst days—he completed just two of 13 passes—fumbled and the Frogs went in to score for a 24-17 win that jolted the Southwest.
Four interceptions helped Texas A&M down Rice 18-3 and gain at least a tie for the SWC championship, which it can wrap up against Texas on Thanksgiving Day. Texas Tech and Baylor amassed 898 yards on offense in a game that the Red Raiders won 31-29 on a 37-yard field goal by Kenny Vinyard with 31 seconds left, and Ronny South passed for four touchdowns as Arkansas came back to beat SMU 35-17.
Houston showed you can't wear out Astroturf by running back and forth on it as they made a shambles of Idaho 77-6. The Cougars gained 622 yards, 511 of them on the ground, as Paul Gipson ran for 193, giving him a total of 1,022 for the year.
Tulsa, which had been second in the country in passing and sixth in total defense, did little of either while losing to North Texas State 54-12.
1. USC (9-1)
2. UCLA (7-1-1)
3. WYOMING (10-0)
Perhaps Oregon State had its thoughts on the USC-UCLA extravaganza in Los Angeles (page 16). After all, the frustrated Beavers had beaten one of those teams and tied the other, but still they could not get to the Rose Bowl. Or maybe it felt there were no more champions to conquer.
Whatever the reason, OSU was trailing weak Oregon 10-0 in the last quarter before Fullback Bill Enyart led an 80-yard OSU march to a touchdown. Quarterback Steve Preece's five-yard run with 2:30 to play won it, 14-10, for the Beavers.
There were no bowl bids at stake in Palo Alto, either, just the Stanford Ax, which traditionally goes to the winner of the California-Stanford game, and that had been returned to Stanford only five hours before the game by enterprising Cal students who had stolen it earlier in the year. There was not much sharp play until the fourth quarter, when suddenly Cal's football team gave Stanford another ax. Within 22 seconds, Randy Humphries passed 10 yards to End Wayne Stewart for a touchdown, Stanford fumbled the kickoff, California recovered on the Indian 21 and Humphries threw to Jim Calkins for another score. Cal went on to win, 26-3, its first victory over Stanford since 1960.
One would almost think that Arizona State and Brigham Young were playing for the Western AC championship, the way they went at each other. But Wyoming already had the title, and the best the winner could gel was second place. ASU won that, beating the Cougars 33-21. New Mexico State, with Quarterback Sal Olivas passing for five touchdowns, buried New Mexico 54-7. Utah went at Utah State with an unexpected air attack, but all it got was a 19-18 defeat.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Minnesota Quarterback Curt Wilson was a perfect leader for the Gophers' running game against Indiana. He rushed for 118 yards, scored four times on runs and, for variety, passed for his team's other touchdown.
THE LINEMAN: Georgia Tackle Bill Stanfill, 6'5" and 233, led the rush that wrecked Auburn's fine passing attack, throwing Quarterbacks Loran Carter and Larry Blakeney for 45 yards in losses in the Bulldogs' 17-0 win.