1. UCLA (9-1)
2. USC (8-1-1)
3. ARIZONA STATE (9-1)
On the first play UCLA Quarterback Mark Harmon gave a fake and a nod, then lofted a 32-yard pass to freshman Tight End Ray Burks, who ran 50 more yards to score with only 15 seconds ticked off on the clock. At the end it was UCLA 56- Oregon State 14, and Oregon State Coach Dee Andros, thinking perhaps of USC, was saying that it was going to take a whale of a club to beat Pepper Rodgers' Uclans.
"I don't care what they run, they've got great ball handling, great execution and four great backs to run that damn wishbone," said Andros. "In 25 years of coaching this is the first time a team I've played hasn't made a turnover or once punted."
During the rout in the rain, Tailback Kermit Johnson carried only 12 times but he shattered two UCLA records. His 49 yards gave him 1,022 for the year, making him the first Bruin ever to exceed 1,000 in a season. And his three touchdowns gave him 15 for the year, passing the record of 14 set by Gary Beban in 1965. "I'm proudest of the 1,000-yard year," he said. "Mainly because all the guys up front wanted me to get it. They are the ones who deserve it."
USC, which plays UCLA this week for the Pac-8 championship and the host berth in the Rose Bowl, hadn't figured Washington to run much, and they were right. The Huskies put the ball up 45 times, completed 19 passes and twice led the Trojans before falling apart 42-19. At halftime, in the face of the aerial assault, Coach John McKay moved Artimus Parker from safety to a roving back in the secondary, and from there Parker intercepted three passes to turn loose USC's legions on scoring sprees.
In other Pac-8 action, Quarterback Mike Boryla broke open a tight game with two third-quarter passes to reserve Tight End Brad Williams, and Stanford clinched third place in the conference with a tidy 24-7 victory over Oregon. Washington State scored on a field goal the first time it had the ball, added three straight touchdowns and then held on to down California 31-28. The Bears closed to within three points in the last quarter, but then WSU's Andrew Jones went six yards to score and close it out.
Trailing by a point and with only 27 seconds to play, Arizona Coach Jim Young sent in a two-point conversion play, but something was lost in the communication. The play failed and Air Force won 27-26. "That's the first time I ever had to make that kind of a decision," Young said, "but there's no question that we made a big mistake on the play. I requested that the ball be moved to the far hash mark. That's the option of the offensive team. But apparently that part of my message was never delivered."
The University of Texas at El Paso scored first, but then Arizona State's Woody Green took over, rushing 12 times for 132 yards and three scores en route to a 54-13 rout. Arizona State, which leads the nation in total offense with 551.9 yards per game, amassed 615 against hapless UTEP.