Saturday's upset pattern also claimed victims in the South. Louisiana State, playing at home against Georgia, seemed to be on its way to a win, and Charles Alexander appeared to be enhancing his Heisman Trophy aspirations. Tiger fans roared their approval when Alexander bolted three yards for a first-period touchdown and went into a frenzy as substitute Quarterback Steve Ensminger and Carlos Carson combined on an 82-yard scoring pass, the longest in LSU history. That put the Tigers ahead 14-0 early in the second period. For most of the rest of the night, however, Tiger rooters groaned.
The first event that incurred their displeasure was a 24-yard touchdown run by Willie McClendon, who finished with 144 yards in 27 carries, that halved the Bulldogs' deficit. Then a 17-point, third-quarter outburst made Georgia a 24-17 victor in the Southeastern Conference game. Starting that spree, which toppled No. 11 LSU from the unbeaten list, was a 99-yard kickoff return by freshman Lindsay Scott, the longest ever by a Bulldog. Concluding the surge was a six-yard run by McClendon. As for Alexander, he left in the third period with a leg injury after a 22-carry, 81-yard night that ended his string of 100-yard performances at eight games.
Another SEC team nicknamed the Bulldogs pulled off another shocker, Mississippi State soaring past 15th-ranked Florida State 55-27. A pair of touchdown passes from Dave Marler to Tailback James Jones covered 27 and 11 yards and gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 edge after one period. Jimmy Jordan of the Seminoles matched that with two scoring throws in the second quarter, and Florida State took a 21-14 halftime lead when Homes Johnson plunged a yard for another six points. But the Bulldogs poured across three touchdowns in each of the last two quarters, two on runs by Jones, to swamp the Seminoles.
Vanderbilt and Auburn renewed their rivalry after a 23-year lapse. The Commodores wished they hadn't. With Joe Cribbs scoring on runs of four, five, nine, 20 and 23 yards, the Tigers breezed 49-7.
Alabama and Kentucky, however, had to rally for their conference victories. The Tide trailed Florida 3-0 before winning its 44th consecutive game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Billy Jackson of Alabama broke loose for 147 yards in 13 carries, one of which was an 87-yard touchdown run that put the Tide ahead 14-3. Back came the Gators, cutting Alabama's fourth-quarter lead to 17-12. It took a nine-yard run by Tony Nathan to seal the Tide's 23-12 win.
Mississippi jumped in front of Kentucky 10-0 in the first period. But the Wildcats scored the next 24 points and won 24-17.
There were—surprise!—no surprises in Atlantic Coast Conference action, Clemson downing Virginia 30-14 and North Carolina holding off Wake Forest 34-29. The Tigers ran their record to 18-0 against the Cavaliers as Lester Brown rushed for 178 yards and Steve Fuller for 131.
For the Tar Heels, the big gainer was Amos Lawrence, whose nickname "Famous" had been tarnished by his total of only 155 yards rushing in four games. This time, Lawrence carried 32 times for 180 yards to help visiting Carolina lead 31-14 after three periods. Freshman Chuck Sharpe augmented the attack by hitting on 14 of 22 passes for 149 yards and a TD. Then came the fourth quarter and with it a furious assault by the Deacons as Eddie Wright caught a 31-yard TD pass from David Webber to help trim Wake Forest's deficit to 31-29. The Tar Heels, who pounced on four Deacon fumbles and intercepted three passes, wrapped up the scoring with a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Hayes.
Like Wake Forest, Miami of Florida came up short. Georgia Tech did all its scoring (24 points) in the first half, the Hurricanes all of theirs (19 points) in the second.