- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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In Philadelphia, Navy routed Army 30-6 in the game that once was a capital event but has long since gone into sad decline. Nevertheless, there was considerable joy among Navy partisans over the Middies' first winning season (7-4) since 1967. But the crowd of 81,576 was the smallest in 37 years. The only real excitement came in the last quarter when the possibility arose that Army would manage to score against Navy for the first time since 1972. The Cadets did, but required four plays to move the ball two yards, Quarterback Leamon Hall diving in for the TD.
Navy started off with a 27-yard field goal by Larry Muczynski. Then rugged Bob Jackson, who was to rush for a total of 133 yards, scored from the two, Bob DeStafney lumbered 42 yards after scooping up an Army kick blocked by Jeff Hoobler, and Muczynski added another field goal to put the Middies ahead 20-0 at halftime. In the second half Army allowed yet another Muczynski field goal and another Jackson touchdown.
In Birmingham, Bear Bryant said yes sir, he sure did wish that Auburn had played somebody other than his Crimson Tide so that rival coach Ralph (Shug) Jordan could have gone out a winner. As it was, Alabama ripped Auburn 28-0, an unhappy end to Jordan's 25 years as head coach. Bryant tried to help by saying his team played one of its best games ever. The victory, 'Bama's 10th straight after its opening loss to Missouri, was engineered by Quarterback Richard Todd, who ran for two touchdowns and passed for two others.
At the half, with Alabama ahead only 7-0, Jordan had hopes. "I thought then it would be a stomp-down good game," he said. No luck, which sums up Jordan's frustrating last-season record of 3-6-2. His lifetime mark, 175-83-7, is considerable consolation.
In another SEC intrastate showdown, Georgia mauled Georgia Tech 42-26 after building a 42-0 advantage before the end of the third quarter. "This team," said Coach Vince Dooley, "has earned the right to walk in the company of champions." Georgia finished at 9-2 and will play in the Cotton Bowl; Tech will spend the winter changing its bandages.
Georgia's star among many was Safetyman Bobby Thompson, who intercepted a pass on the first play of the game and ran it to the Tech 12. Bingo, 7-0. Later in the first quarter Thompson caught Tech's Bucky Shamburger from behind with a fine tackle after a 68-yard burst.
Gator Bowl-bound Florida struggled to victory No. 9—a regular-season high for the school—by beating Miami 15-11 on a 63-yard punt return by Henry Davis with 3:48 to play. Vanderbilt upset Tennessee 17-14, defeating its cross-state rival for the first time since 1964. Rutgers beat Syracuse for the first time ever, 21-10, in the 10th meeting of a sporadic series dating back to 1914. Houston upset Tulsa 42-30. And when Baylor beat injury-riddled Rice 25-7, losing Coach Al Conover gloomed, "We didn't have enough to play and the ones who did play didn't play very hard." Hawaii upset a good San Jose State squad 30-20. It was Hawaii's sixth victory in eight home games.