1. TEXAS (6-1)
2. TEXAS TECH (7-1)
3. SMU (4-3)
Southern Methodist brought the nation's fourth-best rushing defense to Texas but a few leaks did the Mustangs in—Roosevelt Leaks here, Roosevelt Leaks there and, before the game was over, Roosevelt Leaks everywhere for 175 yards in 33 carries. In a 17-9 victory that once again spotlighted their durable fullback, the Longhorns all but assured themselves of a fifth consecutive Southwest Conference championship and Cotton Bowl berth.
Texas took control early by scoring both of its touchdowns in the first half with Leaks' line plunges doing the damage. On the Long-horns' first drive he carried six consecutive times for 60 yards before Don Burrisk went over tackle to score from the 15. Following an intercepted pass that put the ball on the SMU 23, Leaks gained 20 yards in three carries, but it was Alan Lowry who plunged for the touchdown. All of Texas' 308 yards came on the ground as Lowry's six pass attempts went incomplete.
The Mustangs never really threatened to end the Longhorns' home-field winning streak, which has now reached 23 games. They did have a first down at the Texas 12 when Ken Harrison corralled a deflected pass, but Quarterback Keith Bobo was promptly dropped for a pair of losses and SMU was eventually left with a field goal.
Texas A&M repeated last year's upset of Arkansas to end a six-game losing streak, 10-7. The Aggies did it by intercepting Joe Ferguson six times. One of the turnovers made possible a 26-yard touchdown drive capped by Brad Dusek's two-yard run. Defensive Tackle Boice Best was outstanding in the A&M charge that caused Ferguson so much trouble. "Our four-man front rushed for two or three steps and then looked for the draw or handoff," said Best. "If a runner wasn't coming we'd go hard for Ferguson. We raised our arms, hoping to block his view and perhaps tip a few of his passes." After that it was up to the secondary which, according to Robert Murski, who got two of the errant passes, "was playing for the interceptions."
Texas Tech continued to be one of the year's major surprises by edging Rice 10-6. A 22-yard field goal by Don Grimes, the nation's third leading kick-scorer, clinched the outcome with 65 seconds left. The game's only touchdown came in the first quarter when Joe Barnes scored from the 11 on the quarterback keeper. Mark Williams kicked a pair of field goals but missed on three other attempts as the Owls lost their fourth straight following two opening victories and a tie.
By defeating Texas Christian 42-9 for its fourth win under new Coach Grant Teaff, Baylor has now surpassed its victory output of the last three seasons.
1. LSU (7-0)
2. ALABAMA (8-0)
3. AUBURN (7-1)