1. HOUSTON (5-2)
2. ARKANSAS (6-2)
3. TEXAS (5-2)
It was halftime when the Texas Christian football team officially learned that Coach Jim Pittman's first-quarter heart attack had been fatal. Grief-stricken, it returned to the field, fell behind 27-20 and then charged back with two touchdowns to defeat Baylor 34-27. Quarterback Steve Judy, who ran and passed for four scores, said, "The game itself is not that important, except that we won for him." The death of the first-year coach and his team's comeback victory overshadowed Baylor's best offensive display of the season. The loss was the Bears' 24th in 27 games under Coach Bill Beall.
Texas A&M shut off the Arkansas ground game and turned three Razorback errors into points in a shocking 17-9 upset. "We played conservatively, we whipped them physically," said A&M Coach Gene Stallings. "We never shut them down, we just tried not to give them the easy score." Arkansas Quarterback Joe Ferguson completed 31 of 51 passes for 345 yards, but the Razorback runners were stopped cold—50 yards in 32 carries. Mark Green scored both Aggie touchdowns and gained 102 yards in 27 carries as A&M pounded away at the tackles and didn't make a single turnover.
Arkansas continues to have the best chance for the Cotton Bowl trip, but there are now four teams with only one Southwest Conference loss. Texas stayed in contention, but just barely, by staggering to a 22-18 win over SMU. The Longhorns' Wishbone had its poorest showing with only 124 yards rushing. Quarterback Donnie Wigginton, who said he would rather throw the ball, anyway, accounted for 189 yards on 11 of 18 completions. SMU's unhappiness with the outcome was no worse than its dismay over a couple of referee decisions. Mustang Fullback Dennis Howell was ruled short of the goal line on a fourth-down plunge, but Texas Fullback Bobby Callison was given the TD on a similar close call. Callison's score was the difference in the game.
Texas Tech bumbled along as one of the season's major disappointments by losing to Rice 9-7. The Owls' Mark Williams kicked three medium-range field goals, and the Raiders' record dropped to 3-5.
The running of Robert Newhouse and outstanding play by the defensive secondary lifted Houston to a 14-7 victory over Florida State. Newhouse gained 192 yards in 34 carries to top the 100-yard mark for the 11th time in his last 12 games (he had 99 yards in the other). His 16-yard scoring dash in the second quarter put the Cougars ahead to stay. The Houston defense frustrated Gary Huff, the nation's leading passer, with three interceptions around the goal line and by limiting his top receiver, Rhett Dawson, to one catch.
1. ARIZONA STATE (6-1)
2. STANFORD (6-2)
3. WASHINGTON (6-2)
The offspring of one Arizona State hero and the kid brother of another propelled the Sun Devils to a 44-28 romp past Air Force. Sophomore Quarterback Danny White, son of Wilford (Whizzer) White, had three TD passes among his 17 completions for 334 yards. Ben Malone, another sophomore and the brother of onetime Arizona State standout Art Malone, gained 192 yards in 22 carries and scored twice. The Sun Devils trailed at the half 15-10, but a four-touchdown burst in the third quarter broke the game open. In all, Arizona State had 585 yards total offense against a Falcon team that had not allowed more than 19 points in a game all season.
Late in the first half at Corvallis, Oregon State was leading Stanford 24-3, and the Beavers were driving from the Indian 37. The game turned completely around, however, when Quarterback Jim Kilmartin, a surprise starter, fumbled while attempting to pass. On the next play Stanford's Don Bunce, who was in danger of being lifted by Coach John Ralston, escaped three rushing linemen and threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to John Winesberry. The Indians made defensive adjustments in the second half to stop the Beavers' brand new Wishbone-Veer, but had still not caught up by the fourth quarter. Then Oregon State made it easy by fumbling twice more inside the 50, and the Indians stampeded to a 31-24 win.