Houston reserve Quarterback Terry Peel hit Robert Ford on a 99-yard-touchdown pass play, and starting Quarterback D. C. Nobles threw for four other scores as the Cougars swamped previously unbeaten San Diego State 49-14. Texas Christian routed Tulsa 35-9 and Texas Tech came from behind to edge Texas A&M 17-14.
1. LSU (5-0)
2. ALABAMA (5-0)
3. TENNESSEE (4-1)
Virginia Tech fans have been kept in a state of frenzy this year by the arm of Don Strock, the nation's leader in passing and total offense, and some hair-raising finishes. Two weeks ago at home in Blacksburg the Gobblers tied Houston when the Cougar placekicker missed an extra-point try with 75 seconds left to play. Last week in Blacksburg against Oklahoma State, Don's place-kicking brother, Dave, went from goat to goat to hero in a matter of seconds as VPI won 34-32 on an 18-yard field goal with 12 seconds left. Quarterback Strock had hit on 20 of 40 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns and Placekicker Strock had booted a 53-yard field goal, but with time running out Tech still trailed the heavily favored Cowboys 32-31. At this point Dave missed a field goal from the 12-yard line. But wait! A flag on the play. OSU was offside, so Dave tried again from the seven. Blocked! And OSU recovered on the two. But wait again! On the first play from scrimmage, Cowboy Fullback George Palmer, who had gained 128 yards rushing, fumbled and Donnie Sprouse recovered for VPI on the three. Three plays later Dave got his third chance and this time he clicked from the eight-yard line for the victory.
Speculation as to whether undefeated Auburn could snap the nation's longest winning streak for the third straight week, as it had against Tennessee and Mississippi, was laid to rest early last Saturday night in its game with LSU at Baton Rouge. Before a record home crowd of 70,132 the Tiger offense operated with lethal efficiency the first two times it had the ball, marching 67 and 69 yards. Auburn never had a chance, eventually losing 35-7, and the nation's longest winning streak is now nine. LSU Quarterback Bert Jones had his most productive game of the season. He climaxed LSU's first scoring march with a touchdown run of seven yards, completed 10 of 14 passes for 179 yards and connected on scoring strikes of 19, 19 and 27 yards, all to Wide Receiver Gerald Keigley. The Bengals' other touchdown came on a dazzling halfback option play with nine seconds left in the first half and locked the game away for keeps. Wide Receiver Joe Fakier took a reverse from Jones, then passed into the end zone to Tight End Brad Boyd, who wrestled the ball away from Auburn Safety Dave Beck.
In Jackson, Mississippi State was out to save its coach, Charley Shira, rumored to be leaving at the end of the season. But visiting Florida State, with a defense weakened by an accumulation of injuries, was out to save a season that had started well and then been partially wrecked two weeks ago by Florida. The result for the pass-minded Seminoles was a rare ball-control game plan and a 25-21 victory. "There was no choice but to keep the football," said winning Coach Larry Jones. "We knew our defense could not hold." If the game had lasted a few seconds longer it might not have held. FSU marched 73 yards for the first score, a Gary Huff to Barry Smith pass of 14 yards. Mississippi State tied it on a seven-yard run by Mel Barkum, but Huff, who completed an unusually modest 10 of 18 passes, hit Smith on a 53-yard touchdown play, and Ahmet Askin kicked a 46-yard field goal to give the Seminoles a 17-7 lead, which they held until 66 seconds remained. Then the game turned wild. Mississippi State scored on a 21-yard pass from Rocky Felker to Bill Buckley to make it 17-15. FSU retaliated on the first play from scrimmage on a 49-yard run by Mike Davison and it was 25-15. So Felker hit Tommy Strahan with a 13-yard scoring pass: 25-21. Then the Bulldogs recovered the ensuing onside kickoff at the Mississippi State 44 with 16 seconds left. Felker was still vainly throwing as time ran out.
In the other half of a doubleheader in Jackson, Georgia scrambled back from a 13-0 deficit to nip Mississippi 14-13. Ole Miss marched 83 yards for a touchdown the first time it had the ball, then came back again to score late in the first half on a 42-yard pass from Quarterback Norris Weese to Bill Malouf. But Bulldog Defensive Back Dick Conn broke through to deflect Steve Lavinghouse's try for the extra point. A couple of plays later Georgia got its first touchdown on a 74-yard pass down the middle from Quarterback James Ray to Tailback Hal (The Missile) Bissell, and scored again early in the fourth quarter when Andy Johnson dived over from the one. Kim Braswell kicked the winning conversion.
At Chapel Hill, North Carolina toppled Kentucky 31-20 and in Miami the Hurricanes ended an eight-game losing streak by upsetting Tulane 24-21 on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Ed Carney to Witt Beckman with 54 seconds left. After the game it was learned that Miami had scored the winning touchdown on a "fifth down," reminiscent of the famous 1940 Cornell-Dartmouth game. Unlike Cornell, Miami did not immediately plan to concede the game.
1. PENN STATE (4-1)
2. DARTMOUTH (3-0)
3. WEST VIRGINIA (4-2)