All three touchdowns in Florida's 24-3 victory over Auburn came on 36-TAC, a misdirection play in which the defense is lured to the outside while a runner takes the ball back inside. "It really hasn't worked that well until now," said halfback Neal Anderson, who had TD runs of 36 and 15 yards. "The two keys were that we got great blocking up front and Auburn's defense is so quick they overpursued." The game also marked the return of Auburn halfback Bo Jackson, who suffered a shoulder separation in the second game of the season. But the Gator defense held Jackson to 16 yards on five carries.
It was an average game: Undefeated South Carolina came in averaging 33.9 points and scored 35. North Carolina State came in averaging 27.8 and scored 28. To attain their norms, however, the teams had to combine for 406 yards and 35 points in the fourth quarter. "I thought, 'God, when is this thing going to end?' " said Gamecock guard Del Wilkes. "I like exciting football, but I think we carried it a little too far today."
In three of South Carolina's seven previous victories, quarterback Allen Mitchell started, and reserve Mike Hold came off the bench with the Gamecocks either behind or tied and led them to victory. So why not start Hold? "If it ain't wrong, don't fix it," said South Carolina coach Joe Morrison, who once again started Mitchell and, with the Cocks trailing 6-3 in the second quarter, sent in Hold. True to form, Hold threw a 61-yard TD pass to Chris Corley, caught a two-point conversion pass on a razzle-dazzle play, scrambled 36 yards to set up a 14-yard TD run by Thomas Dendy and directed an 80-yard game-winning drive that ended with Dendy running six yards up the middle with 50 seconds to play.
LSU owed its 32-29 win over Ole Miss to safety Jeffrey Dale and freshman kicker Ronald Lewis. Dale recovered two fumbles to set up a touchdown and a field goal, and with three minutes left returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown. Lewis, playing in his first college game, contributed field goals of 24 and 46 yards after senior Juan Betanzos had missed a three-pointer and two extra-point attempts.
Another happy kicker was freshman Teddy Garcia of Northeast Louisiana. On Saturday night Garcia beat Louisiana Tech 12-10 with a 45-yarder with 59 seconds to play. On Sunday morning his wife, Jena Marie, who had watched the game on TV, gave birth to an eight-pound, three-ounce girl, Amanda Marie. "They're both pretty exciting things," said Garcia.
"It seemed like every year they'd run the score up on us," said Purdue quarterback Jim Everett. "I didn't like that, and felt we had some debts to pay today." And pay they did, as Everett completed 23 of 32 passes for 290 yards to upset Michigan 31-29. The loss was the Wolverines' fourth of the year—the most that coach Bo Schembechler has suffered in regular-season play in his 16 years in Ann Arbor. The only bright spot for Michigan was Chris Zurbrugg, who threw four TD passes, three of them in the final 4:08. For the Boilermakers, the victory capped a first-ever sweep of Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan.
Wisconsin's defense got in its licks in the Badgers' 10-10 tie with Iowa. Playing the worst game of his career, Hawkeye Chuck Long was sacked four times and intercepted four times before being knocked unconscious at the end of a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter. On that play he severely bruised his right knee. Iowa also lost its leading rusher, Ronnie Harmon, with a broken left leg; he'll miss the remainder of the season.
Oklahoma finally responded to adversity. With two defensive backs in the hospital after an automobile accident, a guard in the infirmary with a staph infection and quarterback Danny Bradley wearing high-top sneakers to protect his sore ankle, the Sooners scored six touchdowns in their first nine possessions en route to a 49-7 victory over Missouri. "It was kind of like a bunch of Halloweens and Friday the 13ths," said coach Barry Switzer about the past month, in which Oklahoma had tied Texas, nearly lost to Iowa State, lost a quarterback because he had played one game for another college in 1979, lost to Kansas, and had an assistant coach and a player picked up for driving under the influence.