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He who scores first usually laughs last, but Florida, Alabama and Kentucky were almost too scared to smile even though they were Southeastern Conference winners. And then there was LSU, which took a 10-7 lead over Mississippi and went on to lose 17-13.
Florida led Auburn 14-0, but needed a 10-point splurge in the final period to win 31-14 after the Tigers had made it 21-14. Gator Jimmy DuBose went over the 1,000-yard mark by gaining 149 yards, and Quarterback Jimmy Fisher threw two touchdown passes.
Alabama plodded 76 yards to a touchdown the second time it had the ball against Mississippi State and held its 7-0 lead until late in the first half. Then, with three minutes to go, the Bulldogs snarled back. Middle Guard Harvey Hull picked off an Alabama pitchout and went 45 yards for a TD. Two minutes later the Bulldogs took a 10-7 lead on a field goal. Properly shaken, the Crimson Tide scored twice to win 21-10, regaining the lead when Defensive Back Tyrone King scampered 26 yards with an interception. Florida and Alabama (both 4-0) continue to share first place in the SEC standings.
Tulane kept Kentucky edgy as Buddy Gilbert gained 265 yards through the air. But the Wildcat defense set up two touchdowns and a field goal, intercepting a pass and recovering two Green Wave fumbles as Kentucky prevailed 23-10.
Mississippi overhauled LSU when Coach Ken Cooper disdained going for a field goal and a 13-13 tie. Instead, he had his Rebels go for broke on fourth-and-two and they came through with a 16-yard scoring pass from Tim Ellis to Michael Sweet in the final 42 seconds.
California Coach Mike White and his Washington counterpart, Don James, went gambling last Saturday and the two high rollers got the numbers they wanted: Golden Bears 28, USC 14 and Huskies 17, UCLA 13. As a result of the upsets, California (4-1) took the lead in the Pacific Eight race, with Washington, USC, UCLA and Stanford (all 3-1) bunched in second.