1. TENNESSEE (5-0-1)
2. GEORGIA (5-0-2)
3. AUBURN (5-2)
Football rivalries being what they are, fans as well as players often spend all week preparing for games. Thus it was that no one was startled when a plane flew low over the LSU campus and air-dropped leaflets referring to the Tigers as "Pussycats," and told them bluntly to "Go to hell." They were signed "Johnny Reb." Emotions in Baton Rouge were further fanned as a tape and film were played throughout the week on radio and TV of Billy Cannon's 89-yard run that beat Mississippi 7-3 back in 1959. At the game itself in Baton Rouge rooting sections from both sides informed each other that they should take up residence in Hades, and once play began Ole Miss added injury to insult by knocking Tiger Quarterback Fred Haynes out of action. When the game—one of the most wide-open offensive battles ever between the two rivals—was over, Mississippi Coach Johnny Vaught referred to it as simply "the damnedest thing I've ever seen."
Ole Miss was led by a young sophomore, Archie Manning, whose 362 yards in total offense was the most ever against an LSU team. Manning, who was on the mark with 24 of 40 passes, threw for a pair of touchdowns as the Rebels overcame a 17-3 LSU lead to outscore the Tigers 27-24. The first of Manning's scoring passes went 65 yards to Floyd Franks and his other went nine yards to Steve Hindman with 55 seconds left.
Georgia players could be forgiven if they acted like so many Linuses who had at long last seen the Great Pumpkin, for the performance by Houston's Paul Gipson was, without a doubt, awe-inspiring. "He's too good for college football," said one of the game's officials. Good as he was—Gipson ran for 230 yards in 37 tries—the Bulldogs came back for 10 points in the fourth period to salvage a 10-10 tie, the final points coming on a 38-yard field goal by Jim McCullough with 12 seconds remaining.
UCLA Coach Tommy Prothro said he was not too concerned about his game against Tennessee because he was more interested in subsequent ones against conference foes. It was just as well, for the Volunteers had a cracking good time of it as they took care of the Bruins 42-18. They had a 35-0 lead before Mickey Cureton ran back a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. Pittsburgh's Dave Hart would be happy with a win of any sort. Alas, Miami disposed of the Panthers 48-0 as David Olivo made good on 16 of 23 passes—10 in a row at one stage—and Jim Huff kicked two field goals and five extra points. "I guess," said Hart sarcastically, "their kicker needed the practice."
Auburn took over first place in the Southeastern Conference, battling back to defeat Florida 24-13 as Loran Carter passed for three touchdowns. Alabama scored four of the first five times it had the ball, but as Coach Bear Bryant put it, "If the defense hadn't rose up, we'd have been beaten." The defense rose up just enough to give the Tide a 20-13 victory over Mississippi State. Vanderbilt beat Tulane 21-7 behind the passing of John Miller.
North Carolina State came within 53 seconds of wrapping up the Atlantic Coast Conference title only to have Clemson score, and the Tigers' 24-19 win gave them a 2-0-1 conference record and first place. Even Tiger Coach Frank Howard, who says that if fans are interested in passing they should go to basketball games, had to admit that forward passing was not all that bad as his Billy Amnions' tosses highlighted the winning 69-yard drive.
Spectacular individual offensive performances also led Wake Forest and South Carolina to ACC wins. Quarterback Freddie Summers of the Deacons accounted for 310 yards on offense, including a 90-yard touchdown gallop, as Wake Forest defeated Maryland 38-14. Virginia was upset by the Gamecocks 49-28 as Tommy Suggs passed for five touchdowns. Independent Georgia Tech was surprised by Duke 46-30 when Phil Asack ran for three scores.
Virginia Tech stole six passes, recovered a Florida State fumble and converted those plays into five touchdowns—one an 88-yard run by Ken Edwards—and a 40-22 win. The Gobblers also managed to limit All-America Flanker Ron Sellers to four receptions.