With the ball 36 yards from the Syracuse goal line, Baker started to throw a pass and found three big Syracuse linemen bearing down on him. He retreated to midfield, executed some nimble footwork and left his three pursuers tangled together in an awkward gaggle. He then zigged and zagged his way back up the field through the remainder of the Syracuse team for Oregon State's only touchdown of the afternoon. It was a run that left everyone in the stadium—and particularly the astounded Syracuse coach—shaking their heads in disbelief. One had to think back to the days of Albie Booth to recall anything quite like it.
Otherwise, the debut of Baker and his teammates in their new T formation was not auspicious. They fumbled frequently and seemed uncertain in the execution of their new offense, finally losing the game 19-8. The following week was even worse when an underdog Stanford beat them 34-0 in their own stadium at Corvallis. In that game Baker broke loose on one of his amazing runs, going 25 yards up one sideline, skedaddling all the way across the field and then twisting his way 25 yards up the other sideline. But the ball died on the Stanford three-yard line. "We have a lot to learn," Prothro said with a sigh, "but Terry has shown he knows how to play his position."
What it will all lead to is a problem Terry Baker hasn't yet solved. "As I stand now I could have my degree at the end of four years, and I've just about finished all my requirements for medical school," he was saying the other day. "I've thought about going to medical school so I could take up psychiatry. This summer I took a camping trip with one of my old high school coaches who has been doing work in the behavioral sciences, and I found myself getting very interested in that subject.
"On the other hand," he went on, furrowing the broad brow that leads up to his receding blond hairline and gazing intently at the cleatless football shoes he wears around the campus, "I might try professional sport for a while if I'm good enough. I don't think I'd want to do baseball, because you can waste an awful lot of time knocking around the minor leagues, but if I could earn some money quickly playing pro football, that might appeal to me."
Hearing about this, Coach Prothro said in his gentle Memphis accent that is the antithesis of the tough coach's growl: "That reminds me of one time Terry came to dinner at our house with my wife Shirley and me. We eat pretty good at our house but nothing very special. But I remember Terry saying to us, 'Do you always eat like this?' I told him, sure, this is about the way we usually eat, and Terry said, 'Gee, I hope some day I'll be rich enough to eat this way.' "