November 10, 1923

November 1, 1924

October 14, 1925

October 13, 1934

October 7, 1939

September 27, 1947

October 24, 1959

October 13, 1962

September 16, 1966

October 16, 1976

October 24, 1981


Weekend in Time - I

Weekend in Time - III

Weekend in Time - IV

Weekend in Time - V

Weekend in Time - VI

Weekend in Time - VII


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A Weekend in Time – II

This feature discusses the results of one weekend of college football action from the past. Since the archives of Time magazine are a source for these reports, the title has a double meaning.

November 10, 1923

In its first year of publication, Time began its weekly summary of college football happenings with the "Big Three (Eastern) games."

  • Harvard's "tall and scrawny" Karl Pfaffman drop-kicked a FG moments after his teammate Combs fell on a loose ball for a 3-0 lead at Princeton. A safety made the final score 5-0.
  • "A 40-yard forward pass supplemented by a 35-yard run to the goal-line brought Brown's score in the closing minutes of play against Dartmouth up to 14 points. A few seconds previously Brown had scored on a Dartmouth fumble. The desperate rally did not suffice. Dartmouth had scored 16 points on two touchdowns and a place kick."
  • Maryland, "little-advertised university of the South," scored two TDs in the opening period at Yale. However, the Eli, considered the top of the heap in the East along with Syracuse and Cornell, scored two TDs and a FG to take a 16-14 lead. The invaders missed a dropkick by inches that would have scored a huge upset.
  • Bo McMillin returned to Boston, scene of the upset of Harvard he engineered as QB of Centre in 1921. This time, he could only watch as Boston College turned back his Centenary charges 14-0.
Notre Dame Coach Knute Rockne
Knute Rockne
  • The upset of the week was Nebraska 14-7 over the "hitherto invincible" 6-0 Notre Dame eleven in Lincoln. This was the second year in a row that the Cornhuskers "blighted the prospects of Knute Rockne ... for national championship considerations." NU will get a chance to spoil the unbeaten record of Syracuse, which heads west November 24.
  • Rockne "places his strategic dependence on a bewildering snap shift and persistent forward passing. He gives his men only one scrimmage a week. ... He has lost only three games in six years."
  • Harold "Red" Grange got loose for a 28-yard broken field TD run against Wisconsin in Champaign-Urbana to spark a 10-0 triumph. 6-0 overall, Illinois leads the Western Conference with a 4-0 mark.
  • In the South, a region not covered by Time, Alabama defeated Kentucky 16-8 in Tuscaloosa, while the Tide's next foe, LSU, rested for the big meeting in Montgomery November 16.
  • Out West, USC won't be defending its Rose Bowl title after a 13-7 loss to California dropped the Trojans' record to 4-3. The visiting Bears moved to 7-0-1 to keep their Pasadena hopes alive. Up the coast, another strong Rose contender, Washington, defeated Montana 26-14. The 8-0 Huskies visit Berkeley next week.
November 1, 1924
Harvard Coach Percy Haughton
Percy Haughton

Memorials were held in three different stadiums - Harvard, Yale, and Cornell - for Percy Haughton, "football coach extraordinary." QB Logan of Haughton's 1914 Harvard team wrote to the Harvard Crimson suggesting that Soldiers' Field at Cambridge be renamed Haughton Field.

  • Percy's widow watched the Columbia team he had built lose to Cornell at Ithaca. "Chief cause ... was Ignacio Sadurdino Molinet, 19-year-old native of Cuba, Cornell's 179-pound backfield torpedo. Score: Cornell 14, Columbia 0"
  • Princeton and Harvard played "inconsequential games - Princeton practicing against Swarthmore, 21 to 6; Harvard substitutes chastising Boston College, 13 to 0."
  • "The gray ranks of West Point's cadets marched evenly into the Yale Bowl. Unawed by militarism, a chunky Eli, HB Pond, greeted their team promptly" with a 48yd TD run. "The Army marched and countermarched its backfield squad, right and left and double-time, but only once reached the end of the parade ground. Home marched the cadets, more evenly than ever. Score: Yale 7, Army 7"
  • The unbeaten Lafayette Leopards challenged the undefeated Penn Quakers to no avail. After a FG by "Chief Leopard" Berry, "Chief Quaker" McGraw threw a pass to Joe Laird for a TD. Score: Penn 6, Lafayette 3. Penn rejoices in being the only unbeaten, untied Eastern team since Pittsburgh was tied by Syracuse 7-7.
  • The low scoring trend continued elsewhere in the Northeast as Dartmouth defeated Brown 10-3. The Big Green gained 222yd "during an afternoon punctuated with many imperfect passes by Brown."
  • "At Annapolis, two cripples met, one a self-styled lion, one a so-called goat. Limping, hobbling, they tussled until nightfall, when the Navy goat had to admit that the absence of Shapely, one of its curliest horns, was too great a handicap. The Penn State or Nittany lion came off with two field goals. Score: Penn State 6, Navy 0"
  • In the Midwest, Illinois hosted Iowa in high winds. "Red Grange rushed like the winds, sweeping his fellows nearer to the Big Ten championship." Grange scored two TDs in Q1, set up a third, and threw two passes for 86 yd. Score: Illinois 36, Iowa 0
  • In other Big Ten action, Northwestern won its first conference game in two years, 17-7 over Indiana. Michigan upended Minnesota 13-0. Chicago, "despite gloomy prognostications by her 'Old Man,' Coach Alonzo Stagg," bested Purdue 19-6 to keep alive its hope of capturing the title from Illinois.
  • Notre Dame was a "ruthless hostess" to Georgia Tech, 34-3, "a score characteristic of the potential national champions." Tech's FB Douglas Wycoff ran 47 yd to the one on the last play of the game.
  • "In the Missouri Valley," Nebraska "pulled itself together after a dismaying first quarter" and defeated Missouri 14-6 behind the running of Rhodes and Bloodgood. Captain Bond led Missouri in its first defeat of the season.
  • Down South, Alabama shellacked Mississippi 61-0, and West Virginia smothered Bethany 71-6.
  • On the Pacific Coast, "California prefaced its argument with Southern California with the announcement that the game would terminate athletic relations between the two universities." Stanford was also rumored to have decided against any more contests with USC, holding them to be "not conducive to the best interests of intercollegiate sport." Then Cal won the swan song against the Trojans 7-0. Elsewhere out West, Oregon overcame Washington 7-3.
Red Grange in action
Red Grange
October 14, 1925

"Wadded warrior everywhere continued joyously the grim business of football."

Oosterbaan, Yost, & Friedman
  • "Punting his way down the field of the huge Illinois stadium, after two periods of scoreless, alternate rampage, [Bennie] Friedman of Michigan got near enough to Illinois' white posts to kick a goal. 'Red' Grange made the longest gain for Illinois – 15 yards around left end. Score: Michigan 3, Illinois 0" The Wolverines moved to 4-0, all shutouts, while the Illini dropped to 1-3. UM coach Fielding Yost proclaimed his contingent "the greatest football team I ever saw" and bragged that Grange "did not gain enough ground to bury him in."
  • "Smart tricks are in the Dartmouth bag: a triple pass, executed with the polish of a fortune-teller's shuffle; criss-cross plays that befuddled the Harvard backs as much as if they had seen HB Oberlander (Dartmouth) take a rabbit out of his helmet. Dark fell before Harvard's last frantic forward pass slipped through groping butterfingers to the ground. Score: Dartmouth 32, Harvard 9."
  • "For four periods Princeton fought itself into a lather on a field as wet as a shampoo, with a ball as slippery as shaving soap, against Colgate. In the last minutes a sophomore from Dayton, Ohio (Abraham Mankat, Colgate) forced a safety by blocking a kick; whereupon his encouraged teammates scored a touchdown that dashed the championship hopes of the last of the Big Three. Score: Colgate 9, Princeton 0."
  • "Brown dedicated a handsome concrete stadium with ceremonies made impressive by the performance of a mountainous Yale eleven, which traveled there to appall the opposing Mahomets, 20 to 7."
  • "Flannagan of Notre Dame ripped, kicked, butted, burrowed his way to victory against Minnesota in a game marred by many fumbles. Score: Notre Dame 19, Minnesota 7." [It was common to refer to players by first name only in those days. Flannagan should actually be Christy Flanagan.] The home loss was the Gophers' first after victories over North Dakota, Grinnell, and Wabash. The 4-1 Irish bounced back from a 27-0 licking by Army at Yankee Stadium. The defeat ran ND's record in the last eight games against the Cadets to 0-7-1.
  • That same Army team "defeated its fourth Western invader," St. Louis, in a "sluggish contest," 19-0. John McEwan's team was probably looking ahead to its visit to Yale next week.

Other important games did not register on Time's east/midwest radar screen (probably because radar had not been invented yet!).

  • Alabama defeated Georgia Tech 7-0 in a battle of unbeatens in Atlanta. "After waging a dogged scoreless fight during the first half, Alabama scored early in the third quarter. Mack Brown caught Mycoff's punt on the 50 yard line and weaved a path through a maze of Tech players for the lone touchdown of the day" (Associated Press story). ["Mack Brown" was Johnny Mack Brown, who become a cowboy movie star.] The article refers to Tech's team as the "Golden Tornado."
  • Tulane (4-0-1) traveled to Chicago to down Northwestern 18-7 at Soldier Field and "prove that football played in the south is just as peppery and tough as that of the north" (wire service story).
  • Further west, Oklahoma A & M played rude hosts to TCU, 22-7. Bowman was the Aggie star "by his consistent line plunging." The AP story also noted ironically that "Matthews was put out of the game for slugging, the Christians receiving a 25 yard penalty."
Johnny Mack Brown, Movie Star
  • In the Far West, the Oakland Tribune crowed: "Oregon Teams Defeated by Bears and Cards." Stanford, called the Cards and not the Indians (the politically incorrect nickname adopted in 1930 and dropped in 1972), delighted a home crowd of 35,000 with a 26-10 win over the Oregon Aggies. Further north, "California ground Oregon into the sawdust of Multnomah field here [Portland] today, under a 28 to 0 score and did the trick with apparently little effort. ... The speed of the visitors and their all-around superiority was in evidence from the opening whistle to the final gun."
October 13, 1934

USC Coach Howard Jones
Howard Jones

Howard Jones' Southern California Trojans won 30 games the last three years and their first three this season. However, their loss to Washington State 19-0 at home last week inspired an editorial in the Daily Trojan.

For several years Trojan football players have been the idols in the eyes of the mercenary population of Hollywood. Rather the Trojans thought they were idols, though actually they were as toys to some henna-haired beauty or to a film magnate. They were wined and dined and made to feel the world was theirs, when they were really just pawns ... If S. C.'s gridders can forget the false friendship of Hollywood and buckle down to the task of football ... there is nothing that can stop them from vanquishing Pittsburgh Saturday.

    The piece provoked indignation from Jones. During the trip to Pittsburgh, he told the team: "If there is any truth in it, it will show up Saturday ... If we lose, I'll be ashamed of all of you." When the squad arrived for "the biggest intersectional game of the week," they were greeted by the headline: FILM CUTIES' TOY TROJANS ARRIVE.

    If the Daily Trojan and Jones hoped to inspire S. C., they failed. Before a crowd of 50,000, Jock Sutherland's Panthers got revenge for their defeats in the 1929 and 1932 Rose Bowls by controlling "towheaded little QB" Irvine Warburton and taking advantage of misplays by the visitors. 20-6 Pitt.

  • Michigan, Big Ten champions the last four years, had not lost to Chicago since 1919. The latter streak ended and the former is in jeopardy after HB Jay Berwanger "pounded out" two TDs and Fred Bartlett did the same: 27-0. Losses in both games so far this season already gives Harry Kipke's Wolverines more defeats than they had in the last four campaigns combined
  • Out in San Francisco, Coach Edward "Slip" Madigan, "whose efforts have built 'little' St. Mary's into one of the most formidable football teams on the West Coast," made a major coaching faux pas. He "coolly" started his second string against Nevada. When the Wolf Pack scored a TD, Slip sent in the A Team which took a 7-6 lead at the half. However, Nevada's C Tom Cashill drop-kicked a FG in the last few minutes for a 9-7 upset. Madigan, who took over the then-Saints/now-Galloping Gaels program in 1921, learned his football from Knute Rockne at Notre Dame. So he was only emulating his mentor, who cost his team a national championship from over-confidence when he didn't travel with his team to Carnegie Tech in 1926, instead attending the Army-Navy game in Chicago. The Irish were upset 19-0 to spoil an undefeated season.
  • The largest crowd ever to watch a football game in North Carolina gathered in Durham to cheer Wallace Wade's Blue Devils to a 20-0 victory over Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets may have been looking ahead to next week's visit to Ann Arbor.
Jay Berwanger, Chicago U.
Jay Berwanger
      • An early snowfall that postponed at least one game in New England was only a "bleak drizzle" in Cambridge where Harvard utilized a blocked kick near the beginning of the game and an interception near the end for a 13-0 victory over Brown. Meanwhile, the Crimson's archrival Yale scored "an unconvincing victory" 14-6 over Penn thanks to a 62y run by Stratford Morton to start the first half and "a pair of passes at the start of the second."
      • New Notre Dame coach Elmer Layden, one the Four Horsemen, sent out a new backfield consisting of: George Melinkovich, who played for Rockne before his untimely death after the 1930 season and who missed all of 1933 while recovering from yellow jaundice; Fred Carideo, cousin of the 1928-29-30 QB; sophomore Wallace Fromhart; and Layden's brother, Mike. Against Purdue, Melinkovich ran 60y for one TD and 3y for another. Carideo ran back an interception 70y for another to prevail 18-7. ND's record is now 1-1.
      • "A husky Nebraska line took care of Iowa's Oze Simmons, the Negro sophomore who last fortnight caused Coach Hanley of Northwestern to call him 'the greatest running back in my experience.'" 14-13 Cornhuskers in Lincoln.
      • Stanford recouped some Pacific Coast Conference pride after S. C.'s defeat by defeating visiting Northwestern 20-0.
October 7, 1939

Time: "On the first full-fledged Saturday of the football season, U.S. citizens momentarily stopped criticizing military maneuvers on the Maginot Line, turned their attention to the field maneuvers of their favorite college football teams. Some of the games that kept them kibitzing long after the sun went down:"

  • Elmer Layden's #11 Notre Dame eleven edged "scrappy" Georgia Tech in South Bend, 17-14. A "tantalizing little 140-pounder named Johnny Bosch" gave the Irish fits.
  • In Evanston, Northwestern's coach Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf unveiled his "highly touted" sophomore RB Bill de Correvont who had scored 211 points for Chicago's Austin High two years ago. However, he wasn't nearly enough as Oklahoma, the defending Big Six champs, flattened the Wildcats 23-0. The loss was the first in a season-opener loss in Waldorf's five seasons at the helm.
John Kuzman, Fordham
John Kuzman
  • North met South before 41,454 at the Polo Grounds. Fordham boasted two of the best backs in the country, Len Eshmont and Jim Blumenstock, as well as "Little Sir Wrecker," 220-lb T John Kuzman, so-called because he injured several teammates during pre-season drills. Nevertheless, Frank Thomas' Alabama Crimson Tide prevailed 7-6. Bama scored in Q1 on a 13-yard reverse that finished a 40-yard drive. Haywood "Sandy" Sanford, who had booted the Tide into the Rose Bowl two years ago, added the crucial PAT. The Rams didn't threaten until a blocked punt set up their only score midway through Q4. The game was broadcast on an experimental medium called "television," the second week in a row a Fordham contest has been televised.
  • Another Southern team came North and scored an upset, as LSU defeated Holy Cross behind four TDs by E Ken Kavanaugh, 26-7.
      • Across the continent, Rose Bowl champion USC, again ranked #1 on the West Coast, blanked Washington State 27-0 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
      • TCU, undefeated and untied last year, missed QB Davey O'Brien – now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles – as they lost their Southwest Conference opener to Arkansas in Fayetteville, 14-13.
      • Another high-flying team from '38, Pittsburgh, minus Coach Jock Sutherland and several stars, still had too much for West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl, 20-0, at Pitt Stadium.
      • A crowd of 58,165 watched in Columbus as Ohio State showed unexpected power in the first game of Francis Schmidt's sixth season as coach, scoring on the opening drive and never looking back to defeat Missouri 19-0. The Tigers' Paul Christman suffered five interceptions.
September 27, 1947

"What kind of football will the fans see this fall? The answer: more sleight-of-hand stuff than ever. Most teams are using half a dozen different styles of defense – four-, five- and six-man lines, each having variations known as loose, looping, overshifted, undershifted, orthodox. On offense, the tricky T formation is still the style, with a multitude of refinements, bearing such labels as the spit T, the wing T, the QT, the cockeyed T. Said Iowa's Coach Eddie Anderson: 'Football is different these days. You don't play a team any more; you play a squad. The trend is to have one team in for offense, another for defense."

Michigan B Bob Chappuis
Bob Chappuis

LSU QB Y.A. Tittle
Y.A. Tittle

Many players were older veterans of the war.

  • Michigan "took poor Michigan State apart, 55 to 0." The tally for the Wolverines' victories over their sister school (which has no conference affiliation) over the last three years now reads 150-7. Bob Chappuis (rhymes with "happy us"), a 24-year old former lieutenant who was shot down over the Brenner Pass and made his way south to British lines, scored three TDs. Coach Fritz Crisler calls his star QB "the best passer he has seen in 16 years." "Michigan also has 31-year-old T Alvin Wistert, brother of two former All-Americas. And New York University has a HB who is 33. "
  • "At Mississippi, 23-year-old E Barney Poole, once an Army star, is playing his sixth year of varsity football, by grace of weird eligibility rules." The Rebels defeated Florida in Jacksonville, 14-6.
  • "At Iowa City, infants on the sidelines watch their fathers laboring through practice. Ten men on Iowa's squad are married." This past weekend, the Hawkeyes were in Los Angeles playing before 90,000. "U.C.L.A. smacked down corn-fed Iowa, supposedly the third toughest team in the Big Nine. The score: 22 to 7."
  • "West Point's Coach Earl ('Red') Blaik as yet has no reasonable facsimile of famed Glenn ('Mr. Outside') Davis [who graduated earlier this year], though he has a promising star in 22-year-old Bobby Stuart. Says Blaik: 'Davis had a long stride and five or six different speeds. Stuart has a short stride and only two or three speeds.' But Army, unbeaten in three years, began its fourth season by beating beefy Villanova, 13-0."
  • Further north in the Golden State, California won its second straight under new coach Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf, "late of Northwestern," 14-7 over Navy, "one of the powers in the East." Cal showcased "two slippery sophomore backs – Jack Jensen and Bob Celeri."
  • "At New Orleans, Rice, considered the best in the Southwest Conference, faced Louisiana State University, rated the pick of the Southeastern Conference. L.S.U. won, 21 to 14. The margin of difference was principally L.S.U.'s Yelberton Abraham Tittle Jr., one of the nimblest and headiest T-formation QBs in the business." [The Time writer apparently didn't know that L.S.U. was in Baton Rouge, not New Orleans.]
  • "Elsewhere in the South, two perennial powerhouses – Tennessee (to Georgia Tech, 27-0) and Alabama (to Tulane, 21-20) – lost their first games of the season."

Personal Note: The Alabama-Tulane contest was the first college game I ever attended. I was six and sat with my mother in the end zone as part of the 60,000 in Sugar Bowl Stadium. The game featured three TDs in the last minute of the first half and a fourth within the first three minutes of the second.

  • The Tide's Norwood Hodges plunged one yard to break a scoreless tie with 53 seconds left in Q2. Hugh Morrow missed the place kick, which would prove the fatal error.
  • Tulane's sophomore FB Eddie Price fumbled the ensuing kickoff, then rambled down the right sideline 101 yards to our end zone. Ed Heider booted the first of three PATs to put the Green Wave in the lead 7-6.
  • Shortly after the next kickoff, Johnny August fumbled when trying to pass, and TU's Ray Olsen recovered on the Bama 39. On the last play of the half, Bennie Ellender heaved a 28-yard pass to Ray Prats who hauled it in on the 10 and carried two tacklers into the end zone.
  • Two and a half minutes into the second half, Price intercepted a Harry Gilmer pass on the dead run and raced 55 yards for the score.
Harry Gilmer vs Tulane 1947
Harry Gilmer running against Tulane in 1947

Gilmer was the boyhood hero of Bobby Bowden, who grew up in Birmingham. 6' Harry was known for his jump passes. I still remember him springing up from a crowd of players and flinging the ball. In those pre-TV days, Alabama wore crimson helmets and jersies and khaki pants. Tulane wore green jerseys and white helmets and pants. When the game ended, my mother, who grew up in New Orleans, cheered the home team's victory. Then she looked down to see me crying. We had just moved to New Orleans from Birmingham, and my older brother and I were Crimson Tide fans. (Bama is still my third favorite team after my alma maters, LSU and FSU.)

With such an exciting game as my debut, is it any wonder I've had a lifelong love affair with college football? And I still cry when my team loses - I just wait until I get home.

October 24, 1959

Frank Howard
Clemson Coach Frank Howard kisses "Big Thursday" goodbye

Charlie Flowers
Charlie Flowers
Johnny Brewer
Johnny Brewer

John Hadl, Kansas QB
John Hadl

Notre Dame Coach Ara Parseghian
Ara Parseghian

  • Clemson defeated South Carolina 27-0 in the 57th and last "Big Thursday" meeting. The game was played in the morning at the South Carolina State Fair. Many businesses took off the entire week, and the Clemson cadets were given a holiday to travel to the game. Having played at Columbia every year since 1909, Clemson now wants to host its rival every other year. At any rate, Tiger QB Harvey White threw 2 TDs, and HB Bill Mathis scored twice.
  • LSU, 6-0 and ranked #1, won its 18th straight, 9-0 at Florida. The Tiger D set up all the scoring in Q2. P Bobby Joe Green was snowed under by E Mickey Mangham, T Bo Strange, and G Emile Fournet. Billy Cannon scored the TD at the end of the 48y drive. Then E Gus Kinchen's interception set up Wendell Harris' FG just before the half. The Gators passed their way deep into LSU territory in Q4 but were repelled each time. The victory sets up a showdown with 6-0 Ole Miss next week.
  • The Rebels trounced Arkansas 28-0 in Memphis to rise to #3. Johnny Vaught's squad dominated from the beginning. FB Charlie Flowers' plunge culminated an 80y drive. Then P Lance Alworth fumbled the snap before hurrying a boot that netted -1 to start a 20y drive leading to another Flowers score. DE Johnny Brewer intercepted Hog QB James Monroe to set up a third TD.
  • Oklahoma won its 74th straight conference game without defeat but just barely. Hosting Kansas, which was tied atop the Big 8 standings, the Sooners, who had lost to Northwestern and Texas in non-conference clashes, scored in Q2 after QB Bobby Boyd's 44y punt return. Boyd rushed for 24 of the 36y on the drive. G-K Jim Davis booted the all-important PAT. Late in Q3, Jayhawk HB Dave Harris sped 60y to paydirt. Coach Jack Mitchell, who had played QB for Bud Wilkinson at OU, went for two, but the pass hit an official in the head, resulting in a Sooner INT. Kansas HB-P John Hadl bottled up the home team all day with his booming punts, including a conference record 94 yarder in Q4 from his 4 to the OU 2. However, the Jayhawks could not dent the scoreboard again and lost 7-6.
  • Independent Penn State defeated Illinois 20-9 in a mostly-empty Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the "Mistake on the Lake." Rip Engel's Nittany Lions, ranked #8 by the AP, remained unbeaten after overcoming an early fumble at their own 12. The Illini returned the favor by losing a fumble at their own 1 in Q4, leading to the clinching TD by HB Dick Hoak. PSU QB Richie Lucas amassed 137 of the team's 245y rushing and passing.
  • Northwestern QB John Talley completed TDs of 78, 54, and 18y as the visiting Wildcats outscored Notre Dame 30-24. Only NU fumbles at their 2 and 12 made the game close. The victory was the Wildcats' first over ND in nine tries since 1940. Ara Parseghian's Big Ten bruisers are 5-0 but still unranked.
  • Out West, Washington handed Oregon its first defeat, 13-12, in Eugene. The Ducks scored first in Q1 on FB Dave Powell's 1y plunge but fumbled the conversion snap. After scoring again for a 12-0 lead, QB Dave Grosz misfired on a 2-pt conversion pass. Right before the half, the Huskies capitzlied on an interception as QB Bob Schloredt scored. The PAT virus struck again as George Fleming's kick sailed wide. However, when HB Don McKeta scored in Q3, Fleming's successful kick provided the winning margin.
October 13, 1962
Georgia Tech QB Billy Lothridge
Billy Lothridge

52,223, the largest sports crowd in Atlanta history, cheered Georgia Tech's 17-0 victory over winless Tennessee. For the fourth game in a row, Tech QB Billy Lothridge had a hand in every score. In Q1 Lothridge ran 41 yards to the 9, then plunged in from the 3 to put the home team ahead 7-0. UT failed to achieve a first down until Q2. Lothridge led a drive that culminated in a 9-yard TD pass to E Billy Martin with 0:43 left in the half. Then the Triple Threat QB kicked a 26-yard FG in Q3 to complete the scoring.

First-year LSU coach Charlie McClendon, formerly the D coordinator under Paul Dietzel, watched his favorite unit stifle Miami's All-American QB George Mira in a 17-3 victory in Tiger Stadium. Mira was only 14-33 for 168 yards. HB Jerry Stovall put the #6-ranked Tigers ahead to stay with a 26-yard TD in Q2. Sophomore HB Danny LeBlanc put the icing on the cake when he carried three Hurricanes into the end zone on a 10-yard run in Q4.
Miami QB George MiraGeorge Mira

      #2 Texas ran its record to 4-0 with its fifth straight win over Oklahoma, 9-6, in Dallas. The Longhorns took advantage of two fumbles in Q2 for all their points. The winning TD came on LB Perry McWilliams' recovery of a errant pitchout in the end zone. The contest ended in a brawl when an OU player piled on QB Johnny Genung as he killed the clock, and both benches emptied.

      The tropical storm that delayed the World Series in San Francisco between the Yankees and Giants for four days hit Portland with 115 mph winds on Columbus Day. Yet the Oregon State-Washington game went on as scheduled the next day, in a heavily damaged Multnomah Stadium with no electric scoreboard or clock, and no hot showers for the players. Crews began clearing debris from the grandstand and playing field at 5 am and worked right up to the 2 pm kickoff. The Huskies prevailed 14-13 despite Beaver QB Terry Baker's aerial show. The visitors pushed across the winning TD in the last three minutes.

      Michigan State ground rival Michigan into the E. Lansing turf with 391 rushing yards, 28-0. It was the Wolverines' 10th loss to the Spartans in 13 years.

      Undefeated Wisconsin's senior QB Ron VanderKelen, who had hardly played in his first two seasons, showed mature leadership in the 17-8 victory over Notre Dame in Madison. Margin would have been higher if not for 8 Badger TOs. However, Wisconsin's #2-ranked D intercepted 4 passes and recovered a fumble, all in the second half. Irish didn't score until the last minutes on a pass to sophomore HB Jack Snow.

Maryland QB Dick Shiner
Dick Shiner

In the ACC, Maryland (4-0) belted North Carolina 31-13. Terp QB Dick Shiner (14-18/175yd) ran for one TD and threw for two. Carolina excited its homecoming crowd with two Q2 TDs for 17-13 halftime deficit. After scoreless Q3, final stanza belonged to the visitors.

The Eastern Independents battled each year in an informal "league" for the Lambert Trophy. Army upset #3 Penn State 9-6 with a fourth down 15-yard TD pass after recovering a fumble on the Lion 18. Another unbeaten fell on the road when Syracuse shutout Boston College 12-0 as Eagle QB Jack Concannon could lead his O to only 102 yards. Further south, undefeated West Virginia avoided the upset bug with a 15-8 victory in the Backyard Brawl at Pitt Stadium. The Panthers could boast the first points against the Mountaineer D in four games.

Boston College QB Jack Concannon
Jack Concannon
September 16, 1966
LSU Coach Paul Dietzel
Paul Dietzel

Opening weekends always bring surprises as teams change so much from one season to the next. With no preseason games, college teams work out the kinks in live action.

  • New coaches debuted on both sidelines as Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions hosted Lou Saban's Maryland Terrapins. Paterno advanced from his long-time assistant's position under Rip Engle while Saban moved back to college from his AFL head coaching post with the Buffalo Bills. The Lions won 15-7 as sophomore DL and piano virtuoso Mike Reid forced two safeties.
  • Paul Dietzel, who forsook LSU for West Point in 1961 after vowing never to leave, moved to South Carolina. As luck would have it, his Gamecocks' first game was in the Tigers' den. The crowd was charged up and, more importantly, so were Charlie McClendon's lads, blasting the invaders 28-12. QB Nelson Stokley led 80 and 74-yard 1st half drives, and sophomore LB George Bevan blocked and recovered a Q3 punt for a TD.
  • Florida trounced the Big Ten carpetbaggers from Northwestern 43-7. QB/P/PK Steve Spurrier hit 15 of 22 for 219 yards and 3 TDs, dropped a punt on the Wildcat 3 to set up a safety, and kicked the first FG of his career.
  • In a battle of independents, Houston visited Florida State and came away with a 21-13 victory in a typically sloppy first game. Some key Cougar plays: HB Warren McVea took a pass from QB Bo Burns at midfield and completed an 80-yard TD; DB Tom "Wimpy" Paciorek, who excelled in baseball, returned an interception to the Seminole 34 to set up a 14-7 lead. FSU QB Kim Hammond hit soph WR Ron Sellers for 43 and 13 to set up the first score of the season.
  • Pre-season #2 Michigan State proved rude hosts to intersectional foe North Carolina State, 28-10. After falling behind 3-0, the Spartans awoke on a 39-yard TD sprint by Clinton Jones and a 37-yard tally by FB Bob Apisa in Q3.
  • John Wayne followed his alma mater USC (for whom he played as Marion Morrison) to Austin for their meeting with the Longhorns. The #9 Trojans hogged the ball for all but 15 plays of the first half, keeping highly-touted Texas soph QB Bill Bradley next to coach Darryl Royal. Trailing 10-6, Bradley punted to the Trojan 2. However, Texas never saw the ball again.
  • Minnesota dominated the first half at Missouri behind the running of QB Curt Wilson. However, his 82-yard bomb to E Kenny Last was nullified by a penalty. Tiger QB/K William Bates' 42-yard FG with 1:14 left in the half deflated the Golden Gophers, and Mizzou dominated the second stanza for a 24-0 triumph.

Michigan State jumped to #1 in the next AP poll. UCLA, which clobbered Pitt 57-14, also leapfrogged defending champion and preseason #1 Alabama, which was idle. This was a portent of things to come in one of the most controversial college football seasons ever.

October 16, 1976
FSU Coach Bobby Bowden
Bobby Bowden
  • Bobby Bowden took his first crack at archrival Florida in Tallahassee. After the #12 Gators prevailed 33-26, Bobby told his 2-4 team: "I think you're awfully close to being a good football team." The Noles rebounded after Florida took a 10-0 as QB Jimmy Black completed his first 12 passes to forge a 17-13 lead. But Gator QB Jimmy Fisher threw a TD pass with 10 seconds left in the half. The back and forth continued in the second half. The visitors finally took a 33-23 lead midway through Q4. But FSU scored, got the ball back, and barely missed on a TD pass in the last minute.
  • Texas A&M K Tony Franklin broke the NCAA record for longest FG not once but twice. He booted 64 and 65 yarders against Baylor in a 24-0 victory. Elsewhere in Texas, Ove Johannson of Abilene Christian kicked a 69y FG for an NAIA record. Johannson is the cousin of former heavyweight champion Ingemar.
  • For the sixth time in a row, Tennessee coach Bill Battle lost to his alma mater, Alabama, this time 20-13 in Knoxville. The Tide drove 79y in Q4 for the winning TD to make its record 4-2.
  • #2 Pittsburgh rode Tony Dorsett's 227y to defeat visiting Miami 36-19. With the top two QBs injured, Tom Yewcic led the O to a 22-0 lead. The Hurricanes (1-4) rallied with three late TDs to make the score respectable. Panther coach Johnny Majors had to contend with the growing talk that he would return to his alma mater to replace the embattled Battle.
  • At halftime, LSU had run 45 plays to 17 for Kentucky but still trailed in Lexington 14-0. One TD was a 56y INT return by S Dallas Owens. Tiger hopes for a comeback in the second half were dashed when TB Chris Hill broke 51y to set up the clinching TD. TB Terry Robiskie piled up 126y for the Tigers.
  • Virginia led 10-7 with 7 minutes left in its quest to end the nation's longest streak at 14. But rival Virginia Tech drove 70y in 16 plays for the winning TD with a little over a minute to go.
  • #5 Maryland eked out a 17-15 win over visiting Wake Forest to keep its undefeated record intact. Down by 10 in Q4, the Deacons roared downfield to score on a 29y pass and then convert the two-pointer. The Terps had to recover the onside kick to nail down the victory.
  • In Lawrence, #6 Oklahoma (5-0-1) defeated Kansas 28-10 to avenge its only loss in three years. Sooner wishbone QB Thomas Lott went 0-5 through the air but ran for two TDs as OU took advantage of four Jayhawk TOs in the second half.
  • On the West Coast, Oregon State edged California 10-9 in a game plagued by 9 TOs and 24 penalties. Bear K Jim Breech's 3 FGs set a school record, but OSU finally scored the only TD of the game with 4 minutes to go.
RB Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh
Tony Dorsett
October 24, 1981
Clemson Coach Danny Ford
33-year old Danny Ford
USC RB Marcus Allen
Marcus Allen

Most of the AP Top Ten won but not all.

  • Penn State, the new #1 after Texas lost to Arkansas the week before, had no problem with West Virginia, 30-7. Ahead only 10-7 at the half, Joe Paterno's squad finally adjusted to the loss of star TB Curt Warner, out with a pulled hamstring. The Lion D held the Mountaineers to only 38y rushing.
  • #3 North Carolina lost to that other Carolina as the Gamecocks came to Chapel Hill and blew out the crippled Tar Heels 31-13. With its top two TBs, Kelvin Bryant and Tyrone Anthony, out of commission along with LB Darrell Nicholson, the D leader, NC's outlook turned even bleaker when QB Rod Elkins hurt his ankle in Q1. 5 TOs to none for SC sealed the deal.
  • #4 Clemson moved to 7-0 with a 17-7 win over visiting North Carolina State. After allowing 100y, 7 first downs, and a TD in Q1, Danny Ford's D shut down the visiting Wolfpack to allow the O to come from behind despite 5 TOs.
  • #5 USC survived in South Bend 14-7. The Irish D held TB Marcus Allen to 147y, his lowest total of the year. So FB Todd Spencer ran 26y for the winning TD on a Q4 counter play. ND drives were stopped twice on 4th-and-1 at the Trojan 33 and 25.
  • The upset bug bit #6 Iowa and silenced the premature Rose Bowl talk. Minnesota's Jim Gallery booted 4 FGs, one a 52-yarder, to win in Iowa City 12-10. Down 9-0 at the half, the Hawkeyes rallied to take a 10-9 lead. The Big Ten is wide open with nine teams still alive for the title.
  • #10 Texas rebounded from its loss to hand #8 SMU its first defeat. Averaging 39 per game, the Mustangs couldn't budge the Longhorn D led by DT Kenneth Sims (15 tackles). TB Eric Dickerson gained only 33y and lost 2 fumbles. QB Lance McIlhenny went only 5-15 with 2 INTs. The UT O wasn't much better but Raul Allegre's three FGs proved enough, 9-7.
Illinois QB Tony Eason
Tony Eason
Other interesting contests.
  • Wyoming prevailed in a snowstorm in Cheyenne over BYU 33-20. The Cowboys ground out 350y, more than three times what the Cougar D had been allowing. But it was an 81y pass from QB Phil Davis to WR James Williams that put the home team ahead 21-14. BYU QB Jim McMahon set three more NCAA records as he led the visitors to a 14-0 lead.
  • Illini QB Tony Eason threw 26-38 for 357y and 3 TDs in defeating Wisconsin 23-21 in Champaign-Urbana. Eason tied a conference record by exceeding 300y passing in all five Big 10 games so far.
  • Nebraska and Missouri seemed headed for the first Big 8 scoreless game since 1967. Then the Huskers finally scored with 23 seconds left on RB Bill Bates's 3y run to win 6-0. However, QB Turner Gill was the real hero, hitting 3 passes in a row to set up the plunge. A stiff wind played havoc with the kicking games.
  • As often happens, Arkansas suffered a letdown after its big win over Texas. Houston scored the last 13 points to down Razorbacks 20-17 in Little Rock. Lou Holtz's squad suffered from the loss of QB Tom Jones late in the first half. He had thrown TD passes to Gary Anderson and John Mistler. Arkansas thus continued its streak of never beating Texas and Houston in the same season.
BYU QB Jim McMahon
Jim McMahon