AN UNSEASONABLE nor'easter ruffled the mink coats and Bermuda shorts in Miami's Orange Bowl Friday night as Maryland kicked off against the University of Miami. The temperature had dropped to a humid 71° and the 30-knot wind had the ball yawing all over the place, but the crowd was a happy one. It is no secret why the Friday night football pageant at Miami, shown in all its glittering excitement in the following four pages of color photographs, is such a ripsnorting success. Humidity and heat—especially during the early autumn—can be brutal, and the oddly assorted followers of the Miami team shun the bright afternoon sun.
To the Ivy League purists accustomed to plaid blankets and the comforting contents of the Thermos, Miami football would seem both unseasonal and incongruous. The local horseplayers, who have been a mite cramped for action since Kefauver's blight struck the Beach bookies several years ago, are there in force with their parlay cards on the week's games. They move into the Orange Bowl in the cool of evening, decked out in anything from tweeds to Bermuda shorts, while their ladies tag along in all degrees of fashion from halter-shorts combinations to cocktail dresses. First, of course, they eat a pleasant meal at a down- town restaurant. Later, perhaps, a cool drink will be hoisted to another Miami victory. As one put it: "Most people go to football games with a babe and a bottle. Down here, we just go with the babe. Who needs a bottle on a full stomach? All we need is the right side of the point spread."
The Miami bettors did not have the right side of the point spread Friday night. The home team, a 10-point favorite, beat Maryland only 14-7, but it could have been worse. Young Tommy Mont, the Maryland coach, seemed almost happy after the game when he told a visitor: "We were lucky. We only lost our regular fullback and right end...."
This, his ninth team at Miami, may be Coach Andy Gustafson's best. The first two units meld enough passing with the jolting runs of Don Bosseler, Johnny Varone, Porky Oliver and associates to keep the defense loose, unlike the 1955 version, which lost to Georgia Tech, TCU and Notre Dame because of unimaginative displays of brute force. Against Maryland there was a pretty piece of business by Sophomore Quarterback Bonnie Yarbrough from the opponent's nine-yard line that illustrates this enlightened new policy. With fourth and one, Bosseler, a 205-pound fullback, came off the bench and hurtled into the Maryland line with his customary violence—but Oliver, the right halfback, had the ball and a first down on the other side of the line.
Maryland did not score until the last minute of the game, exploiting a Miami weakness with a passing attack which marched 80 yards including six pass completions in nine throws through a driving rainstorm. The Miami fans, unaccustomed to such an atmospheric phenomenon, nonetheless stayed to the end. They still prefer the cooling night rain to the bright, hot glare of the sun.