The following article was originally published Monday, Nov. 6, 1967, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
LOS ANGELES — Gary Beban, UCLA's Heisman Trophy candidate, said it best.
"We were fortunate to come out with a tie. Oregon State played harder."
That was the same feeling the Oregon State players had here Saturday after the Beavers battled second-ranked UCLA to a 16-16 standoff, the second time this season the Beavers have proved giant killers against the No. 2 team in the national rankings.
"We don't feel it's a moral victory ... we didn't win, but we didn't lose," Coach Dee Andros said afterward. "They're No. 2, so we're just that much better than the other teams they have beaten."
The Beavers played the high-powered Bruins on more than even terms for 60 minutes. OSU had a 19-16 edge in first downs, a 262-130 rushing edge against the club that entered the game as the nation's most potent ground-gaining team, and a 299-287 edge in total yardage.
The Beavers, to a man, think they deserved to win. They're not crying about the tie, but they can point to a couple of key plays that hurt dearly.
One was a fourth-and-one touchdown by Bill Enyart in the second quarter that could have given the Beavers a 14-point lead. The officials ruled he didn't make it.
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"I thought I had it ... I was a half-yard into the end zone then got spun around and thrown back," Enyart said.
Teammate Jerry Belcher, who had a good look at the play, was just as certain the 223-pound fullback had made it.
UCLA managed only one touchdown. But on that drive, fullback Rick Purdy fumbled and OSU recovered on its 16. The officials at first ruled it was the Beavers' ball, then reversed the decision and gave it back to UCLA, saying the whistle had blown before he fumbled.
"I didn't hear the whistle," linebacker Skip Vanderbundt, who was in on the play, said. "He hadn't hit the ground when he fumbled."
The Beavers aren't complaining that loudly, though. In their own minds, they know they were the better team Saturday. So does Gary Beban.
"They were disappointed because they got a couple of bad breaks, but they didn't fold," Andros said. "They stayed in there."
Andros came on the field on the fumble call. But the official told him the whistle had blown.
"If so, he was still standing up," Dee noted.
Tommy Prothro, the ex-OSU grid boss who had his dreams for a perfect season end, called Oregon State "a good team ... they were every bit as good as we were."
What disappointed Prothro the most was not the tie. It was the fact he "felt our team was ready to play good football ... they played as well as they could and got tied."
"It makes me wonder how good we are," Prothro noted.
The Beavers didn't come away with that much respect for the Bruins.
"They're not as good as Purdue," Vanderbundt noted. Halfback Bill Main added quickly, "Purdue would kill them." The Beavers beat the Boilermakers 22-14.
Prothro noted that he "felt we could run on them more than we did ... they ball-controlled us pretty good."
That was OSU's strategy, keep the ball away from the Bruin offense. UCLA didn't make a first down until 20 minutes had elapsed. They had only 57 plays to 77 for OSU. Beban wound up with 21 net yards on 16 running plays as the Bruins barely made half their rushing average per game.
It wound up as a stalemate on the scoreboard. Prothro once said that a tie is like kissing your sister.
That's not bad, though, if your sister is No. 2.
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