Stroman was right. The game was not a circus. It was more like a carnival. One of the sideshows was the Penalty Act. The Longhorns stole that show by being penalized 17 times for 165 yards. Texas also previewed a How to Drop a Football routine, fumbling six times and losing the ball on five of those occasions. Rice tried to get in on both those acts, but could only draw four penalties for 40 yards and fumbled a scant three times. The Owls, though, outperformed the Longhorns in Let's Throw the Ball to the Other Guys, 2 to 1.
Amid the hoo-haws of the fans, Texas put Rice on the back burner in their Southwest Conference game by a score of 34-0. Olympic sprinter Johnny (Lam) Jones latched on to three passes for 132 yards, including 57-and 26-yard scoring efforts. JC transfer Leroy King, taking over at running back for Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, picked up 106 yards in 10 cracks.
It looked like a lark, what with Arkansas leading Vanderbilt 24-0 after 35 minutes. But then the Commodores, who had gained just 51 yards in the first half, got going. Within a five-minute span, they scored on a 13-yard run by Van Heflin, a 90-yard punt return by Preston Brown and a 33-yard field goal by Mike Woodard. Thus the Razorbacks' once-comfortable edge had been reduced to 24-17. Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz' fears were eased when freshman Thomas Brown zipped 96 yards on a kickoff return, and the Hogs went on to win 48-17.
It was no surprise that Ben Cowins of Arkansas led all rushers with 144 yards in 15 carries. What was surprising was that Kevin Scanlon outshone No. 1 Quarterback Ron Calcagni. Scanlon had been recruited by Holtz when the coach was at North Carolina State and had transferred when Lou moved west. After sitting out a year, Scanlon, in his first game for the Hogs, made good on four of eight passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. And he ran two yards for another six-pointer. Calcagni wound up with five completions in nine attempts for 24 yards. Another pleasant surprise for Holtz was that he apparently found suitable replacements for Kicker Steve Little. JC transfer Ish Ordonez kicked field goals of 46 and 32 yards, and Bruce Lahay averaged 42.4 yards on five punts.
1. ARKANSAS (1-0)
2. TEXAS (1-0)
3. TEXAS A&M (1-0)
Underdogs to wonderdogs was the inscription on T shirts worn by Georgia fans. Sure enough, the Bulldogs did some mildly wondrous things as they shocked Baylor 16-14. Field goals of 42, 38 and 36 yards by Rex Robinson and a 16-yard touchdown run by Willie McClendon gave Georgia its points. Bulldog Coach Vince Dooley, though, felt his players might have been somewhat lucky dogs, saying, "We beat a big team in Athens humidity, on Athens grass in front of an Athens crowd."
Louisiana State was another Southeastern Conference team that knocked off an outsider. Tailback Charles Alexander carried 32 times for 144 yards and scored twice as the Tigers held off Indiana 24-17. The game's most spectacular run was by Defensive End John Adams, who stole a Hoosier pass, was caught by Quarterback Scott Arnett, broke loose and went 73 yards for a touchdown.
Two other SEC squads lost, Tennessee being blanked 13-0 by UCLA and Florida losing to Southern Methodist 35-25. Fullback Theotis Brown of UCLA scored the game's first points with a 54-yard run in the third period. Brown rushed for 103 yards, but was outdistanced by Vol Quarterback Jimmy Streater, who ran for 95 and passed for 79. Unlike Streater, SMU's Mike Ford produced touchdowns, passing for two (and 210 yards) and plunging a yard for a third.
Three other bull's-eye passers propelled their teams to triumphs. Jimmy Jordan's three TD passes for Florida State finished off Oklahoma State 38-20. In his past four games over two seasons, Jordan has hit on 64 of 97 for 991 yards and nine touchdowns, while being intercepted only once. Sophomore Tailback Homes Johnson caught two of Jordan's scoring passes against the Cowboys and added an eight-yard touchdown run.