"If we're even at the start of the fourth period," Clemson Coach Frank Howard used to say, "we can beat any team in the country." Last Saturday the Tigers carried a 17-12 lead into the last quarter against Maryland, but they lost. Quarterback Dale Betty, an accurate marksman with the poise and confidence of a shill in a gambling joint, completed eight passes in a row, pitched the Terps to a 19-17 victory. Meanwhile, Duke, off to a 10-0 lead against unbeaten North Carolina State, held on as State's talented Roman Gabriel completed 16 of 30 passes for 182 yards, won 17-13 to take the lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Wake Forest's Norm Snead threw his 20th touchdown pass for a new ACC career record, gave the Deacons a 13-12 win over North Carolina.
The hard-put Southeastern Conference was beginning to wonder if any of its members would catch up to Mississippi. Tulane found a way to stop Ole Miss Quarterback Jake Gibbs's rollouts, but the Greenies couldn't keep up with his passes (to End Johnny Brewer for three touchdowns) and lost 26-13. Now it is up to Tennessee. The Vols, sticking methodically and bleakly to Coach Bowden Wyatt's anachronistic brand of football, wore down Alabama, turned two fumbles into touchdowns (one on a 41-yard run by End Mike LaSorsa) and whipped the frustrated Crimson 20-7.
Three other SEC games turned on a field goal. Kentucky matched LSU's defense and edged the Bengals 3-0 on Clark Mayfield's 28-yard kick; Auburn's Ed Dyas booted a 37-yarder to beat Georgia Tech 9-7; Georgia's Durward Pennington kicked two, from 31 and 25 yards, the latter with eight seconds to play, to defeat Mississippi State 20-17.
VMI's Howard Dyer, the nation's offensive leader, passed and ran for 216 yards to lead the undefeated Keydets past Virginia 30-16. The top three:
1. MISSISSIPPI (5-0)
2. TENNESSEE (3-0-1)
3. DUKE (3-1)
Syracuse had another bad Saturday, and this time it was scrappy Penn State that caused the trouble. Halfbacks Ernie Davis (on an 18-yard sprint) and Mark Weber (on a 60-yard pass interception) got the Orangemen rolling to a 21-7 lead. However, the Nittany Lions scrambled back on a three-yard pass from Quarterback Galen Hall to Halfback Dick Pae, then moved 85 yards to the Syracuse four-yard line before losing the ball on downs with seven seconds to go. Final score: Syracuse 21, Penn State 15.
Navy effectively squelched Air Force's Rich Mayo with an airtight pass defense, uncovered a notable passer of its own in Quarterback Hal Spooner and sent Halfback Joe Bellino squirming and slashing for three touchdowns to trim the Falcons 35-3. Pitt finally found breathing room against West Virginia, smothered the Mountaineers 42-0.
Yale moved to the head of the Ivy League with a 22-6 win over Cornell; Harvard, without injured Charlie Ravenel, was pressed to squeeze by Columbia 8-7; Penn beat Brown 36-7; Princeton outscored Colgate 36-26; Holy Cross edged Dartmouth 9-8 on Bill Joern's wobbly 20-yard field goal in the closing seconds. Bucknell's Paul Terhes passed Rutgers dizzy, but the Scarlet Knights struck back, won 23-19 in the final minutes. Tufts upset Lehigh 14-0. The top three: