"All week we kept hearing 'What is Rutgers?' " said Scarlet Knight Flanker David Dorn following a 13-7 victory at Tennessee. "Now they know." What "they"—Volunteer rooters who had been heartened by the 4-2 showing of their team this season—knew was that the Vols had been bent out of shape by a school they vastly underestimated. When Tennessee, favored by three touchdowns, drove 84 yards to score on its first possession, Tennessee fans were certain they would have a fine day.
But then the Scarlet Knights hit on three successive big plays. With 20 seconds left in the first half, Ed Steward intercepted a Vol pass at the Rutgers 40. Next came a 23-yard Ed McMichael-to-Tim O'Dell pass. Then a 37-yard bomb to Dorn for a tying touchdown. Surely, the Tennessee folks felt, the second half would be more to their liking. It wasn't.
Early in the third quarter Steward intercepted another pass at the Vol 24, after which Kennan Startzell's 43-yard field goal made the score Rutgers 10, Tennessee 7. Before the period ended, Startzell upped it to 13-7 with a 32-yarder and the Vols had absorbed one of their most stunning upsets ever.
Another Southeastern Conference team to get a kick in the pants from an outsider was Georgia. The Bulldogs, who began the season with three losses, seemed to have righted themselves with four straight SEC wins. Last week, however, Georgia dropped its third game in as many tries against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, this time being shocked 31-0 by Virginia as Todd Kirtley passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
After having been outscored 325-117 in its first seven outings, Vanderbilt finally won—and salvaged some prestige for the SEC—by defeating Memphis State 13-3.
The SEC's two Tigers—Auburn and Louisiana State—both struggled to conference victories. With its running game shut down by Florida, Auburn got a pair of field goals from Jorge Portela and a five-yard scoring pass from Charlie Trotman to Mike Locklear to come out on top 19-13. LSU, behind 17-0 in the second period at Mississippi, came back for a 28-24 triumph.
"Every time I wanted to throw, all I saw was orange," said Wake Forest's Jay Venuto, who felt more like a lemon after a 31-0 upset at Clemson. Venuto had passed for 2,000 yards going into the contest but was held to 119 by the orange-clad Tigers, who set up three touchdowns by intercepting passes.
North Carolina, too, was upended in an away game, 17-14 at Maryland. The Tar Heels overcame a 14-0 deficit with 14 points in the third quarter, but the Terps prevailed when, with 1:21 left, Dale Castro kicked a 43-yard field goal, his 16th straight, which tied an NCAA record.
When George Rogers wasn't busy carrying 30 times for 217 yards, teammate Spencer Clark was grinding out 103 yards in 18 cracks as independent South Carolina held off North Carolina State 30-28. Rogers, second in the country with a 144.5-yard-per-game rushing average, scored on a 25-yard scamper, Clark on two short bursts.