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Wichita's stunting defenses, set up for each play by a call from the bench, undoubtedly made an impression on TULSA'S Jerry Rhome and Howard Twilley. The charging Shockers threw Rhome for 70 yards in losses but he still got away to beat them with passes. Rhome completed 18 of 29, 10 of them to Twilley, for 234 yards and two touchdowns to set another batch of NCAA records. He also rolled out eight yards for Tulsa's other touchdown and the Hurricanes—now bound for the Bluebonnet Bowl—won their eighth game, 21-7. Coach Glenn Dobbs, who used to be quite a passer himself, could not have been more pleased. " Jerry Rhome," he said flatly, "is the greatest passing quarterback in the history of football." For proof of Coach Dobbs's claim, see opposite page.
The bowl season was already on for the small colleges, NORTH DAKOTA STATE (9-1), co-champions of the North Central Conference, and Western Colorado State (9-0), the best in the Rocky Mountain Conference, had it out in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior, Mo. and North Dakota State won 14-13. SAM HOUSTON STATE (9-1) beat Findlay 32-21 in the NAIA Eastern playoff in Findlay, Ohio. The victory earned the Bearcats a shot at Concordia ( Minn.) in the Champion Bowl in Augusta, Ga. on December 12.
THE TOP THREE:
Texas Coach Darrell Royal, who would find reason to worry if his Longhorns were scheduled to play a grammar school team, was brooding about lowly Texas A&M before the Thanksgiving Day game in Austin. "Playing the Aggies," he complained, "is like opening a box of Crackerjacks. There's a surprise in every package." Sure enough, A&M did have a surprise for listless Texas, a 7-7 tie at half time. But that was only temporary. In the second half the Longhorns picked up a safety on a bad center snap. Then Quarterbacks Marv Kristynik and Jim Hudson passed one way while Tailback Ernie Koy and Fullback Harold Philipp ran the other, leading Texas to a 26-7 win. There was even some glory for Gary Brown, a 180-pound senior end who had never before suited up for a varsity game. He caught a 10-yard pass from Hudson for a touchdown on the very last play, just before the usual game-ending fight.
Rice, double-teaming BAYLOR'S ubiquitous flanker, Larry Elkins, and exercising remarkable restraint with a superb ball-control game, had the Bears down 20-12 going into the last quarter. Then the Owls began handling the ball like a hot spare rib at a Lyndon Johnson barbeque. Rice fumbled a punt on its own 37-yard line, and Defensive End Willie Walker, who also blocked a field-goal attempt, recovered for Baylor. Soon Fullback Tom Davies smashed over from the one-yard line, and Quarterback Terry Southall's two-point pass to Elkins, who had four catches for a new NCAA record (120 in two years), tied the score. A little later Walker pounced on another Owl fumble and Southall passed 27 yards to Ken Hodge in the end zone for the winning Baylor touchdown. Final score: 27-20.
TCU and SMU stumbled around for four quarters in the Cotton Bowl and proved one thing: SMU is more inept than the persistent Horned Frogs. After 11 fumbles and three pass interceptions, TCU won the game 17-6. "I wish we had some more games left," said TCU's Abe Martin. "I always hate to quit playing." SMU's Hayden Fry, whose team finished last in the Southwest Conference with a 1-9 record, was not a bit sorry the season was over. "One thing, though," he said cheerfully, "I'm the most popular guy in the league this year. Yes, sir, everybody must sure like good old Hayden."
Cincinnati's Missouri Valley champions, still fretting over a 42-14 pasting they took from Houston two years ago, tore right into the Cougars. Halfback Al Nelson hammered away for 144 yards and a touchdown to finish third among the nation's rushers and scorers. Quarterback Brig Owens threw a 28-yard scoring pass to Errol Prisby and ran a yard for another touchdown as Cincy won 20-6. But Coach Chuck Studley wanted more. "I'm only sorry we didn't score 100 points," he lamented.
Texas Western Coach Warren Harper, after two losing years, decided enough was enough. He announced his resignation just before he sent his Miners out against COLORADO STATE. They should have resigned with him. The Rams' Jeff Willis ran 63 yards on the second play from scrimmage to start a 35-8 rout. Tom Miller threw 34 yards to Tom Pack, Tom Foster recovered a midair fumble and took it 55 yards for a third touchdown and, when the game was over, Texas Western's 1964 record was a sorry 0-8-2.