1. TEXAS (7-1-1)
2. ARKANSAS (9-1)
3. HOUSTON (6-1-2)
Although Arkansas already had a Sugar Bowl bid assured, it went to Lubbock hoping to get its hands on a bowl of cotton. The Razorbacks wound up with a 42-7 win over Texas Tech and with at least a share of the Southwest Conference title. And if Texas A&M upsets Texas on Thanksgiving, the Razorbacks will get their Cotton Bowl trip and the Longhorns will have to be satisfied with sugar. Arkansas' win was built around Bill Burnett, who scored three times and ran for 130 yards, and an aggressive defense that stole seven passes and two fumbles.
As usual, SMU started slowly, but eventually the Alphabet Offense got rolling against Baylor by capitalizing on the running of Mike Richardson, who gained 154 yards, and the passing of Chuck Hixson, who completed 14 of his last 22 passes and 26 of 51 overall. Hixson's three touchdown passes gave him a total of 21, breaking an SWC record held by Davey O'Brien and Sammy Baugh, and SMU a 33-17 win. Winless Rice stayed that way, losing to TCU 24-14.
December 2, 1968
In the Astrodome, Houston mercilessly victimized Tulsa 100-6, not an alltime high score but certainly an indoor record. Paul Gipson scored three times and romped for 282 yards in less than three quarters, but even without him Houston piled on 49 points in the final period. In all, the Cougars, the nation's total-offense leader, accumulated 772 yards. UTEP, with Eugene Childs scoring on a short plunge and a 54-yard run, rallied from a 12-0 halftime deficit to down Colorado State 23-19.
1. OHIO STATE (9-0)
2. KANSAS (9-0)
3. PURDUE (8-2)
Missouri-Kansas games have a way of bringing back memories of the border warfare between the two states that supposedly ended in 1863. Tiger fans last week came up with a fight song that told Kansas backers they could take up residence where they would never have to worry about having cold feet. The Kansas chancellor himself retorted, "We'll put Missouri's Tigers so far in the tank they'll never come out." Well, the Orange Bowl-bound Jayhawks scored 14 quick points but barely kept the Gator Bowl-bound Tigers in the tank 21-19. The lid was finally clamped on by a Kansas defense that blocked a point-after kick and stopped a sweep on a two-point attempt, plus heady work by Safety Dave Morgan, who was in Missouri's hair all day. Kansas thus gained at least a tie for the Big Eight title.
Oklahoma will share the honor with Kansas if it beats Oklahoma State this week. Against Nebraska Saturday, the Sooners' Steve Owens set Big Eight single-game records with five touchdowns and 30 points, and a season rushing mark with 1,416 yards in a 47-0 rout. In addition, Bob Warmack of the Sooners neared the alltime conference record in total offense with 4,101 yards, and Eddie Hinton set another mark by upping his season's yardage on pass receptions to 803. Kansas State, trailing 14-0 at the half, rallied to beat Oklahoma State 21-14 and escaped the cellar for the first time in five years. Lynn Dickey of the Wildcats made good on 12 passes for another Big Eight record: 125 completions this season.
Ohio State settled the Big Ten race and a trip to the Rose Bowl by defeating Michigan (page 22). For the first time since he came down with acute hepatitis four weeks ago, Purdue Coach Jack Mollenkopf was permitted to leave the hospital. After giving a short pregame pep talk to his players, he returned to his bed, where he listened as the Boilermakers got past Indiana 38-35. Leroy Keyes scored four touchdowns, three in the fourth period; his last, with 1:35 left, gave Purdue the lead for the first time.
Other Big Ten wins went to Michigan State, Minnesota and Iowa. Bill Triplett ran for three touchdowns and passed for a fourth as the Spartans finished off Northwestern 31-14. The Gophers dealt Wisconsin its 15th loss in a row 23-15, and the Hawkeyes recovered from a bumbling start to beat Illinois 37-13. Mid-American teams took two of three games from outsiders. Ohio University concluded a perfect 10-0 season by overpowering Northern Illinois, and Bowling Green came on strong to trounce Xavier 44-14 as Vern Wireman passed for three third-period scores. But Miami of Ohio was stunned 23-21 by Cincinnati, which trailed 14-0 going into the final quarter, then scrambled back for three touchdowns and a 47-yard field goal by Jim O'Brien with three seconds to go. O'Brien's winning kick gave him 142 points for the season, the highest in the nation.
North Texas State (4-1) crushed Wichita State 44-6 and can claim a share of the Missouri Valley title should Memphis State (4-0) lose to Louisville this week.
1. USC (9-0)
2. OREGON STATE (7-3)
3. ARIZONA (8-1)
It was only a few minutes after his team had beaten Oregon State two weeks ago and USC Coach John McKay was busy lighting up a slim cigar when someone asked if he thought that clinching the Pacific Eight title and the Rose Bowl invitation would cause his team to have a letdown against the next opponent, UCLA. McKay adroitly fielded that one on the first hop. "We'd like to be national champions," he said softly, "and you can't do that without being city champions." For a while last Saturday his Trojans almost blew both prizes, and maybe it was just as well that the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was socked in by smog. UCLA led 10-7 early in the second quarter, thanks to some fancy running by Halfback Mickey Cureton. Then O.J. Simpson, hammering the Bruins relentlessly inside and out, got USC back on the track. Still the Trojans were ahead only 21-16 in the last period and UCLA was on the USC one-yard line. But Quarterback Jim Nader, in for injured Bill Bolden, tried a sweep right, slipped and fell. Minutes later the precocious Bruins were threatening one last time, but Linebacker Jim Snow intercepted a Nader pass. Simpson then ate up 47 yards in three big gulps, scored his third touchdown of the day from the four-yard line and the Trojans won 28-16. O.J. carried 40 times for 205 yards, bringing his total for the year to 1,654 and breaking Mercury Morris' week-old NCAA single-season record.
There was the chance, too, that Oregon State would have a letdown against Oregon in what Oregonians like to call their annual "civil war." Coach Dee Andros didn't think so. "We're fighting for respect," he said. Oregon showed how much it respected OSU Fullback Bill Enyart, stacking its defense to stop him. It was no use. Enyart scattered the stack with his crushing jolts, smashed the Ducks for 168 yards and scored three touchdowns as OSU won easily 41-19.
California's version of The Game was almost as startling as the Ivy League's. Everybody figured that California's strong defense would gobble up Stanford. Instead, Quarterback Jim Plunkett and Flanker Gene Washington had their own picnic. Plunkett cluttered up Cal's defense with keeper plays and accurate passes, Washington caught seven to break the conference record—with 71—and Stanford won 20-0 for a 6-3-1 record, the same as Cal's. Washington State also surprised Washington, whipping the Huskies 24-0 to give Coach Jim Owens his first losing season (3-5-2) in a decade.
For years Arizona has played its games in near seclusion. But suddenly the Wondercats have become one of the hottest items in the state and a record 40,500 turned out in Tucson to watch them play Wyoming in a Western AC showdown. The crowd wasn't disappointed. Arizona made up a 7-0 deficit on the sharp passing of Quarterback Bruce Lee and then beat the Cowboys 14-7 as Fullback Noki Fuimaono, a native-born Samoan, set up the winning touchdown with five straight blasts into the line. Now to win the WAC title Arizona must only beat Arizona State this Saturday. An Arizona loss, however, will give it to Wyoming. Arizona State, meanwhile, warmed up for the big game by trouncing San Jose State 66-0 as Art Malone scored four touchdowns.
There had been a few hints earlier in the season that Air Force was coming on strong, but nobody really expected the Falcons to manhandle Colorado. They did, though, despite a brilliant performance by Buffalo Quarterback Bob Anderson, who had 286 yards in total offense. Halfback Ernest Jennings shredded the Colorado defense for 124 yards, Quarterback Gary Baxter threw over it for three touchdowns and Air Force won easily 58-35 for a 7-3 season.
1. PENN STATE (9-0)
2. ARMY (6-3)
3. YALE (8-0-1)
It seemed strange, but there was Penn State Coach Joe Paterno chewing out his substitute quarterback for throwing a touchdown pass. What irked Paterno was that he was trying to hold down the score against poor Pitt, and Mike Cooper's 19-yard pass had given unbeaten Penn State a 58-9 lead in the third quarter. The rout had started early, with 35 points in the second period, as Halfback Charlie Pittman scored three times, and at the end the incorrigible Nittany Lions were ahead 65-9. Mercifully, that ended a 1-9 season for the Panthers and Coach Dave Hart's short career at Pitt, as well. Two days later he resigned.
Rutgers' Coach John Bateman didn't chew out anybody. He just savored every moment of his team's 55-34 victory over Colgate, especially the moments when little Halfback Bryant Mitchell was running all over the Red Raiders and Quarterback Rich Policastro was throwing touchdown passes. Mitchell gained 146 yards and Policastro threw for four scores as the Scarlet Knights finished an 8-2 season, their best since 1961. "It was a beautiful year," said Bateman. "I'm sorry it's over."
It took a while for Boston College to convince stubborn Massachusetts that it couldn't hold the Eagles forever, but BC Quarterback Joe Marzetti finally got through to the Redmen. He threw a touchdown pass, then ran nine yards for another score and Massachusetts succumbed 21-6. Holy Cross had to come from behind to beat Connecticut 27-24 on Fullback Tommy Lamb's 10-yard run with 3:47 to go, and Buffalo defeated Boston University 13-10 to give the Bulls a 7-3 record for the season.
Not all the Ivy League shouting was in Cambridge. It was like old times in Penn's Franklin Field, with 50,188—the largest crowd in years—on hand to watch Penn's best team since 1959. The Quakers, who had lost only to Yale and Harvard, didn't disappoint their followers. With Quarterback Bernie Zbrzeznj passing for 176 yards and Fullback Gerry Santini running for 133, Penn defeated Dartmouth 26-21. Princeton and Columbia also had some finale fun. The Tigers hammered Cornell 41-13 as Tailback Brian McCullough scored three touchdowns, while Columbia battered Brown 46-20. But, in a way, it was a sad day at Columbia, for it was the swan song of Quarterback Marty Domres, who completed 30 of 54 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns and scored twice on runs. All told, Domres set 15 school and 12 Ivy records for passes thrown and completed, passing yardage and total offense. He also broke the NCAA mark for total offensive plays—1,132 in three years. "He's the best I've ever seen," said Coach Frank Navarro. "He's just incredible."
1. GEORGIA (7-0-2)
2. TENNESSEE (7-1-1)
3. ALABAMA (7-2)
Charles de Gaulle refused to devalue the franc, but South Carolina definitely deflated Clemson's Frank Howard, beating him 7-3 and jostling the Atlantic Coast Conference championship right out of his hands. The title went instead to North Carolina State, which finished a week earlier with a 6-1 ACC mark. (Clemson was 4-1-1.) It was a 73-yard punt return in the third period by Tyler Hellams that gave the Gamecocks their win and reduced the usually talkative Howard to a whisper. "Of all the games I wanted to win, this was it," was about all Howard said. He has been none too chummy with South Carolina's Paul Dietzel since Dietzel came into the ACC in 1966.
A pair of first-period touchdowns helped both Virginia and North Carolina to their ACC victories. Frank Quayle scored twice for the Cavaliers in the opening quarter and again with four minutes left in the game to overcome Maryland 28-23. The Tar Heels upset Duke 25-14 as Gayle Bomar tossed two touchdown passes.
When it came to catching touchdown passes no one surpassed Ron Sellers, who caught five of them from Bill Cappleman as Florida State whipped Wake Forest 42-24. Cappleman completed 22 of 33 passes for 365 yards. "Sellers," said one effervescent pro scout, "is absolutely the most magnificent pass receiver who ever put on a uniform, and his moves after he catches the ball would make a jaguar envious." It was the last game for Bill Tate of the Deacons, who earlier in the week had announced his resignation. As for Seminole Coach Bill Peterson, he and his team accepted an offer to face LSU in Atlanta's first Peach Bowl.
The hands on the scoreboard clock were not working, but those belonging to Bubba Wyche and Lester McClain were as Tennessee topped Kentucky 24-7 in a Southeastern Conference game. Wyche was on target with 17 of 24 passes, three of them for touchdowns, two of which were scored by McClain.
LSU disposed of Tulane 34-10 as Tommy Morel caught 10 passes and Mike Hillman connected on 14 of 21. Vanderbilt scored 41 points in the first half, then coasted to a 53-20 win over Davidson.
Buster O'Brien of Richmond left the William and Mary secondary looking like a colander as he passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-6 romp. The win earned the Spiders the Southern Conference title and a berth in the Tangerine Bowl against Ohio University. Fullback Butch Colson hit on all four of his passes, ran for 117 yards and scored twice as East Carolina defeated The Citadel 23-14.
With Eddie Silverio popping through the Syracuse defense for 195 yards, West Virginia upset the Orangemen 23-6. And Southern Mississippi beat Tampa 21-7, which made it a pleasant ending for Coach Pie Vann, who had announced that he was leaving after this, his 20th season.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Kansas Safetyman Dave Morgan made three key plays in 21-19 win over Missouri, running back an intercepted pass for a score, setting up a TD with a fumble recovery and intercepting a pass in the end zone.
THE LINEMAN: Florida State's Ron Sellers, alternating at flanker and split end, caught 14 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns against Wake Forest, raising his career yardage to 3,384 and breaking an NCAA record.