After the first three downs, Texas had not budged past the line of scrimmage and had almost run one play with only 10 players in the lineup. But soon sophomore Jim Bertelsen, one of the sickest virus victims, ran 53 yards to set up the first TD, and Texas got healthier as the warm afternoon wore on. Early in the last quarter, with Texas leading 56-7, it was announced that Ohio State had beaten Wisconsin 62-7 and the crowd began urging Texas Coach Darrell Royal to pour it on—for the sake of the polls, you know. But Royal, mercifully, kept substituting until 56 Texas players—one for every point—had seen action.
Houston, always one to pile it on whenever possible, whipped Tulsa 47-14 in what for these perennial adding machines was almost a defensive struggle. Tulsa Quarterback Rick Arlington completed 17 of 37 passes for 214 yards but was intercepted five times. His counterpart, Gary Mullins, threw for 179 yards and two TDs, but the Cougars won the game on the ground, where Ted Heiskell gained 118 yards and Jim Strong 117, including three TDs. "Our offense was too spotty," said Houston Coach Bill Yeoman, undoubtedly miffed with only 47 points on the board.
1. UCLA (7-0-1)
2. USC (7-0-1)
3. STANFORD (5-2-1)
The nearer the UCLA game (Nov. 22) gets, the more USC looks like the worst unbeaten team in the country. The Trojans squeaked through again, this time against winless Washington State. It was not exactly close—the final score was 28-7—but neither was it a breather, considering that USC had been so heavily favored that the bookies refused to put a price on it. First USC Coach John McKay needled the press—"It was an easy game," he said, tongue in cheek, "just like you writers said it would be"—but then he added, "I'm unhappy. We're favored by 50 and have trouble winning by 21. Maybe we just aren't any good."
The Trojans should have known they were in for a long afternoon after Washington State's first play. The Cougars' quarterback, Rich Olson, came into the game with a perfect record—six incompletions and an interception in seven passing attempts—so he completed his first throw against the Trojans. It was only 14-7 at halftime because State had found a way of throwing off Southern Cal's offense: the Trojans start their plays on the word "Go," so State's linebackers would shift defenses with a similar word, "Now," leading to an occasional jump offside by the Trojan line. Say, though, isn't this illegal? "It's close to it," said McKay. "Coaches have been doing illegal things for years." Said Cougar Coach Jim Sweeney, "We thought our defensive shifting was one of the keys.... Yes, we worked on it all week."
Washington's best performance of the year still was only good enough to hold Stanford to a 21-7 victory, the eighth straight loss this season for the troubled Huskies, whose problems were compounded last week when Coach Jim Owens kicked off four blacks. While black spokesmen spent the week calling for his dismissal, Owens was tied up in so many meetings that he missed two practices (that would have got him canned at Indiana). Conferences of reconciliation between Owens and the suspended players finally began on Friday morning, but quickly degenerated into rough facsimiles of the Paris peace talks, with the players walking out because Owens wouldn't allow their attorneys to be present. As soon as this was resolved, the players balked again when Owens refused to allow a black assistant coach, Carver Gayton, to be present. Finally, the coach and players met Friday afternoon and evening, with the announcement coming late Sunday that all the blacks except Halfback Harvey Blanks would be taken back.
In the Western Athletic Conference, Utah pinned Wyoming with its second straight loss, 34-10, knocking the Cowboys out of championship contention and enhancing its own chances considerably. The Utes now are 4-0 in WAC play, with games left against Arizona this week and Brigham Young after that. Utah plays one less league game than Arizona State, the hottest contender, and thus would lose the title if both teams finished with only one conference loss. There were no demonstrations in protest of Wyoming Coach Lloyd Eaton's well-publicized dismissal of 14 black players, although a few blacks in the crowd wore black armbands with "14" on them. Meanwhile, Brig-ham Young kept alive its WAC title hopes with a 21-3 victory over San Jose. All the Spartans, even Coach Joe McMullen, entered the BYU stadium wearing black armbands in protest of the alleged racist policies of the Mormon Church, the issue that had touched off the trouble at Wyoming.
Junior Flanker Ernie Jennings of the Air Force tied the NCAA record held by Ron Sellers and Howard Twilley when he caught five TD passes in the Falcons' 38-13 win over Utah State. Jennings now has scored the Falcons' last seven touchdowns, including a 96-yard kickoff return two weeks ago.