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Meanwhile, idle Clemson, the ACC favorite, may have more than just Duke and N. C. State to worry about. All last spring South Carolina Coach Paul Dietzel told people he had the best backfield in the country. It sounded like April's wishful thinking, but now it was September and against Iowa State Dietzel's backs looked as good as anybody's. Quarterback Mike Fair ran and passed excellently, Fullback Warren Muir—like Dietzel, a transfer from Army—scored two touchdowns and the Gamecocks beat the Big Eight team 34-3.
Virginia Tech, the South's second-best independent (behind Miami), started well against Tampa. The first time the Gobblers got the ball they marched 70 yards, and Terry Smoot scored from the three. Then Tampa settled down to play defense. The Spartans held Tech to two field goals by John Utin, but that was more than enough, as the Gobblers won 13-3.
West Virginia found the best offense was a good defense in a 27-6 victory over Richmond. The Mountaineers recovered five Richmond fumbles and blocked a kick, defensive moves that led to two touchdowns and a field goal. East Carolina, one of the few single-wing teams, could be a threat to West Virginia in the Southern Conference race. With sophomore fullback Butch Colson picking up 136 yards on 26 carries, the Pirates defeated William & Mary 27-7. VMI pounded Davidson for 546 yards in total offense to win 46-21, while Furman beat Mississippi College 15-6 and The Citadel lost to Southern Mississippi 10-7.
Sophomore Quarterback Bob Anderson ran for three touchdowns and set up a fourth with a pitchout and a perfect fake as Big Eight favorite Colorado beat Baylor of the Southwest Conference 27-7 in a sometimes ragged game in Boulder. Anderson, a quarterback who would as soon bull his way into the end zone as throw the ball into it, put on the kind of display that showed Colorado can stop worrying about who will direct its attack. But at times the Buffaloes also played like a team run by a sophomore, fumbling away three other scoring chances inside the Baylor 21-yard line. The defense counteracted these lapses by intercepting three passes, including two by Linebacker Kerry Mottl that set up touchdowns.
Chuck Hall of Air Force missed four field-goal attempts, including ones from 31 and 43 yards late in the game, and Craig Kessler of Oklahoma State missed two in a scoreless tie in Stillwater, Okla. In this exercise in futility, State moved inside the Air Force 10-yard line three times and out-gained the Falcons 348 yards to 159. Coach Phil Cutchin blamed only himself for the tie. "I am real proud of my team," he said. "They operated under a great handicap with me on the sideline and got a tie in spite of me. I substituted poorly. I made some bad calls. I made some good calls that turned out bad." One thing Cutchin did not do was play for a tie. Late in the fourth quarter, on fourth and two at its 26, State gambled for a first down and lost the ball when the Air Force defense threw Bruce Scott for a three-yard loss. "That play was one of my calls," said Cutchin. But Hall subsequently missed his field goal from the 43-yard line. Ben Martin, the Air Force coach, thought State would run a pass option on fourth and two. "I think it was the thing to do," he said. Cutchin, overhearing Martin's remark, answered, "He's a bad quarterback, too."
Kicking specialist Dale Livingston won his eighth game in three seasons for Western Michigan when he kicked a 49-yard field goal that broke a 14-14 tie and carried Western past Miami of Ohio 24-14 in a match-up of last season's Mid-American co-champions. Earlier Livingston had run for 19 yards and a first down on a faked punt that gave Quarterback Jim Boreland a chance to throw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Roosevelt Clark. Ohio University defeated Toledo 20-14 when Dick Conley ran 48 yards to set up the winning touchdown, which he scored himself with 4:39 left on a fourth-down play from the Toledo one-yard line.
Louisville, of the Missouri Valley Conference, scored three touchdowns within 10 minutes during the second quarter and routed Drake 46-7, as Quarterback Wally Oyler passed for three touchdowns and Halfback Herbie Phelps scored two. Wichita State was thoroughly outplayed—except where it counts, at the goal line—but managed to gain a 3-3 tie against Utah State on Troy Anderson's 37-yard field goal in the second quarter. Jim Murphy kicked a 34-yard field goal early for Utah State, and that looked like just the beginning of Slate's scoring. But the Shockers twice held at the one-yard line. However, their own offense was pathetic: only five first downs, including three on penalties, and 65 total yards, 197 less than Utah State. Dayton's tough defense never let Eastern Kentucky inside its 41-yard line, and the Flyers, helped by Bob Madden's 65-yard touchdown run off a double reverse, won 16-0. Tom Vercheck broke up a two-point conversion attempt late in the final quarter as Xavier held on to beat Quantico 20-18 on Gene Otting's 50-yard punt return for a touchdown.