Liberty Bowl



Oregon State 6

Villanova 0


Oregon State Fight Song


For Wildcat coach Alex Bell, Villanova University’s participation in the fourth annual Liberty Bowl marked the second consecutive year his ‘Cat team was invited to a major bowl. The game was played in Villanova’s backyard, the ‘Cats were definitely underdogs. Oregon State was famed for its passing attack which was headed by All-American Terry Baker. While not as heralded as the Oregon State squad, Villanova had also enjoyed an outstanding season, compiling a 7-2 record.


The game was telecast nationally in color by NBC to an estimated 27 million viewers. With the temperature 17 degrees at kickoff, only 17,048 fans made their way to the enormous arena on the Philadelphia’s south side to see the No. 17-ranked Beavers and hometown Villanova. Wrote George Pasero of The Oregon Journal the following day, “The Liberty Bowl was televised, of course, with an estimated audience of 27 million in saloons and living rooms a lot more comfortable than the 17,048 human ice cakes who attended.” Both teams switched from cleats to tennis shoes prior to the game due to frozen footing.


The game immediately became a defensive struggle, and to the surprise of many, Villanova dominated. The Wildcats seemingly got a big break midway through the first quarter when William Sherlock’s 52-yard punt was downed by Larry Glueck on the one-foot line. One play later, disaster struck as Oregon State’s Baker got loose around end, and raced to a 99-yard touchdown with 9:24 left in the opening period. Baker tried a two-point conversion, but the Wildcats regrouped to break up his pass, leaving the score 6-0 in Oregon State’s favor.


Another tough break occurred immediately for Villanova. Taking the ensuing kickoff down to the Beavers’ 12-yard line, they seemingly deadlocked the contest when Billy Joe made his way around the left end and romped 12-yards into the endzone. But a holding call nullified the play, and two plays later a Villanova pass was intercepted. The score stood at 6-0 at the half.


The third quarter was scoreless, as both teams’ defenses remained unbending. In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, Villanova made one last effort. Starting on their own 30-yard line, the Wildcats drove to Oregon State’s 11-yard line before fumbling away a chance to win the game.


For the day, Villanova dominated OSU’s undersized line and outgained the Beavers on the ground 246-176, and had nine more first downs, 20-11. However, Oregon State’s one big play, coupled with the ‘Cats four fumbles and two interceptions, sealed the win for OSU.


Although it was not the most exciting bowl game in history, but with his amazing 99 yard run before a national television audience, Baker proved he deserved the Heisman Trophy. He wasn’t all of Oregon State’s offense, but it was close. He rushed for 137 yards and passed for 123 ( 260 of OSU's 309 total yards). His 99-yard run is still the longest in school history and in bowl history.


The weather was so cold and the field so frozen that both teams wore sneakers for traction.


Terry Baker carries against Villanova.


          Baker's run is legendary at OSU and in the history of bowl games. The sequence on the left and turning the corner on the right.



Baker passes under pressure.


Larry Glueck, (blocking above) downed a punt at the one-foot line. Baker went 99 yards on the next play.


Still the only Heisman winner to earn the honor of Sport Illustrated's Sportman of the Year


Attendance: 17,048


Scoring Summary


First Quarter

OSU- Baker 99 run (pass failed)


Individual Statistics



OSU- Baker 13-137, Washington 7-21 0

VU- Joe 14-66, Rettino 12-49, Thomas 9-46, Glueck 5-33, Richman 8-20



OSU- Baker 21-9-123

VU- Aceto 8-5-61,



OSU- Frketich 3-43, Burke 3-33, Espalin 1-17, Moreland 1-17, Sieg 1-13

VU- Delane 1-22, Clifford 1-19