1. ALABAMA (4-1)
2. KENTUCKY (4-1)
3. N.C. STATE (5-1)
Through a rain-soaked first half in University Park, Pa., Penn State pelted Utah State with a downpour of impressive statistics. The 10th-ranked Nittany Lions ran 46 plays to the Aggies' 18, out-gained them 245 yards to 86 and controlled the ball for 20 minutes and 22 seconds. But Utah State led 7-6.
The Lions finally salvaged a 16-7 victory from their excellence with the help of Defensive Tackle Bruce Clark, a 240-pound sophomore, who forced two late turnovers; Penn State hadn't been able to force a turnover in 11 previous quarters. Clark's first came on the opening play of the last period, when his devastating tackle of Running Back Tony Gipson popped the ball loose and Penn State recovered on the Aggie 30-yard line. Seven plays later Matt Bahr atoned for four earlier misses by kicking a 22-yard field goal.
After the kickoff, with Utah State at its own 20, Aggie Quarterback Eric Hippie unloaded a pass at the same moment that Clark hooked his throwing arm. The ball flew upward and was intercepted at the 17-yard line by Defensive Back Randy Sidler. Four plays later freshman Halfback Booker Moore scored from the two.
"We demonstrated we were the better football team," said Penn State Coach Joe Paterno. "We just couldn't get some points. As for the Lions' status in the polls, Paterno said, "I won't know where we are this week or next week. Frankly, I don't give a darn."
In a game at Annapolis, Navy sank Air Force 10-7 in the last 41 seconds on Bob Tata's 25-yard field goal. Defenses dominated throughout the game as the expected passing duel between Navy's Bob Leszczynski and the Falcons' Dave Ziebart did not materialize. A two-touchdown favorite, Navy relied on a rushing attack, which threatened to extend its losing streak to three games. On its final drive, however, Navy moved 57 yards to position Tata for his clutch field goal, with Joe Gattuso Jr. carrying four times for 46 yards. Gattuso racked up 143 yards on 23 carries during the game to surpass his father's academy record of 937 yards. A senior, Gattuso has now rushed for 1,039 yards in his career.
When West Virginia's Frank Cignetti moaned that seven of his starters were out with injuries. Temple Coach Wayne Hardin said, "They want to whip us 75-0 and say they did it with four starters. It makes me sick." Hardin felt no better after his Owls gave up 14 points in 14 seconds in the second quarter, thereby blowing a 9-7 lead. The Mountaineers went on to win 38-16 as Walter Easley ran for two touchdowns and Quarterback Dan Kendra twice connected on scoring passes to Cedric Thomas.
Unbeaten Dartmouth moved closer to the Ivy League championship by beating Yale 3-0 on Nick Lowery's 24-yard field goal and a closing-minutes defensive stand on its 11-yard line. The loss was Yale's first shutout defeat in 60 games. Dartmouth last turned the trick in 1970. A face-mask penalty moved Dartmouth in range for Lowery's kick before Yale came back in the final two minutes to reach the 11 on an 85-yard pass from Bob Rizzo to John Spagnola.
Princeton ended its eight-game losing streak, beating Columbia 28-7 as Tiger Bobby Isom, the Ivy League's leading rusher, gained 106 yards on 23 carries and scored a touchdown. In other Ivy battles Harvard traveled to Ithaca and moved into a first-place tie with Dartmouth by dumping Cornell 17-7, and Penn upset Brown for the second year in a row, 14-7.