In sunny old Honolulu, Oregon's Ducks trailed 16-14 in the first half, but finally hulaed their way to a 57-16 victory. Oregon racked up a school-record 678 yards, including 388 on the ground. In Fort Collins all the action took place off the field when Colorado State announced that its coach of eight seasons, Mike Lude, would not have his contract renewed (he was fired, that means). State's record this season was 4-6, its seventh losing season under Lude, and it included a 79-7 walloping by Arizona State, the worst loss in the school's history.
1. TEXAS (9-0)
2. ARKANSAS (9-0)
3. HOUSTON (8-2)
Even Spiro Agnew probably wouldn't complain about the way national television has manipulated the Texas-Arkansas game. Originally scheduled for Oct. 18, it was switched to this Saturday purely at the behest of Roone Arledge, executive director of ABC sports. Everybody knew long ago, of course, that the Southwest Conference championship and a Cotton Bowl bid would be at stake, but who this side of Woody Hayes expected the national championship to be on the line, too? Yet, happily, that's what college football's 100th season has come down to, whether Joe Paterno likes it or not. Texas Coach Darrell Royal, for one, tips his cap to TV. "It makes them look smarter than a tree full of owls," Royal said on Thanksgiving, after his Longhorns made turkey hash of Texas A&M 49-12.
As has been their custom, the Longhorns put the game away so early that the first team spent the second half sitting—make that shivering—on the bench. The temperature in College Station was near freezing, and even a Wisconsin native like Halfback Jim Bertelsen chattered, "I was freezing." Bertelsen was as responsible as anyone for the first team's early exit, injuring his left arm on the game's first play from scrimmage, but coming back two plays later to zig and zag 63 yards for Texas' first TD. For sheer razzle-dazzle, however, nothing could match the end-around play on which Split End Cotton Speyrer threw a 37-yard scoring pass to Tight End Randy Peschel—the first time Speyrer had passed since he was in high school. His form resembled a bad javelin thrower, but Cotton made his point: "Maybe it will give Arkansas something to think about." Speyrer also caught a scoring pass as the first unit built up a 39-0 lead that moved a record A&M crowd of 51,160 to begin leaving at halftime.
At Little Rock the afternoon was equally cold (a bonfire was lit near the Arkansas bench late in the game) and the game equally dull as the Razorbacks ground out a 33-0 victory over Texas Tech, the 100th for Frank Broyles as a head coach. The Porkers were their usual prosaic selves, winning the game with a defense that has allowed only 6.8 points per game, best in the country. Typical of Arkansas' style was the tackle Terry Stewart put on Tech's Danny Hardaway a split second after Hardaway had leaped to catch a pass at the Arkansas 10. He went down in a heap and the ball rolled out of bounds, giving the Razorbacks possession on downs. "That's the hardest I've ever been hit," marveled Hardaway later. "In fact, that's the first time this year I've been hit, really hit, not just tackled. If I could see him [Stewart], I would walk up and shake his hand. He put it on me."
The Razorback offense was equally effective, mixing Bill Montgomery's passes to Chuck Dicus, John Rees and Pat Morrison with grinding runs. Near the end, Arkansas fans in the east stands began to chant, "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Arkansas to the Cotton Bowl," but Broyles didn't want to talk about Texas right away. "I'm going to enjoy my 100 first," he said. "It's been a long, long struggle to get to be 9-0. The monkey gets heavy on your back. I'm going to enjoy this one before I think about those Longhorns."
Playing in the Astrodome, where they will meet Auburn Dec. 31 in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl, the Houston Cougars beat Florida State 41-13, their eighth straight win after opening with a pair of losses. Houston's high-octane offense clicked as usual behind sophomore Quarterback Gary Mullins, but its defense is what did in Florida State. Houston intercepted two Bill Cappleman passes, recovered three fumbles and threw Seminole quarterbacks for losses 10 times, totaling 97 yards. Stick that in your Astro-Bluebonnet and try it on for size!
Poor Baylor closed out its first season under Coach Bob Beall with an 0-10 record, the first time the Bears had gone without a victory since they were 0-4 in the war-interrupted season of 1918. Baylor had entertained hopes of beating its final opponent, Rice, which came into the game with only a 2-7 record, but that possibility flickered out when the Owls' Mike Spruill came off the bench. Unable to start because of a shoulder separation, Spruill scored three touchdowns—on runs of 30, four and one yards—to lead Rice. About all that Baylor fans had to cheer was Gordon Utgard, the Bears' senior tailback. He broke the national kickoff return record by returning six against Rice. That gave him 37 for the season, three ahead of the mark set last year by Northwestern's Mike Adamle.