NEW ORLEANS, La. (AP) – Fired by unheralded halfback Glenn Smith and
veteran quarterback Nelson Stokley, Lousiana State came from 13 points
behind Monday and destroyed Wyoming’s dream of an undefeated year with a
20-13 victory on a soggy Sugar Bowl field. Stokley, who couldn’t find
his receivers in the first half, found his passing eye in the second.
His second touchdown pass to end Tommy Morel with 4:22 left provided the
margin of victory. LSU’s winning touchdown was set up by one of its four
pass interceptions when linebacker Benny Griffin grabbed a Paul Toscano
pass and returned it to the Cowboy 31.
After the Cowboys played near perfect football in the first half to grab
a 13-0 margin, the Tigers reversed things in the second. Smith proved
the key man in the LSU offense dashing through big holes in the Wyoming
line. He broke the Tigers’ scoring ice with a one-yard plunge after LSU
drove 80 yards.
Toscano’s running and passing and the field goal kicking of the famous
Jerry Depoyster had vaulted the Cowboys into its half-time margin.
Wyoming almost pulled out a tie in the closing seconds when Toscano
completed a 54-yard pass to end George Anderson and another to back Gene
Huey. Huey, however, was dropped at the LSU five on the final play of
Smith, who gained 74 yards in 16 attempts, was voted the outstanding
player of the game by sports writers covering the contest. The Tigers
stiffened their defenses behind Griffin and end John Garlington in the
Stokley, who overcame three operations during his college career,
deadlocked the game when he threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Morel.
But when placekicker Roy Hurd missed the extra point try, it appeared
that LSU’s bad luck with extra points was continuing. The Tigers lost
three games and tied one this year in failing to make its extra points.
The Cowboys’ domination of the first half came behind a rugged defense.
LSU managed only one first down in the first 20 minutes despite several
opportunities to score. Depoyster kicked two field goals—one from 49
yards out and the other from 24 in the first half. He also set a Sugar
Bowl record with his punting averaging 49 yards on four kicks.
The Cowboys tallied their only touchdown after an 80-yard drive featured
by Toscano’s passing and running. Halfback Jim Kiick capped the drive on
the first play of the second quarter with a one-yard plunge. Toscano
completed 14 of 23 passes for 239 yards while Stokley hit on six of 20
for 91. Kiick was the game’s leading rusher with 75 yards on 19 carries.