Surely a 21-0 second-quarter lead at Princeton would suffice for Yale, which hadn't lost to the Tigers since 1966. Not quite. Princeton, which has a 4-4-1 record, went in front 22-21 in the third period. Surely a touchdown and a field goal, which put the Elis ahead 31-22 with 9:18 to play, would keep them unbeaten. Not quite. Princeton's Bob Holly completed his fourth touchdown pass of the day and then, with four seconds remaining, raced around left end for the final yard of a 76-yard drive to give Princeton a 35-31 victory. Holly threw for an Ivy League-record 501 yards, which increased his total for the season to 1,884. That, too, is a league mark. Rich Diana broke his own Yale records for carries (46) and rushing yardage (222). The loss dropped Yale into a tie for first in the Ivy with Dartmouth, a 38-13 winner over Brown. Harvard retained a share of third place with Princeton by defeating Penn 45-7 as Fullback Jim Callinan carried 15 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Unlike Columbia the space shuttle, Columbia the football team crashed again—15-9 at Cornell.
Joe Morris became the 14th collegiate runner to gain 4,000 yards in his career as Syracuse defeated Boston College 27-17. By gaining 132 yards, Morris amassed more than 1,000 yards for the third time in four seasons. The Orange also needed 119 yards passing and 79 yards rushing from Dave Warner to rally from a 7-3 halftime deficit.
Victories in their final Yankee Conference games left Rhode Island and Massachusetts deadlocked for first place. The Rams edged Connecticut 34-29, and the Minutemen knocked off New Hampshire 20-9.
"The seniors told me on Wednesday they wanted to wear the orange pants today," said Clemson Coach Danny Ford after his team whipped Maryland 21-3 to clinch the ACC title and close in on an Orange Bowl berth. "I told them if we didn't play well in the first half, I was going to take the orange pants off them at halftime." No change was necessary. Quarterback Homer Jordan completed 15 of 18 first-half passes for 214 yards to give Clemson a 21-0 lead. Eight of those passes went to Wide Receiver Perry Tuttle, who scored twice. The Tiger defense also was superb during the first two periods, not allowing the Terps within 34 yards of its goal line.
Virginia Quarterback Gordie Whitehead also was sharp in the first half, passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns, and the Cavaliers led visiting North Carolina 14-7 at intermission. Kelvin Bryant, who ran for 171 yards, scored that North Carolina touchdown on a one-yard run. In the third period, though, Whitehead injured his collarbone and had to leave the game. Tyrone Anthony tied the score for the Tar Heels with a two-yard run, and Brooks Barwick made them 17-14 winners with a 34-yard field goal.
By beating North Carolina State 17-7, Duke assured itself of its first winning season since 1974 and saddled the Wolfpack with its first losing record since 1976.
There was 8:33 left in the third period when Southern Mississippi Quarterback Reggie Collier left the game at Florida State. By that time Collier had the Golden Eagles in front 44-0 and well on their way to a 58-14 romp. Collier's stats: 150 yards rushing on 15 carries, one 69-yard scoring run, and seven pass completions in eight tries for 76 yards and two more TDs. Southern Mississippi Tailback Ricky Floyd caught a 31-yard scoring pass, returned a punt 73 yards for another touchdown and rushed 12 yards for a third. The undefeated and once-tied Golden Eagles lead the nation in scoring defense (6.9 points per game) and are fourth in pass defense (103.6 yards per game).
Miami had to struggle to get past Virginia Tech 21-14. Two touchdown passes by Jim Kelly put the Hurricanes up 14-0 in the first period, but from there on the offense sputtered. The Gobblers missed a chance to at least tie the game when they lost a fumble at the Miami 12 with 7:19 to go. That was the last time Tech had possession as Miami held the bail for the final 15 plays.
Although Auburn tore through Georgia's usually stubborn defense for 283 yards on the ground, the Tigers couldn't avoid a 24-13 SEC loss. Herschel Walker of the Bulldogs ran for 165 yards and one touchdown, and Buck Belue completed 10 of 17 passes for 128 yards and two scores. The win fueled Georgia's hope of defending its national championship in the Sugar Bowl against Pittsburgh.