THE TOP THREE:
1. USC (6-3)
2. OREGON (6-3)
3. UTAH STATE (8-1)
The path to the Rose Bowl became thornier; UCLA, of all teams, thrashed surprisingly submissive Washington 14-0 and suddenly found itself, with a sad 2-7 record, a candidate to represent the Big Six at Pasadena. The Bruins, now 2-1 in the conference, can win the championship if they beat USC (also 2-1) and Washington (now 3-1) loses to WASHINGTON STATE Saturday.
"Everything fell into place," chortled UCLA's happy Bill Barnes. It did indeed. Barnes stacked two linebackers in close to shut off Husky Fullback Junior Coffey, sent his monster linebacker in motion with the deep back and tightened up his pass defense. Barnes also had some new twitches in his offense—a flanker back and more passing than ever before. Drop-back Passer Steve Sindell threw to Halfback Byron Nelson for a touchdown in the first half, Rollout Passer Larry Zeno threw to Nelson for another score in the second half.
Washington's troubles are not over yet. Washington State, with Quarterback Dale Ford out of Coach Jim Sutherland's doghouse at last, knocked off Stanford 32-15. USC, despite some expert faking and wriggling by Oregon State's elusive Vern Burke, who caught three touchdown passes from Gordon Queen, outlasted the Beavers 28-22.
California and Utah, two teams with so-so records, indulged themselves in a so-so game in snowbound Salt Lake City. Utah's defense was softer, so Cal won 35-22. Bob Berry moved OREGON 75 yards in five plays, the last one a 29-yard pass to H. D. Murphy with 11 seconds to go, to overtake Indiana 28-22. Terry Isaacson triggered AIR FORCE'S new shotgun offense with 202 yards and scored twice as the Falcons clobbered New Mexico 30-8. UTAH STATE, the nation's total offense leader, gained 408 yards but also picked up 123 yards in penalties and barely beat New Mexico State 7-6. ARIZONA STATE, ineligible for the Western AC title, made certain that Wyoming would not win it either. The Sun Devils beat the Cowboys 35-6.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NAVY (8-1)
2. PITT (7-1)
3. SYRACUSE (7-2)