1. ALABAMA (7-0)
2. GEORGIA TECH (7-0)
3. LSU (5-0-1)
As usual, the bedlam in LSU'S crowded Tiger Stadium last Saturday night was absolute. Cowbells clanged, cheerleaders screamed. The two teams battled each other viciously, Ole Miss led 10-3 with six minutes to play and it seemed that LSU was in for its third straight loss to the Rebels. Then the clawing Tiger defense forced Mississippi's Doug Cunningham to fumble a punt, and LSU Guard John Aaron recovered on the Ole Miss 47. Quarterback Billy Ezell, in for injured Pat Screen, took the Tigers in for a touchdown in three plays, the last a 19-yard pass to tall sophomore End Billy Masters. Naturally, LSU went for the winning points. Ezell threw. Flanker Doug Moreau juggled the deflected ball, then grasped it firmly to give the Tigers an 11-10 victory. "We never considered kicking for a tie," said Coach Charlie McClendon later. "When you have to fight for your life, it's nice to get a little extra out of it."
LSU, however, will need more than just a little extra for unbeaten ALABAMA this Saturday. After some anxious moments when Mississippi State led 6-0 in the first quarter, the Alabama defense settled down and the offense went to work. David Ray got 'Bama ahead 9-6 at half time with 34-, 40- and 21-yard field goals, and Quarterback Steve Sloan, passing and running the option smartly, riddled State in the second half. Fullback Steve Bowman cracked over twice from the one and Alabama won 23-6.
Auburn, playing without ailing Quarterback Jimmy Sidle, was simply no match for FLORIDA. The alert Gator defense intercepted four of sub Quarterback Joe Campbell's passes, Halfback Dick Kirk ran one of them back 84 yards for a touchdown and Florida whipped the toothless Tigers 14-0.
Trying to pin down undefeated GEORGIA TECH was becoming a hopeless chore. Duke Coach Bill Murray thought he could do it with the I formation. He reasoned that Fullback Mike Curtis' rushes up the middle would draw in the Tech defense so Quarterback Scotty Glacken could throw to his Lonely End and halfbacks. Duke outgained Tech 371 yards to 270, Glacken completed 24 passes for 263 yards, but still the Blue Devils lost. Tech's offensive linemen suddenly began to move people and its split T option worked beautifully. Halfback Terry Haddock scored twice off it, and the Jackets took their seventh, 21-8. "It's just sickening. We did everything as planned except cross the goal line," complained Murray.
Kentucky, for all its toughness, was still losing. WEST VIRGINIA'S Allen McCune threw for three scores, ran for another as Kentucky lost its fourth straight, 26-21. TULANE had better luck. The aggressive Greenies surprised VMI 25-6 for their first win. GEORGIA romped over North Carolina 24-8.
THE TOP THREE:
1. ARKANSAS (7-0)
2. TEXAS (6-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (4-2-1)
Somewhere, somehow, some team may find a way to beat ARKANSAS, just as some team may come up with a method of losing to Texas A&M, but Quarterback Fred Marshall saw to it that the unbeaten Razorbacks and the unwinning Aggies stayed that way for at least another week. In the first period Arkansas went 83 yards for a touchdown, Marshall passing and running for all but nine of them. Before the half ended, Arkansas had a fat 17-0 lead. That was plenty. In the second half, Arkansas' quick defensive platoon manhandled the Texas A&M backs so thoroughly the brooding Aggie fans stopped the game four times with a roar of boos. It changed nothing, including the score, which stayed 17-0.