LSU Coach Charlie McClendon did not suggest that a fast whistle cost his team the game against Alabama, but he must have thought about it. Four times Crimson backs fumbled and LSU recovered, once in its own end zone just before Alabama scored its only touchdown, but the ruling each time was that the play was dead before the bobble. Then, when the Tigers' Tommy Allen fumbled on the Alabama two-yard line as LSU was driving for the winning touchdown, Alabama recovered. Just to make things more miserable for McClendon, Place-kicker Roy Hurd missed an extra point, as LSU lost 7-6. "Ole Alabama had a silver spoon in its mouth tonight," said McClendon. "LSU showed class," said grateful Bear Bryant.
How did Tulane Coach Jim Pittman feel about his team playing No. 2-ranked Tennessee, the Southeastern Conference leader, on Homecoming Day in Knoxville? "Well," said Pittman, "a little like the Christians must have felt before they let the lions out." The quick Vols, led by Center Bob Johnson, played like hungry lions. Bursting through Tulane's defensive line, Tennessee scored the first four times it had the ball. Halfback Walter Chadwick ran for two touchdowns, Quarterback Dewey Warren sneaked across for one and Bubba Wyche, Warren's substitute, passed to Mike Gooch for the fourth as the Vols coasted home 35-14. "They're good all right," said Pittman. "They even look strong in the huddle."
While Mississippi, Tennessee's next opponent, rested for the ordeal, Auburn remained in the SEC race by shutting out Mississippi State 36-0, as Quarterback Loran Carter threw three touchdown passes to End Freddy Hyatt. Georgia, however, slipped out of the running when Florida Quarterback Larry Rentz and Flanker Dick Trapp humiliated the Bulldog pass defense, which had been the best in the nation. Rentz passed for 235 yards and Trapp caught nine, for 171 and a touchdown. But Florida still trailed until the final 29 seconds, when Wayne Barfield, who earlier had kicked his 47th-straight extra point, booted a 31-yard field goal to give the Gators a 17-16 upset. Kentucky, going nowhere but enjoying the trip more these days, beat Vanderbilt 12-7.
Miami and Florida State, making a run for postseason bowl consideration, each won its sixth game in a row. Miami, with Quarterback David Olivo passing for two touchdowns, inflicted Georgia Tech's worst defeat in 19 years, 49-7. Tech Coach Bud Carson was so distraught he even barred his own assistants from the dressing room until after he had talked to his players.
Florida State Coach Bill Peterson had a psychological ploy ready for Virginia Tech. He put his team in garnet jerseys for the first time in years at home, forcing Tech to wear white. He also had a couple of other things ready—Quarterback Kim Hammond's passing and Flanker Ron Sellers' catching. Hammond, who leads the country in total offense, completed 17 of 30 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns. Sellers caught eight for 229 yards and three scores, and the flashy Seminoles won 38-15.
Clemson, probably looking ahead to Saturday's Atlantic Coast showdown with North Carolina State, was tied 7-7 with Maryland at half time. Some words of wisdom—or at least some words—from Coach Frank Howard stirred the Gamecocks in the second half, and they whipped the poor Terps 28-7. Virginia buried North Carolina 40-7, while Duke, although behind at the half, beat Navy 35-16. West Virginia, the Southern Conference leader, tied William and Mary 16-16 to hold first place.
1. TEXAS (6-2)
2. HOUSTON (6-2)
3. TEXAS AT EL PASO (5-1-1)
There was still plenty of that oldtime defensive crunch in Texas' 24-0 win over Baylor, but if there are any defensive secondaries left on the Longhorns' schedule with visions of uncomplicated afternoons, forget it. For the third successive week Longhorn Coach Darrell Royal put some passes into his game plan, and for the third straight week Quarterback Bill Bradley followed that plan—and then some. Bradley reached a new career high by passing for 220 yards on 10 of 21 completions. Still, it took a fumble recovery by Texas at the Baylor nine and a partially blocked punt for the Long-horns to jam 17 points into the second quarter and insure their win.
TCU, winner of a single game, stood eyeball to eyeball across the scrimmage line from Texas Tech and its fearsome rushing attack—the best in the country—and not only did the Frogs beat the Red Raiders 16-0 they knocked Tech out of its share of the Southwestern Conference lead. The unexpected dropout in the SWC race, Arkansas, struggling to get its season record up to acceptable standards, took a constructive step by defeating Rice 23-9.