In the first quarter Mississippi's Archie Manning threw two touchdown passes and it looked as if the unbeaten, fourth-ranked Rebels were on the way to the inevitable rout. Sure it had to be a rout, because look who Ole Miss was playing. Not Alabama, not Georgia, not LSU, but little ol' Southern Mississippi. In the hierarchy of Mississippi football Ole Miss has always lived in the big house upon the hill, while Southern has been just poor folks. Remember last year? Ole Miss 69, Southern 7. Well, it was a rout this year, too. Except the score was Southern 30, Ole Miss 14. Afterward all Manning could do was sit in the dressing room and mutter over and again, "It's a shame."
The Southerners from Hattiesburg, Miss. had a fine quarterback of their own in junior Rick Donegan, whose short passes were especially effective. The big plays, however, were made by little Willie Heidelburg (5'6", 147 pounds), one of the few black men ever to play in Mississippi at the major college level, and sophomore Gerry Saggus. Heidelburg ran only three times, but scored twice on reverses; Saggus broke the Rebs with a 60-yard punt return in the third quarter. Afterward Coach P. W. (Bear) Underwood, whose 39th birthday occurred the previous day, was serenaded by delirious Southern fans outside the dressing room.
And what happened to Archie and the Rebels? Well, some Ole Miss fans tried to blame the new $280,000 artificial turf in Hemingway Stadium (Ole Miss now is 0-3 on the ersatz carpet). The fact was that although Manning put the ball in the air more than ever (56 times, with 30 completions for 341 yards), he simply could not get the Rebels into the end zone after those first two TDs. Once Ole Miss lost the ball on downs when Archie was stopped a yard from the goal. Another time, with a first down on Southern's 11, Manning's pass into the end zone was intercepted.
On the Auburn campus for a night show, Bob Hope spent the afternoon watching the unbeaten Tigers trounce Georgia Tech 31-7. Hope got his biggest laugh of the weekend by asking Coach Shug Jordan, "Why don't you bring this team to the Rose Bowl?" Well, Bob, you had the wrong bowl but the right idea: Auburn and its marvelous passing combination of Pat Sullivan to Terry Beasley will surely wind up in somebody's. Against Tech, Sullivan, a junior, completed 16 of 29 passes for 312 yards and two TDs—including a record 85-yard toss to Flanker Alvin Bresler. He also ran seven times for 42 yards and another score. "I understand some people around here are wearing PAT WHO? buttons," said Jordan, who soon turned his thoughts to this week's important game against LSU, a team that beat Auburn last year.
In Baton Rouge LSU was extended to the last second to beat erratic Kentucky 14-7. With 28 seconds left, the underdog visitors had a first down on the LSU 12, but on the game's last play LSU Cornerback James Earley tackled Kentucky Receiver Al Godwin on the two to save the Tigers' fourth straight win. In a desperate attempt to stop the passing of Kentucky's Bernie Scruggs (25 of 39 for 207 yards) LSU Coach Charlie McClendon put his star tailback, Tommy Casanova, at cornerback for the last 10 minutes.
Leading only 7-0, Florida stopped upset-minded Richmond six inches away from the goal and went on to a 20-0 victory—the Gators' fifth in six starts. In Knoxville, Tennessee whipped Alabama 24-0 to give rookie Coach Bill Battle a 1-0 edge over Bear Bryant, his collegiate coach. "I'm real proud of Bill Battle," said Bryant. "Not happy for him, of course, but proud." In Jackson, Mississippi State upset Texas Tech 20-16, thanks to two TD passes from Quarterback Joe Reed to Flanker David Smith. In the Atlantic Coast Conference, previously winless Maryland upset South Carolina 21-15 in a comedy of errors. The last laugh went to Maryland, however, and the happy Terrapin fans revived that quaint old college custom of tearing down the goalposts.
1. TEXAS (4-0)
2. ARKANSAS (4-1)
3. HOUSTON (3-1)
Both Texas and Arkansas took the week off, so the big game was in the Astrodome, where Houston's Cougars played host to Oregon State, an underrated visitor from the West Coast. It was Coach Dee Andros' 46th birthday, and the Beavers were primed to upset the Cougars, which they very nearly did. Oregon State controlled the ball for 45 minutes and 86 plays (to Houston's 53), and with only 1:17 to go the Beavers had a 16-12 lead. But then Houston Quarterback Terry Peel passed to Split End Elmo Wright for 22 yards and the winning TD.
Peel, who started Houston's first two games while Gary Mullins was recovering from knee surgery, entered the game only because Mullins was ejected for scuffling with Oregon State's Mark Dippel in the fourth quarter. Mullins had reason to feel frustrated, he was 1-for-14 passing. During one stretch Mullins threw 11 straight in-completions, and his receivers dropped nine perfect throws. Peel, however, completed three of seven passes, including the game winner, and he sustained the final drive by keeping for two yards on a fourth-and-inches play at midfield.