Score by Quarters
Clarence “Biggie” Munn had seen enough small play from his Michigan State Spartans for one half to the point where it was time to vent.
Not time to channel Knute Rockne channeling George Gipp. No, it was time to channel his inner angry coach. This, in turn, allowed the Spartans to channel their inner Big Ten Rose Bowl Game sensibilities, overcome a 14-7 halftime deficit and edge UCLA 28-20 in front of 100,000.
“Biggie flipped his wiggie,” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Jack Geyer about a halftime speech light on Rockne-esque inspiration and heavy on Munn-esque vituperation.
Imagine what UCLA Coach Red Sanders did when Billy Wells returned a fourth-quarter punt 62 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 4:51 remaining.
“Boy, I just had to go fast or else be murdered,” said the tiny Wells, who was named the Rose Bowl Game Player of the Game. “I was just running for my life.”
Of course, Saunders would have had practice going thermonuclear about the Bruins’ special teams, which surrendered a late first-half touchdown off more punting misadventures.
That came when Ellis Duckett blocked Paul Cameron’s punt, then recovered it for a touchdown in the last five minutes of the first half. To that point, UCLA led 14-0 and was in complete control of the game.
“It was the first blocked punt I’ve had in my entire head coaching career, starting in 1940,” Sanders lamented
Even with Duckett’s late, first-half heroics, Munn had seen enough of a UCLA team that was manic in the first half. The Bruins outgained Michigan State 154-56, with both early touchdowns coming from Cameron: a first-quarter, 13-yard touchdown pass to Bill Stits and a second-quarter 2-yard run.
Enter halftime and an angry Munn, who didn’t break out the heartfelt motivation.
“It was nothing like that. Biggie was mad and we were mad,” All-American end Don Dohoney, the Michigan State captain, said. “We made some variations, mostly in splitting the linemen in order to scatter their defense. And then, we kind of decided to go out and win it. That’s all.”
For UCLA, it was all. Manic in the first half, the Bruins were depressive in the second as Michigan State outgained them 150-88 in the second half and – more importantly – outscored UCLA 21-6 after halftime. The Spartans opened the half with scoring drives of 78 and 73 yards, capping the first drive with Leroy Bolden’s 2-yard run and the second with Wells’ 2-yard run.
“A blocked kick is always demoralizing. We blocked seven punts this year and that played a large part in our getting to the Rose Bowl,” Sanders said.
Munn couldn’t argue the point. He also left no room for argument on another front.
“This was the greatest victory in my life,” he said.
Clear; 70 degrees
UCLA – Stits, 13-yard pass from Cameron (Hermann kick good)
UCLA – Cameron, 2-yard run (Hermann kick good)
MSU – Duckett blocks Cameron’s punt and returns it 6-yards (Slonac kick good)
MSU – Bolden, 1-yard run (Slonac kick good)
MSU – Wells, 2-yard run (Slonac kick good)
UCLA: Loudd, 28-yard pass from Cameron (Hermann kick good)
MSU: Wells, 62-yard punt return (Slonac kick good)
UCLA: Henry Russell Sanders
Michigan State: Hugh “Duffy” Daugherty
The parade had the first national commercial color broadcast.
UCLA: Villanueva 5-17; Davenport 8-22; Stits 5-25; Dailey 7-20
MSU: Bolden 14-52; Matsock 5-26; Slonac 13-39; Wells 14-80
UCLA: Cameron 9-22-152
MSU: Yewcic 2-8-11
UCLA: Stits 2-46; Heydenfeldt 1-33; Loudd 1-28; Hermann 2-15; Stalwick 1-15
MSU: Bolden 1-18
UCLA: Cameron 6-232
MSU: Yewcic 3-99; Morrall 2-78