There's nothing quite like being an old Bear Bryant pupil—unless one is coaching against Alabama. For the 21st straight time, Bryant beat one of his students, trimming Charlie McClendon and LSU 24-3. LSU recovered four Tide fumbles and got 110 yards rushing from Charles Alexander, but Johnny Davis of the Tide bulled his way for 126 yards and Tony Nathan scored two touchdowns. Coupled with an Auburn loss, Alabama's win locked up first place in the Southeastern Conference and a berth in the Sugar Bowl.
It was Mississippi State that stunned Auburn 27-13. Defensive Back Kenny Johnson set up two State touchdowns with interceptions, and Bruce Threadgill (17 of 31 for 256 yards) passed for two others. Florida rallied past Georgia 22-17 and Tennessee beat independent Memphis State 27-14.
"Chuck [Fusina] was verbalizing at the line because we were out of time-outs. He improvised the touchdown play." That was Penn State Coach Joe Paterno's explanation of how his quarterback concluded an 83-yard desperation drive at North Carolina State that took 13 plays and 97 seconds. What Fusina did to pull out a 21-17 win was to uncork his sixth completion of the march, an 11-yarder to Split End Scott Fitzkee with 58 seconds to go. Fusina completed 22 of 36 passes for 315 yards against a defense that had allowed 74.6 yards passing a game.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference, North Carolina (3-0-1) solidified its grip on first place by tying Clemson (4-1-1) 13-13. Tar Heel Amos Lawrence zipped 59 yards for one score (and for 150 yards in all), and a 30-yard field goal by Tom Biddle with :58 left deadlocked the game. Maryland took a non-conference tussle from Villanova 19-13 as George Scott tore through the Wildcats for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
During a 65-0 drubbing of Langston, Doug Williams of Grambling hit on 23 of 30 passes for 378 yards and seven touchdowns.
With Wide Receiver Mike Schumann catching five passes, running three reverses for 99 yards and passing once for 39 yards, Florida State held off Virginia Tech 23-21.
Independent East Carolina (8-2) walloped Appalachian State 45-14. Louisiana Tech took charge in the Southland Conference by stopping Lamar 23-6.
1. ALABAMA (8-1)
2. KENTUCKY (8-1)
3. CLEMSON (7-1-1)