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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The would-be mighty were still stumbling as college football began packing its trunks and locking up at the close of another season. It was a week of traditional games (for one of the oldest see page 16), and USC was caught up in the whirl of upsets, leaving Syracuse as the nation's only major unbeaten and untied team—but the Orangemen still have to face UCLA, the conqueror Saturday of the Trojans.
The melee-minded Big Ten, still in a battle royal, fought for the conference title literally down to the final gun. In Minneapolis Wisconsin staved off a late Minnesota rally to win 1) the game 11-7 and 2) a place in the Rose Bowl. But the Badgers needed help from Illinois , which knocked Northwestern out 28-0.
Lumbering Minnesota, playing as if Coach Murray Warmath's job depended upon the outcome, worried Wisconsin near to death, but couldn't compete with the individual brilliance of Badger Quarterback Dale Hackbart. Karl Holzwarth's seventh field goal of the year for an NCAA record (later tied by Colorado College's George Grant) pulled Wisconsin close after the Gophers led 7-0 and Hackbart led a last-quarter charge that brought the Badgers victory and the crown.
With Fullback Bill Brown crashing up the middle and Halfback Johnny Counts sweeping wide, the Illini tore apart North-western's suddenly porous defense and sent the wilting Wildcats down to their third straight loss, giving retiring Coach Ray Eliot a victory to remember. Illinois ended the year with 5-3-1 record.
Ohio State piled up more yardage but Michigan sent Buckeye Coach Woody Hayes into a chair-throwing frenzy as it unleashed Tony Rio and Stan Noskins for timely touchdowns and a 23-14 win. Purdue made effective use of some of Coach Jack Mollenkopf's aged wing-T manipulations and a fourth-period field goal by Bernie Allen to retain the Old Oaken Bucket for the 12th straight year by nipping Indiana 10-7.
Missouri , which seemed to be holding open the door to the Orange Bowl for its foes, finally caught Kansas tripping over the doorsill. Eight times the Jayhawks let the ball slip away and five times the Tigers pounced on it. In the end, Missouri had a 13-9 triumph and a reservation in Miami on Jan. 1.
Oklahoma , now winner of a dozen Big Eight titles in a row but ineligible for a second successive appearance in the Orange Bowl, consoled itself with a 35-12 conquest of Iowa State . Prentice Gautt led an all-ground attack as the Sooners rolled up 348 yards running, none passing.