Season of The Giant Killers - Game 3
September 30, 1967
The third game of Oregon State's 1967 football season had the Beavers travelling east to face the Iowa Hawkeyes
of the Big Ten. The Beavers were going for their ninth straight victory, and local pundits were already beginning
to mention the Beavers as possible Rose-Bowl contenders. Hawkeye fans, however, were less than impressed. Most
writers east of the Rockies viewed the Beavers as little more than a bump in the road for the resurgent Hawkeyes.
Beaver Fullback Bill Enyart gets a rare opportunity to make some moves in the open field.
Despite two time zones and 2,000 miles of separation, the two programs were well accustomed to facing each other. This
would be their fifth regular season meeting in the previous eight years, with all but one taking place in the black
and yellow speckled Kinnick Stadium of Iowa City. Lacking home-field advantage, the Beavers hadn't had much luck
against the Hawkeyes in their first three meetings of the decade, but the tide had turned the previous season when
the visiting Beavers won the day 17-3.
Although Iowa had enjoyed success against the Beavers in recent years, they hadn't had much success against the
rest of their competition. They'd struggled to a 2-8 finish in 1966 and hadn't managed a winning record since '61. After opening their '67 campaign with a
24-9 thumping of Texas Christian, 48,313 spirited fans eagerly filed into Kinnick hoping for their second win of
the season. Leading the Hawkeye offensive attack was junior Ed
Podolak, an all-purpose quarterback who served as the Hawkeyes primary threat through the air and on the ground (he was even their punter). OSU QB Steve Preece had made a name for himself one week earlier against ASU, so most of the pre-game hype focused on which field general would win the day.
The Beaver offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage from the onset, leaving the Hawkeye secondary scrambling
to drag down the Beaver backs in the open-field. Despite their success on the ground, the Beavs took to the air on the fourth play of the drive - a 17-yard strike from Preece to Nick Rogers on the Hawkeye 35. On the next play,
Preece swept around the left end with Roger Cantlon as his lead blocker. Only one defender stood between the Beavers
and the goal line, but Cantlon quickly dispatched with the would-be tackler, allowing Preece to fly in untouched
for the score. Mike Haggard's kick was good, and the Beavers were up 7-0.
The Beaver defense was equally dominating, preventing the Hawkeye offense from getting so much as a whiff of a
scoring opportunity. The OSU offense received its next opportunity when sophomore Larry Rich returned a Hawkeye
punt 43-yards to the Iowa 11-yard line (Podolak made the touchdown saving tackle). Although the first two plays
lacked the flash of the opening series, the third play more than made up for it. Billy Main got the call, taking
the handoff from Preece and doing his best impression of teammate Bill Enyart - blasting up the middle, barreling
through the line of scrimmage, and crossing the goal-line with two defenders draped across his back. More than eight minutes remained in the first quarter, and Haggard's extra point had pushed the lead to 14-0.
After the Beaver defense forced a quick three-and-out, the offense returned to the field for even more highlight-reel
material. Taking over at their own 35-yard line, the Beavers continued where they had left off - running over,
around, and through the hapless Hawkeye defense. The scoring strike was a microcosm of the rest of the game. Main took the handoff, found a seam behind the left tackle, careened all the way across the field, stiff-armed
the defensive back, and coasted the remaining yards uncontested. Another Haggard kick put the Beavers on top 21-0.
At the end of the opening period, the game already appeared out of reach. The Beavers had amassed an amazing 221
yards and three touchdowns, while the Hawkeyes had only managed to look stunned. It's scary to think, but the
first quarter score could have easily been 28-0 had a Beaver miscue not led to a fumble on the Hawkeye one-yard
line. Fans in attendance were quickly realizing that this Beaver squad was far different from the ones to which
they had grown accustomed.
Fresh as big orange daisies, the Beaver defense had little trouble preventing the frustrated Hawkeye attack from
taking advantage of the turnover. A booming punt from Podolak was one of the few Iowa highlights of the half,
and it forced the Beavers to begin their next drive from their own six-yard line. Much to the Hawkeyes chagrin,
the unfavorable field position merely delayed the inevitable. Eleven plays later - all of which coming on the ground and
all but one being longer than six yards - the Beavers were again celebrating in the Iowa endzone. This time Enyart
got in on the fun, diving in from one-yard out for his first touchdown of the season.
The Hawkeyes returned to the field, looking to gain some momentum before the end of the half. Any hope of that
was dashed, however, when Beaver lineman Mike Leep forced a Podolak fumble and Fred Milton recovered. Haggard
capped the half with a 27-yard field goal, and the Beavers returned to the locker rooms with a 31-0 lead.
The second half was little more than a formality. The Hawkeyes were forced to resort to a pass-only attack in
an attempt to restore some semblance of their shattered self-esteem. Podolak put up most of his near 300 passing
yards against the Beaver reserves, including a four-yard TD pass in the final three seconds of the game. The Beavers
had one more score of their own - a 68-yard scoring drive in the third-quarter that was capped by a two-yard rumble
by Enyart. By the time the game finally came to an end, the score was 38-18, though few Iowa fans had stayed
to see the conclusion. The Beavers left Iowa City with a little more self-confidence, a lot more national respect,
and serious Rose-Bowl aspirations.
Post-Game comments, 1967:
"They just overpowered us. This is a better team than we expected. Actually, they didn't do anything that
we were not ready for. They just did it better. They got the lead and forced us to play their game. They attacked
us and we had to play catch-up football." - Iowa Head Coach Ray Nagel
"Our boys are tough, aggressive and hungry. I feel we got the jump on Iowa, took the starch out of them and
surprised them by how well we could move the ball… I thought our offensive line must have done its finest job of
the year." - Oregon State Head Coach Dee Andros
Remembering the Giant Killers, 2002:
"We had a good day at Iowa. We were beginning to believe we really had a football team. We went back there
and systematically took them apart." - Oregon State Defensive Ends and Linebackers Coach Ed Knecht
Trivia: In 1969, OSU's Bill Enyart would finish 11th on the Heisman ballot. Ed Podolak, who finished his
college career as a halfback, finished 12th.
Next up: Week 4 - The Washington Huskies