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All this left Arkansas and Houston tied for first place with 2-0 records, with Baylor (3-1) in fourth place. Sandwiched in between was Texas (1-0), which won its annual non-conference war with Oklahoma (page 32).
Before Saturday's games, 18 Division 1-A teams were undefeated and untied. Five of them lost and one other, USC, was tied. Two of those absorbing their first defeat were in the South, where Tennessee- Chattanooga was jolted 35-0 at East Tennessee State in a Southern Conference skirmish. The other surprise came when Wake Forest dealt North Carolina its first loss, 24-19.
Wake's objective on defense was to shut off the Tar Heels' running game, and this it did by limiting them to 116 yards in 50 tries. Amos Lawrence of Carolina was held to 34 yards in 24 cracks—he had been averaging 141.7 yards, second-best among major-college runners. "When you tackle Lawrence, you can't crunch him," Deacon Linebacker Coach Dennis Haglan said. "Close in on him and squeeze him so he doesn't get away." Linebacker Carlos Bradley put it another way: "We made Amos run sideways."
With the ground game stymied, Matt Kupec of the Tar Heels threw 41 passes, completed a school-record 24 and gained 267 yards through the air. But Wake Forest, too, took to the air and Jay Venuto passed for 236 yards as he made good on 15 of 27 tosses. One throw caught Carolina in a safety blitz, which Venuto took advantage of by hitting Albert Kirby on a 60-yard scoring play.
In a much more conservatively played Atlantic Coast Conference game, North Carolina State stifled Maryland 7-0. The Terps managed only 84 yards rushing and 49 passing. It took the Wolfpack 11 plays to go 74 yards for the only score, which came when Dwight Sullivan darted 14 yards.
Alabama wasn't perfect. The Tide missed a PAT kick, threw an interception and lost a fumble. It didn't matter. Alabama still gained 435 yards and dealt Florida its first regular-season shutout in 90 games, 40-0.
Kentucky beat Mississippi 14-3, Georgia jarred Louisiana State 21-14 and Auburn outlasted Vanderbilt 52-35 in other Southeastern Conference battles. Georgia allowed LSU only 131 yards on the ground, forced five turnovers and got 128 yards rushing from Matt Simon. For the second week in a row, Joe Cribbs of Auburn had three touchdowns. They were part of a wild affair in which the Tigers cranked out 493 yards in total offense and the Commodores 425. In the Tigers' past two outings they have gained 939 yards, 845 on the ground, winning both times. Tennessee continued to come on strong. The Vols stepped outside the conference and administered a 31-0 shellacking to Georgia Tech.