Ohio U. earned a share of the Mid-American title with Toledo in a 31-7 triumph over Bowling Green. Toledo, meanwhile, defeated Northern Illinois 35-0 for its seventh straight win, the Rockets' longest victory streak in 20 years. Wake Forest rose with a good game against Tulsa and won 31-24, thanks mainly to Digit Laughridge, who ran 59 yards with an interception for a touchdown and then tackled a Tulsa receiver on the one-yard line as the game ended.
1. UCLA (7-0-1)
2. USC (8-1)
3. WYOMING (9-0)
USC Coach John McKay had fair warning. Early in the week Dee Andros, the roly-poly Oregon State coach who is known as The Great Pumpkin, told everybody, " USC is going to have its hands full. Maybe we'll open a few eyes." Andros' busy Beavers had already beaten Purdue and tied UCLA when each was ranked No. 2, and they were cocky enough to think they could defeat the nation's No. 1 team, too, even with O.J. Simpson back and running at them. Despite a drizzle and a soggy field, Simpson ripped the OSU defenses for 188 yards on 33 carries, a good day's work. But the Beavers held when it mattered, and the Trojans were unable to score. In fact, the Trojans were unable to move. With rain stopping their passing game and the Beavers stopping everything else, USC never got past the 50-yard line after the first quarter. When OSU's Mike Haggard kicked a 30-yard field goal in the second period The Great Pumpkin had his upset 3-0.
For all its upsetting ways, Oregon State, which was beaten by Washington, is out of the race for the Pacific Eight title and the Rose Howl. USC and UCLA will settle that when they meet Saturday (page 32), and perhaps McKay will find as much good in the loss to OSU as UCLA's Tommy Prothro did in his team's tie. "It relieved the pressure," said Prothro, "and turned us loose." Loose was hardly the word for it as the Bruins tore through Washington, which had allowed only 9.1 points a game, for a startling 48-0 win. Quarterback Gary Beban shook up the Huskies with a 67-yard pass to End Ron Copeland on UCLA's first play, and they never recovered. That alone was enough to have the Bruin fans cheering, but they really erupted when word of USC's defeat reached the Coliseum. Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy, on the UCLA bench, whirled toward the student body, index finger extended, and then came the inevitable shout: "We're No. 1."
Meanwhile, on a lower excitement level, Stanford beat Oregon 17-14, California defeated San Jose State 30-6 and Washington State trounced Idaho 52-14.
Wyoming, one of the nation's remaining unbeaten teams, whipped New Mexico 42-6 to win the Western AC championship, as Quarterback Paul Toscano passed for two scores and ran for another and Jerry DePoyster kicked four field goals. DePoyster also added four conversions for a career total of 175 points, breaking Charlie Gogolak's NCAA kick-scoring record of 170. Brigham Young moved into second place by edging Arizona 17-14.
Utah State, finishing fast, outscored Montana 20-14 for its fifth straight, while New Mexico State, with Quarterback Sol Olivas throwing six touchdown passes, beat Northern Arizona 90-0. Yes, 90-0.