Florida State pulled out all the stops in trying to halt its 15-game losing streak. The Seminoles brought in alumnus Burt Reynolds, who announced he was donating $50,000 to his alma mater's football program, and Reynolds had Lee Majors, star of TV's Six Million Dollar Man, and Miami Dolphin Fullback Larry Csonka in tow. With such support Florida State surged to a 17-0 halftime lead over Baylor.
Alas, in the second half the Seminoles reverted to form, and Baylor got rolling with some wingback reverses by Phillip Kent. The first two times Kent ran the play in the third period he gained 21 and 42 yards, each carry keying a touchdown drive. Steve Beaird, who gained 107 yards for the day, scored three times from inside the two and Baylor won 21-17. As one sign on the sidelines said, GRIN AND BARE IT, BURT.
"We looked at their films and at who they'd played and we came here with a light regard for them," said Pittsburgh Middle Guard Gary Burley of the Panthers' opponent last week, North Carolina. "When we saw how tough they were, it was too late to recover." The Tar Heels rushed for 328 yards, passed for 224 more and generally kicked Pittsburgh around the field while winning 45-29. Although Carolina used no special defenses, it held Tony Dorsett to just 61 yards in 19 carries.
Houston's Veer offense, surprisingly dormant all season, sprang to life in the fourth quarter as the Cougars came from behind to beat South Carolina 24-14. The catalyst proved to be a sophomore quarterback, Bobby McGallion, who had not been in for a single play all season and was scheduled to be redshirted for the year. Coach Bill Yeoman inserted him with Houston trailing 14-7, and two four-play drives later the Cougars led 21-14.
With their fans chanting "We're No. 1," unbeaten Florida made LSU its fourth straight victim, 24-14. The Gators coasted to a 17-0 lead with the help of what Coach Doug Dickey termed, "The best defensive play I've ever seen." Florida is in excellent shape in the SEC since it does not have to play Alabama. The Crimson Tide needed to rally to beat Mississippi 35-21. Down 21-14 in the third quarter, Willie Shelby, a 172-pound junior, ran 58 yards for his second touchdown of the day and, minutes later. Rick Watson crashed in from the eight-yard line to put the Tide ahead to stay. Mississippi State, boosted by Richard Blackmore's 77-yard punt return and a 63-yard scoring pass from Rocky Felker to Stan Black, held oft Kansas State 21-16. Tennessee needed Stanley Morgan's 48-yard punt return for a touchdown in the final 48 seconds to earn a 17-10 win over Tulsa.
Duke beat Purdue 16-14 to bring the Boilermakers back to earth after their upset of Notre Dame. Clemson came from behind three times to beat Georgia 28-24, and Georgia Tech did precisely the same thing to Virginia. The Yellow Jackets won when Jimmy Robinson made a leaping catch of a Rudy Allen pass in the end zone with only 37 seconds remaining. Miami of Ohio slipped by Kentucky 14-10 and North Carolina State had a surprisingly rough time beating Last Carolina 24-20.
1. Alabama (4-0)
2. Auburn (4-0)
3. Florida (4-0)
Army had hopes of duplicating Navy's upset of Penn State but only succeeded in copying itself, blowing a 14-0 lead for the second week in a row. The Nittany Lions fumbled twice in their first five plays from scrimmage and Army capitalized by marching 21 and 38 yards for touchdowns. But after the opening eight minutes and 21 seconds the day belonged to Penn State, which went on to win 21-14. Army never again crossed midfield.