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1. STANFORD (6-1)
While Stanford was squeezing out its 9-7 victory over UCLA, other Pacific Eight teams were shuttling in and out of the Rose Bowl picture. Oregon kept its chances alive by beating Southern California 10-7, knocking the Trojans out of the running unless a series of miracles now occurs. "I kept hearing my number in the huddle," said Webfoot Tailback Bobby Moore, who ground out 168 yards along the Astro Turf in 38 carries. "I kept thinking they were running me a lot, but I sure didn't realize it was that much."
Moore was the difference. Monsoon rains helped hold the Oregon passing attack, most productive in the nation, to only 149 yards on 13 completions in 32 tries, but the Oregon backs moved freely against a Southern Cal ground defense that some observers had called impenetrable. USC scored in the first quarter when it bruised out 59 yards on 14 plays, Sam Cunningham, the burly fullback, going over from the one. Oregon finally scored in the third quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Ken Woody and then again on an 80-yard march in the fourth period following a Jimmy Jones fumble. Moore carried the ball five of eight plays during the winning drive, caught a pass and scored the touchdown, but the big gainer was a 50-yard pass from Dan Fouts to Bobby Newland that took the ball to the eight.
"I would say our Rose Bowl chances are completely finished," declared the losing coach, John McKay, after the game, a statement he hasn't had to make in five years.
In Colorado unbeaten Air Force once again upheld the honor of the military as Army and Navy continued their week-by-week withdrawal from former football glories. This time the Falcons even got an assist, in a backhanded sort of way, from the Navy coach. After his team's 26-3 loss to Air Force two weeks ago Navy's Rick Forzano claimed that the Air Force team was overrated in the national polls (seventh) and that a good passing team would riddle the Falcons like so much Swiss cheese. So the Falcons met Frank Harris, Boston College's sharp-passing quarterback. Harris completed 21 of 38, but the Air Force secondary picked off four for themselves and Cornerback Jim Smith returned one of these 90 yards for a touchdown as Air Force shot down the previously once-defeated Eagles 35-10. But if Harris' passes sometimes strayed a bit, the Air Force quarterback, Bob Parker, was continually on target. He hit Flanker Ernie Jennings with scoring strikes of 11, five and two yards, and Smith's long interception return in the final quarter locked it up.
Some Pacific Eight also-rans could at least enjoy the odd Saturday afternoon. In Corvallis, Washington's sturdy Cherokee quarterback, Sonny Sixkiller, fired 50 arrows into the air and 30 of them fell into the hands of Husky receivers as Washington defeated Oregon State 29-20. The Beaver defense slowed Sixkiller down by latching on to four of his throws in the first 20 minutes, taking a 14-0 lead, but could not stand so much prosperity. Penalties, fumbles and pass interceptions led to all of Washington's touchdowns. Oregon State managed to score a TD of its own following an alltime lulu of an error: a 49-yard snapback by the Washington center that sailed over Sixkiller's head and was downed by the Beavers on the 12.
1. TEXAS (6-0)
The Texas Longhorns were snagged ever so briefly at Houston when Macon Hughes returned the kickoff following a Texas field goal to give Rice a 7-3 lead in the first quarter, but it was ho-hum from then on. Longhorn Quarterback Eddie Phillips ran the option play expertly and scored on runs of five, seven and 10 yards, while Fullback Steve Worster had his best day as a ballcarrier, gaining 170 yards on 23 carries as Texas made Rice its 25th consecutive victim 45-21. Between now and Dec. 5 Darrell Royal has nothing much to do but smooth and polish his team for Arkansas and he saw a couple of things that needed work. First, Texas was a touch sloppy. Also, he was perturbed about the kicking game. The Horns allowed a blocked punt in addition to Hughes' long kickoff return. "There's no excuse for a blocked punt," said Royal. "In fact, nothing irritates me more." But then Texas doesn't have to punt too often.