"I had a whole new passing offense we never used today," said Arizona Coach Tony Mason. The reason he delayed its debut was a 15-mph wind and a high temperature of 41° at Oregon. That was almost 50° colder than the temperature in which the Wildcats had been practicing at home. Mason's revised game plan was to "just put two hands on the ball and run right at 'em." Only once did the Wildcats throw, and the pass was incomplete. "Running at 'em," Larry Heater gained 193 yards and Hubert Oliver 141, as the Wildcats ground out a 24-3 decision.
There were 20,000 no-shows at wind-whipped and rainy Arizona State, where Stanford's Steve Dils established a conference record for touchdown passes in a single season, throwing his 20th and 21st as the Cardinals came out on top 21-14. Dils hit on 11 of 20 for 153 yards, and with Jim Brown ripping off 108 yards on the ground the Cardinals built an 18-0 advantage which the Sun Devils couldn't overcome.
A 15-point second period and 232 yards rushing by Paul Jones was enough to give California a 22-14 victory over Washington State. A 75-yard scoring run by Ray Williams and Jack Thompson's 14th touchdown pass of the season were not enough for the Cougars.
Despite the first snow of the season in Provo, Utah and despite winding up with minus five yards rushing, Brigham Young beat San Diego State 21-3 to lock up the WAC championship and a berth in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Also clinching a title was Northern Arizona, which took a 31-17 lead over defending Big Sky champ Boise State and prevailed for a 31-30 verdict. Allan Clark of the victorious Lumberjacks gained 250 yards and broke loose on scoring runs of 87 and 53 yards. Morris Bledsoe threw five touchdown passes as Weber State shocked Utah State 44-25 in frigid and windswept Logan. All told, Bledsoe connected on 25 of 34 for 320 yards. Ten of those passes, three of them for six-pointers, were caught by Randy Jordan.
Larry Worman of Nevada-Reno also passed for five touchdowns. Undismayed by a snowstorm in Reno, Worman made good on 14 of 26 passes for 286 yards as the Wolfpack won 50-7.
San Jose State trailed visiting Pacific University 28-7 before rallying for a 33-31 victory. Ed Luther's five-yard touchdown pass to Rick Parma on the game's last play gained the win and a tie with Utah State for first place in the Pacific Coast AA.
1. USC (8-1)
2. UCLA (8-2)
3. STANFORD (6-4)
At 6'2" and 240 pounds, it would seem little could scare James Hadnot of Texas Tech. Hadnot, though, admits he was frightened of being shifted from tight end to running back, a position he had come to dislike while in high school in Jasper, Tex. "It was a real fear," says teammate Brian Nelson, "and he always promised that if he was shifted to the backfield he'd be on the next bus out to Jasper."