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Rob Shaw started and finished with flourishes, galloping 64 yards for a score on the Air Force's first offensive play, then completing four of five passes in a late 82-yard scoring drive to scuttle Navy 13-3.
"It's the same distance from the outhouse to the mansion as it is from the mansion to the outhouse," said Georgia Coach Vince Dooley after his Bulldogs blew a 14-3 lead over Mississippi and suffered their first loss of the season, 21-17. "That's the way the game is. People don't remember last week." Rebel Quarterback Tim Ellis was happy to make people forget his previous week's loss to Auburn, during which he had been booed lustily. This time Ellis heard cheers as he ran five yards for one touchdown, passed for a two-point conversion, connected on a 36-yard TD pass and thus scrambled the Southeastern Conference race.
LSU went from a 7-10 deficit to a 24-10 advantage in slightly more than five minutes during a third-period spree against Vanderbilt. The Commodores fumbled the ball away three times during that span and lost the game 33-20. Tiger tailbacks excelled, Charles Alexander rumbling for 152 yards and Terry Robiskie for 107. Mississippi State surprised Kentucky 14-7.
"We didn't beat anybody," said Bear Bryant after Alabama had sure enough beaten Southern Mississippi 24-8. What irked Bryant—and his team, which dropped out of the top 20 in the polls for the first time since 1970—was the Tide's lack of assertiveness and effort. "When anybody jumps us jaw to jaw and cheek to cheek, we turn the other cheek," Bryant complained. Only 45,202 fans came to the game, the smallest home crowd for Alabama in ages. Like Bryant, Tide backers were bothered by Alabama's uninspired play, by its 108 yards rushing against a team that had given up more than 380 yards a game in four earlier losses. They were not pleased, either, by the fact that Tide runners were thrown for losses 12 times for 80 yards.
In other nonconference games, Tennessee waltzed past Georgia Tech 42-7, and Auburn was upended by Memphis State 28-27. The Vols scored the first three times they had the ball, rolled up 475 yards and got three touchdowns from Flanker Stanley Morgan. Tech has become a wreck, having yielded 149 points while losing three of five games (it tied Clemson). Trailing 27-21, Memphis State came through with the decisive score when Flanker Ricky Rivas snatched a Lloyd Patterson pass from two defenders on a 30-yard play. That was the second touchdown pass for Patterson, who has had a pair in each of the Tigers' games. Terdell Middleton zipped and darted for 137 yards for the winners, William Andrews 143 yards for Auburn.
"I saw one of them coming, told my feet to pull away, but I fought it too much. One guy caught me." That was Alvin Maddox' description of how he missed getting a touchdown for Maryland after busting loose on a 63-yard jaunt against North Carolina State. The Terps spotted the Wolfpack six points before wrapping up a 16-6 victory, their record-setting 16th consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference win, Maddox gaining 138 yards.
Freshman Tailback James McDougald broke two school marks by rushing 45 times for 249 yards as Wake Forest beat Clemson 20-14. Duke downed outsider Miami 20-7, but Virginia lost 35-7 to independent South Carolina.