Georgia behaved like the Bulldogs they are and Florida like the Gators they are as both were Southeastern Conference winners. After having three backs injured and blowing a 12-0 lead to fall behind Auburn 13-12, the Bulldogs bared their teeth, substitute Running Back Andy Reid rumbling for 112 yards and two TDs to give Georgia a 28-13 win and a spot in the Cotton Bowl. Following a 48-7 chewing up of Kentucky, Florida snapped up a bid to the Gator Bowl, where it will play Maryland. Meanwhile, Alabama's Tide ebbed and flowed and finally engulfed Southern Mississippi. "We've been going backward offensively," lamented Bear Bryant after stopping the Golden Eagles 27-6. What irked him were four lost fumbles and four major penalties against his offense. But Bryant was pleased to accept a Sugar Bowl invitation to play Penn State.
Maryland (4-0) took sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference when Mike Sochko's 29-yard field goal with eight seconds left knocked off Clemson 22-20. North Carolina State beat the clock, too. With 1:06 to go and Duke leading 21-13, the Wolfpack got the ball on their own 35. Timmy Johnson barged over from three yards out with 12 seconds remaining and Quarterback Dave Buckey salvaged a tie by passing to Ted Brown for a two-point conversion. Following the game, State accepted a Peach Bowl offer.
Another 29-yard field goal, this one by Chris Dennis with 13 seconds left on the clock, enabled Miami to frustrate Florida State 24-22. Georgia Tech beat Navy 14-13 when Adrian Rucker scored on a four-yard run with 1:28 left. Cutting it the closest was North Carolina, which overcame Tulane 17-15 on Tom Biddle's 40-yard field goal, which went through the uprights as time ran out. That was a letdown for Green Wave rooters in the Superdome, where the game was played, and at Tulane Stadium, where a unique protest demonstration took place. Tulane fans were upset about what they felt was shabby treatment by Superdome officials; a lack of practice time for their team and not enough good seats for students were two of the beefs. So some 2,500 people sat in Tulane Stadium and watched a thriller between the business school and Sigma Nu fraternity.
There was nothing close about Syracuse's 37-0 conquest of Virginia. The Orangemen piled up 607 yards against the Cavaliers, who have surrendered 1,306 yards in their past two games. Two other visitors won, West Virginia belting Richmond 31-13 and Colgate holding off William and Mary 21-17. Memphis State stopped Houston 14-7, Vanderbilt downed Army 23-14, and South Carolina beat Wake Forest 37-26.
1. Alabama (9-1)
2. Georgia (8-2)
3. Florida (8-2)
Texas A&M Fullback George Woodard gave Rice the shirt off his back. Seven, to be exact. To pay for all the torn jerseys, Woodard shredded the Owl defense for 167 yards. Said Rice Coach Al Conover, "Their game plan can be real simple with him in there. You could write the whole thing on a postage stamp." Helping cancel the Owls were kicker Tony Franklin, Safety Lester Hayes and Linebacker Robert Jackson. Franklin booted a 59-yard field goal and, with the Aggies trailing 14-13 late in the third period, Hayes and Jackson set up two TDs within 89 seconds. Hayes rushed the Rice punter hard and Jackson dropped him on the Owl 12, which led to the go-ahead score. Jackson then forced a fumble, Hayes recovered and A&M went on to win 33-14.
Time after time Texas Coach Darrell Royal has said that without Quarterback Marty Akins he did not have much of a team. A 27-11 defeat of TCU proved it. With Akins guiding the offense to 158 yards in 13 first-quarter plays, the Long-horns led 14-0. Then Akins was sidelined with a minor knee injury and for the rest of the game Rice played the Longhorns virtually even. The victory made Texas 6-0 in the Southwest Conference and set up a showdown against A&M (5-0).
Arkansas (4-1) kept its faint SWC hopes alive by drubbing SMU 35-7. Offsetting 163 yards rushing by the Mustangs' Wayne Morris were Razorback Quarterback Scott Bull, who ran for 123 yards, and Rolland Fuchs, who took over for Ike Forte and gained 101. Forte was hurt on a 38-yard scoring run when he started his prancing act just before he got to the end zone and was tackled from behind, suffering three dislocated toes. Brian Hall of Texas Tech kicked four field goals as the Red Raiders racked up Baylor 33-10.