What started out as a "wait until next year" season ended as Penn State's best in five years. Coach Joe Paterno juggled his sophomores judiciously when injuries benched five starters, and his Lions upset Miami, barely lost to UCLA and then defeated Syracuse and North Carolina State. Last Saturday it was Pitt's turn to take a lashing. While the tough State defense frustrated the Panthers, senior Quarterback Tom Sherman passed for four touchdowns, sophomore Fullback Don Abbey scored twice and kicked six extra points and the Lions came up with a 42-6 win and a good chance to take the Lambert Trophy, which goes to the best team in the East.
Boston College Coach Jim Miller, under fire all season, finally quieted his detractors, at least temporarily, when his Eagles beat Massachusetts 25-0; but BC still has to play Holy Cross, a surprising 3-0 loser to Connecticut. Rutgers, coasting along with a 24-0 lead over Colgate, suddenly found itself in big trouble as Colgate rallied to go ahead 28-24. But Quarterback Bruce Van Ness, who had already thrown two touchdown passes, tossed another one to Halfback Bryant Mitchell with 2:41 to go, and Rutgers won 31-28.
The big Ivy League game was in New Haven, where Yale, the champion, survived against Harvard 24-20(page 32). Dartmouth salvaged some glory, beating Princeton 17-14 on Pete Donovan's 25-yard field goal with eight seconds to play, to take second place. Cornell battered Penn 33-14, and Brown, stirring to life under new Coach Len Jardine, defeated Columbia 14-7.
1. TENNESSEE (8-1)
2. ALABAMA (7-1-1)
3. FLORIDA STATE (7-2-1)
When Big Thursday falls on Saturday and Tigers wear orange shoes South Carolina can be expected to win a coin toss—and lose a ball game. Carolina guessed the toss right for only the second time in Paul Dietzel's 20-game tenure, but that was its last good guess, as Clemson's new burnt-orange booties walked all over the Gamecocks 23-12. This has always been a strange game—SC played it at home on Thursday for 57 straight years; the entire Clemson ROTC once marched on the SC campus with fixed bayonets; 5,000 fans once bought counterfeit tickets for which there were no seats—yet there was nothing strange about the way Clemson won this one. Crunch, sweep and Gore (Halfback Buddy G., who gained 189 yards to break an ACC season record) set the pattern.
"Now I know how Custer felt," said Florida Assistant Gene Ellenson, after a 21-16 attack by Florida State's Seminoles. "All those damn Indians!" Quarterback Kim Hammond led State to its victory before a record crowd of 62,944 by passing for two touchdowns and running for a third despite a neck injury.
Tennessee's strong Volunteers overcame surprisingly stern Kentucky resistance to win 17-7, and Georgia fumbled five times before beating Georgia Tech 21-14; but other bowl-bound Southerners rollicked through laughers. LSU celebrated by downing Tulane 41-27, and Mississippi bombed Vanderbilt 28-7 as Tailback Steve Hindman outgained the whole Vandy offense.
VMI revenged last year's 70-12 humiliation by beating Virginia Tech 12-10—teams do remember such things. Memphis State came from behind to upset North Texas State 29-20.