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The only thing consistent about college football is its inconsistency. This fact was never more clearly demonstrated than last weekend when Oklahoma, Auburn and SMU, among others, were buried in the debris of upsets, and their conquerors, Northwestern, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech, squirted into uneasy prominence.
For days, Oklahoma Coach Bud Wilkinson had muttered morosely that his Sooners were in for trouble. Few believed him until Northwestern, whooped up to a precise pitch by Coach Ara Parseghian, struck for two first-quarter touchdowns and finally trounced the Sooners 45-13. Quarterback Dick Thornton, pitching magnificently through a drenching cloudburst, and Halfback Ron Burton (see above), who skittered purposefully through the Oklahoma forwards, did the most damage (see page 15).
Two other Big Ten contenders opened on a quaky note. Ohio State, breaking with Coach Woody Hayes' meat-grinder tradition to unveil flashes of the wing T, resorted to a 23-yard pass from Quarterback Tom Matte to End Charles Bryant and Dave Kilgore's placement to overtake Duke 14-13 in the final minutes.
Wisconsin, correctly figuring Stanford to be weak down the middle, rolled to a 16-point lead early in the second half. But Stanford's Dick Norman began to fling the ball and Wisconsin just managed to straggle off with a 16-14 win.
Indiana won its Big Ten opener from fumbling Illinois 20-0; Missouri Quarterback Bob Haas jammed over from the one-yard line with two seconds to play to beat Michigan 20-15; Quarterback Charlie Milstead led Texas A&M to a 9-7 upset of Michigan State; Nebraska trampled Minnesota 32-12.
Coach Joe Kuharich, an old pro with an eye for perfection, exploited North Carolina's weakness to the outside for a 28-8 victory in his debut at Notre Dame. Sub Quarterback Don White and Fullback Jim Crotty, who scored two touchdowns, led the Irish. The top three:
1. NORTHWESTERN (1-0)
Auburn's tigerlike linemen were turned into timorous cats by a stunting, gambling band of Tennessee forwards, and for once the Tigers found themselves beaten, 3-0. The enthusiastic Vols never let Auburn get past the Tennessee 20-yard line and mounted the day's biggest offense in the second quarter when Tailback Billy Majors led them within reaching distance of a field goal, promptly delivered from the 20-yard line by End Cotton Letner.