Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 2, 1972 · 53
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Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · 53

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 2, 1972
Page:
53
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Simla Gets AFC Honor Again Why would Dolphin Coach Don Shula be named the AFC's Coach of the Year for the second straight year? Read about it on page 2D. Also, will the Miami-Baltimore game today live up to its advance billing? Sun-Sentinel Sports Editor Bernie Lin-cicome wonders if it will as he takes a look at the pre-game hoopla that has accompanied Miami's first championship appearance. . Dolphin fans can take a look at what's expected from the Dallas-San Francisco playoff, too. One of the teams will be in the Super Bowl in New Orleans Jan. 16. Stanford Shocks Michigan Stanford, a 13-point underdog, pulled its second straight major Rose Bowl upset yesterday when sophomore kicker Rod Garcia banged a 31-yard field goal with 12 seconds left to give the Indians a 13-12 victory over previously-unbeaten Michigan. See page SD. ' In the Cotton Bowl, Penn State quieted criticism that it did not deserve to be highly-ranked because of its weak schedule, by ripping Texas, 30-6. See Page 7D. The Sugar Bowl was a rout for Oklahoma as the Soon-ers took a 31-0 halftime lead over Auburn, then coasted to a 40-22 victory over the Tigers. See Page 4D. JDolphs-Cd UUCfo Oil The AFC Showdown By MIKE SCIIWEBEL Staff Sports Writer Showdown III is finally here. The Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Colts meet in the Orange Bowl today for the AFC championship, SS500 and a shot at a lot more in the Super Bowl two weeks later. Kickoff is set for 4:30 following pre-game ceremonies. The game will be blacked out in South Forida but a delayed telecast will be shown on Channel 7 in Miami at midnight. WIOD in Miami (610) will broadcast the game live. The weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a 30 per cent chance of rain. The expected high is 82 degrees. Not much can be said of either team that hasn't already been said. Baltimore has the best defense in the AFC perhaps in all pro football. The Dolphins have the best rushing offense in the conference. Strength against strength. Both teams pride themselves on ball centre'. Thev have met twice before this season. Miami won, 17-14, in the Orange Bowl. Baltimore won, 14-3, in Baltimore. Fort Lauderdale Nevs ET3 Sunday, Jan. 2, 1972 ID inpi Both teams have 10 victories. The Dolphins have lost three and tied one while the Colts have lost four. Miami is making its first championship game appearance after beating Kansas City, 27-24, last Sunday in two sudden-death overtimes. Baltimore, the wild card entry in the playoffs, advanced with an easy 20-3 victory over Cleveland. Dolphin Coach Don Shula, the AFC's Coach of the Year, says the club is ready both mentally and physically. "The players believe in themselves, and a lot of things have happened to strengthen that belief. Last week at Kansas City had to be important in our development and the lift it gave us." he says. Physically, only linebacker Bob Matheson is doubtful. The status on his sprained ankle will be announced just before the game. Safety Jake Scott, who broke his left hand in the Chiefs game, will play without the cast on it and will handle punts as usual. The Colts, after a week of listing running backs Tom Matte and Norm Bulaich as doubtful, now say both will definitely play. Matte is suffering from a bruised right knee and Bulaich has been bothered by a hamstring pull in his right leg. Two rookies, Don Nottingham and Don McCauley, are on standby duty. John Unitas, who will "stay in the pocket until hell freezes over," according to Shula, will start at quarterback for the Colts. In all, 13 Pro Bowl selections will be playing. The Dolphins have seven, including Bob Griese, Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka, Larry Little, Bill Stanfill, Jake Scott and Mercury Morris. The six Colts are Bill Curry, Bulaich, Bubba Smith, Ted Hendricks, Mike Curtis and Rick Volk. "The Dolphins have the backs who can control the ball. We just beat them to it in our last game," says Baltimore Coach Don McCafferty. Shula says the Dolphins would try to get a fast lead "because the problem when Baltimore is on top is penetrating that great defense. "We've just got to take care of our individual areas and be strong. We'll get pushed back a little, but the idea is to hold." First-Half Explosion Blasts 'Bama N era Tl o r die 9 t 'J ) k V LI it m , .1 Kjv.-s Sports Editor 'Huskers Should Be No. . . . And Noi 2 In Country MIAMI looking at it coldly and analytically, the suspicion grows that No. 1 for Nebraska is not enough. The Cornhuskers should hold over a week and play the winner of today's Baltimore-Miami game. Perhaps then could their ability be truly measured. The way it mauled Alabama last night Nebraska's first team should be ranked No. 1 and it's second team No. 2 For all the rest of the world knows, the Cornhuskers' freshman team would be a seven-point favorite in a rematch. I mean when you've got Alabama down 28-0 at the end of the half and you're threatening to inarch at any moment on the Bessemer steel works, the situation is desperate. Nobody in the history of the Orange Bowl, going all the way back to 1935, has ever been behind by 28 points at the half. The closest goat was TCU in 1942. The Frogs trailed Georgia 33-7 after 30 minutes, but then they might have been worrying about the Japanese being off Miami Beach. What the 78,151 jammed into the Orange Bowl and a national television audience saw last night was a football stomping, purely and simply. No. 1 mashed No. 2, 38-6, in the indelicately designated "Game Of The Decade." Hardly. It may not have been even the game of the week. Not since 1955 had two undefeated teams been paired in a post season Bowl. If Bear Bryant has his way, it may be another 17 years before he elects to move again into a buzz saw like Nebraska. At the end of the game, the only solidly packed section in the Orange Bowl was manned by Nebraskans outfitted in Comhusker red, squeezing the last drop of delight from the pulverizing. Total destruction came swiftly for Alabama. Nebraska hammered home 28 points in one electrifying spurt covering eight minutes and 12 seconds in the first and second quarters. After that, of course, there was no doubt who would emerge as the nation's finest college team. The sharpest nail in the Crimson Tide coffin was driven by Johnny Rodgers, a slight, 171-pound junior wide receiver and punt return specialist. ! With Nebraska holding an as yet unsteady 6-0 first-quarter lead, Rodgers fielded an Alabama punt on the second bounce, threw more moves at the Tide than an exotic dancer, and pounded his way 77 yards for a touchdown. His route carried him directly under Bryant's nose, perhaps leaving the tall and craggy coach with the feeling (Continued on Page 6D, Col. 1) ( i M :' ' h S K . ! k f t : t s ' J ' - ! ' - JT U i 4 i - ' hi I J" .4 v.V S ; mW i v" "' Ill vv !v ' H' i ': I ft A , ,9 7 , I ! ' it f . is,' . A, - 1 , I1-' i For Alabama's Bear, It Was A Long, Long Night (Staff photo by Lou Toman) ' t liaiiii i 's 4 i::;:::-:S:':::::::w:vX i ' r f. ; X ' "x v ' ; :. ' HOI I A HI 1hbI ,.,fl'i ii ini miiii , '"MMmna (Staff photo by Lou Toman) NEBRASKA DEFENDERS NAIL ALABAMA'S TERRY DAVIS . . . Willie Harper (81) and team mates kept pressure on all night Oklahoma's No. 2, Say Cornhuskers By DAN NORMAN Sports Staff Writer MIAMI - Oklahoma for No. 2 in 1971 and Nebraska for one of the best teams in the history of college football. That's the way Coach Bob Devaney and his Nebraska players voted last night the Cornhuskers soundly defeated Alabama, 38-6, in the Orange Bowl classic and the second "game of the decade" this season. "I think this football team is one of the greatest ever to play," Devaney said. "I really mean it. I've always had a feeling about it, but tonight I became convinced. "This was the biggest win of my career." Devaney had just emerged from the shower, his clothes dripping wet. "I don't know who threw me in," he said. "It was a bunch of 'em one of them couldn't do it alone in my physical condition. I always manage to get one bath a year, if we win enough. This season I was lucky enough to get two." The other, of course, came after Nebraska beat Oklahoma, 3S-31, on Thanksgiving Day in the first "game of the decade." If Devaney and his 'Huskers had their say, Oklahoma would be named No. 2 immediately. "On the basis of what they did against Auburn and the two games against us, I'd have to pick Oklahoma second," Devaney said. "And I'd get Colorado in the top four or five, probably No. 3. The Big Eight is tough this year." Slotback Johnny Rodgers said "Oklahoma has got to be No. 2, no doubt about it. Maybe this game was for the national championship, but the Oklahoma game meant more. We were more tense and nervous before we played Oklahoma." Middle guard Rich Glover, whose nine unassisted tackles were high for the game, said, "The Oklahoma game was more important. We had to win that one to get here. We knew if we beat Oklahoma, we could win this one." Quarterback Jerry Tagge said, . "Oklahoma has got to be No. 2." Running back Jeff Kinney said, "Maybe this game meant as much, but there was more buildup for the Oklahoma game. I (Continued on Page 6D, Col. 3) Bryant Suffers Worst Defeat By BERNIE LINCICOME Sun-Sentinel Sports Editor MIAMI Powerful Nebraska outmuscled the final team in its way to a second consecutive national championship last night, clubbing No. 2 Alabama into the wet Poly-Turf of the Orange Bowl with a sledge hammer defense and a bone-cracking offense, 38-6. The victory left the Cornhuskers the only major undefeated college power in the nation with a record of 13-0. The win was the 23rd straight for Coach Bob Devaney's team and the 32nd without a loss. The last team to win back-to-back national titles was Alabama, in 1964-65, coached by the man Devaney bested last night for the first time ever, Paul "Bear" Bryant. Alabama finished the year at 11-1. Nebraska handled the Alabama wishbone like it had just been plucked from an anemic turkey. It forced four turnovers that resulted in Nebraska touchdowns. The other TD came on an unbelievable weaving, dodging punt return by Johnny Rodgers. Johnny Musso, the famed Italian Stallion of the Crimson Tide, was held to 79 yards. The Nebraska defense limited Alabama to only 288 yards in all and a single third quarter touchdown. The game was never close from the end of the first quarter when Rodgers' punt return and a two point conversion put the Cornhuskers on top, 14-0. By the middle of the third quarter, it was clear that Alabama was not playing for No. 1 but just to save its pride. Nebraska quarterback Jerry Tagge ran the Comhusker I attack to perfection, mixing the run with the pass, as fullback Jeff Kinney gained 99 yards on the ground and Tagge hit 11 of 19 passes for 159 yards. Rodgers, in addition to his punt return, caught four passes for 84 yards. But it was Nebraska's defense that caused the Tide trouble, mainly in the form of middle guard Rich Gloven and defensive end Willie Harper. Harper set up the first Nebraska touchdown by putting pressure on Tide punter Greg Gantt, who was not helped I a high snap. Harper recovered Gantt's fumble on the Alabama 46 and five plays later Kinney crashed In from the two, The drive was aided by an unnecessary interference on Cornhusker receiver Woody Cox by Alabama defensive back Steve Williams. The kick for the point was wide with 2:01 remaining in the first period. Alabama could not move from Its own 39 in three plays (Glover caught Tide quarterback Terry Davis on a third and five). Gantt's punt was returned 77 yards by Rodgers (Continued on Page 6D, Col.

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