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Auburn shaped up as a contender, too, by beating Georgia Tech 28-10 in a game that suggested how important a quarterback can be. Tech Coach Bud Carson had starter Kim King and backup-man Larry Good on the bench with injuries, and before the game was over he lost two more signal-callers. "I think I must be having a bad dream," said Carson. "Then I realize it's not a dream. It's a nightmare."
With Halfback Warren McVea sitting it out because of an injury, Houston turned to defense—absurd as it sounds—to beat Mississippi State with interceptions and punt returns 43-16. Unbeaten North Carolina State got unexpected resistance from Wake Forest, but three held goals by Gerald Warren and Safety Fred Combs's 71-yard punt return earned the Wolfpack their sixth straight, 24-7. South Carolina kept pace with State at the top of the ACC standings. While Coach Paul Dietzel, who had a knee operation last week after a practice-field injury, got around in a golf cart, his Gamecocks edged Virginia 24-23 on Jimmy Poole's 45-yard field goal. Clemson, back in the more peaceful ACC after unhappily consorting with SEC teams two of the past three weeks, overtook Duke 13-7 on Buddy Gore's two nine-yard touchdown runs. How was it, getting out of the SEC and back home? "Well," said Coach Frank Howard, "the SEC gets dedicated football players; the ACC gets dedicated students."
Virginia Tech won its sixth game by beating Richmond 45-14 as big George Constantinides ran for four touchdowns. Florida State kept the ball in the air all day against Texas Tech while winning 28-12, and the Air Force got it in the air one time when it really mattered as Dennis Leutheiser's 30-yard field goal in the last minute beat Tulane 10-7.
When Oregon State Coach Dee Andros, an easygoing, pudgy 250-pounder, turned up at Purdue wearing his usual orange blazer, orange socks and orange-and-black shoes, everybody naturally figured this was just to get folks to overlook his team's shortcomings. His Beavers had lost to Washington and Brigham Young and hardly had any chance against the esteemed Boilermakers. Not even when Quarterback Steve Preece lobbed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Roger Cantlon to give OSU a 7-0 lead in the first quarter was there any fright in the Purdue stands. And sure enough, Purdue's Mike Phipps began flipping passes to Jim Beirne (he caught six), Leroy Keyes swept the ends for two scores and soon the Boilermakers led 14-10. But that proved to be Purdue's last hurrah. Mike Haggard kicked his second field goal for Oregon State and, after a fumble recovery, Fullback Bill Enyart ran most of the 30 yards left to score from the four. When Haggard kicked another field goal Purdue had its first defeat, 22-14.
Throughout Minneapolis last week, Minnesota Coach Murray Warmath was being held in disrepute for planning to start Curt Wilson, last year's good-run, no-pass quarterback, against Michigan State. Actually, what Warmath had in mind was loosening up the favored Spartans with a few early passes and then going after them with a running game. But Wilson had learned how to pass, and he made a genius of Warmath as he completed 14 of 25 for 262 yards. He threw to Chip Litten and Hubie Bryant for three touchdowns, and the Gophers, who forgot all about the running game, shocked MSU 21-0. "They've been playing guessing games around here all season about our quarterback," said Warmath. "I think it's over now."
It was not over for Indiana—yet. The Hoosiers gave Michigan the tying touchdown when Quarterback John Isenbarger fumbled on his own 15 after a typical Indiana gamble, a fourth-down run from a kick formation. But still they won, as Isenbarger took Indiana 80 yards and plunged over from the one with 1:10 to go to give the Hoosiers a 27-20 victory. Ohio State managed a 6-2 win over Northwestern, while Notre Dame had no mercy against Illinois, clobbering the Illini 47-7.
Colorado's Eddie Crowder had Nebraska Quarterback Frank Patrick pegged right. "He has extraordinary talent but is inconsistent," said Crowder. He was, too, against the Buffs. Patrick completed 14 passes for 191 yards, but he also threw four interceptions. Colorado's Dick Anderson got one and lateraled it off to End Mike Veeder for a 62-yard touchdown run, and Jeff Raymond grabbed another and ran it back 76 yards. All this helped the undefeated Buffs win 21-16.
Suddenly there was a newcomer in the Mid-American race. Toledo, doing well under Coach Frank Lauterbur, surprised Western Michigan 35-9 for its fourth straight win and moved into a three-way tie for first with the Broncos and Miami of Ohio, which defeated Ohio U. 22-15.