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Last summer, while Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes was visiting U.S. troops in Vietnam, he generously invited Marine Lieut. General Lewis Walt to the Dad's Day game with Iowa and promised him the victory ball. The way things had been going for Woody earlier in the season, it seemed like an ill-advised gesture. But Hayes reinstated Fullback Jim Otis—the son of his old college roommate—who had been benched for poor play, and Otis responded nobly. He rammed through Iowa's mushy defense for 149 yards and scored once on a seven-yard burst as the Bucks won 21-10 and the general got his ball.
Oklahoma fans came prepared when the Sooners played Kansas in Norman. They had heard the ill-kept secret about Oklahoma going to the Orange Bowl if it beat the Jayhawks, and they loaded up with oranges sold by vendors at the stadium. But what they almost got stuck with was armloads of oranges. Kansas had a 10-0 lead in the third period, and, as one Oklahoma player said later, "We could see Miami slipping into the sea." However, Oklahoma pulled it out 14-10 on Quarterback Bobby Warmack's 30-yard pass to Steve Zabel with 1:02 to go. The touchdown led to a barrage of oranges being thrown onto the field—the Kansas team would have preferred a Cotton Bowl trip for Oklahoma.
When Nebraska, the nation's No. 1 defensive team, and Missouri, the country's third best, got together it might well have taken them until next Saturday to score. Both did, however, as Missouri won 10-7 to remain in the bowl picture. Colorado had no scoring worries, beating Kansas State 40-6 and accepting a Bluebonnet Bowl spot.
UTEP may sound like a branch of the United Nations, but the University of Texas at El Paso team was no dove against undefeated Wyoming. High-flying UTEP (40 points a game) scored twice after recovering Cowboy fumbles and held a 13-3 lead going into the fourth period, but then Quarterback Paul Toscano began to show why the Cowboys were ranked sixth in the country. He hit on a 64-yard pass, ran for two points after a touchdown and then moved his team in front 18-13 with a scoring pass. UTEP regained the lead 19-18, but, with 5:37 left, Jerry DePoyster won it for the Cowboys 21-19 with a 19-yard field goal and won a Sugar Bowl bid, too.
Chris Gilbert scored on a 96-yard run, the longest from scrimmage in SWC history, and Texas held a 17-6 lead over underdog TCU as the fourth period began, but Bubba Thornton scored for the Horned Frogs on a 78-yard punt return and Cubby Hudler ran back a quick kick 47 yards to set up a field goal that tied the score at 17-all. Texas Quarterback Bill Bradley, who had one of his worst days—he completed just two of 13 passes—fumbled and the Frogs went in to score for a 24-17 win that jolted the Southwest.
Four interceptions helped Texas A&M down Rice 18-3 and gain at least a tie for the SWC championship, which it can wrap up against Texas on Thanksgiving Day. Texas Tech and Baylor amassed 898 yards on offense in a game that the Red Raiders won 31-29 on a 37-yard field goal by Kenny Vinyard with 31 seconds left, and Ronny South passed for four touchdowns as Arkansas came back to beat SMU 35-17.
Houston showed you can't wear out Astroturf by running back and forth on it as they made a shambles of Idaho 77-6. The Cougars gained 622 yards, 511 of them on the ground, as Paul Gipson ran for 193, giving him a total of 1,022 for the year.