1. OHIO STATE (9-0)
2. NOTRE DAME (9-0)
3. NEBRASKA (10-0-1)
"Let's talk about this game, not the Rose Bowl. This was the big game for us," said Northwestern's Alex Agase after his Wildcats defeated Michigan Slate 23-20. It was indeed the big game for Northwestern's slight Rose Bowl chances wilted with Ohio State's victory (page 16). Was Agase disappointed? "Look, it's beautiful," he said. "It's beautiful to be 6-1 in the Big Ten. This is only the second time in history Northwestern has won six conference games. And it's nice to be thought about."
On the field Maurie Daigneau threw touchdown passes of 31 and 64 yards to Flanker Barry Pearson, both off fakes that found Spartan defenders looking the other way, and Mike Adamle carried for 137 yards to set a Big Ten season record of 1,054. The vital man, though, was Bill Planisek, who kicked three field goals. The first opened the scoring, the second made it 20-all, the third won the game.
In 1964 and 1966 Nebraska was Big Eight champ and bowl-bound prior to the Oklahoma game. Each time the Sooners won. On Saturday the Cornhuskers made it past even Oklahoma—but barely. Not until Cornerback Jimmy Anderson intercepted a Jack Mildren pass in the end zone on the last play of the game was Nebraska's 28-21 victory and undefeated season secure.
The Huskers' winning touchdown came in the fourth quarter after a nifty third-and-14 pass from Jerry Tagge to Fullback Dan Schneiss. "In our offense the fullback doesn't get to carry the ball very much, so I have to take advantage of the opportunities I have," said Schneiss of his 24-yard catch amid three defenders, which put Nebraska on the Oklahoma three. "I juggled it a little and was telling myself, "Better not drop this one.' " Tagge took it in from there.
Eddie Periard, the 5'9", 201-pound Corn-husker middle guard, isn't big, but he's proud. He said, "The coaches told us, watch the short passes, don't give Mildren any running room and keep 'em out of the end zone. We did all three."
Around Madison, one indelible mark of a successful season is a victory over Minnesota in the Midwest's oldest rivalry (81 years). Wisconsin beat the Gophers, 39-14, so call Coach John Jardine's first year a success even though his won-loss record was only 4-5-1. Still it was the Badgers' best season since 1963.
Wisconsin accumulated 477 yards, most of them off' the arm of Quarterback Neil Graff", who passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. Then there were a couple of surprises. Kicker John Krugman threw to End Terry Whittaker for a 47-yard touchdown off a fake punt, and Fullback Gary Lund gained 74 yards in 14 carries as a sub for injury-prone Alan (A-Train) Thompson. "I was very surprised that Lund was that caliber of player," Gopher Coach Murray Warmath confessed. "Thompson must be an awfully good back to keep a guy like that on the bench."
As for the Toledo Rockets, bless 'em, they made it two straight undefeated seasons by defeating Colorado State 24-14.
1. TENNESSEE (8-1)
2. LSU (7-2)
3. MISSISSIPPI (7-1)
Midway through the second period Kentucky still had a good hold on Tennessee, which is a bit surprising since the Vols ultimately won 45-0. Then up popped Safety Tim Priest to intercept a pass and set up a touchdown, and from then on the Vols didn't stop intercepting or scoring. They stole three more passes, and though Coach Bill Battle finally put in the women and children, Tennessee scored twice more.
Having lost to Ole Miss, Auburn and LSU, Coach John Ray has become a connoisseur of class. "Tennessee," he said, "is the best we have played. Their defense beats you, especially the secondary."
North Carolina, which managed to knock itself out of the Atlantic Coast title race with losses to South Carolina and Wake Forest, had a big say in the final outcome by clobbering Duke 59-34, thereby giving Wake Forest sole possession of the conference crown. It was the first ACC title for the Deacons, and all the sweeter in that they had been picked by regional experts to finish last. The Tar Heels won behind the sensational running of Don McCauley, who gained 279 yards in 47 carries, scored five touchdowns and broke O.J. Simpson's season rushing record by 11 yards with a grand total of 1,720.
At Tallahassee, Florida State's Bill Peterson met his former aide, Kansas State Coach Vince Gibson, and gave him nothing but grief as the Seminoles stole away with a 33-7 victory and six Lynn Dickey passes. Sophomore Cornerback James Thomas picked off three in the first half. For the offense, Tommy Warren completed 17 of 33 attempts for 286 yards and three touchdowns.
Admitted a chastened Gibson at the game's end, "Bill Peterson is one of the finest football coaches in America, and nobody operates the passing game like Florida State does. They just about wrote the book." Gives Gibson something to read this winter, anyway.
Vanderbilt's Steve Burger ran for three touchdowns and passed for another as the Commodores, a major college with a 3-6 record, upset Tampa, the small college's top-ranked team, 36-28. Tampa led at halftime 21-20 but was at a slight disadvantage with two defensive starters unable to play.
Tulane scored its first shutout in a dozen games, 31-0, over North Carolina State.
1. ARIZONA STATE (9-0)
2. AIR FORCE (9-2)
3. STANFORD (8-3)
"Maybe we got our Rose Bowl bid too soon," said Stanford Coach John Ralston. "We were outplayed, outfought and out-coached. We lost our momentum these last two games and we don't know why." California's Ray Willsey, savoring his 22-14 upset of the Indians, said, "We tried to remove eight plays from Jim Plunkett's arsenal, mainly his short passes to running backs, by dropping our defensive backs off the line. We also had Linebacker Phil Croyle make contact with their best receiver, Randy Vataha, at the line. Our defense won the game." Plunkett would agree. He was dumped five times—four times by Tackle Sherm White—and Cal Quarterback Dave Penhall outplayed him in the first half, completing 11 of 14 passes. Two of Cal's important passes were not thrown by Penhall, however, and both led to Bear touchdowns. First Halfback Isaac Curtis threw 35 yards to Steve Sweeney, who, while falling, caught a deflected ball. Then Stan Murphy doubled back 10 yards to gobble in an under-thrown pass from Geoff De Lapp, an end.
Another bowl team in trouble was Air Force. En route to the Sugar the flyfolk were squashed by Colorado, 49-19, the Buffaloes scoring 28 points in the second quarter and rushing 357 yards in the first half. In that 30 minutes Colorado made drives of 75, 69, 60, 35 and 83 yards and put the ball in play 62 times. Air Force Quarterback Bob Parker was intercepted four times, twice in the end zone. It was this kind of day: as the team trudged back into the locker room, the Falcon mascot pecked Middle Guard Tom Keckeisen on the arm.
"If we play a perfect game, if we get a few breaks, if USC makes a few mistakes, we can beat them," UCLA's Tommy Prothro said before the game. He could have added Kipling's ifs; against Washington the previous week UCLA had run up a deficit even the Penn Central Railroad might not have managed. UCLA thereupon flabbergasted Southern Cal 45-20, the worst defeat ever inflicted on the Trojans by the Bruins. UCLA's first play from scrimmage, an apparent sweep that ended as a 35-yard reverse, came within a flicker of going all the way and set up a TD after only 3:07. UCLA's kickoff then bounced off the chest of a demoralized USC receiver, and a Bruin field goal soon ensued. USC had had it. During the rout Dennis Dummit, the UCLA quarterback, broke Gary Beban's career and season marks.
The nation's best-known Cherokee, Sonny Sixkiller, ran one touchdown in himself and completed 17 of 34 passes for two other touchdowns and 256 yards as Washington downed Washington State 43-25. Unbeaten Arizona State outoffensed New Mexico 33-21 before Arizona's largest sports crowd ever, 51,283, which saw Sun Devil Quarterback Joe Spagnola gain 313 yards passing.
1. TEXAS (8-0)
2. ARKANSAS (9-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (8-3)
Eat More Pork Day in Lubbock, Texas—officially proclaimed by Mayor James Granberry—was a huge success for the bicarbonate barons. Although Texas Tech never did get the Arkansas Razorbacks barbecued, they were on the grill part of the day and everybody was sauced in the evening. After Arkansas scored a field goal on its first drive, Tech fumbled a punt, which Arkansas' Jim Hodge recovered on the Red Raider 12. Tech held on its two, then bit back with a 48-yard field goal to make it 3-3. Arkansas pounded 80 yards with the kickoff for a touchdown, and two plays later its Mike Boschetti intercepted a Raider pass, returning to the Raider seven. One penalty moved the ball to the three-yard line, another to the two. But again Tech held. It wasn't until the fourth quarter that the Porkers put Tech away 24-10.
Peculiar things were happening at Rice, too, and not just Macon Hughes' 99-yard runback of Texas Christian's second-half kickoff. Or the Owls' second straight victory since Coach Bo Hagan announced his retirement. No, the night after the game famed oldtimer Froggy Williams was inducted into the Rice Hall of Fame. Williams was most renowned for having kicked a last-second field goal to beat Texas in a big game 17-15. On Saturday young Mark Williams kicked a field goal in the last 31 seconds to beat TCU 17-15.
Houston defeated ACC champion Wake Forest 26-2, and Elmo Wright moved within one touchdown-pass reception of the NCAA record (32) with a scoring catch.
1. DARTMOUTH (9-0)
2. PENN STATE (7-3)
3. BOSTON COLLEGE (7-2)
After undefeated, 14th-ranked Dartmouth rolled up a 28-0 lead and then rubbed it in by recovering a perfect onside kick, Pennsylvania Coach Bob Odell said that he was so mad he couldn't see. Pancho Micir, the Penn quarterback, hadn't been able to see very well all day. The Dartmouth defense-men had sworn to bury Micir, and this they did. He completed only nine of 24 passes for 97 yards and was thrown for eight losses. Dartmouth intercepted four passes, the first leading to a four-yard touchdown by John Short. Dartmouth Quarterback Jim Chasey got a touchdown of his own on a 16-yard carry, then he let the Short show resume. John capped a 72-yard drive with a 34-yard pass reception, and it was Short again with a 22-yarder for the final score and the Green's sixth shutout. Sorting out all his winning years in a moment of reflection, Coach Bob Blackman announced, "This has got to be my best team."
But Penn State's father figure, Joe Paterno, could not see Dartmouth as the Lambert Trophy winner and No. 1 in the East. He and the Nittany Lions voted down a bid to the Peach Bowl—one they had not got—and Paterno said what he really wanted to do was meet the Indians. "I challenge Dartmouth to play us Dec. 5 at Shea Stadium or Yankee Stadium or Franklin Field," he announced. "For that, we would play," confirmed Quarterback John Hufnagel. Amid the rhetoric, Penn State concentrated on realities long enough to defeat Pitt 35-15.
Popular John Yovicsin retired as the winningest coach in Harvard's long football history with a 78-42-5 record, exceeding even the legendary Percy Haughton's. His was also the best record against Yale, and it was sustained in this valedictory game by an emotional upset of the Bulldogs, 14-12. But Yovvy's farewell present was somewhat late in the wrapping. Behind 14-10, Yale had a first down on the Harvard 25 in the final minutes. The Crimson held, however, limiting Yale to five yards in four plays. A bizarre finale was still to come. With the clock running out, Harvard's sophomore quarterback, Eric Crone, ran about the end zone triumphantly waving the football. A congratulatory crowd flooded the field. In the midst of the jubilation, Yale's Ron Kell tackled Crone, and officials signaled a safety. Had he simply walked up to Crone, offered a handshake and snatched the ball, he would have had a touchdown and the final score would have been Yale 16, Harvard 14.
Spraddle-legged, rubber-kneed Tailback Ed Marinaro picked up 203 yards and became the first Ivy League national rushing champion of recent years with a 158.3 yard average. (The NCAA this year has decreed that the rushing title will go to the back with the highest per-game average, not the highest season yardage total.) Marinaro, from New Milford, N.J., set an Ivy season record of 1,014 yards, breaking his own mark, and bested Gary Wood's Cornell and Ivy career high by totaling 2,016—as a junior. His 47 carries against Princeton were also a league record. Marinaro, although not as fast as O.J. Simpson, cuts as quickly. "He cuts so sharply," says Yovicsin after Harvard's game with Cornell, "that I had to slow my pursuit to have any chance of containing him. Otherwise he cuts back against the flow and gets away." Marinaro was more than the margin as Cornell beat Princeton 6-3. Brown, winproof in six previous Ivy games, had no trouble beating Columbia 17-12. Syracuse wrung Miami 56-16, and Boston College, enjoying its most successful season since 1962, beat the University of Massachusetts 21-10.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: As UCLA scandalized USC 45-20, Dennis Dummit, ace of the "full house" back-field, erased Gary Beban's career passing record by throwing 272 yards for a total of 4,226 and set a new UCLA season total-offense mark.
THE LINEMAN: Ohio State's Jim Stillwagon, injured in practice and again in the Michigan game, was in on 13 tackles and had eight unassisted ones. The All-America middle guard twice hit Don Moorhead on critical downs.