1. ARKANSAS (6-1)
2. TEXAS (4-2)
3. HOUSTON (4-2)
Arkansas made a game effort to hold the score down in its nonconference breather with North Texas State, but the attempt proved to be a rollicking failure. The Razorbacks even went so far as to fumble the ball away six times and throw four interceptions, but they still scored nine touchdowns to rack up a 60-21 victory. The Eagles helped bury themselves, producing seven turnovers and one blocked punt. To make matters worse for future Arkansas opponents, junior Tailback Mike Saint made his first start of the season and scored four touchdowns, all on short runs.
Texas, after losing on consecutive Satturdays to Oklahoma and Arkansas, found Rice more to its liking and punished the Owls 39-10. Said Texas Coach Darrell Royal, "We felt this ball game was one of the most important since 1968 when we opened with a tie and a loss. It was a must game to keep the program going and for personal pride so far as the team is concerned." Personal pride aside, six interceptions helped do Rice in. That and some tough running by two ailing backs—Donnie Wigginton (injured ribs), who gained 120 yards for three touchdowns, and Jim Bertelsen (bruised shoulder), who gained 121.
SMU and Texas Tech staged their annual pulse throbber, but this time, after two losses late in the fourth quarter in the last two years, the Mustangs won 18-17, scoring on a 14-yard pass by Gary Hammond with five minutes left. Texas A&M's 5'9" kicking specialist, Pat McDermott, booted a 53-yard field goal in the last quarter to lift the Aggies to a 10-9 win over Baylor.
1. ARIZONA STATE (5-1)
2. AIR FORCE (5-1)
3. STANFORD (5-2)
Stanford has frequently been regarded as a thinking-man's team with a tendency to lose when swamped with flattery. This hypothesis was confirmed once again when the Indians, a 24-point favorite, lost to Washington State 24-23 on a 27-yard field goal by Don Sweet that cleared the crossbar after time had run out. It was the upset of the year on the Coast. Stanford fell behind 14-3 in the second quarter but got back in the game on a 97-yard kickoff reverse-return play, Miles Moore slipping the ball to John Wines berry. The Indians went ahead on a touchdown and a field goal in the third period and were still in front by two points when the Cougars took over on their own 15 late in the fourth quarter. Runs by Fullback Ken Lyday and Tailback Bernard Jackson, who gained 141 yards on 24 carries overall, and four completed passes by Quarterback Ty Paine, who earlier had confused the Indian defense with his tricky option running, brought WSU to the Stanford 10-yard line with four seconds left on the clock, whereupon Sweet provided the icing.
Arizona State had its 21-game winning streak snapped a week earlier by Oregon State, but it took the Sun Devils no more than one half against New Mexico to start all over again. They left the field at half time with a 41-0 lead and rolled to a 60-28 win. Soph Dan White, who had missed three games at quarterback because of a shoulder separation, completed 12 of 15 passes, six of them for TDs, while Fullback Ben Malone, who had started the week as a third-string halfback, gained 181 yards in 20 carries.
With five games still to play, Defensive Back Jackie Wallace tied an NCAA season record by scoring his third touchdown on a punt return, this time from 74 yards out, as Arizona defeated Utah 14-3. Wallace also intercepted two passes and scored another touchdown on a 36-yard interception return. Air Force had a rugged time with win-less Colorado State, barely scratching out a 17-12 victory when State Halfback Lawrence McCutcheon fumbled a pass reception that was recovered by Air Force Linebacker Jim Morris on his own 12 with only 1:37 to go.
For the third straight game, Quarterback Jay Cruze, a high school lineman three years ago, lifted California to a last-minute victory, this time on a 35-yard pass to Flanker Steve Sweeney to beat UCLA 31-24. "We kind of pulled the play together from the bench, the spotting booth and the boys," admitted Coach Ray Willsey. The Golden Bears are the only undefeated team in the Pacific Eight; but it doesn't mean a thing. The school has stuck with its decision to play Running Back Isaac Curtis, even though he was deemed ineligible by the NCAA, so none of the wins count in the conference standings.