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Clemson had just knocked off defending national champion Georgia 13-3, breaking the Bulldogs' 15-game winning streak, but the main topic of conversation wasn't football but fashion, as in the special orange pants the Tigers had worn for the game. The only other time the Tigers have varied from their traditional white pants was in an upset of South Carolina a year ago. "We knew we were going to use them when Georgia showed up on our schedule," said Clemson receiver Perry Tuttle, who scored the game's only touchdown on an eight-yard pass from Homer Jordan. "All we were saying was 'You bring your silver ones and we'll bring our orange ones and see what happens.' And we did pretty good with ours." "I'm delighted we won in orange pants," added Coach Danny Ford. "There was a statement made that when we wore orange pants, we looked like Halloween. Well, we're delighted that it was Halloween today." Indeed, the game was scary for Georgia. The Bulldogs lost the ball nine times on turnovers, including five interceptions thrown by Quarterback Buck Belue. Herschel Walker fumbled three times, losing two, and was held to 111 yards rushing on 28 carries. "We wanted Herschel to get the ball today," said Tiger Defensive End Ray Brown. "It had been said that Herschel wanted to run here. We welcomed that." Walker, however, gave more credit to Clemson's fans than to its defense. "The noise made me lose my concentration," he said.
Alabama also had a hard time getting it together and almost lost consecutive regular season games for the first time since 1969. Only a 37-yard field goal by Peter Kim and a nine-yard touchdown run by Jeff Fagan in the game's final two minutes gave the Tide a 19-10 win over Kentucky. Perhaps recalling his eight years as the Wildcats' coach, Bear Bryant wore a blue blazer on the sidelines. "Blue is Kentucky's color," Bryant said. "I happen to like the color blue." Crimson Tide Defensive Back Ben Perrin didn't buy such sentimentality. "I think it was his way of psyching us up," Perrin said. "He had that Kentucky blue on to give us incentive." LSU also had to scramble to beat Oregon State 27-24. Trailing 24-20 with 4:39 to play, the Tigers marched 80 yards for the winning touchdown, a two-yard run by Jesse Myles with 55 seconds to play capping the drive.
Tennessee, 44-and 36-point losers the previous two weeks, turned the tables with a 42-0 wipeout of Colorado State. Tailback Randall Morris and Quarterback Alan Cockrell each rushed for a pair of Vol touchdowns.
"I got nervous after we scored, and there wasn't that much enthusiasm on our sideline," said Georgia Tech Coach Bill Curry of his team's touchdown march the first time it had the ball against Florida. "Against Alabama we were down 10-0, and when we scored, it sounded like an explosion. Today, there was nothing on our sideline. Nothing." There was also very little on the field the rest of the way for Tech in a 27-6 loss. Gator Quarterback Bob Hewko completed 17 of 28 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns and scored another on a one-yard run. Comparing Florida to Alabama, last week's victim, Georgia Tech Cornerback Ted Thurson said, "Florida is much bigger and faster than Alabama and they came of age against us. They just stuck the ball down our throats. They put it to us really good."
North Carolina and North Carolina State appear to be headed for an Oct. 17 showdown in Raleigh. The Tar Heels swamped Miami of Ohio 49-7 as Kelvin (The Other) Bryant was a bear of a rusher, gaining 136 yards in 29 carries. Bryant also scored five touchdowns, giving him 11 in two games. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack beat East Carolina 31-10 as freshman Tailback Joe McIntosh, in the starting lineup for the first time, carried 24 times for 167 yards and one TD. McIntosh also threw a seven-yard pass to Quarterback Tol Avery for another score.
"Our offensive line got its backside whipped. Our offense was inept," said Miami Coach Howard Schnellenberger after the Hurricanes' 12-7 win over Houston. Good thing for Miami that its defense was unyielding. Houston, which scored its TD on an interception return, was held in check by Hurricane Defensive Tackle Lester Williams, who had 17 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery, and Middle Guard Tony Chickillo, who had 12 tackles and one sack. Safety Fred Marion set up a pair of Miami scores with a fumble recovery and a 31-yard punt return.
Told by Coach Tom Osborne that winning the kicking battle was essential to beating Florida State, Nebraska special teamers came through splendidly in the Cornhuskers' 34-14 win. With Nebraska ahead only 10-7 halfway through the third quarter, Irving Fryar returned a Florida State punt 82 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Mike Knox clobbered the Seminoles' Greg Allen, causing a fumble that Tony Felici caught on the fly and returned 13 yards for another score. Cornhusker I back Roger Craig then tried to get into the act. Making a rare appearance on the kickoff-return team, he took a Florida State kick on his own six-yard line but accidentally stepped out of bounds. Undaunted, Craig broke a 94-yard TD run on the next play from scrimmage.
Southern Cal, held scoreless until 10:34 into the third quarter, got three late touchdowns to beat Indiana 21-0. One Trojan who was turned on all game long was Marcus Allen; he rushed for 274 yards in 40 carries. Wisconsin couldn't come up with an encore to its upset of Michigan and lost 31-13 to UCLA. The game was close statistically, with Wisconsin making three first downs more than the Bruins and having only five fewer yards in total offense, but the Badgers also had the edge in mistakes. The biggest came early in the third quarter when UCLA led 21-13. With the ball on the Badgers' 40-yard line, Wisconsin Quarterback Jess Cole threw what was intended to be a quick pass to Flanker Thad McFadden. The ball fell behind McFadden—and behind the spot from which Cole had thrown it. While the Wisconsin players watched what they believed to be an incomplete pass roll around, UCLA Safety Tom Sullivan recovered what was actually a lateral on the Wisconsin 22. Five plays later Tight End Tim Wrightman caught his second touchdown pass of the day from Quarterback Tom Ramsey and the Bruins were ahead 28-13. "I can't fault our players for not chasing the ball," said Wisconsin Coach Dave McClain. "It's something we haven't worked on. I'll take the blame for that."