SOUTHERN METHODIST 19
NOTRE DAME 13
Sixty-one thousand football-hungry Texans swarmed into the Cotton Bowl for the first rite of fall—the largest opening-game crowd in Cotton Bowl history despite the 87� temperature. They came, not so much in hopes of a Mustang victory, but rather to look upon mighty Notre Dame and heroic Paul Hornung. This was a fine way to start the season off, even if the home team—two-touchdown underdogs and an overwhelming choice for last place in the Southwest Conference—seemed in for a tough evening.
But Notre Dame, despite the aura of the name, was untested, too, a fact which was deeply felt by the SMU football team. They had been pointing for this one since spring practice, and it showed the minute the boys started to play football. They pushed Notre Dame around for a 13-0 half-time lead, and then, after the Irish had come back to tie it up, pulled out the game with a touchdown in the last two minutes of play to win 19-13, and to renew the Southwest Conference franchise for upsetting the dope.
The whole team was tremendous. The line, headed by Bob Blakely, a two-year letterman at right tackle, and Sophomore Tom Koening at guard, beat the Irish to the punch all night. A quartet of fine ends put tremendous pressure on Hornung, both on the option play and passes. The top of their T—named Jackson, Masters, and Slaughter—ran like savages, and a nice Catholic boy named Charles Arnold at quarterback treated Notre Dame with downright irreverence. He passed for the first touchdown. He sneaked over for the second. He handed off for the third. Four times he insulted the Irish by running for short yardage on fourth down; four times he made it (twice by inches on the chain). He intercepted two passes. He was, said Notre Dame Coach Terry Brennan afterward, "wonderful. Arnold was the difference."
In the noisy SMU dressing room after the game, Charlie Arnold told why he had twice gambled for short yardage deep in his own territory with the score tied late in the game. "We didn't want a good ball game," he grinned. "We wanted to win."
—WILLARD C. RAPPLEYE
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 44
Even though the game was being played almost in the shadow of the Lone Star capitol dome, the Texas announcer was ready to strike his colors by the start of the third quarter. As the ball was snapped, he shouted in anguish over the loudspeaker: "It's a pitchout to Roberts—oh, dear, here we go again."
And down on the field, Roberts went—74 high-stepping yards to his third touchdown of the night and his total of 251 yards from scrimmage, more than any USC back has ever scored in one game. Indeed, the story of the USC-Texas curtain-raising football game in Austin was the story of Mr. Roberts. The eyes of Texas have seldom beheld a more convincing display of power running than he put on before 47,000 dumb-struck Texans in Memorial Stadium last Saturday night.
The final score was 44-20 and Texans' pride was as hurt as though they had been caught driving last year's Cadillacs.
Not normally considered among the Eleven Elevens because of the unrest over the eligibility penalties ( Jon Arnett, for instance, is eligible for only the first five games), Coach Jess Hill's USC Trojans have football seers taking a second look. In their last two games, the finale against Notre Dame last year and this one, USC has run up 86 points, no mean feat against major opposition. True, they are still light-hearted about defense which they regard as a useless interruption of an otherwise pleasurable pastime; USC ran up 20 first downs, but so did Texas. And Texas completed nineteen passes, enough to win most ball games.