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Oregon state's football team is usually one of the forgotten members of the Pacific Coast Conference, yet when A. Thompson (Tommy) Prothro arrived there in 1955 he brashly promised a Rose Bowl team within three years. Asked if he knew where he was, Prothro said, "Sure, this is Oregon State. I played against Oregon State in the Rose Bowl of 1942, and we got beat. I respect this school."
Years later Tommy became an assistant to Red Sanders at UCLA, and this year's OSC attack is a carbon copy of the Sanders single wing. What Prothro has over Sanders this season are two slender blur-running halfbacks, Earnel Durden and Paul Lowe, who can take off right now. Both, incidentally, are from Los Angeles and part of a 42-man squad that includes 20 Californians. When the Beavers go to Pasadena on January 1—in Prothro's second year as head coach—it will be old home week.
Prothro planned his Stanford game hopefully. He put up an umbrella defense against John Brodie, Stanford's great quarterback, conserving his strength, and resting his first stringers as much as possible to save them for the last quarter. "We felt we'd be dead either way unless we saved something," he said in his low, southern drawl. "Either trying to score, or defending against passes, we wanted to be a little fresher than Stanford."
In the end, however, it was missed conversions that made the point difference.
TEXAS A&M 33
Texas A&M, which won its early crucial games by coming through brilliantly in the clutch, has eliminated the clutch play and matured into a team which is overwhelming throughout the whole game. Saturday the Aggies ruined a good SMU club, which had lost to Georgia Tech by only 2 points, running up an easy 33-7 victory.
John Crow, the thunderous halfback, had another of his fine days, with two touchdowns and a 56-yard punt return. He shared top billing with Roddy Osborne, who has developed into a grim keeper at quarterback; Guard Dee Powell, playing out the season with a broken nose as if he wanted the opposition to share his misery; quick, tough Tackle Jim Stanley, who recovered two fumbles; reserve Fullback George Gillar, a bear cat on pass defense who broke through for a 44-yard scoring sprint; and, above all, a host of gang-tackling Aggies.
The Aggies were playing in the shadow of NCAA probation, and if the NCAA fails to clear the Aggies, the Southwest Conference-will be faced with the dreary prospect of either thrice-beaten Texas Christian or thrice-beaten Southern Methodist as its representative in the Cotton Bowl come New Year's Day—instead of unbeaten Texas A&M.