Relentless running powered Houston past Florida State 23-8. Reggie Cherry rushed for 170 yards, scoring twice, and John Housman netted 159 with one TD. Miami scored on its first two possessions and held on to beat Syracuse 14-7, guaranteeing its first winning season since 1967. After watching two drives stall inside the 10, Orange Coach Frank Maloney said, "All we needed was one key block for a break, but that's a mark of a great football team and obviously we're not great."
Two bowl-bound Atlantic Coast Conference teams, champion Maryland and co-runner-up North Carolina, got more than they expected from Virginia and Duke before winning 10-0 and 14-13 respectively. Louis Carter rushed for a school-record 213 yards in Maryland's victory, setting up a field goal with a 45-yard scamper and scoring the only TD from 44 yards out. His 991 yards are a Terrapin season high. Duke came within a missed extra point of tying North Carolina and a missed field goal of winning. Tailback Mike Voight joined Tar Heel teammate James Betterson as a 1,000-yard rusher, the first time two players alternating at the same position have ever done so.
Outside victories by Clemson, 39-21 over South Carolina, and Wake Forest, 16-10 over Furman, gave the ACC its best record ever in nonconference games. Wake Forest ended the nation's longest non-winning streak, 20 games, on Joe Bunch's three field goals. Clemson's victory left Paul Dietzel with a 4-7 record in his last season as Gamecock coach. Mark Fellers scored three touchdowns for the Tigers, and Ken Callicutt gained 197 yards.
Virginia Military won its first Southern Conference title since 1962 by defeating East Carolina 13-3. William & Mary, inspired by its trustees' decision to reemphasize sports, smashed Richmond 54-12 and ran up a school-record 649 yards in the process.
1. Alabama (10-0)
2. Auburn (9-1)
3. Maryland (8-3)
Get out your Bowmar Brain for this one. The Southwest Conference Cotton Bowl picture looks as follows: Baylor, by blitzing SMU 31-14, is still in it; Texas Tech, by losing to Arkansas 21-13, is out. Texas is out of it, too, but if the Longhorns beat Texas A&M, which is still in it, the Aggies are out and Baylor is in no matter what the Bears do against Rice. If A&M wins, it's in to stay. Better yet, punch your clear button and wait for this week's results.
Baylor tamed the Mustangs behind Steve Beaird's three touchdowns and 133 yards rushing. Neal Jeffrey, whose injured elbow had prevented him from throwing a pass in practice, completed 11 of 17 for a healthy 166 yards. But it was Don Bockhorn's 59-yard field goal, which tied the second longest in conference history, that broke the game open in the third quarter. "My offensive coaches nearly assassinated me," said Coach Grant Teaff later. "If the field goal had been short, SMU had a scooterbug [Arthur Whittington] who could have run it back on us. I just had one of those feelings." Baylor, meanwhile, had a 17-7 lead. Jeffrey, who has accumulated 4,224 yards to surpass Don Trull's career record for passing yardage, now finds himself in an unusual, not entirely comfortable, position. "I've never pulled for Texas in my life," he said, "but you better believe I will this week."
Texas Tech's hopes were slight, and the Arkansas victory erased them altogether. Or, more precisely, Ike Forte did by gaining 215 yards and scoring two touchdowns. The Raiders started sliding to their first home loss since the 1972 season—to Arkansas—when Tailback Larry Isaac fumbled twice inside the Razorback 10 during the first quarter.
Rice defeated TCU 26-14 as Tommy Kramer passed for a pair of touchdowns and Alan Pringle kicked two field goals, including a school-record 50-yarder. Pringle's kick was not a family record, however. Brother Duncan hit one of 52 yards earlier in the week for Trinity University.