Michigan State, bothered by minor injuries to Halfbacks Herb Adderley and Gary Ballman, found a sophomore quarterback in Pete Smith, who may bring a smile to Coach Duffy Daugherty's Irish eyes. Illinois, exploiting power, ran hard in scrimmage, watched Fullback Bill Brown score three times.
Northwestern's Ara Parseghian had his squad going for long gainers, was satisfied that Quarterback Dick Thornton was back in shape, could provide the team's fourth running back. At Wisconsin, Coach Milt Bruhn, who had just about decided John Fabry would be his quarterback, may change his mind after Ron Miller, another yearling, completed 20 of 33 passes for 382 yards and five touchdowns to lead the third stringers past the first and second teams 39-7.
In the Big Eight, Nebraska's Bill Jennings showed uncoachly optimism ("The best material we've had in three years"), leading to speculation that either the Cornhuskers will win the conference title or Jennings plans to quit at the end of the season.
The Southwest Conference engendered little excitement in its practice games, but touring sportswriters came away feeling that TCU was the team to beat. Perhaps they were sold by End Milton Ham, who exuded rare confidence: "When you've got Bob Lilly in the line and Buddy lies and me on the ends, these other teams ain't got too many places to run." Or maybe they were influenced by the casualties at other schools: Arkansas Fullback Joe Paul Alberty (broken chin); Baylor End Carl Choate (shoulder separation) and Guard Bobby Crenshaw (torn knee); SMU Center Max Christian (shoulder injury).
Washington, although still mighty, nevertheless took steps to strengthen its defense. Coach Jim Owens moved Tackle Ben Davidson (6 feet 8, 240 pounds) to end, Fullback Sam Hurworth to guard.
USC has looked better, with Marlin McKeever at fullback and Quarterback Al Prukop throwing well. At UCLA Tailback Bob Smith is ailing with a wrenched knee, but should be back before too long.
Oregon State is expected to survive the loss of Tackle John Cadwell, who left school to return to his California home, but Washington State has had to settle for less than the best at fullback since George Reed broke his ankle.
In the Skyline, Wyoming Coach Bob Devaney is singing the blues over a long injury list, but his key players are hale. Not so fortunate is Utah, which—in one crushing drill—temporarily lost Halfbacks Dennis Zito and Jerry Overton.