The Tigers tuned up for that meeting by blasting Mississippi 30-8. LSU's Charles Alexander, who had been slowed during the past two games by a hamstring pull, ran for 147 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run and scored on a 25-yard pass.
Against outsiders, the SEC came up with three winners ( Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky) and one loser ( Vanderbilt). Willie McClendon of the Bulldogs gained 149 yards during a 41-3 rout of VMI. McClendon has 1,115 yards this season, surpassing the 37-year-old Georgia record set by Frank Sinkwich. With Jimmy Streater teaming up with Jeff Moore on a 66-yard scoring pass and running 10 yards for another touchdown, Tennessee manhandled Duke 34-0. Kentucky also came up with a shutout, winning 28-0 at Virginia Tech. Playing at Memphis State. Vanderbilt went down to a 35-14 defeat.
In addition to Maryland's loss to Penn State, the Atlantic Coast Conference sustained another setback when North Carolina was dumped 27-18 at Richmond in a non-league game. More than anyone, it was Free Safety Jeff Nixon who enabled the Spiders to shock the Tar Heels. Nixon made 25 tackles and picked off two passes, one of which he ran back 59 yards for a touchdown.
Clemson powered its way to a 51-6 ACC triumph at Wake Forest. Before sitting down early in the third quarter, Steve Fuller of the Tigers passed for 189 yards and two TDs.
"Everybody's running backs are banged up by November," said North Carolina State Coach Bo Rein following a 22-13 victory over independent South Carolina. Despite his bruises, Ted Brown of the Wolfpack gained 99 yards and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the third year in a row.
Even though Ottis Anderson scored TDs on a 15-yard run and his second length-of-the-field kickoff return of the season, Miami lost at Tulane 20-16. The Green Wave scored on a pair of touchdown passes from Roch Hontas to Alton Alexis, plus two field goals.
1. ALABAMA (8-1)
2. MARYLAND (8-1)
3. GEORGIA (7-1)
UCLA relied on Theotis (Big-foot) Brown and Southern California on Charles White to hammer out Pac-10 victories. The Bruins had to survive a frantic fourth period to beat Oregon 23-21. The Ducks led 6-3 at the start of the final quarter, but the first-place Bruins took the lead on a 74-yard trip by the 230-pound Brown, who outran a 147-pound cornerback on the way to the end zone. Brown scored again on a 68-yard run, and Peter Boermeester. who had kicked a 27-yard field goal, booted three-pointers from 35 and 44 yards out. Oregon, meanwhile, scored on two short touchdown runs to keep the pressure on.
Stanford, playing at home, took a first-quarter 7-0 lead over USC on a 13-yard pass from Steve Dils to Ken Margerum. But while Dils wound up with 23 completions in 38 attempts for 236 yards, he couldn't get the Cardinals into the end zone again. The Trojans led 10-7 at halftime, thanks to a 34-yard field goal by Frank Jordan and a one-yard dive by White, who finished with 201 yards in 38 carries. From there on, it was a defensive struggle, the only second-half points coming on Jordan's 38-yard field goal.