All night long it is The Great One against The Swamp Rat. In a college football game that is simply bursting apart with heroism, it is UCLA's Gary Beban, who is called The Great One because he is from the wonderland of California, against Tennessee's Dewey Warren, who is called The Swamp Rat because he is from the Georgia marsh country. They are two of the very best quarterbacks in the land. They also happen to be on two of the best teams in the land, and these teams have been crashing into one another all evening in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with both the players and the ball soaring every which way because of the vicious hitting.
Now it is late, only four minutes to go, and The Swamp Rat has Tennessee ahead, 16-13. It is fourth down for The Great One. There is a time-out, and the 66,000 people in the stadium figure that this—more than ever before in his glorious past—has to be the moment of The Great One.
Seemingly unaware of the bedlam, UCLA's Gary Beban goes to the side-line to chat with Coach Tommy Prothro. Fourth and two on the Tennessee 27-yard line. A field goal will tie, a first down will keep the drive going for a possible victory. Wonderful suspense.
"Gary," says Prothro, "you look tired."
Beban should. He has brought UCLA back from 0-7 and 3-13, even though the bad breaks have heaped up on him so repetitiously that you have to figure the fates wore orange dunce caps; Tennessee orange, of course. And he has just marched the Bruins 46 yards upfield on their last real chance for victory.
Beban says, "I'm O.K., Coach."
Prothro, a drawling Southerner on the order of Alabama's Bear Bryant, puts his hand on his quarterback's shoulder.
"Are you fresh enough to run one more play?" Prothro asks. "I want you to run the ball." Beban's golden head-gear bobs up and down, yes.
"I want you to run one more great play for me," the coach sighs.
Gary Beban returns to the field and brings UCLA out of the huddle for his specialty, a run-pass option to the right. "It has a simple name," Beban said later. "I just call it Sprint Streak, or a Sweep around the Horn."