Air Force had great things planned for the dedication of its new $3.5 million stadium, but Oregon's swift backs spoiled the day for the Falcons. They breezed to three second-half touchdowns and Oregon won 35-20. Oregon State's Terry Baker and Vern Burke were simply too much for Pacific. With Baker throwing four touchdown passes, three of them to the elusive Burke in the first 24 minutes. State won easily 40-6.
After Utah and New Mexico went 7-7 in the first half, Utah's Ray Nagel decided to play his second unit as long as it could last, then throw his well-rested regulars against the weary Lobos. It almost worked. Nagel's fresh monsters threatened three times in the last five minutes, but New Mexico held firm and the game ended in a tie. Now the Lobos need only to beat Brigham Young to take the first Western AC title. Wyoming perked up to trounce Arizona 31-8 while Utah State kept alive Colorado State's long losing streak (now 21 straight) by beating the Rams 21-0.
THE TOP THREE: 1. ARMY (4-1) 2. PENN STATE (4-1) 3. PITT (3-2)
After two losses in four games, Pitt Coach John Michelosen decided to take a calculated risk against favored UCLA. He benched four starting linemen and went back to old-fashioned football—"just grind it out and pick on their sore spots." The Panthers wisely picked on UCLA's vulnerable right side, running Fullback Rick Leeson inside tackle and pitching to swift Halfback Paul Martha outside. It wasn't gaudy football but with a bit of good luck, it was smart enough to upset the Bruins 8-6. After Pitt's touchdown, Leeson lined up to kick the extra point with Quarterback Jim Traficant holding. But the center snap was high and Traficant elected to pass. Meanwhile the wide-awake Leeson raced for the end zone, where he caught Traficant's pass for two points.
Penn State started out as if it were going to run Syracuse straight out of Beaver Stadium. In less than five minutes Roger Kochman raced 32 yards, then took a 32-yard pass from Pete Liske, and State led 14-0. But, suddenly, Syracuse came alive. Sophomore Quarterback Walley Mahle ran eight yards for one touchdown, Halfback Don King sprinted 35 yards for another and Mahle passed 11 yards to End Walt Sweeney to put Syracuse ahead 19-14. However, Penn State refused to panic. Liske passed the Lions down to the one and Fullback Dave Hayes rammed over for a 20-19 lead. But State wasn't yet out of the woods. Guard Harrison Rosdahl saved the day when he broke through to block Tom Mingo's field goal attempt on the last play.
Army, the Eastern leader, sputtered more frequently than it sparkled against Virginia Tech but still managed to outlast the stubborn Gobblers 20-12. Navy was more adroit in its maneuvers against Boston College. The Middie line outcharged the bigger Eagles and sophomore Roger Staubach passed for two touchdowns as Navy won 26-6. Rutgers survived three fumbles and 118 yards in penalties to beat Lehigh 29-13 while Villa-nova outscored Delaware 22-10.
Dartmouth and Princeton, the best of the Ivies, ventured out among the independents and met with success and disaster. Tom Spangenberg returned an intercepted pass 96 yards as Dartmouth defeated Holy Cross 10-0, but Princeton lost to Colgate 16-15. In league games, Harvard overwhelmed Columbia 36-14; Yale trimmed Cornell 26-8 and Penn held off Brown 18-15.
THE TOP THREE: 1. ALABAMA (5-0) 2. LSU (4-0-1) 3. MISSISSIPPI (4-0)