After they had beaten Kentucky 25-17, many Florida players lit cigars to celebrate the win, which sewed up the Gators' first SEC championship, and the news that interim coach Galen Hall had signed a four-year contract. Florida's Bobby Raymond tied an SEC mark with six field goals. Driving for a tie in the closing moments, Kentucky had a TD called back because of a penalty—and then had a pass intercepted.
Mississippi State's 16-14 upset of LSU, which had been tied with Florida atop the SEC with a 4-0-1 conference, record, gave the Gators sole possession of first place. The Bulldogs climbed out of a tie for last place with Mississippi by overcoming a 14-7 Tiger halftime lead. Artie Cosby came through with three field goals for State, the last from 27 yards out with 1:15 remaining.
Auburn clinched second place in the SEC with a 20-12 win over Georgia. Tommie Agee of the Tigers finished with 115 yards on just nine carries, one a 56-yard scamper.
With Virginia leading 24-14 and 5:54 to play, North Carolina's Kevin Anthony began filling his receivers' hands with passes. After teaming up with Earl Win-field for a 63-yard gain, Anthony wrapped up the drive with an 11-yard toss to Arnold Franklin with 4:03 to go. When the Tar Heels got the ball back at their 11 with 1:30 left, Anthony completed six of 10 passes and moved them to the Cavalier nine with seven seconds to play. Kenny Miller's 25-yard field goal, his 15th successful three-pointer in a row, made the final score 24-24.
For the third consecutive week Maryland rallied to win. This time the Terps trailed Clemson 23-17 in the third quarter before surging to a 41-23 victory. Of the Terps' 406 yards rushing, Alvin Blount had 214 and Tommy Neal 113.
Even though first-team tailback Greg Allen was sidelined by knee surgery and regular quarterback Eric Thomas had a hip pointer, Florida State knocked off Tennessee-Chattanooga 37-0, gaining 618 yards in the process. Rosie Snipes ran for 151 of the Seminoles' 454 yards on the ground, and Cletis Jones had 111.
"Everybody, including Russia, is pulling for TCU." So said Texas defensive tackle Tony Degrate before facing the Horned Frogs, who entered the game with an 8-1 record in their second winning season since 1965. One reason TCU had become such a crowd pleaser was that it had outscored opponents 83-16 in the third quarter. Thus, the Frogs didn't fret when they were trailing 10-9 at halftime. This time, though, the Longhorns won the third quarter 13-7 and dominated the fourth 21-7 to win 44-23.
SMU showed 31-0 victim Texas Tech how its big-play offense works by scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter—on a 27-yard gallop by Reggie Dupard, a 30-yard pass from Don King to Jeffrey Jacobs and a 55-yard punt return by Andrew Livingston. Conversely, Arkansas showed Texas A & M how to get the most out of a short-play attack by scoring touchdowns during a 28-0 victory on a pair of one-yard smashes and on a four-yard run.
While playing against No. 1 BYU, Utah intercepted three of Robbie Bosco's passes, pounced on two Cougar fumbles, gained 202 yards on the ground, took an early 7-0 lead and controlled the ball for almost 33 minutes. Of such ingredients are upsets often made. Not this time. Bosco ended up completing 27 of 44 throws for 367 yards. The second of his three TD passes in a 24-14 win was a 19-yarder to Glen Kozlowski, who finished with eight catches for 162 yards.
"When you have a weapon like that, you use it in a war like this," said UCLA coach Terry Donahue after his Bruins had upset Southern Cal 29-10. Donahue's weapon was John Lee, whose five field goals, including boomers of 43 and 49 yards, gave him a Division I-A single-season record of 29.
In a game of high emotions, Washington State was penalized 103 yards and lost 38-29 to archrival Washington. One infraction came when the Huskies appeared to have been stopped on third down at their own 28: a 15-yard dead-ball foul for fighting. Seven plays later, Washington scored on a 23-yard pass from Paul Sicuro to David Trimble. Jacque Robinson's one-yard run put the Huskies ahead for keeps, 29-26, with 14:15 left.
By kicking six conversions and a 20-yard field goal, senior Luis Zendejas of Arizona State became Division I-A's leading alltime career scorer with 364 points. Zendejas broke the record, previously held by Tony Dorsett, during a 45-14 romp over Colorado State.
Previously unbeaten South Carolina, which had come from behind in four of its nine wins, scored 14 points in the final ten minutes at Navy but still lost 38-21. The Middies' switching defense held the Gamecocks to 102 yards on the ground, 137 below their average. Navy's diverse attack was built around end Chris Weiler and its Pip-squeak backs, 5'9" Rich Clouse and 5'8" Mike Smith. Weiler caught six passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns; Clouse had a 53-yard scoring run and 97 yards rushing; and Smith ran for 96 yards and two TDs.
Rare is the passer who outguns Boston College's Doug Flutie, but Syracuse's Mike Kmetz, who completed 10 of 17 throws for 200 yards, did just that. However, Flutie, who was 10 for 21 for 136 yards, was as resourceful as ever on a windswept day during which he faced an Orange pass defense that was ranked third in the nation (117.6 yards a game). With Flutie carrying 11 times for 81 yards, the Eagles won 24-16.
"If you can't help, don't hurt. I knew I could help, so I tried." That's what Keith Byars said after playing on a sprained ankle and helping Ohio State beat Michigan 21-6. Byars put the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl by running 27 times for 101 yards and three TDs.
While Oklahoma was upsetting Nebraska (page 32), Oklahoma State labored past Iowa State 16-10. Early in the season Cyclone flanker Tracy Henderson had said, "I feel like I can catch anything that's close to me." Iowa State quarterback Alan Hood put the ball close to Henderson at the Cowboy 10 on fourth-and-15 with 1:33 to go, but cornerback Windell Yancy broke up the play and saved the win for Oklahoma State.
The adage "When in doubt, punt" wasn't meant for Central Michigan. The Chippewas had somehow gone 8-1-1 despite punting for a 30-yard average. Surely, they thought, the kicking would be better against visiting Toledo in a showdown for the Mid-American Conference title. It wasn't. During a 14-7 loss, Central averaged 25.6 yards on eight punts, the shortest a three-yarder.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: In a 44-23 defeat of TCU, Texas fullback Terry Orr carried 18 times for 195 yards and scored on a 63-yard pass play in the third quarter and on runs of three, 82 and 33 yards in the fourth.
DEFENSE: Tackle Eric Rutherford led Navy to a 38-21 win over South Carolina by making 11 tackles—four of which were sacks totaling 32 yards in losses—blocking a field-goal attempt and causing a fumble.