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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 67 offense. And no defense could contain him. He ran, caught, passed and even kicked his way to stardom. "Leroy could boot the ball out of the stadium on kick- offs, he could catch passes, he could play defense, he could run the ball, I'm not sure about his blocking, but I think we'll let that one go," chuckled starting corner- back Dennis Cirbes. "He could do everything." Purdue had no cakewalk as a schedule either. In today's world, it would be the hardest schedule one could imagine in the Power 5. Purdue opened at Texas A&M, with Phipps, in his first college game, passing the Aggies silly in the first half en route to a 24-20 win. Like today, A&M was no slouch, as it rebounded from an 0-4 start to win the Southwest Conference and beat Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Next up was Notre Dame, a game that would have been ripe for ESPN's "College GameDay" if it were played today. Back then, it was a $5 game ticket or the radio if one wanted to know the score. The Irish were viewed as unbeatable coming off the 1966 national title, but two Phipps fourth-quarter scoring passes — one to Keyes and the other to halfback Bob Baltzell — not only earned Purdue the win, but also got it the greatest pub- licity one could get in those days, a photo on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That was a first in Purdue history. Whether it was a hangover from the Notre Dame win or Purdue looking ahead to a matchup at Ohio State, the following week, not surprisingly, the Boilermakers were flat. They trailed lowly Northwestern 13-0, averting a first- half shutout with a 78-yard scoring pass from Phipps to Keyes on the last play of the half. "One-eighty-four throwback was the play," recalled Meyer, as if it were yesterday. "It changed the momen- tum of the game and maybe our season." Purdue still needed 19 points in the fourth quarter to eke out a 25-16 win in a game Northwestern coach Alex Agase earned so much respect for that it helped the former Boilermaker All-America guard (1943) get the Purdue head coaching job six years later. And against Coach Woody Hayes' Buckeyes, Purdue was scary. The Boilermakers weren't intimidated by the huge Buckeye crowd of over 84,000. And before the Scarlet and Gray faithful could get comfortable in their seats, Cirbes stepped in front of a Buckeye pass and returned it for a 30-yard pick-six. A second-quarter bar- rage of three touchdowns in the span of 3:11 put the game out of reach as the Boilermakers held a 35-0 lead at intermission. It was an unforgettable moment for Cirbes, who grew up an OSU fan living in Cleveland yet was passed over by Hayes. "We had a lot of guys who were from Ohio, and it was the only time we faced them in my career," he said. The only real drama was just how or when Purdue was going to call off the dogs. Phipps, Keyes and Co. scored on the first possession of the second half, and Coach Jack Mollenkopf said he had seen enough. Mey- er, maybe the best recruiter as an assistant coach ever at the school, could only think of piling it on. "I remember in the second half telling Jack that Woody wouldn't call off the dogs if the shoe was on the other foot," said Meyer, who was a Boilermaker assis- tant until 1970. "Of course, I was thinking recruiting No. 2 Purdue 41, Ohio State 6 Oct. 14, 1967 Ohio Stadium, Columbus Boilers hand OSU worst defeat in last 50 years. Oregon State 22, No. 2 Purdue 14 Oct. 21, 1967 Ross-Ade Stadium Six turnovers doom Purdue in Homecoming loss. The Beavers beat three No. 2 teams in '67. No. 7 Purdue 41, Iowa 22 Oct. 28, 1967 Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City No. 6 Purdue 42, Illinois 9 Nov. 4, 1967 Memorial Stadium, Champaign Lone television appearance is offensive showcase for Keyes. Bob Mitchell

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