Joe Williams put the final touch on Wichita State's 33-7 conquest of Southern Illinois, booting a 67-yard field goal. That tied the record held by Steve Little of Arkansas and Russell Erxleben of Texas for the longest field goal in NCAA history. The Shockers' win tied them with Drake and New Mexico State for the Missouri Valley lead. Indiana State missed a chance to join the deadlock, losing 36-7 to West Texas State, which got 171 yards rushing from David Johnson and 113 from Larry Thompson. Tulsa hung on to defeat outsider Cincinnati 27-26.
1. OKLAHOMA (7-0)
2. NEBRASKA (6-1)
3. MICHIGAN (5-1)
While Texas was handing Arkansas its first setback and Houston was beating Southern Methodist (page 32), Baylor and Texas Tech savored other Southwest Conference triumphs. Victory was particularly sweet for the Bears, who had dropped their first five games by a total of 21 points. They beat Texas A&M largely because of a bomb, the powerful running of freshman Walter Abercrombie and the punting of Luke Prestridge.
The bomb came on the second play of the game, a no-huddle maneuver in which the Bears caught the Aggies flat-footed. Robert Holt got wide open on the play, latched on to a pass from Steve Smith and turned it into a 78-yard scoring play. A pair of Aggie field goals left Baylor ahead 7-6 at halftime.
Shortly before the intermission, Abercrombie, who started the season as a fourth-team fullback, made his debut for the Bears and gained 23 yards. That was merely a teaser for what he was going to do. During an 80-yard, third-period touchdown drive, Abercrombie ran 11 times for 65 yards. Then in the fourth quarter he got off a 42-yard run to set up a field goal and finally broke loose for a 64-yard scamper to line up Baylor's final touchdown in its 24-6 win at College Station. When done, Abercrombie had established a team record by gaining 207 yards in 19 carries. Prestridge kept the Aggies in the hole by averaging 54.8 yards on six punts, including two that traveled 70 and 77 yards.
Texas Tech also won its first SWC game, zapping Rice 42-28 in Houston. The Owls poured across 22 points in the final period, but could not catch the Red Raiders. Two touchdown runs and a scoring pass reception by James Hadnot, and Alan Swann's 82-yard interception return for another six-pointer kept Tech comfortably in front.
Grambling moved into first place in the Southwestern Conference by knocking Jackson State off the unbeaten list, 13-7. Starting the Tigers on their way to victory was a 95-yard kickoff return by Greg Wilson.
1. TEXAS (5-1)
2. ARKANSAS (4-1)
3. HOUSTON (5-1)