A nine-yard pass from LSU's Steve Ensminger to Mike Quintela and the score was 21-14. Alexander, who entered the game as the nation's leading rusher with an average of 158 yards a game, was held to 61 yards, but set up LSU's third score by grabbing a 32-yard pass. On the next play—the first of the fourth period—Ensminger went over from the four to tie the score at 21-21. Willie Teal then stole a Rebel pass and ran it back 29 yards to the Mississippi 10. Alexander barged ahead for seven and, with 1:25 left, Ensminger went over from the three to make it LSU 28-21. And now for Maxim No. 1: Ellis completed two passes for 33 yards and the ball was on the Tiger 38 with 17 seconds to go. On the game's last play, Ellis faded back—and was sacked.
In the other contest, Alabama gained only 20 more yards than Mississippi State (231 to 211) in the first half, but held a 21-7 lead. Tony Nathan of the Tide rumbled for 104 yards in the first quarter, added 11 more in two second-period carries and then was given the rest of the evening off as Bryant sent in his backup troops to complete a 37-7 romp. Southeastern Conference leader Alabama (5-0) meets LSU (3-1) this week.
And to prove there are notable field-goal kickers outside the Southwest Conference (page 26), Jorge Portela of Auburn (3-0) booted five three-pointers during a 29-14 upset of Florida. Kentucky and Georgia took on non-conference opponents, the Wildcats beating Virginia Tech 32-0 and the Bulldogs defeating Richmond 23-7.
Maryland's three-year Atlantic Coast reign was almost assuredly ended with a 16-7 loss to North Carolina. The Tar Heels, who trailed 7-0 at the half, tied the score on a 36-yard pass from Matt Kupec to Mel Collins and turned three Terp turnovers into Tom Biddle field goals. The win left Carolina 3-0 in the ACC and dropped Maryland to 3-2.
Second-place Clemson beat Wake Forest 26-0. North Carolina State held off outsider South Carolina 7-3, and Duke, down 24-9 in the fourth period, stunned independent Georgia Tech 25-24 on a seven-yard Mike Dunn-to- Tom Hall pass with 13 seconds to go.
Florida State ended North Texas State's seven-game winning streak with a 35-14 triumph. The Seminoles scored twice in 44 seconds as Defensive Back Ivory Joe Hunter ran a blocked punt back 19 yards and Defensive End Willie Jones recovered a Mean Green fumble in the end zone.
1. ALABAMA (7-1)
2. KENTUCKY (7-1)
3. FLORIDA STATE (6-1)
Texas and Arkansas romped to Southwest Conference wins, but Texas A&M and Houston needed big fourth quarters to come out on top. The Johnny Joneses of first-place Texas ran in all three Longhorn touchdowns in a 26-0 defeat of Texas Tech. Olympic Sprinter Johnny (Lam) Jones scored on a 57-yard pass play and Johnny (Ham) Jones tallied on runs of three and 11 yards, while Earl Campbell gained 116 of the Longhorns' 210 yards rushing. Arkansas rushers picked up 432 yards in a 30-7 rout of Rice, more than half that total coming from Ben Cowins (123 yards and a two-yard TD) and Micheal Forrest (114 yards, including scoring jaunts of 23 and two yards). Steve Little of the Razorbacks was in his usual fine foot, kicking field goals of 52, 44 and 29 yards and averaging 52.3 yards on three punts.
Alois Blackwell ran for three touchdowns and Delrick Brown passed to Willis Adams for two more as Houston knocked off TCU 42-14. The Cougars needed 21 points in the fourth period to lock up the victory. Texas A&M had an even tougher time with SMU, snapping a 21-21 deadlock with a 17-point fourth quarter. Quarterback David Walker made the Aggies 38-21 winners as he ran for 182 yards and connected with Darrell Smith on scoring passes of 30 and 34 yards.