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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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Page 68 of 117

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 69 around. Coach Dee Andros, a hefty man who was of- ten dressed in orange, therefore earning the nickname "The Great Pumpkin," called it the biggest victory of his career. Oregon State became the only team to ever go undefeated against three top-two teams in one season since the inception of the AP poll, aptly earning the nickname "Giant Killers." Later in the year, it beat sec- ond-ranked UCLA and USC. Mollenkopf had never won a Big Ten title in his 11 previous seasons as head man at Purdue, so there was still plenty to play for. Purdue bounced back for deci- sive wins at Iowa and at Illinois, the latter in front of a regional TV audience that saw Keyes run wild for a career-best 225 yards. The following week was supposed to be a battle against Minnesota, but the Boilermakers blew out a team that would eventually share the Big Ten crown by a 41-12 margin. Purdue's offense was just too powerful, and the defense was getting the job done. "I would call us a bend-but-not-break defense," Web- ster said. "We spent a lot of time on the field, partly because our offense was so good at scoring fast, but we were good enough to get the job done." The Boilermakers were zeroing in on a Big Ten title. Purdue could earn a share of its first league champion- ship by beating two-time defending Big Ten champion Michigan State on Senior Day. This one was little prob- lem as Purdue rolled to a 21-7 win over Coach Duffy Daugherty's team. All that was left to play for was Indiana. The players wanted to win the title outright, for the first time at Pur- due since 1929, by mopping up Indiana. Since it was a 14-point favorite, few thought it would be difficult. But the Hoosiers had other ideas. Indiana had enjoyed a miracle season to date, pulling out improbable victory after improbable victory on a seem- ingly weekly basis. The Hoosiers had a very mobile quar- terback in Harry Gonso and capable backs and receivers. "Fifty years later, I still have nightmares, and it is about that game," Cirbes said. "We devised a new de- fense for them, because they liked to roll out wide a lot. In this new defense, we were strong on the corners and pretty weak up the middle, because that's not where they wanted to go. I think we ran that defense three or four times in the first half, and three times we ran it, they ran it straight up the middle, and (Terry) Cole had a good game (a 63-yard TD run between the tackles in the first half). "I remember at halftime (trailing 19-7), we said, 'All right, we're going to scrap that defense.' And I'm not sure they got a first down in the second half. If we would have never run that defense, they may have nev- er scored. But there are a lot of what-ifs in that game." Like the Oregon State game, Purdue had a chance to win late. Purdue had pulled within 19-14 and had the ball on the Hoosiers' 1-yard line. Then came the second disastrous play Phipps mentioned. "It was a handoff to (All Big-Ten fullback) Perry Wil- liams, I think a dive," Phipps said. "Somehow during the game, some of the line changed up the blocking on that play, and I do not know if everyone was aware of that, so that was a mental mistake by us." Williams, who rarely fumbled, was popped at the line of scrimmage, and the ball shot up in air. Keyes, who had suffered the first injury of his college career, was on the sidelines with sore ribs and wasn't an option. "I handed it off thinking we were going to score there and the helmet got on the ball and the thing popped up what seemed like 10 feet in the air," Phipps said. "I was stunned." So was the rest of the team, and the rest of the col- lege football world. Purdue still had its Big Ten championship, but the Hoosiers had a 19-14 upset. Indiana earned what re- Bob Mitchell Coach Jack Mollenkopf earned the respect of his players, including all-time great Leroy Keyes. The 1967 Big Ten championship was the lone league title in Mollenkopf's Hall of Fame career.

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