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Almost before the nation's stadiums had emptied their huge crowds from the first full football weekend of the year, it was evident that most teams were performing as expected and that the best teams could be found, as usual, in the Southeastern Conference, the Southwestern and, particularly, the Big Ten. There were, however, two large surprises. One came in the SEC, where Mississippi, Alabama and Auburn got away on schedule only to find they had been joined by determined Georgia Tech. The other, in the SWC, found TCU stepping smartly alongside Baylor and Texas, perhaps feeling that someone, after all, ought to take up the slack left by fallen Rice. If there was anything unexpected about the Big Ten, it was only that things look even bleaker than usual for visitors to the Midwest.
It is well known that Ohio State's Woody Hayes has always considered the pass an intrusion on the game of football, but this year he promised to use it occasionally and by Saturday night he was probably thankful that he had. While the Buckeyes, as expected, gave the ball most of the time to Fullback Bob Ferguson (he carried 35 times for a total of 137 yards), it was a very big two-yard flip from Quarterback Bill Mrukowski to End Chuck Bryant in the first quarter that saved the day against surprising TCU. For the rest of the afternoon, Ohio State defended against the giant-size passes of TCU's 6-foot-7 Sonny Gibbs, who finally let loose with one for 62 yards to Pete Hall and another for 12 yards to Dale Glasscock to draw the Frogs even at 7-7 in the last period. "The worst game I ever coached,*' moaned Hayes. "I was worse than the boys and they were pretty terrible."
Minnesota and Illinois had even more to complain about. The plodding Gophers made more mistakes than a Little Leaguer and lost to Missouri 6-0 in the rain, snow and wind at Minneapolis. With the elements limiting offense to punting, praying and, on rare occasions, passing, Missouri managed to combine all three long enough in the second quarter to score. Sophomore Daryl Krugman's 51-yard kick bounced out on the one-yard line, and, when Sandy Stephens' return boot went only as far as the 30, the Tigers had their chance. Mike Hunter's pass to Carl Crawford put the ball on the six and, three plays later, Bill Tobin lunged over for the only touchdown. Illinois was victimized by Washington's improving ground game and lost 20-7. Quarterback Kermit Jorgensen moved the Huskies effectively, twice scored from the one-yard line and handed off to speedy Charlie Mitchell, who ran 66 yards for the last score.
The rest of the Big Ten did considerably better. Iowa, rich in halfbacks but even more affluent at quarterback, where Wilburn Hollis is one of the best, ran over California 28-7. Michigan State ground down Wisconsin 20-0 as it conceded short passes to Quarterback Ron Miller (he completed 16 of 25 for 184 yards) but rarely any long ones. Michigan, crashing its ends and linebackers with a recklessness usually reserved for the pros, stifled UCLA's single wing, then gave the ball to Bill Tunnicliff, Dave Raimey and Ben McRae, who each scored once in a 29-6 victory. Northwestern, too, looked good. The Wildcats, unveiling a secret weapon in Sophomore Bill Swingle, who ran for three touchdowns, bombed Boston College 45-0.
Kansas was still the biggest mystery in the Big Eight. Not even Quarterback John Hadl, who passed miserably and ran hardly at all, was able to lift the listless Jayhawks, who were held to a 6-6 tie by Wyoming. The Cowboys, playing for most of the game without the injured Chuck Lamson, hammered Kansas with firm defense, got enough passing from sub Andy Melosky, who threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Halfback Mike Walker to force a tie. Colorado smothered Oklahoma State with long runs by Olympic Sprinter Teddy Woods (82 yards) and Leon Mavity (60 yards) and a 54-yard field goal by Jerry Hillebrand to win 24-0. But Nebraska had to settle for a 14-14 tie with Arizona. The top three:
1. MISSOURI (2-0)
For more than 30 minutes, Pitt's bruising linemen had Baylor's swift backs battened solid as a hatch. They poured in on Quarterback Ron Stanley and surrounded Ronnie Bull. The Panthers led 13-3 on End Al Grigliunas' 40-yard sprint with an interception and Fred Cox's 16-yard end run. But the Bears soon caught on to northern ways—and Pitt. They found a soft spot at Pitt's right tackle, sent Bull squirting through for valuable yardage, and Stanley did the rest. With Panthers hanging all over him, Stanley passed four yards to Bob Lane, 12 more to Jim Ingram, and Baylor won 16-13.
Syracuse was less than impressive against surprisingly tenacious West Virginia. The suddenly pesky Mountaineers stacked their defenses to thwart Ernie Davis, gave Coach Ben Schwartzwalder an anxious second half and trailed 21-14 with 2:18 left. But Quarterback Dave Sarette, who had pitched two touchdown passes, tossed a third to Davis and the Orangemen pulled ahead 29-14.