San Diego State was in no rush to rush against Missouri, which had the nation's third-best defense against the run. So the Aztecs took to the air. Although Matt Kofler passed for 218 yards, he was sacked eight times and intercepted twice. In all, the Tigers had 10 sacks and five interceptions, Cornerback Bill Whitaker picking off three Aztec passes for the second year in a row. With a defense like that and with Phil Bradley passing for 165 yards, Mizzou breezed 31-7.
Jim McMahon had his third straight 300-yard game, passing for 339 yards and four touchdowns, as Brigham Young defeated Long Beach State 41-25. Cougar Tailback Eric Lane's efforts were more diversified: he scored three times as he ran for 96 yards and caught 10 passes for 68 yards.
"It was the closest one-sided game I've ever seen," said Miami Defensive Line Coach Harold Allen of the Hurricanes' 10-9 upset of Florida State. Miami allowed only one first down in the opening 25 minutes and remained No. 1 nationally in rushing defense by yielding just 25 yards on the ground for the day. Furthermore, the Hurricanes racked up 291 yards against State, which had led the country in total defense with a 132-yard average. Both teams passed for 182 yards. The Seminoles nearly pulled the game out, scoring a touchdown with 39 seconds to go, but a pass for a two-point conversion was broken up.
The anticipated running duel between Maryland's Charlie Wysocki and North Carolina's Amos Lawrence was a dud. After fumbling away his first two carries and gaining 17 yards in 12 rushes, Wysocki was benched for most of the second half. Lawrence, meanwhile, ran for 103 yards and grabbed a 15-yard scoring pass to lead the Tar Heels to a 17-3 triumph. In another ACC matchup, Wake Forest handed North Carolina State its first loss, 27-7, as Jay Venuto passed for 255 yards and three TDs.
Auburn students hurled oranges at visiting Tennessee players before the game, which only got the Vols more juiced up. So aroused, Tennessee romped 42-0 in an SEC battle. The Vols put the game away with four first-half scoring drives that averaged 73 yards.
"Our defensive team had a good day at the office," said Defensive End E.J. Junior following Alabama's 41-0 defeat of Vanderbilt. The offense didn't do too badly, either, accumulating 481 yards of total offense.
Assorted mistakes and penalties were costly for Mississippi State, a 21-15 loser to unbeaten Florida, which won at home for the first time since 1978. In winning a non-conference game from Texas Christian 34-3, Georgia held the Horned Frogs to minus 10 yards rushing. Mississippi, which lost eight of 10 fumbles, was done in by Tulane, 26-24, when Vince Manalla booted a 29-yard field goal as time ran out.
NORTH CAROLINA (3-0)