The sharpest contrast between the two coaches is their style of football. Dietzel soups up his team with colorful names like the Chinese Bandits ("Don't think we're going to be scared just because we're playing some guys named Chinese Bandits," Hardin said last week) but essentially Dietzel's game is a conservative one of field position and ball control. Hardin, in keeping with recent Navy tradition, plays an exciting, wide-open game, full of passes and trick plays. When Navy loses, at least it goes down in flames.
In the week of the game the attempts of the two coaches to work their teams into the proper frenzy bordered on the absurd. When Dietzel said the game was worth half the season, Hardin went him half better and said it was worth the whole season. When Dietzel said victory was important to him, Hardin said he'd die for a win. Dietzel got angry when Navy questioned the legality of Army's handoff play on kickoffs. "We don't teach anything illegal, ever," he said. Hardin got angry when reporters published his prediction that Navy would beat Army worse than the 43-12 victory in 1959. "That's just what he [Dietzel] wants his boys to read," he said.
As it turned out, the score might well have topped 43 points. The first battle between Dietzel and Hardin was never really close. The Army attack was painfully slow and tedious and loaded with costly mistakes. Navy, guided by Staubach, was quick and dazzling. This for an example: midway through the third period with the score 15-6, still a ball game technically, Navy got the ball on its own 38-yard line. Two running plays lost three yards. On third down, Staubach went back to pass, dodged a couple of rushing Army linemen, looked down-field to the left and suddenly turned and threw to his right. There, all by himself, was Fullback Nick Markoff. Markoff caught the ball and ran for a touchdown untouched. Army was a beaten team.
As the game ended, Wayne Hardin was hoisted triumphantly into the air, the first Navy coach to beat Army four straight years. He leaned down from his perch and shook Paul Dietzel's hand. Then he climbed down from his players' shoulders, fought his way through the mob to Roger Staubach and threw an arm around his shoulder. It will be two years before he lets go.