The Big Ten, once so full of contenders, was suddenly down to two—Wisconsin and Minnesota—and they were ready to settle the issue Saturday after Northwestern and Purdue, the midseason dark horses, expired quietly. But the big question—who would go to the Rose Bowl—was already settled. With Minnesota out because it went last January, it would be Wisconsin.
Northwestern's demise was completed by Michigan State. Duffy Daugherty countered Northwestern's pro-type offense with a pro-type defense—setting up a four-man front, with big Dave Behrmann (265 pounds) and Ed Budde (250 pounds) at the tackles and backing them with three red-dogging linebackers. They rushed Tom Myers when he tried to pass and broke up his draw play by converging on the ball carrier. George Saimes and Sherman Lewis swirled through the Wildcat line and, despite four costly fumbles. State won easily 31-7.
Purdue's title hopes were buried by Minnesota's defense, 7-6. For a while the spunky Boilermakers knocked heads on even terms. They even led 6-0 at half time on Skip Ohl's two field goals. But Minnesota's Duane Blaska passed to End Ray Zitzloff for a touchdown, and Collin Versich kicked the winning point. Meanwhile Wisconsin's Lou Holland was having the day of his life against Illinois. He slipped past the Illini defenders for three touchdown runs, caught a 16-yard pass from Ron VanderKelen and the Badgers won 35-6. Iowa, behind Michigan 14-7, eventually won 28-14.
Ohio State, annoyed with its own inept-ness, finally came up with an oldtime Buckeye game against Oregon. Alternating Fullbacks Dave Francis, Bob Butts and Dave Katterhenrich hammered away relentlessly behind explosive line-blocking, Quarterback Bill Mrukowski rolled out for two scores, and Ohio State won 26-7.
After a couple of years of enforced servitude, Oklahoma was back on top in the Big Eight. The ubiquitous Sooners jabbed Missouri off balance with a 42-yard screen pass on the second play of the game, and Joe Don Looney powered over from the three on the fifth play. After that, the Tigers never got a chance to show their teeth, and Oklahoma won 13-0. But Nebraska, a 14-0 winner over Oklahoma State, was waiting to challenge the Sooners for the title and a place in the Orange Bowl.
Kansas inhibited California's passing game early with a four-man rush and, almost before the Bears knew it, Fullback Armand Baughman had bulled the Jayhawkers to a 33-21 win. Notre Dame beat North Carolina 21-7.
THE TOP THREE:
1. PENN STATE (8-1)
2. DARTMOUTH (8-0)
3. PITT (5-4)
Even with Penn State holding a narrow 7-6 lead early in the second quarter, Holy Cross rooters squirmed apprehensively. When the expected blockbuster finally landed, there was little left of the brave Crusader defense. It was crunched to bits by Penn State's powerful line thrusts and bushwhacked by Pete Liske's deft passes. The final score: Penn State 48, Holy Cross 20.