Tennessee gave up the lead to title-hopeful Mississippi State with four minutes left, struck back frantically as Sophomore Tailback Billy Majors (see page 8) and Senior End Murray Armstrong teamed up on a last-minute pass to pull the fat out of the fire 13-8. Armstrong, a scholarly, myopic wingman who never did much but play defense, also scored the first Tennessee touchdown on a 53-yard, scared-rabbit sprint with an intercepted pass.
Duke Coach Bill Murray, a proponent of hardnose football, went searching for a gimmick to rouse his twice-beaten team, came up with his own version of Army's "lonesome end," used it to beat Illinois 15-13. Employing the wide flanker with three ends on the line, Duke threw only eight passes but stormed for 211 yards on the ground for first-half scores by Bob Brodhead and Bobby Cruikshank, managed to outlast the challenging Illini in the second half.
Vanderbilt, a lower-middle-class power in the SEC, remained unbeaten and unimpressive when Alabama shocked the Commodores with a scoreless tie. In holding off Vandy, Alabama's Coach Bear Bryant gave further notice he was interested in defense first and building a winner after the holes have been mended.
In other games, North Carolina State did the obvious and pointed for Virginia's dangerous-throwing Reece Whitley, bottled him up just enough to win 26-14; South Carolina Coach Warren Giese spent the afternoon huddled in front of a TV set in a tent on the sidelines pondering the weaknesses of Georgia's bumbling Bulldogs, was pleased as punch when his Gamecocks won 24-14; Chattanooga put up a brave fight for three quarters, even led 8-6 for a while, but finally succumbed to powerful Auburn 30-8; LSU's one-two combination of Warren Robb and Billy Cannon exploded early and often to beat Hardin-Simmons 20-6; Florida State scored three quick touchdowns in the second period, then dug in to knock Wake Forest out of the unbeaten ranks 27-24; Georgia Tech defensed Tulane's passing to win 14-0. The top three:
1. AUBURN (2-0)
2. CLEMSON (3-0)
3. MISSISSIPPI (3-0)
Notre Dame, temporarily stymied by SMU Quarterback Don Meredith's slingshot passes (10 for 14), broke through when Sophomore Halfback Bill Mack, on his only carry of the day, hot-legged it 41 yards into the end zone. But SMU struck back, cut the Irish lead to 7-6 on Halfback Tirey Wilemon's 44-yard dash. The Notre Dame meat grinder, hitting hard but clean, sent Meredith (and his two subs) limping to the sidelines, then battered away at the weary Mustang line for the insurance touchdown, scored by Quarterback Bob Williams, in a 14-6 victory.
Southwest prestige also suffered on two other fronts as Miami, with Fran Curci passing and Frank Bouffard hammering out huge chunks of yardage, burst unbeaten Baylor's bubble 14-8, and Purdue bottled up Rice's feeble running and passing game to win 24-0. But Texas A&M found a team it could beat, edged Missouri 12-0.
TCU Quarterback Hunter Enis, taking matters into his own hands, ignored an order from the bench to pass, instead sent Fullback Jack Spikes bursting over left guard on a trap play for 39 yards to the Arkansas 8-yard line. Enis finally took to the air, passing to Justin Rowland for the touchdown which beat the Razor-backs 12-7 in a Southwest Conference opener. Undefeated Texas kept pace with the sluggish Frogs, defeating Texas Tech 12-7.
In other games Mississippi started slowly against Trinity, picked up momentum to win 21-0; Arizona State at Tempe had its hands full before West Texas State bowed 16-13 in the Border Conference. The top three: