1. OHIO STATE (8-0)
2. OKLAHOMA (7-0-1)
3. MICHIGAN (9-0)
Acquainted as you are with the high-ranking Midwestern powers who will soon determine a conference championship, a bowl berth and still greater national prestige, turn now to a matchbox-size version of the big game that was played last week. Unbeaten Miami of Ohio met defending champion Kent State for the Mid-American Conference title and Tangerine Bowl invitation before a record league crowd of 27,363. Visiting Miami won 20-10, surviving early jitters and a third-quarter shoving match. Chuck Varner scored twice, on a nine-yard pass reception and a two-yard run, and Dave Draudt kicked two field goals, one an MAC-record-equaling 52-yarder. "This thing is worth a million dollars to me," said Redskins Coach Bill Mallory. His team was recently determined the best in the country by a computer analysis published in an Ohio paper. And where did the computer put those overblown Buckeyes? Twenty-fifth but trying harder.
Oklahoma, unbeaten, third-ranked nationally and on probation, was not a part of post-season bowl speculation. The Sooners were not going anywhere except into the teeth of the toughest part of an already difficult schedule—Missouri, followed by Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma State. Motivated by bad fortune, Oklahoma blew the highest ranked of those four opponents right off its own home field. Waymond Clark and Joe Washington rushed for 261 yards and three touchdowns between them as the Sooners romped 31-3. Missouri, meanwhile, could gain only 44 yards in 48 snaps as the Selmon brothers, Lucious, LeRoy and Dewey, combined for 21 tackles. Eight of them caused 39 yards in losses.
Nebraska, 7-1-1, seemed headed for a Cotton Bowl berth opposite Texas after burying Iowa State 31-7. David Humm tallied once and completed two scoring passes. The game's leading rusher was Cyclone freshman Mike Tyson, who covered 137 yards in 26 carries after replacing the injured Mike Strachan. Iowa State also lost Quarterback Wayne Stanley in the first half.
Seven points this way and Kansas would now have a 4-5 record; five points that way and the record would be 9-0, including wins over Tennessee and Nebraska. As it is the Jayhawks are 6-2-1 after edging Colorado 17-15 in their fifth game to be decided by two or fewer points. While Quarterback David Jaynes was trying—and largely failing—to round up Heisman Trophy support in the widely televised game, the Kansas defense was showing exceptionally well. The Jayhawks forced three fumbles and two interceptions to thwart a Colorado offense that outgained Kansas 354 to 220. The last turnover came with 21 seconds to play at the KU 23, well within field-goal range for barefooted Fred Lima. Jaynes rushed for what proved to be the decisive score in the third quarter but completed only 11 of 26 passes for 170 yards.
Oklahoma State held the Big Eight's leading rusher, Isaac Jackson, to 31 yards in 10 carries in a 28-9 win over Kansas State. It was the Cowboys' first victory since Sept. 29 and followed consecutive ties with Nebraska and Kansas. A 55-yard pass to the Wildcat two on the game's first play set up the initial touchdown. Kansas State was stymied throughout by a defensive charge led by Glenn Robinson, who sacked Quarterback Steve Grogan four times for 21 yards.
While Ohio State and Michigan prepared for next week's showdown with easy victories, the rest of the Big Ten also played pretty much to form. Indiana and Iowa remained winless in the league by falling to Northwestern and Wisconsin respectively while Minnesota was crunching Purdue 34-7.
Northwestern is now 3-3 in the conference after edging the Hoosiers 21-20 on Greg Boykin's second TD of the game, which capped a 68-yard drive in the final 45 seconds, and Jim Blazevich's PAT. Bill Marek had a sensational first quarter, scoring three touchdowns and gaining 131 yards as Wisconsin bombed Iowa 35-7. Before quitting, Marek added another score and 72 more rushing yards. The sophomore tailback is only 43 yards short of joining Rufus Ferguson, up to now the Badgers' only 1,000-yard rusher. "There were so many big holes I just didn't know which one to pick," he said. "With tackling like ours," said Iowa's Frank Lauterbur, "anybody could look like an All-America."
Minnesota also got off to a fast start in its win over the Boilermakers. With Rich Up-church leading the way—he gained 177 yards for the day—the Gophers scored 24 points in the first 19 minutes.
1. PENN STATE (9-0)
2. PITT (5-3-1)
3. HARVARD (6-1)
Penn State lost some of its luster but not its unbeaten record in a 35-29 victory over North Carolina State, the Lions' toughest opponent so far. The Atlantic Coast Conference favorites led early and tied it late, penetrating the nation's best rushing defense for 245 yards and four touchdowns, the only ones Penn State has allowed on the ground this year. The Nittany Lions were well-suited for an offensive struggle, however. John Cappelletti gained 220 yards in 41 carries and scored three times. Gary Hayman returned a punt 83 yards for a TD and three of his six pass receptions helped set up other scores.
Offensive carelessness prevented Pittsburgh from scoring a stunning upset over Notre Dame. The Irish triumphed 31-10 even though they were outrushed, outpassed and outfirst-downed. But Notre Dame also trailed in turnover statistics, one to seven, which more than offset the performance of Tony Dorsett, whose 209 yards in 29 carries were the most ever against the Irish. Five Pitt errors cost possession inside the 36 and two set up Notre Dame scores from the 24 and four. Wayne Bullock made all four Irish touchdowns, the last two after the Panthers closed to 17-10 in the final period.
Syracuse ended its season-long losing streak by edging Holy Cross 5-3 on a 24-yard field goal, a fourth-quarter safety and some ninth-inning relief help by Tug McGraw. Army, however, remained winless by being listless throughout a 19-7 loss to Miami, which is now 5-3. While the Hurricane was blowing for 329 yards on the ground, Army could manage only 17. The Cadets' 104 yards through the air were not much help either, but they enabled Quarterback Kingsley Fink to surpass the school's career yardage mark of 2,921. Boston College turned back West Virginia 25-13 as junior Tailback Mike Esposito gained 201 yards. Temple upped its record to 7-1 by blasting Rhode Island 43-0.
Harvard and Dartmouth stayed on top of the Ivy League while Penn fell off the pace by losing to Yale 24-21. The Crimson's 19-14 victory kept Princeton winless in the conference and the Greenies socked Columbia 24-6. Brown continued to surprise under new Coach John Anderson as the Bruins scored twice in the fourth quarter to overtake Cornell 17-7.
1. TEXAS (6-2)
2. HOUSTON (8-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (8-1)
In the history of the Southwest Conference no team has ever dominated another the way Texas has Baylor. The Longhorns thundered again last week 42-6, their 15th straight victory against the Bears. Roosevelt Leaks scored three touchdowns but he could gain only 77 yards in 17 carries before checking out midway through the third quarter. Texas' romp was momentarily delayed by Baylor's opening offensive series, which saw Quarterback Neal Jeffrey take the Bears to the Longhorn 12 with five straight completions. The sixth pass was intercepted, however, and Texas was off and running. Baylor committed seven turnovers and six of them led to touchdowns.
Texas Christian seemed headed for its third straight upset of Texas Tech before the Raiders got untracked and erased a 10-0 lead. The go-ahead points in the 24-10 victory came within four minutes of each other in the second quarter on a three-yard run by Larry Isaac and a nine-yard pass from Joe Barnes to Andre Tillman. Tech put the game out of reach late in the final period when Isaac concluded a 98-yard drive by scampering 52 yards.
Arkansas continues to be pestered by Rice, a most unlikely nemesis. The Razorbacks, who have not defeated the Owls since 1970, were upset again 17-7 despite a whopping 404 to 138 advantage in yardage. Rice Punter Mike Landrum played an important role in the victory by averaging over 40 yards a kick and rolling four boomers dead inside the Arkansas 15. The Owls, whose only other win this year came against Montana, were further aided by pass interceptions. One was returned for a touchdown, another was brought back 55 yards to set up a score.
Texas A&M's 45-10 victory over crippled and disappointing SMU, which has lost four of its last five games, featured the league's first-ever duel of freshman quarterbacks. The Aggies' 17-year-old David Walker scored once and guided A&M to a school-record 432 rushing yards and its biggest scoring day in the conference in 32 years. Skip Walker, no relation to David, scored twice and tripped to 184 yards in 13 carries. SMU Coach Dave Smith saw very little good in his team's effort. "I've never had a team that's been so out of it," he said. "We just won't fight back."
1. UCLA (8-1)
2. USC (7-1-1)
3. ARIZONA STATE (8-1)
USC proved some time ago that it was an impostor among the national championship contenders and last week the Trojans very nearly waved goodby to their Rose Bowl hopes. Had a 5'5", 135-pound Indonesian by way of Holland not kicked a 34-yard field goal with three seconds left to beat Stanford 27-26, USC would have been tied for second place in the Pacific Eight with UCLA still to be played. So thank goodness for a diminutive, sidewinding foreigner named Chris Limahelu—right, John McKay? "We were fortunate to win," admitted the Trojan coach, who only last year expressed deep concern that his team had not defeated Stanford by 1,000 points. No doubt the pronouncement inspired the Cardinals to their 23-10 lead, built on two Mike Boryla touchdown passes and three field goals by Rod Garcia, one a conference and L.A. Coliseum record 59-yarder. The Trojans' 17-point fourth quarter wiped the advantage out, however, although Garcia managed still another field goal, an NCAA career record 39th.
Limahelu's winning kick followed a 53-yard drive and was set up by a 25-yard pass from Pat Haden to Jim Obradovich. Haden's earlier fourth-quarter heroics had produced a 26-yard scoring toss to Lynn Swann and a 10-yard touchdown run. The other Southern California TD had come in the second period on a three-yard spurt by Anthony Davis. When it got down to the final kick, Limahelu, who had made good from the 17 in the first quarter, was a reluctant hero. "I was nervous," he said. "I'd been nervous the last minute or so. But I never looked at anything and I didn't hear anything. I just waited until I saw the snap and swung." Four years ago, in a very similar situation, SC's Ron Ayala pulled out a 26-24 victory with another three-pointer.
UCLA had a much easier time of it against Oregon. The Bruins sloshed through pouring rain and over soggy AstroTurf for a 27-7 victory. "We didn't want to go wide and the passing game was nil," said Pepper Rodgers, who sent Kermit Johnson mostly inside for 146 yards in 20 carries. Oregon fumbles led to two Bruin touchdowns. Other games involving Pacific Eight teams saw Washington State score a 13-7 win over Oregon State and Washington and California take nonconference victories from Idaho, 41-14, and San Jose State, 19-9.
Arizona clinched at least a tie for the Western Athletic Conference title by whipping Brigham Young 24-10. Big plays won it for the 8-1 Wildcats, a pair of 80-yard scoring runs by Willie Hamilton and Jim Upchurch and a 38-yard interception return by Leon Lawrence. "We felt they were susceptible to quick-hitting plays into the line," dead-panned Coach Jim Young.
Arizona State cannot win the WAC title outright but it can clinch the league's Fiesta Bowl spot by getting past Texas-El Paso this week and Arizona on Nov. 24. Last Saturday the Sun Devils bombed Wyoming for 40 second-half points and a 47-0 victory. Woody Green and Ben Malone each carried 22 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. That's balance.
Other key games in the West saw Air Force thump Rutgers 31-14 and San Diego State bump Long Beach State 17-2. It was the third straight victory for the Falcons and fifth in eight games. Rich Haynie had another big passing day, with 14 completions in 21 attempts for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the scoring grabs were by Frank Murphy. Air power also won for the Aztecs, now 6-1-1 and headed for their second straight PCAA title. Jesse Freitas, the nation's top-ranked thrower, was good on 22 of 34 tries for 260 yards and one score. Long Beach State remains winless.
Houston had it tougher than expected against Colorado State, but the Cougars went home with a 28-20 victory.
1. ALABAMA (8-0)
2. LSU (8-0)
3. TENNESSEE (6-2)
Southeastern Conference leaders Alabama and Louisiana State bargained themselves into the Sugar and Orange Bowls early last week and on the seventh day they rested. Kentucky, meanwhile, beat Vanderbilt to become the unlikeliest third-place team you will find anywhere. Kentucky's 27-17 victory, coupled with Mississippi State's 31-17 loss to Auburn, put the Wildcats solidly in third, well ahead of such noteworthy SEC second-division clubs as Tennessee, which did not play, Georgia, which did and lost to Florida 11-10, and Shug Jordan's Tigers. Auburn romped as freshman Tailback Seedrick McIntyre, who had not seen action since the opening game when he carried only once, scored three touchdowns on runs of 10, 30 and three yards. Kentucky's Sonny Collins tallied twice against a keying Vandy defense that held him to 83 yards in 23 carries. After a season of disappointment that included four straight losses, Florida has suddenly come alive, upsetting Auburn and Georgia on consecutive weekends.
Navy was tougher than expected for 7-1 Tulane. The Greenies scored 14 points in the first 2½ minutes but had to hold on for a 17-15 victory. Martin Mitchell set up the first Tulane TD by returning the opening kickoff 95 yards to the Navy eight. A pass from Steve Foley to Jaime Garzia got one touchdown, and less than a minute later Foley connected again, this time to brother Mike from 35 yards out. Navy drew close but the Green Wave defense staved off defeat by halting the Middies five times inside the five-yard line.
Florida State, 7-4 a year ago, lost its ninth straight, 36-13 to Virginia Tech. James Barber scored twice for the Gobblers. Georgia Tech had an easy time of it against Virginia Military Institute, which committed eight turnovers in a 36-7 loss.
Dr. Leo Jenkins, the chancellor of East Carolina University, went to last week's football game with Richmond sporting a gold sweat shirt with purple lettering that read "Southern Conference Champions 1972 and 1973." Then the Pirates made good the prediction, blasting the Spiders 44-14 to capture the title again. "We came prepared," said Dr. Jenkins. ECU also came with Quarterback Carl Summerell, who completed 11 of 15 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns, the first a 68-yarder on the third play of the game.
North Carolina entered the 1973 season with two straight Atlantic Coast Conference championships and a record 15 consecutive victories. Last week the Tar Heels lost their fourth ACC game without a win, 37-29 to Clemson. Wake Forest's sixth touchdown of the year was enough to tie Duke 7-7, and Maryland shut down Virginia 33-0, the fourth time this season the Terps prevented a six-pointer.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: John Cappelletti's 220 yards against N.C. State was a career high, giving him 1,157 this year. He has already surpassed his 1972 mark of 1,117 yards which had stood second on the Lions' alltime list.
THE LINEMAN: Randy Gradishar, Ohio State's 6'3", 232-pound linebacker, keyed the shutout of Michigan State, the third straight by the nation's stingiest defense. Gradishar led the Buckeyes with 10 solo tackles and 10 assists.