Texas A&I scored 25 points in the fourth quarter, but its 42-game win streak came to an end in a 25-25 tie with Abilene Christian. The NAIA-affiliated Javelinas fell five games short of equaling Oklahoma's alltime collegiate record set in 1953-57.
Colorado State improved its record to 5-0 with a 40-31 defeat of Texas-El Paso.
1. TEXAS (4-0)
2. ARKANSAS (4-0)
3. HOUSTON (3-1)
Brilliant defense and a rushing attack, which Washington State rarely exhibits even in practice, enabled the Cougars to upset California 17-10 as underdogs prevailed throughout the West. Ripped 41-7 by USC eight days earlier, WSU rebounded to square its PAC-8 record at 1-1 and hand Cal its first defeat of the season. WSU rushed for 184 yards, 100 more than Quarterback Jack Thompson totaled passing. However, Thompson ran for two touchdowns set up by his passes and had his team in front 17-0 before Cal made a late surge that fell 10 yards short.
The Bears' walk-on quarterback, Gary Graumann, had pulled Cal to within a touchdown on a 22-yard scoring pass to Floyd Eddings with little more than a minute left. Despite an onside kick attempt that failed, Cal got the ball back on its own 39 with 44 seconds to play when the Cougars were forced to punt.
Graumann completed three passes to give the Bears a first down at the WSU 10, but the drive ended there after two incompletions and a sack of Graumann by George Yarno as time ran out.
With Quarterback Guy Benjamin sidelined by a knee injury, Stanford was a long-shot choice against UCLA, which had beaten the Cardinals 19 times in 29 years. But Steve Dils completed 24 of 37 passes for 287 yards and led the Cards to a 32-28 victory. Dils' biggest play was a 27-yard touchdown toss to Wide Receiver James Lofton with 37 seconds left. Lofton, a world-class long jumper who had five receptions for 126 yards, caught the scoring toss on the one and shook loose from Ken Easley and Levi Armstrong to go into the end zone. Stanford's freshman Scatback Darrin Nelson also excelled, carrying 23 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns, one on a 31-yard run.
"This victory is a pivotal point in Stanford athletics," proclaimed the Cards' new coach. Bill Walsh. "UCLA has dominated Stanford in football for years because of the type of athletes they've been able to recruit. We've shown we can take them on. From our view, we showed our best offense against the best defensive team we've met this season."
Dils, a 1975 redshirt whose total varsity experience was one play in '76, said, "I've waited so long. It feels good again to hurt all over after a game. You don't get that feeling sitting on the bench."