By BILL RIVES
The Dallas Morning News
Syracuse proved unquestionably Friday its right to be ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation. It also proved that perhaps it belongs among some of the best college elevens in history.
But the proof was delivered the hard way, against a Texas team which was outmanned but never outfought. Syracuse won, 23-14.
It was a stirring, exciting game, marked by rugged play (some blows were thrown), rhubarbs, howls at the officials by partisans of both sides, the booms of the Syracuse students' cannon, whose ammunition consists of powder, newspaper and ladies' hose, and the establishment of two records.
One of the records was an electrifying, 87-yard pass play for a touchdown by Syracuse on the second play of the game, and the other was one which Orange fans savored into the night – the first bowl victory ever scored by a Syracuse team.
Late in the second period, Syracuse had a touchdown called back after Whitey Easterly, second-string quarterback, had passed to end Ken Ericson for 41 yards and an apparent touchdown. It was ruled, however, that the end did not have possession of the ball when he crossed the goal line; he was hit by Texas' Bobby Gurwitz and fumbled the ball through the end zone.
Meanwhile, back at midfield, words were being thrown about by both teams after Syracuse was caught holding. Coach Ben Schwartzwalder came onto the field and so did his opposite number, Darrell Royal. Players charged each other but the melee finally was quieted. Texas refused the holding penalty and the touchback went into effect.
The Orangemen lived up to their reputation, demonstrating power, passing and finesse on the attack and strong resistance.
But they were not able to shove the Longhorns around, as they had the 10 opponents who had the misfortune to be on their schedule.
They had averaged the awesome total of 451 yards a game. Against Texas, they got 314. They had held their enemies to 96 yards a game. Texas made 244, and outgained the famed Orangemen on the ground by a dozen yards.
Those are dull-sounding statistics, but they are significant. They do not, however, alter the score, and Syracuse certainly deserved the victory. Texas simply made a much better showing than most persons anticipated. The Longhorns were 2-touchdown underdogs and were beaten by one. In typical fashion, they made a stirring comeback: behind, 15-0 at the intermission, they scored twice in the second half.
Halfback Ernie Davis of Syracuse, who scored 16 of the Orangemen's points, was voted the game's most outstanding back. He made two touchdowns and four points after, gained 57 yards rushing and 87 passing. Guard Maurice Doke of Texas was the press box choice of the best lineman.
Syracuse stunned the Texans with its spectacular scoring pass after less than two minutes had been played. Texas kicked off and Syracuse put the ball into play from its 26. Doke threw Baker for a 1-yard loss and then a Syracuse pass was nullified by a penalty against the Orange for illegal use of hands.
The football was placed on the 13-yard line. Then Dave Sarette, the daring, gambling quarterback of the national champions, pitched out to the Syracuse captain and halfback, Ger Schwedes.
Schwedes lofted the ball far downfield, to the racing Davis, who was being guarded by Texas Quarterback Bobby Lackey. The two men bumped together on the Syracuse 48, just as the ball came into the grasp of Davis. The Syracuse star held onto the pass, turned goalward and was free to run the remaining distance unhampered (video).
The pass play was the longest in major bowl game records.
Tackle Bob Yates kicked the extra point. Syracuse had a 7-point lead after only one minute and 23 seconds had expired.
Midway of the second period, Syracuse scored on an 80-yard drive, pounding through the Longhorn line for lengthy gains. Two passes were mixed into the attack. Texas almost stood off the Orangemen but wasn't quite up to the task. Syracuse had first down on the one. Texas kept them from the goal line three times but on the fourth try, from about six inches away, Davis hit right guard for the touchdown. Schwedes missed on a pass attempt for extra points but Texas was holding, so the foe got another try. This time, on a fake placement kick, Schwedes passed to Davis for the two points.
Syracuse led 15-0.
But at the opening of the second half, the Texans got back into the game with a 69-yard scoring pass from Lackey to Jack Collins, the outstanding sophomore halfback from Dallas (video).
A Lackey pass to Ramirez on an attempt for two points was stopped short.
Texas trailed then, 15-6. But a pass interception by Davis a few minutes later set up the final Syracuse score. Davis grabbed a Collins pass at the Steer 36 and scrambled to the 24. From there he exploded to the 3 on one of the game's better runs. Schwedes rammed across from there and Sarette passed to Davis for a crucial two points that left Texas still needing more than one touchdown to catch up.
Those points, plus a stirring Syracuse goal line stand that stopped the Steers a half foot from a touchdown late in the third quarter, left Texas still a bit out of range after its final score in the final period.
That Steer touchdown came on a 54-yard drive. Lackey made the final yard with a dive over right guard and then passed for two extra points to End Richard Schulte. But time and nine points still were on Syracuse's side.
Syracuse fullback Art Baker carries.
Jack Collins moves down the line for Texas.
The play was tough all day. Here is Texas on a goal line stand.
John Brown in altercation with Syracuse Coach Schwartzwalder moving in to try and break it up.
Syracuse quaterback, Dave Sarette, prepares to hand off.
NOTE: The game was perceived differently in the North. The fight that broke out on the field and the officiating took away some of the luster of the Orangemens’ national title. The game was seen as a sad racial statement about Texas and the UT players. The 1960 Cactus, the UT yearbook, denied the racial angle and chalked it up to hard hitting by the Horns:
“After the game, Texas fans returned home, a little disappointed but nevertheless proud of the ' Horns. The next day, however, Texas tempers flared as the head- lines of Texas newspapers screamed with Syracuse accusations. The Syracuse players, after taking a bruising from the ' Horns, had little use for Longhorn sportsmanship. A brawl had broken out on the field just before the end of the first half of the game and Syracuse players blamed the Longhorn team. The Longhorns denied the accusations but the papers and magazines over the country took up the issue for weeks with all but the Texas papers giving only Syracuse accusations. President Wilson asked for NCAA investigation of the game. The issue died after the NCAA hearing was dropped.”
The following article appeared in the Syracuse Herald Journal the same day:
By Bill Clark
Syracuse Herald Journal
DALLAS- It should have been Syracuse's finest hour, but somehow it wasn't.
The undefeated, untied national collegiate football champions of 1959 had just added the Cotton Bowl title of 1960 in a 23-14 victory over Texas.
It was a moment Syracusans have longed for since the dark hours of Jan. 1, 1953, when Alabama humiliated the Orange in its first bowl try.
As they filed down the tunnel leading from the Cotton Bowl's playing field to their dressing quarters, the players and coaches of Syracuse's greatest team of all times were more angry than happy.
No one smiled and there were only a few half-hearted cheers. The players seemed to shrug off the pats on the back aimed their way.
Alternate quarterback Dick Easterly spoke the first words in the somber locker room. "Well, we won a bowl game." he said matter of factly.
That broke some of the ice. The players and coaches quietly shook hands with one another. Photographers finally coaxed some smiles and horseplay.
Then Maury Youmans struck up a song.
This Syracuse team has been known to take great triumphs calmly but this was too much.
The Syracuse players and coaches were reticent to talk about the reasons for their anger at the time they should have been the happiest of humans.
The Orangemen thought they had not played a good game. In addition, the Syracuse players had been thoroughly battered physically by the tactics of the Texas team and hurt mentally by the names by which Syracuse's three Negro players were addressed by the Texans.
No one in the-Syracuse locker room could remember when they had seen worse officiating. Umpire Julius Truelson of T.C.U. was the principal target of the Syracusans' wrath.
"We won the game and I don't want to squawk about it," coach of the year Ben Schwartzwalder said as he lit up the biggest of cigars, "but the way this game was run, we could never get our offense untracked. I have never in my life spent a more frustrating afternoon. This was tougher on me than that long afternoon in Miami seven years ago."
Adding insult to injury, the Texas band stopped outside the locker room and blared "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You" at the Orangemen.
“Those officials just would not let us play our game," assistant coaches Bill Bell and Rocky Pirro agreed. "We teach our kids to use a forearm left on their defensive blocks and that official Truelson told us we couldn't do it,"
Schwartzwalder said, "It fouled us all up."
The use of the forearm lift was responsible for the rash of defensive holding penalties against the Orange.
Most of the Hillmen admitted the Texans hit hard but Capt. Gerhard Schwedes thought "they overdid it."
"They hit harder in the open field than they did along the line of scrimmage," center Al Bemiller maintained. "We respected Oklahoma the way they hit us last year," Al added, "but, frankly, we don't have much respect for these guys the way they played. Some of the names they called John, Art and Ernie were just awful."
"They were a good hittin' club but not as good as Penn State,” Sonny Youmans thought.
Ron Bartlett, who played a very strong game at end on defense, got to talking about
the speed of the Longhorn halfbacks.
"That speed of theirs is something," Ron said. “They really come out at you in a hurry. I just tried to stay outside of them so they couldn't turn the corner. I guess it was my best effort.”
Ernie Davis, who got the Orange off fast with bowl record 87 yard touchdown pass play and later scored another touchdown and two two-point conversions, said he played the entire game in extreme pain.
"My leg sure was hurting all the time.” Ernie said. "I was very worried before the game that I wouldn't be able to play. But I forgot about the pain some when the game started, I was lucky,"
Ernie was kidded that he looked pretty fast outrunning two Texas safetymen on his touchdown romp but he claimed "I was very slow today. The pain got much worse near the end of the game and that's why I had to come out,"
Ernie did not want to compare Texas with the other 10 teams belted by Syracuse this season. "It's hard to rate them because all of us in the backfield weren't healthy."
Art Baker said he hurt his left knee on the second play of the game and wasn't right thereafter. "I could go straight ahead all right but I could not cut to either direction," Baker said. "Texas definitely was not the toughest team we've played,"
Athletic Director Lew Andreas dropped by to congratulate the boys and said "Well, we did what we set out to do."
Schwedes was still a little angry. "If the spectators got tired watching the game between the two football teams, they still wouldn't be bored because they had the game between the referees to watch. Two of the game's officials were from, the east- Referee Francis P. Brennan from Canisius and Lineman James J. Ailinger from Buffalo.
The Texans were as mad at the eastern officials as the Syracusans were upset at the southwestern crew. Longhorn players hurled insults at them as the eastern officials raced off the field.
Texas claimed its two bad centers in punt formation were deliberate to set up a screen pass, but Bruce Tarbox said, “Bobby Yates and I were giving their center a pretty good working over.”
Tom Gilburg, who twisted his right ankle late in the game, was hurting more over his ineffective punting performance. “I didn’t kick at all today on that first one. I knew it wasn’t going anywhere just before my foot hit the ball. I was holding the ball wrong.”
There was no question but what the Ornagemen knew they had been in a ball game. Texas players hoped this is the way Syracuse felt after the game.
“It was hard work,” said Gerry Skoniezki. “It’s hard to be excited after you work so hard to win a game as we did today. You can be a lot happier after an easy win. We're still No. 1 though."
"Wait till we get on the bus and at the awards dinner tonight.” Bemiller chimed in. “Then it will hit us what we’ve done today. Then you’ll see some excited people.”
Fullback Johnny Nichols, who was in doubtful shape before the game, said, “My toe didn’t bother me at all. Texas is a good team, but I’ve never played against such bad sports.”
Tackle All Gerlick, the leader of the second line, played possibly his best football game in his last one. He is a senior.
“The Texas backs and line hit hard on defense,” Cannonball thought, “but, not on offense. I don’t think that guy I was opposite ever blocked me out. Of course, this was my best day, I guess.”
As the locker room cleared of tired players and coaches, reserve guard Bill Sproule, who seldom plays but is one of the most eager to work boys on the squad, struck a happy chord.
“Remember gang,” he shouted, “spring practice in three months.”
SU- Davis 87 yard pass from Schwedes (Yates kick)
SU- Davis 1 run (Davis pass from Sarette)
UT- Collins 69 yard pass from Lackey (Ramirez run failed)
SU- Schwedes 3 run (pass from Sarette)
UT- Lackey 1 run (Schulte pass from Lackey)
SU- Davis 8-57
UT- Branch 11-71
SU- Sarette 5-8-45, Schwedes 2-2-97
UT- Lackey 3-9-92
SU- Davis 1-87, Ericson 2-49
UT- Ramirez 2-23, Collins 1-69