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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Utah should have realized something was amiss when its party was deemed too large to tour the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Center in Houston. The entire group finally was allowed to visit NASA and was given a personally guided tour by Dr. James Fletcher, NASA head, the day before a 42-16 loss to Houston. Dr. Fletcher, incidentally, is a former president of the University of Utah. Sentiment aside, Cougar Fullback Robert Newhouse carried 31 times through the porous Redskin defense for 204 yards to become the leading rusher in Houston history with 2,861 yards. Coach Bill Yeoman of the Cougars, in a last-minute campaign for his 5'11" (actually, the pros supposedly have found him to be 5' 9�") star, said, "Any All-America team that doesn't have Newhouse is a farce." Newhouse is not as pushy. "I never worry about the publicity," he said, "I just do the running."
Everything was up to date in the Southwest Conference, where Texas defeated Texas A&M 34-14 on Thanksgiving Day to earn its annual Cotton Bowl assignment (a record fourth in a row), and Coaches Bill Beall of Baylor and Gene Stallings of A&M lost their jobs. Beall knew it was coming, since he had a 3-28 three-year mark and finished with a 23-0 loss to Rice. Bubba Berg, a sophomore split end, caught two touchdown passes and Mark Williams kicked three field goals as Rice ended Coach Bill Peterson's first season on an upbeat note. Stallings held a press conference after the loss to Texas, saying he felt he would be retained despite a 5-6 record. He was whistling in the dark, however. Two hours later, Dr. Jack Williams, A&M president, administered the coup de grace.
A 29-yard field goal by Berl Simmons in the final 13 seconds gave TCU an 18-16 victory over SMU, which appeared to have won the game on a two-yard TD run by Quarterback Gary Hammond with 2:42 to go. "Just call him George Blanda Simmons," said TCU Quarterback Steve Judy.
"He swears up and down—and these kids are taught to be honest—that his knee did not touch the ground," said Navy Coach Rick Forzano. But Field Judge Louis Koerber ruled—and a television replay seemed to confirm his call—that Navy Quarterback Fred Stuvek's knee did touch the ground at the Army eight before he pitched back to Halfback George Berry for what appeared to be a go-ahead touchdown for the Middies on their last series against Army. The Cadet defense held and a few seconds later Army purposely took a safety on the game's final play for a 24-23 win, the first time in 72 years this game has been decided by one point. Forzano, whose contract expires this year, explained why he did not go for a field goal, which would have tied the Cadets: "Let me tell you something. We don't go for ties."
In another classic, the 67th Jesuit battle, Boston College defeated Holy Cross 21-7 for its winningest season since 1940. Coach Ed Doherty, who guided Holy Cross to a 4-6 record in his first season, knew he was in for trouble when the two schools finally found a place to play just 24 hours before kickoff. There was a foot of snow at Holy Cross, the scheduled site of the game, and the Crusaders, who would have liked another week to prepare, refused to play at Boston College. An agreement was reached with the New England Patriots at the last minute and the game was held in Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro. Doherty wanted more time to install offensive and defensive systems to confuse the Eagles. The Crusaders took a 7-0 lead on a four-yard touchdown pass from Pete Vaas to Joe Neary. Then BC Quarterback Ray Rippman started to connect. He threw 40 yards to Ed Rideout for the go-ahead touchdown and 46 to Mel Briggs. "Even the Patriots couldn't have defended against those passes," said Doherty.