Not too long ago FLORIDA STATE thought it would never get a chance to play Florida. When the time finally came, the Seminoles were happy to escape with their lives, losing five and tying one. But last Saturday six years of frustration ended at Tallahassee. Steve Tensi riddled Florida's pass defense—the best in the country—for 190 yards, throwing 55 yards to flanker Fred Biletnikoff for a score. Les Murdock kicked 25-, 34-and 40-yard field goals, and State won 16-7, to earn an invitation to the Gator Bowl.
Wake Forest's one-man gang, Fullback Brian Piccolo, played the sweetest music Coach Bill Tate has ever heard. Already the nation's No. 1 rusher, Piccolo smashed North Carolina State inside and out, scoring 21 points to take the scoring lead (with 111 points) as Wake shocked State 27-13. But there was some consolation for the Wolf-pack. They backed into the ACC title when NORTH CAROLINA surprised Duke 21-15.
Miami's Bob Biletnikoff, a sophomore quarterback with a George Mira flair, softened up Vanderbilt with a touchdown pass, then ran through the startled Commodores for three scores in three minutes as the Hurricanes won their fourth straight, 35-17. KENTUCKY overtook Tennessee 12-7.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NOTRE DAME (9-0)
2. MICHIGAN (8-1)
3. NEBRASKA (9-1)
Now Iowa is a believer. The Hawkeyes had a go at unbeaten NOTRE DAME, and it was like playing Russian roulette. The rude Irish line smothered Gary Snook, holding him to eight completions in 21 attempts. Notre Dame's Johnny Huarte was more judicious with his passing. He tried 10 and completed only four, but one was a 66-yard scoring bomb to End Jack Snow. Bill Wolski ran for two touchdowns, Nick Eddy got one, and Notre Dame coasted home 28-0.
For most of the season OKLAHOMA had bumbled and fumbled, leaving behind a trail of horrendous mistakes. But not last Saturday. The Sooners met undefeated Nebraska, held on to the ball and beat the Huskers at their own system. Oklahoma hammered away diligently at Nebraska's inside, marching 88 yards to go ahead 10-7 in the last quarter. Then sub Halfback Larry Brown went 48 yards on a run that gave Oklahoma the game 17-7.
"We may have the best chance to go scoreless against Missouri that we have had in my seven years at Kansas." Kansas Coach Jack Mitchell, talking before the MISSOURI game, was only kidding, of course. Mitchell was really more worried about his shaky defense. Mizzou, with its devastating power sweeps and straight stuff, battered the Jayhawkers for 303 yards and a 34-14 victory, knocking them out of a tie with Nebraska for the Big Eight title.
While Bump Elliott's MICHIGAN team was beating Ohio State 10-0 to win a trip to the Rose Bowl, brother Pete's ILLINOIS club saved a small slice of its prestige. Linebacker Dick Butkus wrecked Michigan State's offense and Jim Grabowski did the same to the defense, running for 185 yards, mostly on trap plays, as the Illini won 16-0. There was even some small solace for other Big Ten also-rans. PURDUE outscored Indiana 28-22, and WISCONSIN upset Minnesota 14-7.