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Arizona State won its 17th Western Athletic Conference game in a row and all but wrapped up this season's title with a 38-13 win over Brigham Young, holder of a modest four-game win streak. Lower down in the WAC standings, New Mexico outlasted Utah 57-39.
Oregon looked listless in the first half against Air Force and trailed 14-0. In the second half, however, the Falcons suffered three lost fumbles and two pass interceptions, and the Ducks exploded to win 23-14 on two touchdowns by Bobby Moore and a 56-yard field goal by Steve Buettner.
Two high-scoring offenses, the Power I and the Wishbone T, met on network TV in Baton Rouge, but when the pad popping was over, and Alabama had remained undefeated by squeezing past LSU 14-7, the defenses had stolen the show. Alabama's Wishbone could produce only nine first downs, one touchdown and no completions in three passing attempts. One of the Crimson Tide's problems was an early injury to Johnny Musso. In the first half Alabama was held to field goals of 29 and 38 yards by Bill Davis and finally scored its touchdown midway through the third quarter when Quarterback Terry Davis rolled out to his left, got a fierce block by Musso and scampered into the end zone from 16 yards out to cap a four-play, 52-yard drive. Musso slammed in for the two-point conversion.
Undefeated Georgia had no problems moving the ball back and forth against a stunned Florida defense, winning easily 49-7 and making up somewhat for the Bulldogs' upset loss to the Gators last season. Georgia rolled to a 20-7 halftime lead, primarily on its defensive agility. Buz Rosenberg ran back a punt 36 yards to set up one touchdown, and Mixon Robinson scored another on a 38-yard interception return of a John Reaves pass. In the second half the offense turned the game into a rout. Not since 1946 has Georgia started out 9-0, but to make it 10-0 the Bulldogs must get by Auburn this week.
What about Auburn? Well, the Tigers have been slow starters at times this season, but Pat Sullivan took charge in the first half against Mississippi State. He passed for three touchdowns, two to his favorite receiver, Split End Terry Beasley, and one to Flanker Dick Schmalz to lead the Tigers to a 30-0 lead over Mississippi State. Sullivan completed 13 of 24 passes for 140 yards and then watched from the sidelines as the Bulldogs scored three touchdowns on passes against Tiger reserves in the final quarter to dehumiliate the final score to 30-21.
North Carolina's Ken Craven kicked four field goals, of 23, 37, 28 and 26 yards, as the Tar Heels defeated Clemson 26-13 and took over sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Houston, apparently headed for either the Bluebonnet or Sun Bowl, whacked Memphis State 35-7 as Robert Newhouse gained 111 yards and the passing combination of Gary (Moon) Mullins to 5'8" Split End Pat Orchin connected six times for 166 yards despite miserably cold and damp weather. Tennessee, bogged down in a defensive struggle with South Carolina, suddenly put the Gamecocks in a hole when sophomore Fullback Steve Chancey quick-kicked 66 yards from his nine-yard line. Then Chancey scored on a plunge for a 7-0 halftime lead, and the Vols ran away in the second half to win 35-6.
Duke trampled West Virginia 31-15 with the aid of five pass interceptions; Navy, failing where Army had succeeded earlier this year, lost to Georgia Tech 34-21; Kentucky edged Vanderbilt 14-7; and North Carolina State won only its second game of the season, upsetting heavily favored Miami 13-7.