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The word is out around the Southeast Conference: Beware Ole Miss. In Memphis on Saturday night Mississippi showed even more strength than had been expected. Experts had rated the Rebs near the top of the conference but largely because they play only Tennessee among the best of the SEC, skipping Georgia Tech and Auburn. The way Ole Miss took Kentucky apart (37-6), however, shows that Mississippi is ready for anyone. The Rebs ran, passed and kicked with a finesse and finality that far eclipsed Georgia Tech's showing against this same Kentucky team a week ago. Only Tennessee , 35-7 conqueror of Auburn, looks like a possible road block to a clean league record.
The Southeast's two Louisiana entries showed unexpected strength in dropping close decisions to Southwest Conference teams. A poor Tulane punt set up Texas for its only score of the day, and the Long-horns had to hang on grimly to edge the Green Wave 7-6 at New Orleans. Texas A&M, the recipient of a questionable pass completion call on the enemy's 12-yard line, went on to score its lone touchdown and edge LSU 9-6.
The toothless Georgia Bulldogs, still without a touchdown in two games, were outplayed by Florida state, had to rely on a 26-yard field goal by Ken Copper, a third-string end, in the last 90 seconds for a 3-0 victory.
Quarterback Charlie Bussey led Clemson downfield against the clock in the final three minutes to gain a 20-20 tie with Florida in a wild, wide-open game at Gainesville. Trying for the extra point that would win the game, the Tigers could not find the kicking tee and were assessed five yards for delay of the game. Then, when Horace Turbeville booted the point anyway, Clemson was caught holding and penalized another 15 yards. This time Turbeville, kicking from nearly 30 yards out, missed.
In other southern games, Virginia Tech forgot its neighborly spirit in the Good Neighbor Bowl at Norfolk, Va., handing North Carolina state an unexpected 35-6 thrashing. West Virginia toyed With Richmond 30-6; George Washington had more trouble than expected in downing Furman 10-0, and The citadel surprised everyone with a decisive 34-7 win over Davidson.
Duke , meanwhile, still seething from the upset, took it out on hapless Virginia 40-7. The Blue Devils scored twice on interceptions, three times on passes and once rushing. The Cavaliers penetrated Blue Devil territory only once, and then for their lone score, in the third period. For Virginia Coach Ben Martin it was more than a lost ball game. His first-string quarterback, Reece Whitley, broke an arm and will be out for the rest of the season.