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Tradition to the contrary, not all fierce and ancient rivalries are confined to the short, chill afternoons of late November. As the huge, intensely partisan crowds that packed into stadiums at Dallas, Pittsburgh and East Lansing, Mich. last weekend attest, the second Saturday in October can be a pretty big day, too, for the mixing of warm emotions and hot blood.
?At Dallas, where the hottest blood boiled, 75,504 were on hand to watch an overanxious Oklahoma team fumble away a possible upset victory over heavily favored Texas. It was the 57th game of a rivalry that started in 1900. The Long-horns won 9-6 in a bruiser that ended in a near-riot with both benches swarming angrily onto the field. "Sure, it's a big one," said one of the two dozen Texans on the Oklahoma team, "but especially for us guys who played high school ball in Texas. It's up to us to show our folks and friends back home that we made the right choice."
A couple of these transplanted Texans seemed to have made the right choice—for Texas. In the second quarter Oklahoma Quarterback Monte Deere, from Amarillo, heaved a wild lateral that was recovered by Texas on the Sooner 27 and set up its first score—a fourth-down field goal by the Longhorns' barefooted Tony Crosby from the 16-yard line. Soon after, Texas scored again, this time when Paul Lea of Oklahoma, a halfback from Terrell, Tex., fumbled a bad pitchout from Deere in the end zone and Texas Center Perry McWilliams jumped on the. ball for the touchdown. Oklahoma scored shortly before half time but never really threatened again as Halfback Ernie Koy, whose father, Ernie Sr., helped Texas beat Oklahoma 30 years ago, kept the Sooners bottled up with superb punting. Texas now leads in the series, 35-20-2, has won in each of the last five years and continues undefeated this year.
?At East Lansing 77,501 gleefully watched home team Michigan State crush neighboring Michigan 28-0 in the 55th game of a heated series that began back in 1898. Michigan fans relish charging up the rivalry to fever pitch with derisive cheers like "Cow College...Mooo," often to the chagrin of the Michigan coaching staff. "I wish," sighed one assistant,"they'd cut out that moo stuff. You can see the hair stand up on the necks of those State kids. They want to kill us."
They sure do. The first Spartan victory of the modern era, a 14-7 win in 1950, triggered wild rioting on the East Lansing campus during which students heaved rocks, tipped over cars and were arrested in wholesale lots. This year the fun was confined to the football field. The Spartans ran a simple offense of dives, traps and a few sweeps, 154-pound Tailback Sherman Lewis scored three times and State rolled up 391 yards on the ground to the Wolverines' 72. Michigan still leads in the series 35-16-4, but for Coach Duffy Daugherty it was the sixth victory (one tie) in seven years over the unfriendly neighbor. "One game doesn't make a season," said Duffy, "but this one has grown so big it pales the Army-Navy game in interest."
?At Pittsburgh several hundred rooters shouted and stomped their feet with joy outside the West Virginia dressing room after the Mountaineers had defeated favored Pitt 15-8 in the 55th game of a rivalry that began in 1895. Over 34,000 saw an underdog win for the eighth time in 11 years. Trailing 8-7 midway through the final quarter and jammed against its own end zone, West Virginia suddenly came to life when Halfback Tom Woodeshick turned the right side of the Pitt line and went 49 yards to the Panther 42 before being bounced out of bounds from behind. From there West Virginia marched steadily to its winning touchdown. Pitt still leads in the long series by a top-heavy 39-15-1, but it was West Virginia's second victory in a row over Pitt and kept the Mountaineers undefeated this year through four games.
THE TOP THREE:
1. ARMY (3-1)
All week long the tension, subtly nurtured by Army Coach Paul Dietzel, was building at West Point. Last Saturday, while the aroused cadet corps raised an unholy din that may have been heard as far south as Annapolis, the brash Chinese Bandits out-hit and outscrambled bigger and supposedly much better Penn State and stopped every Lion thrust. State's Ron Coates kicked two field goals, from the 22- and 14-yard lines, to one for Army's Dick Heydt—from the 25—and Penn State led 6-3. Then, with 10:12 to go, the fierce Bandits separated State's Junior Powell from the ball on the 18-yard line. Four plays later Halfback Dick Peterson slipped down the middle, grabbed Cammy Lewis' 15-yard pass in the end zone, and Army was an upset winner 9-6.