Slip Madigan's nonchalant Gaels of St. Mary's College had more of the hoof and more on the ball than Texas Tech today, and the Galloping Irishmen strode rampant to victory in the Cotton Bowl classic, piling up a lead in the early innings that proved sufficient of overdo a late Red Raider rally.
Texas Tech's Red Raiders, dwarfed in appearance by the broad-shouldered, thick-legged Gaels, and possibly over-trained and on too fine an edge for comfort, did themselves proud in a fourth quarter rush that netted two touchdowns and gave 42,000 fans the thrill of the new year.
Battling against odds they did not expect, the Cawthon men revealed the aerial bomb and flag display by taking to the atmosphere in the final chukker to complete drives of 78 and 80 yards, respectively, for touchdowns. They barely missed another counter between times.
Losing to St. Mary's here today was no disgrace to the Red Raiders; it was a fast, colorful game, with the Galloping Gaels having the edge in "breaks" - and in tonnage and in something or other that can't be explained.
Texas Tech simply "bit off more than it could chew" in choosing the Gaels.
The Raiders discovered early enough that they could do but little on running plays. St. Mary's had a pair of ends and a set of big, fast backs who all but nullified the wide running plays, and the middle of the Gael line was practically impregnable.
The middle of Texas Tech's line also was practically impregnable, and a lot of credit today went to Rex Williams, center; Dixie White and Holt Waldrep, guards, and Tech's great tackles, Red Murphy and Leonard Latch - they turned in magnificent work.
St. Mary's depended on its beefy backfield for the rest of the difference and a margin of something like 14 pounds per man had a lot to do with it. The Gaels' great passer, Heffernan, was quelled in the passing department, but he made up for it by doing a great running game. He had able assistance from Mike Klotovich, the highly publicized sophomore halfback who lived up to all advance notices.
From the spectator standpoint, bias to the contrary, it was a great game to watch. Had Texas Tech been on the winning side, 42,000 Texans would have gone wild here today. They saw color, action and deftly executed plays from intricate formations and tricky setups.
St. Mary's had its eyes on Elmer Tarbox, and the great Tech halfback had his troubles, offensively. On defense, he was as great as ever. Offensively, he was bottled up. So were Jodie Marek, Dudley Akins, Bobby Holmes, Bull Rankin and the rest of the boys.
The statistics tell a clearer story than sentences and phrases could possibly define.