1. MICHIGAN (8-0)
2. NEBRASKA (7-1)
3. OHIO STATE (7-0)
While Johnny Rodgers was doing his usual thing, his Nebraska teammates were doing theirs in that 33-10 victory over Colorado. In fact, it was Rodgers' backfield mates who put the first three touchdowns on the board with one-yard plunges—David Humm, Gary Dixon and Bill Olds. That splurge on successive possessions gave Nebraska a 19-0 first-quarter lead.
Humm had excellent protection as he completed 11 passes in 16 attempts for 130 yards. Dixon led all rushers with 94 yards in 19 carries and Olds added 76 more.
Colorado, aided by the recovery of its own blocked punt, was able to narrow the margin to 19-10 by halftime. The touchdown was the first Nebraska's defense had allowed in five weeks. Linebacker Jim Branch keyed the Black Shirts, whose job was made easier because the Buffaloes' Charlie Davis saw limited action after reinjuring his shoulder.
Oklahoma won its sixth game of the year, against Iowa State, and, just as in the previous victories, it did the job without allowing a touchdown. The Sooners ran inside more often than usual in the 20-6 victory because of the slick turf and the wide deployment of the Cyclone ends. That enabled Fullback Leon Crosswhite to gain 113 yards in 25 carries and score one touchdown. Greg Pruitt totaled 102 yards and he tallied the clincher in the closing moments. The fifth nationally ranked Big Eight team, those Cinderellas from Missouri, slammed Kansas State 31-14. The victory followed upset triumphs over Notre Dame and Colorado. Kansas ended its conference losing streak at three games in a 13-10 upset of Oklahoma State. Bob Helmbacher kicked field goals of 36 and 21 yards, the second with less than five minutes left to seal the victory. Kansas, normally a passing team, ran without much success in the first half, then went to the air in the second. That enabled David Jaynes to throw a 37-yard strike to Bruce Adams in the third quarter.
Duffy Daugherty finally discovered the tonic his disappointing Spartans have needed this year. He announced his retirement, whereupon Michigan State went out and jolted Purdue's Rose Bowl hopes 22-12. "We wanted him to go out a winner," said Safety Brad VanPelt. "You could see it in the guys' faces."
You could see it on the field, too, where Quarterback Mark Niesen scored on long-distance romps of 57 and 61 yards. Meanwhile, the Spartan defense tossed Purdue Quarterback Gary Danielson for 60 yards in losses. The Boilermakers were unable to muster the emotion proper for their own circumstance. Coach Bob DeMoss, recovering from pneumonia, was ordered to the press box by his doctors.
Michigan's Bo Schembechler is a man who learns from his mistakes. A year ago he tooted that his Wolverines were the best team in the nation—and they promptly lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Last week, after they remained unbeaten with an unimpressive 21-7 win over Indiana, he was asked where he thought Michigan ranked. "I wouldn't tell you," he snapped.
The other Big Ten leader, Ohio State, also seemed uninspired against mediocre opposition. The Buckeyes won 27-19 but Minnesota gave them much more offensively than they anticipated and, at times, could handle. Champ Henson, the nation's No. 2 scorer behind Louisville's Howard Stevens, scored two touchdowns, his 14th and 15th of the year, and gained 131 yards. Illinois ended a season-long seven-game losing streak—and put the damper on dissension rumors at least momentarily—by sticking Northwestern 43-13. A 28-point third quarter broke the game open. Wisconsin seemed saddled with a tic after a late touchdown drive fell inches short, but when Iowa's Dave Harris stumbled over a blocker in his own end zone, the Badgers had a safety and a 16-14 victory.
Tulsa, which is generally good for about one big upset a year, stunned unbeaten Louisville 28-26 for its second win in eight games. Howard Stevens, whose career rushing mark passed 5,000 yards in the game, could not get one more on a fourth-down play at the Tulsa 11 late in the game.
1. USC (9-0)
2. UCLA (8-1)
3. ARIZONA STATE (6-2)
Washington State Coach Jim Sweeney had only minor objections to Southern California's No. 1 national ranking following his team's 44-3 loss to the Trojans. "USC isn't the top team in the country," he said. "The Miami Dolphins are." Southern California came on strong after a listless first quarter ended at 3-3. When the day was over, the Trojans had 23 first downs to Washington State's 13 and had nearly doubled the Cougars in total offense, 430 yards to 220. Two of USC's touchdowns were the result of State turnovers. Anthony Davis, a 5'9" sophomore, made his first start of the year and turned in his third consecutive outstanding game. He scored three times and gained 195 yards in 31 carries.
When it is going right—and it was for Mark Harmon—it does not matter what you try. The UCLA quarterback rolled the wrong way on a pass play, turned back and threw nine yards to Brad Lyman for a touchdown as the Bruins defeated Stanford 28-23. It was another big-play game for Harmon, who accounted for fewer than 100 yards on offense but scored twice on runs of 17 and 11 yards and passed for two more touchdowns. The winning score, with only 3:52 remaining, offset a two-touchdown fourth-quarter rally that put Stanford briefly into the lead.
Washington overcame a first half that produced three fumbles and two interceptions to defeat Oregon State 23-16. The Huskies led at intermission but were less than impressive against the Pacific Eight's worst team, now winless in six conference games and 1-8 overall.
A freshman quarterback making his first start, Vince Ferragamo threw two touchdown passes to Steve Sweeney as California whipped Oregon 31-12. Sweeney has now equaled the Pacific Eight record for touchdown catches in a season with 10. Oregon got on the board first when Dan Fouts threw a 43-yard scoring pass, but then the Bear defense stiffened.
Utah, trailing Arizona 27-0, awoke from certain defeat to score four times in the final quarter and gain the Western Athletic Conference lead with a 28-27 victory. Quarterback Don Van Galder started the year's most stirring comeback with a 52-yard strike to Steve Odom, and the same combination covered 35 yards for another score on the third play of their next possession. The third touchdown came when Safety Steve Marshall returned an intercepted pass 68 yards—and, yes, it is fair to ask why Arizona, which rushed for 357 yards in the game, was throwing at the time. The Utes were still a touchdown behind with 2:20 left, but Van Galder devoured 66 yards with three completions to Willie Armstead and a three-yard scoring run. Then Fleming Jensen kicked his fourth extra point for the victory.
Arizona State crushed Texas-El Paso 55-14 to maintain its faint WAC hopes. Utah State's Tony Adams had a superlative day, completing 32 of 47 passes for 406 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-7 explosion against Idaho.
1. PENN STATE (7-1)
2. DELAWARE (8-0)
3. WEST VIRGINIA (6-3)
There was nothing gentlemanly about the way Yale ran the Wishbone against Dartmouth. Guided by Tom Doyle, a sophomore quarterback making his first start, the Elis churned out 391 rushing yards against the Ivy's second-best defense to surprise Dartmouth 45-14. Doyle, an Indiana boy born in the shadow of Notre Dame's Golden Dome, woke a few echoes himself with 160 yards in 12 carries. He directed the team to three touchdowns and a field goal the first four times it had the ball and when all of Saturday's results were in, Yale was leading the Ivy League.
Penn and Columbia also managed upsets, beating Harvard and Cornell. The Quakers' first success in nine years against Harvard was marked by their biggest scoring day—38-27—since the series began in 1881. The Crimson led 14-9 at halftime despite an 80-yard touchdown run by Penn's Adolph Bellizeare on the first run from scrimmage. Bellizeare, who gained 203 yards overall, added another touchdown from 37 yards out in the fourth quarter to highlight a 29-point second half.
Columbia's 14-0 victory over Cornell was its first in league competition even though it was the third time the defense had not given up a touchdown. Don Jackson's passes provided most of the offense. He completed 20 of 32 for 233 yards and set up the game's first touchdown late in the third quarter with four straight completions. The defense did an excellent job of containing Cornell, which had been averaging nearly 28 points a game. In the only Ivy contest that did not significantly affect the league standings, Princeton showed its first signs of life this year by trouncing Brown 31-10 to end a four-game winless streak. Brown's Tyler Chase kicked a 46-yard field goal that enabled him to surpass Charlie Gogolak's Ivy League career mark of 16. It was his 10th of the year.
Army gave added significance to its Dec. 2 game with Navy by upsetting Air Force 17-14. Since the Middies also defeated the Falcons, the winner will claim the first interacademy championship. A zone pass defense kept the Cadets in contention by intercepting Rich Haynie six times. They trailed 14-10 when an end-zone turnover prevented Haynie's third touchdown pass. Army then set out on an 87-yard march, capped by Bob Hines' 49-yard run with six minutes remaining. Hines finished with 202 yards in 38 carries.
"This was not a 19-point ball game." Navy Coach Rick Forzano said following a 42-23 loss to Notre Dame. Irish Coach Ara Parseghian all but agreed, crediting Navy's comeback from a 35-0 halftime deficit. "I have nothing but praise and admiration for the way Navy played in the second half," said Ara. "They attacked our defense better than anyone we've played this year."
Starting with the opening kickoff, which Gary Diminick returned for a touchdown, the Irish were unstoppable in the first half. They put together three scoring drives of 80 yards or better and went to intermission with 318 offensive yards. Navy, however, drove 74 yards to score after the second-half kickoff and scored again after a 95-yard march. The Middies' 23-7 edge in the third and fourth quarters was the half a loaf which legend says is better than none.
Penn State went airborne to defeat Maryland 46-16 and that pleased John Hufnagel, whose 290 yards on 14 completions in 30 attempts helped the Nittany Lions to their seventh win in eight games. "When I started out as a quarterback here, everybody judged me on one game," explained Hufnagel. "We didn't pass much that day, so they said I couldn't pass. That's why this was so satisfying." Hufnagel, whose only two losses in 24 games at quarterback have been to Tennessee, set single-game records for total offense (303 yards) and passing yards and a career record for passing yards.
The performance gave Coach Joe Paterno something more than his new son to gloat about. "Huffy is super," said Poppa Joe. "One week he beats you with his running: the next week with the option and then he'll beat you with his passing." Maryland, which had been geared to shut down the running of John Cappelletti, had managed a 10-10 tie at halftime. "If I had to do it over," said Terp Coach Jerry Claiborne, "I would have played more zone pass defense. Hufnagel picked us apart."
Small-college power Delaware continued to get fat off the majors, although it took a 16-yard fourth-quarter pass to do it. The Blue Hens won their 12th straight, 14-7 over Villanova. Pittsburgh continued to play the role of Eastern patsy as West Virginia rolled 38-20. Kerry Marbury ran for three touchdowns and Bernie Galiffa passed to Nate Stephens for two. Syracuse is in danger of its first losing season in 24 years, following a 37-0 loss to Boston College. Mike Esposito gained 151 yards on 20 carries, scored on runs of 52 and 28 yards and caught a 21-yard touchdown pass as Syracuse dropped to 4-5. Army and West Virginia lie ahead. In other games Colgate's running outscored Lehigh's passing 42 34 and Rutgers defeated Connecticut 21-13 as Jim Jennings surpassed the 100-yards-rushing mark for the sixth time. He also scored three touchdowns.
1. TEXAS (6-1)
2. TEXAS TECH (7-1)
3. SMU (4-3)
Southern Methodist brought the nation's fourth-best rushing defense to Texas but a few leaks did the Mustangs in—Roosevelt Leaks here, Roosevelt Leaks there and, before the game was over, Roosevelt Leaks everywhere for 175 yards in 33 carries. In a 17-9 victory that once again spotlighted their durable fullback, the Longhorns all but assured themselves of a fifth consecutive Southwest Conference championship and Cotton Bowl berth.
Texas took control early by scoring both of its touchdowns in the first half with Leaks' line plunges doing the damage. On the Long-horns' first drive he carried six consecutive times for 60 yards before Don Burrisk went over tackle to score from the 15. Following an intercepted pass that put the ball on the SMU 23, Leaks gained 20 yards in three carries, but it was Alan Lowry who plunged for the touchdown. All of Texas' 308 yards came on the ground as Lowry's six pass attempts went incomplete.
The Mustangs never really threatened to end the Longhorns' home-field winning streak, which has now reached 23 games. They did have a first down at the Texas 12 when Ken Harrison corralled a deflected pass, but Quarterback Keith Bobo was promptly dropped for a pair of losses and SMU was eventually left with a field goal.
Texas A&M repeated last year's upset of Arkansas to end a six-game losing streak, 10-7. The Aggies did it by intercepting Joe Ferguson six times. One of the turnovers made possible a 26-yard touchdown drive capped by Brad Dusek's two-yard run. Defensive Tackle Boice Best was outstanding in the A&M charge that caused Ferguson so much trouble. "Our four-man front rushed for two or three steps and then looked for the draw or handoff," said Best. "If a runner wasn't coming we'd go hard for Ferguson. We raised our arms, hoping to block his view and perhaps tip a few of his passes." After that it was up to the secondary which, according to Robert Murski, who got two of the errant passes, "was playing for the interceptions."
Texas Tech continued to be one of the year's major surprises by edging Rice 10-6. A 22-yard field goal by Don Grimes, the nation's third leading kick-scorer, clinched the outcome with 65 seconds left. The game's only touchdown came in the first quarter when Joe Barnes scored from the 11 on the quarterback keeper. Mark Williams kicked a pair of field goals but missed on three other attempts as the Owls lost their fourth straight following two opening victories and a tie.
By defeating Texas Christian 42-9 for its fourth win under new Coach Grant Teaff, Baylor has now surpassed its victory output of the last three seasons.
1. LSU (7-0)
2. ALABAMA (8-0)
3. AUBURN (7-1)
After Quarterback Bert Jones saved the day as time ran out against Mississippi, LSU Coach Charlie McClendon was offering a new perspective on the word "pressure. "When you're standing back there and the horn is already blowing, that's pressure," said Charlie. That seemed to be a fair appraisal of the 10-yard pass that beat the Rebels 17-16. Losing 16-10 with three minutes remaining, Jones took the team to that dramatic moment in a drive that began at the LSU 20. The Bengals sustained the march by converting fourth-down plays and, aided by a pass-interference call, gained another first down at the Ole Miss 10 with four seconds left. After the next pass fell incomplete, it all came down to one play with one second to go.
"I told Bert, 'This is it. Get in there!' " said McClendon, "and you know what he did? He winked at me. He was perfectly calm and perfectly confident."
And the pass was perfectly complete to Brad Davis, who lined up with two other receivers on the left side. The completion was so close to the flag and there were so many players in the area nobody was sure Davis actually made it into the end zone before falling out of bounds, but the referee signaled yes. That, plus the extra point with 0:00 on the clock, sent the record Tiger Stadium crowd of 70,502 into a frenzy from which it won't soon recover.
Mississippi seemed to have the game in hand after driving to a touchdown early in the third quarter. But the situation began to turn around when Steve Lavinghouse missed a 27-yard field-goal attempt midway through the fourth quarter. A few minutes later the LSU defense stopped Ole Miss on three downs for the second time all night and that was all Jones needed.
There was grumbling among the Bulldogs following Georgia's 14-0 loss to Tennessee, only the second time Coach Vince Dooley has been blanked in his nine-year career. Quarterback James Ray thought he should have played more when it became apparent Georgia would have to pass to win. Instead, Dooley stuck with Andy Johnson, who threw two interceptions that wiped out the only serious Bulldog threats. Even though Tennessee scored both of its touchdowns on second-quarter passes by Con-dredge Holloway, Coach Bill Battle reserved his highest praise for the offensive line. "It was their finest effort since I've been here," he said. "We lined up and blew them out." Tailback Haskel Stanback, who gained 96 of the team's 262 rushing yards, said, "Everything worked just like the playbook shows. It was just straight-ahead football."
Auburn survived a determined second-half Florida bid after its ball-control attack ran 50 plays to only 19 for the Gators in a 26-7 first half. To ensure the 26-20 win the Tigers needed a pass interception and a fumble recovery dangerously deep in their own territory in the final three minutes. "There is an old axiom in football," mused Florida Coach Doug Dickey later. "You try to avoid losing and then you try to win. We did enough to win but we didn't avoid losing. We gave up too many points before we got enough." In other games involving Southeastern Conference teams, Alabama crunched Mississippi State 58-14 and Kentucky fell to independent Tulane 18-7.
North Carolina enhanced its chances for a third straight bowl game by running its unbeaten Atlantic Coast Conference string to a record 13 games. The Tar Heels, who have lost only to Ohio State, had little trouble in defeating Clemson 26-10. "North Carolina found something good three or four years ago and they have been sticking with it," said Tiger Coach Hootie Ingram. "That's the sign of a good strong football team." Fullback Tim Kirkpatrick gained 111 yards in 11 carries as the Tar Heels ground out 392 overall. "Our offensive line may have had its finest day," said Coach Bill Dooley. North Carolina State also continued its high-powered ways, romping over Virginia 35-14. Stan Fritts' two touchdowns ran his point total to a school-record 92.
Duke upset Georgia Tech 20-14 for its fourth straight win since sophomore Quarterback Mark Johnson recovered from a shoulder separation. Johnson scored twice and ran and passed for 189 yards. Tailback Steve Jones was again a workhorse, carrying 38 times for 149 yards. Georgia Tech was unable to move on the ground and interceptions shut down the air game when the Yellow Jackets made it close after being stymied for nearly three quarters. South Carolina started slowly but went on to blast hapless Wake Forest 35-3. The victory may have eased some of the pressure mounted by the Get Rid of Dietzel (GROD) movement. "The job isn't open," said Paul.
Gary Huff had another spectacular day, but with his chief running support out, and with little help from the injury-riddled defense, Florida State lost to Houston 31-27. Huff completed 27 of 51 passes for 409 yards and would have produced more had at least six of his passes not been dropped. The Cougars, rebounding from losses to Miami and Mississippi State, got 345 yards from their ground game. VMI ended its 18-game losing streak—the nation's longest—by trouncing Furman 31-7. Oh, the embarrassment.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Elusive Johnny Rodgers of Nebraska caught four David Humm passes, one for a 10-yard touchdown, to increase his career total to a Big Eight-record 134. Rodgers also returned four punts for 144 yards.
THE LINEMAN: UCLA Defensive End Fred McNeill spearheaded the Bruin defensive charge that caught Stanford Quarterback Mike Boryla three times in the 28-23 victory, making 11 solo tackles and aiding in four others.