August 15, 2007

#20: November 19, 1960 - Utah vs. Utah State

HOW IS IT GREAT? If there was an era where Utah State was considered superior than Utah, it was the 1960s. Especially early in that decade: the Aggies enjoyed some national prominence and rankings (they finished the 1961 season 9-1-1 and ranked #10).

The 1960 Aggie team was particularly good. They were coached by the legendary John Ralston, and featured all-everything Hall-of-Famer Merlin Olsen and future NFL veteran Lionel Aldridge (who led a very interesting and tragic life). Two weeks earlier, USU (ranked #18 in the AP poll) beat Wyoming (ranked #14 in the Coaches poll), 17-13, and the Aggies rose to #16 in the Coaches poll. But then they traveled to SLC to play the Redskins . . .

Utah pulled off this amazing upset against their main rivals with a combination of tough defense and a heroic play in the clutch by an unheralded halfback. Perhaps now better known to Ute faithful as the father of Morgan, Bud Scalley scored the only points of this defensive bout with just minutes remaining.

Utah finished the year at third place in the Skyline Conference. This win was the first ever for Utah over a nationally ranked opponent, but was the only real spark in an otherwise unremarkable season.

2007 RANKING: #15. Because this game was 1) an upset win, 2) over a rival, and 3) done in dramatic fashion, I place it ahead of the Bowl victories featured the past two days. This win didn't have the long-term impact that a bowl win has, but it does live on as an important chapter of the Utah-USU rivalry.

The ranking could have placed higher perhaps if Utah State recovered from this loss -- instead, they lost their next game against New Mexico State in the Sun Bowl to finish the year 9-2 and unranked. Utah also lost their next game: a 16-9 home defeat to UCLA. If Utah had beat the Bruins, that game would probably feature in this countdown too. It would also likely make this upset over the Aggies seem more significant.

FURTHER READING:
Awesome article! Read it! : Sorensen, Mike. "Like Father, Like Son: U's Scalley Learned To Love Game From Dad." Deseret Morning News 16 Sept. 2004 (Accessed 13 Aug. 2007).

WHAT THE PRESS HAD TO SAY:

THEY SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE! UTES BEAT AGS
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Scalley Sparks Redskins, 6-0
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By John Mooney
Salt Lake Tribune
November 20, 1960

Little Bud Scalley, who didn't get the "full-ride" athletic scholarship until last week, rode a savage, surging Utah football team to an amazing 6-0 victory over the previously unbeaten Utah State Aggies Saturday afternoon in the Ute Stadium before 29,261 fans.

THE DEFEAT knocked the Aggies from the ranks of the unbeaten football teams, may have dimmed the farmers' bowl hopes, and forced the losers to settle for a co-championship of the Skyline Conference with Wyoming.

And the man who burst the Aggie bubble of invincibility was Scalley, the 162-pound third-string halfback, who played his football at Bear River High and who wasn't offered a scholarship as a college football prospect.

LITTLE SCALLEY scampered around left end for 12 yards and the game's only touchdown with slightly more than five minutes remaining in a savagely contested defensive battle between two of the greatest lines in the country.

But the soph halfback had to share the hero laurels with the Utah line, that shackled the Aggies' vaunted offensive and then shredded the defensive line of the nation's toughest forward wall with a 72-yard surge to victory.

UTAH WON the game deservedly, slashing and crashing through the massive Aggie line for 12 straight running plays that covered the 72 yards and brought the victory.

In this one savage assault, the Utes picked up almost as many yards as the Aggies had given up in average (79 yards) in nine previous victories.

Gordon Frank, a 175-pound soph, sparked the touchdown drive with explosive blasts of 10 1/2, nine, one, five, five and one yards.

In this one drive, Frank picked up 31 1/2 yards, more than any Aggie save Doug Mayberry and Mel Montalbo netted in the whole afternoon.

He was aided and abetted in the drive by Gordy Lee and Terry Nofsinger, who rolled for six and four yards and five, nine and two yards, respectively.

Not once in those 12 plays in the touchdown drive did the Aggies hold the Utes for no gain and Utah drove to score against the Aggie first team.

While Utah was uncovering a half-dozen reserve backs for heroics, the Utah defense was covering up Tommy (Gun) Larscheid, the nation's second most effective ball carrier.

Larscheid felt the full burden of the fired-up Utes, headed by injured Bill Howard and his wrecking crew.

Utah had to stop Tommy (Gun) and stop him the Utes did, with net of 19 yards for his 14 carries.

ONLY DOUG MAYBERRY, the bruising fullback, and Ernie Reese, the unsung halfback, lived up to their previous records. Mayberry snorted and bulled his way for 56 yards, but 46 of that total came in the first quarter when the Aggies made their best showing.

The Aggies made only 53 yards on their powerful rushing offense -- best in the nation until Saturday -- in the entire second half.

THE AGGIES crossed the 50-yard line -- to the Utah 42 -- in possession of the ball only once in the entire second half as the Redskin line smothered the Farmer attack.

Like a puncher in a 15-round championship fight, the Ute line took the best the Aggies had to offer in the first and second quarters, sparred on even terms in the third and then smashed the Aggies into submission with a great finish in the fourth.

WHILE THE UNDERDOG Utes won the plaudits, the enthusiastic cheers of the Redskins boosters and the grudging admiration of the Aggie partisans, the Farmers went down as the champions that they are, with every gun firing in a desperate bid for victory.

With just seconds over five minutes to play, the Aggies girded their loins for their first attempt to come from behind this season.

THAT THEY COULDN'T pull the game out of the fire is no discredit to the Aggies. They roared back 25 yards on the kickoff after the touchdown, with Reese almost breaking clear.

Mayberry, a Noble Roman in defeat, banged for just one. Dolph Camilli was smeared for eight on a pass attempt. But the doughty little Aggie passer spotted Bill Dahme in a clearing for a 22-yard pass to keep the pressure on the Utes.

MAYBERRY PLUNGED for four. With the Utes massed, the Aggies called on their ace-- Larscheid-- and the Utes trumped the Aggie ace, holding The Gun to a net loss of 1 1/2 yards in his two attempts.

On fourth and seven, Mel Montalbo's pass was too short and the Utes took over with 1:40 remaining.

The Aggies had one fighting chance left.

They wouldn't let the Utes run out the clock and, after forcing the punt, they started to run again.

Reese scampered around the left end for 16 yards and a short pass to Ron Maughan was completed for three yards. But the clock ran out before the Aggies could throw one more.

THE UTES, WHO have made something of a habit of beating the Aggies in football-- this was the 41st victory against 13 losses and four ties --seemed to dare the Aggies to run their offense against the Utah line in the first quarter.

It was like a neighborhood bully taking candy away from his victim and then giving it back to him so he could have the privilege of taking it away again.

Twice in the first quarter, the Utes fumbled to the alert Aggies and then rose up to hurl back the assault of the football knights in the white armor.

AFTER THE FIRST fumble, the Aggies, with Mayberry doing the big damage, crunched to the Utah seven-yard line before the embattled Redskins stalled the surge.

It was a great goal line stand against a team that had powered its way through nine opponents, and the Utes did it the hard way with the Aggies having a first down on the Utah 12 and surrendering it on a missed field goal attempt on the seven.

AGAIN THE UTES fumbled, this time on their 28. Back bounced the Aggies, to the Utah 13 as the scoreless first quarter ended.

Mayberry was stopped for a two-yard loss and Larscheid was knocked down for a one-yard loss. Camilli threaded his way for 11 yards and with "fourth and two" on the Utah 5, the big Red line hurled Mayberry to the earth inches short of a first down near the three-yard line.

The Aggies had opportunities to show their defense after heart breaking fumbles, too, in the hard-fought first half.

Ken Peterson recovered a Larscheid fumble on the Utah 42 to stop the first Aggie drive, but the Aggies forced Nofsinger to fumble right back. Then, in the second period, Reese bobbled a punt over his head and Ed Pine recovered for the Utes on the Aggie 23. Utah moved only to the 17 against the brilliance of the Aggie defense.

A PUNT RETURN gave the Utes another chance, and again, it was the great defensive corps of the Aggies that stopped Utah, this time on the 13.

Utah had its first serious scoring opportunity in the closing seconds of the half when Nofsinger's pass was on the finger tips of Stan Uyeshiro, and dropped in the end zone.

The Utes bottled the Aggies in their own territory in the third period and a fumble by Charles Claybaugh, recovered by Cal Cragun, gave the Utes a chance in the late stages of the period.

When the Aggies stalled the Utes on the Farmer 18, Gary Chestang tried for a field goal, and sliced the ball short and wide.

Then, in the fourth period, after the fumbles and breaks had played their part, the Utes buckled down to knife and bludgeon their way through the Aggies, 72 yards in 12 plays, for the score.

When Scalley scored, it was nearing midnight in Athens, Istanbul and Cape Town; and even with the sun shining brightly on a perfect football afternoon, it was midnight for the Aggies -- Cinderella team of the 1960 football season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was at the game with my future wife...so many greats and future NFL AL Pros on both teams: Merlin Olson, Bill Munson, Lionel Aldrich for the Aggies, Terry Nofsinger, Marv Fleming, Ed Pine for the Utes.

All of this in a snowstorm, with Bud scoring on the final minutes...nothing any better than that and hugging your sweety...now my bride for 52 years.