1. TEXAS (9-0)
2. ARKANSAS (9-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (8-3)
As Darrell Royal looked over his Texas Longhorns following their 52-14 Thanksgiving Day victory over Texas A&M—their 29th straight—he must have felt like he was standing in a hospital ward. Not since the Alamo have so many wounded Texans been on the same team. Most notable on the injured list were: Quarterback Eddie Phillips (bruised knee); Defensive End Bill Atessis (pulled hamstring); Fullback Steve Worster (torn rib cartilage, hip-pointer). Even the placekicker, Happy Feller, had unhappily sprained a knee during practice. And Texas plays Arkansas on Saturday. "I've never had anything take the wind out of my sails after a nice victory like our medical report did," said Royal.
Phillips guided the Longhorns to touchdowns on their first three possessions, then gave way to Donnie Wigginton, who scored two TDs in the second half and completed three of five passes for 69 yards. Worster carried only twice for 10 yards before having to leave the game, so Texas' running attack was led by Jim Bertlesen with 66 yards on nine carries. The loss was the ninth straight for the Aggies, but their schedule was perhaps the toughest in the country. They have played five teams in the top eight (LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Arkansas and Texas), which have a combined won-lost record of 44-4.
In Coach Fred Taylor's last game Texas Christian upset Southern Methodist 26-17. "I tried to tell our kids that if the TCU team had any respect for Taylor, they were going to play their hearts out," said SMU's Hayden Fry. The Horned Frogs did just that, but they also had help from SMU Quarterback Chuck Hixson, whose overthrown passes cost SMU at least two touchdowns. "That's the story of my career," said Hixson, the Southwest's alltime top passer statistically. "Sometimes we didn't and sometimes we did. All I want to do is go high in the draft and start over."
1. OHIO STATE (9-0)
2. NEBRASKA (10-0-1)
3. NOTRE DAME (9-1)
Oklahoma Coach Chuck Fairbanks had only one complaint about his team's 66-6 rout of Oklahoma State: his cigarettes got wet when his players threw him in the shower. Otherwise, the Sooners performed flawlessly. Said Fairbanks, "I'm proud of the way we progressed from the first of the season to today, when we had our best game."
As usual the Sooners won on the ground, rushing 84 times for 519 yards. Sophomores Greg Pruitt and Joe Wylie gained 116 and 105 yards, respectively, while playing less than a half. Wylie, who did not become a starter until midseason, came within 16 yards of gaining 1,000 for the year. Sooner fans think of him as a Steve Owens with speed. " Oklahoma is the fastest team we've played all year," said State's Dick Graham. "And they don't make mistakes."
At Wichita there were lumps in throats as the Wichita State Shockers, the team which lost 14 players in a plane crash, jumped ahead of favored Louisville 17-0. They still led 24-21 in the third period after Jack Fisher's 88-yard punt return, but then Coach Lee Corso's Cardinals asserted their superior manpower. Quarterback John Madeya threw a 35-yard TD pass to Flanker Gary Barnes in the opening minute of the final period and Louisville never again trailed. The Cardinals' final 34-24 score kept alive Madeya's record of never having started in a losing game. Louisville is 8-0 behind Madeya, whose first start gave the Cardinals their only win in the first four games. His next chance will come against highly regarded Long Beach State in the Pasadena Bowl on Dec. 19.