Utah has won more giveaways than a quiz-show contestant. In defeating New Mexico 59-14 the Utes recovered six fumbles (giving them 20 in the last three games) and intercepted two passes. "I'd like to think that a lot of that fumbling is our fault." said Utah Coach Bill Meek with a nod to his defense. Gene Belczyk and back-up Ike Spencer each rushed for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns apiece. Tony Adams, who did not complete a pass against Wyoming until three minutes into the second quarter, finally got going as Utah State won its third straight over a Western Athletic Conference team, 35-23. In a fight-marred WAC game, Brigham Young defeated winless Colorado State 44-8. PCAA leader San Diego State won its sixth game in seven starts, 21-14 over Fresno Stale.
1. LSU (6-0)
2. ALABAMA (7-0)
3. AUBURN (6-1)
Florida State's superb Gary Huff gave Mitchell's "Midgets a thorough workout all afternoon, but in the end Auburn and its pass defense prevailed 27-14. Huff gave a typical performance, completing 25 of 41 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown but he was also intercepted four times. Three of the pickoffs were by Assistant Coach Sam Mitchell's defensive backs, each of whom measures under six feet. Huff's arm was not enough to bring the Seminoles back from a 27-0 deficit. Terry Henley had posted the first three touchdowns himself before the game was 20 minutes old. The Southeastern Conference's leading rusher gained 105 yards in 27 carries.
Georgia and Kentucky played one of the dullest games of the year in Lexington, the Bulldogs winning 13-7. The difference was two second-half field goals by Kim Bras-well. Georgia Tech iced its 21-7 victory over Tulane when Eddie McAshan followed consecutive 15-yard penalties with a 67-yard scoring pass to Mike Oven. "You can never tell what we're going to do on offense," explained Fullback Greg Home.
Alabama awoke from first-half lethargy to win its 18th consecutive regular-season game, 48-11 over Southern Mississippi. The Crimson Tide led only 7-3 at halftime but came to life as Steve Bisceglia scored twice. Other nonconference victories went to Tennessee, 34-2 over previously unbeaten Hawaii, and to Mississippi State, which handed Houston its second straight loss, 27-13. Mississippi ended a three-game losing streak with its first Southeastern Conference triumph, 31-7 over Vanderbilt.
Duke continued to prove it has recovered from opening losses to Alabama, Washington and Stanford. The Blue Devils won their third straight, 17-16 over Navy, by stopping the same two-point conversion pass that beat them in the closing moments last year. "You bet we knew it was coming," said Defensive Coach Jerry McGee, twin brother of Head Coach Mike. "We worked on it about 50 times during the week."
South Carolina, despite leading at the half, sank deeper into mediocrity when high-powered North Carolina State scored four second-half touchdowns for a 42-24 victory. Maryland, turning three interceptions into touchdowns, came from 20 points down to edge Virginia 24-23, and Wake Forest was shut out for the second straight week, 31-0, by Clemson.
1. PENN STATE (6-1)
2. DELAWARE (7-0)
3. DARTMOUTH (4-0-1)