Hawaii's ball-control game consumed 7:04 in a 16-play, 97-yard scoring drive that gave the Rainbow Warriors a 21-10 lead in the third quarter at San Diego State. WAC rushing leader Gary Allen of Hawaii gained 189 yards and scored a touchdown. The Rainbow Warriors, who won 28-10 and are now 5-0, are one of the six remaining unbeaten and untied Division I-A teams. The victory moved them into a tie for first place with Utah, which won 69-28 at Nevada-Las Vegas. Three Utes ran for more than 100 yards—Carl Monroe (130), Del Rodgers (103) and Ricky Price (101)—and Reggie Wilson caught a Rebel kickoff three yards deep in his end zone and brought it back all the way. That run was part of a 28-point blitz in the third quarter by Utah, which improved its overall record to 6-1. The 69 points by the Utes was the most ever scored against the Rebels in their 14 seasons of playing football.
"We have to do something with our defense," said Stanford Coach Paul Wiggin in the understatement of the day, after visiting Arizona State had walloped the Cardinals 62-36. The Sun Devil defense didn't exactly resemble the Great Wall of China, either. Together, the teams passed for 1,092 yards and had 1,436 yards in total offense—both NCAA records. Mike Pagel of Arizona State set Pac-10 marks with seven touchdown throws and 466 yards passing. Even so, Stanford came out on top in aerial yardage 581 to 511. The Cardinals' John Elway hit on 10 of 17 throws for 270 yards and three touchdowns before suffering another injury—a mild concussion—late in the first half. Sophomore Steve Cottrell replaced Elway and completed 21 of 34 attempts for 311 yards. Halfback Darrin Nelson also had a fine day for the struggling Cardinals, picking up a school-record 237 yards on nine receptions and rushing for 84 yards.
California Coach Roger Theder was more blunt than Wiggin. "Our play in the first half was really disgusting," said Theder, whose team trailed UCLA 34-0 at the intermission. The Bears ended up losing 34-7.
With Clete Caspar completing 11 of his first 12 passes and with Free Safety Paul Sorenson intercepting three passes, Pac-10 leader Washington State jumped to a 27-0 halftime advantage over Arizona. The Wildcats, scratching for a fifth consecutive victory, closed the gap to 27-19 before Sorenson set up the final Cougar touchdown in a 34-19 victory by picking off a pass at the Arizona 38-yard line. Washington State, which scored on five of its first six possessions, gained 338 yards in the first half and 521 in all.
Oregon's Ducks, who once had dreams of sniffing New Year's Day roses, again came up smelling like onions. Air Force fell behind 10-0 but rallied for a 20-10 win that left Oregon 1-6.
If, as Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz says, "Happiness is nothing more than a poor memory," then his latest source of joy will be forgetting what happened against Houston. Holtz, however, was already trying to forget how his team had lost its last three games with the Cougars after having led on each occasion. It was more of the same last week as the Hogs squandered a 14-0 second-period lead and lost 20-17. The problem wasn't so much that Arkansas pulled a big rock in Little Rock, but that Quarterback Tom Jones played only two series of downs. Jones, who banged up his right knee a month ago against TCU and his passing arm in the Hogs' rout of Texas two weeks ago, threw for touchdowns on both possessions against Houston before leaving the game after injuring his other knee. Sophomore Quarterback Lionel Wilson rallied the Cougars by running for 87 yards and one TD and passing for 141 yards and another score. And barefoot walk-on Mike Clendenen, who kicked a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter, broke a 17-17 tie in the fourth when he booted a 17-yarder that Holtz would dearly like to forget.
Texas' 9-7 defeat of SMU knocked the Mustangs from the unbeaten ranks. The Longhorns had a meager 177 yards in total offense, but Raul Allegre kicked three field goals, the last a 52-yarder that put them in front 9-0 in the final quarter. SMU tailbacks Craig James and Eric Dickerson, who had averaged a total of 234 yards a game, were held to 94 yards, 56 by James. Having his string of 100-yard games brought to a halt at eight was only part of Dickerson's troubles. What was worse was that he lost fumbles at his own 21-and 42-yard lines, the latter on a fourth-and-one gamble late in the third period. It was after Texas had recovered those fumbles that Allegre kicked his first two field goals of the afternoon. John Goodson of Texas set the Mustangs back with punts to their three, 20-, 17-and 13-yard lines. SMU crossed midfield only twice, once on a 70-yard Lance McIlhenny-to-Jackie Wilson touchdown pass.
Texas A&M, winner of three of four one-point games and loser of a two-pointer, had a cakewalk for a change, a 51-26 victory over Rice. That tied the Aggies with SMU for the top spot in the Southwest Conference, half a game ahead of Texas and Baylor. Never before has every SWC team lost at least one conference game this early in the season. Baylor got back into the running by beating Texas Christian 34-21. Four field goals by Chuck Nelson, one a 50-yarder into a 21-mph wind, carried Washington to a 14-7 intersectional triumph at Texas Tech.