Brigham Young eliminated Arizona State from this year's Western Athletic Conference title chase and all but assured the championship for itself in a 21-18 victory.
There were 14 turnovers in the game, eight of them by the winning Cougars. The difference was a defense that limited Arizona State's ballcarriers to 78 yards. "It was the best defensive effort I've ever seen here," said BYU Coach La Veil Edwards.
The Cougars got the game's decisive touchdown following an 80-yard drive with six minutes left. Two more wins over lesser opponents will clinch the league's Fiesta Bowl berth. "I've been there three times by myself." said Edwards. "It would sure be great to take the squad with me this time."
Arizona held second place by converting four turnovers into scores for a 34-21 victory over Colorado State. Jim Upchurch rushed for 132 yards, and Bruce Hill completed two touchdown passes. Texas-El Paso won its third in a row, 35-13 over Wyoming. Quarterback Bobby McKinley completed eight of 10 first-half passes for 148 yards and two TDs.
San Diego State clinched its third consecutive PCAA title by bombing Pacific 37-9. Monty Reedy showed the way by scoring three touchdowns and gaining 123 yards in 14 carries.
In the Pacific Eight, California racked Washington 52-26, UCLA outclassed Oregon 21-0 and Oregon State topped Washington State 17-3.
"We knew we couldn't get into a slugging match with Washington," California Coach Mike White said. "We had to throw, let it all hangout." Quarterback Steve Bartkowski did just that, setting a school total-offense record with 309 yards on 16 completions in 27 attempts. Wesley Walker caught scoring passes of 43 and 56 yards. UCLA, which lost Quarterback John Sciarra earlier in the year, saw leading rusher Wendell Tyler sidelined against Oregon. It was the Bruins' first shutout since 1969. Washington State helped the Beaver cause by losing three fumbles.
1. USC (6-1-1)
2. Arizona (6-2)
3. California (6-2-1)
The Oklahoma dressing room was strangely subdued after the second-ranked Sooners came in with a 37-0 win over Missouri following Ohio State's loss to Michigan State (page 28). No ranting, no raving, no index fingers pointed upward in the universal sign of No. 1. "Logically, we will be voted first," said Coach Barry Switzer, "but it presents a challenge to hold it."
Against Missouri the Sooners seemed ready for any challenge as they notched their third shutout of the year and 17th consecutive victory. Grant Burget carried only six times, but he scored two touchdowns. Steve Davis attempted five passes, and one of them produced another TD. The leading ground-gainers were Fullback Jim Littrell, with 155 yards and Joe Washington with 143.
The biggest stumbling block between Oklahoma and an undefeated season seems to be Nebraska, which hosts the Sooners on Nov. 23. The Cornhuskers started slowly against Iowa State but still managed a rain-soaked 23-13 victory. "We tried to pull the guards and tackles in the first half," explained Quarterback David Humm, "but it just wouldn't work on a slick field. In the second half we took it right at them and it worked."
Nebraska's lead was 23-0 in the third quarter when Coach Tom Osborne started running in the substitutes. But in the fourth period an Iowa State touchdown and a recovered fumble brought the regulars back in. "I know their crowd booed," Osborne said, "but our object is to win."
Kansas built a 13-0 lead against Colorado, but just before halftime Quarterback Scott McMichael suffered a concussion. He did not play in the second half, and neither did his teammates, really, as the Buffaloes stampeded to a 17-16 victory. Kansas' offensive problems without McMichael were obvious in the fourth quarter, following a fumble recovery at the Colorado 14. All the Jayhawks could manage was a 23-yard field goal, which made the score 16-7. Then Melvin Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
Colorado marched to victory following a Kansas fumble at its 40. Terry Kunz, who had scored the Buffaloes' first touchdown, picked up 22 yards in a drive to the seven with 5:03 remaining. That set up a 24-yard field goal by Tom MacKenzie.
Oklahoma State turned Kansas State errors into a 29-5 victory. One blocked punt set up a touchdown and another was converted into a safety. The crushing blow was Bob Shephard's 83-yard touchdown return of an intercepted pass.
Michigan defeated Illinois 14-6 to assume Big Ten leadership, but the Wolverines were not too impressive in the process. Both their touchdowns came after long drives in the first 18 minutes, Gordon Bell going over from the nine and Dennis Franklin from the one.
Illinois' touchdown came with 2:10 left in the game on a 45-yard punt return by Mike Gow. The Illini then recovered an onside kick and moved to the 16-yard line before running out of downs. "When you are on the road and let the home team off the hook," said the Wolverines' Bo Schembechler, "this is what happens. We're happy to get out of here with a win."
The solemn quiet in the Illinois dressing room after the game had nothing to do with the narrow loss. It concerned the death of Defensive End Greg Williams, who was shot by party-crashers who raided his fraternity house at 2:20 a.m. the morning of the game. Williams was not staying with the team because an ankle injury had put him out of action. "I can't remember a game in all of my years of coaching that meant less when it was over," said Bob Blackman afterward.
In other Big Ten games Bill Marek scored four touchdowns and rushed for 206 yards as Wisconsin mauled Iowa 28-15, Purdue committed six turnovers in a 24-20 loss to Minnesota, and Northwestern edged Indiana 24-22.
Miami of Ohio stayed unbeaten and clinched its second straight Mid-American title by nipping Kent State 19-17. Dave Draudt's 39-yard field goal with six seconds left pulled it out. The kick came less than a minute after the Golden Flashes had gone ahead on a two-yard run by Larry Poole.
1. Oklahoma (8-0)
2. Ohio State (8-1)
3. Michigan (9-0)
The Southwest Conference race became a mad scramble of old and new contenders following upset victories by Southern Methodist and Baylor. The Mustangs handed Texas A&M its first league loss 18-14 and the Bears stunned Texas 34-24.
Baylor's victory was the more startling, because the Bears had not defeated the Long-horns since the pre-Darrell Royal days of 1956. By running up their biggest point total ever against Texas they are in contention for their first conference title in 50 years and their first Cotton Bowl trip ever.
After the victory it was Royal himself who spoke to the Bears and encouraged them to keep on winning. "I want to congratulate you sincerely on a great victory," he told them. "You deserved to win. You had a chance to quit and you never did. You carried the fight to us. Don't look back now—go all the way."
Baylor scored on the game's fourth play, a 69-yard connection from Neal Jeffrey to Alcy Jackson, but the Longhorns held a commanding 24-7 lead at halftime. In the dressing room Bear Coach Grant Teaff reminded his players they had come from 17 points down earlier in the season to beat Florida State. "Texas is not Florida State," he admitted afterward, "but we didn't make any mistakes and we got after them."
The Baylor defense stiffened in the second half, allowing only 84 yards of offense and one Texas thrust beyond midfield. "We couldn't move them out," said Longhorn Tackle Bob Simmons. "They just stopped everything we ran."
It was the defense that got the Bears going offensively, since a blocked punt had set up a short scoring run by Jeffrey early in the third quarter. Two more touchdowns soon followed on Jeffrey's 54-yard pass to Ricky Thompson and a six-yard run by Phillip Kent. Baylor found an appropriate way of celebrating the victory. It left the scoreboard lights on all night.
Unlike the Longhorns, A&M trailed all the way in its upset loss, falling behind at the half 16-0. SMU built the lead in rather unusual fashion. The first touchdown followed an 80-yard drive that was helped along by two pass-interference calls. The score came when Tight End Oscar Roan recovered a fumble on the bounce and galloped the final 14 yards of a 27-yard play. A 43-yard return of a pass interception set up the second touchdown, Ricky Wesson's 20-yard run.
The Aggies got back in contention on two touchdowns by Fullback Jerry Honore. Trailing 16-14 with 2:28 remaining, they took over on their 13. But on first down Tackle Steve Morton nailed Quarterback David Walker for a safety.
Even though it has an outside shot at going to the Cotton Bowl, Texas Tech is taking no chances on staying home for the holiday. After defeating Texas Christian 28-0, the Raiders accepted an invitation to play Vanderbilt in the Peach Bowl.
Texas Tech did not get untracked offensively until Don Roberts replaced Tommy Duniven at quarterback late in the first half of a scoreless game. Defensively, there were few problems. "I'm still trying to figure out their secondary," said TCU Quarterback Jimmy Dan Elzner. That secondary set up two touchdowns with interceptions.
Two years ago Rice Coach Al Conover fired up his team for Arkansas by throwing a folding chair through a dressing-room window. Last week he took the good-luck symbol from his office, where it has been ever since, and brought it back to Fayetteville. It didn't work. Arkansas won 25-6.
1. Texas A&M (7-2)
2. Houston (6-2)
3. Texas Tech (6-2-1)
Freshman Elliott Walker replaced injured Tony Dorsett in every possible way in Pittsburgh's 35-24 victory over Temple. Walker scored four touchdowns, three in the fourth quarter, and gained 169 yards in 25 carries. The Owls held a 17-14 lead entering the final period, but Walker's scoring runs of two, one and 62 yards saved the day for the Panthers.
Pittsburgh, it seemed, missed Dorsett about as much as Boston College missed its rushing leader, Mike Esposito. Espo's replacement, Earl Strong, gained 145 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Eagles flew past Tulane 27-3. Strong was only half of a devastating one-two punch that included Keith Barnette, who picked up 156 yards and tallied one TD. Fred Steinfort, a junior soccer-style kicker, provided the other points with field goals of 20 and 55 yards. He is now seven for 10 overall, with four successful attempts from beyond the 50. BC has won its last three; Tulane has lost its last three.
Army and Navy both posted victories, the Cadets edging Air Force 17-16 on Mike Marquez' 33-yard field goal with 17 seconds left and the Middies holding off The Citadel 28-21. Marquez was an unlikely hero for Army. The team's regular kicker, Mike Castelli, was injured in the first quarter, so it was up to Marquez to offset three field goals by the Falcons' Dave Lawson.
Some other independents won more easily. Kirk Lewis accounted for 284 yards of total offense in his first start at quarterback as West Virginia thrashed Syracuse 39-11. Rutgers Quarterback Bert Kosup passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in a 35-0 trouncing of Lafayette. And Lehigh blasted Davidson 53-6 by scoring 31 points in the second period.
Yale and Harvard, recording easy victories, remained unbeaten in the Ivy League. The Elis routed Pennsylvania 37-12 while the Crimson pounded Princeton 34-17. Rudy Green and Don Gesicki each scored twice for Yale, and Milt (The Pineapple) Holt ran and passed for all the TDs in Harvard's victory. The Ivy title showdown will be The Game on Nov. 23.
Dartmouth, out of the Ivy race for the first time in six years, shut out Columbia 21-0. Brown scored twice in the fourth quarter to upset Cornell 16-8.
1. Penn State (7-2)
2. Pittsburgh (7-2)
3. Temple (6-2)
On the weekend that the mighty fell, college football's most frustrated loser rose. After 20 consecutive defeats, including eight this year, Florida State upset Miami 21-14.
"This is probably the ultimate way of finally winning a game—in Miami and in the Orange Bowl," Coach Darrell Mudra enthused afterward. "It certainly is a thrill to turn this thing around. I hope it sets a pattern and we can win 20 straight."
The victory was keyed by Steve Mathieson, who came off a shoulder injury that had shelved him for five games to make his first start of the season. Mathieson completed 12 of 22 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown, a 48-yarder to Joe Goldsmith.
After Florida State's upset win on Friday night came Florida's upset loss on Saturday. The Sugar Bowl-bound Gators were derailed by Georgia in a dramatic 17-16 contest. Just as last year, when it won 11-10, Florida tried to salvage victory on a two-point conversion pass. This one, with 28 seconds remaining, failed. It was Georgia's two-point pass from Matt Robinson to Richard Appleby that proved the difference. The decisive play followed a five-yard run by Horace King.
Alabama Coach Bear Bryant has been telling his players all year, "All you have to do is win. Keep winning and everything will fall into place." That philosophy could produce a national championship for the Crimson Tide, which held on as one of the Top 20's three unbeaten, untied teams by routing Louisiana State 30-0.
It was the third shutout of the year for Alabama and extended its streak of scoreless quarters to 14. "The defense has developed a motto," says Linebacker Ron Robertson, " 'Get that goose egg.' Those zip jobs look awfully pretty on the scoreboard."
Bryant called it "our best defensive game of the year. We were worried about the game beforehand, but after I saw our defense operate a while I wasn't worried."
Auburn was hearing bells in its game with Mississippi State, but that did not prevent the Tigers from winning 24-20. "Their fans rang cowbells every time we had the ball," said Shug Jordan. "We had two offside penalties and fumbled six inches from the goal line because we couldn't hear our signals."
Despite a 17-0 first-half lead, the Tigers did not nail down the victory until they intercepted a Bulldog pass in the final 30 seconds. Big plays proved the difference. A 60-yard run by Rick Neel set up the first TD, a 52-yard punt return by Mike Fuller provided the second, and Secdrick McIntyre scored the third on a 54-yard gallop.
Condredge Holloway became Tennessee's alltime total-offense leader by reaching the 3,658-yard mark in the Volunteers' 34-6 victory over Memphis State. Holloway highlighted the day by chasing down a bad snap on a point-after attempt and passing 20 yards for two points.
Kentucky had a surprisingly easy time with Vanderbilt, winning 38-12 behind Mike Fanuzzi's two touchdowns and John Pierce's three field goals. It was a costly victory. Fullback Sonny Collins suffered a broken leg while scoring in the second quarter.
North Carolina State, the second-best team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, accomplished what Maryland, the ACC's best, could not—a defeat of Penn State. The Wolf-pack seniors kept their 16-game home record unblemished in a 12-7 victory. Fullback Stan Fritts rushed for 112 yards, scored one touchdown and passed for another.
Maryland rocked Villanova 41-0, Virginia trounced VMI 28-10, and in league games Duke defeated Wake Forest 23-7 and Clemson massacred North Carolina 54-32.
1. Alabama (9-0)
2. Florida (7-2)
3. Auburn (8-1)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
DEFENSE: SMU's 275-pound Middle Guard Louis Kelcher overcame double-and triple-team blocks to make 24 tackles in the Mustangs' upset of Texas A&M. "I've never seen a greater performance," Coach Dave Smith said later.
OFFENSE: Quarterback Neal Jeffrey rallied surprising Baylor to five scores in six second-half possessions against Texas. Overall, he completed 20 of 31 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns and rushed a yard for another.