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Where were all the HOOK 'EM HORNS signs? Why were all those Texans leaving the stadium in the second half? Wasn't there a game going on? Technically, there was, and against Oklahoma, too, but many Texas rooters sensed from the opening moments that this would not be one of their fun afternoons. And so it was that hordes of them left before the game ended. Early in the week Longhorn fans agreed when Coach Darrell Royal said, "You don't win this game with trickery or slick ball handling. This is a game that is battled in the trenches. It is meat on meat and flesh on flesh."
Unlike so many storied Longhorn-Sooner shoot-outs, however, this was a runaway, with the 52-13 score in favor of Oklahoma telling only part of the tale. It was the worst-ever loss for Royal, the most points a Texas team has given up since 1908 and, above all, as Texas Quarterback Marty Akins put it, "a nightmare." Perhaps worst of all was the realization that the Sooners had won with a young team; all seven of their touchdowns were scored by freshmen and sophomores.
Among those who heaped anguish upon the Texans were sophomores Joe Washington, a halfback who ran for 117 yards in only 12 tries, and Steve Davis, a quarterback and licensed Baptist minister. Texas was geared to halt Oklahoma's ground game, the most potent in the country. But Washington opened the carnage by throwing a 40-yard TD strike to Tinker Owens, his first pass as a collegian. Worse yet, Davis, who had completed only nine passes in three games, hit on five of six for 185 yards and two TDs.
Two coaches—Ara Parseghian of Notre Dame and Bill Yeoman of Houston—were miffed despite being winners. After defeating Rice 28-0, Parseghian said, "We hadn't had anybody hurt all fall. We hadn't played on a synthetic surface, either. We did tonight and got two people injured." Lost with knee injuries were Defensive Tackle Steve Niehaus and Guard Tom Bolger. Notre Dame fumbled four times but atoned for that by amassing 536 yards and limiting Rice to 142. Houston lost the ball six times while beating Virginia Tech 54-27, but what bothered Yeoman most was the leaky Astrodome roof, which is undergoing a SI million repair. The wet field plagued the Cougars, who nevertheless gained 471 yards and got a 95-yard kickoff-return TD by Larry Jefferson.
Arkansas and Texas Tech hung on to earn Southwest Conference wins. The Razorbacks downed Baylor 13-7 behind the sparkling running of Dickey Morton and despite Neal Jeffrey's passing. Jeffrey threw 36 passes and hit with 23 of them for 342 yards, connecting with Charles Dancer eight times for 150 yards. Baylor gained 507 yards, but two interceptions by Rollen Smith thwarted scoring opportunities. Defensive End Tommy Cones of Tech picked off an A&M throw in the fourth period and ran it back 45 yards to set up the final score in a 28-16 victory for the Red Raiders. Also helping out were Joe Barnes, who tossed three touchdown passes, and Tackle Ecomet Burley, who stole a pass, made eight unassisted tackles, scooped up a fumble and broke up a pass.
In his last three years as coach at Boston U., Larry Naviaux lost to Delaware by a combined margin of 154-31. In the off-season he sought out Blue Hen Coach Tubby Raymond for some wing-T lessons. Raymond obliged, as well he should, especially since Boston U. was not on this year's Delaware schedule. But then Naviaux switched to Connecticut and last week he challenged Delaware with his wing-T and with Eric Torkelson, who was averaging 118 yards a game rushing. It was all for naught as Torkelson was held to 31 yards and Naviaux was given a 35-7 lesson. Among those who taught him were Theo Gregory, who streaked for 142 yards, and Jerry Castafero, who stole two passes, ran one back 38 yards for a touchdown, forced a fumble with one tackle and saved a TD with an open-field grab.