Oregon Coach Don Read had every right to feel apprehensive about facing UCLA. The Bruins were so heavily favored that in many areas oddsmakers refused to post a line. Then, just before the opening kickoff, the P.A. announcer fanned UCLA's hopes of being No. 1 in the polls by divulging a score: " Purdue 16, Michigan 14." Said Read, "I had a feeling right then UCLA was going to be ready to play." UCLA did precisely that, winning 46-0. The Bruins used all 54 players, gained 511 yards and held the Ducks to 91 yards, an average of 1.6 a play. With the outcome never in doubt, much of the interest centered around the Bruins' kicking specialist, 6'1", 236-pound Frank Corral. He booted three field goals, one from 55 yards out for a UCLA record.
USC also remained unbeaten in Pac-8 competition, bopping Stanford 48-24. The Trojans intercepted four passes, three by Cornerback Ricky Odom. On offense they didn't even miss ailing Ricky Bell; his substitute, freshman Charles White, ran for 136 yards. And Quarterback Vince Evans and Flanker Shelton Diggs teamed up on three touchdown passes that covered 100 yards.
The other two conference games were much closer. Washington State's Throwin' Samoan, Jack Thompson, came through in the clutch once again, this time rifling a 12-yard pass to Split Receiver Mike Levenseller for the decisive points with 1:13 remaining. Thus it was that the Cougars, who had trailed Oregon State 10-0, 17-9 and 24-23, came out on top 29-24. California nudged Washington 7-0, Fullback Tom Newton climaxing an 80-yard fourth-quarter drive with a two-yard run. The Huskies' deepest penetration was to the Bears' 30. That march fizzled when Quarterback Warren Moon, apparently trying to stop the clock before the first half ran out, threw the ball out of bounds. Moon's strategy was fine except for one thing: his throwaway came on fourth down.
Futility. That's what Arizona experienced at home against Wyoming in a vital WAC encounter. The Wildcats led 21-19 at halftime, but despite getting inside the Cowboys' 20-yard line three times in the second half they could add only one field goal. Arizona led in yards gained, 478 to 349. But with Halfback Latrail Jones scoring twice and with Fullback Robbie Wright adding 144 yards and another pair of touchdowns, the Cowboys pulled out a 26-24 win.
Brigham Young stayed within half a game of first-place Wyoming, Gifford Nielsen throwing four touchdown passes in a 40-27 victory over Texas-El Paso.
A 19-point splurge in the final period lifted Air Force past Arizona State 31-30. The game boiled down to a passing duel between freshman Dave Ziebart of the Falcons (16 of 33 for 231 yards) and Dennis Sproul of the Sun Devils (17 of 31 for 244 yards). Both passed for two touchdowns, Ziebart getting the game-clincher on a 22-yarder to Split End Paul Williams in the last 10 seconds.
San Diego State improved its record to 7-1 by knocking off San Jose State 30-17. Aztec Tailback Binky Benton, a 5'5�" 180-pounder, gained 152 yards in 29 carries.
1. UCLA (8-0-1)
2. USC (7-1)
3. WYOMING (7-2)