The Liberty Bowl, thankful to get anybody at all for its December 18 game in Memphis, came up with a winner. MISSISSIPPI, now 6-4, plowed under old rival Mississippi State 21-0 and will meet Auburn.
What should have been a mere breeze for NOTRE DAME turned out to be a full-blown hurricane. Tough MIAMI stacked the Irish runners with a nine-man front and then enjoyed the results. Without an accomplished passer, Notre Dame collapsed, and the Hurricanes came away with a delightful—and unexpected—scoreless tie.
Little GRAMBLING, a veritable gold mine for pro talent scouts, put its beef trust on display against Lincoln in the Sugar Cup Classic, and they ran away from the Tigers 58-14. The win gained Grambling a shot at unbeaten North Dakota State, the nation's No. 1 small-college team, in the Pecan Bowl in Abilene, Texas on December 11.
1. MICHIGAN STATE (10-0)
2. NEBRASKA (10-0)
3. PURDUE (7-2-1)
For a time it looked like NEBRASKA'S perfect season was going down the drain, just the way it did a year ago. While the Huskers bumbled and fumbled, Oklahoma's suddenly sturdy young bulls blocked a kick and pounced on three loose balls. Ron Shotts kicked a 21-yard field goal after one Nebraska fumble, Larry Brown smashed over from the three after another and the Sooners led 9-0 in the second quarter. Then Coach Bob Devaney yanked nervy Quarterback Fred Duda for steadier Bob Churchich, and almost immediately the Huskers woke up. Choo-Choo Winters, trying for a first down at the Oklahoma 29, slammed off tackle, found himself in the clear and went all the way. In the third quarter Lighthorse Harry Wilson cut loose on a wide left sweep and ran 66 yards for a touchdown. Pretty soon Churchich threw a 38-yard pass to Wilson, and it was all over for valiant Oklahoma 21-9. The Huskers had their unbeaten season, the first one in 50 years and the first ever for Devaney, who was promptly tossed into the showers by his happy players. A wet Devaney came out bubbling, "This is the best team I've ever had. These boys are as good as anybody."
Colorado State acted like it had never heard of TULSA's Billy Anderson and Howard Twilley, who break college passing records almost every time they play catch. For three quarters State's Bob Wolfe outpitched Anderson, three touchdowns to one, and the Hurricanes barely led 21-20. Then Anderson began to pass—really. He threw long touchdown passes to Flanker Neal Sweeney (60 and 63 yards) and Twilley (51 yards), a short one (13 yards) to Bob Daugherty, and Tulsa took the game 48-20 as four more NCAA marks fell. The new records: by Anderson—who completed 37 of 57 passes—502 yards passing in a single game and 3,464 for the season; by Twilley—who scored twice to lead the nation with 127 points—19 catches in a game and 16 touch-downs for the year. Coach Glenn Dobbs, his face wreathed in a big smile, took about two seconds to accept an invitation to play Tennessee in the Bluebonnet Bowl. "It just so happens that we can go," he said.
It was bowling time, too, for some small colleges, and once-beaten NORTH DAKOTA whipped unbeaten Northern Illinois 37-20 in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Mo. Undefeated ST. JOHN'S of Collegeville, Minn. routed Fairmont ( West Virginia) State 28-7 for the right to play Linfield, Ore. in the NAIA Championship Bowl on December 11 in Augusta, Ga.
1. ARKANSAS (10-0)
2. TEXAS TECH (8-2)
3. TCU (6-4)