It was a big week for the South: its favorite son won an election, and three of its teams registered impressive wins over northern visitors. Georgia Tech came from behind to shock Notre Dame, Miami rallied to topple Boston College and Maryland was a convincing victor over Cincinnati.
Notre Dame built a 14-3 lead on a pair of short touchdown runs by Tailback Al Hunter, but Tech, which had won just three of eight games, did not fold. Coach Pepper Rodgers' decision to return to the wishbone he had junked earlier in the year accomplished little until midway through the second period. Then the Yellow Jackets got their act together. They did not throw a single pass all day. They didn't have to. Their backs rushed for 368 yards against an Irish defense that had allowed an average of only 98 yards per game on the ground in a 23-14 triumph. Halfback David Sims rushed 15 times for 122 yards and a couple of touchdowns as Tech regrouped. Doing a job, too, was the Yellow Jacket defense, which limited the Irish to 144 yards in the first half and only 34 in the second half.
Tim Moorman's two field goals gave Boston College a 6-0 halftime advantage. From then on, however, Miami took charge. Quarterback E. J. Baker passed five yards for one touchdown, ran 17 yards for another and the Hurricanes emerged 13-6 winners.
Cincinnati, which had lost just once, was overpowered by Maryland 21-0. The Terp defenders limited the Bearcats to 10 first downs, four of them during the first three periods. Quarterback Mark Manges ran for 72 yards and passed for 151 and two touchdowns.
In Atlantic Coast Conference battles, North Carolina got three touchdowns from Tailback Mike Voight to trim Clemson 27-23, and Wake Forest stopped Duke 38-17.
Although the matchup did not attract national attention, the Tennessee-Memphis State showdown was significant to both teams. For Memphis it was a chance to attain some sort of parity with its cross-state rival, to gain prestige and to help recruiting. Volunteer Coach Bill Battle also had more than a casual interest in the game: his job was on the line. An over-capacity crowd of 52,341 showed up for the game in Memphis' Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. At halftime the Tigers were in front 14-7 and Tailback Terdell Middleton had lugged the ball 99 yards. That was it for State, though. In the second half Middleton lost three yards. Vol Wingback Stanley Morgan, who wound up with 98 yards, scored his second touchdown of the game, and Quarterback Joe Hough went over from six yards out for the winning TD in the fourth period. That gave Tennessee a 21-14 win and gave Battle a reprieve.
"There's the big 'if' again," said LSU Quarterback Pat Lyons after a 28-17 Southeastern Conference loss to Alabama. "Losers sit around saying 'if' while the winners laugh and tell jokes about the losers." The "if" in question concerned a motion penalty against the Tigers that snuffed out a third-period drive that had taken them to the Tide 10-yard line while trailing 21-10. Fullback Johnny Davis barged for 130 yards and touchdown runs of 13 and 58 yards for Alabama.
Quarterback Derrick Ramsey rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown as Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 14-0 in another SEC contest. Mississippi State downed Auburn 28-19.
Late rallies carried several teams to victories. West Virginia was behind 28-17 going into the fourth quarter at Tulane, but won 32-28 on short scoring bursts by Paul Lumley and, with 34 seconds remaining, by Dan Kendra. Virginia Tech led 31-21 over Tulsa, which scored two touchdowns in the final period to win 35-31. Scoring three TDs in the last quarter was Florida State, Tailback Rudy Thomas tallying them on runs of 10 and four yards and on a 95-yard pass from Quarterback Jimmy Black. That was enough—barely—to overcome a 27-10 deficit and defeat Southern Mississippi 30-27. William and Mary Quarterback Tom Rozantz and Tight End Ken Cloud teamed up on their second scoring pass of the day with 4:04 left to edge Appalachian State 23-22.