In what was designed to serve as merely a brisk tune-up for its game this Saturday with Oklahoma, Texas was twice forced to come from behind to beat Utah State, at Austin, 27-12. With Tony Adams hitting 26 of 41 passes during the night, the Longhorns staked themselves to early leads of 6-0 and 9-7 before Billy (Sure) Schott kicked a 38-yard field goal to put Texas ahead to stay 10-9 with 13 seconds left in the first half.
LSU also met unexpectedly tough resistance in Houston against Rice but turned three fumble recoveries and five interceptions into a 12-6 victory. The Owls were kept in the game by End Gary Butler, who bobbed up between the turnovers to catch six passes for 120 yards. The Tigers now have the nation's longest winning streak among major colleges, eight games, but meet Auburn this Saturday, and Coach Charlie McClendon says he's worried. "Auburn has broken the longest winning streaks in the country two weeks in a row, beating Tennessee and Mississippi," warned McClendon, "and I'm sure they'll be ready for us."
1. USC (5-0)
2. UCLA (4-1)
3. AIR FORCE (4-0)
UCLA Coach Pepper Rodgers was not at all impressed by the fact that his Bruins were listed as a 32-point favorite over visiting Arizona. "There are easy games in Ping-Pong and tennis," he said, "but there are no easy games in football." A sound diagnosis by Dr. Pepper. While crosstown rival USC was busy edging Stanford, UCLA had to come from behind three times to finally win 42-31. Arizona scored on long relentless marches the first three times it had possession and led at the half 21-14. UCLA went ahead 28-24 as the third quarter ended, but Arizona immediately regained the lead by moving 72 yards to a score on nine plays. After Bruin Fullback Gary Campbell had put his club ahead with a 24-yard burst up the middle, Halfback Kermit Johnson, who was to gain a school-record 183 yards on only 15 carries, finally put Arizona down to stay, scampering 69 yards for the insurance touchdown. Punch was also provided by Halfback James McAlister, who rushed for 121 yards on 11 tries, and Quarterback Mark Harmon, who ran the Wishbone to a T as the Bruins rolled up 505 yards on offense, breaking a school record that had stood for 27 years.
The Washington Huskies may well be the most inept unbeaten team in the nation. They have stumbled precariously to all but one of their victories and last week were able to preserve a 23-17 decision over Oregon only when the officials apparently neglected to notice in the closing seconds of the game what losing Coach Dick Enright declared was a flagrant case of end zone pass interference. With Quarterback Sonny Sixkiller hitting on two touchdown passes, the Huskies moved out to a 16-0 lead. Then Oregon Quarterback Dan Fonts, who completed 21 of 47 passes, brought the Web-foots right back in the second half and with the seconds ticking down to a precious few had steered his team to a first down on the Washington 10. Then came the game saver, a first-down pass to End Greg Lindsey in the end zone which was declared incomplete, though Lindsey had been jolted aside by a premature tackle.
At Berkeley, with his team trailing California 12-9 in the third quarter, Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes made a rare blunder that ironically set up his team's 35-18 win over the Bears. Confused following a penalty, Woody sent in his punting team on third down. Suspicious, California Coach Mike White kept his punt-return specialist, Scott Stringer, on the bench. Rattled by the unexpected chore, Cornerback Jerry Jones fumbled the ensuing punt and Ohio State recovered at the Bear 45. Inspired by the gift, the Buckeyes scored a touchdown five plays later on Fullback Harold Hen-son's one-yard plunge.
At Fort Collins high-flying Air Force took an early lead over Colorado State with three first-half touchdowns by Joel Carlson, then kept right on grinding out the TDs in the second half to rout the Rams 52-13.
Arizona State produced an awesome defense that held Oregon State to a total of one yard rushing while Halfback Woody Green was skittering for 181 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries as the Sun Devils crushed the Beavers 38-7 on a soggy field at Tucson.