Penn State No. 1?
MIAMI -- "I don't know if were No. 1," said coach Joe Paterno after his unbeaten Penn State team defeated Missouri, 10-3, in the Orange Bowl New Year's night, but we have as much right as anybody else to be No. 1," he added. "I'm not saying we're No. 1, but we ought to get one or two votes."
"I know we don't look great. We sputter around, but we win. All I can say is that we have as much right as anyone to be No. 1." And Penn State has a friend in Missouri coach Dan Devine. "If I had a vote," he said, "I might vote a tie for No. 1 hetween Texas and Penn State. I can guarantee you that I wouldn't vote Penn State No. 2 under any circumstances."
Paterno described the Orange Bowl game as a great defensive contest. He said, "You won't see college teams play better defense. It was a great defensive effort." Still, as usual, he came to the defense of his offense, even though it was nine turnovers, seven interceptions and two fumbles which turned the game in Penn State's favor. "We don't have a defense; we have a team," he emphasized. Devine said the Tigers, who posted a 9-1 regular season record, were over-prepared in many respects. "I did a poor job," he said, "in so many ways I can't be specific. "The only surprise was that Penn State ran from a short punt formation on the game's first play," he said. "After that, we got what we expected. They used the same stuff that got them here to the Orange Bowl."
Missouri quarterback Terry McMillan had a bad day in his hometown, throwing five interceptions, "No, I don't think Terry had jitters," Devine said. "I know he doesn't want to give out any excuses." Devine was right. McMillan declined to discuss the game with newsmen at all, but exchanged some hard pressed smiles with fellow seniors around the room.