SI Vault
William F. Reed
October 20, 1969
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 20, 1969

Football's Week

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4

The Lions beat West Virginia worse than even the 20-0 score might indicate. The Mountaineers came into Beaver Stadium with the nation's No. 1 rushing offense, but the Lions held them to 138 yards on the ground, let them pass midfield only twice after stopping an opening drive and blanked West Virginia for the first time in 40 games, dating back to 1965. And against a West Virginia defense that was ranked No. 2 nationally, Penn State mounted scoring drives of 59, 64 and 68 yards. The most spectacular play—a 66-yard bomb from Chuck Burkhart to Lydell Mitchell—set up State's first TD. After watching this, Carlen had a few strong words to say about the polls. "Ratings are useless," he fumed. "I'm not so sure that Ohio State is the No. 1 team in the country. Penn State can play any team and I'll bet on Paterno's boys. Why, the pros are going to draft at least six of those defensive players." One of those six, Safety Neal Smith, intercepted two passes to set a school career record of 14.

At New York's Yankee Stadium, a crowd of 63,786 turned out to watch the latest disaster in the nation's most overrated rivalry and—predictably as ever—Notre Dame thrashed Army 45-0. Somewhere back in the Dark Ages the games began to be billed as "classics," and the idea has lingered despite the fact that Notre Dame has won 26 times to Army's eight. This year a so-so Notre Dame team gained 617 yards, the most ever given up by Army, and the gray-uniformed cadets amused themselves to the bitter end by chanting, "We want six," or simply, "Kill." Notre Dame's Joe Theismann personally accounted for 273 yards, including two scoring passes.

Rutgers couldn't stand the prosperity of three straight wins and fell to Lehigh 17-7. Quarterback Rich Policastro completed 29 of 52 passes, but Lehigh used two interceptions to break it open. Syracuse beat Maryland 20-9 by—surprise—passing. Normally a team to blast away between the tackles, the Orangemen got two touchdown passes in the final quarter from reserve Quarterback Rich Panczyszyn. In the Ivy League, unbeaten Dartmouth took command by rushing for 509 yards to crush Penn 41-0, but all was not well in the Indians' tepee. The school's real Indians put the hatchet to the phony school mascot because, said freshman Howard Bad Hand, he perpetuated a romantic, naive and unrealistic view of the American Indian.

Harvard Quarterback Frank Champi, the hero of last year's tie with Yale, quit early in the week because "football has lost its meaning for me," so the Crimson proceeded to score its most points ever against an Ivy opponent while demolishing Columbia 51-0.

In Pittsburgh everyone was buzzing about Pitt's amazing winning streak, which stretched to the dizzy heights of two games with a rousing 46-19 victory over Navy. It was the first time since 1965 that Pitt had put together consecutive wins and it doubled the Panthers' 1968 victory total. Hopefully, Pitt will not let overconfidence ruin a good thing.

Defensive Game of the Week: Trinity 43, Rensselaer 43, after 900 yards total offense and 56 first downs.


1. OHIO STATE (3-0)
2. MISSOURI (4-0)
3. OKLAHOMA (2-1)

Radio stations all around the state were playing On Wisconsin over and over, and that fine old Badger, Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch, wept in the press box. (It was a day for that sort of stuff.) There was a big dance around the Camp Randall Stadium field and some serious talk about Wisconsin's winning streak. The man of the hour, Coach John Coatta, was carried off the field, dunked in the shower and was given the game ball. " Wisconsin is to be congratulated," said Iowa Coach Ray Nagel. "We all knew this was going to happen sooner or later."

What happened was that Wisconsin had gone crazy in the last quarter, scoring all its points to upset Iowa 23-17 and thus end a string of 23 straight games without a victory. It was no fluke, either. Iowa came into Madison averaging more than 500 yards total offense—second in the nation—but Wisconsin held the Hawkeyes to 309. And even without injured Greg (Grape Juice) Johnson (page 58), Fullback Alan (A-Train) Thompson gained 104 yards, scored twice and moved Nagel to say, "That Thompson is one of the best fullbacks I've seen."

Continue Story
1 2 3 4